Southeast Library to be renamed after Arvonne Fraser

Upon reopening later in the year, Southeast Library will be known as Arvonne Fraser Library. Fraser, who passed away in August 2018, was a women’s rights leader and public library advocate.

The Hennepin County board voted to rename the library after Fraser last December, in response to a Board Action Request offered by former Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. McLaughlin represented District 4, which includes the neighborhoods served by Arvonne Fraser Library.

Highly engaged in women’s rights and policy work throughout her life, Fraser founded the Women’s Equity Action League, and served as director to the Office of Women in Development at the U.S. Agency for International Development and was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. At the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute (now School), she directed the International Women’s Rights Action Watch and cofounded the school’s Center on Women and Public Policy.

As a passionate advocate for public libraries, Fraser chaired the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, raising funds for additional library hours. As plans for the merger with Hennepin County Library took shape, Fraser’s influence ensured additional open hours for Minneapolis libraries.

Fraser was married to politician Donald Fraser, who served in the Minnesota State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and was mayor of Minneapolis from 1980-1994.

Arvonne Fraser Library is currently scheduled to reopen by the end of the year. A reopening date will be announced once known.

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