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Mission & History

Mission Statement

The Henry Madden Library supports the University mission of education, research and service. To this end, the Library selects, develops, manages and provides access to information resources; promotes the critical use of information for learning and research; and presents cultural and scholarly programming that serves the campus, region and beyond.

Highlights from Library History

Learn about our history with a timeline of significant library events.

2010-Present

2010
The new Library is an immediate success with the campus and the community, with over 1,000,000 people visiting before its first birthday.
2010
War Veterans’ Oral History Project launches.
2010
The Learning Center is relocated in the Library.
2010
Media Lab opens offering multiple iMacs with specialized graphics design and music-editing software.
2011
Book Cart Drill Team participates in Homecoming.
2013
Map and Aerial Locator Tool (MALT) becomes publically available.
2014
Library offers QuestionPoint 24/7 chat reference service.
2014
DISCOVERe Hub, where students, faculty and staff can receive assistance or training with their mobile device or app, is added to the Library.
2015
Write-In programs begin to help students with researching and writing.
2015
Study Pods added to create more group study space.
2015
First Year Success Librarian joins the Library.
2015
Meditation and Prayer Room added to the Library.
2016
Today, 1.5 million people visit the Library annually. The Library has over 365,000 square feet of space for study, collections, computing and services.   The Library houses the busiest Starbucks in Fresno.

2006-2009

2006-2008
Construction of the new Library building begins, with the Library operating out of the old South Wing.
2007
Michael Gorman retires and Peter McDonald is named Dean of Library Services.
2007
ALIS, the Library's online catalog system, is replaced with Millennium.
2007
The Reference Department begins accepting questions through instant messaging.
2008
Library Liaison program begins.
2008-2009
The South Wing is remodeled and Library services and staff is relocated in temporary locations across campus.
2009
The Reference Department begins accepting questions through text messaging.
2009
Construction is completed and the new Library opens on February 20.
2009
Equipment Lending program begins.

1998-2006

1998-1999
The First two electronic classrooms are opened.
1998
The Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature is established.
2000
The Central Valley Political Archive is established.
2000
The Library begins offering laptops for student use, which continues to be one of the most popular student programs, with over 100,000 checkouts per year.
2001
The Library celebrates the acquisition of its one-millionth volume.
2002
Online tutorials and videos to teach students how to use the Library are introduced.
2004
Voters approve the Proposition 55 bond issue, which provides $95 million for a new library building. The firms of A.C. Martin Partners, Inc. and RMJM Hillier are hired as the architects and the planning process begins.
2005
All of the books are moved to a warehouse off campus.
2006
The original wings of the Library are demolished.

1980-1994

1980
The South Wing opens.
1980s
The Library's catalog records are converted into machine-readable form.
1981
The Library is re-named in Dr. Madden’s honor.
1982
The Library's first automated circulation system, CLSI, is installed.
1985
The Madden Library Associates support group (now the Friends of the Madden Library) is established.
1988
Michael Gorman joins the Madden Library as Dean of Library Services.
1988
The Reference Department adds CD-ROM indexes.
1990-1992
The Library suffers severe budget cuts. Twenty-five percent of its periodical subscriptions are cancelled. No video materials are purchased, and all other Library materials purchases are significantly decreased.
1991
The Library's Systems Office is created.
1992
The first automated catalogue, ALIS, is brought up (replacing the old card catalog). Since then, comprehensive periodical indexes and hundreds of bibliographic and full-text online databases have been made available on the Library's online system.
1994
The Music Library is re-named the Music & Media Library to better reflect its growing collection of videotapes and cassettes.
1994
The Development Office is created.

1949-1979

1949-1979
During Dr. Madden's tenure, the collection grows to 576,000 volumes.
1962
The Department of Music transfers its collection of phonodiscs to the Library.
1963
The Government Documents Department is established, and a year later is granted depository status for U.S. publications.
1966
The Department of Special Collections is established, initially containing the Roy J. Woodward Memorial Library of Californiana, the University's archives and a rare book collection.
1966-1975
The Library begins a 9-year reclassification project from the Dewey Decimal System to the Library of Congress classification system.
1968
The Music Library is created.
1970
The College Lab School is disbanded and its juvenile collection is transferred to the Library.
1975
The Library enters the world of electronic information when the Reference Department begins searching electronic databases for patrons.
1978
The curriculum collection is transferred from the School of Education. The juvenile and curriculum collections are housed together in the Teacher Resource Center.
1979
Dr. Madden retires.
1979-1988
Lillie Parker serves as University Librarian.

1911-1949

1911
Fresno State Normal School is founded and the Library is established.
1913
Maude Schaeffer (Department of English) is appointed acting Librarian.
1914
Agnes Tobin succeeds Ms. Schaeffer and remains until she retires in 1948.
1923
Two years after the institution becomes Fresno State Teachers College, Ms. Tobin obtains her first assistant.
1935
Fresno State Normal School is renamed Fresno State College.
1941
The Library staff grows to six.
1949
Henry Madden (for whom the present Library is named) arrives as University Librarian. The staff numbers eight. The collection contains approximately 70,000 volumes, with an emphasis on elementary and secondary education.