Naming of the Library
Message to Campus Community (July 13, 2022)
Dear Campus Community,
The California State University Board of Trustees voted on July 13 to remove Dr. Henry Madden’s name from the library at Fresno State, following revelations last fall that Madden held deeply anti-Semitic views and Nazi sympathies.
Madden was the University Librarian (now formally known as the Dean of Library Services) from 1949 to 1979. The Board of Trustees voted to rename the library after Madden in 1980.
For now, the library will be referred to as the Fresno State Library, or the Library. Efforts to remove Madden’s name from signage, websites and other locations on campus will begin as soon as possible.
As we contemplate renaming the library, I will form a task force to guide our deliberations. The CSU Board of Trustees will have to approve any proposed naming in accordance with the policy on Naming of CSU Facilities and Properties, which outlines the requirements for a donor gift, commercial entity, or if the naming honors an individual’s service to the CSU. I firmly believe that naming a building or any key campus area must align with our communal values and reflect our shared spirit of discovery, diversity, and distinction. I am confident that the task force will offer recommendations that reflect the dignity of our library as a center for innovation and learning.
The action to remove the name followed my formal request to the board on May 18, after a five-month investigation in which our task force reviewed 53 boxes of material containing more than 100,000 letters and documents that Madden had donated to the University’s Special Collections in 1982. I am grateful for the in-depth and detailed work of the Task Force to Review the Name of the University Library, which issued its 74-page final report in May.
Given the deeply hurtful and disturbing views expressed by Dr. Madden in his writings, I am thankful that the Board of Trustees voted to approve the removal of Dr. Madden’s name from our treasured library. This is a critical and necessary next step toward healing for our community and upholding the values of inclusion and equity that allow Fresno State to thrive.
Please visit our Task Force to Review the Naming of the University Library FAQ page for additional information.
Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Ph.D.