Naming of the Library
Frequently Asked Questions
Fresno State’s leadership team in late 2021 was made aware that Henry Madden held deeply anti-Semitic views and Nazi sympathies as reflected in his own writings and papers. President Jiménez-Sandoval said these views run entirely contrary to Fresno State’s core values of diversity, equity and inclusion and the efforts of the campus community to live by those values. The Task Force was formed to review the naming of the library and to develop a process that will serve the campus moving forward and safeguard Fresno State’s standing as a leader in the community.
In alignment with Fresno State’s commitment to our mission and values and an intent for this to be an inclusive and deliberative process that draws on the voices and perspectives of our internal and external campus community, the Task Force is charged with the following:
- Discover and objectively document the historical record of Henry Madden’s statements and actions as they relate to his past leadership roles and affiliations with Fresno State.
- Develop opportunities for open and informed discussion with the internal and external campus community regarding the issue under consideration as it relates to our institutional mission and values. Opportunities to receive diverse perspectives may include: open forums, encouraging individuals to submit their perspectives in writing, and listening sessions with individuals or groups.
- Building on the results of an educational and information-gathering process, articulate the potential impacts of retaining, replacing or contextualizing the name and representation of Henry Madden at Fresno State with supporting evidence and arguments.
No. The California State University Board of Trustees approved the naming of the library in 1981. The Board must approve any change in the name. In 2022, the Board of Trustees will meet on May 17-19, June 16, July 13-14, September 14-15, October 1, October 25, and November 9-10.
After Henry Madden’s retirement from Fresno State in 1979, his colleagues and friends requested that the California State Board of Trustees name the campus library after him. The Board of Trustees approved the request, and Fresno State’s library was officially named the Henry Madden Library in 1981, a year before Dr. Madden’s death.
You can find the letter that President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval sent to the CSU Board of Trustees with his recommendation here.
The library will be referred to as the library on signage and wayfinding, or in writing/print, it will be referred to as the “Fresno State Library” when additional context is needed.
President Jiménez-Sandoval will be forming a task force to review the requirements of the CSU Naming Policy and to provide recommendations for consideration for a possible future naming opportunity. More information on this effort will be available soon.
Library employees can contact their communications specialist to order new business cards and to update any printed materials.
Employees who work in other departments outside of the library should contact their direct supervisor and/or the Fresno State printing services for guidance. The need to replace existing materials will be reviewed on a case by case basis, depending on individual departmental needs.
This process will take several months and will begin with the most visible signage and website properties. We will continue to identify and prioritize assets that need to be changed into the 2022-23 academic year. Our library has dozens of spaces and over two million books, items, databases, web properties and resources that will need to be updated, so we appreciate the community’s patience with the process.
Many items with the previous name will be cataloged and archived in our University Archives collection. Our Special Collections is also archiving all documentation regarding the removal of the name for future study.
Henry Miller Madden remains our library’s first dean and that is part of our history. A library archive’s function is to preserve even the uncomfortable parts of the past, put them in their full context, and make them available for scholarly study. The Madden Papers remain in our Special Collections Research Center for any patron to access. The Papers now also include the context of the Task Force report and information on the subsequent removal of the library’s name.
Please feel free to send information on the item to the library administration office where they are tracking the name removal needs on campus: firstname.lastname@example.org you may also contact University Communications with questions or concerns.