Julie H. Young still remembers the musty smell of the old library, the way the floors would creak and the confusing book stacks.
“Call numbers would end and they would resume on another floor or several feet away,” said Young, student assistant supervisor for research services.
But that all changed on February 19, 2009 when the “new Library” reopened to the public. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, politicians, donors, media and community members gathered below the Table Mountain Rancheria Tower for the grand reopening and ribbon cutting.
“When the Library reopened it was a feeling of finally! It took so long for everything to be completed that it was just such a relief,” said Christine Evans, the head of circulation services, “It was also scary because we were now responsible for this HUGE building.”
It was a project years in the making. As the Fresno State student population swelled, the Library had to grow in order to meet the need. The multi-million dollar construction project included a renovation of the existing Library and the addition of a brand new North Wing, which would feature new technology and study spaces. Today, ten years later, the Henry Madden Library is still the heartbeat of campus, meeting the needs of students from every college and department.
“The Library has always been busy, but since the ‘new’ Library opened we have been the busiest building on campus by far,” said Evans.
“The Library is far more integral to the campus now than it was when I first started,” said Adam Wallace, a special collections and archives specialist for the Library, “Classes take place here, our resources are utilized to a greater extent and it is a hub for students to study and socialize.”
More than 12 million people have passed through the doors of the North Wing since they first opened a decade ago. Today, more than a dozen librarians work in the Library across every single Fresno State college, specializing in dozens of subjects throughout the academic spectrum. The Library offers more than 2 million resources, including both physical items such as books and online databases. Thanks to new technologies and collaborations with libraries across the nation, Fresno State students and faculty now have access to hundreds of thousands of resources from around the globe at their fingertips.
The Library’s Director of Development, Marcie Morrison said that some people initially scoffed at the requirement to provide seating for 1,500 students. “Now we have over 1.5 million people per year use our building,” said Morrison, “We built it and they came.”
Learn more about the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Henry Madden Library remodel and North Wing expansion.