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Chico State

Librarian Emeritus Honored for Contributions to University’s Cartography Collection, Library

Joe Crotts

The Chico State Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association (ERFSA) is pleased to announce the 2024 Hall of Honors class. Eight renowned faculty and staff members will be inducted into the Hall of Honor on Friday, May 31, 2024, during a ceremony and luncheon. Buy tickets.

Joe Crotts’ indelible 44-year contribution to the University extends far beyond the leadership and scholarship he brought to his position at Meriam Library.

Crotts was appointed to a tenure-track faculty position in the library in 1974 and was promoted to full librarian (professor) in 1988. He was the first department head elected to serve in the library, filling that role for over 20 years.

During his tenure he led the development of a Library Personnel Plan as well as a Library Professional Development Plan that greatly aided librarians’ stature as faculty in the University. He also reorganized the policies and layout of the library’s circulation operation to make it more patron friendly.

A cartography expert, Crotts helped Chico State build one of the most comprehensive map collections in the California State University system. He was responsible for the expansion of the collection from a few hundred to more than 200,000 items. In particular, Crotts’ expertise in state geologic maps and military mapping brought special additions to the collection and led to research, including his own 23 scholarly articles.

For all of Crotts’ contributions to the library, his impact was equally felt within Academic Senate, where he served continuously from 1991 until his retirement in 2018. He was a member of the Executive Committee and the University Budget Committee, secretary of the Senate, and its unofficial parliamentarian for nearly 20 years. Crotts revised the Senate’s procedural document and was the embodiment of Robert’s Rules of Order for generations of grateful senators.

Important Senate work that Crotts was involved in includes the revamping of the campus’s general education program, deliberations on returning native remains to local Indian tribes, and the status of ROTC on campus.

In 2009, Crotts played an important part in Chico State’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ reaccreditation by writing a section of the Institutional Report on University governance.

Crotts was recognized for his longstanding role in faculty governance as the recipient of the Academic Senate’s first Excellence in Service Award in 2016.

Crotts also distinguished himself as an expert on Chico State heritage. Over the years he published written accounts of University history and made presentations to groups such as the Chico Heritage Society.

In retirement, Crotts has become active in the University’s Gateway Science Museum. He has served as vice chair of the board and assisted in the museum’s Gala fundraising event and speaker series.