LeMoyne “Lee” W. Anderson, director of libraries at Colorado State University (CSU) 1957–1985 and ARL president in 1979, died on February 18, 2022, at age 98.
Under Anderson’s leadership, the CSU Libraries greatly expanded and refined its staff, collections, services, and spaces to meet the needs of a world-class research university. In the mid-1960s, Anderson led the consolidation of the main library and five branches into the new Morgan Library, the design and construction of which he spearheaded. The CSU Libraries expanded its collection from 200,000 books and 50 staff when Anderson was appointed in 1957 to more than 1.3 million books and more than 200 employees when he retired in 1985. Staffing was essential to Anderson, who was responsible for librarians’ faculty status at CSU, enabling them to more fully contribute to the university’s direction and governance.
Colorado State University became a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 1975 during Anderson’s tenure at CSU. Anderson served on the ARL Board of Directors as vice president and president-elect in 1977–1978, president in 1979, and past president in 1980. He also chaired the ARL Board Committee on Nominations in 1977–1978.
Prior to joining CSU, Anderson held professional appointments at Iowa State University and the University of Illinois Chicago. He earned bachelor’s degrees in library science and history from the University of Minnesota and an MS and a PhD in library science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Anderson was a college student in Minneapolis when he was drafted into the US Army during World War II. He served as a combat soldier in North Africa and Europe, earning two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Combat Infantry Badge. Later he recounted his wartime experience as part of the Northern Colorado Veterans History Project. In 2017, he received the French Legion of Honor.
To learn more about Anderson’s life and career, see the Colorado State University tribute, “Remembering Lee Anderson, the Longest-Serving CSU Director of Libraries,” and Anderson’s obituary in The Coloradoan.