Marvin Anderson retires
after 22 years as state law librarian

[Originally published in Minnesota Lawyer. Reprinted with permission.]

Date: September 16, 2002
By Michelle Lore

Marvin Anderson, who has served as Minnesota’s state law librarian for the past 22 years, was feted at a retirement party held in his honor last week at the state law library in the Minnesota Judicial Center.

A number of appellate court judges, legal practitioners and current and former state law library staff members made presentations to a room packed with well-wishers. Electronic services librarian Barbara Golden was the emcee of the program.

“I can hardly believe this day has come,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz. “To think that Marvin Anderson is leaving us as the state law librarian.”

Blatz praised Anderson for his leadership qualities, his innovation and his desire to make a difference.

Referring to Anderson as “the best law librarian in the country,” the chief justice pointed out that he has been recognized locally and nationally for his work. He was given the Spirit of Law Librarianship Award and the “Eleven Who Care” award for his creation and involvement with the “Everybody Wins” reading program, which pairs volunteer legal practitioners with elementary school students. Anderson was also the recipient of the Bethany J. Ochal Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, an award given once every three years to those who have made a significant contribution to law librarianship and who are nearing the end of their library careers. He was also named one of Minnesota Lawyer’s 10 attorneys of the year for 2001.

“I can’t say enough about what you’ve done and who you are,” said Blatz. “We are going to miss you a lot.”

Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Natalie Hudson explained that Anderson worked at the law library at the University of Minnesota Law School while she was a first-year law student. She praised Anderson for being a mentor and a friend during that time, not just for her, but for many other students.

“Marvin was an inspiration to me,” she said, adding that he was always willing to take extra time to help when necessary.

A proclamation by St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly naming Sept. 9, 2002, “Marvin Anderson Day,” was read during the festivities.

As a parting gift, the library staff made a donation to the Ethel Gordon Community Care Center and Shelter in St. Paul in Anderson’s name. (Gordon, now deceased, was a library employee.)

Golden told attendees of Anderson’s relentless effort to grow the library’s collection of rare books over the years, announcing that the room housing those books has been renamed “The Marvin R. Anderson Special Collections Room.”

Following the presentations, Anderson told attendees that all that had been said about him made him “blush with embarrassment.”

“I am profoundly grateful to so many people who have provided me with help over the years,” said Anderson, who thanked the secretaries, law clerks, court administrators, personnel and technology departments, and the justices and judges of the state’s appellate courts for their support over the years.

“There is no task that anyone does alone,” said Anderson. “For me, it’s been the law library staff, which is a grand group of individuals. To each I owe my thanks and gratitude.”

Talking about his upcoming retirement late last year, Anderson told Minnesota Lawyer: “It’s been a great ride. [And] it’s left me with enough energy so that I can do something else now. ... I feel real energized. I am going to do something else; I don’t know what, but I am going to do something else.”


Copyright © 2002 Minnesota Lawyer. All rights reserved.

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