Joe Crotts joined the faculty of the Meriam Library in 1974, after serving a brief stint in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (in the library!). He supervises circulation, reserve, nonprint, government documents, maps, and curriculum, and serves as bibliographer for geography, geoscience, mathematics, and physics. Joe has served on the Academic Senate since 1990, including eight years as secretary and one year as chair. He has served on department, college, and university personnel committees almost every year since 1979. Many years of chairing and serving on the University Affirmative Action Committee culminated in 2006 with Academic Senate approval of a major overhaul to the charge to the committee.
Joe built the map collection from a few topographic and road maps to a major statewide resource. He published the first comprehensive index to Defense Mapping Agency and Army Map Service Maps. Drawing upon graduate degrees in geography and library science, he developed a new technique for indexing geologic maps that has served as the model for geologic map indexes since publication of his California Geologic Map Index in 1978. He continues updating the index online. Extending his bibliographic interests beyond maps, he has taken two sabbaticals to analyze empirical data on the demand for books by discipline.