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News from Reference, Instruction & Outreach
Updated: 5 hours 27 min ago

Money Smart: The top 5 tips for Winning Scholarships

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 00:00

  1. Scholarships are available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week, and 365 days a year

a. There is no such thing as a “scholarship season.”  You are encouraged to continuously search for scholarships all the time.  All you have to remember – Apply, Apply, Apply!

b. Resources: Scholarship Books listing available scholarships by state, calendar deadlines

2. You can win scholarships regardless of your grades

a. Merit scholarships come in two forms.  There is academic merit scholarships that look primarily at grades, GPA, academic transcripts, and courses taken. However, merit scholarships may refer to sports, art, volunteer, and require essays, or a video highlighting unique ability.

b. Resources: Scholarship Books listing available scholarships by state, calendar deadlines

3. Use the “cookie-cutter approach” when applying for scholarships

a. Since most scholarship applications ask the same questions, apply for one scholarship then stamp out the others by making minor tweaks (don’t reinvent the wheel). In most cases, you can reuse 70% of your materials to apply for future scholarships.

b. Resources: Books on how to write scholarship essays

4. Avoid careless mistakes on your scholarship applications

a. Take the time to proofread your work, or ask someone to look over your application.  Avoiding to proofread your work can be the small difference in winning a scholarship.

b. Resource: CSUN Learning Resource Center

5. Search for scholarships in less conventional places

a. In addition to the CSUN Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, consider areas such as the radio, local community organizations, your local public library, the Oviatt, bulletin boards, and local businesses.

b. Resources: The Oviatt Library, the Los Angeles Public Library System, parents’ place of work, professional organizations in the major you are in and local newspaper.

Gregorio Alcantar and Veronica Poplovic, Financial Aid and Scholarship Counselors

Money Smart Tips on Setting Your Financial Goals

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 00:00

  • Make your financial goals as specific as possible. To get richer is not a goal! To save 10% of your income, is.
  • Identify a time frame. For example, decide to pay off your student loans within 5, or 10 or 15 years after graduation. If you have a deadline, you are more likely to work towards achieving a goal.
  • Ask your relatives to contribute to your student loans, Roth IRA or any other type of debt/savings account directly rather than to give you cash or buy gifts for Christmas, birthdays and graduation.
  • Break down huge goals into smaller pieces. This way, you can make them more achievable and celebrate along the way.
  • Create positive goals. Instead of saying “Get out of Debt”, focus on “Freeing up income by shifting it from student loans to fun.”
  • Think of what’s important to you and your life and spend your money accordingly. If spending time with your friends is important, spend the money on activities with friends rather than on things.
  • Be able to live on less than you earn, no matter what.
  • Make room in your budget for what’s important to you. But first, figure out what the important things are in your life.
  • Click here for more articles, books, media and more on Personal Finance from the Oviatt Library.

Inga Chira, Ph.D., CFP® and Assistant Professor of Finance

Five Budgeting and Saving Tips for Money Smart Week

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 00:00

1. Budgeting can be hard, and that’s why you need a system in place. In a little less than 20 minutes per month you can master your budget and take control of your finances.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AezoY23Qxq02.

2. Using a budgeting mobile app like YNAB or Mint can help you stay on track throughout the month and keep your budget in check. https://www.policygenius.com/blog/managing-your-money-with-budgeting-apps-the-pros-and-cons/

3. Your savings strategy should start with setting aside 3-6 month’s of expenses in a high-yield savings account for your Emergency Fund. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmM5SCdViKE

4. Take a 30-day spending break is one of the best ways to supercharge your savings and help you figure out what unnecessary items you are spending your money on.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/30-day-spending-break-to-supercharge/id957163760?i=352198228&mt=2

5. The Art of Negotiation is one of the best-kept secrets to unlocking savings in a tight budget. Did you know you could negotiate your rent, your cable bill, your phone bill and even your credit card interest rate?  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/art-negotiation-back-to-basics/id957163760?i=351517739&mt=2

Click here for more articles, books, media and more on Personal Finance from the Oviatt Library.

Shannah Compton Game, CFP®, MBA and Finance Professor

Money Smart Tips on Financing Your Education and Tax Credits from the IRS

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 00:00

Money you paid for higher education in 2015 can mean tax savings in 2016. If you, your spouse or your dependent took post-high school coursework last year, there may be a tax credit or deduction for you. Here are some facts from the IRS about key tax breaks for higher education.

The American Opportunity Credit (AOTC) is:

  • Worth up to $2,500 per eligible student.
  • Used only for the first four years at an eligible college or vocational school.
  • For students earning a degree or other recognized credential.
  • For students going to school at least half-time for at least one academic period that started during or shortly after the tax year.
  • Claimed on your tax return using Form 8863, Education Credits.

The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) is:

  • Worth up to $2,000 per tax return, per year, no matter how many students qualify.
  • For all years of higher education, including classes for learning or improving job skills.
  • Claimed on your tax return using Form 8863, Education Credits.

The Tuition and Fees Deduction is:

  • Claimed as an adjustment to income.
  • Claimed whether or not you itemize.
  • Limited to tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at eligible schools.
  • Worth up to $4,000.

Additionally:

  • You should receive Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from your school by Feb. 1, 2016. Your school also sends a copy to the IRS.
  • You may only claim qualifying expenses paid in 2015.
  • You can’t claim either credit if someone else claims you as a dependent.
  • You can’t claim either AOTC or LLC and the Tuition and Fees Deduction for the same student or for the same expense, in the same year.
  • Income limits could reduce the amount of credits or deductions you can claim.
  • The Interactive Tax Assistant toolon IRS.gov can help you check your eligibility.

Click here for articles, books, media and more resources from the Oviatt Library on Tuition Tax Credits for Higher Education.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Savings-from-Higher-Education-Costs

 

Money Smart Tip: Turning Financial Literacy into Financial Action

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 00:00

April marks Financial Literacy Month, a time when everyone can learn more about their personal finances and take steps to improve their financial picture. If you’re looking for a place to start, CSUN Saves, a campus partner of America Saves, provides 3 easy ways to assess your current situation and take action to save.

  1. Saver Checklist ToolCheck off your savings accomplishments to see how you’re doing.
  2. Assess Your Savings Tool – Complete the assessment to see if you are saving adequately and create a savings plan.
  3. Pledge to Save – Once you start saving, it gets easier and easier, and before you know it, you’re on your way to making your dreams a reality. The first step is to take the America Saves Pledge.

For college students on a limited budget, saving can be especially difficult. Dr. Linda Bradley, Assistant Professor with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Health and Human Development and Program Coordinator for CSUN Saves, reminds students to “start small, think big, and make saving automatic.” Simple steps such as developing and following a semester budget at the start of each semester; reducing eating out by packing a lunch and cooking at home; and, finding low cost alternatives for transportation can go a long way in freeing up money to put towards savings goals.

For more savings strategies and to take the savings pledge, stop by the CSUN Saves table at the Farmer’s Market every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Cleary Walk East.

Savings starts when you take action; those with a savings plan are twice as likely to spend less than they earn, and save the difference. Celebrate Financial Literacy Month by making your savings plan today. Learn more at csunsaves.org.

Click here for more articles, books, media and more on Personal Finance from the Oviatt Library.

Professor Linda Bradley, Family and Consumer Sciences

Find Out About Financial Resources at Our Money Smart Events!

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 13:04

Hello Matadors!

Next week is Money Smart Week® which runs April 23-30, 2016. The Library is collaborating with many different people and departments on campus to bring you financial literacy programing. On Thursday, April 28, in the Oviatt Ferman Presentation Room, there will be lots of events offered that will talk about borrowing money; buying a car; locating scholarship money; negotiating a salary for that first big job; and more! Also, if you follow this blog each day next week, you will find different helpful financial tips and words of wisdom from professors and experts in the field.

Money Smart Week® was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002 and is a public awareness campaign designed to help people better manage their personal finances. The Oviatt Library is partnering with the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Financial Aid & Scholarship Department, Career Center and Associated Students to host these events.

All CSUN students, staff, faculty and community members are welcome to attend the April 28 event. Participants can pick and choose the sessions they wish to attend. Average sessions run 20-50 minutes long. All of the events are free. RSVP is requested. Lunch will be served to attendees who register for the 12:30 p.m. session in advance. Please visit http://library.csun.edu/events/moneysmart to see more details about the event and sessions and to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Oviatt Provides CSUN Students with Amnesty for Late Fees on Books During National Library Week

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 15:45

The Oviatt Library has several activities and offerings planned to celebrate National Library Week, April 10-16, 2016. To start, overdue fines will be forgiven for current CSUN students with overdue books. Simply bring your overdue books to the Guest Services Desk in the lobby, and someone there will assist you in removing your fines. Please see our National Library Week page for more details as some restrictions apply. Also, please be sure to visit the Oviatt Library’s Favorite Book display in the Learning Commons. Oviatt Library staff members have selected their all-time favorite books. You will be able to see what we are reading and have the opportunity to check out one of these titles as the books are on display. While you are looking over our favorite books, make sure you enter the drawing for a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. The drawing is open to all current CSUN students. Finally, “I Love the Oviatt” temporary tattoos will be available in the Library lobby on Tues., April 12 from 12-1 p.m. Please join us for the fun!

Coleen Martin

CSUN Student Wins Black History Online Game and Raffle

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 14:25

CSUN student Gina Manichia

Hi Matadors! Meet Gina Manichia who is earning her credential in Special Education. She is the winner of the Black History Matters online game and raffle winning a $50 MataMoney gift card and a Black history t-shirt. During the month of February, the Oviatt Library celebrated Black history with several Black History Matters events. One of the activities was an online Black history question game and raffle. Each day that month different questions were asked about African American history. Questions included: Who served as the last governor of California under Mexican rule and was of African descent? Answer: Pio Pico served as the last governor of California under Mexican rule. Pico Boulevard and the Pico House on Olvera Street in Los Angeles are named after him. Which city is widely acknowledged as the birthplace of Hip Hop? Answer: The Bronx, New York. Students were able to answer a different question each day. Those with correct answers were entered into the raffle. Congratulations to Gina Manichia for entering and winning the Oviatt’s Black history online game!

– Coleen Martin

Where are the fiction books?

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:37

Need a break from academic reading and looking for some fun books?

Well you don’t have to go very far to check out the Oviatt Library’s fiction collection. We have a variety of fiction books to fulfill your reading needs. Watch the new Research Therapy video session to learn where you can find them!

Looking for some fun reading? Try these locations….

For Young Adult and Children’s fiction visit the Teacher’s Curricular Center (TCC). Try looking in the Bestsellers Collection for popular books.  These are on the first shelf of the reference collection. The Robert and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room has a collection of works intended to encourage reading for recreation and pleasure. Try browsing the Language and Literature section. Generally speaking, English-language fiction can be found in the PR (English) and PS (American) sections.

 

Thank you.

  – Jamie Johnson

Black WikiHistory Edit-A-Thon

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 15:31

Black WikiHistory Month Event Diversifies Knowledge and Editorship on Wikipedia

Who writes history? You do!

On Wednesday, February 24 the Oviatt Library held its very first Wikipedia edit-a-thon as part of a series of special events to celebrate and promote Black History Month. Approximately twenty attendees made much needed edits to Wikipedia articles such as adding citations, cleaning up formatting, and even beginning new articles from scratch for notable persons not yet represented on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

You may be thinking: a what-a-thon? Edit-a-thon! A Wikipedia edit-a-thon is a friendly gathering of folks at a specified place/time to edit Wikipedia, typically on a chosen theme or topic. For this event, CSUN students, staff and friends came together for an afternoon of editing Wikipedia’s scope and content related to Black History and the African Diaspora. The English Wikipedia site that many of us know so well may seem vast, but it’s known to have a systemic bias in favor of white, male, educated individuals between the ages of 15-49. (In fact, there’s even a Wikipedia page on it.) Encouraging others to become editors (or rather, “Wikipedians”) helps to expand and diversify the breadth of knowledge on the site.

Libraries prove to be great places to host edit-a-thons. For the Oviatt Library’s February 24 event, library staff pulled numerous books related to Black history, culture and life for attendees to browse and use for their editing. Many attendees used the books to add new content to Wikipedia articles along with a citation to the book. For example, citations were filled in on the Brice Taylor and the Watts, Los Angeles pages, and the page for poet Robin Coste Lewis was expanded to include additional biographical information. Attendees also used the library’s electronic resources to find various articles and news items to support their editing. An introduction to Wikipedia editing was given for new editors who attended.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Are you interested in editing Wikipedia? The site can use your help! Some new articles created on the February 24 event were nominated for deletion on Wikipedia due to not meeting notability guidelines, meaning that additional citations were quickly needed to establish that the given topic warranted its own article. This is where edit-a-thon events become especially valuable: it can be challenging to create an entire Wikipedia article from scratch, and so making it a team effort definitely helps! As you can imagine, Wikipedia pages are in a constant state of flux, and encouraging others to contribute to the site helps to strengthen its breadth and accuracy.

The Oviatt Library plans to host additional edit-a-thons on various topics and we hope you’ll join us. Additionally, many online resources and guides are available such as the Wikipedia Editing Tutorial and Wikipedia Cheatsheet if you’d like to get involved on your own. We encourage you to consider editing Wikipedia if you come across anything needing improvement. Contributing makes a meaningful impact on the site by diversifying both its content and its editorship. Anyone (including you!) can become a Wikipedian!

-Mary Wahl

Matadors Can Scan Materials at the Library

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 10:44

CSUN students can now scan documents at the Oviatt Library. Three user friendly, self-serve scanning stations allow students to scan items to: USB, email, Box and phone or tablet. The stations are conveniently located in the:

  • Learning Commons Technology (Main floor);
  • Music & Media (2nd floor East); and
  • Reserves, Periodicals & Microform (RPM – 4th floor East).

The ability to scan documents is a service students had been requesting at the Library. Since self-service scanners with multiple capabilities can be costly, members of the Library Technology Committee performed a needs assessment, and surveyed the products of multiple vendors. Last semester, three scanners were purchased with funding from the Campus Quality Fee (CQF).

The scanners support convenience and enhance student experience at the Library as they decrease paper waste, and assist the accessibility of materials by students with visual impairments. There is no charge for students to scan materials. The Oviatt Library appreciates the funding made possible through the CQF and is excited to offer scanning to CSUN students.

Join the Oviatt for “Civil Rights Pioneer: A Symposium on Judge Loren Miller”

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 11:16

Dr. Amina Hassan

The Oviatt Library and the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center are pleased to be cosponsoring the symposium “Civil Rights Pioneer: A Symposium on Judge Loren Miller” on Feb. 29 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Oviatt Library Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room. Dr. Amina Hassan will be present to discuss her recent book Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist. Loren Miller was a lawyer and judge in Los Angeles and a major force in civil rights both locally and nationally. In addition to serving as co-counsel on Brown v. Board of Education, Miller served as Dr. Hassan’s father’s attorney when he was discriminated against as a black man in a L.A. restaurant in the 1940s. Dr. Hassan will bring personal insight and historical knowledge to the discussion.

Dr. Hassan’s own accomplishments include working as an independent historian and documentarian with on-the-spot recording of the coup and U.S. invasion of Grenada, and developing a 13-part series for National Public Radio on how race, class, and gender shape American sports.

Judge Robin Miller Sloan

The closing keynote speaker at the symposium will be Judge Robin Miller Sloan, the granddaughter of civil rights attorney and journalist Judge Loren Miller, and the daughter of Judge Loren Miller Jr., who served the Los Angeles community on the Superior Court for more than three decades.

Judge Robin Miller Sloan has served as a prosecutor for the L.A. City Attorney’s Office, deputy attorney general in the California Attorney General’s Office, and was appointed to the bench in 2003. Judge Sloan is assigned to the Juvenile Court where she serves as an advocate to effect change in young people’s lives.

Please join us for a meaningful discussion with Dr. Hassan and Judge Sloan who will be taking questions at the event. Copies of the book Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist will be available for purchase. For more information please visit our Exhibitions and Events page. We look forward to seeing you there.

Exploring Research Topics

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 04:45

Are you struggling with finding the right topic for your research paper? This short Research Therapy video gives you suggestions on where to look for topic ideas, how to narrow your topic, as well as a couple of online library resources that are a great place to begin your research.

*Please note: the library no longer has

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a great way to expand on a general topic; it also helps you to think about the different aspects of your topic. Here’s a template for a basic concept map. Here’s another concept map when you’re trying to identify the who, what, when, where, why or how of a topic.

As mentioned in the video keep in mind the different angles you could take on a topic:

  • Geographical → where
  • Sociological → who
  • Psychological → why
  • Historical → when

Library Databases

After you pick a general topic it’s a good idea to do some general background resources. Oviatt Library has several different online reference resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical resources and more. The databases mentioned in the video are Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Credo Reference, the library no longer has access to Credo so use Gale Virtual Reference instead.  We also have a list of online reference resources listed under the Find Articles by Subject page, as well as an organized list of our databases by subject.  We also have a general Research Strategies guide to help you along with the research process.

Don’t forget to Ask a Librarian if you have any questions.

 -Laurie Borchard

 

The Oviatt Celebrates Love My Library Week

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 16:49

Matadors, this week the Oviatt Library is celebrating Love My Library Week! We will be offering several activities for you to take a break from your routine and to have some Library-related fun. Here is a list of events:

Tuesday through Friday: Social Media Blast! Tell us what you love about the Oviatt Library using #LoveMyOviatt or #HeartOviatt. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. On Snapchat show us with photos what you love about the Oviatt!

Tuesday through Friday: Blind Date with a Book – Stop by our “heartfelt” display in the Learning Commons and browse specially selected books that are wrapped up and waiting for you to take them home. You surely will be in for a surprise because there is no peeking!

Tuesday through Friday: Visit our graffiti board in the Learning Commons and tell us what you love about the Oviatt on the spot. All affirmative adjectives welcome!

Wednesday: Get tattooed! “I Love the Oviatt” temporary tattoos will be available in the Library lobby between 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Thursday: Make a Valentine for that special someone at our Valentine’s Arts & Crafts table. We will be in the lobby from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Coleen Martin

Enter the Raffle and Celebrate Black History!

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 18:05

Hello Matadors! This month the Oviatt Library is celebrating black history with many Black History Matters events. For starters, we invite you to enter the online black history daily question game and raffle. Each day this month, there will be a different question about African American history. Every time you answer the question correctly, you will be entered into a raffle for a $50 MataMoney gift card and a black history t-shirt.

Early in the month there will be a presentation by Dr. Josh Sides who will present L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present. His talk will focus on how South Central Los Angeles became the center of black Los Angeles during much of the twentieth century. There will also be an exhibit in the Library Exhibit Gallery. Historicizing & Contemporizing the Black Aesthetic will showcase media history, fashion, jewelry and artifacts curated by Dr. Theresa White & Dr. Cedric Hackett of the Department of Africana Studies.

Further into the month you won’t want to miss the performance by the talented CSUN Vocal ARTillery. You will be in for a treat as these young artists entertain and inform. Matadors will also have a chance to strengthen Wikipedia’s scope and content related to black history with our Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Join us for an afternoon editing Wikipedia info – no experience necessary. Finally, we will celebrate the life and many achievements of Judge Loren Miller with Civil Rights Pioneer: A Symposium on Judge Loren Miller. Many more details about all of these events are available at the Oviatt’s Black History Matters webpage. We look forward to seeing you there!

Coleen Martin

Looking for Textbooks?

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 16:37

Welcome back to the Spring semester!

It’s the first week of classes and although all of your professors are expecting you to show up to the first day of classes with ALL of your textbooks, we know that’s not always the case. We also know how insanely expensive textbooks are. Don’t worry, stay calm, it will be OK, the Oviatt library can help!

This blog posts offers a list of resources that can help you find your textbooks. First, there is the library, all of our resources are free to you and there are several ways you can look for books. Second, there is the Matador bookstore, they will have all your required texts, including used books, electronic versions and even a rental program. There are also several online resources for comparing textbooks prices and renting your books. Check out the list below to learn more about how you can save money.

Library Resources

  • Course Reserves are course materials that have been set aside for your course to be checked out 2 or 4 hours at a time. Search course reserves from the library’s homepage. Check out the video below to learn more.
  • Search for current or older versions of your textbook for 2 week checkouts from the library catalog.

Purchase your textbooks

  • You can always check out the Matador Bookstore for all your textbooks.
  • DealOz compares prices against various booksellers, including Amazon, half.com, abe books, and more! This is not just for textbooks, you can search for any book.
  • ValoreBooks  is specifically for textbooks, including new, used, rentals, and alternative editions.
  • Did you know that you can buy international versions of textbooks at a discounted prices? As you search online you’ll noticed them labeled as “international” or “alternative” most of the time they are identical, sometimes paperback instead of hardcover and the ISBN might be different.

Rent your textbooks

  • Our own bookstore has a rental program, create an account & see what’s available at Follet Rentals.
  • CSU has partnered with various publishers to offer CSU students in digitial format at 60% or more off the hard copy version. Check out their Rent Digital resources.
  • College Book Renter

Good luck with your first day of classes and welcome to CSUN!

-Laurie Borchard

New Matadors Tour the Library

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 14:23

This month new CSUN first-time freshmen, transfer and international students will be visiting the Library to see, first-hand, all of the resources and services available them. Many new students begin their academic experience at CSUN during the spring semester and the Library participates in campus coordinated orientations to welcome these students. The new Matadors will be touring the Library’s Learning Commons and finding out where they can: get help with their research needs and borrowing materials; check out laptops and iPads; receive IT support; and learn about the technology that is available to them in our Creative Media Studio. In addition, these students will have the opportunity to tour the Learning Resource Center located on the third floor of the Library. It is our intention that these new Matadors feel welcomed and that they are supported to succeed within their new classes and throughout their CSUN academic journey. The Library looks forward to serving and working with these students during the coming semester and beyond.

– Coleen Martin