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News from Reference, Instruction & Outreach
Updated: 7 hours 7 min ago

Summer Reading Picks Are Here!

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 14:17

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/h3679ur

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.  But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Isis Leininger and Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2724685

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom. Tim Federle’s “hilarious and heartwarming debut novel” (Publishers Weekly) is full of broken curfews, second chances, and the adventure of growing up—because sometimes you have to get four hundred miles from your backyard to finally feel at home. – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. – Recommended by Mara Houdyshell. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3299348

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever. With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Coleen Martin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b2912869

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . . Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?  – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/jrdemem

The Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3228080

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read… My darling Cecilia, If you’re reading this, then I’ve died… Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive… Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret. – Penguin Random House. – Recommended by Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://suncat.csun.edu/record=b3148011

Matadors Enjoyed the Oviatt’s Finals Week Activities

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 10:54

The Oviatt Library offered several de-stressing activities and events for students during finals week. Matadors enjoyed taking a break and creating works of art with arts & crafts sessions. For students who planned to be with us in the wee hours of the morning, during our 24/7 schedule, we provided Finals Survival Kits that included disposable pillows, pretzels, an Oviatt highlighter and a Hershey’s kiss hoping to make their study hours with us a little more enjoyable. Of course, the therapy dogs that came for a visit were a hit with many students who consistently streamed in and out of the Library to visit with the friendly pups. Finally, our graffiti board and board games rounded out the list of activities and events offered and provided students with another form of relaxation, if only for a short time. Below are a few photos of CSUN students who participated in the Library’s de-stressing finals week programming.

Join Us for Doggies, Crafts, Survival Kits and More!

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 17:32

Hello Matadors! Everyone at the Library wishes you good luck on all of your finals. To help support a stress-free experience, we will be providing study break activities. Some wonderful        therapy dogs will be visiting the Library on Mon., May 16 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the ASRS Viewing Room on the main floor, east wing. Come pet a doggie and put a smile on your face!

There will be arts & crafts sessions on Tues., May 17 and Wed., May 18. Please join us for coloring, button making and the opportunity to create your very own sculpture with Play-Doh! Please see our events page for timing.

On Thurs., May 19, between 3 p.m.-6 p.m., join us for an afternoon of online, board and card games such as Cards Against Humanity, Dominion and others. In addition to Thursday’s gaming event, other board games will be available for check out at the Guest Services Desk in the lobby all week long.

We want you to express yourself too. There is a graffiti board in the Learning Commons if you wish to share your angst about finals.

Finally, don’t miss your chance to pick up a “Finals Survival Kit” at the Guest Services Desk in the Library lobby. The Kit is complimentary and comes with chocolate, pretzels, a pencil and pillow to rest your head on while studying and taking breaks. We expect these items may be useful during our extended Library hours.

Most of the activities will be taking place in the ASRS Viewing Room, main floor, east wing. We look forward to seeing you in the Library preparing for your exams and taking study breaks with us!

– Coleen Martin

CSUN Student Wins $50 Gift Card in Honor of National Library Week

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 00:00

CSUN Student Kathy Nguyen

Congratulations go to CSUN student Kathy Nguyen who is a Computer Information Technology major for winning the Oviatt Library National Library Week raffle! The Oviatt Library celebrated National Library Week, April 10-16, 2016. Our programming honored library staff and encouraged students to read. More than 200 students entered the raffle which asked students to name their favorite book. Kathy’s favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The raffle was offered in conjunction with the Oviatt Library’s Favorite Books Display which featured our staff’s favorite “picks.” Students were able to browse our staff picks and check them out. Congratulations again to Kathy!      – Coleen Martin

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