Cited at the Oviatt

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News from Reference, Instruction & Outreach
Updated: 21 hours 21 min ago

Students De-Stress at the Library During Finals Week

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:13

Finals week is historically a stressful time in the semester, and our most recent finals week was no exception. Many CSUN students found themselves at the Library, not only with the need to study, but also with the need to take study breaks. The Library provided several offerings to help students de-stress. These activities diverted students’ attention for a brief period of time and supported them to recharge and refocus. One of the most popular activities offered at the Library during the week was the visit of licensed therapy dogs. Students were able to spent time and pet a variety of good-natured dogs including a Goldendoodle, Sheltie, Golden Retriever, Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Boxer Mix and a Labrador Retriever. Students also participated in arts & crafts sessions that enabled them to relax and spend time coloring, in addition to, making play-doh creations and buttons. Board games were available for check out at the Guest Services desk in the lobby, and a graffiti board in the Learning Commons allowed students the opportunity to express how finals week was going for them. Finally, disposable pillows were distributed during the Library’s 24/7 hours of service for those students who nodded off at times, or for those who simply needed a soft place to rest their head while studying.

With the conclusion of another finals week, we congratulate all graduating seniors on their accomplishments and all CSUN students for completing another semester!

- Coleen Martin

 

CSUN Student Wins $50 Gift Card to Barnes & Noble

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 14:21

CSUN Student Julie Hong

Congratulations to CSUN student Julie Hong on winning the National Library Week raffle! The Oviatt Library celebrated National Library Week, April 13-18, 2015. Our programming honored library staff and encouraged students to read. More than 300 students entered the raffle which asked students to name their favorite book. Julie’s favorite book is American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. 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 Julie!      - Coleen Martin

 

Research Therapy: Controversial Topics

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:39

Welcome back to another session of Research Therapy. This session is all about researching controversial topics.

Are vaccines safe enough? Should there be more gun control? Does government surveillance conflict with privacy?

As a student, you might be assigned a writing prompt in which you are asked to write about a controversial issue, or a “hot” topic. Once you have chosen a topic, this type of assignment requires you to include outside knowledge in addition to your own interpretation and opinion. Knowledge about your chosen topic can be found almost everywhere, but remember the different types of sources: books, newspapers or magazines, and public information on the Internet. In this tutorial, we introduce three academic databases that can help you find reliable sources for a writing assignment on a controversial issue.

Why does this matter?

As a consumer of information, it serves you to be well aware from where you’re obtaining your news—that is, what sources are you accessing to feed you information. A “hot” topic is controversial because the issue must be socially complicated, must have more than one point of view, and probably stirs debates among people with opposing opinions. Due to the controversy, the media and sources that report on the current events of a social issue have difficulty reporting information that is completely objective—that is, without a subtle bias, political beliefs, or commercial interests. Since it’s almost unrealistic for journalism and the media to report information without some degree of media bias, you should think and reflect about how accurate and fair the sources are presenting you with news. If we measure the objectivity of the source by how accurate and fair that source presents information, then we can learn about the many sides of an issue and its opposing points of view.

How do we distinguish between objective and unreliable sources?

Just because a news source is opinionated or espouses a possible agenda—like a political leaning or corporate backing—that does not mean it is unreliable. But sources that show multiple views and allow rebuttals to their own stated opinions are more likely to provide a well-rounded examination of current events and social issues. As a researcher, you should try to find those type of sources—so that even if you’re writing about your interpretation of an issue, your viewpoint will present opinions that are well supported and aware of all the other points of view.

Links to databases featured in videos:

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Gale Virtual Reference Library
CQ Researcher

 -Mario Macias

Celebrate National Library Week with the Oviatt

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 16:08

The Oviatt Library has several activities and offerings planned to celebrate National Library Week, April 12-18, 2015. To start, overdue fines will be forgiven for current CSUN students with overdue books. Simply bring your overdue items 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 Mon., April 13 and Tues., April 14 from 12-1 p.m. Please join us for the fun!

- Coleen Martin

CSUN Student Workshops Offered at the Creative Media Studio

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:05

The Creative Media Studio is now offering workshops for CSUN students that provide hands-on assistance in using software programs such as Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro and the Adobe Master Collection programs. Working with 27-inch iMac computers, students learn how to utilize software programs in creating videos, digital audio recordings, and other multimedia projects. Reservations are required as seating is limited. To register please visit http://tinyurl.com/ombq8xr. For more information about the Creative Media Studio and its workshops and offerings visit http://tinyurl.com/p37fjkt and watch the video below.

- Coleen Martin

Check Out These Tips for Improving Your Google Search

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 16:59

You probably have been using Google your entire academic life.  But there is more to this search engine than typing in keywords.  Improve your Google search by utilizing some of these recommended tips useful for all types of research.

Improving your Google Search: Tips and Tricks to help you master the simple search

1. Site: To find pages within a specific site type “site:” followed by a website or domain. Example: site:latimes.com

2. Exclude words: To exclude a term from your search use the minus (-) sign in from of the term. Example: Taylor Swift –sucks

3. Similar words: Use the tilde (~) sign in front of a word to search synonyms. Example ~college will also retrieve university.

4. “Quotation Marks”: Searches the exact phrase instead of individual words. Example “Global Warming”

5. Number Ranges: Include two periods when you want to search within two number ranges. Suitable for years, prices or series of numbers. Example: Oscar winners 2000..2014

6. Document Type: To search for a particular document type such as a pdf, PowerPoint, doc, jpeg. Example: filetype:pdf

7. Definitions: Put define: in front of a word for a quick definition. Example: define:impetuous

8. Calculator: For simply math problems consider using Google (+,-,*,/). Example: 365/5*12

9. Unit Converter: Easy unit converter, just type what you would like to convert such as temperature, volume. Mass, area, speed, length, or time. Example: 3 quarts to cups.

Have questions? You can always Ask a Librarian for help!

- Jamie Johnson

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt Library

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:06

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt is back! Meet Felicia Vertrees, Oviatt’s Online Instructional Design & Education Librarian. Felicia designs and develops online information literacy learning tools in Moodle as well as other platforms. She also provides reference, instruction, and orders library resources for Gender and Women Studies.

Where are you originally from? I grew up in a small town called Sparta, Illinois.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students? I admire the fact that many of them come from such adversity to attend college.

What’s your favorite book or your top 5? Right now it has to be “The Miniaturist” by Jesse Burton. It is so incredibly creepy and good. I like to stalk colleagues on Good Reads, and that’s how I found this book.

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life? Probably “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross definitely. I feel like my life is just moving so fast with lots of changes. Also “Desperation” by Judith Hill. It’s a great song from the “20 Feet from Stardom” documentary. The lyrics go like this:

“You gotta let it out
Bust the roof and tear down the walls
That’s what it’s all about
It’s your life, it’s your life
It’s your life, it’s your life.”

Why did you become a librarian? I was a copy editor for a long time, which definitely has similarities to being a librarian. I wasn’t satisfied with my previous career and had thought about being a librarian before. So this time I went for it and haven’t looked back.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians? I wish they knew just how much we librarians are in their corner. We want them to succeed at everything they do, and we will do what we can to help them succeed.

What’s your favorite quote? I love this one by Charlotte Bronte and I would love every woman to live by it:  “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Is there a specific class that you really enjoy doing library instruction for? I enjoy any class where my students are willing to push themselves and they ask interesting questions.

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be? Okay, that one is easy… it would definitely be Maya Angelou. How cool would it be to sit down with her and soak up all that wisdom in person?

If you could learn any skill what would it be? I can write, but I would love to write a book. I don’t know if you learn that, but it’s something I want to accomplish someday.

If you could witness any event in history what would it be? Considering the current climate in our country, I would like to witness the Civil Rights Movement.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be? I would be Sarah on Orphan Black.

What are some of your current projects that you are working on? I am finishing up a Moodle tutorial on copyright.

What are your research interests? I have lots of interests, but information literacy in the social media age is something I would like to explore.

What do you find most surprising about CSUN students? How curious, funny, and brilliant a lot of them are and they don’t even know it.

-Laurie Borchard

2nd Read to Lead Panel Discussion To Take Place at the Oviatt

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:24

Please join us at the Oviatt Library on Tuesday, February 24 at 9 a.m. in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room as the campus community gathers for a second time to celebrate reading through the Read to Lead Initiative. Developed through a partnership between CSUN Matador Athletics and the Oviatt Library, the program brings campus leaders; students; staff; faculty; and community members together to discuss books that have played influential roles in the area of leadership. The panel discussion will include insights from Michael Spagna, Dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education; Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of the Valley Performing Arts Center; Gina Umeck, Head CSUN Women’s Golf Coach; and Deborah Wallace, Associate Vice President of Financial Services and how their personally selected books have impacted their professional and personal lives.

The Read to Lead Initiative programming includes 20 of our campus leaders from CSUN faculty, staff, students and alumni, all of whom are currently featured in a physical exhibit in the Library. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please RSVP no later than February 23, with Fatema Noor at 818-677-5081 or via email at Fatema.noor@csun.edu. We hope to see you there!

- Coleen Martin

Love My Library Week

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 11:38

For the month of February, libraries across the US are celebrating Love My Library Month. Here at the Oviatt we are celebrating Love My Library Week. CSUN students are our #1 priority and everything we do is because we want our students to be successful.

The following is this week’s schedule of events:

Monday: Social Media kickoff! Tell us what you love about the Oviatt using #LoveMyOviatt or #HeartOviatt. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share the love!

Tuesday: Button making, noon to 2pm. Stop by our table in the front lobby of the library to make some I <3 Oviatt buttons or create your own.

Wednesday: Crafts table, noon to 2pm in front lobby. Make your Valentine a Valentine with our literary inspired cards or relax and make some origami flowers.  Tell us in writing what you love about us by stopping by our board of hearts on the first floor of the library.

Thursday & Friday: Blind Date with a Book. Stop by our book cart on the first floor of the library and take a chance with a book that’s all wrapped up. Don’t worry we’ll give you clues to what’s inside.

We will be sharing photos and comments on social media all throughout the week.

-Laurie Borchard