Cited at the Oviatt
Incoming Bridge freshmen are visiting the Library during the coming weeks to find out about all of the resources and services available to them as new CSUN Matadors. Many of these students will attend Library tours and learn, firsthand, where they can receive help with their research, and locate a group study room that will be useful to them in the fall, when the Library fills with students preparing for exams and midterms.
These Bridge students will visit many Library departments including the Creative Media Studio which provides all CSUN students with access to specialized computers and software in order to develop multi-media projects; the Teacher Curriculum Center which offers students the opportunity to check-out instructional materials and young adult novels; and the Music & Media Department which provides students with materials associated with music, cinema and theater curricula in addition to other instructional media for many departments campus wide.
Other services covered within the tours include information about borrowing iPads and laptops; Course Reserves; and Interlibrary Loan. Of course, one of the highlights of the Library tour includes a visit to the Library’s Automated Storage & Retrieval System. Students are impressed with the technology and how it is able to house and retrieve approximately 700,000 items within the Oviatt collection upon demand.
We are very pleased to have Bridge students in our Library this summer, and we look forward to working with them during the upcoming academic year!
A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall—and long—narrative a swift movement through time and events. We have two main characters, each one on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Marie-Louise is a sightless girl who lived with her father in Paris before the occupation; he was a master locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When German forces necessitate abandonment of the city, Marie-Louise’s father, taking with him the museum’s greatest treasure, removes himself and his daughter and eventually arrives at his uncle’s house in the coastal city of Saint-Malo. Young German soldier Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity there, and eventually, and inevitably, Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross. It is through their individual and intertwined tales that Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.High-Demand Backstory: A multipronged marketing campaign will make the author’s many fans aware of his newest book, and extensive review coverage is bound to enlist many new fans. – Brad Hooper, Booklist *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Lindsay Hansen. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3312820
Peter Davidek agrees to visit the crumbling St. Michael’s High School to get out of a day of classes at his middle school. But when he comes to the aid of a student wounded in a vicious attack, he seals his fate. The father of the wounded student pressures Peter’s father into sending Peter to St. Michael’s, thus ensuring that he will be entirely miserable for the next year. Not only does the school promote bullying, but it also employs its fair share of loonies, including a disturbed guidance counselor and a devious priest with a gambling problem. Peter throws in with the enigmatic Noah Stein, who sports both a distinctive facial scar and an insouciant attitude. They both fall for the lovely but ostracized Lorelei Paskal, who is determined to belong to the popular crowd. In between the abuse heaped on them by seniors, the faculty, and their own clueless parents, the trio become friends. Eventually, a counterattack against the bullies is launched. In his first novel, Breznican, a staff writer for Entertainment Weekly, is clearly aiming for biting satire, but the off-the-rails plot and lunatic villains more often come off as cartoonish. – Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3256740
“The Crisis” nearly wiped out humanity. Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and author of The Zombie Survival Guide, 2003) has taken it upon himself to document the “first hand” experiences and testimonies of those lucky to survive 10 years after the fictitious zombie war. Like a horror fan’s version of Studs Terkel’s The Good War (1984), the “historical account” format gives Brooks room to explore the zombie plague from numerous different views and characters. In a deadpan voice, Brooks exhaustively details zombie incidents from isolated attacks to full-scale military combat: “what if the enemy can’t be shocked and awed? Not just won’t, but biologically can’t!” With the exception of a weak BAT-21 story in the second act, the “interviews” and personal accounts capture the universal fear of the collapse of society–a living nightmare in which anyone can become a mindless, insatiable predator at a moment’s notice. Alas, Brad Pitt’s production company has purchased the film rights to the book–while it does have a chronological element, it’s more similar to a collection of short stories: it would make for an excellent 24-style TV series or an animated serial. Regardless, horror fans won’t be disappointed: like George Romero’s Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos. – Carlos Orellana, Booklist – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2648763
Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim. During the scorching summer of 1876, Jenny Bonnet, an enigmatic cross-dressing bicyclist who traps frogs for San Francisco’s restaurants, meets her death in a railroad saloon on the city’s outskirts. Exotic dancer Blanche Beunon, a French immigrant living in Chinatown, thinks she knows who shot her friend and why, but has no leverage to prove it and doesn’t know if she herself was the intended target. A compulsive pleasure-seeker estranged from her “fancy man,” Blanche searches desperately for her missing son while pursuing justice for Jenny, but finds her two goals sit in conflict. In language spiced with musical interludes and raunchy French slang, Donoghue brings to teeming life the nasty, naughty side of this ethnically diverse metropolis, with its brothels, gaming halls, smallpox-infested boardinghouses, and rampant child abuse. Most of her seedy, damaged characters really lived, and she not only posits a clever solution to a historical crime that was never adequately solved but also crafts around Blanche and Jenny an engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past. – Sarah Johnson, Booklist, *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Laurie Borchard. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/phbc8f6
You don’t have to have a sister or be a fan of the Bard to love Brown’s bright, literate debut, but it wouldn’t hurt. Sisters Rose (Rosalind; As You Like It), Bean (Bianca; The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia; King Lear)–the book-loving, Shakespeare-quoting, and wonderfully screwed-up spawn of Bard scholar Dr. James Andreas–end up under one roof again in Barnwell, Ohio, the college town where they were raised, to help their breast cancer–stricken mom. The real reasons they’ve trudged home, however, are far less straightforward: vagabond and youngest sib Cordy is pregnant with nowhere to go; man-eater Bean ran into big trouble in New York for embezzlement, and eldest sister Rose can’t venture beyond the “mental circle with Barnwell at the center of it.” For these pains-in-the-soul, the sisters have to learn to trust love–of themselves, of each other–to find their way home again. The supporting cast–removed, erudite dad; ailing mom; a crew of locals; Rose’s long-suffering fiancé–is a punchy delight, but the stage clearly belongs to the sisters; Macbeth’s witches would be proud of the toil and trouble they stir up. – Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2777032
Gr 2–6—Cece loses her hearing from spinal meningitis, and takes readers through the arduous journey of learning to lip read and decipher the noise of her hearing aid, with the goal of finding a true friend. This warmly and humorously illustrated full-color graphic novel set in the suburban ’70s has all the gripping characters and inflated melodrama of late childhood: a crush on a neighborhood boy, the bossy friend, the too-sensitive-to-her-Deafness friend, and the perfect friend, scared away. The characters are all rabbits. The antics of her hearing aid connected to a FM unit (an amplifier the teacher wears) are spectacularly funny. When Cece’s teacher leaves the FM unit on, Cece hears everything: bathroom visits, even teacher lounge improprieties It is her superpower. She deems herself El Deafo! inspired in part by a bullied Deaf child featured in an Afterschool Special. Cece fearlessly fantasizes retaliations. Nevertheless, she rejects ASL because it makes visible what she is trying to hide. She ventures, “Who cares what everyone thinks!” But she does care. She loathes the designation “special,” and wants to pass for hearing. Bell tells it all: the joy of removing her hearing aid in summer, the troubles watching the TV when the actor turns his back, and the agony of slumber party chats in the dark. Included is an honest and revealing afterword, which addresses the author’s early decision not to learn ASL, her more mature appreciation for the language, and her adage that, “Our differences are our superpowers.”—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City – Recommended by librarian Mara Houdyshell. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3299159
Most of us imagine totalitarianism as something imposed upon us—but what if we’re complicit in our own oppression? That’s the scenario in Eggers’ ambitious, terrifying, and eerily plausible new novel. When Mae gets a job at the Circle, a Bay Area tech company that’s cornered the world market on social media and e-commerce, she’s elated, and not just because of the platinum health-care package. The gleaming campus is a wonder, and it seems as though there isn’t anything the company can’t do (and won’t try). But she soon learns that participation in social media is mandatory, not voluntary, and that could soon apply to the general population as well. For a monopoly, it’s a short step from sharing to surveillance, to a world without privacy. This isn’t a perfect book—the good guys lecture true-believer Mae, and a key metaphor is laboriously explained—but it’s brave and important and will draw comparisons to Brave New World and 1984. Eggers brilliantly depicts the Internet binges, torrents of information, and endless loops of feedback that increasingly characterize modern life. But perhaps most chilling of all is his notion that our ultimate undoing could be something so petty as our desperate desire for affirmation. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Eggers’ reputation as a novelist continues to grow. Expect this title to be talked about, as it has an announced first printing of 200,000 and the New York Times Magazine has first serial rights. – Keir Graff, Booklist, *Starred Review* – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/plg7g63
Nović’s important debut brings painfully home the jarring fact that what happens in today’s headlines on a daily basis—the atrocities of wars in Africa and the Mideast—is neither new nor even particularly the worst that humankind can commit. Take it from ten-year-old Ana Jurić, conscripted into the Yugoslav civil war in the early 1990s by the bad luck of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. . . . . As Nović gradually reveals, you can take the girl out of the war zone, but you can’t take the war zone out of the girl. By the time Ana becomes a student at a New York university, all that violence has been bottled up inside her head for a decade. Thanks to Nović’s considerable skill, Ana’s return visit to her homeland and her past is nearly as cathartic for the reader as it is for Ana. – Booklist, *Starred Review* – Recommended by Interim Associate Dean, Lynn Lampert. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/nam6rt9
Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future–the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and 80s nostalgia, this high energy cyber-quest will make geeks everywhere feel like they were separated at birth from author Ernest Cline. - Chris Schluep, Amazon.com review – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2724685
Hitchhiking her way through Alaska, a young woman named Anna is picked up by Kyle, a fisherman. Anna and Kyle quickly fall for each other, as they are both adventurous, fiercely independent, and in love with the raw beauty and solitude of Alaska. To cement their relationship, they agree to become caretakers of a remote lighthouse perched on a small rock in the middle of a deep channel—a place that has been uninhabited since the last caretaker mysteriously disappeared two decades ago. What seems the perfect adventure for these two quickly unravels, as closely-held secrets pull them apart, and the surrounding waters threaten uncertain danger. A psychological thriller set against the rugged landscape of coastal Alaska, Point of Direction is an exquisite literary debut. – ig Publishing – Recommended by librarian Marcia Henry. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b3313725
Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.
As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same. – Penguin Random House – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b1591191
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. Location information: http://tinyurl.com/p8etrmy
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world. – Little, Brown and Company – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin.
Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova’s—she’s an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter’s move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin to emerge. First, Alice can’t find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer’s are heartbreaking, and it’s impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova’s prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there’s little here to remember.- Publishers Weekly – Recommended by librarian Susanna Eng-Ziskin. Location information: http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/books/record?id=b2701969
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!
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
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:
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!
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.