Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Library Welcomes EOP Bridge Students

EOP Bridge 2012

The Oviatt Library and CSUN’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) work together each year to help prepare CSUN Bridge students for academic experiences and expectations at the college level. As a team, the Library and the EOP encourage and empower students to utilize Library and campus resources and services so they can be successful during their years here and beyond.

A four-story academic Library can be an intimidating place to maneuver for the first time. However, during the last four years our librarians have provided 75 Library tours for 1,424 EOP students and 28 Library lectures for 704 EOP students to support them during their transition from high school to our university. The tours and lectures help to instill students with the confidence and ability necessary to navigate our physical resources and we find they also help to ease feelings of apprehension which can be a common experience when students first arrive.

EOP Bridge 2012 #4During the tours, librarians guide students in locating Course Reserve and Interlibrary Loan services, our 170-seat Computer Lab which provides them with a place to research their assignments and type papers, information about obtaining research help from our team of 28 librarians and much more. These EOP tours and lectures begin in the summer. However, for many EOP students, the collaboration continues throughout the academic year with several follow up Library lectures to continue to provide them with the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to navigate scholarly online resources and services successfully.

During the Library lectures, Oviatt librarians work with students to identify the types of sources needed for their research, the specialized databases which will carry the information they are seeking, and the ways in which they can properly cite their papers. Several hundred EOP Bridge students will be visiting the Library within the coming weeks to begin their academic journey. We at the Oviatt Library say welcome to all 2012 EOP Bridge students!

-Coleen Martin

Summer Fun To Be Found in Southern California

It’s that time of year many of us are thinking about summer travel plans and considering what is around the corner for fun during break. While trips to other U.S. cities and abroad always have their appeal, there are also countless reasons to remain local and discover Southern California’s traveled and less traveled coastlines, hiking trails of magnificent beauty or L.A. sights aside from nature. The Library has many resources for planning day trips as well as full-fledged vacations in Southern California. Below is a list of places and/or activities with corresponding Library call numbers. Several titles are suggested within each category but each section in the Library will have more books on the topic than are listed here for starters. Links to other online information are also included.

  • Beaches and Family Fun – second floor, stack 19, call number area F867.

 Beaches and Parks book coverBeaches and Parks in Southern California by Steve Scholl – This guidebook provides details about experiencing Southern California beaches county by county.

Santa Monica Beach by Ernest Marquez – A pictorial book, it showcases historic images of this well known and loved beach.

Kidding Around Los Angeles by Judy Cash. In this title, the author describes the sights and events in Los Angeles that are interesting to young people. Cash includes details about beaches, museums, parks and sporting and cultural events.

More information about local beaches can be found at the Department of Beaches and Harbors.

  • Biking – second floor, stack 26, call number area GV1045.

Mountain Biking in Southern California by Mark A. Ross and Brad L. Fine. Specifics about the many biking trails in the southern part of our state are included in this guidebook.

Mountain Biking the San Gabriel Mountains’ Best Trails, with Angeles National Forest and Mt. Pinos by Mike Troy. As the title suggests, this book describes interesting and noteworthy biking trails in our local mountains.

  • Deserts and Mountains – second floor, stack 19, call number area F867.

hiking coverCalifornia Desert Byway: Backcountry Drives for the Whole Family by Tony Huegel. This title provides information for planning family outings to Southern California Desert destinations.

California-Nevada Roads Less Traveled by Don W. Martin. This guidebook provides informaton on visiting California desert sites, north and south, that are less crowded.

More information about California deserts can be found at

  • Hiking – second floor, stack 25, call number area GV199.

Hiking Southern California by Ron Adkison. Southern California’s greatest hiking adventures are described in this guidebook.

 101 Hikes in Southern California by Jerry Schad. This title explores hiking trails within our local mountains, seashores and deserts.

You may also want to take a look at the California Department of Parks and Recreation Hiking information for Southern California.

-Coleen Martin

Remembering Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

Photo by Alan Light

It has been a week since Ray Bradbury passed. But the author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, with his more than 500 novels, short stories and plays, will continue to inspire and captivate readers. We are all familiar with his works (check out the more than 100 titles in the Oviatt’s catalog) that have been translated into 36 languages and that several of his stories have been made into movies. But his commercial success cannot overshadow the honors he achieved along the way. In 2000, he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and in 2004 President George W. Bush presented him with the National Medal of Arts. He even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Summarizing his accomplishments in this manner however cannot capture his true contributions to our culture. Gerald Jonas of the New York Times wrote “Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His name would appear near the top of any list of major science-fiction writers of the 20th century, beside those of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.”

Stories about how the “man” Ray Bradbury impacted and inspired writers and readers all over also continue to be shared within social media, offices, libraries and homes – everywhere people connect to talk about what is important to them. Newbery and Carnegie Medal winning author Neil Gaiman wrote about Bradbury on his blog and in a piece for the The Guardian about the impact Bradbury had, not only on himself but within the craft as well. Writer Mark Evanier blogged about early personal memories of Bradbury when he was just a novice writer as a kind of In Memoriam. But perhaps the best way to capture Bradbury’s impact and passing can be through the pondering of his own words.

“Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.” – Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked this Way Comes.

Thank you for your imagination, inspiration and for all of the stories Mr. Bradbury.

-Coleen Martin

Summer Reading Picks

So many books so little time. Summer presents us with an opportunity to kick off our shoes, sip lemonade and most of all – read. With so many good books waiting to be discovered at the end of an academic year that’s been packed with required reading and other campus commitments, it can be a challenge as to know where to start. But several of us at the Library have been comparing notes about good reads and we thought to share.

chango's fire

Chango’s Fire by Ernesto Quinonez

. . . In his searing portrait of a community at the tipping point, Quinonez ably illuminates the sordid politics of gentrification and the unexpected places new immigrants turn to for social and spiritual support. His exploration of the often misunderstood Santeria–the title references the religion’s trickster god, Chango–proves especially fascinating.Frank Sennett, Booklist. Recommended by librarian Jennie Quinonez-Skinner.

the forgotten waltz

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright

“This stunning novel by a Booker Prize winner . . . Offers up its brilliance by way of astonishingly effective storytelling.”Booklist, starred review. The book description calls The Forgotten Waltz a haunting story of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction and the irreparable slip into longing. It is a finalist for the 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Recommended by librarian Christina Mayberry.

how to be a chicana role model

How to be a Chicana Role Model by Michele Serros

Serros’s work has been called “wonderfully comical and wise” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “pulsating with the exuberance of an unmistakably original poetic talent” (Entertainment Weekly). How to be a Chicana Role Model is the fiercely funny tale of a Chicana writer who’s trying to find a way to embrace two very different cultures–without losing touch with who she is.Book description. Recommended by librarian Jennie Quinonez-Skinner.

in the garden of beasts

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.Book description. “Erik Larson tackles this outstanding period of history as fully and compellingly as he portrayed the events in his bestseller, Devil in the White City. With each page, more horrors are revealed, making it impossible to put down. In the Garden of Beasts reads like the true thriller it is.” Recommended by librarian Lynn Lampert.


Kindred by Octavia Butler

“This powerful novel about a modern black woman transported back in time to a slave plantation in the antebellum South is the perfect introduction to Butler’s work and perspectives for those not usually enamored of science fiction . . . A harrowing, haunting story.”—John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Recommended by librarian Jennie Quinonez-Skinner.

little bee

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little Bee will blow you away…. In restrained, diamond-hard prose, Cleave alternates between these two characters’ points of view as he pulls the threads of their dark — but often funny — story tight. What unfolds between them… is both surprising and inevitable, thoroughly satisfying if also heart-rending.”—Washington Post. Recommended by librarian Coleen Martin.

The Magic of Blood

The Magic of Blood by Dagoberto Gilb

Acclaimed Chicano writer Gilb’s collection of short stories set in the American Southwest won the PEN Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award. —Publishers Weekly. The book description calls The Magic of Blood . . . Fresh, funny, relentless, and beautifully crafted, his writing possesses that rare Chekhovian ability to perfectly capture the nuances of ordinary life and make it resonate with unexpected meaning. Recommended by librarian Jennie Quinonez-Skinner.


REAMDE: A Novel by Neal Stephenson

“Neal Stephenson has guts, a killer story, and—for the first time since Cryptonomicon—a thriller I can thoroughly recommend to any reader….With REAMDE we have a very smart page-turner—a global chess game expertly played.” —Mental_Floss. “[REAMDE] is, without a doubt, one of the smartest, fastest-moving, and most consistently enjoyable novels of the year, a book with the rare distinction of being one this reviewer wishes he had written.”—Irish Examiner. Recommended by librarian Laura Wimberley.

silver sparrow

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Its book description highlights the significance of the opening line, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” which unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle. “Populating this absorbing novel is a vivid cast of characters . . . Jones writes dialogue that is realistic and sparkling, with an intuitive sense of how much to reveal and when . . . One of literature’s most intriguing extended families.”—The Washington Post. Recommended by librarian Coleen Martin.

still alice

Still Alice: A Novel by Lisa Genova

Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.—Book description. “This book is as important as it is impressive, and will grace the lives of those affected by this dread disease for generations to come.”—Phil Bolsta, author of Sixty Seconds. Recommended by librarian Marcia Henry.


Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

In this arresting memoir about growing up in—and ultimately escaping from—a strict Hasidic community, Feldman reveals what life is like trapped within a religious sect that values silence and suffering over individual freedoms.—Book description. “Eloquent, appealing, and just emotional enough . . . No doubt girls all over Brooklyn are buying this book, hiding it under their mattresses, reading it after lights out—and contemplating, perhaps for the first time, their own escape.”— Recommended by librarian Lynn Lampert.

Other summer reading recommendations can be found at the Oviatt’s Pinterest boards, librarian Jennie Quinonez-Skinner’s Pinterest board, L.A. Times Summer Reading Guide and some interesting nonfiction titles can be found at Zocolo Public Square. Perhaps you have a book you’d like to share. Feel free to let us know the latest title that’s drawn you in and why we all might want to read it.

-Coleen Martin