Category: Learning Commons

Celebrate Banned Books Week at the Oviatt

Banned Books Display Hello Matadors! September 27 through October 3 is Banned Books week. Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to choose what we read. It also brings attention to the harms of censorship. The Oviatt Library is acknowledging the importance of Banned Books Week with several activities.

There is a Banned Books display in the Learning Commons, first floor of the Library. All of the books within the display have been banned in some manner. Each book has been wrapped, (for suspense!) and at least one description has been given as to why the book was banned. Come take a look at the various reasons these books have been censored in different places around the country. Some books were tossed in the trash, while others were hidden behind the circulation desks of their libraries. All of these banned books can be checked out at the Guest Services Desk in our Library lobby. But no peeking before they are checked out and taken home to read!

The Library is also collaborating with the CSUN Journalism Department to bring you a Banned Books Readout on Wednesday, September 30 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Oviatt Library Ferman Presentation Room. Cecil Castellucci, author of Boy Proof, and many other young adult novels, will be speaking, in addition to CSUN Professor Elizabeth Blakey Martinez, who is a First Amendment scholar. There will also be many journalism students reading passages from banned books. Pizza will be served and everyone is welcome. Please RSVP at Happy Banned Books Week to all and enjoy your reading!

- Coleen Martin

Celebrate National Library Week with the Oviatt

Oviatt Favorite Books displayThe 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

Innovation Sparks Imagination in the New, Student-Funded Creative Media Studio

The Learning Commons’ Creative Media Studio (CMS) opened recently thanks to Campus Quality Fee funding awarded to the Library. The CMS provides students with access to specialized hardware, software and support in order to create videos, digital audio recordings, and robust multimedia projects.

The CMS is fully equipped with a wide range of resources for students, with eight 27” iMac computers, a well outfitted audio recording room, and an extensive software selection including Adobe Master Collection, Final Cut Pro, and Pro Tools. This media studio provides students with a dedicated space to create multimedia, and offers educational programming and assistance in creating digital projects that look and sound professional.

Creative Media Studio Coordinator Sarah Sayeed worked tirelessly with Library staff and faculty, and consulted with other areas of campus during the studio’s planning process. “We started working on the CQF about a year and a half ago. During that time we met with coordinators from the Cinema & Television Arts (CTVA) and Music departments, and toured their facilities to get a better idea of how to model our lab,” Sayeed says. In addition, “Facilities planning was such a huge help in putting this together. It was a seamless experience since we had already worked with them during the Learning Commons renovation.” This coordinated effort helped to integrate the CMS into the ever-evolving Learning Commons. “It feels like a very fluid addition, and on top of that students have already commented on what a positive energy this space has. It feels really fresh and lively, with all the resources to make it a truly dynamic space,” Sayeed added.

Like many areas of the Learning Commons, the CMS boasts highly configurable equipment and furniture, allowing students to create a workspace that is most conducive to their learning and working styles.  Beyond using the space for projects, students are able to check out a wide variety of equipment for four-day loans – which is something Sayeed is quite proud of. “Students can check out everything from cameras and tripods to green screens. After they have finished recording, they can come back to the CMS and use programs such as Final Cut Pro or Pro Tools to edit their content and create complete multimedia presentations,” she says. This allows for a greater range of freedom in how students produce creative content.

The Creative Media Studio is now open on the main floor, west wing. Friendly, knowledgeable staff can assist students with all the available resources to help them create wonderful, new, original content. All students on campus are invited to come to the Oviatt Library’s Creative Media Studio and “Get Creative!”

- David Morck

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 Library E-News. For more information about the Oviatt Library please visit

Create Your Own Interactive Study Space in the Learning Commons

The Learning Commons features amazing study spaces equipped with whiteboards to facilitate collaboration and create interactive learning spaces. Each of the study rooms located in the Learning Commons is equipped with whiteboards in addition to glass walls that can be used as a dry erase board.

Learning Commons Study Space

The Learning Commons is also equipped with four moveable whiteboards. These can be moved anywhere within the first floor of the library. So if you were not able to reserve one of our study rooms feel free to create your own study space utilizing the furniture and whiteboards.

Located next to the research consultation desk, the whiteboard wall is an ideal space for collaborative study sessions. Students often use this wall for brainstorming, working through math formulas, graphs, or drawing out scenes. Assorted chairs and tables in this area can be rearranged to fit your study needs.

Dry erase marker kits are available for a two hour checkout at Guest Services located in the lobby across from the Freudian Sip.  The kit comes with fours dry erase markers, an eraser and whiteboard spray.

So come explore different library areas of the Learning Commons and create your own study space.

-      Jamie Johnson

The Learning Commons Offers a Variety of Resources and Services

If you haven’t visited our new Learning Commons yet – and even if you have – you might not be aware of all of the resources and services the Commons provides. In addition to our newly renovated Ask A Librarian desk, (where librarians provide help in finding information almost every hour the Library is open) there is also a new IT desk that can assist with questions about wireless access and other connectivity issues. Our Learning Commons Technology Office provides assistance to those wishing to check out iPads and laptops for use within and outside of the Library. Eleven new group study rooms within the Commons enable students to collaborate many hours of the day. These rooms are busy! Group study rooms can be reserved up to two weeks in advance through LibCal our online reservation system on the Library’s homepage. (Many more group study rooms are available on the upper floors of the Library and can be reserved online as well.) Students, staff and faculty will find access to both PC and Apple desktop computing as well as to wireless printing. Color printing is available also. And, if you need to charge any of your devices, the Commons offers many charging stations which can be useful to know about especially between classes. Of course, as many members of our campus community have already found, you can always pick up a cup of coffee or snack at the Freudian Sip coffeehouse in our lobby. We will continue to add new features to all of these resources and services. Feel free to check back for updates and for more information please see the Learning Commons video below.


- Coleen Martin