Category: Meet the Librarians

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Meet Charissa Jefferson, Oviatt Library’s Business & Data  Librarian. Charissa is enthusiastic about working with students and passionate about her work, learn more about her personal interests below.

Charissa Jefferson, Business & Data Librarian

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Los Angeles and was raised in Santa Monica, where I still live. I am second generation Angelino. I love LA for its art  culture, music, food and ocean breeze on the Westside.

What do you admire most about CSUN students?

I admire that so many students just want to give themselves a better opportunity in their lives by getting a quality education.

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

In no particular order:

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing by Maya Angelou

Feminism is for everybody by Bell Hooks

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

There are many songs that move my life, but here are 5:

Jump by Van Halen

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Run the World by Beyonce

A Love Bizarre by Sheila E (Feat. Prince)

Everything in its Right Place by Radiohead

Why did you become a librarian?

I became a librarian because I like working with people and wanted to facilitate lifelong learning.

What’s your favorite quote?

It’s a Latin phrase: amrr fati, which means love of one’s fate. I like this because life brings us all kinds of events and circumstances that we cannot control. Instead of being upset or victimized, we have to look at what we have gone through to get us where we are today. By loving our fate, we embrace all that happens in our lives, because without those situations, we would not be who we are.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I’d like to learn how to sew better. I have sewn from a pattern before and that was difficult for me. I made a coat using a pattern from the style of the Matrix movies with the help of a friend. I admire that skill and would like to be able to make entire outfits for my children.

If you could witness any event in history what would it be?

I am very curious about my ancestors and the events that brought them to the United States. I would like to witness my maternal great grandparent’s arrival to Elis Island and their experience assimilating into American culture.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be?

I would choose to be Mary Poppins because she’s practically perfect in every way. Also, she goes where the wind blows, she’s full of imagination and doesn’t have any worries. She also has a light weight carpet bag that fits everything she could possibly need in it.

What are your research interests?

I am interested in assessment of students’ needs and accomplishments regarding subject specific library instruction.

- Laurie Borchard

 

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Susanna Eng-Ziskin

First-Year Experience Librarian, Susanna Eng-Ziskin

Meet Susanna Eng-Ziskin the First-Year Experience Librarian here at the
Oviatt. She is the library liaison for U100, so some of you may have already
met this upbeat, funny librarian.  Read below to learn more about where she’s from, her favorites, and why she became a librarian.

Where are you originally from?

My family is Swedish, and so I was born in a small town in Sweden, and spent my life moving around with my family. Growing up, we lived in Sweden, England, NY, Ohio, the Netherlands, and Brazil. Moving around a lot, and not always speaking the language where I lived, was simultaneously a difficult and rewarding experience. At a young age I was exposed to lots of different people, cultures, and languages, and for that I am extremely grateful.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students?

I find most of our students to be remarkably down to earth, genuine people. I
love working with them, either in a classroom setting, or one on one at the
reference desk.

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

My list is constantly in flux. If I had to pick a favorite it would be Jane
Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I find myself re-reading it every few years
and always finding something new in it. Other favorites (in no particular
order) include, but are not limited to:

Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, by Christopher Moore

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

I feel the Earth Move, by Carole King

Celebrate, by Mika

Ain’t That A Kick in the Head, by Dean Martin

Ice, Ice, Baby (It’s terrible, but it’s my go to karaoke song)

Why did you become a librarian?

I worked in my college library, first as a student employee in the circulation
department, and then as a full time evening supervisor. I loved working in a
library and helping connect students and faculty with the information they
needed. I had a great boss who encouraged me to apply for graduate school to
become a librarian, which I didn’t even realize was necessary at the time.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?

Students are never interrupting us when they come to get help at the Reference
Desk. If it looks like we’re involved in a deep discussion with our colleagues,
please interrupt us. We’re out there specifically to help you!

What’s your favorite quote?

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)

Is there a specific class that you really enjoy doing library instruction for?

University 100. I love working with Freshmen and I get to see the U100 students
twice in the same semester, so I feel like I can have a greater impact that
way, and get to know the students better.

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?

I’d really like to go back and meet my great grandmother in her prime. She died
when I was really young, and by the time I knew her, dementia had taken over.
From all accounts, though, she was a thoroughly modern woman, far ahead of her time. I would have loved to have known her. Or maybe Paul Newman – he was rad.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I’d love to be able to whistle properly.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be?

Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice).

- Laurie Borchard

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Meet Anna Fidgeon, a Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian and interim Theatre Librarian. Read more about where she’s from, why she loves working with CSUN students so much, and some of her favorites.

Anna Fidgeon

Anna Fidgeon, Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian

Where are you originally from?

The Great Pacific Northwest, I grew up in a town called Poulsbo, WA and quickly got out of there at 18. I lived in Seattle for 6 years & my family is still there.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students?

How quickly they catch on. In many of my classes, from 100-level to graduate classes, students are able to grasp the concepts I’m instructing. It’s so important to me that students leave college understanding how information is created and how to evaluate it so they begin their career as a critical consumer of information. The students here catch on so quickly, which is amazing considering what a complicated concept it is.

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

In no particular order…..

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Me Talk Pretty One Day by
David Sedaris

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Blind Assassin by
Margaret Atwood

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

Icona Pop’s I Don’t Care is my theme song

Why did you become a  librarian?

Basically, I just really like helping people. I worked at one of
the libraries at the University of Washington while I was a student and enjoyed
helping people navigate the library system because I knew all the great things
that were there. After college, I volunteered for a literacy organization
tutoring an adult student preparing for the US Citizenship exam. I noticed the similarities
in my volunteer work and what I imagined working as a librarian would be
like—helping people navigate seemingly endless information in order to achieve
their goals and realized how much I loved that work (I still do!).

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?

That my colleagues and I work really hard to keep the library
running & useful. A lot of people have the misconception that we read books
(I wish!) or put books away all day. In reality, we teach, purchase materials,
negotiate with vendors, write budgets, advise faculty on research &
assignments, publish research, organize outreach events, put together exhibits,
create webpages & online tutorials, volunteer on campus & professional
committees, answer questions from e-mail, text, the desk, and chat and all
kinds of other things. I’m not pointing this out in order to get sympathy, but
I think that people would be more likely to look to librarians for any kind of
research help if they better understand what our expertise is.

Is there a specific class that you really enjoy doing library instruction for?

Any class that laughs at my dumb jokes.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

Woodworking. It’s difficult to learn when you live in an
apartment, though.

If you could witness any event in history what would it be?

Any event involving early humans, as long as time travel comes with an invisibility cloak.

What are some of your current projects/tutorials that you are working on?

I’m working on a research project where I’m having CSUN students
make avatars (shameless plug: if you’re a CSUN student, please participate by
e-mailing me!). I also share responsibility for the Research Therapy series, and am a juror for the American Library Association’s Over the Rainbow Book
List.

- Laurie Borchard

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Have you been on the 3rd floor of the library recently and noticed the inspirational Rocky Balboa poster in an office window? Well that office belongs to Laurie Borchard, one of the Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian. Learn more about her favorite books, why she became a librarian, and just how far her obsession with Rocky goes.

Laurie Borchard

Laurie Borchard, Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian

Where are you originally from?

I am from a really small town in southern Minnesota called New Richland, with a population of 1,200.

What do you admire most about CSUN students?

I encounter so many students who are really enthusiastic about their education and the determination with which they apply to their studies is truly inspiring.

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

Favorite book of all time is The Brothers Karamasov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Honorable mentions:     The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Gonna Fly Now from Rocky Soundtrack

No Easy Way Out by Robert Tepper

Hearts on Fire by John Cafferty

Why did you become a librarian?

I took a research methods class as an undergraduate that was taught by a librarian. She made research interesting, fun, and the more I learned about librarianship the more appealing it sounded. I really enjoy working with students and I find myself constantly learning from them. I also love that my job is so multi-faceted, I get to work with students and faculty, as well as develop projects and initiatives on my own.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?

I hope that students know that a library is not just about books and that librarians do not spend their day putting books on the shelf and shushing students. The library is a place for students to come to get the information and help they need to do their research, as well as a place to study and collaborate with fellow students. The Oviatt Library is currently undergoing renovations to turn the first floor into a Learning Commons. The changes are really exciting, we are getting new furniture, study rooms with monitors students can hook their devices up to, a brand new Freudian Sip in the lobby, and finally more power outlets!! For more info, check out our blog The Transforming Library.

What’s your favorite quote?

“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them…the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
―Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?

Björk

 If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I wish I could speak another language fluently, preferably Spanish or German, or maybe someday both!

What are some of your current projects that you are working on?

Along with my colleague Anna Fidgeon, we have developed the video series Research Therapy; we cover topics relating to finding articles and books, evaluating resources, topic exploration and more. Check out our YouTube playlist here, along with the videos we also create a blog post that expands on the information provided in the video, check out our posts on the Cited at the Oviatt blog.

- Laurie Borchard

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Meet Andrew Weiss, a Digital Services Librarian here at the library. One of his main responsibilities is CSUN’s institutional repository ScholarWorks, which is an open access repository of works authored by CSUN faculty and students, learn more about it here

Andrew Weiss, Digital Services Librarian

Andrew Weiss, Digital Services Librarian

 Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Reading, PA, not far from Philadelphia, but I also spent 8 years living in Japan and consider it like a second home.

What do you admire about CSUN students?

I’m always amazed at their strong desire to engage the world head-on, whether in campus activities, high-quality projects, or social activism. I also see a lot of collaboration going on here in the library among students — banding together to tackle their classes and assignments. When I walk past the study rooms, I often see chalkboards full of notes and equations that I couldn’t begin to decipher.

I’m also impressed with those students who can walk and text on their cell phones without bumping into things. 

Why did you become a librarian?

It’s the perfect hybrid-education role: a combination of classroom teaching, research, historical and archival document preservation, digital technology, social media, project management and digital rights management.  It’s a challenge to become proficient in all those areas. And I like the challenge. There’s always something new to learn.

What is your favorite quote?

“I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.”  – Groucho Marx

What is your favorite book or your top 5?

Too many to count, but the shortlist would have to include: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami, & Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot…plus many more.

 What are your research interests?

I’m currently doing research on massive digital libraries such as Google Books, HathiTrust, and Internet Archive (to name a few). I’m also interested in international open access digital library collaborations – especially those related to Japan and East Asia.

 -Laurie Borchard

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt

Music & Media Librarian, Lindsay Hansen

Music & Media Librarian, Lindsay Hansen

Meet Lindsay Hansen, the Music & Media Librarian here at the Oviatt.  She’s been at CSUN for almost seven years. Not only is she passionate about helping students, but she also has been known to breakout in freestyle dance.

Where are you originally from?
Bloomington, MN, home of the Mall of America

What do you admire most about CSUN students?
 They juggle a lot more challenges than I did in college—they are working full-time jobs, commuting long distances, and might be the first in their family to go to college.

What’s your favorite book?
 Pink Slip by Rita Ciresi

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?
Take Me Home Tonight  by Eddie Money

 Why did you become a librarian?
After trying other fields, I thought it would be a good way to help music students and faculty find what they need and conduct better research.  Librarianship is the perfect way to match my love for music (without performing) with my love for research.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?
That we will stop at nothing to find an answer or help. If I don’t know the answer to something, I’ll find it.

What’s your favorite quote?
Seid bereit, immer bereit!  It is an East German expression that means “be prepared, always prepared.”

Is there a specific class that you really enjoy doing library instruction for?
Any of the music classes, especially music history and the research seminar for grad students.

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?
Probably Frédéric Chopin, my favorite composer.

What are your research interests?
East German popular music, German primary resources available in the United States, and the information-seeking behavior of Germanists.

  -Laurie Borchard

Meet the Librarians at the Oviatt

Meet one of our Reference Librarians, Laura Wimberley. She’s been with the Oviatt team since 2011 and really enjoys working with students. Read more about her personal interests and why she became a librarian . . .

Laura Wimberley

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware (just outside of Philadelphia), but I’ve lived all over the country since then, in Ohio, Oregon, Colorado, and California.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students?

I really appreciate how CSUN students are willing to admit when they don’t know something and ask questions.  That’s the only way to learn!

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman is an epic love song to America. Whitman was an abolitionist, a proto-feminist, and arguably the first out gay public figure in American life.  Leaves of Grass is his masterwork; its spirituality and landscape imagery are just beautiful.

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

My absolute lifetime top five albums:

Paul Simon, Graceland

Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls

The Strokes, Is This It

The Postal Service, Give Up

The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema

Why did you become a librarian?

As I was wrapping up my doctorate in political science, I realized that even though I loved uncovering new information, I didn’t love the long, isolated process of social science research.  Being a librarian gets me all of the fun of discovery with more opportunities to share that process and try out different directions.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?

We really like answering your questions – the more obscure, the better!  Never be afraid that your question is a hassle.

What is your favorite quote?

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire

It’s a call to act and to accept that your flawed best is still better than nothing: it’s encouraging.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I’m hoping to learn American Sign Language soon.  The similarities yet differences between ASL and spoken English fascinate me, and I would love to be able to offer better help to CSUN’s Deaf community.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be?

This is a tough question!  The most fascinating characters often have the unhappiest lives, so I don’t want to be everyone I love reading about.  If I got to be fictional, I’d definitely want to be able to work magic, so I’ll go with Hermione Granger (not a real stretch for me as a personality, either).

What are some of your current projects that you are working on?

I’m part of the usability team for Oviatt’s website. Please let us know about your experience with our new website design.  We want to hear your feedback!

- Laurie Borchard

 

Meet the Librarians at the Oviatt

Ellen Jarosz

Ellen Jarosz, Special Collections & Archives Librarian

Have you ever wanted to know more about the people that help make the Oviatt Library such a great place to be? Starting this Spring semester you can meet some of these great librarians through interviews we will be posting here on the blog. These interviews allow you the chance to learn more about what we librarians do here at the Oviatt, what some of our personal interests are and maybe even learn something new and fun about the Library.

Let me introduce you to Ellen Jarosz, she’s the Special Collections and Archives Librarian. She’s been at the Oviatt since November 2011 and she originally hails from America’s Dairyland and home of the Packers, aka Wisconsin. We sat down together and here’s what she had to tell us about herself.

What do you like most about working with CSUN students?

I like how varied student backgrounds are across campus. The diverse perspectives, knowledge, and experiences really contribute to classroom dynamics.

What’s your favorite book?

My favorite book is The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. The prose is beautiful, the characters and setting are wonderfully real, the themes are complex yet straightforward, and it’s short enough that I can start and finish it in a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. It’s also one of the few books I first encountered as assigned reading, but liked enough to read again on my own. I’ve read it too many times to count, and I never get tired of it!

What is the one thing you wish every student knew about Special Collections and Archives?

We have a lot of very cool stuff in Special Collections and Archives that anyone can come in to use. The oldest item we hold is a Sumerian calendar inscribed on a clay cone in cuneiform that dates from approximately 2350 B.C. (and yes, you can come in to see it anytime we’re open!) We’ve recently started a new blog, called Peek in the Stacks, where you can read about and see images of collection materials we think are interesting, notable, or fun. You’re also welcome to search for materials in Special Collections via the Finding Aid Database or Library Catalog.

Why did you become a librarian?

I came to librarianship by way of archives. I worked as a research assistant for a history professor at the University of Wisconsin as an undergraduate, and he sent me to the National Archives and Records Administration research facility in College Park, MD. One of the reference archivists there took me into the (normally closed) stacks. While following him through the aisles of boxes and bound volumes, I was struck by the fact that I was surrounded by the documentary record of our nation.

That brief tour and the days I spent going through correspondence, memoranda, drafts of congressional reports with notes about which sections should be classified or redacted from public copies, and other materials, made for a very inspiring experience. When I got back to Madison I asked one of the reference librarians at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library what I had to do to have a job like that one. He talked to me about different educational options, but encouraged me to enter a graduate program in library science that included an Archives and Records concentration or track.

What is your favorite quote?

And suppose that you lived in that forest in France,
where the average young person just hasn’t a chance
to escape from the perilous pants-eating-plants!
But your pants are safe! You’re a fortunate guy.
And you ought to be shouting, “How lucky am I!”
–Dr. Seuss, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?

George Sand. Any woman in 19th century France (but especially a baroness) who leaves her husband, carries on a 10-year affair with Frédéric Chopin, writes numerous works of fiction (novels, plays), non-fiction (literary criticism, political essays), AND publishes a socialist newspaper out of a worker’s cooperative in the middle of a revolution, all while going about in public wearing men’s clothing and smoking tobacco, is a woman I’d love to chat with over a cup of coffee.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I’ve only had the opportunity and time to study a few languages, but wish I could learn more.

If you could witness any event in history, what would it be?

The Yalta Conference in 1945. Aside from the obvious (that decisions made there had significant and long-ranging consequences in terms of international relations and geopolitics), it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall in a room with Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin, regardless of the topic of conversation.

- Laurie Borchard
Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian