Business Resources at the Oviatt

The new business librarian at the Oviatt, Charissa Jefferson, liaises to the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. She is responsible for developing the library collection for business subjects and is willing to take your suggestions! Simply fill out the purchase recommendation form:

Over the 2013-214 academic year, the business collection has increased in electronic resources, although there are still print books bought. So remember the books on the shelves are only a small part of the larger collection that tells the story of the business collection at the Oviatt. Find these new and wonderful sources from the Library Catalog or the Books and Media tab from OneSearch.

Charissa has created short videos for faculty and students that highlight her consultation services on research projects as well as her willingness to share her knowledge and expertise with the campus community.

Video for Students: please click on the image below to view the video.

Video for Faculty: please click on the image below to view the video. 

- Charissa Jefferson

Browsing the Oviatt Collection Section by Section

stacksHi Matadors!

Today I wanted to discuss how we organize the library book collection. We often receive questions from students wanting to browse certain collections, such as:

“Where is the poetry section?” or “Where are the art books?”

This seemingly simple question is often difficult to answer because of how we organize the books. Unlike the public library or bookstore the collection is organized using the Library of Congress (LOC) Classification. All materials inside the library have call numbers beginning with a letter or two, then is followed by a set of numbers.  The letters at the beginning represent the subject area.

So in order to browse, you would need to know what subject area it would fall under. For instance, if you are searching for poetry you will need to start in the Language and Literature section of the library (P – PZ). This section is located on the third floor of the library and is pretty extensive covering almost a third of that floor – shelves 3 through 20.

Of course not all of these books are poetry but include fiction, plays, drama, essays, literary criticism, diaries, letters and so on.  Unfortunately, all poetry books are not grouped together in one section; however, they’re divided into regions of author’s nationality or language. American, English, Russian, or Spanish poetry are grouped together in different sections.  You would have to know which country you wanted to browse then look up the call number range. But be careful – you might be missing out on some great resources this way. For instance, if a book is checked out you have no way of knowing if you are only browsing through the stacks.

When browsing the collection it is best to come up with a plan.  First, try utilizing the library catalog. This may be a simpler task than sifting through hundreds of books on a shelf and will also provide some helpful information such as content, summary and/or subject terms. Once you find a book, you can head up to that section of the library. We also have thousands of electronic books that would only be accessible through the catalog.  If you cannot find materials this way and still want to physically browse the shelves take a look at the below classification outline.

If you would like help browsing the collection you could always Ask a Librarian! at the reference desk, via text or live chat.

Here is an outline of the Library of Congress Classification:

  1. A.    General Works
  2. B.    Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  3. C.    Auxiliary Sciences of History
  4. D.    World History and History of Europe Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand
  5. E.    History of the Americas (North America)
  6. F.    History of the Americas (United States local history, Latin America)
  7. G.    Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
  8. H.    Social Sciences
  9. J.     Political Science
  10. K.    Law
  11. L.    Education
  12. M.   Music
  13. N.    Fine Arts
  14. P.    Language and Literature
  15. Q.    Science
  16. R.    Medicine
  17. S.    Agriculture
  18. T.    Technology
  19. U.    Military Science
  20. V.    Naval Science
  21. W.   Bibliography, library science

A full description of the classification system is available from the Library of Congress.

-       Jamie Johnson

Check out a Hugo Award Nominee at the Oviatt or Other Science Fiction and Fantasy Reads

Hugo AwardEscape to other worlds by diving into some of the best contemporary writing – this year’s Hugo Award nominees.

The nominees available at the Oviatt are:

The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Floor 2 Best Sellers, PS3560.O7617 M46 2012)

Doctor Who, multiple episodes and specials (Floor 2, Music & Media)

Five of the nominees were published for free online by Tor.

For more geeky reads, check out Oviatt’s collection of graphic novels, science fiction, and fantasy.

- Laura Wimberley

Research Therapy: How To Find Statistical Data

Do you need to back your research up with statistics? The Oviatt Library provides access to several statistical databases, as well as online guides to help you find exactly what you need. There are also a lot of resources freely available on the web.

This short video shows you how to find our collection of statistical resources, as well as how to search some of them. 

Research Therapy on Statistics

For more information, check out our Finding Statistics and Finding Statistics by Zip Code guides.

-Isabelle Ramos

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

Web of Science now available at the Oviatt Library

Web of ScienceThe Web of Science database is now accessible through the Oviatt Library’s current database collection. Often referred to as the most interdisciplinary and comprehensive subscription-based citation resource, the Web of Science extracts citation information from articles in more than 10,000 journals from a wide variety of disciplines. Quite commonly, Web of Science users are able to forgo searching for citation information in numerous different databases only to find, analyze and share scientific and citation information easily with this very unique research tool. Here are just some of the Web of Science’s features:

  • Find a citation count for an article;
  • Determine which journal articles have cited a particular work;
  • Find current articles on a topic;
  • Create a citation map for an article which illustrates the connections between citing authors, institutions and fields of study;
  • Provide a citation analysis report for an author;
  • Determine the most highly cited works for an author;
  • Determine the most highly cited articles for a journal;
  • Identify top researchers in a field;
  • Eliminate self-citations from a citation count.

Disciplines that publish heavily in journal literature such as the sciences are better covered in the Web of Science than other subject areas such as business and education. In these instances we recommend referring to the Oviatt’s Searching Cited References Guide. Or for more information contact us at Ask A Librarian.

-         Coleen Martin

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

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


Daily, Weekly, Gazette: Where to Find Hot-Off-The-Press News or Cooled Off Stories

Newspapers, newspapers everywhere and not an article for me!

Have to find a newspaper article for an assignment? Want to use a newspaper as a primary source to understand how an event was reported on when it happened? Have you used up your free New York Times articles, but still want to read the news? The Oviatt Library can help you.

This video explains three ways to access the Library’s newspaper subscriptions online: through OneSearch, the News & Current Issues databases, and through a Journal title search.


On a related note: you might take a look at the Research
Therapy session The Info-Cycle for more information on how news contributes to human knowledge.

- Anna Fidgeon

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

Research Therapy: Using

Research Therapy is back this semester with a special video
on the video tutorial website
This incredibly valuable resource was made available to all CSUN
students, faculty, and staff through CSUN’s Campus Quality Fee. image








This website offers high quality video tutorials on the following topics:
• Web design
• Programming languages
• Business & marketing
• Education
• Photography
• Audio, video & animation production
• Adobe Creative Suite software
• Microsoft Office
• iPad tips
• and more!!

You can browse by topic or software, and even narrow your results by skill level, sub-topics, and author. To access go to you will have to login using your CSUN ID and password, (the same as your portal login). This login allows you to access everything Lynda has to offer, as well create your own personal playlists and bookmark your favorites. For more information check out

Don’t forget you can also visit the IT Help Center or the Ask a Librarian desk on the first floor of the library in our Learning Commons for help.

-Laurie Borchard