Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt Library

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt Photo of Felicia Vertreesis back! Meet Felicia Vertrees, Oviatt’s Online Instructional Design & Education Librarian. Felicia designs and develops online information literacy learning tools in Moodle as well as other platforms. She also provides reference, instruction, and orders library resources for Gender and Women Studies.

Where are you originally from? I grew up in a small town called Sparta, Illinois.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students? I admire the fact that many of them come from such adversity to attend college.

What’s your favorite book or your top 5? Right now it has to be “The Miniaturist” by Jesse Burton. It is so incredibly creepy and good. I like to stalk colleagues on Good Reads, and that’s how I found this book.

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life? Probably “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross definitely. I feel like my life is just moving so fast with lots of changes. Also “Desperation” by Judith Hill. It’s a great song from the “20 Feet from Stardom” documentary. The lyrics go like this:

“You gotta let it out
Bust the roof and tear down the walls
That’s what it’s all about
It’s your life, it’s your life
It’s your life, it’s your life.”

Why did you become a librarian? I was a copy editor for a long time, which definitely has similarities to being a librarian. I wasn’t satisfied with my previous career and had thought about being a librarian before. So this time I went for it and haven’t looked back.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians? I wish they knew just how much we librarians are in their corner. We want them to succeed at everything they do, and we will do what we can to help them succeed.

What’s your favorite quote? I love this one by Charlotte Bronte and I would love every woman to live by it:  “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Is there a specific class that you really enjoy doing library instruction for? I enjoy any class where my students are willing to push themselves and they ask interesting questions.

If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be? Okay, that one is easy… it would definitely be Maya Angelou. How cool would it be to sit down with her and soak up all that wisdom in person?

If you could learn any skill what would it be? I can write, but I would love to write a book. I don’t know if you learn that, but it’s something I want to accomplish someday.

If you could witness any event in history what would it be? Considering the current climate in our country, I would like to witness the Civil Rights Movement.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be? I would be Sarah on Orphan Black.

What are some of your current projects that you are working on? I am finishing up a Moodle tutorial on copyright.

What are your research interests? I have lots of interests, but information literacy in the social media age is something I would like to explore.

What do you find most surprising about CSUN students? How curious, funny, and brilliant a lot of them are and they don’t even know it.

-Laurie Borchard

2nd Read to Lead Panel Discussion To Take Place at the Oviatt

Read to Lead posterPlease join us at the Oviatt Library on Tuesday, February 24 at 9 a.m. in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room as the campus community gathers for a second time to celebrate reading through the Read to Lead Initiative. Developed through a partnership between CSUN Matador Athletics and the Oviatt Library, the program brings campus leaders; students; staff; faculty; and community members together to discuss books that have played influential roles in the area of leadership. The panel discussion will include insights from Michael Spagna, Dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education; Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of the Valley Performing Arts Center; Gina Umeck, Head CSUN Women’s Golf Coach; and Deborah Wallace, Associate Vice President of Financial Services and how their personally selected books have impacted their professional and personal lives.

The Read to Lead Initiative programming includes 20 of our campus leaders from CSUN faculty, staff, students and alumni, all of whom are currently featured in a physical exhibit in the Library. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please RSVP no later than February 23, with Fatema Noor at 818-677-5081 or via email at We hope to see you there!

- Coleen Martin

Love My Library Week

For the month of February, libraries across the US are celebrating Love My Library Month. Here at the Oviatt we are celebrating Love My Library Week. CSUN students are our #1 priority and everything we do is because we want our students to be successful.

The following is this week’s schedule of events:

Monday: Social Media kickoff! Tell us what you love about the Oviatt using #LoveMyOviatt or #HeartOviatt. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share the love!

Tuesday: Button making, noon to 2pm. Stop by our table in the front lobby of the library to make some I <3 Oviatt buttons or create your own.

Wednesday: Crafts table, noon to 2pm in front lobby. Make your Valentine a Valentine with our literary inspired cards or relax and make some origami flowers.  Tell us in writing what you love about us by stopping by our board of hearts on the first floor of the library.

Thursday & Friday: Blind Date with a Book. Stop by our book cart on the first floor of the library and take a chance with a book that’s all wrapped up. Don’t worry we’ll give you clues to what’s inside.

We will be sharing photos and comments on social media all throughout the week.

-Laurie Borchard

Research Therapy: Digital Library Resources

If I got a nickel every time a student asks me at the reference desk for a “book or article” on their topic, I would have a lot of cents. But the warm, happy feeling I get when I show a student a useful resource he or she didn’t know we had is priceless.

Library databases contain so much more than scholarly articles that you can use to complement your research or for building your own knowledge: documentaries, speeches, streaming music, photography, decades-old newspapers, your professors’ professional work, the list goes on and on.

This session of Research Therapy will introduce you to just a few of the databases that contain resources that you may not think about when you think “research”:

In addition to the databases in the video, here is a list of other resources (free websites and library databases) you can use to build your Digital Library:

Digital Library Resources
Name Images Video eBooks Audio Ephemera
Internet Archive X X X X X
ScholarWorks X X X X X
Project Gutenberg X X X X
American Memory Project X X X X
Berg Fashion Library X X X
NBC Learn in Higher Ed X X X
Calisphere X X
Oviatt Library Digital Collections X X
Biography Index Past and Present X X
Great Speeches Video Series X
Films on Demand X
Theatre in Video X
Environmental Studies in Video X
LGBT Studies in Video X
Naxos Music Library X
Ebrary Academic Complete X
Safari Tech Books Online X
eBook Collection X

Wayback Machine

You know how websites change all the time? If only there was a way to see what the page looked like five years ago…


The WayBack Machine on the Internet Archive has been capturing websites since the nineties. And these aren’t just screenshots, many of the links still work so you can click around like it’s 1999.

Wayback Machine screenshot


Did you just take a class that blew your mind and want to learn more from your professor?
Do you want to see what academic research looks like?
Are you considering grad school and want to know what a thesis looks like?

Check out ScholarWorks, CSUN’s institutional repository, where you can search by type of work, author, and department:

ScholarWorks screenshot


Need help building and organizing your digital bookshelf? Take a look at the Research Therapy session on Using Reference Managers to learn more about organizing your digital library.

And remember, you can Ask A Librarian about much more than books and articles. Let us know if you need help!

- Anna Fidgeon

Check Out the Oviatt’s Free Textbooks on Display

Textbook displayThe Oviatt Library is excited to be a part of OpenStax College’s efforts to save students money when buying textbooks. Please come by and check out our free textbooks display on the fourth floor of the Oviatt Library in the Reserves, Periodicals and Microform (RPM) Room. You may be able to use some of these free textbooks in your courses.

There are currently nine textbooks on display and 11 titles online:  Anatomy and Physiology; Biology; College Physics; Concepts of Biology; Introduction to Sociology; Introductory Statistics; Pre-Calculus; Principles of Economics; Principles of Macroeconomics; Principles of Microeconomics; and Psychology. Two are coming soon: Chemistry and U.S. History.

CSUN Faculty can re-tool these open textbooks to meet course design needs. Faculty members are able to use or adapt these materials to their liking thanks to a Creative Commons Attribution license. The Oviatt Library invites CSUN faculty to review OpenStax College textbooks. These textbooks are free to download from or check out a print copy on the fourth floor of the Oviatt Library. There is a sign in sheet at the RPM desk for this purpose. In addition, faculty members who would like to explore further the possibility of utilizing these free peer reviewed texts within their courses may visit

OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization that offers students free textbooks that meet the scope and requirements for most college courses. These textbooks are peer-reviewed and have been written by professional content developers. There is truly no fee for many textbooks and other texts are offered at a very low cost. OpenStax College is supported by foundations that would like to help alleviate the high cost of student textbooks.

Students who would like more information about free textbooks through OpenStax may visit

OpenStax College development standards can be viewed at development standards.

For more information please contact Oviatt Library Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian, Laurie Borchard at

- Coleen Martin

New Lab Printing @ CSUN service comes to the Library

printing at copy machineWelcome Matadors to the Spring, 2015 semester and the Oviatt’s new Lab Printing @ CSUN service! If you have printed in the Library before or if you are brand new to campus and have never printed here and you like free stuff – keep reading. The Oviatt Library is now a part of CSUN’s print management system called, GoPrint. Here’s how the new printing system works. Every CSUN student has been allocated $10 to go towards printing each semester. The funds can be accessed through your individual student GoPrint account. This means you will be able to print approximately 100 pages (black & white at 10 cents a sheet) per semester for free. And, if you happen to run out of funds, don’t worry; you will have the opportunity to add money to your GoPrint account at any time. GoPrint is available for CSUN students who are printing in the Learning Commons main area, Learning Commons west wing and in the RPM department on the fourth floor of the Library. Best of all, GoPrint is convenient since it requires no debit card and it helps the campus go “green” as double-sided printing is the default print setting. For more information about GoPrint in the Library, visit Happy printing!

- Coleen Martin

CSUN Students De-Stressed during Finals Week Fun at the Library

With all the pressures CSUN student face studying and preparing for finals, the Oviatt Library offered several de-stressing activities and events for students during the December 2014 finals week. Many students enjoyed taking a break and creating a work of art with the arts & crafts sessions that were available. For those students who were with us 24/7, we provided disposable pillows to make their long hours here with us a little more comfortable. Of course, the therapy dogs that came for a visit were a hit for all as many students streamed in and out of the Library just to pet and visit with the friendly pups. Finally, our graffiti board and board games rounded out the list of activities and events offered that week and provided students with another form of relaxation if only for a short time. Below are some photos that were taken of CSUN students who seemed happy to be a part of the Library’s de-stressing finals week programming.

Arts & Crafts 3 for blog

Grafitti Board with students

Therapy Dog with student

Therapy Dogs 6 with students

Therapy Dogs with students

Therapy Dog with students

Therapy Dog with students

Therapy Dog with studetns

Therapy Dog wtih student

Therapy Dog for blog

Therapy Dog

Therapy Dog with students

Therapy Dog with students

Therapy Dog with students

Therapy Dog with students

Therapy Dog with student

Research Therapy: Let the Library Help during Finals Week

Finals Are You Stressed ComicHow the Library Can Help ComicThere’s no need to worry, the Oviatt Library can help! The Oviatt is open extended hours beginning December 4 to help you prepare for Finals week. We know that none of you would wait until the last minute to do your research, but just in case you did and you’re struggling, you can get help from a Librarian 24/7. Come see a librarian at the reference desk in the Learning Commons. During finals week from Monday to Thursday there will be a librarian at the desk from 8am to 9pm, Friday from 8am to 4:45pm, Saturday from 12pm to 4:45pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. You can also contact us online, via chat or email as well as text messaging, check out our Ask a Librarian page. You can also get help online with our subject and course guides, including a guide for Citing Your Sources.

The Learning Resource Center is located on the 3rd floor of the library in the East wing; they offer tutoring, help with paper writing and citations. Check out their webpage for more information and hours. You’ll want to make sure to call ASAP to make an appointment.

If you just need a place to study, don’t forget that you can reserve group and individual study rooms in the library. You can reserve these rooms in advance online, using our online booking system.

In case you need a break we have special events happening during Finals week. We’ll be handing out pillows all week along with special events like: arts & crafts, board games, a graffiti board and therapy dogs. Check out the flyer for dates and times of these events.

For more suggestions on how to de-stress, check out our Pinterest page for tips on relaxation, motivational memes and cute photos of animals.

Just remember to keep calm and carry on and if you can’t do that, then scream, dance, or shake it out!!!

-Laurie Borchard

Research Therapy: Finding Images Online

finding images infographicUsing images can greatly enhance your research paper, poster, or presentation.  However it can be confusing to know exactly where to find images and if you need permission to legally use it.

Please note that the use of images found in print or online may be protected by copyright. Some require permission under certain circumstances, and some may even cost a fee. To be safe always attribute the source of the image.

A great starting point to learn more about this topic is the Finding and Using Images guide. It has been created for the purpose of helping you find and use images for educational purposes. Here you will find information to understand resources available to help find images using websites and library databases, copyright information, and how to cite images in MLA and APA format:

Watch this video to learn more about Creative Commons licenses and where/how to search for these types of images within search engines such as Google Image, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons.  – Jamie Johnson

Research Therapy: Online Privacy in a Big Data World

It is important to think about where your information comes from and how it is presented to you as well as knowing what you can do to protect your privacy. These days it is next to impossible to function without providing some amount of personal information online. Although it might seem futile to worry about online privacy, there are ways to protect yourself by using the tools that are available to help block organizations from collecting your information and by critically thinking about the information you are being asked to give up online. This session of Research Therapy discusses who is collecting your information, ways to monitor the information about you that ends up online, and what you can do to protect your privacy.

Research Therapy video

Of course, free websites or internet browsers such as Google Chrome have to make money somehow. You might already know about cookies and other tracking devices that are used to collect your information and search habits to sell to advertisers. But your online habits shape more than the ad space on social media sites. In the Ted Talk below, Eli Pariser describes what he calls the Filter Bubble– where most of your online activity is shaped by what you have done in the past.

Filter Bubbles talk video

Even though cookies and online tracking do give you the convenience of not having to remember all your passwords, and allowing for easier use of the websites you use most often, there are times when you might want to take advantage of your privacy options. For example, if you are on a public computer such as the ones on campus. Below are some privacy tips you can use while using certain internet browsers or websites.

How to Turn on Private Browsing in Internet Browsers:

Google Chrome

Menu> New Incognito Window (or Ctrl + Shift + N)

Chrome privacy settings


Apple: Safari> Private Browsing

Safari privacy settings

PC: Settings>Private Browsing

PC privacy settings


Menu>New Private Window (or Ctrl + Shift + P)

Firefox privacy settings

Right click on a link> Open Link in New Private Window

Right click on link

Internet Explorer

Settings> Safety> InPrivate Browsing (or Ctrl + Shift + P)

IE privacy settings

Settings>Internet Options> Privacy>Low, Medium, High

Internet options

IE privacy options

Stop Facebook From Tracking You:

Disable Facebook tracking with the free Facebook Disconnect App:

Lifehacker’s Always Up To Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy:


Check Yourself Out Online

Note: these sites may also request fees for their services.








URLs from the video:

 Google Alerts:

Google’s Manage Your Online Reputation:

 Infographic: How Employers Use Social Media to Hire and Fire (The Atlantic):

 Pew Research Internet Project: Reputation Management and Social Media:

 WikiHow’s Disable Cookies Tutorial:

- Anna Fidgeon