Tag Archives: digital collections

Meet the Librarians of the Oviatt Library

Steve KutaySteve Kutay is a Digital Services Librarian here at the Oviatt. He’s responsible for providing access to Oviatt’s more historically relevant resources online through Oviatt’s Digital Collections, check it out! He is also the subject liaison for Pan-African Studies and Art. Read on to learn more about why he loves teaching and what he wants you to know about librarians.

Where are you originally from?

Born, raised, and educated in the Golden State!

What do you admire most about CSUN students?

I find the students at CSUN to be very receptive to new ideas.  I’m impressed with the kinds of projects they are doing, and the research questions they ask.  I think they are very in tune with what is relevant, particularly regarding issues that pertain to the diverse communities that make up our student population.

What’s your favorite book?

Understanding Comics : The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. I’m not a comic book guy, per se, but this book transcends the ways in which we typically learn about visual art, and by extension, visual media. It’s a comic book about comics. The work is dense, but it cleverly unpacks its concepts through the graphic medium. It is a brilliant (and exceptionally fun) examination of Art, Art History, abstraction and reality, Geometry, Visual Psychology and Design. To me, it was so effective, that it felt like I had taken an entire Art course in one sitting.

Why did you become a librarian?

To preserve and disseminate the products of knowledge. Given our information ecology, it’s never been more exciting to be a librarian.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or

Our librarians are dedicated to helping students help themselves.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Information is not knowledge.” – Albert Einstein.


“Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.” – Frank Zappa

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

I honestly enjoy all my classes, and sometimes for different reasons. I have to say I really like teaching the freshman classes, because it is such a pivotal time in their lives.  I like to think I can meaningfully contribute by helping make the college transition seem less overwhelming.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

Web and application programming. Unfortunately, it appears I haven’t the patience for writing code. Still waiting on the application that writes itself…

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

As this year’s Co-Research Fellow with Ellen Jarosz, we are working on a pilot project called “Guided Resource Inquiries” that incorporates digitized archival and Special Collections materials with online course assignments for use across disciplines.  In addition, it makes use of the many excellent online tutorials created by my colleagues here at the Oviatt Library.

What are your research interests?

Currently these are: digital systems for using archival content in education, faculty research needs and collaboration, accessible content management systems, accessibility processing for digitized archival materials, and library assessment.

- Laurie Borchard

San Fernando Valley History and Images Can Be Discovered Online Through a One-of-a-Kind Collection

first building at CSUNOne the unique collections within the Oviatt Library is the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library. This image database contains many rarely seen historically significant documents, manuscripts, photographs and graphic materials from public and private collections. What makes this such a fascinating collection is the fact that it documents the socio-economic changes and cultural evolution of our valley – the San Fernando Valley – from the early 19th century through the end of the 20th century. Bill ClintonWithin its vast amount of materials and photographs, it contains this gem above which features the first building under construction on the CSUN campus in 1956 when it was formerly known as San Fernando Valley State College. Recognize the CSUN visitor who spoke at the first-year anniversary commemorating the 1994 Northridge earthquake? President Bill Clinton praised local, state and federal authorities for their recovery efforts. An image of a partially collapsed parking structure is seen in his background.

gas station at Devonshire and BalboaMany other regional, non-campus historical photographs and documents are also available within the digital library including an image of the service station and coffee shop at Devonshire and Balboa which was taken in the 1930s. The gas station at this corner looks very different today! Need a ride to Los Angeles?  Check out the first taxi service from the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles and Hollywood in 1915. The passengers in the photo are taking Thompson’s Auto Stage from Calabasas for a day of shopping in Los Angeles. first taxi service in the ValleyBut you get the idea by now . . . the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library is a treasure-trove of materials for research purposes and has the ability to quell the imagination of curiosity seekers as well. Additional related Oviatt Library digital collections include our Online Archive of California and L.A. as Subject. Other online collections can also be found at the Oviatt Library Digital Archives.

- Coleen Martin