Tag Archives: Meet the Librarians

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

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
librarians?

Our librarians are dedicated to helping students help themselves.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Information is not knowledge.” – Albert Einstein.

AND,

“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
for?

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

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

 

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

http://youtu.be/wR4tc1C-NrE

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