Message from the Dean: The Gift of Giving Back
When I was a boy, I was inspired by the athletic skill and bold rhetoric of boxing champion Muhammed Ali. Later I learned of his commitment to service, what we often refer to as “giving back.” Ali said that “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” This is a helpful metaphor that perfectly captures the spirit of service: it’s an obligation that we have toward our fellow travelers on this planet that allows us to “give back” to others in a variety of ways. Some of us give back with our time; some with our treasure; and some through service-oriented careers.
Message from the Dean: The Impact of Interconnectivity
Woodrow Wilson was a political science professor, president of Princeton University, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and president of the United States. In one of his presidential campaigns he used the slogan “The pen is mightier than the sword,” which should endear him to all those who love libraries. But it is another quote from Woodrow Wilson that I want to focus on in this dean’s message.
Message from the Dean: a Commitment to the Dream
Almost everyone agrees that higher education should be more affordable, especially for those who can afford it the least. Perhaps Bill Clinton said it most succinctly: “When we make college more affordable, we make the American dream more achievable.”
But how do we expand our access to more and more students and provide them with better tools while at the same time keeping the costs of a university education at reasonable levels? We need to embrace expansion, growth, and new technologies, but how do we do this without raising costs and limiting access to people in the state, regardless of economic challenge, who desire a college education?
Message from the Dean: Priorities and a Changing Library
One of my favorite television actresses, Marilu Henner, once said that “Like it or not, the world evolves, priorities change and so do you.” It’s a simple concept, but the truth is that many of us are fixed in cement once we write down a prioritized list of goals.
It’s not easy to be flexible with our goals. We may feel that others will criticize us for weakness or lack of focus. At the same time, we must take advantage of windows of opportunity and move our current priorities forward with intentionality and speed when an opening appears.
Message from the Dean: Join in the Transformation
Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, once said that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” I think what he meant by this statement was that the act of giving to people and organizations dear to our hearts enriches not just the recipient but also the giver. Generosity allows us to see more clearly that the world is much bigger than ourselves.
Message from the Dean: Grounding the New in Values Tried-and-True
The 17th century English poet Robert Herrick wrote, “Thus times do shift, each thing his turn does hold; new things succeed, as former things grow old.”
This lyrical wordsmithing by the poet could well describe the Oviatt Library over the past 2 years, and especially this fall season. Perhaps it is because September often brings with it the beginning of the school year, but many of us associate autumn with change and newness. This issue of the Library eNews will focus on some of the changes in the Oviatt that are re-making our space and bringing new life to an old, familiar place.
Message from the Dean: Stewarding Beauty and Strength
Maya Angelou, the great American poet and civil rights activist who passed away earlier this year, said that parents should teach “young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
In this issue of the Oviatt Library eNews you will see that there is indeed beauty and strength among the individuals, young and old, who serve CSUN students through the resources, services, and facilities of the Oviatt Library.
A Message from the Dean: Building Upon the Power of Partnership
John F. Kennedy once said that “partnership is more than a sharing of power,” and he was right. Partnership brings together allies who, once combined, form much more than the sum of their individual parts.
Good partners create new ways of seeing the world and new kinds of initiatives. Creative partners look beyond the mundane and see a vision for a fruitful future. Productive partners put aside individual differences, pool resources, and work together for the good of the whole.
Message from the Dean: Regarding a Philanthropic Ecosystem
At this time of year, our hearts and minds often turn to giving. Why is this so? Some might posit that we think of gifts during this season because the fall and winter holidays often celebrated in the United States -- such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas -- bring with them the spirit of giving.
Others (perhaps the more cynical among us) believe that giving in December has more to do with the end-of-year tax benefits. Regardless the time of year, my own view is that most of us give because we are giving back.
Message from the Dean: Expanded Views and a Focused Vision
When entering the newly renovated Library lobby, the visual changes are nothing short of stunning. When standing just inside the front doors on the south-facing structure, patrons now encounter unobstructed sightlines to the long wall of glass windows on the north side of the building. This newly opened view to the outside gives visitors a sense that the massive edifice that they just entered is somehow miraculously floating just above them.
As the Oviatt looks toward a future that will undoubtedly bring with it new challenges in how information resources are managed and kept easily accessible, this expanded view will be nice and attractive. What will be necessary, however, is a clearly focused vision.