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Featured: The Teacher Curriculum Center

A vast collection of resources, a bold new look, and thirty years strong; yet the TCC may be one of CSUN’s best kept secrets.

When asked who the Oviatt Library’s long-standing and newly remodeled Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC) is meant to serve, librarian Mara Houdyshell reads from the back of a brightly colored brochure: “Who should use the TCC? Anyone taking courses in Education, Kinesiology, Liberal Studies, Child Development, Children’s Literature, and people looking for fun!” While the atmosphere of fun  is reflected in the bright new look of the center’s Garden Level home in the east wing of the Oviatt Library, it doesn’t take long  to recognize that there is a unique and significant trove of resources housed in this vibrant space. 

The TCC has a long history on the CSUN campus. Established 30 years ago as part of the College of Education, the TCC was originally located in the old South Library until the collection was handed over to the Oviatt. The TCC started out on the second floor of the Library, before being displaced by the Northridge earthquake in 1994. After reconstruction of the Library, the TCC moved into its current location, which formerly housed the Library’s microfilm collection. Now, with freshly painted walls, new furniture and a modern, tech friendly layout, the TCC faculty and staff clearly are more proud than ever to call this space home.

While students who are training to be teachers and those enrolled in Education, Liberal Studies, and Child Development classes may be the obvious beneficiaries of the center’s varied collection, the TCC and its resources are used by a diverse cross-section of the university’s academic population. The center has a number of whiteboards that attract students from Engineering and Science. A globe, toys, and other learning materials from the Teacher Curriculum CenterAccording to staff member Nancy Davidson, students from  a variety of majors often find items that allow them to create class projects and presentations that are highly engaging and unique.  CSUN students and faculty  are the  majority of the center’s clientele, but by obtaining a community user card, teachers from the surrounding area also are  able to take advantage of the TCC’s vast collection of books, games, DVDs, teacher guides, activities, kits, craft materials, picture sets, and puppets.

Professors often bring classes into the TCC for presentations that can be tailored to  specific curriculum or coursework. Informative outreach to classrooms campus-wide also takes place in the form of the TCC’s Traveling Road Show. The group uses eye-catching book trucks laden with a variety of interactive materials to go out and promote the wealth of resources the center has to offer. These engaging presentations are usually scheduled to last for 10 to 15 minutes, according to Davidson, depending on the individual request of the professor. There is usually so much interest and enthusiasm from the classroom audiences, however, that the presentations sometimes run a bit longer. According to TCC supervisor, and Road Show coordinator Gabriel Castaneda: “It takes 10 minutes just to get the stuff back. These items are so interesting, they just don’t want to give them back.”

Various children's books available at the teacher curriculum center.With the assistance of generous support from student allocated Campus Quality Fee funding, the center recently underwent a fairly extensive renovation project. According to the center’s faculty and staff, the quick but all-encompassing remodel was mostly unproblematic, thanks in large part to Library logistical services supervisor Jason Billick and his hard-working crew. In addition to new paint, the entire mixed-use study space was outfitted with comfortable, modern furniture in just a matter of days. Now most of the tables and chairs are on casters, making them easily transformable into any number of helpful configurations. There is also a new study bar. “No drinks are served,” assures Houdyshell. Even without the refreshments, the conveniently located power outlets make the study bar an ideal spot for students to plug-in and recharge.

For more information about the TCC’s resources and services, please visit the Library website at http://library.csun.edu/Collections/TCC. Or better yet, next time you are in the Library, stop in and visit. The center is located on the Library’s Garden Level, and is easily accessible by stairs or elevator in the Library’s east wing. Friendly and knowledgeable assistance is available at the TCC reference desk during all regular Library hours.