As 2013 comes to a close, it is a fitting time to reflect on some of the diverse and wide-reaching events that have taken place in the Library over the past year. A sampling from an impressive list of special exhibits, guest speakers, film screenings, book signings, workshops, book sales, symposiums, celebrations, colloquiums, and construction projects clearly shows that the Library is much more than just the geographic hub of CSUN’s sprawling campus. It exemplifies the Oviatt’s vital role as the dynamic academic center for students, staff and faculty from every corner of the university, as well as community members and educators from surrounding areas.
This past year Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) partnered with the Oviatt Library to produce two networking and mentoring events that brought CSUN students face- to- face with professionals currently working in a variety of STEM- related fields. The Friends of the Library presented two book signings: Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts are Changing a Community, which included a documentary screening by independent filmmaker John Cantú; and Hiding in a Cave of Trunks: A Prominent Jewish Family’s Century in Shanghai and Internment in a WWII POW Camp, with author Ester Shifrin.
The library mounted several major exhibits in 2013: Seamanship and Settlement: the Portuguese Maritime Tradition and Macau's Architectural Duality; In Protest: Shifting Paradigms and Collective Social Action, which is running now through July 2014; and a Native American Awareness Month Exhibit, which currently is on display in the Oviatt Library’s Music and Media Department. There were highly topical workshops including All About Copyright and <R>Evolution of Knowledge: the Digital Order of Things, a day-long symposium on how the digital revolution has transformed the creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge, which drew a large number of educators from both CSUN and surrounding institutions.
The Oviatt also hosted an impressive list of guest speakers including: Michelle Caswell, Archiving the Unspeakable: Silence, Memory, and the Photographic Record in Cambodia; José Coutinho, One Country, Two Systems; Miguel Duran, who joined us for a question- and- answer session following a screening of his powerful film, Unrest: Founding of the Cal State Northridge Chicana/o Studies Department; and Chinese Ambassador Jian Liu, who spoke about U.S. and China relations and the importance of education collaboration. One gathering was organized to celebrate student employees where thousands of dollars in scholarships were handed out; and another gathering was held to showcase the fascinating work of Research Fellows from departments and colleges campus-wide. All of these events and more took place in 2013, including four used book sales and the grand opening of the new Learning Commons.
The year’s end is also a good opportunity to look ahead to some of the exciting events that are already on the Oviatt calendar for 2014. WISE and the Friends of the Library will continue to develop eclectic and vital programming for students, faculty, staff and community members. Representatives from colleges across campus will again convene in the Ferman Presentation room for the 6th Annual Research Fellows Colloquium, and the Oviatt Library will partner with Gender and Women’s Studies, Queer Studies and The Pride Center for a week-long series of lectures and presentations during the first annual Sex in the Library Week. Two additional events will round out a series of presentations designed to augment the current exhibit, In Protest, and the Library’s physical space will continue to transform with the dedication of the Bob and Maureen Gohstand Reading Room, the expansion of Special Collections and Archives, and the next phase of the Learning Commons project, the creation of a technology-rich Digital Creative Commons.
As always, the majority of Library events are free of charge and most of them are open to the public. The continued vitality of the Library’s programming, resources, and environment is due in large part to the generosity of the community, friends, and donors. Please visit the Make a Gift to the Library page to see how you can get involved. Visit online at The Transforming Library for the latest news regarding ongoing renovations. Finally, you are encouraged to visit the Library’s Exhibitions and Events page often for the most up-to-date information on all upcoming events, because now more than ever there is something for everyone at the Oviatt.