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Message from the Dean: Expanded Views and a Focused Vision

eNews Edition: Fall 2013

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. 

Oviatt Library Dean Mark StoverIn the previous issue of the Oviatt Library eNews, I talked about the core values of the CSUN Library.  In this Dean’s Message I would like to discuss the Library’s newly revised mission statement and vision statement, both of which are based on our core values.  All three (values, mission, and vision) are foundational for all of the Library’s transformational projects, the biggest of which is the newly opened Learning Commons.

A mission statement emphasizes the current state of an organization. Why do we exist? What is our purpose?  The new mission statement for the Oviatt Library, which can be found at, focuses on three main areas of our raison d’etre:

  • Our primary target audience, which is the campus community (with a major emphasis on our students);
  • Our principal goal, which is student success through education;
  • The means by which we reach our goal, which include:
    • Information resources and services
    • Partnerships with faculty and staff
    • Information competence and research skills.

A vision statement, on the other hand, looks toward the future.  What can we be?  How can we get better?  The new and improved Oviatt Library vision statement (found at emphasizes four facets, all of which are exemplified by the new Learning Commons:

  • Diverse spaces in the Library that are comfortable and adaptable;
  • Improved technology (such as technology-enabled group study rooms and tablet checkout for students) that ensures access to our information resources;
  • More and better information resources that foster information literacy;
  • Support of the people who work in the Library, including our faculty, staff and student assistants, who provide so many services to the campus community.

One of the aspects of the Learning Commons which instills in me a special sense of pride is the way that we have begun to partner with other entities on campus.  The Learning Resource Center (LRC), CSUN’s premier campus tutoring and writing service, now makes its home on the 3rd floor of the Oviatt Library, and I look forward to many opportunities to work together with the LRC in the coming years.  CSUN’s division of Information Technology, led by Vice President Hilary Baker, has set up an outpost in the Learning Commons to assist students with all manner of technological inquiries.  Even the Freudian Sip, in a very real sense, is a partner together with the Library.  The Freudian Sip now has a permanent presence in the Oviatt, and this makes me think of 17th century London, 18th century Paris, and 19th century Vienna where, historians tell us, coffee houses served as places of intellectual stimulation for students, scholars, and writers.  I am confident that coffee, conversation, and study in the new lobby of the Library will inspire CSUN students to greater heights in their scholastic careers.

I hope you can attend the Grand Opening of our brand new Learning Commons on October 3, where we will celebrate the natural outgrowth of our values, mission and vision with a beautiful new renovation.  (Please RSVP at I have no doubt that the Library’s Learning Commons will help all of CSUN to shine more brightly than ever!

Thank you for your continuing support,

Mark Stover, Ph.D.
Dean, Oviatt Library