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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.

Dean Mark Stover

The Library recently opened up a new space adjacent to the Learning Commons called the “Creative Media Studio.” This technologically advanced area allows students to create knowledge in ways that (in the Library, at least) were not possible in past years.  I think you will enjoy reading about the CMS and how students are utilizing it for their coursework and research.

In October we are dedicating the newly named Robert and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room.  While this space has long existed in the Oviatt Library (initially created at the request of Professor Emeritus Bob Gohstand in the 1980s), Campus Quality Fee (CQF) funding and a major gift from the Gohstands have allowed the Library to refurbish the space and replenish the collection with many new books that for the most part will be used solely for pleasure reading. 

This fall brings with it other new things as well: a large influx of students who will participate in CSUN’s 8th annual Freshman Common Read, a tradition that helps to unify our incoming class;  a new and expanded mission statement to help guide the Faculty Senate Library Committee, a long-standing and crucial part of the faculty shared governance that exists at CSUN; and the addition of several new librarians, one of whom, Del Williams, brings many years of invaluable CSUN experience to her new role in the Oviatt.

As we enter into this new season, where changes are many and what was once old has been replaced or revamped, I would encourage all of us to reflect on three of the core values of the Oviatt Library:  excellence, service, and innovation.  Anything new brings with it an assortment of challenges, but as long as we (library staff, library users, and library supporters) remember to ground our new initiatives in the Library’s values, we can be sure to find balance, moderation, positive growth, and, ultimately, success.

Mark Stover, Ph.D.

Dean, Oviatt Library