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Message from the Dean: Our 100 Year Plan

The venerable Chinese philosopher Confucius said that if you think in terms of a year, plant a seed, and if you think in terms of 10 years, plant a tree, but if you think in terms of 100 years, teach the people.  In a world with potentially cataclysmic challenges like climate change, our future well-being is directly tied to our passionate resolve to teach. 

Now more than ever, educating the students at CSUN remains one of the primary facets of the Oviatt Library mission, and this edition of the eNews will highlight the many ways that we accomplish this goal through hard work, innovation, and dedicated service. 

We are certainly planting seeds and trees through innovative initiatives, but our strategic, long-range vision must always be focused around instruction and learning.

In our lead article, we highlight the newest innovative (and instruction-based) tool in the Creative Media Studio (CMS):  3D printers.  Libraries all over the globe have become centers for “informal science and engineering learning,” and the Oviatt Library is on the cutting edge of this trend.  With the addition of 3D printing and other resources offered by the Creative Media Studio, the focus of the modern library continues to shift in small yet important ways.  Nevertheless, the 100 year plan remains tied to an emphasis on instructing our students.  Since it opened in 2014, the Creative Media Studio has offered hands-on learning opportunities for CSUN students through workshops on video editing and sound recording.  CMS Coordinator Isis Leininger has already started to branch out this semester through 3D printing seminars, which are growing in popularity.

Dean Mark Stover
Dean Mark Stover

Librarian Chris Bulock writes about the Open Access Movement in this issue of the Oviatt Library eNews.  As you will discover after reading Chris’s article, open access is playing a crucial part in allowing libraries to sustain their role on campus of providing information resources to students and faculty.  The teaching and research enterprise of the University cannot continue without our books, journals, and databases, yet the voracity of commercial publishers threatens the very nature of scholarly and scientific communication.  While there are many challenges to implementing open access publishing, and while there may be unintended consequences as well, open access appears to be one of the best hopes for universities to continue to produce and disseminate knowledge over the next 100 years.

This issue of the eNews also contains an article about our celebration of the recent donation in memory of Dr. Karin J. Duran and the naming of the Teacher Curriculum Center Collection in her honor.  Gifts like these, from alumni Mara Houdyshell and Rick Nupoll, remind us how important it is to sustain the legacy of influential teachers.  In 100 years, CSUN students using the TCC Collection will remember the enduring legacy of Dr. Karin Duran, librarian extraordinaire.

These stories offer hope and solutions to current problems and long-term challenges.   They also stand as clear examples of how we in the Oviatt Library use teaching and access as a means to inspire future generations; to foster and support innovative thinking; and to cultivate a desire to dream.  Higher education, and libraries in particular, play a huge role in these goals. Modern libraries and librarians help connect students and researchers not only to the information they seek, but more importantly, they teach people how to identify and navigate the most up-to-date resource pathways so that they are ultimately able to search and discover on their own.

While this issue of the eNews highlights some current academic and technological trends, it also does much more.  These articles together celebrate innovation.  And, more specifically, they deservedly spotlight our Oviatt Library faculty and staff who eagerly embrace this innovation, while honoring the contributions of past colleagues and helping to support the early careers of our next, critical generation of passionate library educators.  The next 100 years will be an exciting journey, and I thank you for your continued support along the way.