Main Content

Message from the Dean - Golden Pages: Celebrating 50 Years of the CSUN University Library

eNews Edition: Fall 2023

As we usher in the Fall semester, we have much more to celebrate than the changing weather and the promise of a new academic year. This season marks a monumental milestone: the 50th Anniversary of the completion of the magnificent CSUN University Library building in October 1973, originally known as the Oviatt Library. For half a century, our Library has served as the intellectual hub of our campus, a sanctuary of learning, and a facilitator for community engagement. This is not merely a testament to longevity; it's an affirmation of the vital role the CSUN Library has played in shaping minds, nurturing scholars, and enriching the broader community.

CSUN University Library Dean Mark Stover
CSUN University Library Dean Mark Stover

Over the past 50 years, the CSUN University Library has experienced extraordinary growth. From its humble beginnings, equipped with a modest collection of books and periodicals, we have grown into a state-of-the-art facility with extensive digital resources, cutting-edge technologies, highly skilled librarians and support staff, and dynamic, multifunctional spaces. We are extremely proud of the collections and spaces that set us apart from other academic libraries, including the Gohstand Leisure Reading Room, the Teacher Curriculum Center, the Creative Maker Space, the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center Archives, and our extensive Map Collection, just to name a few. We have also forged partnerships and shared space agreements with other entities on campus, such as the Learning Resource Center, the University Corporation, and the Division of Information Technology. This transformation over the years reflects our unwavering commitment to academic excellence and innovation. Whether through the millions of online resources that are accessed each year, or the plethora of unique archival collections made up of hundreds of thousands of primary source documents, or the multitude of workshops on information literacy our librarians teach annually, we strive to offer the tools and knowledge base required for student success in an ever-changing world.

But a library is more than just a collection of books, journals and databases; it's a living, breathing entity that evolves with its community. The CSUN University Library is – and always has been -- a nexus for intellectual and cultural activities, not only for students but also for faculty, staff, local residents, and visiting scholars. Through diverse community programs, partnerships, and outreach initiatives, we have opened our doors—and our resources—to enrich the lives of all who seek knowledge.

As I have emphasized many times in the past, change is a constant in libraries. The British philosopher Alan Watts once said that “the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance," and that is a good way to describe the past half-century of the CSUN University Library. The many Library faculty and staff who have served at CSUN over the past decades have largely embraced this perspective and have enthusiastically “joined the dance.” That positive outlook on change has enabled our Library to move forward with innovation, boldness, and consistent contributions to student success.

As we celebrate this impressive milestone, we are not just looking back with pride; we're looking forward with fervor and ambition. The next 50 years hold limitless potential for innovation, community engagement, and the continued advancement of knowledge. The landscape of information may change, but our mission to serve as a cornerstone for learning and discovery remains steadfast.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each and every member of our community—students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike—for your continual support of the Library. The legacy of the CSUN University Library is not just half a century of books and buildings, but also of minds expanded and dreams fulfilled. Here's to celebrating our golden anniversary and to the countless opportunities that lie ahead!