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University Library E-News: Message from the Dean

University Library Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: A New Chapter - Reflecting on Transitions

Spring 2024

The great British playwright Tom Stoppard once said, “Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” This axiom is a bit of a cliché, but it is also in many ways profound. There are so many exits in our lives these days that when a big one comes, like a retirement, one tends to forget that, yes, another door will open soon.

CSUN University Library Dean Mark Stover

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

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

Message from the Dean: Diversity, Innovation, and the Preservation of History

Spring 2023

The CSUN University Library is a hub of information and activity, constantly evolving and expanding to meet the diverse needs of our students, staff and faculty. This issue of the University Library eNews is a testament to that diversity, as it covers a wide range of topics that demonstrate the breadth and depth of the resources and services available to the CSUN community. The articles also show a clear alignment with CSUN’s mission and strategic principles that permeate all aspects of our work.

CSUN University Library Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean - Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Yesterday’s Gone (But Not Forgotten)

Fall 2022

Many of us (myself included) have a sentimental view of the past. We romanticize it and forget that the world is a different place now – and we forget that trying to hold onto the past is often counter-productive. But British author and mathematician Lewis Carroll (and his unforgettable protagonist Alice) was a bit more clear-eyed about the past and the present, and the difference between the two. He wrote in Alice in Wonderland, "It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."

University libraries aren’t exactly falling down the rabbit hole, but they continue to evolve, sometimes in subtle ways, other times in more substantive ways. This issue of the CSUN Library eNews includes three articles that demonstrate some of the changes that we in the University Library are experiencing, and how these changes fit into our overall mission.

CSUN University Library Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: The More Things Change... The More They Really Change!

Spring 2022

The French have a saying: “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.” The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is a maxim that we can all resonate with, in many facets of our lives. As time goes by, and as the world seems to transform in so many ways, certain themes tend to repeat themselves, generation after generation. But in this edition of the CSUN Library eNews, I would like to slightly revise that old French adage to something that is perhaps slightly less paradoxical: “The more things change … the more they really change!” What I mean by this new axiom is that sometimes the transitions we experience in life and work are so radical that it seems as though we have entered a new dimension of reality. In many ways, this is how I feel as I write this column in late March 2022.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Reopening the Library after the Apocalypse

Fall 2021

After every natural disaster or pandemic there must be a transitional time of returning to “normal life.” When the 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred, it took years for the campus to recover, and I see the COVID-19 pandemic as being similar in some ways to the devastation wrought by a major earthquake. The 1994 earthquake lasted less than a minute, but its effects were felt for years afterward. The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for 18 months, but just like the earthquake, we will be experiencing “aftershocks” for the indefinite future.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Facing Unexpected Disappointments

Spring 2021

The beloved British writer C.S. Lewis once said, “We must stop regarding unpleasant or unexpected things as interruptions of real life. The truth is that interruptions are real life.” Most of us wish that we could avoid negative things, like a pandemic, but the reality is that we often learn more from disappointments than from “smooth sailing.”

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: One True Thing

Fall 2020

As I write these words, the sky in Northridge has become dark and ominous from distant fires, perhaps symbolic of the fear and uncertainty that lies beneath the surface for many of us during these challenging days. The spring 2020 pandemic and the early summer societal upheaval surrounding our country’s social justice reckoning have caused many of us to seek out that “one true thing” that can anchor us to solid ground and give us more meaning in our jobs and our personal lives.

Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Resilience in Seasons of Stress

Spring 2020

Nelson Mandela, the great South African political leader and statesman once said: “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” And that is the essence of resilience: the ability to bounce back from adversity, not just once, but multiple times. Resilience is a core value for leaders at CSUN; an excerpt from the University’s Leadership Principles states that a leader at CSUN “perseveres even when faced with challenges or setbacks.” Perhaps we focus on it so much because it is in the DNA of our institution, going back to the Northridge earthquake of 1994.

Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Impacting Students for a Lifetime

Fall 2019

I have belonged to many different communities throughout my life.  Sometimes communities are geographical in nature, and with that lens in mind, I have lived in over twenty different neighborhoods.  But just as often, communities are seen through a different lens, whether ethnic, religious, gender identity, or other categories.  Sometimes communities are fluid, and people can pass in and out easily, but other times they have rigid boundaries with circumscribed membership requirements.

The Oviatt Library is in many ways its own community.  This community includes employees (such as our 90 staff and faculty and our 140 student assistants); campus faculty and staff; local users and supporters; and of course, the 38,000 CSUN students who make excellent use of our resources and services.