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Oviatt Library E-News: Message from the Dean

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.    

Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover

Building a Thriving Community

Spring 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.    

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Women Making a Difference

Fall 2018

One of the most rewarding aspects of library work is to provide diverse educational and cultural programming and resources that recognize individual accomplishments and document transformative social movements. In this issue of the Oviatt Library eNews, the editorial staff wanted to highlight women’s achievements. The CSU boasts a strong contingent of women leaders (52.2 percent of CSU campus presidents are women – nearly double the national average for U.S. colleges and universities). At CSUN, the past 26 years have been led by a woman president.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Creativity - The Secret Sauce of Student Success

Spring 2018

Creativity is a crucial part of our lives and our work.  It benefits all of us individually and as a society.  Very few would argue that creativity has no place on the university campus or almost anywhere else in the world. Indeed, scholarly literature has proven that being exposed to creative outlets and innovation opportunities generates student success. But demonstrating creativity in the real world is sometimes hard work.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: A Most Special Place

Fall 2017

One of my favorite parts of the Oviatt Library is Special Collections & Archives (SC/A). I’m not an archivist myself, but one of my first mentors taught me that Special Collections & Archives is the jewel in the crown of every library. The SC/A rare books are amazing to look at and study, and the archival collections are truly unique. Every time I visit this space I’m reminded of the importance of curating and caring for these materials, as well as the positive academic impact on students and researchers who are afforded access to these collections.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Prospering from Lessons Past

Spring 2017

It was philosopher-writer George Santayana who first said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana, who was educated in the United States from the age of eight, was a Spanish immigrant but considered himself an American and went on to become a Professor of Philosophy at Harvard. One of his star students, W. E. B. Du Bois, was able to attend college in large part due to donations that were collected by the congregants of his church. Du Bois himself became a prominent American civil rights leader and helped co-found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). These linked pieces of history, like the articles in this issue of the eNews, remind us that it is in coming together as a community to educate our students that we keep our democracy vibrant.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: The Sacrifice of Giving

Winter 2016

Several years ago I had the privilege of hosting a refugee family. What started off as an offer of temporary housing turned into a three-year sojourn and eventually a lifetime friendship. From an outsider’s perspective, this may have seemed like a sacrifice on my part, and on some level it was. There were relatively minor sacrifices of time, finances, and privacy.

In retrospect, however, I received so much more than I gave. My new friends, displaced from their country of birth, could not reciprocate with money, but they more than “evened the score” with their gifts of love, thankfulness, cultural interchange, and loyalty.

Dean Mark Stover

Message from the Dean: Our 100 Year Plan

Fall 2016

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.