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

eNews Edition: 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. One of my favorite authors, Jack London, once said that “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it "with a club." That is certainly our students’ experience at CSUN.  Being innovative takes diligence, persistence, and effort, and these qualities aptly describe many of the students who attend CSUN.

Dean Mark Stover
Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover

The Oviatt Library recognized several years ago that while our core values were similar to our values from 25 years ago, we had evolved over time.  The Library had reached the point where we needed to support not just research, scholarship, and teaching on campus, but also the creative activities that faculty and students are engaged in.  We made this shift in our values explicit in our mission statement, but also in our strategic plan and implementation.  The development of our Creative Media Studio (CMS) and other initiatives came about primarily because of our new mission.  Innovation became – and remains – a core part of our strategic framework.  As the Oviatt Library makes plans to expand the CMS into a much larger Makerspace, and as we look to the future for partnerships such as with the CSUN Incubator, we continue to be grounded by our enduring values of service, information discovery, access to knowledge, and student engagement.  Providing students with opportunities for creative and innovative discoveries is an added component to our mission that ultimately will bring greater levels of student success, in life and in the workplace.

This issue of the Oviatt Library eNews focuses on the theme of the Library as a creative space.  David Morck has written an article on how the Oviatt Library’s creative spaces support our student success initiative at CSUN. Along the same lines, we’ve asked three of our students to describe how the library supports their creativity, and I think you will find their answers very interesting.  There is even more to read about in this issue of the Oviatt eNews, such as our fundraising drive to process and digitize the archives of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Relations Committee, our integration of the Map Library and the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center into the Oviatt, the upcoming move of the Teacher Curriculum Center, and our “thanks and recognition” to Kris Ecklund for her recent endowment aimed at Library disabilities training. I hope you will take the time to enjoy each article.

Mark Stover, Ph.D.

Dean, Oviatt Library