Maya Angelou, the great American poet and civil rights activist who passed away earlier this year, said that parents should teach “young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
In this issue of the Oviatt Library eNews you will see that there is indeed beauty and strength among the individuals, young and old, who serve CSUN students through the resources, services, and facilities of the Oviatt Library.
I’m often reminded of the pluralistic world in which we live as I walk through the campus of California State University, Northridge. CSUN is one of the most diverse universities in the nation, and the Oviatt Library is no exception to this multicultural and heterogeneous environment. Our Library staff and faculty come from many different backgrounds, and our large cadre of Library student assistants reflects the diversity of the student body as a whole, through ethnic origin, religious background, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
In this issue of the Library Newsletter you will find an illuminating (and entertaining) video spotlighting some of our Library student employees and what they appreciate about the Oviatt Library and its services. In addition, the Library serves many students with disabilities, which is a type of diversity that we sometimes forget about. In seeking to reach out to all students, the Oviatt Library recently hired Tony Ivankovic as our National Center of Deafness (NCOD) Library Coordinator. This issue of the Library newsletter profiles Tony and the excellent work that he is doing. The Oviatt Library is also responsible for the Universal Design Center (UDC), whose mission is to ensure that the campus website is usable and accessible to all, with special focus on students with disabilities. The UDC focuses on “accessible technology,” and their work is highlighted through a very interesting article in this issue of the eNews. (Correction: as of mid-2016, the UDC is under the CSUN Division of Academic Affairs).
In April 2014, the Library gave out over $20,000 in student scholarships. Funding for these awards was made possible by the generosity of a variety of Library friends and donors. Among these awards were scholarships given to two young women by the Bonnie Campbell Women in Science and Engineering Endowment, and two scholarships awarded from the Vern and Bonnie Bullough Endowment for Sex and Gender Studies. Finally, in these electronic pages you will discover a fascinating article written by Virginia Elwood-Akers, librarian emeritus at the Oviatt, on the life and work of Vern Bullough and his commitment to civil rights, equality, and diversity in all its forms.
I wish you all a safe and happy summer, and thank you for reading.