This issue of the Oviatt Library eNews contains several articles that describe a variety of ways that we can solve these problems. These eNews articles portray the Oviatt Library’s role in the larger story of a huge university educational system that is struggling to maintain its stance of access and affordability. One example is the article on Virginia Elwood-Akers, a librarian and archivist in the Oviatt Library for many years. When she retired, she didn’t stop working. Instead, she “gave back” in many ways, including two separate CSUN endowments, volunteer work, and donating an annual scholarship to an Oviatt Library student employee. Virginia’s generosity is one of the ways that CSUN can both grow to meet demand and stay affordable.
Another article in the eNews is about one of these student assistants in the Library, Raul Buenfil. Raul’s story will inspire you in many ways, including his love of music, his family migration, and his award of the annual Purcell International Guitar Research Archive Fellowship (given under the auspices of the Oviatt Library). The Purcell Fellowship, funded by Elizabeth-ann Purcell in honor of her late husband, Ron (the founder of the Guitar Archive at the Oviatt Library), is another way that CSUN assists our students with the costs of a university education while providing valuable work experiences to students in their field of study.
One of the exciting projects that is occurring in the Library this summer is our expansion of Special Collections and Archives, a $2 million renovation that would not have been possible without the generosity of Jack and Florence Ferman, who donated a large portion of their estate to the Oviatt Library. Again, a story of hard-working and successful people who value education and want to help those just starting out. You’ll find much to cheer about when you read the article on the Special Collections and Archives project in this issue’s eNews.
Finally, I must mention the article on Affordable Learning Solutions, also known as “AL$,” a California State University initiative that seeks to provide inexpensive educational resources for students. The author of the article, librarian Laurie Borchard, writes about the many ways that the campus provides more affordable textbooks and digital information resources for our students. I am proud to say that the Oviatt Library is one of the primary AL$ movers and shakers on campus. We in the Library take seriously our commitment to students in the CSU, the largest and most diverse university system in the world, and we are doing everything we can to give our students the most affordable educational experience possible.
Mark Stover, Ph.D.
Dean, Oviatt Library