You are here

Message from the Dean: The Gift of Giving Back

The lead article in this issue of the Oviatt Library eNews is about the Sharon Fogarty Young Readers’ Collection. Sharon’s sister, Tish, endowed this collection of juvenile literature in memory of Sharon. The collection grows, year after year, and continues to inspire teachers in training at CSUN as they prepare for a lifetime of service to children. Sharon Fogarty’s passion for children, Tish’s love for her sister (and Tish’s own experience in teaching), and the many CSUN students who use this collection of books and who are studying to prepare for a teaching career, all converge together as a beautiful example of “giving back.”

Dean Mark Stover
Dean Mark Stover

The Oviatt Spotlight in this month’s eNews, written by digital services librarian Steve Kutay, looks at the CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project. I am grateful to the many survivors of Japanese American internment camps who documented their experiences through letters, photographs, news clippings, and diaries, and then donated those primary source documents to libraries (including the Oviatt) throughout the California State University system. These donations of personal items, many of which held great sentimental value to the families, are now being digitized through a federal grant to the Oviatt Library and other CSU libraries. The “giving back” aspects are twofold. First, the original donors gave back to future generations by parting with what were undoubtedly precious family records and photographs. Second, the Oviatt Library, through its digitization program, is giving back to the broader community through a thorough digitization process which will enable visitors from all over the world to find and view these primary sources that are critical to the enterprise of research, teaching, and learning.

We also give “thanks and recognition” in this issue of the eNews to Dr. Harry Stone, faculty emeritus of English at CSUN. Dr. Stone has pledged his exhaustive collection of Charles Dickens books to the Oviatt Library, a collection which is one of the finest in the world. After a long career of teaching CSUN students, Dr. Harry Stone is now giving back to us in the form of a labor of love – his lifelong dedication to the work of the great English writer Charles Dickens. Thank you, Dr. Stone, for your gift which will greatly assist CSUN students and literature scholars as they study the rare book collection of this classic author.

Please be sure to read the other eNews articles along with the three that I’ve highlighted in my dean’s message. And remember that just as others have given to us, so we too can (and should) give back in whatever ways we are able to do so. Some give of their time, some of their treasure, and still others from their hearts as they serve each day in many different ways.  Please consider giving back as you reflect on giving during this holiday season.

Mark Stover, Ph.D.

Dean, Oviatt Library