Winter 2006 Archive

   In this issue:



Doug Davis, Dean of the Library 1995-2004, Retires 

Douglas A. Davis, Dean of the Library from 1995 to 2004, retired in September 2004 (an event still “newsworthy”, as our last issue of InformL was distributed in Spring 2003).  Doug is rightly associated with the digital transformation of the Library.  It was under Doug’s  leadership, for instance, that the Library website was first produced, the web-based catalog came into use, the Library’s electronic classrooms were constructed, and access to a wide range of electronic resources by way of a large number of public use computer workstations became the norm.  In recent years, Doug coordinated the creation of the Mullins Music and Media Center, added self-service “computer pavilions” on the 2nd and 3rd floors, and spearheaded early development of an advanced Information Literacy program.  Observes Media Services Librarian Scott Breivold, “Doug’s technological prowess was considerable.  I found him to be well ahead of the general curve in our profession with regard to meta-searching, web portals, wireless internet applications, new forms of media and the integration of library resources into online courseware.  He combined real vision with practical know-how as well.”

Doug was also valued by librarians and staff for his grasp of the details of Library operations and for the genuine collegiality he demonstrated.  Teresa Omidsalar, Library Liaison to the Charter School of Education and former Interim Associate Dean of the Library, remarks that “Doug worked extremely hard.  I believe the Library benefited greatly from the fact that Doug was himself a working librarian who rose to an administrative role.  He had a more realistic perspective than someone with a purely administrative background, and a working knowledge of operations right down to the nitty-gritty level".  Roy Liebman, Emeritus Librarian (former Head of Cataloging) remembers that “Doug fostered a free and open exchange of ideas.  He would receive with respect an argument from someone with a view of an issue contrary to his own.  I found him to be an honorable man as well as a good administrator”.  Anne Hess, Emeritus Librarian (former User Services Team Leader) says, "I appreciated Doug most of all for his belief in the concept of collegiality at all levels of library staffing and his never-failing support of librarians as faculty.  I think he also was notably effective in selling the Library to central administrators."

Doug had a high profile in the CSU system as a whole.  A quite active participant in COLD (CSU Council Of Library Directors), he was the system-wide coordinator for a visionary strategic planning document, "Transforming CSU Libraries for the 21st Century" in 1994.  He chaired several groups (vendor review, proposal evaluation, management and contract negotiation) associated with the Unified Information Access System, elements of which are manifest in the CSU union catalog, the Pharos resource-sharing system, the Ex Libris meta-searching service (Metalib) and the SFX linking software in use throughout the system.  Before arriving at CSULA as Dean of the Library, Doug worked 26 years at CSU-Northridge, served there as Associate Dean from 1989-1991 and 1992-1995, and as Acting Dean from 1991-1992.

Doug was responsible for the hire of roughly half of the Library faculty currently on campus, including the Education Librarian (Omidsalar), Serials Specialist (Shroyer), Social Sciences Librarian (Salinas), Web Administrator (Yu), Media Services Librarian (Breivold), Reference Services Coordinator (Uyeki), and the Technical Services/Collection Development Librarian (Song); as well as the hire of Associate University Librarian, Cesar Caballero (currently serving as acting Dean).  In his final year or so, Doug laid the groundwork for the positions of Information Literacy Coordinator, (now filled by Catherine Haras), and Digital Services Librarian (now filled by Kristine Ferry). 

Doug will also likely be remembered for some time to come by faculty and library users for the tradition he established of an annual “State of the Library” address to the Academic Senate, his development of the annual “How are We Doing?” survey as a tool for self-assessment in the Library, and for promoting the development of this very newsletter.

-- Ken Ryan / Andrew Shroyer

Update (June 2006)


On May 31, 2006 the Provost announced that Ms. Alice Kawakami (currently serving as head of the College Library at UCLA) has been selected as the new Library Dean (University Librarian) for Cal State LA.  She will be joining us July 5, 2006.  We will feature more about Ms. Kawakami in the next edition of InformL.



Meet Our Newest Library Faculty

Yongyi Song

The Library welcomed our new Technical Services & Collection Development Librarian, Yongyi Song, in September 2004.  Yongyi came to us from Dickinson College (Carlisle PA) where he served as a librarian for area studies and languages as well as head of technical services and cataloging.  Yongyi held previous positions as Chinese bibliographer and cataloger at the East Asian Library, University of Pittsburgh, and as an instructor in comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University.  His degrees are from the Shanghai Institute of Education (BA, Chinese language and literature), the University of Colorado (MA, East Asian Studies) and Indiana University (MLS).

Yongyi is a recognized international expert on current politics in China, the Cultural Revolution, and human rights and intellectual freedom in China.  He is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships and has an impressive publishing record, including numerous books and chapters; peer-reviewed articles in English and Chinese; and many invited lectures, speeches and conference presentations.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the CD-ROM Cultural Revolution Database, a significant collection of primary source documents relating to the Cultural Revolution.  He was twice jailed by Chinese authorities, once during the Cultural Revolution for organizing an underground reading club and again in 1999 for collecting primary sources on the Revolution.  He is the recipient of the 2004 Syracuse University School of Information Studies 21st Century Librarian Award which recognizes librarians who have contributed to shaping the evolution of the world of information (only one other librarian in the nation was so honored!).  He also recently received the 2005 American Library Association’s Paul Howard Award for Courage, based on his persistence in documenting the true history of China’s Cultural Revolution in the face of tremendous opposition from Chinese government authorities.

Yongyi’s responsibilities in the Library include leading the Knowledge Resources Task Force, serving as the Collection Development Librarian, and heading up our Technical Services operations.  Contact Yongyi Song at or extension 3-4884 for assistance regarding Library collection activities, acquisitions, cataloging or other aspects of technical services.

Catherine Haras

In March 2005, we were pleased to welcome Catherine Haras, assuming the position of Information Literacy Coordinator.  In a professional career emphasizing instruction and information literacy development, Catherine previously worked as a reference/instruction librarian (with subject specializations in nursing and criminal justice) at Seattle University; as a reference librarian at Highline College (Des Moines, WA); and most recently as an adjunct faculty member at City University in Seattle.  She holds a BS in journalism and American history from Boston University and an MLIS from the University of Washington.  Catherine also has an impressive background as a professional writer/editor and advertising copywriter.

Working with the Library’s Information Literacy Task Force, Catherine has developed an Information Literacy Plan  for the CSULA campus (herewith, in draft form) intended as a roadmap for the integration of IL concepts and instruction throughout the curriculum and in response to CSU, Cal State L.A. and WASC mandates.  Catherine recently coordinated a summit of information literacy librarians from neighboring community colleges; and spearheaded the establishment of a campus-wide instructional faculty-based IL advisory committee.  She serves as leader of the Library’s Information Literacy Task Force, which is endeavoring to revamp the hundreds of basic instruction sessions given every year to students in the IHE classes (e.g., NSS 101, HHS 301), ENGL 102 and other lower division GE classes. 

Catherine is the Library’s liaison to the Department of Anthropology (NSS), the Department of Political Science (NSS), the campus’s English Language Center and to area high schools. Catherine also serves on the Senate’s Educational Policy Committee, the EPC Curriculum Subcommittee and the EPC Academic Advisement Subcommittee.

Contact Catherine Haras, Information Literacy Coordinator, at or extension 3-5168 for assistance in upgrading your curricula and syllabi to include information literacy concepts and outcomes.

Kristine Ferry

Kristine Ferry joined us in April 2005, assuming the entirely new position of Digital Resources Librarian.  Kristine previously worked as the advanced technologies librarian for the Kresge Business Administration Library at the University of Michigan; and at Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, in Glendale, Arizona.  She holds a BA in French Language and Literature from the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada) and an MS in information from the University of Michigan (with a specialization in human-computer interaction).  Her earlier professional responsibilities have encompassed software design, web design, digital course pack production, electronic reserves, document digitization, table of contents alerting services, document delivery systems and other hi-tech information and library-related projects.

Kristine is now leading the CSULA/JFK Memorial Library’s efforts in several of the above same areas.  She is the Library and the campus’ point person for CSU systemwide initiatives for investigation, planning and acquisition of digital information resources.  Locally, she liaises with the numerous providers of our online information resources, troubleshoots access problems, sets up trials, scrutinizes license agreements and provides instruction on potential or new information resources.  She works with appropriate colleagues and staff to enhance access to, track status of, and evaluate effectiveness of library databases, including digital periodicals content and other types of data.  Within the Library’s Knowledge Resources Task Force, she is a strong participant in evaluating current (often competing) choices among databases, an especially important activity in these times of strained budgets.  She has coordinated implementation of the Library’s new Ingenta document delivery service. In tandem with the Library’s Special Collections unit, Kristine is taking initial steps toward digitization of high-value unique, rare and/or fragile collections, to ensure preservation and wider availability.  Kristine serves in several working groups in the Library involved with information technology, digital resources, library automation and the Library Web.

Kristine is the Library’s liaison to the Department of Computer Science (ECST) and the Department of Information Systems (BE). 

Contact Kristine Ferry, Digital Resources Librarian, at or extension 3-6093 for assistance in matters relating to digital information access and library technology.

--Ken Ryan



New Library Projects / Services

Document Delivery Service for Faculty & Graduate Students

Ingenta Document Delivery is a new service provided by the University Library to CSULA faculty and graduate students.  Here you can be provided with electronic document delivery (or in some cases Fax/Ariel delivery) of your choices among about 11 million articles from over 20,000 journals.  Ingenta thus offers a means of expanding your access to current, scholarly research, particularly in those situations where the Library lacks local holdings and you “cannot wait” for our standard InterLibrary Loan (ILL) services to provide an article.  In addition, you can set up personal “electronic research alerts” in Ingenta to harvest the most up-to-date research information within your chosen topics.  Following set-up, citations from your favorite journals and in your areas of interest are emailed to you. 

Go to: to access Ingenta and to find detailed instructions for set-up.  For more information about this new service, please contact Kristine Ferry (


Online Music Reserves

The library's Music & Media Center (MMC) has launched a new service of special interest to Music Department faculty, Online Music Reserves.  Now in addition to traditional course music reserves (placing music CDs on reserve in the MMC) faculty can also have musical selections digitized so that students can access their music listening lists online at any time and from any place.  Students access the music clips through the library's electronic reserve (ERes) system using a password, and listen to the music via the campus Real Audio Server.  For more information about this new service, please visit the MMC's Online Music Reserves page.


24/7 "Ask Now" Online Reference

Did you know that you can remotely get help from librarians, whether your need is for immediate, brief reference help or more in-depth advice on research strategies?

When you follow the "Ask Now" button from the Library's home page, this puts you in touch with a librarian somewhere in CA or the U.S. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, hence the headline). Once online, most questions can be answered in 5-15 minutes. "Ask Now" is devoted to brief, factual questions. An example: "What does the D in D-Day stand for?". Should the question require research, the librarian may suggest a strategy or possible sources of information to get you started.

The "Ask-A-Librarian" page, which you can also access from the footer on the Library's home page, provides the gateway for students to ask questions via email, phone, or the "Ask Now" service.  Remote reference help is intended to help students become self-sufficient in their research endeavors. It provides advice on research with suggestions of resources and search strategies. A typical inquiry might be: "Where would I begin to look for information on... [a particular topic]? I have already looked in ... [the usual resources], but where else might I go? Does the library have a subject specialist for this area?"


Electronic Thesis (Pilot) Project

The ETP (Electronic Thesis Project) pilot is a campus-wide program designed to make available master's theses and projects online. Students will have the option of submitting an electronic document in addition to the currently required paper version. Students interested in this option should consult with their department. The program began with Fall 2005 submissions. 

Students will be asked to submit their thesis in PDF format so it can be made available via the web.  Certain computers in the library and computer labs will be equipped with Adobe software for converting documents to PDF.  For additional information about this project, you may contact the University Thesis Coordinator, Yvonne Hasegawa:


Online Information Literacy Tutorial

A new web-based Information Literacy Tutorial for students has been developed, "The Research Survival Guide."  This self-paced online tutorial was developed by librarians Scott Breivold, Chisa Uyeki, and Romelia Salinas.  The team was also ably assisted by aspiring librarians from the Library and Information Studies Program at UCLA, serving as interns here at Cal State LA at that time.  The tutorial is an adaptation of Western Michigan University's "Searchpath" which in turn was based upon "TILT" the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial developed by the University of Texas digital library project. 

The CSULA tutorial team wanted their version of the tutorial to present the information in a fun and visually interesting way to engage students in the content.  Survival on a tropical island was the chosen theme which drives the characters and visuals throughout the tutorial.  The content is divided into sections (chapters) including an online tour of the library; topics & sources; tools & searching; critical evaluation; and citing & copyright. 

Designed to teach basic library and research skills, it can be used by students for independent learning or by faculty who may wish to use it as a pre-requisite to a course-integrated  library instruction session.   Catherine Haras (our new Information Literacy Coordinator) and Scott Breivold (who led the tutorial development team) are currently working on fine-tuning the tutorial content and exploring new ways to make it more interactive.  They are pilot-testing the tutorial in certain introductory-level courses to learn more about how the tutorial can be used to enhance our 
in-person information literacy instruction and reach our growing distance-learner population.

The tutorial is still under development, but can be viewed via the library's web site at this address:


Collection Development Guidelines

Collection Development (evaluating and selecting appropriate books, periodicals, and electronic resources for library acquisition) is one of the important responsibilities shared by Library Faculty.  Faculty Selectors/Bibliographers are given subject areas based on their educational background, experience, expertise, and interests.  The Library's Knowledge Resources Task Force (KRTF) oversees the Collection Development process, develops policies and procedures, etc.  Recently KRTF coordinated the development of written Collection Development Guidelines for all subject areas.  The guidelines (written by the Selector/Bibliographers) provide an overview of each subject area and define the scope and level of collection development they deem appropriate for each. 

The new Guidelines can be viewed via the library's web site at this address:

If you have questions or suggestions regarding the Library's Collection Development policies, guidelines, procedures, etc. please contact our Collection Development/Technical Services Librarian:  Yongyi Song (x3-4884)

Enhanced Software for Locating Periodicals

The library has purchased and just completed full implementation of "Serials Solutions."  This product provides a comprehensive list of our journals in both electronic and print formats with enhanced search capabilities.  Users can now browse the list by title, search by keyword(s), or browse by subject areas.  To facilitate a seamless transition, the library web team integrated the new product into the existing "Journal Title Search" page of our online catalog:

New Electronic Resources

The library's Knowledge Resource Task Force is continually evaluating new article & reference databases, etc. to consider adding them to our growing collection of online resources.  To learn about new databases and other resources that have recently been acquired, visit our "What's New?" page (the link can be found in the cascading menu on the library home page) anytime to read a description and/or access the new resources.   You will also find a link to any "trial" databases that are currently under evaluation. 



We Asked, You Told - Highlights from Our Annual "How Are We Doing?" Survey

The good news is that a significant number of the respondents to our annual Library user opinion survey felt that we are doing pretty good, especially in the areas of customer service, giving personal help and instruction, and providing a growing collection of electronic resources.  The bad news is that, of the things survey respondents felt we are not doing so well, too few are easily fixed.

For example, some students complain that the materials that we have aren't adequate to support their studies, that they are out-of-date or unavailable.  Limited by a tight materials budget, we do try to purchase the most relevant items needed to support CSULA academic programs.  Of course, with many competing choices, we are not always able to procure the latest (text) book published on a given topic. Items that are not available in our Library, however, can often be located at another library in the general vicinity when you follow the link on the Library’s home page from “Doing Research” to “Area Libraries”.  Some students, and most faculty, surveyed are quite familiar with the process of inter-library loan (ILL), but many do not use this free and generally speedy service to get needed materials.  Our new Ingenta document delivery service (see related item in this issue) should prove a useful supplement to the ILL service for faculty and graduate students, as well.

Many students indicated that we do not have enough computers in the Library and that the ones we do have are inadequately updated.   While campus computers, such as those in the Library, electronic classrooms and open access labs, are refreshed/replaced on a scheduled basis to take advantage of later technologies, the cycle time for this is currently four to five years--again due to limited budgets.  In a related technological area, many students strongly urged that the Library install wireless Internet capabilities, noting that this capability should actually be campus-wide.  The Library is working with Information Technology Services (ITS) to upgrade our technology to include more advanced computers, Internet connections and wireless Internet access.

Some "creature comfort" matters were important to our students and faculty, too.  Suggestions for more aesthetically appealing surroundings, more lounge chairs and small meeting areas, better lighting, better controlled air conditioning, more study rooms, less noise (especially from cell phones), and the like were made by survey respondents.  The Library has a space planning committee and an aesthetics committee who are working to improve allocation of space within our very large facility, and to improve on the aesthetic appeal of various public areas.  Library Monitors patrol regularly to remind users to abide by cell phone use (and food) policies.  Within the limits of our rather old facility, we do strive to make our environment a pleasant, safe and secure one for our thousands of users.

As soon as all of the survey information has been compiled and organized, summary results of the latest survey will be posted on the Library Web.  Annual surveys will continue to be taken, providing us with trends in user satisfaction over time, and valuable input regarding our services, collections, technological infrastructure and facility.  It is our sincere hope to accomplish continual improvement in all these areas.

If you have concerns about the Library or any specific suggestions for improvement, please direct your comments to Ken Ryan or 3-4943.

--Ken Ryan



De-Selection Project Underway 

Maintaining a high quality academic library collection requires the periodic removal (referred to in the library profession as "de-selection" or "weeding") of irrelevant, outdated, worn-out and superseded materials. However, for decades (in fact, since the opening of the Library), we have not undertaken a systematic weeding of our book collection simply because of the daunting size of our collection, currently over a million volumes. To remedy this, over Fall Quarter 2005, the Library's Knowledge Resources Task Force developed our "Library De-selection Guidelines" and "Weeding Working Plan". With the cooperation of you, the instructional faculty, and the Library's subject specialists, an initial subject-specific weeding project resulted in the discard of nearly 500 outdated or otherwise inappropriate books in the area of telecommunications, in December 2005. Already underway now is the review of about 3,000 books in computer science. The overall project will progress through other subject areas over the next two to three years, under the direction of the Collection Development Librarian.

A journal collection refinement project has also been recently completed.  The Library made some difficult choices over Spring-Summer 2005 in order to maximize the purchasing power of our limited budget for materials. After a careful review of our print journals, we eliminated 300 titles which are also available to users online.  We felt this would have a minimal effect on users.  Most of the resulting cancellations took effect with the end of calendar year 2005.

-- Yongyi Song



Andrew Shroyer
Web design/graphics:  Scott Breivold

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