September 9, 2002 Vol. VII, No. 2



Library Wins $1.6M Grant for Latino Research Skills

Five-Year U.S. Department of Education Grant Aims to Improve Student Success

Cal State Northridge's library has been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to bolster student success by strengthening the library's outreach to the Latino community.

The CSUN project, "Improving Student Success Through Strengthening Library Collections, Archives and Information Competence," received the grant through the department's Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) program.

The project is designed to demonstrate that students write better research papers, achieve better grades and have a higher rate of overall achievement when they increase their library usage and develop information research skills.

Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester said the university is honored to receive the grant. "We only want one thing-for our students to achieve their dreams. This grant will help many students on the path to success," the president said.

"The grant supports several of CSUN's goals. We are deeply committed to student achievement. We are committed to being an intellectual and cultural resource in the community. And we are committed to supporting the diversity of our students," Koester added.

Library Dean Susan Curzon (right) said the project has three objectives. The first is to increase Latino students' library use and research skills by expanding the library's collection of books, journals, electronic resources, media and teacher curriculum materials related to Latino history, social sciences and culture.

The second objective is for the library to acquire, digitize and improve the accessibility of primary archival materials related to Latino individuals and organizations in the San Fernando Valley area and other areas within Los Angeles.

The third goal focuses on measuring the impact of instruction by librarians on student information competence skills, a goal of the university's overall general education program.

"Information competence-which is the set of skills needed to find, evaluate, use and produce information in today's many formats-is essential for student success," Curzon said.

The federal grant will provide $1.6 million over five years, about 82 percent of the project's nearly $2 million total budget. Curzon said the remaining funds will come from university resources.

Under federal guidelines, Hispanic Serving Institutions are those with undergraduate full-time equivalent enrollments that are at least 25 percent Hispanic, with at least half of those students considered low-income. CSUN had a Latino enrollment of 30 percent in fall 2001.


@csun | September 9, 2002 issue
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