Campus: CSU Northridge -- August 2, 2002

CSUN Library Awarded $1.6 Million Grant by Feds

Funds Project to Strengthen Latino Student Research Skills

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 project, "Improving Student Success Through Strengthening Library Collections, Archives and Information Competence," received the grant through the Department of Education's Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Program, which is authorized under Title V of the Higher Education Act.

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 their information research skills.

Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester said it was an honor to receive the award.
"The grant supports several of Cal State Northridge's major goals," Koester said. "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."
Susan C. Curzon, dean of the university's library, 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, Curzon said, is that the library will acquire, digitize and improve accessibility of primary archival materials related to Latino individuals and organizations in the San Fernando Valley area and other areas within Los Angeles.

"Archives offer a wealth of primary research materials," she said. "Student use of these collections contributes to the depth of cited resources and the quality of students' research projects."

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 Department of Education grant will give the university $1,610,951 over the course of five years, or about 82 percent of the total cost of the project which is budgeted at $1,956,671. Curzon said the remaining money will come out of the university's budget.

"We only want one thing—for our students to achieve their dreams," Koester said. "This grant will help many students on the path to success."

Hispanic Serving Institutions are defined as having an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic, and assures that not less than 50 percent of these students are low-income individuals.

Of the 31,448 students enrolled at Cal State Northridge in fall 2001, 30 percent were Latino.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler( 818) 677-2130

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