Uncovering Hidden Teaching Treasures of the CSUN Oviatt Library

  • Tables inside the TCC. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • Puppets and hands-on resources available in the TCC. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • Mara Houydshell, the director of the TCC, and a student. Photo by Lee Choo.

The mission of California State University Northridge’s Delmar T. Oviatt Library is to support the diverse information needs of CSUN’s academic community through the delivery of relevant library resources and services. With students, faculty and staff flowing through at all hours of the day, the Oviatt is hardly hidden to the community.

However, covertly located on the garden level of the Oviatt Library, the Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC) is home to the K-12 curriculum materials library for CSUN. It serves as a resource for instructional materials to students, faculty and community educators.

“By providing resources that help lay out and create lesson plans for use in the K-12 classroom, such as teacher-edition textbooks and curriculum guides, the TCC collection directly benefits its users by allowing them to borrow materials for short-term use that they might otherwise have to purchase themselves,” said Mara Houdyshell, director of the Teacher Curriculum Center.

The development of critical thinking and research skills are crucial components that will prepare students for lifelong success in the digital age. Partnerships with CSUN faculty and staff in the education of students enhance the availability of supplemental resources that incorporate hands-on learning for children who are visual learners.

The TCC specializes in providing access to both print and non-print materials that are used within elementary and secondary school settings. Exemplifying CSUN’s commitment to diversity, the center accommodates those who are visually impaired by providing the entire collection of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series in Braille.

The English-language arts and development resources, along with the math and science resources, are closely monitored by the center’s staff to ensure it has approved and credible resources for students, faculty and the community alike.

“We strive to meet the needs of our student teachers, working with local schools,” said Gabriel Castañeda, the TCC’s supervisor. “For example, the Common Core standards have been recently implemented. Our librarian is ordering new textbooks with that in mind.”

Oviatt staff work closely with local schools to make sure the TCC has the approved and adopted materials that they are currently using. These course materials, such as the latest editions of “California Treasures and Contemporary Classics” textbooks, are resources that include vocabulary lists, lecture outlines that focus on literary themes and motifs, as well as worksheets to accompany and reinforce the lesson plans.

Course materials are also available in various languages including Spanish, German and Japanese.

The center aspires to provide students, faculty and staff with authentic reproductions of approved teaching materials, and to make these materials available to the San Fernando Valley community. For a $25 annual fee, anyone can become a TCC member. As a community user one has complete access to everything the TCC has to offer. This is an ideal method to access materials for local student-teachers and those who homeschool their children. The resources are available for all users to check out and even take home. Undergraduate students have a two-week checkout period while graduate students have a four-week rental period.

The checkout access includes — but is not limited to — games and hands-on materials available within the center. Puppets, board games for all ages and hula-hoops are just a few of the items available from the center.

Aside from having staff readily available to help patrons find supplemental items to assist them, the center has begun to increase its on-campus visibility by creating a “road show,” or an in-classroom overview of what the TCC has to offer. For more information about the TCC, please visit http://library.csun.edu/Collections/TCC.

The Oviatt Library is home to Northridge’s academic community, delivering credible library resources to support teaching and learning for CSUN faculty and students alike. The Oviatt Library serves as the main research facility in the San Fernando Valley.

The library is located at the center of the CSUN campus at 18111 Nordhoff Street. Parking is $6, and daily permits may be purchased at kiosks, information booths or in advance online at The Permit Store at https://www.thepermitstore.com/csun/event/. For more information about all library events please visit the Exhibitions and Events at http://library.csun.edu/events or call (818) 677-2638.