The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Community gathers at Oviatt Library to celebrate the life of librarian Karin Duran

Guests wrote testimonials for the late professor Karin Duran at the event dedicated to the celebration of her life on Tuesday at the Oviatt Library. Photo Credit: Natalia Bereznyuk

Oviatt Library staff, students, community members, organizations, colleagues and family of the late CSUN librarian Karin Durán gathered together to celebrate her life.

Durán, who passed away June 11 as a result of complications from a stroke worked as a librarian at CSUN since 1972.

“Karin wanted a party with ‘6

0s music so we are honoring her request,” said Susan Curzon, dean of university library. “The Oviatt Library, to the campus, to the professional world of libraries and to the many community organizations in which she participated are gathered to remember her.”

Curzon said that during Durán’s 38 years of working on  campus, she had many different responsibilities, including some in the Teacher Curriculum Center.

“She also acted as the interim associate dean in 2005 and as acting department chair during some of the earthquake recovery period,” Curzon said. “She loved her various responsibilities and this showed in the high quality of her work.”

With colorful paper mache flowers set on display tables and old record covers hanging on the walls, Durán’s loved ones gathered in the Oviatt Library’s presentation room Tuesday to celebrate her life.

Tacos and quesadillas were served while people reunited and mingled as they reminisced on their good times with Durán.

Tables with memory books were set up for attendees to write their favorite memories of Durán.

The event also included a performance by 10-year-old Ricardo Paz, a Mexican regional singer who has appeared in numerous Spanish television shows.

Vanessa Uribe, a business major who works in the library, danced a folkloric ballet.

A group of students dressed in 1960s attire danced to “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the film “Hairspray,” one of Durán’s favorite movies.

After the performances, Durán’s widower Richard said he appreciated everyone who worked hard on the event.

He added that everyone who worked at CSUN meant so much to her and are a part of their family.

“The school meant so much to her, and she meant a lot to all of us,” he said.

Durán served on a variety of committees and initiatives including Honors Convocation, University 100, the Teachers Education Council and the Education Doctorate Advisory Board, and as an advisor to the Gamma Alpha Omega sorority, among many other activities.

Various groups and organizations such as La Raza Alumni, REFORMA and CARL, the Chicano studies department on campus, and Comision Feminil of San Fernando Valley were present at the event.

As pictures of Durán were shown in a PowerPoint presentation, Lory Wheeler, member of Comision Femenil, said she enjoyed going back to those days.

“Karin was always in the background, never in the front of all those pictures, but when it came to giving a helping hand, she was always first row,” Wheeler said.

Maria Reza, member of Comision Femenil, said Durán taught her so many things.

“A real warrior for social justice does not always have to scream and holler, but that’s not what Karin taught me,” Reza said. “She taught me that a real warrior for social justice can also have manners, grace and dignity.”

Randy Vitangcol, Durán’s student assistant, remembers her as a classy and elegant woman.

“She was a wonderful lady that I had the pleasure of knowing for five years since I started working in the Teacher Curriculum Center,” Vitangcol said. “She had so much to do and not enough time to do it.”

Vitangcol added Durán was dedicated, professional, committed to students and always willing to be a member of the team.

“Her personal dignity, her deep respect for others, her generous nature and her sincere wish for everyone to do well were the hallmarks of her character,” Curzon said. “We will miss her very much.”

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