CSUN gets new black studies database

Kristen Whitehurst

Instruction was given to students and faculty on the use of a new database by ProQuest at the Sierra Center Friday.

Representatives introduced the new database, called the Black Studies Center, which enables students to conduct searches for online material related to black culture.

The database, a part of the ProQuest database, has been added as an Oviatt Library resource, enabling students to search essays, scholarly articles and historical documents using three internal resources.

Students can access the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, the International Index to Black Periodicals, and the historical black newspaper The Chicago Defender, which includes full text of articles from 1935 through 1975.

Lynn Lampert, the chair of reference and instructional services at the Oviatt Library, said she wanted the database at CSUN because there was not a resource available that was tailored to research of black culture and individuals. Lampert, who has worked with the Pan African Studies department since 2001, requested funds to get the database a few years ago.

Faculty say they are excited about having the resource available to students.

“If we can reach out to other areas with the database, then we are doing our job,” said librarian Eric Garcia of Reference and Instructional Services.

“It extends the mission of the university significantly,” said Tom Spencer-Walters, chair of the Pan African Studies department, adding that this type of database allows the university to foster diversity.

Walters said he was proud of the way the presentation turned out, commenting on the room full of students present.

“I was very pleased with the turnout today and happy my faculty responded to the call,” he said.