Last Chance to Register for the Library Research Basics Workshop

Don’t miss your chance to attend the Library Research Basics workshop! The last one for the quarter will be held on Tuesday, March 10, from 4:00 to 4:50 pm.

Meant for those new to CSUSB, or for those who could simply use a refresher, this workshop provides an introduction to resources available through John M. Pfau Library. This session addresses why it is necessary to use the deep web for scholarly research, and attendees learn how to navigate the library website, find online journal articles, locate books, and get research help. This workshop is 50 minutes long and takes place in Pfau Library, room 2005.

Registration is required, as space is limited. Register now on our workshop calendar.

Posted in Workshops

5 Bestselling Books Library Display

5 Bestselling books assembled

The Pfau Library has a new display on our 1st floor that highlights five bestselling books we own.  We hope you will discover an interesting new book to read!  Please check the Pfau Library Catalog for current availability.

The first book is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? Featured Books (1st Floor) PS3606 .L935 G66 2012; more copies on the 4th Floor at the same call number; and Audio Books (Check-Out Desk 1st Floor) # 10,705.

The second book is Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  From 1854 to 1929, orphaned East Coast children were loaded onto trains that took them to the Midwest, West Coast, Canada, and Mexico.  Upon arrival, they were displayed for families interested in adopting them.  One of the book’s main characters, Vivian Daly, now an old woman, was one of those children.  She meets Molly Ayer, a teen who is “aging out” of the foster care system.  Together, they discover answers to mysteries that have haunted Vivian her entire life—answers that will free them both. On order, available soon.

The third book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Reunited after six years of separation during WWII, Claire Beauchamp Randall and her husband, Frank, decide to go to the Scottish Highlands for a second honeymoon to get re-acquainted. One day, Claire goes for a walk by herself and comes across a circle of standing stones. Not thinking much of them, Claire decides to walk right through them and is transported to the 18th century, in the year 1743! Restricted, 1stfloor PS3557.A022 098 1991.

The fourth book is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, inspired by the 1936 U.S. Men’s Olympics where an eight-oar crew won an Olympic gold medal. These men were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers. They defeated eastern and British universities and the Germans who were rowing for Adolf Hitler. Along the way they won the hearts of millions of Americans. The book describes the journey of the entire team, but it features one rower in particular, Joe Rantz. Having no family, Rantz rows to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. 5th Floor GV796 .B76 2013b.

The final book is Burn by James Patterson. This is the seventh book of detective Michael Bennett’s adventures.  Bennett’s efforts have brought down the ruthless crime lord he’s been hiding his family from. Returning home to New York he and his family settle in, but it seems as if a safe life isn’t in the picture. Bennett receives a disturbance call about a party being held in a condemned building that he dismisses. And then a charred body is found in the very same building!  Featured Books (1st Floor) PS3566 .A822 B87 2014.

If you have questions or would like to know more, please contact Iwona Contreras at (909) 537-3447 or

Posted in Exhibits & Displays

Movie Reviews: The Intouchables

Movie Reviews: North By North LesThe Intouchables

Five stars.

2011, 112 mins., directed and written by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.


A crowd-pleasing film which broke box office records in its native France, and across Europe, it’s based on a true story of a paraplegic millionaire who seeks a caregiver who will not pity him, treat him with respect, and assist him with his daily needs. Stars Francois Cluzet (Tell No One) as Philippe, the millionaire, and Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Driss, the streetwise West African ex-con. The unlikely pair clash early and often, but soon become close, learning from one another, and helping each other reclaim their humanity. Humorous and heart-warming. Don’t miss this one!  See the record for The Intouchables.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews

CSU Library Stacks Announcement

Text booksCal State San Bernardino has partnered with OpenStax College, a Rice University-based textbook initiative that offers both free and low-cost digital access and printing options that have helped students reduce book costs by more than $30 million. Over the past three years, the textbooks available through OpenStax have been adopted by faculty who teach more than 1,100 introductory courses worldwide.

Funded by the Michelson Twenty Million Minds Foundation (20MM), the initiative is part of the foundation’s commitment to investing in technologies aimed at lowering the cost of education.

Since 2002, the cost of textbooks has risen 82 percent, outpacing the Consumer Price Index nearly threefold, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.  Rising textbook costs have become an impediment for many students pursuing higher education, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  Equally concerning, a study by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance found that, each year, 200,000 qualified students choose not to enroll in college due to prohibitive textbook prices.

“We are pleased to partner with OpexStax College. This valuable and timely program will increase affordability of textbooks, saving students a considerable amount of money on course materials,” said Cesar Caballero, dean of the John M. Pfau Library.  “It will also expand access to high-quality, peer-reviewed academic resources that are more flexible and adaptable, thereby enriching both student learning and faculty instruction. We encourage faculty to review the textbooks and other academic materials offered through OpenStax College.”

This fall, OpenStax pilot programs ran successfully at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ohio State University, Auburn University, Virginia Tech University, and the University of Oklahoma.

For questions or more information about OpenStax College, please contact Lisa Bartle at (909) 537-7552 or

Posted in Ebooks, Library Services

New information literacy videos

Are your students working on research assignments? Curious about how information works?

We’ve added new information literacy videos! Learn about the deep web, popular and scholarly sources, the information cycle, peer review, open access, and information economics. These are great to show in class or share in online learning environments.

To access these and our full collection of online videos, check out our tutorial list or visit the Pfau Library YouTube channel.

As always, librarians are available to support you and your students in a variety of ways! Learn more about library instruction.

Posted in Library Services

Movie Reviews: August Rush

Movie Reviews: North By North LesAugust Rush

Three stars.

2007, 114 mins., directed by Kirsten Sheridan.


A fairy tale of a movie, loosely based on the book, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. Musically gifted orphan, August Rush, played by Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) runs away, ending up on the streets of New York City in hopes of locating his long lost parents, Lyla, played by Keri Russell (The Americans) and Louis, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors). Lyla was a promising, Juillard-trained cellist, when she met Louis, lead singer in a rock band, a one-night stand and a pregnancy ensued. The lovers failed to meet again. Lyla was told by her controlling father after giving birth in the hospital that she lost her baby. In reality, her father forged her signature on papers giving up the child, so that her career would not be ruined. Both Lyla and Louis have since given up their musical lives. Meanwhile, August is taken in by the Wizard, played by the late Robin Williams, who exploits street kids’ musical talents to make a quick buck. The Wizard gives the orphan his new name upon seeing a passing truck with the words, “August Rush,” written on the side in an ad. During the course of the film, August exhibits a flair for playing the guitar, writing music, playing a church organ, as well as conducting – all without any formal musical education! And, of course, he ends up at Juillard, and his rhapsody composition is selected to be performed in Central Park. A happy ending ensues, when by chance, both Lyla and Louis end up at the performance, reunited.  See the record for August Rush.

Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection.  The opinions expressed are his alone.

Posted in Movie Reviews

Jazz Lecture

Jazz saxophoneAfrican American Artists and the Evolution of the Tenor Saxophone

Wed., February 25, 2015
Noon in PL-4005

Presented by: Robert Knop

Join us for a lecture & demonstration of the jazz styles of prominent Jazz Artists 1940-2000 performed on the tenor saxophone.  The rise of the tenor saxophone as a preeminent improvisational voice in big band, combo, smooth, and contemporary jazz evolved in part from the creative work of Black artists whose styles will be demonstrated, and performed. Artists included: Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Grover Washington Jr.

If you have questions or would like to know more about the upcoming event, please contact Iwona Contreras at (909) 537-3447 or

Posted in Lectures & Presentations

Midterm ENERGY!

coffe cup

FREE Coffee and Granola Bars
for the first 500 people each day

February 9-12
7:30 p.m. – Midnight

Location: Cafe au Lib

Stop by and help yourself!

If you have questions or would like to know more about upcoming events, please email Iwona Contreras at or call (909)537-3447.

Posted in Cafe au Lib Events

Black History Exhibit

exhibit display casemore of the exhibit documentsWHEN: February 1-March 3, 2015

WHERE: Located on the 1st floor

About the Exhibit: The years following the Civil War between 1865-1877 are known as the Reconstruction in the United States of America. After the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed, the north and south turned a blind eye as Jim Crow Laws were passed and enforced to keep former slaves from exercising their voting rights. With many lives being affected, this exhibit showcases original primary source documents from the period. Harper’s Weekly was the most popular newspaper during the Civil War, and it featured stunning illustrations, and in-depth stories on all the important people and events of the war. Exhibit will be available for viewing February 1-March 3, 2015

If you have any questions or would like to know more about about upcoming events please email Iwona Contreras at or call (909) 537-5102.

Posted in Exhibits & Displays

Franchise Movies of 2015 Exhibit

franchise movies exhibit case

With the impressive list of highly anticipated sequels coming this year, 2015 will go down in the books as the best year of franchise players.  Here is a partial list:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Fast & Furious 7
  • Jurassic World
  • Terminator: Genisys
  • Fantastic Four 3D*
  • Spectre (James Bond)
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
  • Mission: Impossible 5

According to a Fandango poll, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, tops their list of Most Anticipated 2015 Movies followed by Avengers: Age of Ulton.  While you are eagerly awaiting these new movies, stop by the Pfau Library and see our exhibit located on the first floor by the staircase just past the elevators.

*Can’t get enough of the Fantastic Four? Our Special Collections Department in PL-4005 has some Fantastic Four comic books (and other comic books) available for your reading pleasure. We invite you to stop by for a visit!

Thank you for supporting the Library!

If you have any question or would like to know more about about upcoming events please email Iwona Contreras at or call (909) 537-5102.

Posted in Exhibits & Displays