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Photo of Hayden Library construction site, showing the lobby of Level 1, with the original columns in the foreground and the new elevator shaft in the background
The original lobby in transition, with the new elevator shafts visible at the back.
We do monthly walkthroughs of rising Hayden with the contractors, partly to make sure we’re well informed and there are no surprises later on, but partly just because it’s good to see the work getting done.  At the present time, there are about 180 workers on site in the course of a week and we are probably pretty close to the maximum rate of expenditure.  The ASU project manager Bill Johns, who really is the Ike of this D-Day, didn’t have his spreadsheets handy when I asked, but guesses we’re doing about $4 million a month in expenditure right now. 

So how much, I asked him, did it cost to take out the old ‘clerestory’ and fill in both the ground level opening and then the one that used to connect lower concourse with lower level.  Oh, he said, looking at a colleague while they both calculated, about half a million dollars.  Bargain! I said – taking out that excrescence will give us a spreading terrace (with good wifi) and a handsome approach to the revived main entrance of the building.  I’d been afraid that was a big additional expenditure, but to get a signature architectural success, it’s cheap.

Progress continues on all floors.  Most notable to the naked eye is the advance of the elevator shafts.  Where a month ago there had been a gaping watch-your-step hole between top and bottom of the building, now the masonry is in place and you can see where the elevators will be.  Electrical conduit, piping, flooring, ceilings – all are in play.  Outside the south moat is filled in and covered, while the east moat is ready for its next step after they finished burying a giant water holding tank below the level of the old moat.  That tank is designed to have rainwater funneled to it in our summer downpours, then it’s open at the bottom to allow the water to return naturally to the aquifer.  Arizona’s a little short on storm sewer systems so other means need to be found.  (I used to spend a fair amount of time in Qatar in my old life, so I noticed that most of their schools and public buildings were closed for two days this week because they got a year’s rain – 2.5 inches – in one day and there were no drains to handle it and plenty of road underpasses to fill up.)

Photo of the roof of Hayden Library, showing the masonry for the top of the new elevator shafts in a sea of solar panels.
The roof of Hayden, showing the top of the new elevator shaft peaking out in the sea of solar panels.
We also had a chance this month to see the forest of solar cells on the roof of Hayden, still in operation and staying in operation for the whole duration of the project except one weekend when the electrical equipment they connect to will need to be moved.

Best news of all is a change in design.  You may remember that on the north side of Hayden there have been three levels of paving.  At the bottom was the library moat, at the top the walkway passing between Hayden and the Social Science building.  But between, there was a weird half-level walkway with rough stone planters and the occasional uncomfortable bench.  That level will now be brought up to grade level, the paving all redone of course, and so that with the old walkway will give a much wider space, a plaza of its own, facilitating foot traffic but also, on the shadiest side of the building, allowing another outdoor space sure to be popular with staff and students.  The north moat will remain, probably to be called a plaza as well, with an entrance to the building at the old upper concourse level, so that end of the building will be much livelier and better traveled than ever.

And they’re ahead of schedule, at least a little.

Jim O'Donnell
University Librarian

Photo of the construction area of Hayden Library showing the holes cut in the floors on Levels 4 and 3 for the new elevator core.
New openings in the floors on Levels 4 and 3 for the new elevator core.
The work on Hayden tower is just short of six months old and making excellent progress.  I have put together an album of the photos taken on this week’s formal walkabout:  August 17, 2018 Renovation Walk Through .  Two points of news.

First, looking forward, there will be a short period now when the construction area on the main level of Hayden ’89 (the ‘lower concourse’) will have to be extended further even than it is now.  This will involve some significant disruption of working habits for students looking to use computers particularly.  We will staff this to help people still get their work done and to be aware of other opportunities.  (The space we will be using in Armstrong Hall for this academic year and next is particularly important for this.)  The purpose is pretty direct:  very heavy concrete work will be going on over that space and best practice directs that we protect the space until the people, the construction tools, and the concrete mixers are out of the way.

Second, we sent out notes last week when we had a water invasion into Hayden ’89 from the construction side.  I’m happy to say that the total number of books requiring conservation intervention is in the low to middle two figures and the risk of repetition has significantly reduced.  The period of real vulnerability is almost over.  What happened was the classic ‘perfect storm’.  On one hand, the structure of the old clerestory was being removed and the existing construction joining the ’89 and ’66 wings was at maximum exposure:  that will close up very soon.  On the other hand, we had a truly amazing monsoon rain storm beginning at about midnight.  Estimates are that something like 3.5 inches of rain fell in thirty minutes, preceded by high winds that had ripped some of the protective structures out of place.  Water penetrated in the areas of C41 and the new stacks on the lower level and on the lowest level in the area of the bookstacks.  Construction supervisors came on site as the storm was finishing and worked with remediation specialists all night.  As of this past week, significant plastic protection was still in place in all the areas where books could be exposed and we will continue to review the need until we are certain that conditions have stabilized and normal protection against the elements restored.  It helps to know that in none of the affected areas do library materials actually reach the floor – there is always a gap, so when water spreads soaking carpet, e.g., the books can escape all contact. 

Photo from inside level 2 of Hayden Library looking out, showing the progress being made to enclose the moat on the south west corner of the building.
Taken from inside Level of Hayden Library, showing the progress being made to enclose the moat on the south west corner of the building.

Obviously this is not something we foresaw or want to repeat.  After our walkabout this week, I’m confident that we have measures now in place and I’m grateful to all who participated in the intervention and restoration from this. 

And we got a bonus.  After the storm, there was also water invasion in our Reflection Room on the lowest level of ’89, well away from where the other water came.  Given the timing and given the history of small leaks in Hayden ’89, we assumed rain was the culprit.  But with all the other problems, we got more attention for the problem than usual and it now appears that the cause was unrelated – in fact, likely a very small (to the eye) water problem in the kitchen of Charlie’s café, dismissed as trivial by the staff there but in fact dripping down through the floor and into the space below.  We think we can solve this problem once and for all quickly now.

The photos in my album will show that there is much more progress:  removal of the clerestory, opening floors for the new elevator core, opening the outside walls on the first and second floor where the old granite (preserved for other use) will be replaced by glass, giving us a much opener and brighter space.  It is just beginning to be possible to see something of what the new space will be like.

Jim O’Donnell, University Librarian

8/18/18

We did the monthly walk-through of Hayden Library Tower and surrounds, with great progress on all sides. Almost all demolition is done and active construction is charging ahead, with something like 150 workers on site. 

For this month’s album with some small comments, see https://photos.app.goo.gl/3ozDgmdsUbWds9dh8

The main news is that it’s getting possible to see how the first and second floor will feel when we blow out the exterior walls and replace them with glass: a much brighter, airier space for all. And this was the last chance to visit the clerestory/caboose that was erected in 1989 between Hayden and the new entrance. That will be demolished starting next week, mainly at night, and it will be very noisy – concrete and steel don’t go quietly. But its disappearance will enable construction of a wide and pleasant plaza around the west and south sides of the building that will be a striking amenity for the campus and an extension of our common space in the future. (The exterior elevator to Hayden 89 is currently closed and work is advancing to replace it; we expect reopening in a small number of weeks.  In the meantime, patrons and staff with mobility issues are being accommodated in other ways:  if you have an issue, do not hesitate to ask.)

My main other lesson from this trip was that the construction business is vastly different from what I remember in my childhood days watching construction projects with fascination. Three huge differences: 

(1) The arrival of digital technology and the consequent detail and accuracy and precision of the work that can be done. We see that in a hundred places, most of all when the contractors have surprises from before. In principle, contractors leave behind “as built” drawings to show what they did, not just what the architects intended them to do. But each of our walk-throughs has had reports of surprises, things the current workers discovered that just weren’t in the plans:  some for the better, some for the – slightly expensive – worse. Meanwhile now, there are computers everywhere even in the building and the construction trailer across Orange Mall is a hive of people working to manage the myriad details in ways that couldn’t have been possible 50 years ago. 

(2) I remember how for a long time, we all resisted using seat belts in cars, even when we had them. The memory makes me want to ask just how dumb I was, thinking it was cool to tuck the belts out of the way and go roaring off down the road. We’ve gotten beyond that. In the same way, the big brawny he-man construction workers of long ago have given way to a much smarter generation, some still brawny but all smarter, not just using but happy to be using a variety of forms of safety equipment and managing to a safety discipline as important to them as seat belts are to automobile passengers. 

(3) Recycling:  in a similar vein, there’s intense attention being given to managing the demolition and byproducts of construction to ensure that everything that can be possibly be extracted, saved, and put back into the recycling stream gets attention. For both safety and recycling, it’s encouraging to see that the work is being done just as those of us who sit in air-conditioned offices would like to see it done. This is better for all of us, not least for the very hard-working folks who are on site – in all this heat – doing the work. Look for the man on stilts in my photos – he’s my ‘poster child’ for brains, craft, and care from this week’s tour.

 

Jim O'Donnell, University Librarian

Hayden reinvention
Hayden reinvention
The construction fence went up March 5, and work began immediately. The progress is remarkable. This is the second in an intermittent series of updates about that progress.  I've also prepared a photo album from last week’s tour. 

The five floors of the tower have been almost completely gutted:  ‘Upper concourse’ (the lowest floor) is not quite done yet. All who see the space now agree with amazement that Hayden is a much larger building than they had imagined.  The original configuration chopped the spaces up so that it was hard to get a sense of just how much was there. The new Hayden will be much more open and spacious-feeling. One of our principles has been to build as little drywall as possible and not to turn current ideas about service into physical manifestations that will be seen as obstacles five or 15 years from now.

Work has begun (everything from top down): installing ducting, cabling and piping on the fourth floor, and that will progress apace. The old elevators will work for a few weeks longer, but the construction crews will get used to hauling things up and down the old fire stairs on the east side very soon. Meanwhile, the space for the new elevators is being prepped along the east side.  This involves careful removal of two columns on each floor (Hayden columns occur every 22 feet in all directions), then cutting the concrete slab on each floor and digging a pit on the lowest level. We are fortunate that we’re getting to move the ‘core’ (bathrooms, elevators, mechanicals), as this will also help open out the space as much as possible. (Those who remember where the bathrooms and elevators were can imagine what an obstacle we would have faced if they remained as islands off-center to each floor for us to work around.)

Hayden renovation
Hayden renovation

Outside, the concrete of the moat on three sides (the north side will remain and be upgraded) has almost all been demolished, and preparations are well advanced to expand the space on the lowest floor to capture that moat space, while providing broad and handsome seating plazas on three sides. With landscaping, furniture and Wi-Fi, we expect those to be popular spaces for al fresco living and working. The photos show what passersby have seen, that one of the giant concrete panels on the rear (over the loading dock) has been removed in order to allow construction materials to move in and out. That panel cannot, unfortunately, be preserved (it weighed 27 tons and was, if concrete can be fragile, fragile), so there will be an infill designed that picks up and respects the pattern and style of what was lost.

Coming attractions: Users of “Hayden ‘89” (the underground extension of Hayden built in 1989) hear a certain amount of noise, but the crews are working three shifts and trying to confine the loudest work to the least busy hours. The main ordeal of the summer will come when the concrete and steel ‘clerestory,' which looms up with its windows on the west side of the tower in front of the old main entrance, has to be demolished. Concrete and steel don’t go quietly, but we will capture floor space beneath that on the concourse level (filling in the gap formerly used by people wishing to look down and admire our East Asian collection on its shelves), and we will gain both plaza space and a remade formal entrance to the complex above. This noisy work will come later in the summer, and much will be done on the graveyard shift.

Hayden renovation
Hayden renovation

There will also be work in Hayden ’89. The exterior elevator from street level down to the forest of aluminum palm trees will be replaced and thus out of service for about a month in July. Our staff have been working with individuals who rely on that elevator for access, to provide alternative arrangements for that month. (If anyone reading this knows of individuals who will have a problem, please let us know and we will find workarounds.) The two interior elevators will also be replaced, one at a time, during a period when there are no classes on the lowest level, so we anticipate minimal loss of function then. We may have one or two other projects in Hayden ’89 soon to support user comfort and convenience, but we are also allowing ourselves to dream of a more ambitious next phase of the grand project that would refresh that space and do something to gain more use (and perhaps more esthetic effect) from the below-grade courtyard.

The overall project is on schedule for projected opening of classroom space in fall 2019 and full reopening by January 2020.

-- Jim O'Donnell, University Librarian

The Arizona State University community gathered Friday, May 25 to celebrate the progressing transformation of its largest library at a groundbreaking ceremony, where ASU President Michael Crow and University Librarian Jim O'Donnell took a sledgehammer – literally – to old ideas about what a university library should be.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Crow said the redesign of Hayden Library is one step in many to ensure that the library remains at the center of the ASU knowledge enterprise. 

"There will always be at the heart of every great learning ogranization a library," said Crow. "In the core of the core of the core of this enterprise is the library – the place of mediated, articulated, verifiable and quantifiable knowledge, not random dither. You cannot have a core of a learning enterprise without that."

Read the entire ASU Now story

April 23, 2018

Photo showing the 4th floor of Hayden Library, after demolition, with most of the walls removed
Photo showing the 4th floor of Hayden Library, after demolition, with most of the walls removed

Photo showing the 4th floor of Hayden Library, after demolition, with most of the walls removed

This is the first of a new monthly series of updates on progress on the Hayden Library renovation.  I

It’s six weeks since the construction fence went up.  There will be new, replacement banners soon on the outside of the fence, doing a better job of helping passersby understand what’s going on and what to expect and showing in the images a more realistic representation of the ASU community that will use the renovated Hayden. The work of demolition began even before the construction fence went up, has progressed rapidly, and is slightly ahead of schedule.  The first phase of fourth-floor demolition is essentially done, the third floor work is under way, while second and first floors are empty of all furnishings and basics like bathroom fixtures.  The bottom floor, our ‘upper concourse’, is still open for student use but will close on 11 May, after exams.

At that time, a construction fence will go up indoors on the lower concourse level, protruding quite a way at first into the user space.  The fence is necessary, so that workers can remove the “caboose top” clerestory and infill the floor between lower concourse and lower level.  The bad news is that this will be extremely noisy work, but it will be done almost entirely at night, probably during June.  After it is completed, the construction fence will likely move back a bit toward the demarcation line between Hayden ‘66 and Hayden ‘89.  On May 25th at 8:30 a.m., we will have a “wall-bashing” ceremony (can’t do “groundbreaking” in this case) by the construction fence at the lower concourse and will welcome visitors for a celebration – more info to come.

These reports will coincide with the monthly detailed walk-throughs that Tomalee Doan and I will do with the contractors, and we will update and record progress.  Three things are of interest to me this month.

  1. There’s a lot of effort and attention going in to preserving what needs preserving:  that includes signs and plaques that memorialize and honor our past, the stained glass on the west side of the atrium, and much of the decoration in the atrium and the stairwells.  We have to surrender the ceiling of the atrium, which a very few of you may remember was originally a light feature – some kind of translucent surface behind which were fluorescent tubes.  The tubes were difficult to replace, and eventually the fixtures they sat in began dying, so the light feature was abandoned.  We will have a handsome new feature ceiling that fits into its surroundings respectfully.
     
  2. A remarkable feature of the building is the array of concrete panels stretching from second to fourth floor on all sides, with distinctive diamond patterns on them. The photo album will show this, but I learned today that the panels are not quite what they seem.  They are concrete, no question, but each segment between pillars actually consists of three slabs of concrete running the full height of the feature.  Each slab weighs an estimated nine tons; if my arithmetic is right, about two million pounds of concrete in all.  On our tour, the contractors got into some lively discussions of just how the panels were poured and lifted into place and what, if anything, like this one could do if trying to replicate those panel features today.  They are in remarkably good shape and worth a good look next time you go by the building.
     
  3. Water is essential to life, but it is not always our friend. When architects designed a building of this size for the Arizona desert, they had to account for all the water that would splash down on Hayden in gullywashing storms.  Walk gently past the west side of Hayden, respecting the huge containment vault buried deep beneath your feet.  Capturing and handling that water has been a large and expensive concern of the designers, particularly as we will be walling in three sides of the moat.  The good news is that Hayden-as-built wasn’t quite the same as the building plans had shown.  It turns out that the original builders were worried about water as well, so they built in more capacity and more runoff piping than our colleagues now had suspected.  Today's designers planned for a huge tank on the east side of the building (if I got this right, something like 8x9x200 feet in size – works out to about 100,000 gallons), but now they are pretty sure they can save us money and do something a little less grand, because the 1966 worriers had put in that added capacity.

From the album you’ll also see that a last pile of discarded books was huddling outside the old Special Collections area.  They’ve all been checked and there’s nothing that needed saving, but I still thought it would be a good thing to rescue one of them, and I found a near-mint condition early printing of the first edition of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.  Always wanted to read that one. 

My full set of pictures today is at:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/yIGIHmdFtMz4uOhq1

Jim O’Donnell
University Librarian

The Hayden Library renovation, a major redesign of Arizona State University’s largest library, is now underway.

While service disruptions will be kept to a minimum during the two-year renovation period, some significant changes to service are now in effect:

  • The upper floors of Hayden Library (floors 1-4) are now closed to the public due to safety and security reasons.
     
  • Materials at Hayden Library can no longer be retrieved in person. Please see front desk staff for assistance in accessing materials. (Materials with call numbers DAW-DR, located in the basement of Hayden Library, will remain retrievable.)
     
  • Increased student seating has been added to Noble Library and to the underground lower level of Hayden Library for students seeking alternative study spaces.
     
  • Beginning this semester, Noble Library will be open 24 hours a day, five days a week, to support students and faculty during the Hayden Library renovation.

Additional study areas can be found at other Tempe campus libraries, including Noble Library, the Music Library, and the Design and the Arts Library.

For help locating or requesting materials:

  • Ask A Librarian can help get you the materials you need. 
     
  • Library staff at the reference desk can give you information about your requested items. 
     
  • ASU librarians are happy to work with you to find the resources you need. 

Plans to redesign Hayden Library include adding multiple points of access, with greater indoor-outdoor connection; dedicating space for community gatherings; breaking the library up thematically to better facilitate navigation and research discovery; featuring and enhancing special collections; and building a smaller, highly curated academic print collection that draws from the library's 4.5 million volumes.

 

Library Channel
Oct. 31, 2017 

 

ASU Library has entered a lively phase of its reinvention, with many books, collections and materials in transit as Hayden Library prepares to undergo a major renovation, slated for 2018-2020.

While all libraries will be impacted, students, faculty and staff can expect to see the most disruptions at Hayden Library and Noble Library on the Tempe campus.

Science books identified as low-use are leaving Noble Library, while other highly used science books will remain at Noble in their new location on the second floor in the eastern-most section of compact shelving.

All science books that are leaving Noble Library, to make space for new materials coming from Hayden, will be accessible from ASU Library's high density collection (HDC). A significant portion of these materials will be available immediately for request.

Items that may appear as "unavailable" via our online library One Search can still be requested through our Interlibrary Loan service.

For help locating or requesting materials:

  • Ask A Librarian can help get you the materials you need. 
     
  • Library staff at the reference desk can give you information about your requested items. 
     
  • ASU librarians are happy to work with you to find the resources you need. 

Plans to redesign Hayden Library include adding multiple points of access, with greater indoor-outdoor connection; dedicating space for community gatherings; breaking the library up thematically to better facilitate navigation and research discovery; featuring and enhancing special collections; and building a smaller, highly curated academic print collection that draws from the library's 4.5 million volumes.


Library Channel
Oct. 20, 2017

Beginning this month, ASU Library will be entering a lively phase of its reinvention, with many books, collections and materials in transit as Hayden Library prepares to undergo a major renovation, slated for 2018-2020.

While all libraries will be impacted, students, faculty and staff can expect to see the most disruptions at Hayden Library and Noble Library on the Tempe campus. 

A significant portion of books and other materials moving out of Hayden Library will be available immediately at Noble Library.

Items that may appear as "unavailable" via our online library One Search can still be requested through our Interlibrary Loan service.

For help locating or requesting materials:

  • Ask A Librarian can help get you the materials you need. 
     
  • Library staff at the reference desk can give you information about your requested items. 
     
  • ASU librarians are happy to work with you to find the resources you need. 

Plans to redesign Hayden Library include adding multiple points of access, with greater indoor-outdoor connection; dedicating space for community gatherings; breaking the library up thematically to better facilitate navigation and research discovery; featuring and enhancing special collections; and building a smaller, highly curated academic print collection that draws from the library's 4.5 million volumes.


Library Channel
Oct. 19, 2017

The future of the printed book is the subject of a newly released white paper by ASU Library. 

As part of a $50,000 planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation exploring the future of print, the analysis is aimed at fostering engagement with print resources among library users, particularly with open stack print collections and users within the local community. 

"We advocate moving toward a more flexible, more user-focused service that makes library collections easier to understand and to use," write the authors. 

The Future of the Academic Library Print Collection: A Space for Engagement explores a three-tiered system of potential approaches and actions for academic libraries to foster engagement with their collections, and includes materials and tools to help guide individual libraries towards a data-driven approach to print curation that may be tailored to their local context.

"Our print collections have a long and glorious future ahead," write the authors. "We must work to create and curate open collections that make it easier for rising student generations, to become skilled and resourceful users of print."

To learn more about ASU Library's Future of Print initiative, visit lib.asu.edu/futureprint.

ASU Now
Jan. 20, 2017

For its 50th anniversary, Hayden Library is showing off its tech-based DIY center, where maker culture is being embraced. Barely a year old, the ASU Library mkrspace is just one of a growing number of spaces across the university offering a host of 'mkrservices' that include access to 3-D printers, sewing machines, vinyl cutting, book scanning, film and studio space, and more. 

 

The State Press
Jan. 18, 2017

The celebration of Hayden Library's 50th anniversary aims to remember the historic building's past, look forward to its pending reconstruction and reinforce the resources it offers to the estimated 10,000 students who enter its doors daily. This event, called #Hayden50, will occur Jan. 18 to Jan. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the lobby and lawn of Hayden.

 

Phoenix Business Journal
Dec. 4, 2016

Arizona State University is planning on renovating one of its most prominent buildings – the Hayden Library. This includes reducing the number of hard copy books in the main campus library and putting an increased focus on technology, special collections and meeting areas.

KJZZ
Dec. 2, 2016

One of the most iconic buildings on ASU’s Tempe campus is getting ready for a makeover. The university plans to renovate Hayden Library, which sees, on average, more than 1.5 million visitors each year. Jim O’Donnell is the university librarian at ASU and talks about the plan for Hayden Library.

ASU Now
Nov. 30, 2016

Hayden Library, which sits at the center of ASU's Tempe campus, is the most visited library facility at the university, currently receiving approximately 10,000 visitors each day. Still, its space and resources are severely underused, says university librarian Jim O'Donnell. On the heels of its 50th anniversary, Hayden Library is preparing to undergo a major renovation, in an effort to make it more engaging and community-based.