The Future of Print

Exploring the impact of print in the digital age

There is an emerging emphasis on defining libraries not simply by what we have, but how it can be used. We are looking at how collections might best engage the diverse communities in which we live, study and work.

Lorrie McAllister


Print is not dead. In this era of digital media, as university libraries worldwide are significantly reducing their open stack print collections, vital conversations are needed in the development of new design strategies and methodologies for print curation in the 21st century.

With planning grant support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ASU Library developed a vision for a future in which the academic library print collection engages and inspires its communities as never before. Read the white paper: "The Future of the Academic Library Print Collection: A Space for Engagement."

To further this work, the ASU Library received a three-year implementation grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore a data-driven and community-aware approach to developing inclusive print collections for the reopening of Hayden Library, ASU's largest library on Tempe campus, in 2020.

Principal team members included, Lorrie McAllister, Principal Investigator and former Associate University Librarian and Shari Laster, Head, Open Collections Curation and Access.

How are we doing this?

With the aim to create meaningful print collections that engage users and add value to the community, the ASU Library seeks to understand the data landscape of print resources at Arizona State University and incorporate data-driven selection and assessment methods into the collection design process.

Using data as a primary tool to identify and connect library users and print resources, ASU Library is pursuing further opportunities to design and assess user engagement by testing and assessing collections designs in non-traditional environments, curating collections with faculty, student, and community participation, and extending engagement with historically underserved communities.