The Library Channel: news, events, announcements

The Library Channel

Jan 15, 2020 ·

A new library resource has landed at The Biomimicry Center at ASU with the goal of supporting and inspiring sustainable thinking and biomimetic design through the use of field kits, natural artifacts and a space wholly devoted to nature.

NatureMaker, which launches January 22, aims to provide resources for the ASU community to use for their own nature studies as a way of arriving at sustainable solutions.

Both a space and a resource, NatureMaker features an altogether new library collection that is organized by function and includes such things as shells, seeds, skulls, feathers, a turkey beard, butterflies and a whale vertebrae.

"NatureMaker is a way of re-imagining what you can do in a library," said Debra Riley-Huff, Head of the Humanities Division in the ASU Library. "It's a space where you can see what innovation looks like up close."

Naturemaker will host an open house on Jan. 22.

NatureMaker will launch its Nature@Noon series and host a lecture by guests of the 
Rhode Island School of Design’s Nature Lab on Jan. 23.


Nowhere is innovation more apparent than in the natural world. 

"Nature solves its own problems. We can learn from this," says Adelheid ("Heidi") Fischer, Assistant Director of The Biomimicry Center. "This space is intended to get you thinking in a new way. Nature is really a mindset."

Biomimicry is the study and use of nature's patterns and designs to create sustainable solutions that are nature-inspired and thus healthy for the planet. The Biomimicry Center at ASU was created in 2014 to do this very thing. Last year, the center received $40,000 in seed funding from the ASU Library to develop NatureMaker, which will offer workshops, training and space for people to come and see how nature can help them solve their challenge.

Activated for careful looking and observing, NatureMaker is a space in which blue mussels can help you re-think the process of adhesion. Students are invited to view materials under magnification, explore the natural collection, or just sit and reflect on what they're seeing and touching.

"We wanted to provide the conditions that are conducive to innovation," says Fischer. "NatureMaker is a space that can give you a leg up on your research or open you up to the possibilities."

Jan 14, 2020 ·

On Arizona State University’s most populous campus, a welcome gift has arrived for Sun Devils on the first day of the spring semester — a sleek, new, state-of-the-art library.

Capping off a $90 million renovation, ASU’s Hayden Library, originally built in 1966, has been reinvented and reopened for the 21st century, with an eye toward maximum accessibility, engagement and support for the university’s growing student population.

Hayden Library’s revamped five-story tower, which sits at the center of ASU’s Tempe campus, now features nearly double the student space, enhanced study areas, community-driven book collections, two reading rooms, a variety of research services and interdisciplinary learning labs, and an entire floor devoted to innovation.

Spectacular campus views and abundant natural light, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows and the Arizona sun, come as a bonus, says University Librarian Jim O’Donnell.

“Hayden Library has been the engine of intellectual discovery for generations of Sun Devils,” said O’Donnell, who is a professor in ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. “We just turbocharged it for a new generation.”

While many of Hayden’s iconic midcentury design elements remain, there are some wonderful additions too, including a gold staircase — a nod to Sun Devil spirit — and a welcome mural honoring indigenous cultures, directed by Wanda Dalla Costa, an architect and professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

There are hallways that literally sparkle.

“Everything about Hayden is meant to make students feel at home and comfortable and supported — so it can be the place where they can reach higher, go farther and surprise themselves with the success they’re capable of,” said O’Donnell.

Following the 22-month construction and closure of Hayden tower, perhaps the most obvious indication of the library’s reinvention can be seen in its wide and welcoming plaza and above-ground entryways — a striking departure from the underground entrance that has been used solely since 1989.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by two large and stately reading rooms, designed to draw attention and provide greater access to the ASU Library’s Distinctive Collections, encompassing millions of primary source materials, rare and unique objects spanning centuries.

Community-selected materials focused on the peoples and places of the Southwest will be more visible than before, showcased in library spaces such as the Luhrs Arizona Reading Room, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center and the Community-Driven Archives.

Although the dust may still be settling in Hayden Library, one thing is clear: The books are back.

It took approximately 20 days, 30 truckloads and 9,000 new shelves to bring the books back to Hayden — along with four years of careful planning for how those books would be displayed, curated and delivered, and how they would best serve the university community.

Now, over 30 different collections are on the shelves and ready for exploration.

"Our team employed a community-centered and data-informed approach to designing the collections for Hayden Library," said Lorrie McAllister, associate university librarian for collections services and strategy, who leads the ASU Library’s Future of Print initiative.

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this three-year initiative to reinvent the future of print for ASU explores the interests, needs and expectations of 21st-century academic library users.

"We are grateful for the chance to experiment and activate our open stacks as opportunities for engagement and inquiry," McAllister said.

In 2017, McAllister co-authored a widely shared white paper on emerging design practices that is now shaping the curation and delivery of academic library print collections at ASU at a time when campus space and digital resources are in high demand.

As a result of this work, ASU students, faculty and staff will encounter a series of newly featured collections on nearly every floor of Hayden Library — collections such as "Untold Histories" and "The Southwest Before the U.S."

These collections and others like them have been selected and curated in collaboration with ASU students and faculty. Each collection is university-inspired and strategic in design, driven by data and reader interest.

"A great example of how the 'Future of Print' project has influenced the Hayden collections design is our new Sun Devil Reads collection, designed with students and in-person browsing in mind, organized by themes and with lots of eye-catching cover art," McAllister added.

While many books have returned to Hayden Library and are being showcased in new and inviting ways, those books that have not returned to Hayden will be housed at Noble Library or in the ASU Library’s high-density collection at the Polytechnic campus, where they will be available for fast-turnaround delivery.

Last semester, the ASU Library began offering book delivery and self-service lockers for the quick and convenient pickup and return of library materials.

Read the full story on ASU Now.

Jan 14, 2020 ·

A stretch of the imagination is needed when picturing Jane Austen.

That’s because there are few known reliable portraits of the famed novelist, whose likeness and celebrity are the subject of a recent discovery made by Devoney Looser, ASU Foundation Professor of English, author of “The Making of Jane Austen” and editor of "The Daily Jane Austen."

Looser has unearthed the earliest known piece of Jane Austen fan fiction, a previously unrecorded and virtually unknown pen portrait of Austen from an 1823 issue of The Lady’s Magazine.

The discovery was made possible by a series of advanced keyword searches via a trial subscription of Eighteenth Century Journals provided by the ASU Library.

Looser describes the unknown pen portrait as something of a “lightning bolt,” undoing prior knowledge of Austen’s fame and confirming that the author had a fan following nearly a century earlier than previously thought.

“We used to believe that Austen was obscure in the 1820s, in the early years after she died in 1817,” said Looser, who is a Guggenheim Fellow and National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar. “This alone proves that that commonly held belief is a mistaken one. It tells us that people cared about what she looked like and that she was gaining fame in the 1820s.”

Subscription databases like Eighteenth Century Journals are changing what kinds of discoveries are possible for those students and scholars fortunate enough to have access to them.

Read the full story on ASU Now.

Dec 18, 2019 ·

Two new fellowship opportunities invite scholars and doctoral students living outside the Phoenix area to Arizona State University in support of their research exploring the diverse history of the West, its intersections of race and violence, and American Indian history.

Through a partnership between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and the ASU Library’s Labriola National American Indian Data Center, the two annual fellowships will provide researchers travel support and access to rare primary source materials and unique archival collections.

“The two research fellowships are timely due to ASU’s excellent reputation in American Indian history in the West that is well over a half a century old and today’s racial violence in society,” said ASU Regents’ Professor Donald Fixico. 

The American Indian History of the West Research Fellowship seeks to support and advance scholarship on the rich and diverse history of the West that makes a meaningful contribution to the fields of American Indian History/Studies, federal-Indian policies and Indigenous relations with other peoples or the natural environment.

The Race and Ethnicity Fellowship is an intellectual response to America’s overwhelming history of violence, especially against people of color. The fellowship seeks to generate research that examines historic intersections of race and violence in the West, looking to the past as ways to understand the present and inform future relations.

“We are so pleased to partner with Dr. Fixico in hosting these fellowships, which offer opportunities to further open our Native American collections to new researchers,” said Lorrie McAllister, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services and Analysis at the ASU Library. “We look forward to welcoming and supporting the inquiry and scholarship of these fellows during their visits.”

The Labriola National American Indian Data Center brings together the current and historical work of Indigenous authors across a multitude of disciplines with a focus on language, government, education, tribal history, biography, religion and customs. The center features thousands of books, journals, Native Nation newspapers, photographs, oral histories and manuscript collections.

Applicants must be an established scholar or a Ph.D. or postdoctoral student conducting critical research about American Indian or race and ethnic history of the West, especially non-dominant historical narratives necessitating primary or rare secondary sources. Fellowship applications are due January 31, 2020.

For more information, visit

Dec 04, 2019 ·

As the renovation of Hayden Library comes to a close this month, an exciting milestone is afoot: the return of the books.

Each day, thousands of books make their way back to Hayden Library, in anticipation of the library's re-opening for the first day of the Spring 2020 semester on Monday, January 13.

Once shelved, the books will have a whole new look, as the concept of open stack collections has been redesigned for ultimate engagement.

Backed by data analysis and deep conversations with the ASU community, the print collections that will appear in Hayden Library will be more visible and usable, more flexible and user-driven, and more inclusive and high quality for ASU's students and scholars.

Learn more about the new open stack print collections coming to Hayden Library in January 2020.

In addition, the ASU Library has set out to increase, enhance and diversify student study spaces in the new and improved Hayden. 

Moving away from the study zone system of the past, the ASU Library has implemented a variety of work and study options. Learn more about the study spaces coming to Hayden Library.

Dec 03, 2019 ·

ASU student worker Jessica Sills has been awarded the inaugural ASU Library LibAid for Student Success award, presented by University Librarian Jim O'Donnell.

The award, created in 2019 through the generosity of an anonymous donor, aims to provide further support to a well-rounded student employee who shows a high level of commitment to serving the university. 

O'Donnell and Sill's supervisor, ASU Librarian Andrew Misler, presented Sills with her award on Tuesday, Dec. 3. 

A current graduate student in the Department of English, within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Sills has delivered exceptional customer service to the ASU community over the last five years working as a Library Aide at Hayden Library. 

Engaging, knowledgeable, helpful, enthusiastic, reliable and proficient are some of the words the award committee used to characterize her work at the library.

“Jessica volunteers for additional tasks during her shifts without question. It’s been a true pleasure working with her over the years,” her nomination statements read. “She knows and understands policies and procedures expertly and conveys them to our patrons effectively. Her enthusiasm for customer service makes her a ray of light for her respective peers.” 

During her academic career at ASU, she has completed an internship with a law firm, taught classes to prisoners, aided a psychology study as a research assistant, served as a TA for an online class and assembled three conferences – all while working at Hayden Library. 

"In all my years at ASU, Hayden Library has been my lighthouse,” Jessica wrote in her application. “From my time as a wee freshman to now as a graduate student, the library has always been there.”  

Jessica said she will apply the award toward helping her complete her degree on time. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctorate degree in psychology.

More than 200 student employees serve the ASU community daily from nine library locations contributing to the success and impact of university research, academics and campus life. Through this award, the ASU Library seeks to recognize their outstanding contributions. 

The LibAid for Student Success award of $750 is given bi-annually, at the end of the fall and spring semesters. If you are passionate about student success and want to support the hard work of outstanding ASU Library student workers, then consider contributing to the LibAid for Student Success Fund. 

Here is how you can support to the fund:

  • Follow this link. Enter your donation amount. In the "Supporting" section, select "Write In" and then copy and paste the following: "LibAid for Student Success - account 70008751"
Dec 03, 2019 ·


Your paper is due at midnight. Your roommate just got dumped and needs to talk it out. And the status of your group project is a mystery to all.

Don’t worry. You’ve got this.  




Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. ASU librarians. Helping you succeed is not just a thing they’re good at – it’s in their job description. Let them help you. They want to help you. It’s why they’re here.
  1. Online help.  Your questions about citations, keywords and research databases already have answers, and you can find them on our FAQs page, where librarians are also available for online chat. Relax – if you have a connection to the internet, there is hope.
  1. Group study rooms. Maybe it’s time to figure out what’s going on with your group project. Several types of group study spaces are available at our libraries to support those necessary conversations and collaborations. Gather your group and get it done.
  1. Quiet and silent study. No signs of your roommate quieting down any time soon. Have no fear – ASU Library quiet and silent study is a thing, and it’s here for you. It’s a magical place where devices go silent and your thoughts thank you.
  1. Counseling. Not a library service, but a great resource nonetheless, offered to ASU students who may be feeling like they need to talk to someone. You’re not alone. Also, you may want to suggest it to your roommate.

Relax, take a breath. You’ve got this.

Oct 25, 2019 ·

February 27-28, 2020
Hayden Library

Arizona State University will host the fourth national forum of Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) for a two-day symposium on the importance of student activism and the need to document historically marginalized voices.

With a focus on marginalized student identities (African American, LGBTQ, Chicano/a, differently abled, Asian Americans, Indigenous populations, etc.), the ASU Library aims to center underrepresented communities and their varying intersections, and the need for community-driven archives.

Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the symposium is an invitation to students, faculty and community members committed to activism and social justice. Individuals and small groups are invited to submit a proposal on topics relating to the symposium’s theme: “Archiving from the Intersections and Community-Driven Archives.”

Topics might include:

  • Privacy, ethics, power of consent
  • Student activism as emotional labor
  • Students as creators, custodian and historian
  • Silences in the archives
  • Archivists as activists
  • Community-driven archives and outreach
  • Digital inclusion and preservation
  • Language and representation
  • Intergenerational and intersectional archives
  • Post-custodial archives
  • Generational trauma and healing
  • Right to be forgotten

The deadline for proposals is Friday, December 13. Proposals should be no more than 300 words. Notification of acceptance is January 10, 2020. For more information, contact Assistant University Archivist Shannon Walker at

Learn more about the ASU Library’s Community-Driven Archives.

Oct 01, 2019 ·

In partnership with the Rainbow Coalition, the ASU Library is proud to take part in the university-wide event Out @ ASU Week, October 7-11, in celebration and support of ASU students of all gender identities and sexual orientations.  

The week of events coincides with National Coming Out Day, which is Friday, Oct. 11. 

“Out @ ASU is a week of events designed to promote a safe and supportive campus environment through educational advocacy and a series of celebrations,” said ASU librarian Andrew Barber. “The ASU Library is proud to support Out @ ASU by showcasing our collection of resources that recognize, affirm and celebrate all gender identities and sexual orientations.” 

As part of Out @ ASU Week, the ASU Library will be screening a film, Queer Japan, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8, in C34 of Hayden Library. 

“We are very excited to host a screening of 'Queer Japan' with the Rainbow Coalition!” said Barber. “This documentary is receiving a lot of praise, and the ASU Library is proud to host it before it becomes widely available. We are also going to add it to our vast collection of queer cinema and literature in the near future.”  

In addition to a kick-off event scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7, on the Student Services Lawn, on the Tempe campus, there will be campus tabling throughout the week with the opportunity for students to make buttons indicating their preferred pronouns and browse LGBTQIA+ book displays.   

For more information on Out @ ASU Week, contact Andrew Barber at

Sep 23, 2019 ·

Please join the ASU Library for an engaging discussion with Margaret M. Bruchac, an Indigenous anthropologist and associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, regarding her 2018 book, "Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists," this year’s winner of the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award.

Now in its 11th year, the book award emphasizes indigenous research that is developed out of a meaningful relationship with the community on which it’s focused.

As chair of the book selection committee, ASU’s David Martinez, associate professor of American Indian Studies, has led the award for more than a decade’s worth of research by indigenous scholars, Native and non-Native, around issues of environmental justice, sexual violence, historical representation and tribal sovereignty.

Bruchac’s “Savage Kin” explores the contributions of Indigenous informants to the anthropological research enterprise of the 20th century, and highlights early encounters between anthropologists and Indigenous communities that served to generate foundational knowledge and collecting practices that still affect Indigenous communities today. 

Martinez will lead the discussion with Bruchac, as part of the 11th annual Labriola award event, hosted by the Labriola National American Indian Data Center, set to take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Sept. 25, in West Hall 135.

This event is free and open to the public. More information is here