National Library Week is celebrated each year to bring awareness to the critical role libraries play in society contributing to Americans’ happiness and well-being. As an academic library, the ASU Library connects students, faculty and staff to millions of information resources, rare materials, archival collections, unique learning spaces and creative centers, and a variety of support services.
In honor of National Library Week, here are five resources available to you through the ASU Library that you may not know about:
Free admission to museums and arboretums. Planning a trip to Arcosanti? How about an afternoon at the Heard Museum or a date night at the Desert Botanical Garden? The ASU Library provides free admission for two people to various cultural institutions around Phoenix as part of the Culture Pass program. Available at all library locations, culture passes are searchable via the library’s OneSearch.
A vinyl collection. Put a record on, sit back and listen to a wide variety of music styles, including jazz, classical, rock and roll and country western, at the Music Library, which houses one of the largest collections of music materials in the Southwest. The vinyl collection offers selections from the late 1950s through the 1980s.
A podcast on misinformation. Hosted regularly by the ASU Library’s director of data science, Michael Simeone, in partnership with Shawn Walker, an assistant professor of data studies. Produced by multimedia developer Laura Davis, “Misinfo Weekly” is an episodic deep dive into understanding misinformation in our time — breaking down basic and advanced concepts, as well as tracking and tracing how misinformation events come to be — with major implications for health, news, entertainment and politics.
All the games. Students, faculty and staff can check out games — classic games, eurogames, card games and more — for a period of 7 days. Fletcher Library on the West campus, home to the largest game collection at ASU, hosts a regular game night.
Time portals. Otherwise known as books and archival materials, these figurative portals can transport you to the 16th century or the early days of Arizona. Discover the early journal writings of Indigenous poet Simon Ortiz or the 1975 master’s thesis of ASU alumna Temple Grandin, animal science expert and autism advocate, housed at the Polytechnic Campus Library.
There’s something new this year for Indigenous Culture Week.
It’s the word “Indigenous.”
Previously known as Native American Culture Week, and before that, American Indian Culture Week, the new name can be accredited to the advocacy and hard work of current Indigenous students.
“We’re unpacking this term ‘Indigenous’ and sharing it with our communities,” says Lourdes Pereira (Hia-Ced O’odham and Yoeme), an undergraduate student double-majoring in American Indian Studies and Justice Studies, who works at the ASU Library’s Labriola National American Indian Data Center. “It’s not a new term, but it’s still something people are learning how to use. It’s an international term.”
Indigenous Culture Week is happening April 2-11 across all campuses at Arizona State University, located on the ancestral homeland of the O’odham and Piipaash people.
It’s an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous people and promote Indigenous voices.
Voices like Sacramento Knoxx, an interdisciplinary artist from Detroit, whose “versatile background with different forms of music allows him to blend traditional and contemporary styles creating dynamic storytelling experiences with live music performances, dancing and video projections that take audiences on a participatory journey and a creative experience.”
Other events include a pride run, a virtual walk-through experience of the American Indian Boarding School exhibition at the Heard Museum, a talk on unresolved trauma and a screening of the film “Sisters Rising,” the story of six Indigenous women fighting for their personal and tribal sovereignty.
Pereira says the push for the term “Indigenous” came out of a desire to communicate greater inclusion and a more deeply rooted connection to the land and to each other – an idea threaded throughout the Indigenous Culture Week Library Guide, created by Pereira and fellow student workers at the Labriola Center, including undergraduate students Elizabeth Quiroga (Tohono ‘O’odham), majoring in Social Justice and Human Rights with a minor in American Indian Studies, and Mia Johnson (Navajo), majoring in Applied Computing.
The library guide is aimed at informing Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike about all the resources available to them at ASU, and offers a historical look at the culture week celebration.
It is also an attempt at examining the language surrounding Indigenous people – an idea conveyed visually through a gallery of promotional posters of past culture weeks.
“We need to think about our words more carefully and what we’re advocating for,” says Quiroga, who identifies with the term “Indigenous” rather than “Native American.” “I feel like part of the issue in America is being focused on our own issues, individualizing all of our problems, but the issues we face here in America as Indigenous people, recognized or unrecognized, these are the issues being faced across the world.”
Johnson offers an important reminder that Indigenous issues are not just historical – they are current.
“We’re not extinct. In classes, I’ve heard instructors talk about us as if we’re not around anymore,” says Johnson. “The O’odham and the Navajo – this is not just a historical story. These are contemporary issues – legal issues and social issues.”
Planting something in the ground and seeing what grows there?
The practice of experimentation with a focus on native plants is helping to grow the daily give-and-take activities of the seed library at Arizona State University, situated in the Salt River Valley on the homelands of Indigenous peoples.
Tending to a repurposed card catalog of edible plant and herb seeds, curated specially for the Arizona climate, is the work of Christina Sullivan, a library specialist who manages the seed library in addition to NatureMaker, a joint collection of the ASU Library and the Biomimicry Center. Both are housed in the Design and Arts Library on the Tempe campus.
Sullivan’s role keeps her attuned to the seasons and cycles of what grows here.
“Seeds are inexpensive and give people an opportunity to experiment with their gardens — seeing what works and what doesn’t,” she said. “The seed library is really good at teaching people about what can grow in Arizona, specifically.”
For example, there’s a difference between drought-resistant plants, such as aloe, and native plants belonging to our Sonoran Desert ecosystem, which is home to the ocotillo, the brittlebush and the saguaro cactus.
“The Sonoran Desert is pretty diverse and specialized,” said Sullivan, who has grown up in Arizona observing desert diversity on hiking trails, state highways and in her own backyard. “A saguaro cactus only grows in the Sonoran Desert, so there are rules and regulations for how to care for that cactus or how to remove it. Right now, we have people coming in from other places not knowing about this place and they begin remodeling old houses that come with native plants. Sometimes they end up cutting down a saguaro because they either don’t want to go through the trouble or there’s not an understanding that the saguaros are protected.”
Their protection is, of course, highly consequential to both animals and people that depend on the saguaro’s provision of a home and food for birds, insects, reptiles, bats and other mammals.
Sullivan’s encouragement of native plant growth aligns well with a new citizen science project throughout April that invites the ASU community and the entire state of Arizona to document flowering plants and pollinators on ASU’s campuses.
Citizen science is a collaborative process among scientists and the general public to speed up the collection of data by scaling up the number of informed data collectors and the tools and resources to which they have access, making libraries key facilitators.
This year’s project, rooted at the intersection of Earth Month and Citizen Science Month, was jointly developed by the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society with support from SciStarter, a popular online platform for citizen science projects founded by Darlene Cavalier, a professor of practice at the school.
“The idea to focus on pollinators and flowering plants grew out of our interest in recording and understanding the biodiversity present on ASU’s campuses,” said Alice Letcher, a project manager for the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes. “The data collected by citizen scientists will help us document the distribution of pollinators and flowering plants on ASU’s Phoenix-area campuses. In addition, the experience of developing a project for citizen scientists will help us understand how we can effectively engage the public.”
Developed by Jared Clements, an undergraduate student majoring in biology, the project will assist the biodiversity research of Gwen Iacona, an assistant research professor in the School of Life Sciences, within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
There are three questions that citizen scientists will help them to answer:
How do pollinator species density (the number of individuals of a given species in an area) and species diversity (the number of different species present in an area) vary with location?
How do pollinator species density and species diversity vary with the type of flowering plants present? (“Type” means whether a plant is native or non-native.)
How do data collected for this project by citizen scientists compare to data collected for this project by professional scientists?
“We’re interested in what differences we can observe in how the two groups collect data,” said Letcher.
Several local public libraries around Phoenix and the East Valley are providing citizen science kits for those wanting to participate. The kits contain things like “field guides, magnifying lenses and other materials to make the data collection experience more robust,” Cavalier said.
A limited number of citizen science kits for homeschoolers are available at Fletcher Library on ASU’s West campus. The outreach effort is being led by Carolyn Starr, the outreach coordinator for the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
Freedom is a word that comes to mind when describing the unmediated self-publishing space of zines, short for “fanzines” or “magazines,” a creative space that Rachel Leket-Mor, an associate librarian at Arizona State University, discovered for herself about a decade ago.
“I first came to know zines (pronounced ‘zeens’) through the IsraPulp Collection and figured out quickly that these materials are different,” Leket-Mor said. “Once I realized there are zines in the world, I began looking for them.”
Leket-Mor, the open stack collections curator for the ASU Library, is the creator of the ASU Zine Collection, now available at Hayden Library, where community members are invited to explore unique, unfiltered voices – many of them from Arizona – in print form.
“Zines come in many shapes and forms,” Leket-Mor said. “They may be hand-pressed or digitally born, prepared in cut-and-paste technique or hand-drawn, printed in color or produced in black and white, created by one person or put together by a group. Whatever DIY form they take, zines uphold free spirit and an ethos of anti-corporate publishing. They claim space for expressing artistic freedom, authentic personal pain or pure 'joie de vivre'.”
Pamphlet-like, zines tend to have small print runs, somewhere between one and 500 copies, and are produced often by just one individual out of a desire to share personal knowledge or experiences.
Some titles from the ASU collection include: “Empower Yoself Before You Wreck Yoself: Native American Feminist Musings” and “Fracking Can Be Fun.”
Arizona zines, in particular, were the focus of a 2020 research cluster supported by the Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) and co-led by Leket-Mor and Ron Broglio, a professor in the Department of English.
“Zines come from a long line of self-published protest works, dating back to pamphlet versions of Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ to fuel the American revolution against British rule and on to 1960s protest lit, and then into the counterculture punk movement of the '70s and '80s,” said Broglio, co-director of IHR and director of the Desert Humanities Initiative. “In times when the world feels beyond our control, writing and making zines provide people an outlet, a voice and solidarity through community.”
Years in the making, the ASU Zine Collection is the result of Leket-Mor’s growing connections with a community of scholars and practitioners at ASU and beyond who are interested in zines, zine-making and the radical work of small press publications.
These connections, and the communities they bring together, will be celebrated April 2–3 at the inaugural ASU Zine Fest, a virtual gathering of makers, collectors, students, scholars and anyone interested in zines and zine culture, hosted by the ASU Library and IHR.
During two days of presentations, attendees are invited to explore “Making on the Margins” and “DIY Voices of the Community,” covering topics like queerness, chronic illness, punk poetry and feminism.
Charissa Lucille, owner of Wasted Ink Zine Distro, a zine library and Phoenix storefront that serves as a kind of headquarters for Arizona zinesters, will talk about how “failing, losing, unmaking and not knowing” are the keys to finding creative freedom in the world of self-publishing. The keynote presentation, “Margins: Writing as Magic-Making, Self-Publishing as a Literary Tradition,” will be given by Ariel Gore, founding editor and publisher of “Hip Mama.”
ASU alum Amber McCrary, local writer and founder of Abalone Mountain Press, a publishing space for Indigenous writers, will lead a presentation on Indigenous zines and zine-making.
“Zines were my foundation on discovering my voice and discovering a world of people that embraced everything that was considered too nerdy or too weird in my small town,” McCrary said. “Once I started making zines and seeing the reaction, it helped me communicate thoughts I always would think of but never felt brave enough to put onto paper.”
McCrary will co-present with Alex Soto, an assistant librarian, who leads the activities of the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at the ASU Library. Together, they regularly develop and deliver workshops on writing, creativity and zine-making for students and the ASU and greater Phoenix Indigenous community.
“The work Amber is doing highlights how Indigenous peoples have ‘indigenized’ Western mediums in order to convey contemporary Indigneous existence,” Soto said. “As an Indigenous librarian, I feel it is crucial to share her work with the ASU community since it shows the range of our Indigeneity. The Labriola Center has partnered with Amber on multiple occasions to provide zine workshops for students. In these collaborations, we witnessed the need to further create space for zine culture within the library. Building on Rachel Leket-Mor’s efforts, the Labriola Center is working towards a zine section within our collection.”
About 50 zines are ready to explore in the collection display at Hayden Library, with many more in processing to become available soon.
Rare primary-source materials, zines can serve as helpful tools for research and teaching, said Leket-Mor, who helped several faculty members incorporate zines into their course curriculum. Recent examples include assistant professor Heather Green's fall 2021 class "Art Zines: Self-Publishing, Protest & Change" in the School of Art and the spring 2020 class "Making Zines for Social and Environmental Issues," co-taught by Broglio and Jeffrey Cohen, dean of humanities for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
"Creative writing and art programs may be more receptive to zines, but thanks to their wide-ranging topics and vibrancy, especially when authored by peers, zines can inspire students in all disciplines from education to sustainability to science," Leket-Mor said.
Zine making as a therapeutic approach is springing up in new environments as well — in health care settings and high schools — where the opportunity to express ideas and creativity with a piece of paper, scissors and glue, rather than through a technology device, is bringing about positive outcomes for zine creators.
The final presentation of Zine Fest will look at the zine-based resurrection of a radical feminist newspaper, “The Revolution,” revered in its day in 1868–1872.
Today's editorial team of The Revolution (Relaunch) will explore why they believe social justice is a more creative pursuit than a polemical one – and why creative activism is more important than ever.
While it’s normal to feel some uncertainty about the best way to keep our ASU community healthy during the COVID-19 crisis, the ASU Library would like to remind all community members of the university health guidelines that remain in place:
Face coveringsare still required on campus and in all ASU buildings, including all libraries. Please keep your face covering on in the library. Additionally, there is no food allowed in the library at this time.
Please maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more with people outside of your home.
Continue to wash hands frequently and always before eating.
Stay home if you feel sick. Self-isolate if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
A collection guide of scores, literature and sound recordings in the ASU Library
Last fall, the Music Library at Arizona State University began working on a new research tool for students and faculty interested in exploring an area of study largely undiscovered – important Black female composers and their compositions, dating from the 1930s to present day.
Now online and poised for growth, the Black Women Composers Project points to the ASU Library’s growing collection of over 160 newly available scores, including symphonies, operas, choral works, vocal music and chamber music, and features biographies, compositions and sound recordings belonging to 15 significant composers in the 20th and 21st centuries.
“The Black Women Composers Project is illustrative of our strategic initiative to prioritize the preservation and digitization of resources that elevate the voices of communities that have been underrepresented in libraries and archives. Increasing access to these rare materials and diverse collections is a great way for the Library to contribute to realizing ASU’s Charter,” says Lorrie McAllister, associate university librarian of Collections and Analysis at the ASU Library.
Here to discuss some of the extraordinary women represented in the Black Women Composers Project is Christopher Mehrens, associate librarian, who is overseeing the project. While many of the new scores in the collection are still being processed, Mehrens says his hope for the project will shine a light on this rich music history and make it accessible for all.
Question: Among the earliest represented composers in the project is Florence B. Price (1887-1953), the first African American woman to have a symphony premiered by a major symphony orchestra. Can you tell us more about her?
Answer: Price led a remarkable life. She was born in Little Rock, Ark., and initially studied music with her mother. Such was her talent, she was admitted to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she studied organ with Wallace Goodrich, and composition with two of the foremost American composers and teachers of the period, Frederick Shepard Converse (1871-1940) and George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931). Upon graduation, she returned to the South to teach, eventually becoming Head of the Music Department at Clark College in Atlanta.
According to Price scholar, Rae Linda Brown, because of increasing racial oppression, she and her family moved to Chicago. It was in Chicago that she emerged as a significant American composer and educator. In 1932 she won the Wanamaker prize for her First Symphony, which was performed by the Chicago Symphony in 1933. It was this performance that made her the first Black woman composer to be performed by a major symphony orchestra. When the great contralto, Marian Anderson, performed Price’s setting of Langston Hughes’ poem “Song to the Dark Virgin,” her song was hailed by critics as being one of the greatest accomplishments by an American composer. Until her death, Price remained one of this country’s most important composers and teachers.
Q:Another early composer featured in the project is Margaret Bonds, the virtuoso concert pianist, who studied with Price and collaborated with Langston Hughes. Can you give us more of her history?
A: Margaret Bonds (1913-1972) was born in Los Angeles, California, was taught music from an early age by her mother and, as a teen, studied piano and composition with Florence B. Price. She attended Northwestern University, where she was awarded Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees before being admitted to the Juilliard School in New York City, where she studied piano and composition. In 1932, the same year that Florence B. Price won the Wanamaker prize for her symphony, Bonds won the Wanamaker for her song, Sea Ghost. As a virtuoso concert pianist, in 1933, she premiered Price’s Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, becoming the first Black woman to solo with that renowned orchestra.
Bonds collaborated with the great poet Langston Hughes and set many of his poems to music. She returned to Los Angeles and remained active in the music community. Her last major composition, Credo, based on the opening of W.E.B. Dubois’ 1921 book, “Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil,” was performed a month after her death by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Q:Who are some of the other important composers the project is spotlighting?
A: Valerie Capers, the first blind person to graduate from Juilliard, who was commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts to compose an “operatorio” on the life of Soujourner Truth. Rachel Eubanks, who studied at the American Conservatory of Music in France with the legendary composer and teacher Nadia Boulanger (teacher of Aaron Compland). There is also Tania León, who was born in Cuba, studied at NYU, and served as a pianist, conductor and composer at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She was also involved as a music director in such Broadway productions as “The Wiz” and “Godspell.” And there’s Jessie Montgomery, who is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASACP) and is a major up-and-coming composer.
More popular than ever, March Mammal Madness is back again for its 9th year – and this time, an ASU Library guide is the official home of the tournament.
Equipped with brackets, tournament rounds and live commentary via Twitter, the annual NCAA-inspired tournament created in 2013 by Katie Hinde, an associate professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, is now fully accessible via the library guide created by ASU Scholarly Communications Librarian Anali Perry.
Here to talk about the library’s growing role in the tournament, Perry says that March Mammal Madness (MMM) is a good example of innovative and open scholarship.
Question: Why is the library guide now the official MMM home?
Perry: This year, we made the Library Guide the official and primary launching point for MMM, because it is more functional than a personal blog, and presents as a much more recognizable educational platform for educators. The library guide makes it easy to find information about how to play, suggestions for freely available and librarian-approved places to research your bracket (beyond Wikipedia, which is awesome, but could be subject to manipulation), and an organized place to get brackets, resources, relevant links, and most importantly, BATTLE RESULTS!
Q: The library guide you created is the most viewed guide at the ASU Library. Can you talk about the impact and reach of the tournament?
Perry: So far, the library guide has received over 395,000 views this year. In fact, in 2019, we learned that the March Mammal Madness Library Guide is in the top 1.74% of all library guides in the world! And we know that 5,400 educators said they will be using March Mammal Madness in the classroom, which means the tournament will be reaching about 440,000 learners.
Q: How is the tournament a good example of innovative and open scholarship?
We are using this opportunity to learn how we can link these three platforms together in a way that leads our community from the fun tournament, to the openly licensed scholarship and educational materials, to the underlying data. And it helps us in the library consider how best to present this content to non-academics. Are our practices supporting public engagement? Working with MMM will inform our future interactions and recommendations with other research groups.
Q: With the library's involvement in the tournament growing, is there anyone you want to shout out?
Perry: I want to shout out ASU Library’s Matt Harp, Director of Research Data Services, and Deirdre Kirmis, Web Application Developer, for their patience and diligence in setting up the dataverse collection, in addition to Stacey Erdman, Digital Preservation and Curation Officer, and Eli Zoller, Digital Library Software Engineer, for setting up and ingesting content for the KEEP collection.
“For me, working at the ASU Library means creating a welcoming environment
for the local community to gather and learn together, about each other,
and the topics that are relevant and important to their peers.”
Fall 2020 recipient of the Tomalee Doan
LibAid for Student Success award
The Tomalee Doan LibAid for Student Success award recognizes the dedication of student workers at the ASU Library who contribute, every day, to the success and impact of ASU research, academics and campus life.
When you give to the LibAid for Student Success fund, you provide essential funds to ASU students, working across eight library locations, who contribute critical library support to their fellow university students, faculty, researchers, staff and alumni.
Your gift, no matter how big or small, will have a direct impact on the success of students, university-wide, and the impact of research at ASU and beyond.
“Learning more about my people and how to preserve our materials
has strengthened my identity as a Hia-Ced O’odham youth
and has helped guide my journey with higher education.”
– Lourdes Pereira, ASU sophomore
Miss Indigenous ASU 2020-21
Much more than a research collection, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at the ASU Library is an essential service to the ASU and greater Phoenix Indigenous community.
When you give to the Labriola Center, you are expanding access to research and learning opportunities that champion Indigenous perspectives and knowledge, strengthen local communities, and support the success of students like Lourdes Pereira (Hia-Ced O’odham and Yoeme), a sophomore at ASU, double majoring in American Indian Studies and Justice Studies, who was named Miss Indigenous ASU 2020-21.
Growing up, my people the Hia-Ced O’odham have faced great injustices to the point that many thought us to be extinct. My people are still not federally recognized and we are seeking federal recognition.
Working for the Labriola Center has been the best decision I have ever made.
I get to learn so much about my tribe. Learning more about my people and how to preserve our materials has strengthened my identity as a Hia-Ced O’odham youth and has helped guide my journey with higher education.
The people who work here are amazing and have great plans on how to make positive change within our community.
The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.