The Library Channel

Apr 24, 2018 ·

With the Hayden Library renovation in full swing, ASU students can find refuge in Noble Library, which is now open 24 hours, five days a week, with added seating.

Yes, that’s right: more space to study and extended hours at Noble.

ASU Library has added 150 more seats at Noble Library for students seeking alternative study spaces during the two-year renovation of Hayden Library. Open Sunday at 10 a.m. through midnight on Friday, Noble Library will be a round-the-clock haven for your academic needs.

For those hard-at-work students who make it through a long night of studying and need to refuel for the day, the Noble Starbucks opens each morning at 7 a.m.

For more information about the Hayden Library renovation, visit

Apr 24, 2018 ·


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 6 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.
  2. Reflection Room. Hayden Library is home to the Reflection Room, a small, quiet space where one can leave the frenzy of college life behind and unplug, meditate, pray or simply just be. Sometimes you just need a moment to reboot.

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

Apr 19, 2018 ·

If you want to know something about scholarly activism and indigenous communities, the office of David Martinez would be a good place to start.

It’s the collective home of every book ever nominated for the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award, now in its 10th year. (Check out a full list of Labriola book award winners.)

As chair of the selection committee, Martinez has literally surrounded himself with a decade’s worth of research — as many as 200 books — by indigenous scholars, Native and non-Native, around issues of environmental justice, sexual violence, historical representation and tribal sovereignty.

“We get anywhere from 12 to 20 nominees each year,” said Martinez, an Arizona State University associate professor of American Indian studies, who was recruited in 2008 by ASU Foundation Professor Donald Fixico and Regents’ Professor Peter Iverson to create a distinguished book award that honored scholarship in American Indian history and related fields.

At the time, there were few book awards within American Indian studies, but this has changed. From year to year, Martinez has seen a notable increase in opportunities for indigenous people-focused projects.

“Now more than ever, American Indian studies is relevant to the national discussion on democracy, which has come under assault. Nobody knows that better than tribal communities who have not always had their voices heard or counted toward policy decisions made on their behalf,” he said. “This is a time to pay attention to those voices.”

On the importance of visiting

Criteria for the Labriola book award emphasizes that the research be developed out of a meaningful relationship with the community on which it’s focused.

“The research must serve some need the community has, as opposed to research for the sake of research,” said Martinez, explaining that the idea stems from “our own intellectual history” — a standard set by Vine Deloria Jr., in his “Indian Manifesto” ("Custer Died For Your Sins," 1969), in which he criticized the social sciences for generating research that didn’t do the communities any good. “His belief was that work on Native communities must also work for Native communities.”

Deloria’s philosophy of socially embedded, use-inspired research — certainly a driving force at ASU — guided the work of Elizabeth Hoover in her 2017 book, "The River is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community," this year’s winner of the Labriola award. 

Hoover said the book came out of “kitchen-table conversations” with friends, workers, leaders and scientists in the remarkable upstate New York Mohawk community of Akwesasne, along the St. Lawrence River, who partnered up to develop grass-roots programs aimed at fighting environmental contamination and the threats it posed to their land, health and culture.

“There is something to be said for the importance of visiting and how it can impact a project,” said Hoover, the Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University. “These slow-simmering conversations gave me the impetus for wanting to look at these health studies and how people were responding to them. I had friends working in a gardening group who made me want to think more about the impact of food and the way that contamination has these collateral impacts as well, such as concerns over exposure that cause people to avoid food.”

Hoover, the fourth consecutive Native American woman to receive the Labriola book award, says she wants people to find her work useful and for other Native communities to see what Akwesasne has accomplished.

“I want people to have this information and for other people to be inspired by this work, including scientists,” she added. “Some have written me to say they’re thinking about their work in a different way now.”

‘An ongoing awareness’

Martinez said Hoover’s book is an elegant example of a project that brings together the best in indigenous scholarship with the real-world needs of the community.

“Hoover is becoming one of the leading figures on the issues of food sovereignty and environmental justice for American Indians,” he said. “In the next five to 10 years, her work will be as important as Winona LaDuke’s.”

For most people, environmental crises emerged in the 1960s — but from an American Indian perspective, tribes have been deeply concerned about the impact of development on the environment since the first settlers appeared.

“The diverting of rivers and streams, the changing of non-farm land into farm land, the impact of mining and the railroads — Native people have always been alarmed by what’s going on,” Martinez said. “Hoover’s book represents an ongoing awareness among American Indians that the development that has been occurring in their lands since the time of colonialism has been creating this ever-going environmental crisis.”

In the face of such crises, the books that practically spill over the shelves of Martinez’s office are proof of indigenous resilience and, more importantly, resistance.

“It’s one thing to overcome the hardships that come with living in a colonial system,” Martinez said. “It’s another thing for those tribes to enact a political agenda that rebels against power and brings about real change.”

You can learn more about Hoover and her book at a special reception and Q&A session, hosted by ASU Library’s Labriola Center, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in C2 of Hayden Library.

Photo by Deanna Dent

Apr 10, 2018 ·

The Downtown Phoenix campus Library staff, student workers and librarians are sharing their favorite collection items in an exhibit to celebrate National Library Week, April 8-14.

Library student worker Melovee Easley chose “Night Train to Lisbon” and “I’ll Give You The Sun” as her recommended reads.

“(Night Train to Lisbon) tells a mysterious story that we have all visited at least once in our imaginations,” Easley writes. “It offers us a chance to expand and explore life, love and loneliness through the corners of consciousness.

“It is a rhetorical read that shakes our understanding of how language can define us and the structure of our relationships,” Easley continues. “It exemplifies how escapism influences our reality and challenges the way we interpret life around us.”

Easley’s other pick, “I’ll Give You The Sun,” is …”(an) authentic youth novel (that) leaves you dizzy with affection for the universe’s infinite possibilities. It is a story about our will to survive and represents how an open heart can be a canvas for those to become art.

“It invites you to live authentically and ride the turbulent waves life presents,” she adds. “Each word reads like petals slowly falling off a tree, reminding us to remain light, gentle and a symbol of our own expression.”

Library Information Specialist Senior Jackie Young chose Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance” as her top picks.

“Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ is required reading for anyone who wants to understand matters of power and politics,” writes Young. “Although it was written in the 1500s, much of the author’s conclusions and advice still seems to make sense in a world of constant war and shifts in political sentiments.”

“F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ is so compelling,” Young explains, “because unrequited love can happen to anyone and while it is tragic, there is also something beautiful about it that appeals to the romantic heart in so many of us.”

“Google a few quotes from Oscar Wilde’s ‘A Woman of No Importance’ and you will see what sheer fun mixed with deep social commentary is involved in this extraordinary play. The only thing better than reading it is seeing it performed by good stage actors. Here’s one example of dialogue: ‘Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.’”

Health Sciences Librarian Janice Hermer chose John Howard Griffin’s “Black Like Me,” JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” and Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” as her recommendations.

- Jackie Young, Engagement & Learning Services, ASU Library

Apr 05, 2018 ·

The book collections of two students at Arizona State University are currently featured at Noble Library, as part of an open stack community curation project called Required Reading.

ASU Library selected freshman Rachel Hagerman and sophomore Emerald Peist through a process in which students submitted essays describing more than a dozen books that are truly meaningful to them and may serve as either inspiration to or a challenge for their fellow students.

“I’ve always appreciated a good coming-of-age story,” writes Peist, an economics major in the W. P. Carey School of Business, who chose the theme “Books That Make You YOU” for her collection. “Books like ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ and ‘Jacob Have I Loved’ have always resonated deeply with me.”

Among the 18 books Peist chose as having most influenced her personal development, more than half are novels examining social change that were penned and published in the 20th century – with the exception of “I Am Malala,” a 2013 memoir by the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai.

“Coupled with the coming-of-age theme that can be found in several of these books, we can start to see how social evolution has repeatedly found its roots in the youngest generation of the time,” writes Peist.

Hagerman, an English major, chose the theme “Freshman Challenge: 21 Books for the Class of 2021.”

“Each book challenges you to consider different perspectives, consider a different time period or think in a new way,” writes Hagerman. “As a freshman, you are being challenged to consider new perspectives as you learn to live more independently.”

With a collection strong in science fiction (Bradbury, Orwell, Huxley and Shelley), Hagerman wonders aloud, through the act of curation, about the significance of art, knowledge and one’s relationship to the world and with others in a society largely driven by progress.

Other selections from Hagerman, such as “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” explore the beauty and pain of ordinary human existence.

“What is happiness? How do we achieve it?” asks Hagerman, referring to Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics,” which also made her list.

The books we read

“If books have the power to change minds and lives, then the ways in which we approach, select and share them matter greatly,” says Associate University Librarian for Collections and Strategy Lorrie McAllister.

“At ASU Library, we are adopting new strategies when it comes to curating our print collections,” said McAllister. “Our overall goal is to build active, living, growing, inclusive collections that inspire, educate and foster inquiry for our ASU constituents and the surrounding community. One approach is to co-develop book stacks with students, such as this Required Reading project. It’s an opportunity for students to voice their interests, share meaningful works with others and help to build the Library’s collections for future Sun Devils.”

McAllister’s work in this area contributes to a three-year project aimed at reinventing ASU Library’s strategy and practice for open stack print collections, which was recently awarded a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Jim O’Donnell, University Librarian, adds, “Because ASU Library holds over 4 million books, we are experimenting with ways to develop 'human scale' book stacks and find moments to engage students, faculty and our communities with great works of literature, trusted disciplinary resources, reference materials and books read just for fun. We hope that these students’ selected books will catch the attention of passersby to ignite their own meaningful interactions with these works.”

The collections of Hagerman and Peist are now on display at Noble Library, which is open 24 hours a day, five days a week.

Mar 30, 2018 ·

Park Central Mall was the first shopping mall in Phoenix, Arizona. Its current renovation has led to the discovery of materials – photographs, advertisements, microfilm reels and signage – that provide a cultural glimpse of Phoenix in the 1950s.

Those materials made their way to ASU Library this week, as part of the official transfer of archival materials to the Greater Arizona Collection, part of the library's Distinctive Collections, currently housed at the Polytechnic campus, where the Park Central Mall Collection will be processed.

 “When you trace the history of Park Central Mall, you can see how Phoenix went from being a small town to being one of the largest cities in the United States,” said Matthew Delmont, director of ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, in a recent ASU Now article.

The collection’s curator, Renee James, was on site to welcome Delmont and receive the materials.

“We, at ASU Library, are so pleased to add the Park Central Mall Collection to Distinctive Collections, Greater Arizona Collection,” said James. “This collection documents the unique and valuable history of the Park Central Mall, and highlights its place in Phoenix history.”

The public is invited to the Phoenix Public Library at Park Central, Saturday, April 7, at 9 a.m., to share their memories of Park Central Mall. The event will be hosted by the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

Mar 22, 2018 ·

Today is Sun Devil Giving Day, and there is no shortage of surprises.

When ASU alum Rachel Sims learned of ASU Library’s Giving Day effort to digitize hundreds of hours of ASU sports film footage, she immediately thought of her father.

Sims’ father is Mike Sims, No. 42, who was part of the ASU men’s basketball team from 1975-1980, under ASU Coach Ned Wulk.

Growing up, Rachel and her sister heard their father’s many stories about his days playing basketball with the Sun Devils, and was excited about the possibility of getting to see him play.

“My sister and I have always wanted to see our dad play, and now we actually can,” said Rachel, who is pledging her support today for Unlock the Spark, a library effort to preserve ASU sports history and make it accessible to the public.

Mike Sims’ athletic career at ASU took place during some of ASU basketball’s finest years, including the 1979-80 season when they finished second and made it the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“He has said there is footage of him getting a fast break dunk. He remembers watching that film after a game, so my hope is that his memory is correct!” Rachel said.

The archival materials, soon to be digitized, include some of the seasons Mike played for the Devils:

Basketball Highlights 1975-76. Title: “Time Bomb Highlight Tape Ticking” – 16MM Motion Picture

Basketball Highlights 1976-77. Title: “Looking Good; 1976” – 16MM Motion Picture

Basketball Highlights 1977-78. Title: “Mission Possible” – 16MM Motion Picture

Basketball Highlights 1979. Title “The Year of the Young Devils” – 16MM Motion Picture

Following his basketball career, Mike went on to get his PhD in engineering at ASU, and Rachel is now living with her husband in the same house her dad lived in – in the Maple Ash historic neighborhood of Downtown Tempe – the same house that hosted her dad’s infamous post-game parties, she says.

Do you have an ASU sports story? Share it with us! Email

Mar 20, 2018 · Labriola

The Juste family church tipi has been in service, helping heal the Salt River Gila community, for over 25 years.

“This tipi has a real history. A lot of people have received a lot of help,” says ASU’s Henry Quintero. “Its scars tell a story of this community and what it’s been through, and our perseverance.”

That history made its way to Arizona State University last week, when the church tipi was set up on the Tempe campus, by church roadman Glen Juste, himself, for the 10th annual Simon Ortiz RED INK Indigenous Speaker Series, formerly known as the Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community.

The new name follows its new director, Quintero, an assistant professor in the Department of English and the editor of RED INK, an International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts & Humanities. The journal is just one part of a larger initiative by the same name to enhance access to higher education for Indigenous communities, as well as global access to Indigenous creative and intellectual expression and discourse among Native and non-Native communities on Indigenous issues.

“RED INK is great, and it’s here to stay,” says Quintero, who is affiliated with American Indian Studies. “Part of what’s here to stay is sharing a kind of creative beauty that is intrinsically woven into Indigenous people’s lives.”

How we understand our stories and the relationships around us underscored this year's speaker series, which included a demonstration and talk on "Indigenous Epistemologies of Sustainable Geometries: Stories of the Cradleboard and Tipi" and a discussion of the development of the Native American Church and the tipi's evolution alongside.

Storytellers included Juste (Gila River Tohono O'odham), Sarita and Mac Nosie (White Mountain Apache), and Ksaws Brooks (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation).

The annual series, now a decade old and sponsored by ASU Library’s Labriola National American Indian Data Center – home to thousands of books, journals, Native Nation newspapers and primary source materials, such as photographs, oral histories and manuscript collections – "seeks to create and celebrate knowledge that evolves from an inclusive Indigenous worldview and is applicable to all walks of life."

It has featured such speakers as Linda Hogan (Chickasaw), Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), Peterson Zah (Navajo), Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee) and last year’s Myron Dewey (Newe-Numah/Paiute-Shoshone).

Quintero sees the series as an act of decolonization, passed down to him by his predecessor and mentor Simon J. Ortiz, an ASU Regents' Professor, who donated his personal papers to the Labriola Center in 2013.

“It’s a testament to the Labriola’s family commitment to Indigenous people and the understanding that Indigenous people have a philosophy and voice as well as the ability to share and integrate our incredibly valuable knowledge,” he says. 

Ortiz encouraged Quintero to share his knowledge about Indigenous plant medicine and the Native American Church back when Quintero was a graduate student at ASU. 

“He said, ‘you've got to write about this,’” recalls Quintero, who now researches Native American Church music, better known as “peyote music.”

“Peyote music is a philosophical, musical and literary system that dates back older than any of the Abrahamic traditions, and belongs to a larger tradition of indigenous plant medicines that we utilize to navigate the human experience,” says Quintero. “It’s like any other glorious representation of everything in our human experience. It’s a way of understanding interrelations with what’s around us – our earth, our families, other human beings.”

In peyote ceremonies, the tipi plays a foundational role, from the way its constructed to the stories that are embedded and the relationships interwoven.

“Anyone can take a pill, anyone can take a drug,” Quintero says. “When it truly becomes a medicine, from an Indigenous perspective, is when it integrates with your life, beliefs and culture. In this way, the tipi is a kind of ‘cultural container,’ a way of utilizing time, place and space with plant medicines to facilitate the best outcome."

Traditional teachings around Indigenous culture, the tipi and the cradleboard, a protective baby carrier, were all part of the spring speaker series events. Through these valuable teachings and new avenues of scholarship, Quintero says we begin to understand this time and space we’re living in now, differently.

"ASU is the place for RED INK and for Indigenous studies," he says. "Many Indigenous scholars see President Crow's commitment to the 2020 initiative as active decolonization for the benefit of the ASU and international community, but also, in a larger sense, as being the innovation that changes everything in that gentle, good way."

Mar 16, 2018 ·

Sandra Cisneros. Alice Munro. Oprah Winfrey. Anne Frank.

In honor of Women’s History Month, ASU Library’s Downtown Phoenix campus Library has on display a diverse selection of books and DVDs authored by women and about significant female figures throughout history.

Featuring such classics as “The House on Mango Street” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the display sits alongside a white board on which ASU students, faculty and staff can write the names of women who inspire them – women like Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama and Rihanna.

Also featured are quotes by famous women, such as Eleanor Roosevelt (who once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”).

The ASU community is invited to browse, read and interact with the exhibit throughout the month that pays tribute to women's historical contributions.

Looking for more on women’s history? Check out the ASU Library guide on Women & Gender Studies.

Mar 13, 2018 ·

The Sun Devils’ selection in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, otherwise known as March Madness, marks the first time since 2014 that both men's and women's teams are competing in their respective tournaments, and follows what has been an unforgettable season for ASU basketball, particularly for men’s hoops, which included an upset victory over the No. 2 ranked Kansas Jayhawks and a perfect 12-0 season start, the first in the program’s history.

ASU basketball, according to ASU Library’s Rob Spindler, university archivist, is part of a long tradition of excellence that predates the national rise of the Arizona Wildcats and even the NBA’s arrival to the Valley of the Sun.

“Before Coach Hurley, before James Harden and before the "Curtain of Distraction," Arizona State University was home to a basketball powerhouse that produced NBA players like Joe Caldwell and Lionel Hollins,” Spindler said. "Particularly strong years for ASU men’s basketball occurred between 1957 and 1982, under the leadership of Coach Ned Wulk, for whom the court in Wells Fargo Arena is named, when the Sun Devils recorded 16 winning seasons and made nine NCAA appearances, three of which were Elite Eights."

As the university’s historian, Spindler is looking to bring this history to the forefront through a project to digitize and make publicly accessible hundreds of hours of athletics film footage, capturing some of Sun Devils’ greatest moments on the field, in the pool and on the court.

A significant portion of the archival material, which Spindler began acquiring in 1997, originates from ASU’s early winning basketball years.

Vintage hoops

“One of the greatest Sun Devil basketball teams was from the 1981–82 season,” said Spindler, who has the tape to prove it.

Titled “Arizona State Men’s Basketball Highlights, 1981,” the 16mm motion picture, soon to be added to the Intercollegiate Athletics Film and Video Collection, spotlights the talents of such famous athletes as Lafayette “Fat” Lever, Byron Scott and Alton Lister.

Scott, who ended his career as ASU’s all-time leading scorer, was the first Arizona State inductee into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2002, after having been inducted into the ASU Hall of Fame in 1988 along with Lever, a three-year starting point guard for ASU who earned All-Pac-10 honors in 1980-81 and 1981-82. Lister was inducted into the ASU Hall of Fame in 2000. All three players’ jerseys have been retired.

“These are significant athletes who went on to compete in the NBA, but first made their mark here at ASU,” said Spindler, who hopes to shine a light on these and many other ASU athletes through his preservation efforts, part of Sun Devil Giving Day on March 22.

Through ASU Library’s crowdfunding campaign, called “Unlock the Spark,” Spindler aims to raise enough funds to facilitate the digitization of the entire collection — a big job that grows more urgent by the day, as the media format these materials live in are vulnerable and nearing end of life.

“Videotapes decay faster than most motion picture films, so prompt action is necessary to save the videos produced from 1980–2000,” Spindler said. “Older motion picture films are inaccessible until they are digitized and made available online.”

'These stories matter'

Spanning decades, the films awaiting digitization in ASU Library’s University Archives offer a window into the cultural experience of sports at a major public university, and are positioned to be valuable resources to historians, researchers and alumni looking to connect with their Sun Devil roots.

Once complete and made accessible on the ASU Digital Repository, the collection will include a variety of sports, such as men and women’s track and field, swimming, diving and gymnastics — as well as reflect the evolution of women’s athletics at ASU, brought on by the passage of Title IX.

“While we go ‘mad’ for March Madness, plenty of additional ASU athletes, past and present, achieve sporting excellence during the month of March,” said Victoria Jackson, ASU lecturer and sports historian in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. “These stories matter and also deserve a place in our collective memory and to be preserved in an official capacity, in University Archives.”

A former student-athlete herself, Jackson competed as an ASU graduate student in cross country and track and field, and was a national champion for the Sun Devils at 10,000 meters. (“She would like her ASU school record in the 5,000 meters to be broken ASAP,” reads her ASU Directory bio.)

“Let's not forget there are two NCAA basketball tournaments. The Sun Devil women's basketball program makes regular appearances in the national tournament, and earned a No. 7 seed this year,” Jackson said. “The track and field program has become a fixture at the NCAA indoor championships for decades. Over the weekend, shot-putter Maggie Ewen added yet another individual NCAA national title to her collection. And, 10 years ago, in 2008, both the men and women earned national team titles — a rarity in the sport and an awesome moment for the Sun Devils.”

For more information on how to support the preservation of ASU sports history, visit ASU Library's Unlock the Spark.