The Library Channel

Oct 19, 2017 ·

"What books? Where?"

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

Oct 11, 2017 ·

Arizona State University has been awarded a $450,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a three-year project designed to build and expand community-driven collections, in an effort to preserve and improve Arizona’s archives and give voice to historically marginalized communities.

Under the leadership of ASU Library Archivist Nancy Godoy and co-investigators, Dr. Sujey Vega and Lorrie McAllister, the project – titled “Engaging, Educating, and Empowering: Developing Community-Driven Archival Collections” – will implement Archives and Preservation Workshops and Digitization and Oral History Days as well as digitize and make publicly accessible existing archival collections from ASU Library’s Chicano/a Research Collection and Greater Arizona Collection.

“This generous grant from the Mellon Foundation will help ASU and ASU Library continue to build an atmosphere that educates and empowers individuals by promoting equal ownership of archives and shared stewardship responsibilities,” said Godoy, principal investigator. “Multiple perspectives and narratives are needed in order to get an accurate understanding of Arizona history. Marginalized communities have the right to preserve their own archives and should feel invested in ongoing efforts to preserve a more complete representation of local history.”

In 2012, the Arizona Archives Matrix Project, a statewide initiative to gather data about local archives, identified several historically marginalized communities in Arizona, including LGBT, Asian American, African American and the Latino community, which makes up 30 percent of Arizona’s population but is represented in less than 2 percent of known archival collections.

With the aim to address this inequity, the ASU project will build on Godoy’s previous work co-establishing the Arizona LGBT History Project and collaborating with ASU faculty members Dr. Vega and Dr. Vanessa Fonseca on an ASU School of Transborder Studies seed grant titled “Preserving Arizona’s Latina/o Presence: Community Based Workshops on Archival Preservation and K-12 Curriculum,” which implemented archives and preservation workshops statewide and helped to assess community needs and interests.

“Nancy Godoy’s work demonstrates the inclusive and socially embedded values of ASU, and is helping marginalized communities to recognize the value of their personal material,” said McAllister, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Strategy at ASU Library.

"This grant will enable the acquisition and growth of community-driven collections as well as introduce notions of intersectionality, as the library works to integrate these lived realities into our ‘collective memory’ – our shared history – of Arizona,” said Vega, Assistant Professor, School of Social Transformation.

Oct 09, 2017 ·


Searching for materials at ASU Library is now a single-platform process, including requesting materials from outside the library, known as Interlibrary Loan – a supplemental service that should be used when the material needs of students, faculty and staff cannot be met with ASU Library resources.

Requests for materials that are not available through ASU Library are processed via the new One Search. Fueled by the Alma/Primo platform, ASU Library's new and improved search engine will automatically display an option to request materials from an external library when those materials are not owned by or available at ASU Library. 

Users will then receive a notice that the item is ready for pickup once the item arrives at the specified circulation desk. 

When requesting electronic delivery of documents (book chapters and articles), users will receive an email when their Document Delivery request has been filled.

Document Delivery requests that cannot be filled by ASU Library will be automatically sent to the user's ILLiad account for processing. The user will then receive notification from ILLiad and will access the PDF document from their ILLiad account once the file becomes available.

Oct 04, 2017 ·

Historical treasures belonging to two Mexican-American families in the Phoenix area – the Hinojosa family and the Franco French family – are now part of ASU Library’s Chicano/a Research Collection.

“Everything [in their collections] is of historic importance because everything relates to the building of what we now call the Mexican community of Phoenix,” said Christine Marin, a former ASU archivist, who helped facilitate the archival donations.

ASU Library Archivist Nancy Godoy spent more than a year processing, preserving and making the donated items publicly available.

“Family collections, for me, personally, are very important because they tell so many different stories,” Godoy said. “So that’s priority for us, to make these collections accessible to the community.”

Read the full ASU Now story: A tale of two families

Sep 25, 2017 ·

When students at Arizona State University enter the library this week, they will be greeted by an unusual sign: “Don’t read these books.”

The sign, directing students to a display of books that have been banned or challenged throughout history, is intended to mentally jolt — cue the record scratch — even the most distracted Sun Devils.

This is the tongue-in-cheek tradition of Banned Books Week, an annual, cautious celebration of books and our right to read them.

“Banned Books Week is probably one of the most important events in the literary profession,” said Ashley Gohr, a First Year Experience librarian with ASU Library. “It’s a week when librarians, publishers, teachers and writers help to educate our communities by inviting deeper conversations about censorship and the power of words and storytelling, especially for marginalized communities.”

ASU Library is looking to open up the event this year to an even larger audience through social media, book displays and other activities that encourage thinking around free speech and about books as a powerful technology.

Gohr says that although the practice of banning books is very serious and concerning, the ASU Library events this week will offer “small acts of creative defiance” that are not only educational but fun too.

Language, sex and race

Books get banned, restricted or challenged for a variety of reasons, Gohr said, but offensive language, sexual content and racism are among the most common.

Just last year, more than 300 challenges to books were recorded by the American Library Association (ALA), a figure which does not include all the censorship attempts made to films, exhibits, newspapers, magazines, broadcasts, plays and performances.

Famously banned books include “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain (language, racism), “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie (language, violence, sexual content), and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston (sexual content).

Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” was once described as “filthy” by some mid-nineteenth century booksellers.

The impulse to censor, Gohr says, is a direct response to the inherent power ideas hold and the strength of books to spread them.

“Books are thought of as dangerous, and they are! They contain ideas and stories that can change minds and lives,” she says.


#WordsHavePower is the tagline for this year’s Banned Books Week, an ALA-sponsored event that ASU Library plans to highlight with increasing force each year.

Plans to grow the annual event include a speaker series, a reading flash mob and public readings of censored work on all of ASU’s campuses.

This year, Gohr and fellow ASU Library staffer Ashley Barckett have been busy pulling books from library shelves — “as many as we can fit,” they say — to include in the Hayden Library banned book display.

The ragtag collection includes such classics as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Beloved” and sits alongside a reading nook where the ASU community is encouraged to linger, interact and explore the books “in question.” Banned book displays will be featured at several other campus libraries as well.

Additionally, Gohr and Barckett have put together a banned book scavenger hunt and set up a button-making station in the Hayden Library mkrspace, for those #RebelReaders who want to wear their Toni Morrisons and Ralph Ellisons on their sleeve.

There will also be a poetry slam in Hayden Library (room C41) on Thursday at 7 p.m., hosted by Amnesty International. 

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the library as a place of access, discovery and inclusion — particularly at an institution like ASU,” said Barckett, a library information specialist. “Many of our international students come from countries that have different views on censorship, and books are still challenged and banned regularly in the U.S. This event is as relevant as ever.”

Barckett and Gohr say they will be wearing buttons and T-shirts throughout the week that signify banned authors and books, such as “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and the book-burning “Fahrenheit 451,” which, Gohr says, might be the most ironic banned book of all.

"It's about banning books," she said.

Sep 22, 2017 · Students

What are some of the books that have influenced your growth and development, or challenged you to think in new ways?

'Required Reading' is an open stack community curation project to feature the stories of ASU students and encourage new interactions with library collections.

Send us your top 10-20 list of meaningful books and tell us why they are significant. If your collection is selected as a winner, ASU Library will acquire all the titles you listed and showcase the collection at one of our libraries.

Please submit a written statement for your collection (250-500 words) and select one of the four categories below that best describes it:

  • Books that make you YOU at ASU
  • The Sun Devil must-read books for a better future
  • Freshman Challenge: 21 books for the Class of 2021
  • My state of mind: Arizona and the Southwest

Submit your collection online:

Deadline to submit is November 30

All submissions must be complete to be judged. Submissions will be judged based on the quality of the statement and the collection.

Sep 12, 2017 ·

Arizona State University aims to position public libraries as key facilitators of citizen science, a collaborative process between scientists and the general public to spur the collection of data.

Through a new grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), researchers from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and ASU Library will develop field-tested, replicable resource toolkits for public libraries to provide to everyday people contributing to real research, from right where they are.

Despite growing interest from public libraries to incorporate citizen science programming into their role as go-to community hubs, Dan Stanton, associate librarian for academic services at ASU Library, says there are no documented road maps, best practices or models to follow.

“Our project team is well equipped to address this need, as there is substantial expertise in the area of citizen science here at ASU,” said Stanton, co-investigator on the grant. 

Led by Darlene Cavalier, a professor of practice in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the grant brings together an interdisciplinary team of faculty and librarians to build on previous work around citizen science – a practice rapidly gaining in popularity, particularly at ASU.

In 2016, ASU hosted the Citizen Science Maker Summit, organized by Cavalier, who is also the founder of SciStarter, an online platform and ASU research affiliate, where more than 1,600 citizen science projects are registered online and open for support and participation. The projects include everything from observing or recording natural phenomena to developing software or instrumentation.

Cavalier also serves on the National Academy of Sciences committee on citizen science and is the co-founder of the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network.

“We know from previous research that too frequently the lack of access to low-cost instruments, coupled with an unmet desire to feel part of a community, creates a barrier to entry for would-be citizen scientists,” said Cavalier. “We are grateful to IMLS for supporting our effort to understand how the characteristics and capacities of librarians, their local communities and the scientists who need help from those communities can be supported through public libraries.”

As part of the grant, ASU will partner with six Arizona public libraries representing a mix of urban and rural and youth and senior populations.

The toolkits that will be developed for the libraries will offer multiple entry points that acknowledge varying library capacities and diversity of patrons.

Risa Robinson, coordinator of the grant and the assistant director of learning services at ASU Library, says libraries are ideal conduits for citizen science.

“Citizen science represents the kind of low-cost but impactful programming public libraries have always provided,” she said.

“With the increasing demand for science literacy, the growing interest in citizen science and the library’s strong community anchor, this partnership makes sense.”

- Britt Lewis, ASU Library

Sep 08, 2017 ·

A little more than a year ago, in what quickly became the most memorable moment of the 2016 National Democratic Convention, speaker Khizr Kahn brandished a pocket version of the U.S. Constitution and offered to lend it to then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The simple but compelling gesture led to a sharp rise in the book’s online sales and searches, with many stores selling out of all their copies.

“At one point, last year, the Constitution was a top seller on Amazon,” says Brad Vogus, associate librarian for ASU Library.

For the 11th consecutive year, Vogus will be distributing those same $1 pocket Constitutions popularized by Kahn, in celebration of Constitution Day at ASU, slated for Monday, Sept. 18.

An annual national event, Constitution Day was established in 1956 as a way to commemorate our country’s most influential document and help foster habits of citizenship.

“The Constitution is our most important law document. It defines the fundamental law of our government,” says Vogus. “This event gives our students and the public an opportunity to learn more about it.”

Also, it’s the law, says Vogus.

In 2005, programs aimed at promoting a greater understanding of the Constitution became required of federally-funded schools and government offices.

This year’s program at ASU will shine a light on the hit musical “Hamilton” and the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed in the show.

“Since the musical ‘Hamilton’ will be at Gammage this season, we think there will be great enthusiasm for this talk,” says Vogus.

The talk – Hamilton and ‘Hamilton’ – will be led by Peter McNamara, a professor of practice in ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and an expert on the political and economic thought of Hamilton.

Paying close attention to each man’s political views, McNamara will examine how the Hamilton-Jefferson rivalry ultimately helped shape the U.S. Constitution.

The event, to take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., in room C55 at Hayden Library, is free and open to the public. Resources and more information about Constitution Day are also available via the ASU Library guide.

Pocket copies of the Constitution will be given away before the event – but only while supplies last, warns Vogus.

Sep 08, 2017 ·

An online help service provided by ASU Library just got a big boost this semester.

Known as Ask a Librarian, ASU Library’s online chat is now fully equipped to connect students, faculty and staff at Arizona State University exclusively to ASU librarians.

The direct, digital connection to library professionals within the university is just one of many new library efforts to improve its quality of services for the ASU community.

“When you get help from a local expert, it makes a huge difference in the quality of information you’re receiving,” said Jennifer Duvernay, Associate University Librarian for Communication and Organizational Success. “I’m happy to report that ASU Library’s online assistance through Ask a Librarian is now 100 percent locally sourced.”

Reflective of its newly improved quality, Ask a Librarian is now operating within regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, all questions that come through the online chat service after business hours will be converted to an email that Duvernay says will be answered as quickly as possible – again, solely by ASU librarians.

Students, faculty and staff looking for help after hours can also browse Ask a Librarian FAQs – a compiled list of answers to the most popular and recent questions, such as library hours, how to request materials and how to use online resources.

“ASU is a big place,” says Duvernay. “Our job at the library is to make sure you get the highest level of support you need to succeed while you’re here.”

Sep 06, 2017 ·

A new academic year is the perfect time to hit ‘refresh’ – and ASU Library has done just that with some of its services. To help get you oriented, here’s a helpful list of what’s new, what’s different and what you won’t want to miss.


  1.  New search: The new ASU Library One Search has been implemented to enhance and expand library services. While we are experiencing some early-implementation issues that are currently being addressed, we can guarantee that over time the new system will dramatically improve the online user experience through better browsing, sharing and customization of materials.
  2.  New mkrservices location: Now on the lower concourse of Hayden Library, mkrservices has a more convenient location for ASU makers. Come stop by and say hello!
  3.  Requesting materials: Getting the materials you need just got easier. Even if an item is checked out, you can still request it. All requests for checked-out items will automatically generate an Interlibrary Loan, and there will be no recall for the checked-out item.
  4. More direct assistance: Have a quick question or need help from a librarian? The ASU community now has direct, online access to ASU librarians through the library’s online chat service called Ask a Librarian. While the hours have changed to regular business hours – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday – the quality of service has been enhanced to ensure that all requests for assistance are answered promptly by a librarian or information professional within ASU Library. Online chat questions that come in after hours will be converted to an email that will be answered as quickly as possible.
  5. Longer checkouts: Faculty, staff and graduate students can now check out materials for 365 days. Undergraduate students may check out materials for 90 days and community members for 30.
  6. Automatic renewals: Materials for students, faculty and staff will now be renewed automatically.
  7.  Community cards: Purchasing a community card allows the public to check out up to 25 items with a loan period of 90 days.

Please see our library policies page for additional service changes and updates.