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The Library Channel

Jun 28, 2017 · archives

Thousands of high-quality archival photographs and documents about the early history of the Grand Canyon will be made accessible to the public over the next two years through a new library project called "One Hundred Years of Grand."

The project comes just in time to mark the Grand Canyon National Park centennial on Feb. 26, 2019.

University Archivist Rob Spindler said the project, which was recently awarded funding from the Library Services and Technology Act, not only holds significance to state historians but to the more than 280 million people who visit national parks each year, in addition to Arizona businesses and educators.

"Visitors to the park will enhance their experience by exploring historical details of early park history, students and teachers will illustrate class lectures and create assignments on Grand Canyon history, and Arizona businesses that rely on Grand Canyon tourism will use these materials in their advertisement and marketing efforts," said Spindler.

The project, endorsed by the Arizona Office of Tourism, is a collaboration between ASU Library, Northern Arizona University (NAU) Special Collections and Archives and the Grand Canyon Museum, National Park Service.

High-quality digital materials will be presented and delivered via online repositories, such as the ASU Digital Repository and NAU's Colorado Plateau Digital Archives.

"Community members will benefit because they will be able to acquire and reuse archives, enhance their tourism experience with historical context, learn about balancing public and commercial uses of public lands, and celebrate the Grand Canyon National Park centennial with creative uses of historical materials," said Spindler. 

The Grand Canyon project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Jun 26, 2017 ·

The new ASU Library One Search is part of an upgraded library service platform (LSP) intended to enhance and expand the online user experience.

Supporting ASU’s commitment to innovation and accessibility, the new platform enables ASU Library to continuously refresh and unveil new digital tools and services that will allow the ASU community to search, browse, share and customize materials in increasingly robust and intuitive ways.

Look for the changes to be in effect July 1, 2017.

The main search/discovery page will be available at lib.asu.edu as well as through My ASU and Blackboard.

Need help navigating the new system? We’re happy to assist: lib.asu.edu/help

Jun 19, 2017 · Employees, Staff

If it weren’t for a lack of electricity and inadequate bathroom facilities at the John Doscher Country School of Photography, Henry Stevens, Operations Supervisor at ASU Library, might have spent the last 44 years of his life in Woodstock, Vermont.

It was there, roughly 2,500 miles from Arizona State University, and the library job he’d left behind, that he discovered the greener pastures he’d been looking for, on the other side of the country, were not so green after all.

He’d been offered a job at the photography school, but the living quarters were not exactly ideal.

“I would have had to walk a quarter mile in the snow each morning to take a shower,” recalls Stevens.

He also discovered that he missed ASU and, most of all, working in the library.

So, he called up his old boss.

“Ed Danaher. He was the associate head librarian at the time, nice guy,” Stevens said. “He was gracious enough to accept me back without hesitation, and for that I owe a great deal to him.”

It was the summer of 1973, and neither Danaher nor Stevens could have known the decisive nature of that phone call – it was truly the beginning of a fruitful career, one that would span more than four decades and several hundred thousand interactions with ASU students and faculty, in addition to a number of lifelong friendships.

This month, when Stevens retires from his role at ASU Library, he says what he’ll miss most are the patrons, the students and the faculty; learning something new each day from his colleagues and the books he encounters; and being part of a university community that has made coming to work so gratifying he’s rarely missed a day.

‘If you were to open my arm, it would bleed maroon and gold.’

You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger cheerleader than Stevens when it comes to student and faculty success at ASU.

“It’s been a blast watching some of these students, from freshman year to graduation, going from unfocused individuals to taking a degree, maybe even the first in their family,” Stevens says. “It brings me enormous joy, and is a very gratifying aspect of working at the circulation desk.”

Stevens’ enthusiasm for ASU goes beyond the library and into the arenas and the stadiums, where he’s watched countless ASU sporting events, supporting both men’s and women’s teams, at home or away.

“If you were to open my arm, it would bleed maroon and gold,” he says.

He may have even rushed the field once.

While Stevens’ love of all things Sun Devils began in the late 1960s, his love of sport was there from the beginning, during his childhood years spent in Philadelphia, where he was surrounded by winning professional teams and neighborhood kids who also played sports, just as he did, and until very recently, continued to do so.

Holly Kruper, Senior Library Information Specialist in Access Services, says she and Stevens, for a number of years, played on the same softball team in an intramural ASU league, in which Kruper was catcher and Stevens was pitcher.

“Henry and I used to play tennis, too, here at ASU, in the wee early morning hours,” says Kruper. “This was when they had the tennis courts by the SRC.”

Kruper has also enjoyed attending football games with Stevens and her husband, David: “It’s fun to hear Henry cheer for his favorite, Sun Devil Football,” she says.

Every once in a while, Stevens says he’s fortunate to be on the receiving end of the cheering – for example, when he’s helping faculty who are in the process of writing a book or a journal article.

“They sense that you understand what they’re doing and that you’re helping them along,” he says. “We don’t get pats on the back that often, but sometimes faculty will acknowledge your help in their book, and it’s truly a feather in your cap.”

Another perk of the job has been working with international students.

“It’s almost as if I’ve traveled vicariously through them and have a far better understanding of their culture, where they’re coming from – it’s part of what makes my job so enjoyable,” he says. “I wonder at times if I need to travel internationally because I feel like I’ve been there already.”

‘He’s been the captain to our ship’

It’s obvious the void Stevens will be leaving behind next week when he officially retires.

“He’s been like the captain to our ship,” says Maura Pollock-Moneyhon, Manager of Access Services, “taking command of the library at 5 p.m. when most of us went home, and safely navigating it until 1 a.m. when he handed the controls over to the overnight crew. He and his crew kept the library safe and sound regardless of the ‘weather’ or the condition of the ‘ship’. We never had to worry, he was always here and had everything under control.”

Libby Anderson, Operations Supervisor, says she will miss Stevens’ unique brand of kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness – and birthday hugs.

“Thank you for being such a kind and caring buddy to me these past 35 years,” she says.

Stevens may be leaving the library, but he won’t be too far away.

“My plans are to remain in Tempe,” says Stevens, who has not owned a car in more than 40 years and enjoys getting around town on his Schwinn cruiser bike.

He says he will be watching the ongoing evolution of ASU Library with considerable interest, particularly the remodel of Hayden, and will never stop going to Sun Devil games. (He is a season ticket holder after all.)

Photography, which has always been a hobby for him, will take more of a front seat now: “My camera loves Japanese Friendship Gardens,” he says.

He also plans to take in more movies; Harkins Valley Art in downtown Tempe is among his favorite venues.

“Henry and I have a shared interest in films, and I always enjoyed and appreciated his reviews and recommendations, especially as he often saw many smaller films with limited release at venues like Camelview and Valley Art,” says Edward Weidle, Operations Supervisor at the library. “I expect that I will run into him one of these times at the local downtown Tempe movie house, and I look forward to that.”

And while he’s had the luxury of living vicariously through the many international students he’s worked with at ASU, he does have some travel plans of his own, including but not limited to: seeing a soccer match in Wembley Stadium, eating sushi with Anthony Bourdain in Japan, sampling beer in Brussels, and listening to the sound of bagpipes played in Scotland.

But Tempe will always be home.

“This is home for me,” he says. “I’ve been very fortunate to live here in Arizona and work in library public service at ASU. It’s been a beautiful run.”

Jun 14, 2017 · Students

Research is a journey, and librarians hold the keys.

Whether you're studying for an exam, writing a paper or working on a research project, getting help from ASU Library can save you time, connect you with quality resources and get you a better grade.

Think of librarians as personal research trainers – they are here to support and coach you, so that you learn how to find exactly the information you need, efficiently.

Here are five ways to get help from ASU Library:

1. Talk with a Librarian. Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Call, email or schedule a visit with a subject librarian. ASU Library has over 30 of them, and they are all experts in their fields. Specializing in everything from anthropology to visual literacy, subject librarians offer personalized, high-quality, one-on-one research support.

2. Ask a Librarian. Need help with a citation, or have a quick question? Don't panic. Help is just one click away – literally. Ask a Librarian is an online chat service that connects ASU students quickly and seamlessly to quality research assistance. Not automated in any way, ASU Library’s chat service provides live, online support from real library professionals.

3. Explore the Library Guides. Created by ASU subject librarians, the Library Guides offer curated links that can connect you with the best, most up-to-date information related to your subject or topic. These guides are an excellent way to help you get started with your research and can save you time.

4. Do an Online Tutorial. Think of ASU Library’s Online Tutorials as a general user manual on how to cite sources, find articles and use online research databases. These tutorials are a great way to learn citation styles (MLA, APA) or learn how to develop a research question.

5. Ask the Information Desk. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone. If you’re feeling lost, visit any of ASU’s nine library facilities and ask someone at the ASU Library Information Desk. They will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. All you have to do is ask!

Journey on, young grasshopper – and remember, ASU librarians are here to support and guide your success.

May 21, 2017 ·

Public access to information is at the heart of a new policy at Arizona State University, the ASU Open Access Policy, which was passed by the University Senate and approved May 3 by University Provost Mark Searle.

The new policy, developed by the University Senate Open Access Task Force, aims to make it easier for ASU faculty and researchers to make their scholarly work more widely available and with fewer restrictions, and is in line with the university’s charter.

Open access refers to peer-reviewed research that is made accessible to the public at no cost to the user — eliminating traditional copyright restrictions that many argue impede knowledge dissemination.

“ASU is committed to a fundamental principle of accessibility,” the motion statement reads. “This principle of accessibility includes open access to the knowledge generated and created by facul­ty members here at the university. Open Access to the scholarly works produced by ASU faculty members will allow individuals in Arizona, in the United States, and internationally to read journal articles freely and without the need for subscriptions or payment, thus disseminating this knowledge well beyond the typical audience.”

The need for open access

More than 70 universities in the United States, including Harvard, Duke and the University of California system, have adopted open access policies, part of a growing movement that is rapidly transforming the traditional model of scholarly publishing.

Many argue that making scientific data open and accessible carries major benefits for researchers and the public worldwide.

Just last year, ASU scientists were able to demonstrate how to quickly, cheaply and accurately diagnose the Zika virus in remote locations around the world through their research that was made available free online.

Open access articles are also read and cited at a higher rate than those published in traditional journals charging an access or subscription fee.

“One of the reasons we have open access policies is that it’s now a required condition of funding,” said Anali Perry, the scholarly communication librarian at ASU Library. “Many funding organizations — the NIH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — now mandate open access for research they are supporting. In other words, they want the results of the research they’re funding to be openly available to anyone in the world.”

Perry says open access makes sense for everyone, but particularly for ASU.

“With our focus on access, impact and social justice, this policy really reflects our ASU values and is one way of advancing our philanthropic goals and demonstrating return on investment,” Perry said. “The latest health research coming out of ASU could very well help a doctor in Cambodia, who might not be able to pay $50 per article to make a better medical decision for a patient.”

How the policy works

The open access policy at ASU is like no other — what Perry describes as a “hybrid policy.”

This means that while all ASU faculty and researchers are supported by the policy and encouraged to make their work openly accessible, they have the right to choose to comply with the policy if open access is not a condition of funding.

“If you are funded by an agency that has an open access requirement, like the NIH, you are automatically covered by this policy, meaning you immediately grant ASU permission to make the research publicly available in the appropriate repository, such as PubMed Central, as well as the ASU Digital Repository,” Perry said. “If you’re not required by a funding organization to make your work available, then you have the option to grant this open access license to ASU on a case-by-case basis.”

Perry said the new ASU policy gives faculty the right to archive, at the very least, the final accepted manuscript of their journal articles in the ASU Digital Repository, the online platform managed by ASU Library to archive and share the university’s scholarship.

“The University Senate is proud to support open access as part of ASU’s fundamental commitment to the discovery and application of new knowledge to local, regional, national and global concerns,” said Arnold Maltz, an associate professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business, who is the incoming University Senate president. “Our members look forward to taking advantage of this policy to continue to make a positive difference in communities throughout the world.”

Where to get help

ASU Library will be working with Knowledge Enterprise Development and the Office of the Provost to help streamline processes in an effort to make open access an easy and attractive option for ASU researchers.

“At the library, we can work with faculty to help them identify what publishers make complying with open access policies easy and painless, and help them understand their publication agreements and self-archiving rights and options,” Perry said. “We can help faculty archive their work and ensure compliance with both the ASU policy and their funding agency requirements.”

For questions about the new open access policy, view the Open Access Task Force’s FAQs, email Anali Perry and visit her scholarly communication library guide

Apr 19, 2017 · Students, maps

While studying abroad in Chile her junior year, Chloe Warpinski started thinking about water in a new way.

“I was studying in a water-scarce area of Chile, where we had to use a single bucket of water to shower and had to boil water before drinking it,” said the ASU Barrett Honors College senior.

However difficult, the experience compelled her to enroll in the ASU course “Poverty, Social Justice and Global Health,” which focused on water as a basic human right and the challenges that vulnerable populations often face in accessing it.

The course became the starting point for Warpinski’s senior honors thesis – mapping the city’s water pathways and social service infrastructure to address water accessibility in Phoenix for people experiencing homelessness.

When Warpinski graduates this month with a bachelor’s degree in global health, she will leave behind a valuable resource for Phoenix social service providers and those who rely on them – a project that epitomizes ASU’s emphasis on innovation, social embeddedness and use-inspired research.

Water, water – not everywhere

While many people are familiar with the term “food desert,” less is known about water scarcity.

“Historically, there’s been a lot of focus on food and ‘food deserts,’ and that’s because only until recently, water has typically been a community resource rather than a commodity,” said Warpinski, who began laying the groundwork for her thesis last fall by studying the ways homeless people in the Phoenix metro area access water.

What emerged was a problem of distribution, especially during the hot summer months when daily temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and lead to greater demand for water – putting vulnerable communities at greater risk and overwhelming homeless support service providers who are unable to keep up with the demand.

“In Phoenix during the summer, a person who is homeless can only travel about a half-mile radius due to the extreme heat,” said Warpinski, explaining that while some of the city’s service providers become overwhelmed, others are underused – indicating a need for greater awareness and coordination. 

The power of geospatial data

A student worker at ASU Library, Warpinski felt at home using library resources and so enlisted the help of Mary Whelan, a geospatial and research data specialist at ASU Library, to help her design, from the ground up, a map of Phoenix and its social service infrastructure.

“Chloe’s work makes a great contribution and in many ways illustrates the power of GIS (geospatial information systems) to help people visualize inequality. She also is part of a new generation of students for whom the library is not just books on a shelf, but a space for active, engaged learning opportunities with access to new technologies (GIS, makerspaces) and support from experienced, knowledgeable library personnel,” said Whelan, who helped Warpinski use the GIS mapping tools she needed to conduct her research – resources available through the ASU Library Map and Geospatial Hub.

Leveraging map, data and technology resources, as well as technical expertise, the Map and Geospatial Hub is exactly that – an all-inclusive library hub servicing the geospatial research and learning needs of the ASU and broader Phoenix communities.

“Our model is pretty simple,” said Matt Toro, director of the Map and Geospatial Hub. “We make thousands of maps, aerial photographs and geospatial datasets available; provide training and consultation so that people can extract meaningful information and add value to those resources; and then conduct or facilitate projects that can have an impact on the spaces that were mapped and analyzed.”

According to Toro, Warpinski’s research serves as an excellent example of how to apply geospatial technologies to better understand and bring attention to a pressing socio-environmental issue such as water scarcity.

“Maps, and the geographic stories they tell through data, can be powerful tools for informing community development policies,” Toro said.

A lasting legacy

Warpinski says she hopes her geographic model of Phoenix can improve infrastructure for support providers as well as alleviate the burdens of homelessness.

“The map I’ve created does a few things. It can be used to predict the movement of homeless populations at various times of year by locating refuges and resources – places where people can get water, food and shelter,” said Warpinski. “It can also assist social service providers in showing how to create greater infrastructure systems and provide and manage them more effectively.”

It’s difficult for the public to get this kind of data, Warpinski said, so she’s hoping her map can be updated each year at ASU Library and distributed freely – a lasting effort to inform and educate about the need for better access to resources that are necessary for human survival.

After graduation, Warpinski plans to travel to the Slovak Republic, where she will live for a year and teach English as part of a Fulbright Scholarship – an appropriate ending to an undergraduate career punctuated by service.

“What I love about ASU and the library, in particular, is that it’s truly the pinnacle of accessibility and impact,” said Warpinski. “It’s the place where you go to think differently, to find new ways to solve problems and make real change.”  

Apr 17, 2017 · collections

Do you have an old book, vintage letter or a 1980s Star Wars movie poster at home that you want to properly preserve?

ASU Conservator Suzy Morgan carries out this work every day in the ASU Library conservation lab, where she performs in-house treatments and repairs for the library’s circulating collections and many special collections, including the Star Wars collection and the Chicano/a Research Collection.

Morgan will be leading tours of the conservation lab, April 24-25, as part of Preservation Week – a global celebration of a key library function. 

For many who take the tour, it will be an introduction into the work of preserving knowledge, both artifactual and textual.

“A conservator has to have a good grasp of not just art, but also science, history and a high level of manual dexterity,” Morgan says. “The best and most challenging part of my work is the problem-solving skills that are required. Each item that comes into the lab has its own unique combination of preservation issues. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach – each item gets a customized treatment from me and my staff.”

It’s estimated that some 630 million items in collecting institutions such as libraries require immediate attention and care; therefore, the goal of Preservation Week is to raise awareness about the urgency of preservation, why it’s needed and what you can do, individually and as a community, to preserve both shared and personal collections.

During Preservation Week, Morgan will demonstrate how she and her highly trained staff work to repair, revive and bolster vulnerable materials, such as old books, documents and artifacts – ensuring their sustainability for generations to come.

“Our goal is to return the repaired material to our patrons and to specialized library collections as quickly as possible, using the highest quality materials and techniques possible,” Morgan writes.

ASU Library’s Preservation Department was founded in 1987 under the direction of Sharlane Grant, and is located on the first floor of Hayden Library. For more information on preservation services at ASU Library, visit https://lib.asu.edu/preservation

Group tours of the ASU Library conservation lab will be approximately 45 minutes in length and are scheduled for 1 p.m., Monday, April 24, and 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 25.

Sign up here for the tour of the ASU Library conservation lab during Preservation Week. RSVP is required.

Apr 14, 2017 ·

For its groundbreaking work into the composition and structure of the Lakota oral narrative tradition, George Sword’s Warrior Narratives: Compositional Processes in Lakota Oral Tradition (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) has been selected as this year’s winner of the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award.

The book’s winning author, Delphine Red Shirt is a professor of Native American Studies at Stanford University. In her book, she offers a promising, new examination of Lakota literature and the origins of formulaic patterns inherent in the Lakota language – opening up further research for literary studies, anthropological and traditional linguistics and translation studies.

“Dr. Red Shirt’s work distinguished itself among an impressive field of Indigenous scholars nominated for this year's award,” wrote Dr. David Martinez, the chair of the judging committee and an associate professor of American Indian Studies at ASU. 

Earning the distinction of “Honorable Mention” was a book written by William J. Bauer, Jr. – California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History. The book made a profound and thought-provoking impact on the judging committee, Martinez said.

Past winners include:

2015 Dr. Sarah Deer, Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law for The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America.

2014 Dr. Brenda Child, associate Professor of American Studies and America Indian Studies at University of Minnesota for My Grandfather's Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and labor on the Reservation.

2013 Dr. Andrew Graybill, associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University for The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West

Dedicated in 1993, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center in the ASU Library is one of the only repositories within a public university library devoted to American Indian collections. The Labriola Center holds both primary and secondary sources on American Indians across North America.

The center's primary purpose is to promote a better understanding of American Indian language, culture, social, political and economic issues. 

Books submitted for consideration for the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award may cross multiple disciplines or fields of study, but must focus on topics and issues that are pertinent to Indigenous peoples and nations. Of particular interest are those works written by Indigenous scholars or in which Indigenous persons played a significant role in the creation of the nominated work. 

Mar 29, 2017 ·

In an effort to better connect the ASU community to the information resources and digital tools they need, ASU Library is implementing a newly integrated library service platform (LSP) that will enhance and expand library services and operational workflows university-wide.

Supporting ASU’s commitment to innovation and accessibility, the new system will enable ASU Library to continuously refresh and unveil new digital tools that will allow students and faculty to search, browse, share and customize materials in increasingly robust and intuitive ways.  

Additionally, the platform will support broader integration of information resources through its alignment with the University of Arizona (UA) and Northern Arizona University (NAU), part of a tri-university LSP collaboration to ensure greater fiscal responsibility and operational efficiency.

Implementation of the new platform is currently underway at ASU and NAU, and UA plans to implement the new system in July 2018.

Beginning June 27, the ASU community can expect to see a series of updates, as part of a phased system rollout, to improve the user experience of online services such as the library catalog and Blackboard.

The platform was selected following an extensive evaluation process that sought the best available technology and library management solution for supporting university research and knowledge-building needs.

Mar 29, 2017 · research

With major grant support announced today from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), ASU Library will assist in the development of an online research library on the archaeology of the ancient Huhugam (Hohokam).

ASU Library researchers Michael Simeone and Mary Whelan will work as part of an interdisciplinary team along with faculty and researchers from the Center for Digital Antiquity (tDAR), the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, American Indian Studies, the Center for Archaeology and Society and the Amerind Foundation to provide crucial long-term data for comparative studies within Huhugam scholarship.

The two-year NEH grant will support the development of a Digital Archive of Huhugam Archaeology (DAHA), poised to be the world’s largest and most complete archaeological research library on the ancient Huhugam – the first people to tame the Arizona deserts using sophisticated irrigation agriculture, long-distance trade connections with Mexico, and large scale architectural buildings (1500 B.C. – 1450 A.D). 

The project will also give Arizona Native American communities access to a wealth of archaeological research about their ancestral populations.

Simeone, an assistant research professor with the Biosocial Complexity Initiative at ASU and director of the library’s Unit for Data Science, and Whelan, a geospatial and research data analyst with ASU Library, will use data science text mining tools to analyze a large corpus of digitized archaeological reports.

Keith Kintigh, a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, is the principal investigator on the grant, one of 208 humanities projects that were funded this year by NEH totaling $21.7 million.

The awarded projects include programs that support international collaboration, engage students in interdisciplinary courses and help veterans.

See the full list of awarded projects here.

Please note: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this post do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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