The ASU Library has partnered with the ASU Center for Child Well-Being, within the Watts College for Public Service and Community Solutions, on a new collection of 64 books designed to support Arizona's nearly 100,000 children of parents who are incarcerated.
Over 2.7 million children in the United States are directly impacted by the incarceration of a parent or loved one, and many lack resources to manage the associated feelings of shame and stigmatization.
The "Empathy Through Literacy" collection, located on the main floor of Noble Library, is intended to help children cope with their feelings and understand that they have done nothing wrong. Shari Laster, Head of Open Stacks Collections at the ASU Library, said the books in this collection are available for request and quick delivery to an ASU Library location that is convenient to them.
Two local artists exploring themes of unity, joy and initiation are exhibiting their work this summer at the Vault Gallery, part of the Downtown Phoenix campus Library.
In her exhibition "What Unites Us," Nasim Nourian examines human interconnectedness, and for newcomer Chelsea Niven, winner of the 2019 Eric Fischl Vanguard Award at Phoenix College, the Vault Gallery marks her first curated exhibition, titled “Inchoate Amelioration.”
Although the downtown library remains closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions, Jackie Young, the gallery’s curator and senior library information specialist, says students and library staff have been happy to see the return of new art to the Vault Gallery.
“Over the years, art has always been a part of the downtown library. It makes a significant difference in the mood and tone you feel when you’re here,” says Young, who in a typical year, will bring at least three new art exhibitions into the gallery space as a way of enhancing the library’s connection to its local community and increasing students’ exposure to diverse perspectives. “New art reinvents the library space in a new way every time we have new artists.”
The Vault Gallery has been something of a blessing for students in need of a mental break while studying in the library as well as for emerging artists seeking opportunities to share their work.
“For the artists, many times, it’s the first opportunity they’ve been given to exhibit their work at a gallery,” she says.
Here to talk about their summer exhibitions at the Vault Gallery and their approaches to making art are Chelsea Niven and Nasim Nourian, whose work will be featured at the Vault Gallery through August. Nourian immigrated to the United States from Tehran, and Niven was born and raised in the Southwest.
Question: Have you always made art?
Nasim Nourian: I used to draw and paint when I was a little girl. My first art work was this gigantic green spider on the wall of our living room, which as a toddler I was extremely proud of, but also upset my mother to no end. I was successful in repeating the same mistake when I was a teenager and I painted a life-size Persian Miniature painting on the back wall of my closet. This time, mom did not let me get away with it so easily. So I locked away my artistic talent in that closet and gave up art altogether. In my culture, art was considered to be just a hobby, not a ‘serious’ career. I did not paint or draw for almost three decades until the passion was rekindled when I took an art course at a community college and it all rushed back to me like the dam had been broken.
Chelsea Niven: I have been making art for as long as I can remember. It has always been something that’s a part of me and how I express my emotions. I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t create art.
Question: Can you describe your artistic process?
Nourian: I am moved by what I see around me. It could be a stranger's face or movements. It could be a loved one moving about their daily routine, or it could be a random photo I see on social media. Whatever the source of inspiration, it stays with me, in my head, as a form of a picture. And it stays with me until I put it down on paper or canvas. These pictures are persistent and sometimes annoyingly so, and I feel the urge, almost a calling, to create an art work.
As artists, just like any other creative genre, we want to be liked. I feel uplifted when people “like” my art. And yes, I’ve been influenced, especially when creating commissioned art, by whether it will be liked or not. But the process, even to this day, is at times obscured by uncertainty. Will I be able to express what’s in my heart? Will the final work be authentic enough? Am I finished or do I need to work on it a little more, another hour or another day? I’ve been told that it's through the process that we grow and I believe this to be true. When I don’t feel all those fears come up when I start a project, then it's not worth it. So, I let it all come up … and then through it all, something authentic emerges that I call art.
Niven: My art process has been changing and expanding so much, and I am sure will continue to do so. People have asked me where I get my inspiration from and honestly, it all depends on what I am doing. Is it a commission piece? Or am I just trying to use some of the paint that I have left over? Sometimes I have an idea in mind and just do a quick sketch of what I want to create. When I begin, I just let it flow. There are also times where I have nothing in mind and just listen to music and let whatever my vision is come to life. I tend to go into a trance and get lost while I am working on my art. It’s an escape for me in this busy world.
Question: Is there a particular subject you are currently drawn to in your art?
Nourian: Well, I always like human forms and portraits. I’m drawn to the paintings of Alice Neel right now and her naked approach to expressionistic portraits.
Niven: I wouldn’t say I’m drawn to a specific subject. I like my art to inspire people, fill them up with a sense of happiness, and evoke joy and deeper thought. My paintings are almost interactive. If you look at it from different perspectives, it shifts and changes in color. It highlights the importance of the bigger picture in order to see the harmony and come to a better understanding of one another.
Question: What do you think is the function or the power of art in society?
Nourian: The power of art is the power to express oneself like no one else can. It is the uniqueness and the exceptionalism of every single human being exactly as it was intended.
Niven: Art is supposed to make people think and help them connect with their inner selves as well as others. The other important part of art is that it connects us to people around the world. Someone who speaks Mandarin can look and understand a painting the same as someone who speaks Portuguese could. That is one of the many beauties of art, it’s a universal language that brings together humanity and shows that we all carry the same emotions and basic ideals. I think this aspect of art is something that we, as a whole world, need to acknowledge and put into practice while interacting with people in our everyday lives. Art can teach the world to have more compassion.
In what reads like a piece of advice from a 19th-century version of Marie Kondo, British textile designer William Morris once wrote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
An artist, poet and visual designer, Morris was devoted to beautiful things and created many in his lifetime. In 1891, he founded the Kelmscott Press out of a desire to return to an artistic craft that had faded during the Industrial Revolution: the finer production of books.
The ASU Library holds all 53 titles printed by Kelmscott, including the 1896 publication of “The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: Now Newly Imprinted,” thought to be one of the most beautiful books ever printed, exemplifying Morris’ vision of the ideal book.
Both the original and a facsimile of the "Kelmscott Chaucer," as it is known, will be on display, Friday, June 25, at Hayden Library, as part of the international celebration of the publication’s 125th anniversary, coinciding with International Kelmscott Day on June 26.
Brief presentations on bookmaking, biophilia and illustrations are planned for the in-person event, along with a display of a selection of books from the Kelmscott collection.
“In this age of digital books and paperbacks, it’s important to remember that since antiquity, books were objects of beauty, collected as art works, and often one of a kind before the printing press was invented,” said Julie Codell, professor of art history in ASU’s School of Art, within the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. “William Morris wanted to bring back books as beautiful objects and picked Chaucer to match a beautiful book with a major poet’s works.”
In addition to the in-person event, an all-virtual event is slated for Saturday, June 26, on International Kelmscott Day, featuring a panel of student and faculty speakers, including Codell, who will give a talk on the friendship between Morris and his longtime collaborator Edward Burne-Jones, which generated what is now referred to as the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Event speakers will include ASU Library's Karina Wilhelm, manager of learning services in the Design and Arts Library, who took a lead role in coordinating the Kelmscott events; Suzy Morgan, who manages the Conservation Lab in Hayden Library and will speak on bookmaking; Daniel Mayer, director of Pyracantha Press, on the aesthetic legacy of Kelmscott and contemporary artists' books; ASU alum Jacob Robertson on the influence of Rossetti; and Naomi Cadena and Channing Schoneberger on biophilia.
All events are free and open to the public.
Wilhelm and Julie Tanaka, the curator of rare books and manuscripts at the ASU Library and the interim head of Distinctive Collections, plan to release a digital exhibit on the Kelmscott Press on June 25.
“This event is for everyone," Tanaka said. "We want to spark the curiosity of people who may not otherwise know William Morris, his work or the history of the time in which he lived. For those more familiar with Morris and the Kelmscott Press, or for those who are interested in the book as a physical object, there might be some appeal in exploring these books in person and seeing the differences between the first and last book printed.”
Tanaka, who joined the ASU Library about one year ago, aims to demystify special collections for learners of all ages, in part, by holding regular events and exhibits that are open to the community.
“By inviting people through the doors to experience a variety of materials from clay tablets to old books to posters and prints, handwritten letters, photographs and much more, I hope to remove the mystery of special collections,” she said. “I want to share the excitement and the stories that important pieces in our collection tell with anyone who is interested.”
Codell says such stories include the popular image of Chaucer in the 19th century.
“I think Morris came at a time when Chaucer’s literary reputation was not as secure as it is today," said Codell. "And so created this stunning book, combining the printing press with a medieval decorative sensibility of a one-off medieval manuscript to celebrate Chaucer, the poet of Morris’s beloved, and to a large extent an invented and imagined Middle Ages.”
“Robinson’s 'Hungry Listening' is a superb work of original scholarship, which is both enjoyable to read and a major contribution to the field of Indigenous studies," said David Martinez, chair of the selection committee and an associate professor of American Indian Studies. "Robinson teaches the reader to not only pay attention to the aural environment as a site of cultural sovereignty, which needs to be decolonized as much as other Indigenous spaces, but also how to listen, compose and perform oneself as Indigenous people. Needless to say, the Labriola Book Award Selection Committee was unanimous in its admiration of Robinson’s achievement."
An associate professor, Robinson is a Stó:lō scholar who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University, located on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples.
In his book, Robinson “evaluates how decolonial practices of listening emerge from increasing awareness of our listening positionality.” His book considers listening from both Indigenous and colonial perspectives, “presenting case studies on Indigenous participation in classical music, musicals and popular music.”
Luby (Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation), an assistant professor of history at the University of Guelph, has received honorable mention because of the quality of writing and expertise exhibited, which the award committee wanted to acknowledge.
Her book, exploring Canada’s hydroelectric and infrastructure boom beginning in 1945, complicates “narratives of increasing affluence in postwar Canada, revealing that the inverse was true for Indigenous communities along the Winnipeg River.”
An award reception will be scheduled in the fall of 2021.
The Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award, sponsored by the Labriola Center and the ASU Library, is a national competition with book submissions from numerous academic presses, and the award recognizes the best scholarship for advancing the field of American Indian and Indigenous studies.
Criteria for the award emphasizes that the research be developed out of a meaningful relationship with the community on which it’s focused.
The judging committee is comprised of three distinguished ASU professors, who are themselves accomplished writers and scholars: David Martínez (award committee chair; professor of American Indian Studies); Henry Quintero (professor of English); and Marisa Duarte (professor of Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation.)
Raquel Salas, who has worked at the library for nearly four years, has been awarded the first-place prize of $1,000 for delivering exceptional customer service as a Library Student Aide III at the Downtown Phoenix campus Library.
Rie Fukuzaki, who has worked at the library for two years, has been awarded the second-place prize of $250 for demonstrating consistent professionalism, expertise and approachability as a representative of the Makerspace in Hayden Library.
Both student employees were nominated for the award by their supervisors due to demonstrated excellence in going above and beyond to serve the ASU community.
While juggling a full load of classes for a demanding degree in health care and a guardianship of an 8-year-old member of her family, Raquel rarely misses a shift or arrives late to work.
Dependability, flexibility, resilience and a willingness to problem-solve and step in when extra help is needed were some of the ways the award committee characterized Raquel’s work performance at the ASU Library.
“Raquel’s sense of mission to help others, her sheer joy in doing so, makes her an outstanding model of customer service excellence for us all to admire,” wrote her supervisors, Andrew Barber and Jackie Young, who nominated Raquel for the award. “Whenever other staff have interacted with Raquel, many times they will remark to us how pleasant it is to deal with her because of her remarkable level of professionalism and caring demeanor. She radiates her authentic self in all her dealings with people, whether they are staff, other student workers or library patrons.”
When the pandemic hit, Raquel was forced to pick up a second job to make up for cuts in library pay to help support her schooling and her family.
“A proven leader, Raquel is always looking for ways to problem-solve and make her life, as well as those who depend on her, better,” her supervisors write. “She often shows newer students how to perform their responsibilities without being prompted to.”
Racquel is graduating from Arizona State University this month with her bachelor’s degree in Community Health from the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation with plans to attend graduate school.
She says she will apply her monetary prize toward the cost of her graduate program.
“My time at this library has given me many things, chief among them being a strong belief that I am not defined by the financial limitations of my past but by the potential of my future,” Raquel said. “Now standing on the precipice of my future, I know that wherever I may go from here, what I have learned and what the incredible staff at this library have given me will stay with me forever.”
Rie’s amazing ability to set people at ease in the Hayden Library Makerspace, ultimately empowering them to use technology, is what sets her apart.
Nominated for the award by her supervisors Victor Surovec and Michael Sepulveda, Rie is known to “effortlessly alleviate patron stress and is approachable to both novice and experienced makers.”
Creative, attentive, positive and extremely helpful, Rie goes the extra mile in anything she pursues, making her an invaluable part of the Makerspace team.
“We often get new tools and procedures in the Makerspace, and Rie takes initiative to learn and adapt quickly,” write her supervisors.
Rie is an undergraduate student studying Industrial Design in ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
“ASU Library is about creating an environment that nurtures the ideas of people from different backgrounds,” said Rie. “The library not only has given me a space to create, but the encouragement I needed to realize that I am more than capable of developing my ideas. Working at the ASU Library means to understand the ASU community on a personal level and work alongside them on projects that are meaningful to them. It grants me the ability to learn from bright-minded peers to bring their ideas to life and make new discoveries.”
The LibAid for Student Success award was created in 2019 through the generosity of Tomalee Doan, former Associate University Librarian, with the goal of providing further support to well-rounded student employees who show a high level of commitment to serving the library and the university.
The award is given bi-annually at the end of the fall and spring semesters.
Before you visit the library, remember to check the hours.
During summer session and due to the university’s COVID-19 restrictions, operational hours will be limited. Be sure to check library hours before you visit.
Study rooms are open with lower maximum capacity.
To ensure physical distancing, library study rooms have a lower maximum capacity. Most study rooms have a maximum set capacity of just two people, while some study rooms allow for three people. (There is clear signage posted outside of each study room indicating the maximum capacity.)
Mask up and no food, please.
A face covering is required inside all libraries at all times (even in study rooms, as these spaces are shared by many). Because face coverings are required in library spaces, please eat snacks and meals outdoors. Beverages are permitted, so long as you remove your mask only while drinking.
It's important to note that students will need to wear their mask in the library even while taking an online exam. Students will be allowed to remove their mask during the Respondus Monitor facial recognition and authentication process prior to the beginning of the exam/test/quiz, but then they will need to replace the mask and keep it on during the duration of their stay in the library.
Are there laptops and hotspots available?
Laptops and hotspots are available for checkout through the University Technology Office. Due to high demand, there may be a delay in receiving the requested device. Students in need of computing technology and who reside on campus or near campus are invited to use computers in the libraries and/or the campus computing sites while they wait for their requested device to be delivered.
Maintain physical distancing
Some library computers have been removed and furniture has been reconfigured to allow for physical distancing. Please try to keep a distance of 6 feet from others when you are in the library (about the length of Sparky’s pitchfork).
Need support? Librarians are standing by.
The ASU Library can help you with whatever you need. While you can connect with library support via a variety of platforms, this is generally a good place to start: Ask A Librarian.
Make a reservation
The ASU Library is home to some cool research and collab spaces, including the Labriola National American Indian Data Center and the Map and Geospatial Hub. While all library research and archive units remain open, this summer you will need to make a reservation for some of them:
Finals week is here and we know you might need every bit of help the ASU Library can offer, which is why we want to remind you of some of the extraordinary resources you have access to through the ASU Library:
It's important to note that students will need to wear a face covering in the library even while taking an online exam. Students will be allowed to remove their face covering during the Respondus Monitor facial recognition and authentication process prior to the beginning of the exam/test/quiz, but then they will need to replace the mask and keep it on during the duration of their stay in the library.
A Google-like search engine in which you can readily limit your search to online-only resources provided by ASU and one of many advanced tools the library offers, including over 650 research databases and a custom link to Google Scholar connecting you with full-text sources that are available at the library.
Wherever your curiosity leads you, the library has a guide – 487 of them, to be exact. When writing a paper or beginning your research, these guides can point you to the best databases to use on any topic and show you exactly how to cite your sources.
Ask a Librarian
If you get lost or confused, or just don’t know where to start, our online chat service can connect you with library professionals who are standing by to assist you with any research question and who’ve abundant strategies on how to find high quality resources that Google will never tell you about.
Free digital news subscriptions & streaming services
Have you activated your free news subscriptions to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal? As an ASU student, you also have free access to thousands of films and documentaries through the streaming services Kanopy and Films on Demand.
The library is here for you – and we want you to succeed. Relax, take a breath. You’ve got this.
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.”
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.