The Library Channel: news, events, announcements

The Library Channel

Jul 28, 2020 ·

GRASP virtual conference slated for Sept. 1

Whether you’re looking to improve the quality of your data or the accessibility of your research, the ASU Library has your back.

As a presenter at this year’s ASU GRASP virtual conference (Grants, Research and Sponsored Projects), scheduled for September 1, the ASU Library will debut its new faculty-focused research support services, including research data management services and its dedicated Researcher Support team.

The annual GRASP conference is the largest faculty research conference at ASU, hosted by ASU's Researcher Support teams and sponsored by ASU's Knowledge Enterprise. A full agenda and registration can be accessed at

Be sure to check out these library-led conference sessions:

Electronic Research Notebooks: Improving the Quality of Your Research Notes and Processing Your Findings More Efficiently
ASU’s Electronic Research Notebooks (ERN) provider, LabArchives, enables researchers in all disciplines to quickly and accurately import protocols, notes, observations and other data into a secure, searchable, cloud-based platform with mobile access and sharing capabilities that keeps your intellectual property protected. Learn how LabArchives can help you store and organize your research data, facilitate collaboration, protect your work and intellectual property, and so much more. 

Experts from the Library and KED will be on hand to introduce you to the product and answer any questions you may have.


  • John Kromer, STEM Division Head, ASU Library
  • Philip Tarrant, Research Data Management Officer, Knowledge Enterprise

Research Data Management Services
Most funding agencies and many journals now expect research data to be made publicly accessible as part of a grant. Knowledge Enterprise and the ASU Library have partnered to provide you the tools, technology, and services you can draw upon as you conduct your research. 

Be one of the first to hear details on ASU Library’s new repository services enhancements including an improved user interface, metadata, digital preservation, and the addition of new research data services.


  • Debra Hanken Kurtz, Associate University Librarian for Technology Services, ASU Library
  • Philip Tarrant, Research Data Management Officer, Knowledge Enterprise 

Ask an Expert! Meet the ASU Library Researcher Support Team
Drop in to meet ASU Librarians who will answer your questions and tell you how we support everything from project planning, literature reviews, research data publishing, Electronic Research Notebooks training, data science and analytics, Geospatial Information Systems, author copyright guidance, and more.

For questions about the conference and library research support, contact Matt Harp, Director of Research Data Services for the ASU Library, at

Jul 10, 2020 ·

Alex Soto portrait ASU Library’s Alex Soto is among this year’s Spectrum Scholars, a class of 61 exceptional graduate students in the field of library and information studies.

The scholarship award, given by the American Library Association (ALA) Office of Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, is in recognition of Soto’s commitment to community building, leadership and efforts to make social justice a daily part of library work.

Soto (Tohono O’odham) is a graduate student in the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program and a team member within the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at the ASU Library, where he is actively working to increase engagement with American Indian students, faculty and staff. 

Named a 2019 Dean’s Medalist by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for his outstanding undergraduate work at ASU and his advocacy around libraries and Native communities, Soto has focused his library career on issues of tribal sovereignty and empowerment.

“This is a much deserved honor. Alex is one of our outstanding early career professionals,” says Lorrie McAllister, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Strategy, “I look forward to Alex’s continued valuable contributions to the Library and to the University. He is truly a rising star!”  

According to the Spectrum Scholarship Program, the 2020 application cycle garnered four times as many applications as there were available scholarships – the majority of them deemed highly fundable.

A highlight of the $5,000 Spectrum Scholarship, which Soto plans to apply toward graduate school tuition, is its offering of professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities through the Spectrum Leadership Institute, which Soto will attend at no charge at next year’s ALA Annual Conference.

“The main thing I like about the scholarship is the training initiatives,” said Soto. “It will be great to meet folks in the field and get connected to the larger network on a national level.”

Soto, who recently co-authored and helped shepherd the ASU Library’s first-ever Indigenous land acknowledgement, in coordination with McAllister and others at the library, says that cultural memory institutions such as libraries have a significant role to play in prioritizing Indigenous knowledge systems, which, in turn, have the potential to meaningfully confront systemic racism, white supremacy and social injustice.

“How we set up a space will inform the ways in which we interact in that space,” said Soto. “We need to be asking, how can we be more inclusive to Native knowledge systems?”

Jul 07, 2020 ·

ASU student worker Jeet Patel has been awarded the ASU Library’s spring 2020 LibAid for Student Success award.

Over the last two years, Patel has delivered exceptional customer service while working as a Library Student Aide III in monographic processing at CLRB, on ASU’s Polytechnic campus, under the supervision of Debra Faulkner.

“Jeet always goes above and beyond,” said Faulkner, a Materials Processing Operations Supervisor for Cataloging Operations and Services. “He puts his best effort all the time and is willing to lend assistance whenever needed.”

Juggling his undergraduate studies in global agribusiness with his duties as a library student worker, Patel processes books and other materials for eight libraries across four campuses. Each day, he creates and confirms correct spine labels for each item before putting them into transit – a “simple, yet seemingly endless task that is vital to the operation of the library at ASU, and when done correctly, as Jeet makes sure, ultimately helps users to find the items that they need in our library system,” said Faulkner.

Patience, strong intellect, conscientiousness and a compassionate heart – the ability to put people at ease with a cheerful smile and a helping hand – were some of the ways the award committee characterized Patel’s work performance and interactions with fellow workers.

The LibAid for Student Success award, which comes with a $750 monetary award, was created in 2019 through the generosity of an anonymous donor with the goal of providing further support to a well-rounded student employee who shows 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.

Patel says the monetary prize will further enhance his college experience: “It has lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus more on school and other personal development,” said Patel. “I hope one day I will be able to give back to our community and help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.”

Working at the library has been a game-changer for Patel: “Over the last few years, the ASU Library has become part of my family,” he said. “Being an international student, it’s easy to be scared that you won’t fit in but working at ASU Library has given me that feeling of home away from home.”

More than 200 student employees serve the ASU community daily from eight library locations contributing to the success and impact of university research, academics and campus life. Through this award, the ASU Library seeks to recognize their outstanding contributions. 

Patty Odle, Program Manager for events and communications at the library, said the spring 2020 award nominees were truly outstanding.

“I do not always have the privilege of knowing all of the excellent library student workers that ASU Library employs,” said Odle. “It was a pleasure to learn about this extraordinary cohort of nominees through the supervisor nominations and student applications that were submitted.”

Jul 07, 2020 ·

Gain knowledge and learn how to solve problems with data.

Now available through the ASU Library’s Unit for Data Science and Analytics, a free, new digital learning experience offers credentialing to students, faculty and staff of all levels and disciplines in need of an introductory course in data science.

Foundations of Data Science is a six-module ASU Canvas course, designed by data science experts, aimed at enhancing one’s understanding of using data as a research tool – everything from data visualization and machine learning to natural language processing and model selection. No programming is involved.

The course is available to self-enroll.

In addition, the Unit for Data Science and Analytics offers all-virtual open lab workshops beginning September 9.

Jul 05, 2020 ·

“The ASU Library acknowledges the 22 Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries.”

Thus begins the Arizona State University Library’s first-ever Indigenous land acknowledgement – a five-sentence, 116-word statement about the place that the library and the university have inhabited for more than a century.

“The statement represents the ASU Library’s intentions to begin a healing process,” said Lorrie McAllister, associate university librarian for collections and strategy. “We need to acknowledge that ASU is an occupant on Indigenous lands and that we need to take active steps to forge relationships of reciprocity.” 

Alex Soto (Tohono O’odham) and Brave Heart Sanchez (Ndeh and Yaqui), both graduate students in the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program, add that the statement also represents a crucial first step toward welcoming Indigenous peoples into the library, recognizing their knowledge systems and their relationships to their land, while opening the door to further opportunities for engagement.  

“Land acknowledgement is only the first step,” said Soto, who, together with McAllister and Sanchez, currently leads the ASU Library’s Labriola National American Indian Data Center, which encompasses dedicated Native community space within the library and a notable collection of rare books and manuscripts, as well as open stack circulating materials that are by, for and about Native Americans — a library within a library.

Soto, an operations supervisor who manages the Labriola Center on the West campus, says the land statement does a good job of recognizing where we are as a university library, both figuratively and literally, and can serve as a launch pad for deeper conversations about how the ASU Library might integrate and prioritize Indigenous knowledge systems.

“We are on Akimel O’odham land, and that always needs to be at the forefront of our thinking,” he said. “This is the nation whose land we are on, and they’re still here. Today, the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh reside in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which is two miles east of Sun Devil Stadium, and in the Gila River Indian Community, which is south of the Phoenix metro area.”

Read the full article on ASU Now.

Jun 18, 2020 ·

Most Americans, today, might not recognize the name Agnes Smedley.

That’s because the American journalist made a name for herself in China, where she lived and worked between 1929 and 1941, and rose to national fame as a writer of China’s revolution, deeply opposed to the anti-intellectual and authoritarian forces of that era. 

Students all over China learn about Smedley in school, her extraordinary rise from poverty and her enduring ideals of equality.  

Her body is buried in the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, Beijing’s central resting place for the nation’s highest-ranking government leaders and revolutionary heroes. Her headstone reads: “In memory of Agnes Smedley, American revolutionary writer and friend of the Chinese people.” 

Her papers, however, are housed at Arizona State University, the place where Smedley began her life as a writer and activist, then known as the Tempe Normal College. 

“Smedley was a charismatic self-made rebel from the American West, whose leftist politics resembled that of her idol, Emma Goldman,” writes Stephen MacKinnon, ASU emeritus professor of history and author with Janice MacKinnon of “Agnes Smedley: The Life and Times of an American Radical.” 

MacKinnon’s research is now part of a major exhibition series traveling China, led and curated by the ASU Library, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Smedley’s death.

The exhibition draws largely from the MacKinnons' work and from the ASU Library’s Agnes Smedley Collection, a 46-volume archive of Smedley’s writings, photographs and other artifacts that date back to 1911.

Part of the library’s Distinctive Collections, the Agnes Smedley Collection comprises more than 10,000 newly digitized archival items, said ASU librarian Ralph Gabbard, affiliated faculty with the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Read the full story on ASU Now.

Jun 03, 2020 ·

June 3, 2020Text on white background that reads, "We stand with the Black community of ASU and Arizona and we will continue to support individuals as they speak their truth and document their stories of resiliency and acts of racism against marginalized communities across the state. We see you, we hear you, and you matter."

With the recent senseless killings of Black people across this country including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and Dion Johnson, ASU Library stands with the Black Lives Matter movement in condemning these deaths. President Crow has made it clear that the University expects innovation, creativity, and action to build a climate of justice and equity or, in the words of the university’s Charter, expects to assume “fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.”

We call on our leaders, locally and nationally, to take swift action against the systemic racism, white supremacy, and settler colonialism that has dehumanized and targeted marginalized communities in Arizona and across the country. The injustices facing specifically the Black community have for too long been ignored. Statistics show a record high number of police shootings every year in Arizona and that Black people in this state are disproportionately impacted by police shootings. Local organizations like Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro, Black Phoenix Organizing Committee, and Mass Liberation Arizona are trying to hold police accountable and advocate for justice and community healing and safety. 

Libraries are not neutral in the fight against systemic racism and white supremacy. According to the Arizona Archives Matrix Project, the Black community is represented in less than 1% of archival materials in the state. In the face of institutionalized racism, white supremacy, xenophobia, and homophobia, communities in Arizona can learn to preserve and tell their stories with the support of librarians and archivists. We are at a crucial juncture where we are being called upon as individuals and as a profession to do better than we have in the past.  Scholars and archivists within the profession, including Dr. Michelle Caswell,  Lae’l Hughes-Watkins and DocNow, are currently addressing white supremacy, how to dismantle power structures that exclude minoritized communities from the historical record, and how we can empower communities.

Since 2017, ASU Library’s Community-Driven Archives Initiative, has worked with the Latinx, Black, Asian & Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and LGBTQ communities to center the lived experiences and knowledge of community members and to create intergenerational and intersectional spaces and places that support and protect lifelong learning.  Our Community-Driven Archives team,  along with the Labriola National American Indian Data Center, acknowledge the historical trauma that lives within communities. We support healing projects led by community members and advocate for intellectual co-ownership of archives and shared stewardship responsibilities, to ensure that those whose stories we tell participate actively in the collection and use of these archives.

We continue to work with faculty, students, and Arizona communities to extend the reach and inclusiveness of those archives.  At the same time we make these stories known in many ways, from social media to online exhibits, and we will continue to make these stories known and seen and heard.  As we return to our physical facilities, we will mount exhibitions in the new spaces of Hayden Library, which were designed with this project in mind.  To learn more about this initiative or to participate in it,  please contact us.

We stand with the Black community of ASU and Arizona and we will continue to support individuals as they speak their truth and document their stories of resiliency and acts of racism against marginalized communities across the state. We see you, we hear you, and you matter.

Library Guides & Resources 

Download full statement (PDF)

May 15, 2020 ·

The ASU Library is open for remote services only during summer sessions A, B and C. 

For questions related to the library, research, library collections and other archival materials, Ask a Librarian is a click, text, email or call away.

Ask a Librarian connects the ASU community 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. The online chat service has extended its hours: Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

For information on requesting and borrowing materials, see ASU Library Updates & Support during COVID-19

For information about how to request laptops and hotspots, visit technology lending. Also check the Ask a Librarian FAQs

The ASU Library is committed to supporting students and faculty during this period of online-only instruction. We urge you to learn more about library resources that are accessible anywhere.

May 07, 2020 ·

Nancy Godoy, Associate Archivist of the ASU Library's Chicano/a Research Collection and leader of Community-Driven Archives Initiative, has been named a 2020 “Mover and Shaker” by the Library Journal for her pioneering work that reimagines the role of archives as safe, inclusive spaces for Arizona’s minority communities to reclaim authorship over their own history.

“Arizona’s archives are dominated by white narratives that romanticize a ‘wild west’ history,” says Godoy, who was awarded grant funding in 2017 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop and execute a series of strategies to make Arizona’s historical records more accurate and inclusive – part of a response to an Arizona Archives Matrix report that estimated  Latinx, African American, Asian American and LGBTQ communities make up more than 42 percent of Arizona’s current population but are only represented in 0-2 percent of known archival collections.

In its final year, the grant project has steadily grown, garnering further support from the Arizona State Library and taking on new life with the recent launch of the ASU Library Community-Driven Archives Initiative.

“Our team has moved beyond just focusing on collection development to ensuring that people from under-documented communities are truly able to engage at all levels of the archival process,” said Godoy. “Unlike traditional archives, who only measure success by how many collections they acquire, we are measuring our success by how many people attend our events, how many people feel empowered, and how many relationships we build.”

Working with a variety of community partners, including the Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, the Community-Driven Archives team, led by Godoy and Alana Varner, project archivist, regularly hosts and co-hosts educational workshops for the public on how to preserve one’s history.

Workshops include “Scanning and Oral History Days,” an event that offers free photo scanning and use of audio recording stations, and “Community History and Archives Workshop,” where participants train to be a community archivist in the span of two hours – learning the ins and outs of archival theory and how to arrange and organize materials by subject, date or size.

Workshop attendees receive an Archive Starter Kit containing supplies and a brochure on preservation in both English and Spanish.

“The distinction between ‘community-based’ and ‘community-driven’ archives is important because the latter puts the power in the community to make the choices they need to make in order to document their history,” says Godoy. “In academia, we often tell people what we think but they have knowledge and lived experiences that make them experts too. It shouldn’t just be us taking care of history. We’ve done that in the past and we’ve excluded people.”

The Library Journal defines a “mover and shaker” as someone who is transforming the work of libraries and the communities that use them. Godoy is among 46 individuals named to this year’s cohort.

“Nancy Godoy, through her leadership, creativity, compassion and drive, is redefining what it means to be an archivist today,” said Lorrie McAllister, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Strategy at the ASU Library. “She challenges all of us to raise the bar for library engagement and to take relationship-building between communities and academic institutions to new levels.” 

Godoy also has a forthcoming article on archival healing and justice (often leading to an emotional response her team lovingly refers to as the “archives glow”) to be included in the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies special issue on radical empathy in archival practice. 

“One of my favorite things about this work is that community members are learning how to create a story that speaks to their reality,” said Godoy. “They are redefining what an archive is, what should be included, and who should have access to community archives and history.”

For more information, visit

Apr 24, 2020 ·

As stay-at-home orders swept the globe last month, an abundance of free resources quickly emerged, available for teachers moving to online learning, parents looking to educate their children at home and adults seeking alternative ways to continue their learning and education.

For teachers and professors, this new normal meant adjusting lesson plans and curriculum to fit an online-only model while making resources as free and openly accessible as possible.

With Arizona State University gearing up for an online-only summer session, ASU scholarly communications librarian Anali Perry offers tips for transitioning to online teaching and discusses the benefits of creating a world “where each and every person can access and contribute to the sum of human knowledge.” (Cape Town Open Education Declaration)

Question: Coronavirus is reshaping the ways we access information and contribute to knowledge. Do you see this as a lasting change?

Answer: During this current crisis, as we’ve seen in past epidemics like the Zika virus and Ebola, governments, health organizations and research funders plead that all research related to the issue at hand be made freely and openly available to everyone so that researchers can learn as much as they can, as quickly as they can, in order to develop a vaccine or treatments that can help mitigate the spread of the disease. What’s astonishing is that we only do this every time there’s a crisis, instead of making it the standard for how we share the results of scholarship. Once the crisis is over, we have a tendency to just return to the status quo.

Clearly, we acknowledge the benefits of open access, that by sharing work without paywalls, by making research results openly available, we contribute more effectively to the scholarly conversation and produce more rapid results. This crisis blatantly exposes the weaknesses of our current system of sharing information and advancing knowledge. I hope that, moving forward, we can work with publishers, funding agencies and scholars to build on existing successful models and make open access to scholarship the norm, not the exception.

Q: People may not be familiar with the terms “open access” and “open education.” Can you explain and distinguish them from one another?

A: When we talk about open access, we mean that results of scholarship — usually scholarly articles — should be freely available for everyone to read and learn from, as well as free of most copyright restrictions to enable and encourage new scholarship.

Open education is the philosophy of freely sharing educational resources and practices to encourage others to reuse, remix, redistribute, retain and revise for their own purposes. Open education reduces textbook and course material costs for students and improves learning outcomes by empowering students to be more engaged with their studies.

Both open access and open education share the qualities of being free to access as well as less restrictive in their use and reuse. They only differ in their primary purpose and target audience.

Q: More and more learning experiences will be shifting to virtual environments. What are some tips you have for teachers, instructors and faculty who may be entering the world of online teaching for the first time?

A: As you prepare for summer sessions and start thinking about fall 2020, I definitely recommend strategically considering what course materials you include and not just relying on the same materials you used in person. Digital course materials, especially those that are openly available, enable more flexibility and equitable access for both you and your students.

  • Avoid using print-only resources if you can. Not only is the physical library collection restricted at this time, but there are continued supply chain disruptions that make it difficult for students to purchase or receive their texts in a timely manner. A great goal for right now is to default to using course materials that are available digitally.
  • Remember the ASU Library has millions of e-journal articles, e-books, databases, streaming audio and streaming video, including free access to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
  • Take advantage of Library Reading Lists, which make it easy to collect e-resources from the library as well as links to other websites: Organize them as appropriate for your course and share them with your students. 
  • Consider using open textbooks or adopting other open educational resources if you can. They’ll be easy for your students to access — often including very affordable print versions — and can be tailored to your learning outcomes. There are many recommendations on the Open Education library guide.
  • Take advantage of streaming videos. ASU Library provides access to thousands of streaming video titles, ranging from theater to dance, from psychology to documentaries, and from research methods to Shakespeare.
  • If the multimedia you need to assign is not available through ASU Library or freely online, check to determine online availability. JustWatch includes multiple commercial streaming platforms, beyond the well-known Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. It’s a great resource to share with your students to let them choose the viewing option that works best for them.

We are happy to work with you to find the best materials for your course, whether in our collections or freely available online. Just ask a librarian!