The Library Channel

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

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.

Mar 22, 2017 · open education

What is free, available online and easily redistributed?

The answer is open educational resources, or OERs, which will be celebrated March 27-31, as part of the fifth annual Open Education Week, a global initiative to make education more open, free and accessible to all. 

Come celebrate the potential impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide by participating in ASU Library's second annual Art + Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon, in collaboration with the School of Art, within ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

The Wikipedia event is part of a global movement to increase the coverage and participation of women and the arts on Wikipedia, the most used and well-known open educational resource out there. All levels of Wikipedia or art expertise are welcome!

You can also celebrate with ASU Library by following along on social media using the hashtag #OpenEducationWK and #textbookbrokeASU

Open educational resources are characterized by being free, available online and giving permission in advance for users to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute content. OERs make like easier for instructors because you don't have to navigate the maze of copyright restrictions, exemptions and fair use evaluations to determine what you can and cannot use for your teaching purposes. 

Additionally, OERs benefit students by lowering or eliminating the cost of textbooks. Many initiatives, such as the Maricopa Millions OER Project, are specifically focused on reducing costs for students.

No stranger to open education, ASU joined the Open Education Consortium last year in an effort to further support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation and collective development and use of open educational materials. Other open education initiatives include the Global Freshman Academy and other MOOCs (massive open online course) offered through ASUx, faculty projects like Laura Hosman's SolarSPELL, and OER repositories like the Professional Learning Library hosted by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

You can learn more about open education through the ASU Library guide and contact us if you'd like more information.

Mar 16, 2017 · renovation

Architect rendering of Hayden LibraryAs the ASU Library prepares to renovate Hayden Library, we must suspend our gift program.  Any exceptions will be made by University Librarian Jim O’Donnell for distinctive or unique materials of high value, upon consultation. If you have such items to donate, please contact Dr. O’Donnell directly at

If you have materials of a general nature you wish to donate, you may consider contacting the Volunteer Non-Profit Services Association or your local public library.

Updated 3/15/2017


Feb 28, 2017 ·

An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

University life can be demanding of one's time and energy.

If you're looking for a break from the rush – a quiet place to unplug and simply just be – check out the ASU Library’s new Reflection Room, now open in Hayden Library, on the ASU Tempe campus, in room L47.

Offering a simple, Zen-like ambiance with minimal décor and a clock that resists the urge to mark time, the room is intended to be a quiet space for the ASU community to relax, take a breath and settle the mind.

The room’s directional signs – North, East, South and West – aim to provide a sense of grounding for the anxious, the overwhelmed or the chronically busy. 

All are welcome. 

For questions regarding the Reflection Room, contact Jennifer Duvernay at

For questions about mindfulness and meditation, check out this ASU Lib Guide:

Feb 28, 2017 ·

March Mammal Madness, an annual tournament in its fifth year, has just released their 2017 bracket.

Headed by Katie Hinde, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the Center for Evolution and Medicine, March Mammal Madness is a tournament based around scientific predictions regarding the outcomes of animal encounters.

Factors like environment, illness, physiology and metabolism all contribute to predict the outcome of an encounter, with an element of randomness thrown in. Just like in real life, the unexpected can occur.

With the brackets now released for the 2017 games, players have exactly 7 days to make their selections before the Wild Card Bout on Monday, March 6. There are 64 animals in four divisions, competing for this year's championship. These animals are joining a company of legendary past winners: last year’s Tundra Wolf, 2015’s Sumatran Rhinoceros, 2014’s Hyena Clan, and the Elephant in 2013.

In an effort to help students find free and reliable sources of information to help research their brackets, ASU Library has created a special guide to March Mammal Madness. Here you can find information about how to play, links to curated resources to help pick your winners, information about ASU research and researchers who are involved with the tournament, and highlights from each year of the tournament.

You can also get this year’s bracket and get started!

Each year, Hinde creates the brackets to spur thinking about which animal would win based on science. This year, more than 200 educators are using the tournament as a fun way to get their students engaged in doing real research on the animals in the tournament and making informed choices in their brackets.

There are a few ways to follow the action:

  1. Live on Twitter: Follow #2017MMM or @2017MMMletsgo - a curated twitter account that only includes bout tweets, not spectator trash talk.
  2. Archived Storify at Mammals Suck...Milk daily after each match.
  3. March Mammal Madness Facebook Page
Feb 23, 2017 ·

As books move out of Hayden Library, in preparation for its impending renovation, ASU Library is developing plans for how they will return.

"The printed book has a long and glorious future in front of it, but it won't come about as a result of negligence," says University Librarian Jim O'Donnell, the principal investigator of a grant that is looking at new ways to envision print collections in the digital age.

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the grant project aims to explore how print materials will co-exist with digital ones at a time when many libraries around the world are significantly reducing their print collections in favor of adding more community and study space.

Titled "The Future of the Academic Library Print Collection," the grant project will bring together librarians, faculty and key participants in library architecture, March 16-17, on ASU's Tempe campus, for a two-day, hands-on workshop to discuss major issues and new design strategies for print curation in the 21st century. 

The results of the workshop will directly inform ASU and MIT plans for library renovations, as well as produce a whitepaper on the sustainable and meaningful future of local print curation in academic libraries.

Although digital and print collections are often presented as being in opposition to one another, comparing them is often a case of apples and oranges, says O'Donnell. 

"Digital media allow speedy access and easier cooperation between libraries and scholars across the country, but print offers historical specificity and a staying power that has yet to be matched by any digital format," says O'Donnell. "Taken together, they offer a chance for libraries to build collections aimed at the communities that they serve without having to give up on breadth."

O'Donnell says a large part of the project is therefore to think about how to tap into the best traits of both approaches to collection, and sees the upcoming renovation of ASU's largest library as a great opportunity to rethink how the academic library print collection might engage and inspire its communities as never before.

"Books and other cultural artifacts survive and flourish when there is a community that cherishes them. Our job in the next generation is to cherish the print book and nurture it into its next stage of flourishing," he says.

With that goal in mind, the workshop will focus on ways to make library collections more accessible and engaging with a special eye towards serving the learning, researching and cultural needs of local communities.

Katherine Reagan, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Cornell Libraries and founder of Cornell University's hip hop collection, will be the event's keynote speaker.