50 years in, Hayden Library plans a remake
For anniversary, ASU's busiest library plans to get more accessible, user-friendly
Hayden Library, which sits at the center of ASU’s Tempe campus, is the most visited library facility at Arizona State University, receiving more than 1.5 million visitors each year.
Still, the space and resources at Hayden are severely underused, according to university librarian Jim O’Donnell.
In the early 1960s, the architectural firm of Frederick Weaver and Richard Drover finalized plans for the Hayden Library five-story tower building, seen here in 1965 during construction.Photo courtesy University Archives
One problem facing the architects was limited space, as a high-rise design was not in keeping with the other surrounding campus buildings that were no higher than three levels.Photo courtesy University Archives
The solution was to put one story of the tower below mall level. Because no one wanted a basement, the architects adopted a similar design used in Gammage Auditorium and added a dry moat, finished as a landscaped walkway that surrounded the building on all sides.Photo courtesy University Archives
The move to Hayden Library began on Aug. 10, 1966, and required the transfer of 600,000 volumes from Matthews Library.Photo courtesy University Archives
Enhancing and restoring mall-level access to Hayden Library, as pictured here in 1966, is one of the guiding design principles of the current renovation project.Photo courtesy University Archives
Significant changes will include the implementation of a newly integrated library system and updated service platform, a merging of technology and bibliographic units, the expansion of the ASU Digital Repository, and a new name: ASU Library. What’s available online and what’s available in ASU Library’s buildings will all add up to one library accessible to every ASU user.
“The name change is reflective of the work we are doing to better integrate and align our services for a more seamless customer service experience,” said Tomalee Doan, associate university librarian. “The new digital service platform we’re building will transform the ways in which we do business and operate as a library, in addition to how we connect users to information.
“We are taking a look through a different lens, looking at every tool and every service option possible. It’s a total transformation; we are really building a library of the future.”
Under this new library system, customers can expect more rapid service than before, with expedited and same-day delivery options available, similar to Amazon Prime. In addition, the new system will offer advanced digital tools for searching, browsing, sharing and customizing information and materials.
“Research and teaching excellence depends on stellar library resources and support,” said Devoney Looser, a professor in ASU’s Department of English and chair of the Library Liaison Committee. “These plans for bringing forward ASU Library promise to enhance and expand opportunities for faculty and student knowledge-building. What a fantastic thing for our community.”
As the digital library and the nature of e-books continue to evolve, O’Donnell says the goal is for ASU Library to be well positioned to harness them.
“It’s an exciting time for libraries that are beginning to find their foothold in the digital age,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve got so much to offer, and with today’s technologies and ASU’s resources, together, there is limitless potential for what we can do.”
For more information about the renovation, see Hayden Renovation FAQs.