This fall, ASU Libraries hosted its first SolarSPELL Hackathon to support the curation of educational content for schools in Tonga. It was an opportunity for library staff to partner with Hosman and her students to further improve the digital library experience through new content and its improved organization, as well as enhancements to the technology platform. The Hackathon also resulted in discussion of creating lesson plans for teachers to empower students to save and share their cultural and artistic expressions as well as their family heritage.

“It is wonderful to partner with ASU Libraries to help deliver high-quality and specifically curated digital educational resources to teachers and students in areas with severely limited electricity, connectivity and even textbooks,” said Hosman.

McAllister said she is looking forward to engaging with students, educators and librarians in Tonga’s capital city of Nukuʻalofa to help understand their local context and greatest opportunities and challenges.

“This trip will be a valuable lesson in the curation of digital libraries,” McAllister said. “We will be finding out what topics the students of Tonga are interested in discovering and how they see themselves using digital libraries for learning. Dr. Hosman’s work is very exciting in terms of a creative way to expose new audiences to digital library resources and empower people by using libraries as catalysts for learning.”

Hosman, McAllister and the team of ASU students will be traveling Dec. 6-18 with a brief stop in New Zealand at the University of Auckland, where they will take part in a digital storytelling workshop.

The students plan to video-journal their experiences while traveling abroad.

For more information, visit the SolarSPELL website and Facebook page.

Britt Lewis

Interim Communications Director, ASU Library