January 26, 2022

Arizona State University: On the Heels of its 50th Anniversary, Hayden Library is Preparing to Undergo a Major Renovation”

From the ASU Now:

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.Construction of Hayden Library in 1965. University Archives.

“I tend to think of Hayden Library as a stealth museum, with its underground entrance and many of its extraordinary treasures tucked away, hidden from public view,” O’Donnell said.

Some of those hidden gems include an original illustrated version of “Alice in Wonderland” by Salvador Dalí, the earliest music ever recorded in Arizona (by a cowgirl musician named Billie Maxwell) and the collected papers of Native American writer and poet Simon Ortiz.


On the heels of its 50th anniversary, Hayden Library is preparing to undergo a major renovation, with construction expected to begin in late 2017, in an effort to make Hayden more accessible and engaging and its resources more visible and user-friendly.

Plans to remake Hayden are largely informed by O’Donnell’s vision of what a library of the future should be: “a place that is as inspiring as it is welcoming, both an incubator of creativity and a monument to human complexity.”


Plans to redesign Hayden include adding multiple points of access, with greater indoor-outdoor connection; dedicating space for community gatherings; breaking the library up into thematic neighborhoods to better facilitate navigation and research discovery; and removing 1 million books from Hayden’s shelves to maximize space for students to study, work and interact, as well as to spotlight exhibits and collections.


Further plans to complement the building renovation and modernize the library’s services include developing a network of makerspaces, in which students and faculty can create everything from podcasts to 3-D printouts, and cultivating partnerships university-wide that leverage and enhance the library’s unique collections and data research centers, such as the new Map and Geospatial Hub.

“When finished, the new Hayden will be a combination of traditional library and high-tech workspace,” O’Donnell said. “It will be a dazzling showcase for the university — a place where you can find, interact with and explore all the riches we have to offer.”

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See Also: Hayden Library FAQs

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.