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Arizona Mover and Shaker– Matthew Harp, Arizona State University Libraries

Posted by Editor on March 17, 2010

Lights, Camera, Library–from Library Journal

Following a childhood in which he spent so much time in the library he was told to go get some sun, Matthew Harp attended film school and pursued a film career before taking a temporary job at Arizona State University Libraries in 2001. Fast-forward nine years. Harp is still at ASU, using his expertise to create an outstanding multimedia presence for the libraries on campus, online, and nationwide. The driving force behind the university’s multimedia Library Channel (lib.asu.edu/librarychannel), Harp has produced over 100 audio podcasts and 50 video productions, including the famous “Library Minute” series, as well as digital signage, a news blog, a YouTube channel, and a Twitter account, bringing ASU’s libraries (and its librarians) into the spotlight.

In the “Library Minute” series, Harp crunches info about library procedures into entertaining minute-long videos hosted by bespectacled ASU librarian Anali Perry. Harp and colleagues “collaborate on ideas through online brainstorming sessions” and often improvise while shooting. “We came up with an infomercial theme on the spot while filming ‘Get it @ ASU,’” he says. “Fun Things To Do at the Libraries” is one of his favorites, while “Checking Out Books,” with vintage film stock and graphics including a can of Spam, is also a must-see.

The Library Channel tunes students into current events, like the Open Access debate, and includes data on campus happenings and videos of recent guest lecturers. Significantly, Harp has parlayed Library Channel material into mainstream university venues like ASU’s YouTube channel.

In addition, Harp just launched ASU’s Library One Search, which he calls “an answer to requests for a more Googlelike integrated search tool of our holdings.” Just another way Harp brilliantly tunes into what people want. “In the future, I hope students return to more scholarly resources for research and use Google and Wikipedia as launch pads for creative thinking” rather than seeing the library as an “optional point of research.” With Harp in charge, libraries won’t just get 15 minutes of fame—they’ll be ready for prime time.

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One Response to “Arizona Mover and Shaker– Matthew Harp, Arizona State University Libraries”

  1. Jacque Doyle said

    Note–just learned that UA SIRLS graduate Virginia Sanchez, now at LB PL is also named! Yay, Virginia! See: http://stage.libraryjournal.com/MS2010Inductee/2140493350.html

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