4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Read reviews here and here.
An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal. At a moment of drastic political upheaval, this book is an investigation into the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, as well as solutions to its myriad of problems. Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries–the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers–that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. You can read a review here.
Comfort Food: Meanings and Memories, edited by Michael Owen Jones and Lucy M. Long, explores this concept with examples taken from Atlantic Canadians, Indonesians, the English in Britain, and various ethnic, regional, and religious populations as well as rural and urban residents in the United States. This volume includes studies of particular edibles and the ways in which they comfort or in some instances cause discomfort. The contributors focus on items ranging from bologna to chocolate, including sweet and savory puddings, fried bread with an egg in the center, dairy products, fried rice, cafeteria fare, sugary fried dough, soul food, and others.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life is a collection of essays by Samantha Irby, who runs the blog bitches gotta eat. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel. New Year’s Day, 1889.In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey.Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient–a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition?McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill–home of the Lancashire witches–where unimaginable danger awaits.
Incredible Insects: A Celebration of Insect Biology
On display June 13 – October 15, 2017
in the Chappell Family Gallery and Stone Family Gallery, Perkins and Rubenstein Libraries, Duke West Campus (Click for map)
Insects are the most numerous and diverse animals on earth. They can be found in almost every environment. Because of their tremendous diversity, they play many important roles in nature, as well as in human society—enchanting us with their beauty, unsettling us with their strangeness. Whether revered or reviled, these fascinating and ubiquitous organisms can truly be said to have conquered the planet.
A new library exhibit offers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of insects, including research on insects conducted here at Duke.
The exhibit is divided into several sections, including insect evolution and diversity, coloration and camouflage, types and stages of insect metamorphosis, the roles of insects in human history and culture, and a fascinating look at two of nature’s greatest mysteries: the migration of the monarch butterfly and the clockwork-like appearance of periodical cicadas.
Exhibit visitors can also hear sound recordings of insect calls at a nearby kiosk and see up-close images of insects taken with electron microscopes.
Around the corner from the Chappell Family Gallery, viewers can step inside the Rubenstein Library’s Stone Family Gallery and peruse several selections of rare books that complement the exhibit. The exhibit curators selected these works because they represent some of the earliest scientific investigations to discover general aspects of biology and natural history through the study of insects.
Incredible Insects was curated by a team of entymology students, faculty and staff from the Duke biology department.
The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes was named a “10 New Books we Recommend this Week” by the New York Times Book Review. Tim O’Brien said that “The Afterlife of Stars moved me more than any other novel I’ve read in recent memory.” With dazzling storytelling and a firm belief in the power of humor in the face of turmoil, Kertes has crafted a fierce saga of identity and love that resonates through its final page. The Afterlife of Stars is not only a stirring account of one displaced family’s possibilities for salvation, but also an extraordinary tale of the singular and enduring ties of brotherhood.
The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power by Joseph Turow is a revealing and surprising look at the ways that aggressive consumer advertising and tracking, already pervasive online, are coming to a retail store near you. Drawing on his interviews with retail executives, analysis of trade publications, and experiences at insider industry meetings, advertising and digital studies expert Joseph Turow pulls back the curtain on these trends, showing how a new hyper-competitive generation of merchants–including Macy’s, Target, and Walmart–is already using data mining, in-store tracking, and predictive analytics to change the way we buy, undermine our privacy, and define our reputations.
Eveningland by Michael Knight is a collection of stories. Grappling with dramas both epic and personal, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the “unspeakable misgivings of contentment,” Eveningland captures with crystalline poeticism and perfect authenticity of place the ways in which ordinary life astounds us with its complexity. These stories, told with economy and precision, infused with humor and pathos, excavate brilliantly the latent desires and motivations that drive life forward. You can read reviews here and here.
I’d Die for You: And Other Lost Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a collection of the last remaining unpublished and uncollected short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Anne Margaret Daniel. Fitzgerald did not design the stories in I’d Die For You as a collection. Most were submitted individually to major magazines during the 1930s and accepted for publication during Fitzgerald’s lifetime, but were never printed. Some were written as movie scenarios and sent to studios or producers, but not filmed. Others are stories that could not be sold because their subject matter or style departed from what editors expected of Fitzgerald. They date from the earliest days of Fitzgerald’s career to the last. They come from various sources, from libraries to private collections, including those of Fitzgerald’s family.
The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy. In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances. A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion. You can read reviews here and here.
Do you ever wonder what people who work in a library like to read? Well, it turns out our reading tastes here at Duke University Libraries are extremely varied! For the months of June and July our Collection Spotlight is going to feature picks from our library staff. You should come by the display near the Perkins Service Desk on the first floor of the library to see what they picked. Here is just a sampling:
Valerie Gillispie from University Archives recommended Kitchens of the Great Midwest. She said: “This is a story of Eva Thorvald, a girl raised in the upper Midwest, who loves food. As a child, she grows hot peppers in her bedroom closet, and grows up to become an extraordinary chef. This novel made me hungry, and nostalgic for Minnesota.”
Janil Miller from our Marine Lab Library picked Whale by Joe Roman, describing it as a “delightfully informative read on Earth’s largest mammal. Through historical illustrations & text, the reader travels from the beast of Biblical fame to today’s wondrous creatures and the many challenges experienced at the human/sea interface.”
Kris Troost from International and Area Studies suggested The Translation of Love, saying that it was a “fascinating depiction of immediate postwar Japan and the struggles faced by repatriated Japanese Canadians who were given few choices after being interned and Japanese Americans serving in the Occupation. Written by a Japanese-Canadian librarian.”
Benov Tzvetan from Access and Delivery Services recommended the classic One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Here is why he thinks you should read this book: “Ever felt that life is too hard & unfair? Been upset that store X has run out of your favorite brand of Y? Complained that there aren’t enough Z locally? This page-turner might offer you a different perspective on life…but you have to read it first.”
Kim Duckett from Research and Instructional Services submitted the graphic memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast. Here’s Kim’s description: “Chast’s parents are REALLY old. In this engaging book she explores what it’s like to help your parents as they age, but also tells the story of a long marriage and the intricacies of family dynamics. It’s touching, sad, and darkly humorous.”
Bridgette Chandhoke from the Communications office in the library offered a perhaps less well-known work from the famous John Steinbeck. She recommends Travels with Charley: In Search of America, saying: “In this genuine and intimate reflection, John Steinbeck details his cross-country road trip with his dog, Charley, to rediscover the beauty and truths of 1960s America. Through autumn soaked trees and dusty deserts, you’ll be right there with them!”
Our staff picked so many great books that it was hard to choose just a couple to highlight, so I do hope you’ll come see the rest soon. Thanks to everyone recommended a title!
In the summer I like to read the Duke Common Experience Summer Reading selection. I am really excited to check out Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco this year. I noticed something interesting though when I looked at the list of the finalists this year. Lots of great titles, but all the authors are men. So I thought I’d suggest some books written by women for your summer reading, just to balance your reading list!
Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi traces traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. You can read reviews here and here.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life–but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien has been on both the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlists. In Canada in 1991, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman called Ai-Ming, who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests. Ai-Ming tells Marie the story of her family in Revolutionary China – from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao’s ascent to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989. It is a story of revolutionary idealism, music, and silence, in which three musicians – the shy and brilliant composer Sparrow, the violin prodigy Zhuli, and the enigmatic pianist Kai – struggle during China’s relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to.
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay is a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July. If you have never read anything by Roxane Gay, her website has a great list of the short stories, essays, and interviews that have appeared in a variety of online and print publications. You might also want to check out this NPR interview.
Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age was written by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the founder of muslimgirl.com. It was a New York Times Editor’s Pick, where the book was described as a “blunt observation, reflective of the potent message she delivers to her readers, a skillful unraveling of the myth of the submissive Muslim woman and a timely introduction to those other, very American and largely unheard 9/11 kids who bear the destructive burden of that one day, every day.” It is a harrowing and candid memoir about coming of age as a Muslim American in the wake of 9/11, during the never-ending war on terror, and through the Trump era. You can read an excerpt here.
Date: Tuesday, May 2 Time: 1:00-3:00 PM Location: Perkins 217
The puppies are back for another tail-wagging snuggle fest. Therapy dogs will be in the Libraries to soothe your finals worry and get you on track for summer vacation. Join us for a cuddly meet-and-greet with the cutest pups on campus!
So Much Synth by Brenda Shaughnessy. Subversions of idiom and cliche punctuate Shaughnessy’s fourth collection as she approaches middle age and revisits the memories, romances, and music of adolescence. So Much Synth is a brave and ferocious collection composed of equal parts femininity, pain, pleasure, and synthesizer. While Shaughnessy tenderly winces at her youthful excesses, we humbly catch glimpses of our own. Check out this recent interview with Shaughnessy.
Whosoever Has Let a Minotaur Enter Them, Or a Sonnet- by Emily Carr is part of the McSweeney’s poetry series. How does a love poet fall out of her marriage and back in love with the world? What happens when you grow up to be the “kind of person who…”? These fairytales are for the heartbreakers as much as the heartbroken, for those smitten with wanderlust, for those who believe in loving this world through art.
Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin edited by Philip Cushway and Michael Warr.
Included in this extraordinary volume are the poems of 43 of America’s most talented African American wordsmiths, including Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Rita Dove, Natasha Tretheway, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Tracy K. Smith, as well as the work of other luminaries such as Elizabeth Alexander, Ishmael Reed, and Sonia Sanchez. Included are poems such as “No Wound of Exit” by Patricia Smith, “We Are Not Responsible” by Harryette Mullen, and “Poem for My Father” by Quincy Troupe. Each is accompanied by a photograph of the poet along with a first-person biography.
Quarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke and Hangry by Samantha Jayne, who is the creator of the popular Quarter Life Poetry Tumblr and Instagram. She captures real-life truths of work, money, sex, and many other 20-something challenges in this laugh-out-loud collection of poetry. Samantha knows that life post-college isn’t as glamorous as all undergrads think it’s going to be… because she’s currently living it. At 25, Samantha began creating doodles and funny poems about her #struggle to share with friends on Instagram. To her surprise, these poems were picked up by 20-somethings all around the world who agreed, “This is literally us.”
Dothead: Poems by Amit Majmudar is a captivating, no-holds-barred collection of new poems from an acclaimed poet and novelist with a fierce and original voice. Dothead is an exploration of selfhood both intense and exhilarating. From poems about the treatment at the airport of people who look like Majmudar (“my dark unshaven brothers / whose names overlap with the crazies and God fiends”) to a long, freewheeling abecedarian poem about Adam and Eve and the discovery of oral sex, Dothead is a profoundly satisfying cultural critique and a thrilling experiment in language. You can listen to an interview with Majmudar here.
We’re celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting some of the poetry books in our collection. You can see them on our Collection Spotlight rack near the New and Noteworthy collection. Our previous Collection Spotlight was for Trans Day of Visibility!
Also be on the look out for our “Poet-tree” where you can add lines from some of your favorite poems. For inspiration check out some of these Poems in Your Pocket.
Here is a selection of some of the titles that we are highlighting:
Are you in the library so often you’ve practically become a part of it yourself?
Join us as we celebrate National Library Week (April 9 – 15) and show off your love of the Libraries by being one for the books… literally!
Last year we celebrated National Library Week by asking people to #ThankALibrarian and tell us how a librarian had helped them recently (see video).
This year, we invite you to become a part of our amazing collections by making a “bookface” and participating in a video celebrating all of the resources the Duke Libraries have to offer!
We will be photographing bookfaces outside Perkins Library on Monday, April 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Lilly Library on Friday, April 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. We’ll also have fun celebratory buttons you can take with you!
Join us to help make this year’s National Library Week one for the books!
P.S. Look out for a Snapchat Geotag in Rubenstein, Perkins, Bostock, and Lilly and posts to our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts throughout the entire week!
Thanks for loving your library. You’re one for the books!
Counting what, you may ask? 30,000 DVDs in the Lilly Library!
Lilly Library celebrates the acquisition of our 30,000th DVD
Lilly Library has a deep and rich collection of films, and as the films are continually ordered and catalogued, we became aware that we were nearing a milestone of 30,000 DVDs on our shelves. The very first DVD cataloged for Lilly Library was the French film, The Last Metro, and it marked the beginning of a highly regarded collection brimming with classic films, international and global films, serious documentaries and ever popular animated films.
Why The Princess Bride?
The inspiration on what to select as our 30,000th film came from our First-Year Library Advisory Board Group which suggested a “fun” film from 30 years ago. Films from 1987 such as Predator, Rain Man, Full Metal Jacket and Fatal Attraction didn’t quite “fit the bill”, but The Princess Bride emerged as a favorite, and most importantly – F U N!
To mark the acquisition of the 30,000th DVD in our collection, Lilly Library is sponsoring the following events:
Cake! Enjoy a special Twue Wuv Cake
Meet the people behind the scenes, the catalogers & staff involved in bringing this film, and other films to our library users.
Wednesday, March 29th at 10 a.m.
Where: Lilly Library Lobby For Duke Students: If your slice has the “Miracle Max Pill”, you win a prize!
Movie! The Princess Bride
When: Friday, March 31st at 8 p.m.
Where: Trinity Café, East Campus Union Refreshments provided – while they last
Sponsored by the East Campus Libraries – Lilly and Music –
and Devils After Dark
The Underground and Independent Comics database is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. It features the comics themselves along with interviews, commentary, and criticism. Includes artists such as Jessica Abel, Jaime Hernandez, Jason, Harvey Pekar, Dave Sim, and many more. There are comics from around the world, including Canada, France, Italy, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Korea, Japan.
Comics and Graphic Novels in the Stacks
You can check out comics and graphic novels from our circulating collections. We also have comics and graphic novels scattered throughout our libraries, with most of them housed at Lilly Library on East campus. You’ll find everything from The Walking Dead to Persepolis.
There are several ways to identify titles. If you want to browse, relevant call number sections include PN6700-6790 and NC1300-1766. You can do a title search in our library catalog for specific titles. You can also use the subject headings Comic books, strips, etc. and graphic novels to discover more titles.
We have manga in the East Asian collection on the second floor of Bostock. We hold about 600 titles in Japanese and 150 titles translated into English just in PN6790.J3 – PN6790.J34. You can also find Korean manhwa in PN6790 K6 – PN6790.K64. Popular titles held at Duke include One Piece,Dragon ball, Naruto, Astro Boy, as well as the complete works of Tezuka Osamu.
Come Visit Us This Week!
We’ll have a table outside of the Perk on Tuesday March 28th from 1-2 and on Wednesday March 29th from 11-12. We’ll be showing off some of the works in our collections, demonstrating The Underground and Independent Comics database, and answering questions!
A profound and dazzlingly entertaining novel from the writer Louis Menand calls “Jane Austen with a Russian soul.” In her warm, absorbing and keenly observed new novel, Still Here, Lara Vapnyar follows the intertwined lives of four immigrants in New York City as they grapple with love and tumult, the challenges of a new home, and the absurdities of the digital age. It was featured in The Millions’ The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy is the life story of Coretta Scott King–wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist–as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds. Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.
The Signal Flame by Andrew Krivak is the second novel from National Book Award finalist Andrew Krivak–a heartbreaking, captivating story about a family awaiting the return of their youngest son from the Vietnam War. Beginning shortly after Easter in 1972 and ending on Christmas Eve this ambitious novel beautifully evokes ordinary time, a period of living and working while waiting and watching and expecting. You can read reviews here and here.
A Life in Parts is a memoir by Bryan Cranston, star of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle. He maps his zigzag journey from abandoned son to beloved star by recalling the many odd parts he’s played in real life–paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, lover, husband, father. Cranston also chronicles his evolution on camera, from soap opera player trying to master the rules of show business to legendary character actor turning in classic performances as Seinfeld dentist Tim Whatley, “a sadist with newer magazines,” and Malcolm in the Middle dad Hal Wilkerson, a lovable bumbler in tighty-whities. He has much to say about creativity, devotion, and craft, as well as innate talent and its challenges and benefits and proper maintenance.
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life is by Helen Czerski, a a physicist and oceanographer at University College London. She provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She guides us through the principles of gases, gravity, size, and time. You can read reviews here and here.
On Thursday, March 30, the Department of English is hosting BELOVED, a marathon reading of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel. BELOVED will run 8 hours (9AM-5PM) in the Carpenter Conference Room (Rubenstein Library 249), where there will be a podium, microphone, audience seating, and T-shirts for all participants. Sign up to read via THIS LINK by March 23rd.
WHAT: Edible Book Festival
WHEN: Friday, March 31, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Perkins Library, Room 217
Calling all bibliophiles, foodies, pun aficionados, and spectators: Duke’s Edible Book Festival is seeking submissions for its annual contest on March 31.
The Edible Book Festival is an international event started in 1999 that invites people to share “bookish foods” and to celebrate the literal and figurative ingestion of culture.
Duke’s festival is sponsored by Duke University Libraries and will take place on Friday, March 31, 1:00-3:00 p.m. in Perkins Library Room 217.
The event features a contest of edible books, voting for favorite entries, and prizes for winners. Contestants and attendees are also invited to to bring gently used books to donate to a drive for Book Harvest, a nonprofit organization that provides books to local children in need.
To participate, individuals are asked to submit edible art that has something to do with books as shapes or content. Prizes will be awarded for Most Edible, Least Edible, Punniest, and Best in Show.
The festival is open to all Duke faculty, staff, students and the general public. Entries should be delivered to Perkins 217 between 12:00 and 12:30 p.m. the day of the event.
The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of our 2017 Andrew T. Nadell Prize for Book Collecting.
Since 1947, the Friends of the Duke University Libraries have presented the contest in alternate years to promote reading for enjoyment and the development of students’ personal libraries. The contest is open to all regularly enrolled undergraduate and graduate students at Duke University. The winners for 2017 are:
First Prize: Jessica Lee, “Hamilton to Homer: A Mythoholic’s Journey to Becoming a Classicist”
Second Prize: Caroline del Real, “The Unfathomable Journey: A Factual and Fictional View of Life Under the Sea”
First Prize (tie): Colin O’Leary, “The ‘Library of Forking Paths’: Jorge Luis Borges, His Literary Antecedents and His Descendants”
First Prize (tie): Jason Todd, “Century of Upheaval: War and Revolution in China and Around the World”
Second Prize: Brent Caldwell, “Politics by Example: My Political Mentors, America’s 20th Century Greats”
Since 1947, the Duke University Libraries have presented the Prize for Book Collecting in alternating years to promote the development of students’ personal libraries.
Members of the public are invited to a showing at which undergraduate and graduate student competitors will have selections from their personal collections on display and will answer any questions about the works they collect.
The contest is named for Dr. Andrew T. Nadell M’74, who began collecting rare books when he was a student at Duke. The contest is open to all students regularly enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate/professional degree program at Duke. Winners of our contest will be eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, where they will compete for a $2,500 prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Hannah Hart, a YouTube star, has written an at times very funny and very heartbreaking memoir called Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded. She writes about her internet fame, her family, mental illness, love, friendship, sexuality, and more. John Green describes the memoir like this: “By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hannah Hart’s new book is a roaring, beautiful, and profoundly human account of an extraordinary life.” To find out more about Hannah and her memoir, check out this NPR interview.
Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction by Mary Ellen Hannibal is a wide-ranging adventure in becoming a citizen scientist by an award-winning writer and environmental thought leader. As Mary Ellen Hannibal wades into tide pools, follows hawks, and scours mountains to collect data on threatened species, she discovers the power of a heroic cast of volunteers–and the makings of what may be our last, best hope in slowing an unprecedented mass extinction. Digging deeply, Hannibal traces today’s tech-enabled citizen science movement to its roots: the centuries-long tradition of amateur observation by writers and naturalists. Read an excerpt here.
In Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service, journalist Devin Leonard tackles the fascinating, centuries-long history of the USPS, from the first letter carriers through Franklin’s days, when postmasters worked out of their homes and post roads cut new paths through the wilderness. It is a rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system–and the country–to a halt in the 1970s. This book is the first major history of the USPS in over fifty years. Read a review here and here.
Refugee Tales, edited by David Herd & Anna Pincus, collects tales from poets and novelists who retell the stories of individuals who have direct experience of Britain’s policy of indefinite immigration detention. Presenting their accounts anonymously, as modern day counterparts to the pilgrims’ stories in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales , this book offers rare, intimate glimpses into otherwise untold suffering. You can learn more about this project here. Also check out this review in the Guardian.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, check out Love is Love: A Comic Book Anthology to Benefit the Survivors of the Orlando Pulse Shooting from IDW Publishing and DC Entertainment. This oversize comic contains moving and heartfelt material from some of the greatest talent in comics, mourning the victims, supporting the survivors, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and examining love in today’s world. Some of the talents include Cecil Castellucci, Damon Lindelof, Patton Oswalt, G. Willow Wilson, Steve Orlando, James Tynion IV, Gail Simone, and Dan Parent.
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for more things to read, check out our Blind Date with a Book. You may need to hurry before all the matches are made!
Are you stuck in a reading rut? Is your desire for abstraction not getting any action?
This Valentine’s Day, spice up your reading life and take home a one-night stand for your nightstand.
Check out our Blind Date with a Book display February 9-17 in Perkins Library next to the New and Noteworthy section.
Our librarians have hand-picked some of their all-time favorite literary crushes. Trust us. Librarians are the professional matchmakers of the book world. If these titles were on Tinder, we’d swipe right on every one. (Not that you should ever judge a book by its cover.)
Each book comes wrapped in brown paper with a come-hither teaser to pique your interest. Will you get fiction or nonfiction? Short stories or travelogue? Memoir or thriller? You won’t know until you “get between the covers,” if you know what we mean.
Not looking for commitment? No problem. Let us hook you up with a 100-page quickie.
Or maybe you’re the type who likes it long and intense? Here’s a little somethin-somethin that will keep you up all night for weeks. Aw, yeah.
Either way, be sure to let us know what you think. Each book comes with a “Rate Your Date” card. Use it as a bookmark. Then drop it in our Blind Date with a Book box when you return your book to Perkins. You’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
So treat your pretty little self to a mystery date. Who knows? You might just fall in love with a new favorite writer!
When: Friday, March 3, 2017 Time: 9:00 p.m. to Midnight Where: Perkins and Bostock Libraries, 1st Floor Admission: Free Dress: Semi-Formal Attire, or Dress as Your Favorite Mystery Character
The Library Party is a unique Duke tradition. For one night only, Perkins and Bostock Libraries throw open their doors for a night of music, food, and un-shushed entertainment. The event is free and open to the entire Duke community.
After a couple of years on hiatus, the Library Party is back! Once again, the Libraries are partnering with the Duke Marketing Club to organize this year’s event. The theme—“Mystery in the Stacks”—is inspired by classic works of mystery and detective fiction.
The event will feature live music, costumes, decorations, food and beverages, and plenty of mystery!
Senior Toast at 10:30 p.m. Join us in von der Heyden for a special champagne toast to the Duke Class of 2017, with remarks by Senior Class President Kavita Jain.
Many thanks to our not-so-mysterious co-sponsors: the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Markets & Management Studies, Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and Duke Student Government.
The Sobbing School by Joshua Bennett is a “sharp and scintillating” (Publishers Weekly) debut collection of poetry, selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series, Joshua Bennett’s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry, presents songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de-familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience. What animates these poems is a desire to assert life, and interiority , where there is said to be none. Figures as widely divergent as Bobby Brown, Martin Heidegger, and the 19th-century performance artist Henry Box Brown, as well as Bennett’s own family and childhood best friends, appear and are placed in conversation.
I think many of us are still feeling the pain of losing Carrie Fisher. One way to cope may be to check out her new The Princess Diarist. When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved–plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naivete, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, this is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time–and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. If you enjoy this read, I’d highly recommend reading the rest of her writings.
In Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair, Emma Tarlo travels the globe, tracking the movement of hair across India, Myanmar, China, Africa, the United States, Britain and Europe, where she meets people whose livelihoods depend on it. Viewed from inside Chinese wig factories, Hindu temples and the villages of Myanmar, or from Afro hair fairs, Jewish wig parlours, fashion salons and hair loss clinics in Britain and the United States, hair is oddly revealing of the lives of all it touches. You can read reviews here and here.
In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer?: The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis explores one of humankind’s oldest love-hate relationships–our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI. It traces AI’s origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein, to today’s sci-fi blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. Zarkadakis explains AI’s history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as–perhaps most tellingly–what AI reveals about us as human beings.
Unspeakable Things by Kathleen Spivack is a strange, haunting novel about survival and love in all its forms; about sexual awakenings and dark secrets; about European refugee intellectuals who have fled Hitler’s armies with their dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) “can do, will do” world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls–and us–to another realm of the senses. To find out more read a Washington Times review, a Paste Magazine review, and a Jewish Book Council review.
Today is Jane Austen’s 241st birthday! Since the film Love and Friendship came out this year (do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP), I think it would be appropriate to celebrate this year by reading some of her juvenilia and less known works.
Lady Susan (the story that the film Love and Friendship is based on)
The holidays are just around the corner, and you still don’t know what to get that person on your list who has everything. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Instead of another tie or pair of socks, give a gift that matters to every member of the Duke community. Make an honorary or memorial gift to Duke University Libraries, and make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and researchers. Your gift to one of the funds below helps us continue to add resources and services that support the Duke and Durham community.
You can direct your honorary or memorial gift to one or more of the Libraries’ funds, including:
The Library Annual Fund provides flexible, unrestricted support for the Libraries’ varied operational needs (and the Honoring with Books program gives Annual Fund donors who contribute $100 or more the opportunity to recognize a special person or event with an electronic bookplate)
The Adopt-A-Book program funds the conservation of an item from the collections, and provides flexible support for the Conservation Services department
It’s one of my favorite times of the year! Yes, that’s right it’s “year’s best books” season. Many places, including the NYT, Washington Post, NPR, Vulture, and many more.
I’m happy to say that we have many of these books in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections, though I’ll warn you now that you may have to get on the waiting list for some titles! Here are a selection.
The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (appears on almost every list). A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey–hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.
Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte. This book is number three on Vulture’s list: “It’s a rare and bracing thing to see a debut novelist confident enough to pour acid on an entire system (in this case, the one we call meritocracy). The millennials have teeth.” The novel’s four whip-smart narrators–idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda–are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, the four estranged friends stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again.
As described on the NPR list, “The Wonder: A Novel by Emma Donoghue is just that: ‘a wonder’ of a story about religious delusion and self-denial set in 19th-century Ireland.” Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.
In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi is featured on NYT’s list: “When Faludi learned that her estranged and elderly father had undergone gender reassignment surgery, in 2004, it marked the resumption of a difficult relationship. Her father was violent and full of contradictions: a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and Leni Riefenstahl fanatic, he stabbed a man her mother was seeing and used the incident to avoid paying alimony. In this rich, arresting and ultimately generous memoir, Faludi — long known for her feminist journalism — tries to reconcile Steven, the overbearing patriarch her father once was, with Stefánie, the old woman she became.”
The Washington Post includes Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets: by Svetlana Alexievich: “Alexievich turns on a tape recorder and listens to average Russians describing their lives amid the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Alexievich, who was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature, has produced one of the most vivid and incandescent accounts yet attempted of this society caught in the throes of change. It is the story of what one character aptly describes as ‘our lost generation — a communist upbringing and capitalist life.'”
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan appears on both the lists of Vulture and NYT. It is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scope. When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb–one of the many “small” bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world–detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb.
Since it’s the season of giving, here are two other things you might find useful when selecting a good read. The Guardian does a slightly different kind of end of year roundup. They have various writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Julian Barnes select their favorite reads of the year. Also, NPR has a really fun Book Concierge that lets you use filters to explore titles recommended by their staff and critics.
Who hasn’t heard or read that coloring reduces stress? There is evidence that even a short coloring or craft session helps to improve focus and spur creativity.1 In fact, at Lilly Library we are aware of this effect, so for the past several years we’ve offered Duke students the LillyRelaxation Station. Located in our first floor training room, the Relaxation Station provides games, crafts, puzzles, coloring, and markers for whiteboards so that students may take a moment (or two) to relax and recharge their gray matter!
What: Lilly Relaxation Station
When: Tuesday, December 13ththrough Sunday December 18th
Duke Students are invited to drop in, “take a moment” (or however much time they wish – no pressure!) and enjoy themselves during Finals Week.
Check out the Lilly Facebook page for event details. Additionally, Lilly partners with Devils After Dark to offer snacks on the evenings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 8 p.m. in the Lilly foyer.
As you are preparing for your much needed break, I hope you remember that the library will still be here for you! Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you. We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices. Here are some of the resources we have to do this!
Alexander Street Video Collection: Find and watch streaming video across multiple Alexander Street Press video collections on diverse topics that include newsreels, documentaries, field recordings, interviews and lectures.
Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindles®.
Good News! It’s time for a study bark! I mean, break.
Wednesday, December 14, Puppies in Perkins will be back! Puppies, wagging tails, and snuggles for all. From 12 pm-3 pm in Perkins 217 therapy dogs will be in the library to soothe all your finals woes and give you the cuddles you so richly deserve. There will also be fun, finals-themed button-making! Come take a study break and meet and greet the cutest pups on campus!
The Friends of the Duke University Libraries are proud to present the 2017 Andrew T. Nadell Prize for Book Collecting. The contest is open to all students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate/professional degree program at Duke and the winners will receive cash prizes!
First Prize Undergraduate: $1,000 Graduate: $1,000
Second Prize Undergraduate: $500 Graduate: $500
Winners of the contest will also be eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, where they will compete for a $2,500 prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress.
Students do not have to be “book collectors” to enter the contest. Past collections have varied in interest areas and included a number of different types of materials. The collections will be judged based on adherence to a clearly defined unifying theme, and rarity and monetary value will not be considered during judging.
Students who are interested in entering can visit the Prize for Book Collecting homepage for more information and read winning entries from past years. Students may also contact Megan Crain at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
All at Sea: A Memoir by Decca Aitkenhead tells the story of love and loss, of how one couple changed each other’s life, and of what a sudden death can do to the people who survive. On a hot, still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead’s life changed forever. Her four-year-old son was paddling peacefully at the water’s edge when a wave pulled him out to sea. Her partner, Tony, swam out and saved their son’s life–then drowned before her eyes. Here is a great review of the book and a little discussion of her writing process.
City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence. Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong examines one of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin–a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth. Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. Look here and here for good reviews.
Cities I’ve Never Lived In: Stories by Sara Majka. Fearlessly riding the line between imagination and experience, fact and fiction, the stories in this debut collection give intimate glimpses of a young New England woman whose life must begin afresh after divorce. A book that upends our ideas of love and belonging, and which asks how much of ourselves we leave behind with each departure we make, these fourteen stories orbit the dreams of a narrator who turns to narrative as a means of working through the world and of understanding herself. To learn more about this collection check out these tworeviews.
By Gaslight by Steven Price. As described by Jean Zimmerman from NPR.org, “By Gaslight can be seen as Arthur Conan Doyle by way of Dickens by way of Faulkner . . . Intense, London-centric, threaded through with a melancholy brilliance, it is an extravagant novel that takes inspiration from the classics and yet remains wholly itself.”
What: Opening of 50 Years of Lemurs at Duke exhibit
When: Thursday, October 27, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Where: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein 153) and Chappell Family Gallery (map)
Who: Free and open to the public
The Duke Lemur Center and the Duke University Libraries will debut a new exhibit in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Lemur Center, home to the world’s largest and most diverse collection of lemurs – Earth’s most threatened group of mammals – outside of Madagascar.
A public event celebrating the opening of the exhibit will take place on Thursday, October 27, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.
The event will include short introductory remarks by Anne Yoder, Director of the Lemur Center, followed by a drop-in reception with light refreshments to view 50 Years of Lemurs at Duke,an exhibition curated by Lemur Center staff. The exhibition explores different facets of the Center, including ways in which it has worked to support research, both locally and around the world, for half of a century.
Most importantly, the exhibit will feature the true stars of the center: the lemurs! Guests will have the opportunity to admire these honorary mascots of the university in both pictures and on film. Members of the Lemur Center staff will be available to answer questions and share stories.
The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to join in celebrating a semicentennial era of lemurs at Duke!
As always we’re highlighting our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections. Since we’re getting closer to the November 8th election, this month’s theme is elections and politics!
Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman. Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on-the-ground reporting. In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court.
Uninformed: Why People Know So Little about Politics and What We Can Do about It by Arthur Lupia. Citizens sometimes lack the knowledge that they need to make competent political choices, and it is undeniable that greater knowledge can improve decision making. But we need to understand that voters either don’t care about or pay attention to much of the information that experts think is important. Uninformed provides the keys to improving political knowledge and civic competence: understanding what information is important to others and knowing how to best convey it to them.
Who is Hillary Clinton?: Two Decades of Answers from the Left, edited by Richard Kreitner. Contributors to this anthology include David Corn, Erica Jong, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Tomasky, William Greider, Ari Berman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Chris Hayes, Jessica Valenti, Richard Kim, Joan Walsh, Jamelle Bouie, Doug Henwood, Heather Digby Parton, Michelle Goldberg, and many more.
Trump and Me by Mark Singer. Recounts the Singer’s experience writing a profile about Trump for the New Yorker in 1996.
The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today by Colin Dueck. The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshaling American power that will help shape the foreign policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
Your Voice Your Vote: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Power, Politics, and the Change We Need by Martha Burk. This book is a manifesto for this year’s woman voter and for male voters who care about the women in their lives. Martha Burk empowers the reader to cut through the double talk, irrelevancies, and false promises, and focuses directly on what’s at stake for women not only in the 2016 election, but also in the years beyond. Where women stand, what women think, and what we need — with tough questions for candidates to hold their feet to the fire.
Finally, the Libraries will be hosting an informal watch party in the Lilly Training Room (Room 103) for each televised debate. We will also plan to host an interesting discussion by two faculty experts on Wednesday October 19th. Watch out for further information!
In case you can’t get enough of politics in this election cycle, Lilly Library’s exhibit Reel Politics: Focus on Elections highlights the wide range of political or politically themed films in our collections. Duke students, staff and faculty can “write-in” their favorite film or choose from some of the titles represented.
The American political process and environment are explored, celebrated and, yes, deplored in all genres of film and television programs: romances, satires, and searing dramas, cynical and sometimes insightful documentaries. Films available in the Lilly Library collections include classics such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or its cynical counterpart, The Candidate, idealized romances such as The American President, comedies such as Election, and documentaries such as Weiner or The War Room. Television series also portray the American political scene in a variety of ways – what starker contrast in depictions of the Presidency can be found than between that of The West Wing and the recent series, House of Cards?
What are the bestfilms , documentaries and television series about American elections? The films and television series in the exhibit represent just a very few of the hundreds of films and series about American elections and politics that the library offers. Explore the possibilities with a search of our library catalogue, peruse the Lilly Video Spotlight on Political Documentaries, and remember, just like the candidates, films have their champions and detractors.
In keeping with the season, perhaps you can conduct your own poll!
Reel Politics: Focus on Elections Exhibit on display through October Lilly Library foyer
The Low Maintenance Book Club is meeting again in October! This book club aims to provide space for members of the Duke community to connect over reading. Realizing how busy people are (and how much reading you probably have to do for classwork and research), we will focus on quick reads. We will read texts like short stories, graphic novels, interesting short essays, poetry, etc.
This month we will be reading several stories from James Tiptree Jr.’s Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. We will have one copy on reserve at the Perkins Library Service desk. It can be checked out for 72 hours. Tiptree’s fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity’s place in a vast, cold universe.
The treasures of Duke’s branch libraries are often hidden. The circulating collections and services of these smaller libraries often claim the pride of place. Both libraries on East Campus, Lilly Library and Music Library, however, hold precious material relating to their subject collections. Known in the library world as “medium rare” (as opposed to the rare materials located in the David M. Rubenstein Library) such primary source materials allow students to examine history first hand.
This fall the Lilly Library added a lobby display case to highlight its unique collections. The inaugural display is one volume of our three-volume Vitruvius Britannicus, a large and early folio devoted to the great buildings of England to be seen in 1717.
An outstanding example of a folio (book) format as well as the awakening of interest in British architecture by its own architects – quoting from the Oxford Art Online – Vitruvius Britannicus was a cooperative venture that appears to have developed out of the desire of a group of booksellers to capitalize on an already established taste for topographical illustration.
Published in 1715 and 1717, the two original volumes each consisted of 100 large folio plates of plans, elevations and sections chiefly illustrating contemporary secular buildings. Many of these plates provided lavish illustration of the best-known houses of the day, such as Chatsworth, Derbys, or Blenheim Palace, Oxon, intended to appeal to the widespread desire for prints of such buildings as well as providing their architects a chance to publicize their current work.
We invite you to visit the Lilly Library on East Campus and to enjoy this “medium rare” folio on exhibit. For more information about the Lilly Library folio or art and image collections, contact Lee Sorensen, the Librarian for Visual Studies.
Update: All copies of the book have been given away, but we still welcome you to join us! Registering in advance helps us get a head count for refreshments.
The Low Maintenance Book Club is beginning again this fall! This book club aims to provide space for members of the Duke community to connect over reading. Realizing how busy people are (and how much reading you probably have to do for classwork and research), we will focus on quick reads. We will read texts like short stories, graphic novels, interesting short essays, poetry, etc.
For our first fall meeting we will be discussing several stories from Sherman Alexie’s Blasphemy. This collection combines fifteen classic stories and fifteen new ones, so there is plenty of content for people very familiar with his work and people who are new to his style.
Welcome back to a new semester! While you’re exploring all that Duke has to offer, why not explore our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections? One of the great things about the books in these collections is the variety of subject areas and genres represented—everything from graphic novels, political histories, and books about diseases (and many things in between).
Paper Girls Volume One, writer Brian K. Vaughan (author of Saga and other works) and artist Cliff Chiang. In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. You may enjoy this if you have been enjoying the Netflix show Stranger Things.
The Fight to Vote by Michael Waldman, president of The Brennan Center, a legal think tank at NYU. This book trace the entire story from the Founders’ debates to today’s restrictions: gerrymandering; voter ID laws; the flood of money unleashed by conservative nonprofit organizations; making voting difficult for the elderly, the poor, and the young, by restricting open polling places. You can read this Washington Post article for more details.
Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen. For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content.” You can find reviews here, here, and here. If you enjoy this book, check out one of Anna Quindlen’s many other books here.
Learn to “swim” – and to keep swimming – in the Libraries!
On East Campus, after students settle in and begin classes, the Lilly Library and Duke Music Library offer several ways for the newest Blue Devils to learn and benefit from the incredible resources of the Duke Libraries. Lilly and Music sponsor Library Orientation events – including a film on the East Campus Quad and an Open House to introduce students to library services and collections. In recent years, students ventured into a library-themed Jurassic Park, played The Library Games, and were wowed by theIncredibles and our libraries’ super powers. This year, the Class of 2020 will explore the power of discovery and the rewards of research, and learn to “keep swimming” in our resources when they …
Dive Into the Libraries
Schedule of Library Orientation Events for Fall Semester 2016
After the excitement of the beginning of the new semester subsides, the Duke University Libraries continue to reach out to our students, always ready to offer research support and access to resources in support of their scholarly needs.
Here’s to a great fall semester!
Keep swimming! And, remember – we’re available to help you “keep searching”!
Thanks to Devils After Dark for partnering
with the East Campus Libraries for our orientation events.
I don’t know about you, but when it’s as hot as it’s been this week, all I want to do is stay inside in the air conditioning with a good book (assuming escaping to a lovely beach isn’t an option). If reading sounds good to you too, you might find some good titles in either our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections.
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. From a writer praised by Junot Díaz as “the fire, in my opinion, and the light,” a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman’s rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva . You can read a NYT review here.
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton. Do you enjoy historical fiction? Then you might like this dramatization of the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when “being a writer” was not an option open to women.
The Fugitives by Christopher Sorrentino, a National Book Award finalist. He has written a book that is a bracing, kaleidoscopic look at love and obsession, loyalty and betrayal, race and identity, compulsion and free.
The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline is a not to be missed New York Times Bestseller. This debut novel about the Manson family murders has had a lot of good reviews, such as this, this, and this.
The After Party by Anton DiSclafani. Looking for more of a traditional beach read? The check out the book O Magazine describes as “One of the 3 Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down.” This is the story of 1950s Texas socialites and the one irresistible, controversial woman at the bright, hot center of it all.
A Doubter’s Almanac : A Novel by Ethan Canin. Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, he gives little thought to his own talent. But with his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley he realizes the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts. California in the seventies is a seduction, opening Milo’s eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman he meets there–and the rival he meets alongside her–will haunt him for the rest of his life. For Milo’s brilliance is entwined with a dark need that soon grows to threaten his work, his family, even his existence.
Pablo by Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie ; translated by Edward Gauvin ; coloured by Sandra Desmazières. This award-winning graphic biography of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) captures the prolific and eventful life of one of the world’s best-loved artists. Pablo explores Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, his turbulent relationship with artist/model Fernande Olivier, and how his art developed through friendships with poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, the painter Georges Braque, and his great rival Henri Matisse. Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie depict a career that began in poverty and reached its climax with the advent of cubism and modern art.
Ginny Gall : A Life in the South by Charlie Smith. A sweeping, eerily resonant epic of race and violence in the Jim Crow South: a lyrical and emotionally devastating masterpiece from Charlie Smith, whom the New York Public Library has said “may be America’s most bewitching stylist alive.”You can read reviews for this novel here and here.
The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael Patrick Lynch. We used to say “seeing is believing”; now googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world’s information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Indeed, the Internet has revolutionized the way we learn and know, as well as how we interact with each other. And yet this explosion of technological innovation has also produced a curious paradox: even as we know more, we seem to understand less.
Finally we’re moving into the summer months! If you’re like me, you’ve got some vacation plans and other lazy days that are just made for relaxing with a book. If so, you might want to check out some of the great titles in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This book recently received the 2015 Nebula award for best novel. It’s rooted (pun intended) in folk stories and legends and features a great female protagonist. It’s been one of my favorite reads this year!
The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and the author of many books. This book explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race–as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama’s major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?
Half-earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.
The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery is translated from the French by Alison Anderson and is an inspiring literary fantasy about two gifted girls from the bestselling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Life of Elves sings of the human spirit and conveys a message of hope and faith. You can read reviews here, here, and here.
As finals loom ahead, Lilly Library is here to help the sailing go as smoothly as possible.
For those of you looking to study all hours of the night and day, Lilly is now open 24/7 beginning Thursday, April 28 at 8 a.m. and closing 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.
Join us for our Study Break at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 2 for beverages and lots of snacks, both healthy (fruit and veggies) and the kind you really want to eat (cookies, brownies and the like).
And a Lilly tradition for the past several years–the Relaxation Station–is back, opening on Tuesday, May 3 and running through the end of exams on Saturday. The Relaxation Station offers games, puzzles, coloring and crafts so that students may take a moment (or two) to relax and recharge their gray matter!
Finally, Lilly Library is partnering with Devils After Dark to offer snacks on the evenings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, usually starting around 8 p.m. and in the Lilly foyer.
If studying for finals has you feeling a little overwhelmed…
Good News! It’s time for a study break.
Tuesday May 3rd, Puppies in Perkins will be back! Puppies, wagging tails, and snuggles for all. From 1 pm-4 pm in Perkins 217 therapy dogs will be in the library to soothe all your finals woes and give you the cuddles you so richly deserve. Come take a study break and meet and greet the cutest pups on campus!
April is National Poetry Month, and everyone is celebrating, even Bill Murray. Obviously, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun, so here are some books of poetry and books about poetry from the New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.
Last week we celebrated Shakespeare with a series of blog posts (which you can read here, here, here, here, and here. We were also one of the reading locations for the Shakespeare Everywhere event! They had undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators participate!
In fact enjoy this video of the Brodheads reading in Duke Gardens!
Let me also highlight a few articles and think pieces that are being written. I really enjoyed this article that has reflections from 25 authors about Shakespeare’s influence on them. I thought this reflection on food in Shakespeare was really interesting. Also, this article looks at why we are still obsessively talking about the bard after all this time.
Finally as you can imagine this year has been a banner year for new books about Shakespeare. Here are a few in our collection (a couple of these aren’t out yet but are on order):
Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted for many different periods, countries, and media.
Most obviously his plays have been produced on the stage in a variety of ways. Some stage productions try to perform the play as close to the original as possible, some decide to work with all female casts, and some set their productions in specific time periods, like the roaring 20’s or World War Two. One way to see the different kinds of productions is to read stage histories. In particular you might enjoy Shakespeare: An Illustrated Stage History.
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.
Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez. A brilliantly conceived retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set on a lush Caribbean island during the height of tensions between the native population and British colonists.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there.
My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield. This is a humourous and ultimately moving novel about sex, drugs, and Shakespeare. It tells the story of struggling UC Santa Cruz student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg who is trying to write his thesis about the bard.
The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies. Takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and raises the curtain on the interconnecting lives and loves of an unforgettable cast of characters.
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. The story, which makes many allusions to the dramatic works of Shakespeare, focuses upon the tragic love affair of “star-crossed” lovers Ophelia “Cocoa” Day and George Andrews.
Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike. Tells the story of Claudius and Gertrude, King and Queen of Denmark, before the action of Shakespeare’s Hamlet begins. Employing the nomenclature and certain details of the ancient Scandinavian legends that first describe the prince who feigns madness to achieve revenge upon his father’s slayer, Updike brings to life Gertrude’s girlhood as the daughter of King Rorik, her arranged marriage to the man who becomes King Hamlet, and her middle-aged affair with her husband’s younger brother.
Wise Children by Angela Carter. In their heyday on the vaudeville stages of the early twentieth century, Dora Chance and her twin sister, Nora―unacknowledged daughters of Sir Melchior Hazard, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his day―were known as the Lucky Chances, with private lives as colorful and erratic as their careers.
What: Help with writing, research, finals prep, and de-stressing Where: The Edge When: Tuesday, April 19, 7:00-11:00 pm
So you think you have lots of time before finals. That’s weeks away right? But finals are speeding towards us, and with them sleepless nights and too much caffeine. Don’t let all the final papers, presentations, and exams sneak up on you! Duke University’s Long Night Against Procrastination is a night set apart for maximum productivity–an evening you can devote to staying on stop of everything on your to-do list, and making your finals week that much easier.
Staff from the Libraries, the TWP Writing Studio, and the Academic Resource Center will be on hand to provide research and writing assistance. You can track your study progress and pick up free study materials throughout the evening. There will also be stress-relieving activities including coloring, button making, and relaxation stations for when you need a short brain break. And, of course, there will be plenty of snacks and drinks to feed your productivity.
To keep you motivated throughout the night there will be a t-shirt raffle every hour. Anyone who enters a goal on our goal wall, attends a writing session with the TWP Writing Studio staff, attends a reference help session with the librarians at the event, makes a button, or posts about the Libraries on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will be able to enter the raffle.
Come out for a Long Night Against Procrastination and conquer your finals week!
Sponsored by Duke University Libraries, the TWP Writing Studio, Duke Student Wellness Center, and the Academic Resource Center
Refreshments provided by Duke University Campus Club and Friends of the Duke University Libraries
This year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and people around the world are celebrating his life. You can check out some of the festivities happening in the UK on the Shakespeare400 website. Also, there are special performances and events at the Shakespeare Globe (I have to figure out a way to get there). Back here in the United States the Folger Library is getting in on the action with their The Wonder of Will program. Another thing not to be missed is the Shakespeare Documented online exhibit!
On Twitter scroll through #Shakespeare400 to see what people are talking about!
Here at the library we are celebrating in several ways. All this week we will be posting blog posts related to Shakespeare, using the hashtags #shakespeareeverywhere and #shakespeare400. Rubenstein will be featuring several Shakespeare related documents, including this document showing some of Whitman’s thoughts about Shakespeare. And of course this Friday the first hour (10-11) of Shakespeare Everywhere will be taking place in The Edge Workshop Room. They will then be moving over to the Hanes Iris Garden Amphitheater in Duke Gardens from 11:30-12:30, and then the LSRC Hall of Science Atrium from 1-2.
That’s the question we’re asking Duke students and faculty today—and every day this week.
It’s National Library Week (April 10-16), and we’re celebrating by asking people to #ThankALibrarian and tell us how a librarian has helped them.
Has a librarian helped you with a paper or research project recently? Or maybe someone helped you check out a book or a DVD? Or maybe someone came to one of your classes and taught you about a new tool or database?
If so, now’s your chance to say thanks! (We’ll only blush a little).
Look for groups of librarians all around campus (East and West) this week. We’ll be taking pictures, posting them on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts using the hashtag #ThankALibrarian.
You can also send us your own photo by downloading and printing this handy template. Write a message, take a photo, and post your photo with the hashtag #ThankALibrarian on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag us (@dukelibraries).
We’ll be giving away fun library buttons (because everyone loves buttons, right?). Plus you can enter a drawing to win one of our sweet Perkins-Bostock-Rubenstein library T-shirts.
So if you see us out there, take a moment to stop and #ThankALibrarian!
The paradoxes of time travel are a never ending source of fascination for sci-fi film buffs. Lilly’s robust collection includes a few lesser known, but intriguing examples. In Timecrimes (2007) a man is drawn to a young woman who appears mysteriously in the woods near his house. The resulting events pull him into a series of time loops.
Primer (2004), which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, is the tale of two men who invent a rudimentary time travel device in their garage. The Navigator (1988) tells the story of a band of 14th century townsfolk who, while trying to escape the Black Death, stumble upon a fissure in time and end up in the 20th century. Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating follows the evolving friendship of two women and their magical trip into the past as they attempt to rescue a young girl.
Explore the Duke Libraries film and video collection for more time travel-related titles.
Since this year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‘s death, you’re going to see Shakespeare popping up everywhere. In fact next week on April 15th the English department is doing a marathon reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets on three stages, including the Edge Workshop Room in the Bostock Library!
The deadline to sign up to read a sonnet (or two or three) via THIS LINK is Friday, April 8. Simply indicate what timeslot(s) you are available and you will be schedule to read (anywhere from 1-3 sonnets) during that slot. Feel free to contact Michelle Dove at email@example.com if you have more questions.
You are also welcome to just come and enjoy the readings! If you are interested in checking out the sonnets beforehand, we have several copies in the library. Also, you can watch actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant read some of the sonnets here.
In the mid 1980s Spike Lee opened the door for many African-American filmmakers. It is sometimes easy to forget those who laid the groundwork for his success. Ivan Dixon’s 1973 film The Spook Who Sat by the Door takes a look at discrimination within the CIA. Haile Gerima, the first important African-American female director, gave us Bush Mama (1975), which details the difficult life of a single mother.
Join us as we figure out who killed Enoch Drebber and explore how the world was first introduced to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Not to give too much away, but this story has a bloody message written on a wall and a dead body with no visible marks, so get your magnifying glasses out!
When: April 12th at 5:30 pm
Where: The Lounge @ The Edge
Registration isn’t required but filling out this brief form will help us to know how many people to expect.
If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each spring, international filmmakers and film lovers flock to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festivalto experience the latest in documentary, or non-fiction, cinema showcased in our very own historic downtown Durham. Film showings highlight new programming in competition, and other events include expert panel discussions and themed screenings. Tickets go on sale April 1st.
Duke University Libraries support and highlight films from past festivals. One resource is the Full Frame Archive Film Collection, that includes festival winners from 1998-2012. The film and video collection at Lilly Library includes many more Full Frame titles available to the Duke community.
This year’s 19th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival honors independent director and documentary cinematographer, Kirsten Johnson, with the 2016 Tribute Award. Cameraperson, Johnson’s newest film, will be screened and a retrospective of her work will be presented. This year’s Thematic Program is a series titled “Perfect and Otherwise: Documenting American Politics,” curated by filmmaker R.J. Cutler, known for such films as The War Room and The World According to Dick Cheney.
The festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. The Presenting Sponsor of the Festival is Duke University.
You may be slogging through midterms, but Spring break is just days away, so here are some beach reads from New and Noteworthy and Current Literature as well as ebooks and audiobooks from Overdrive* for those of you trying to save space in your luggage. And for those of you stuck on campus, check out Spring Breakers starring James Franco and Selena Gomez. It’s a cautionary tale that will probably make you really glad that you’re not headed to the beach.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell is the story of a sitcom writer who discovers a magic telephone that lets her communicate with a past version of her husband.
The Martini Shot: A Novella and Stories by George Pelecanos presents crime fiction with a wide range of characters from the expected (cops and criminals) to the unexpected (television writers for a police procedural).
The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer is a political thriller that follows the wife of an assassinated diplomat as she tries to find her husband’s killer. (It’s also available as an audiobook).
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (ebook) is a collection of narrative essays from humorist and North Carolina native David Sedaris on a wide variety of topics, none of which happen to be diabetes though an owl does make a brief appearance.
Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo (ebook) is a suspenseful mystery that follows a contract killer in 1970s Oslo as he grapples with the nature of his work.
The Room by Jonas Karlsson (ebook) is a quirky story about Bjorn, a compulsive bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works.
*You can find more details about how to download ebooks and audiobooks from Overdrive in our eBook FAQ and from this special help page.
It’s Women’s History Month! Spend this March 2016 watching wonderful films created by talented women from around the world.
The Video Spotlight on Women Filmmakers, created by Lilly Library’s own audio-visual specialist and film aficionado, Ken Wetherington, can give you great ideas of where to start.
In recent years women in film have begun to be slightly better recognized, like Katheryn Bigelow’s oscar-winning direction (the only time for a woman!) of The Hurt Locker.
But did you know that in the early days of cinema, many women were powerful creative forces? Movies like Lois Weber’s Suspense, The Ocean Waifby Alice Guy Blaché and Cleo Madison’s Eleanor’s Catch,and other women pioneers of early cinema, can be viewed in Duke Libraries’ new subscription database, Kanopy Streaming Video.
Check out Lilly’s foyer display exhibiting films by women in the history of cinema. Some of the titles just may surprise you…
On Tuesday, March 1, Duke fans will get a chance to see the university’s latest athletic accolade up-close and in-person in Perkins Library.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl trophy will be on public display across from the first floor service desk from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Visitors are invited to stop by, take a photo with the trophy, and meet members of the Duke football team and Duke Athletics staff.
Historical Duke football memorabilia from the Duke University Archives will also be displayed, including game programs from the 1942 Rose Bowl, 1945 Sugar Bowl, 1955 Orange Bowl, and 1961 Cotton Bowl. Legendary coach Eddie Cameron’s own scrapbook from the 1945 Sugar Bowl will also be on display, containing photographs, clippings, letters, and souvenirs.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl trophy commemorates the Blue Devils’ historic win over Indiana University, 44-41, at Yankee Stadium, in one of the most dramatic games of the 2015 postseason.
The game gave Duke its first bowl victory since 1961.
So stop by the library, get a photo, and join us as we celebrate another historic Duke victory!
Related Pinstripe Bowl coverage from Duke Athletics
Presidents’ Day just passed, and primary season is getting underway, so here are some political picks from the New and Noteworthy collection. And don’t forget to vote early and often! (Get more information about voting in North Carolina here or check out the schedule of all the primaries here). On and consider checking out Duke University’s Campaign Stop page for scholarly commentary, debate, and media resources.
Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney combines elements of memoir, historical narrative, and sociopolitical analysis to explore a century and a half of African-American participation in US electoral politics. Pinckney covers a lot of ground, from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the ongoing debate over voter ID laws.
Update (2/18). We have already given out 10 free copies to the first ten people to respond, but we would still love for people to join us! We’d still appreciate people filling out the form, just to get a feel for who would like to come.
Miss reading for fun? Consider joining us for our first “Low Maintenance Book Club” on March 8th! This book club aims to provide space for members of the Duke community to connect over reading. Realizing how busy people are (and how much reading you probably have to do for classwork and research), we will focus on quick reads. We will read texts like short stories, graphic novels, interesting short essays, poetry, etc. You can find out more details about this club here.
For our first meeting we will be discussing several stories from Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, which Bookreporter.com says has “something for every type of Gaiman fan here, and those new to his work will find this to be a solid introduction to the type of stories he crafts: lyrical, literary, sometimes quite chilling, and always strange and provocative…This is a book to savor and enjoy.”
Light refreshments will be served!
When: March 8th at 5:30 pm
Where: The Lounge @ The Edge
How: Fill out this brief survey if you are interested in attending this book discussion. The first 10 people to respond will receive a free copy of the book!
If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at email@example.com
I don’t know about you, but I finally feel like I’m getting in to the swing of the new semester after the holidays and our snow day last week! Though you may find the pace of the semester is heating up, make sure you leave yourself some time for reading. As usual, we have some great titles in New and Noteworthy and Current Literature.
Failure : why science is so successful by Stuart Firestein, a professor in the department of biological sciences at Columbia University. This book examines how trial and error are an important part of the scientific process. To find out more about this book, check out this interesting NYT review.
Carry on : the rise and fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell is a really fun YA book that turns the common fantasy trope of the “chosen one” on its head! In this book Rowell takes the Simon Snow world that she created for her Fangirl novel and makes it into its own standalone story.
America dancing : from the cakewalk to the moonwalk by Megan Pugh. Using the stories of tapper Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, ballet and Broadway choreographer Agnes de Mille, choreographer Paul Taylor, and Michael Jackson, Megan Pugh shows how freedom–that nebulous, contested American ideal–emerges as a genre-defining aesthetic. In Pugh’s account, ballerinas mingle with slumming thrill-seekers, and hoedowns show up on elite opera house stages.
As you prepare to head home for the holidays, make sure you are packing along some fun books to read! Of course we have great selections in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections, but if you want to save room in your suitcase, consider using our Overdrive collection. You can find more details about how to download books and audiobooks from this service in our eBook FAQ and from this special help page.*
Check out some of the books we have available in Overdrive:
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, which is the sequel to The Rosie Project. Don Tillman, the main character in both of these books has been described by Matthew Quick as someone who “helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell.”
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl. If you are looking for something a bit darker (I couldn’t resist), this may be the book for you! This book was recently made into a movie with Charlize Theron and follows the character Libby Day as she tries to find out the truth about the day in her childhood when her family was brutally murdered.
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. Make your family wonder what you are reading when you begin giggling to yourself as you read this recent collection of essays. You can read a review here. Bonus: we also have Holidays on Ice, his holiday collection featuring the classic “Six to Eight Black Men.”
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. Read a biography about the woman who gave us classic cookbooks such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You can read reviews of this biography here and here.
Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora. This debut novel is a series of linked stories set in an affluent suburb. Alix Ohlin in The New York Times Book Review wrote that “Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design. As characters reappear in one story after another, Acampora reveals herself as a careful architect…accomplishes great depth of characterization, in no small part because Acampora doesn’t shy from the unpalatable…There is a barbed honesty to the stories that brushes up against Acampora’s lovely prose to interesting effect. Often a single sentence twists sinuously, charged with positive and negative electricity.”
*Pro Tip: If you are finding a lot of books that are already checked out by someone else, try filtering by “Available Now” to see the things you can immediately download.
The League of Regrettable Superheroes : half-baked heroes from comic book history! by Jon Morris. You know about Batman, Superman, and Spiderman, but have you heard of Doll Man, Doctor Hormone, or Spider Queen? In The League of Regrettable Superheroes , you’ll meet one hundred of the strangest superheroes ever to see print, complete with backstories, vintage art, and colorful commentary. So prepare yourself for such not-ready-for-prime-time heroes as Bee Man (Batman, but with bees), the Clown (circus-themed crimebuster), the Eye (a giant, floating eyeball; just accept it), and many other oddballs and oddities. Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The League of Regrettable Superheroes will appeal to die-hard comics fans, casual comics readers, and anyone who enjoys peering into the stranger corners of pop culture.
For anyone looking for a thriller to read over the break, you might want to try Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls. Lee Child described this book as a “A stunning family tragedy and a hold-your-breath pedal-to-the-metal thriller magically blended by Karin Slaughter’s trademark passion, intensity, and humanity. Certain to be a book of the year.”
The gap of time : the Winter’s tale retold by Jeanette Winterson. This book is the first in a new series called The Hogarth Shakepeare from Vintage books. It is launching to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and will feature stand-alone retellings written by some of today’s leading authors, including Jeanette Winterson and Anne Tyler (who will be taking on The Taming of the Shrew).
The pleasure of reading edited by Antonia Fraser and Victoria Gray. This collection features essays from 40 authors, such as Margaret Atwood, J.G. Ballard, A.S. Byatt, Kamila Shamsie, Ruth Rendell, and Tom Stoppard, about what first made them interested in literature and in reading. You can read some excerpts here.
Guest post by Carson Holloway, Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History
Why does this beautifully crafted lapel pin connect Harrison’s name with reform? Such questions provide a good deal of the appeal of fourteen campaign pins on display as part of the Kenneth Hubbard Collection of Political Campaign Ephemera in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In the current season of election news, Hubbard, a Duke alumnus and donor, has provided tokens of particular interest in contextualizing some notable presidential campaigns between 1840 and 1948.
William Henry Harrison’s is a name to ponder. Some might recognize that he was a President before the American Civil War. The alliteration of his name may sound familiar. Fewer could identify him as hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, though more would recognize the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” referring to Harrison and his running mate, and successor. Harrison, the oldest person elected President until Ronald Reagan, died from pneumonia contracted at his inauguration after serving fewer than forty days.
“Reform,” in Harrison’s campaign of 1840, was economic reform required as a result of a protracted depression known as the “Panic of 1837.” Over a third of American banks in New York and elsewhere faltered and then failed after President Andrew Jackson’s administration decentralized the Federal banking system and British banks raised interest rates in response to perceived risk. Jackson’s Democratic successor, Van Buren, was unable to correct the economic course and prices for important agricultural export products like cotton plummeted. Whether Harrison’s Whig reforms would have been effective is questionable. The severe economic downturn lasted until 1844.
Like the Harrison pin, each of the items on display in the Rubenstein is interesting in its own right. A few have great aesthetic appeal like the Harrison pin. Other buttons illustrate powerful personalities and world-changing events. One particularly rare pin is from the only presidential campaign in which the candidate was running while serving a term in federal prison!
The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
Date: Tuesday, October 6 Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library
Join us for an evening of music and conversation in the Rubenstein Library as we explore the deep roots of the Mountain Music of North Carolina.
Terry McKinney–bluegrass, country, and gospel musician–will give a free performance as part of the Archives Alive course NC Jukebox, which explores the history of music making in early twentieth-century North Carolina.
This event is free and open to the public.
To learn more about the Archives Alive initiative, a joint venture of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, visit the website.
“I wish to tune my quivering lyre,/To deeds of fame, and notes of fire” From Lord Byron’s “to his lyre”
John Billing, originally from England and now based in Ireland, is touring the East Coast of the United States during September and October, presenting workshops and performances. John’s background is in art, textile design and music therapy. Come and hear the interesting story of the performer and his instrument. Mr. Billing will perform pieces by J. S. Bach and Turlough O’Carolan, in addition to original compositions.
♦Where: Thomas Room
Lilly Library, 2nd floor
♦When: Friday October 2nd at 4pm Light refreshments served at 3:30
What is the lyre?
The lyre is a stringed instrument from Ancient Greece, thought to metaphorically represent the skill of poets as it accompanied their recitations.
I am starting a new feature where I will be highlighting some of the newest books in our New and Noteworthy collection. Here are five books I think you should check out!
The Altruistic Brain: How We are Naturally Good by Donald W. Pfaff. According to a recent review in Frontiers in Psychology, ” Pfaff’s writing is very accessible to the non-specialist, whenever he employs technical terms and concepts from neuroscience, genetics, biology, or anthropology he makes sure to at least briefly introduce them to the reader. Much more important than the style in which it is written, the book provides one of the first—if not the very first—compilation of evidence from primary neuroscience research in favor of such a universal altruistic predisposition.”
When is the library open? How do I find a book? Where do I print?*
Duke University’s newest students can find the answers to these questions (and more!) on the Library’s First-Year Library Servicesportal page.
Each August, a new class of undergraduates arrives in Durham ready to immerse themselves in the Duke Community. Duke University Libraries serve as the core of intellectual life on campus. On East Campus particularly, the Lilly and Music Libraries have the unique opportunity to introduce our newest “Dukies” to the array of Library resources and research services available.
To help navigate the vast Library resources, we’ve created a portal especially for First-Year students. Through this portal page, new students (and even some not-so-new) can discover all that the Duke University Libraries offer:
Quick Facts: about collections and loan policies Where: to study, print, and … eat! How: to find and check out books & material, and get… Help!: Meet the “who” – Librarians, Specialists, & Residence Hall Librarians Research 101: how to navigate the Research Process Citation 101: how to cite using recommended styles *And when is the Library open?
Find the answer in our list of the Top 12 Questions, developed with input from First-Year Library Advisory Board students.
On East Campus, after students settle in and begin classes, the Lilly Library and Duke Music Library offer several ways for the newest “Dukies” to learn and benefit from the incredible resources of the Duke Libraries. Lilly and Music sponsor Library Orientation events such as scavenger hunts, film showings, and prize drawings to familiarize them with library services and collections. In recent years, students played The Library Games, and were wowed by theIncredibles and the Libraries’ super powers. This year, the Class of 2019 will experience the power of discovery because …
After the excitement of the new semester subsides, the Duke University Libraries continue to reach out to our students, always ready to offer research support and access to resources in support of their scholarly needs.
Here’s to a great year – and Duke career – filled with academic success!
Join the Duke University Libraries for a night of comics-themed trivia at Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham. Test your knowledge of superheroes, women in comics, comics and war, popular media depictions of comics, and more.
Duke’s Rubenstein Library is home to the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection, which includes over 65,000 comics from the 1930s to the present, making it one of the largest archival comic collections in the world.
We can’t make your finals go away, but we can make them a little bit sweeter. The Libraries will be hosting two study breaks on Wednesday, April 29 to help ease the pressure of studying for finals.
Puppies in Perkins is back! Certified therapy dogs will be taking over Perkins 217 from 3:30-5:30 pm for a snuggle-filled study break. Stop by for a some tail-wagging fun and a little puppy love!
The Friends of the Duke University Libraries and the Duke Campus Club will be hosting our spring study break starting at 3:30 pm on the Libraries Terrace (outside, between Perkins and Bostock). Stop by for some free treats and drinks, but be sure to come early as supplies are limited!
The concept of cloning raises ethical issues, especially as it grows more feasible than fictional. The popularity of the current television series Orphan Black (yes, we have it!) helps to shine a spotlight on this issue. Cloning, as a theme in film, makes for compelling, thoughtful and entertaining viewing. We invite you to check out some of these films in Lilly Library’s DVD collection which explore the implications of cloning .
Moon (2009), a compelling and suspenseful film, follows an astronaut running a solo mining operation. When an accident triggers a series of inexplicable events he begins to doubt the real purpose of his mission. The film is a textbook example of how to make a thoughtful and good-looking sci-fi thriller on a low budget.
Never Let Me Go(2010) poses an alternate history in which clones are used for organ replacements for “originals.” This powerful and moving film follows three “donors” from childhood into their twenties.
When a person is cloned, what happens to his soul? The Clone Returns Home (2009) addresses life, death, love, and family. Those with patience will be rewarded with this deliberate, meditative film from director Kanji Nakajima.
Study Breaks, Relaxation Stations… and do you know about the Fo?
Feed your body and recharge your brain at Lilly Library during Finals Week.
Scientific studies prove that taking a break from relentless studying improves cognitive skills. When Duke students are on East Campus during Finals Week, they may enjoy (so to speak) expanded hours and even find some fun “stuff” to do in Lilly Library.
Thursday the 23rd – Saturday May 2nd:Open 24/7
Beginning at 8am on Thursday, April 24th, Lilly remains open though the final exam period, closing on Saturday, May 2nd at 7pm.
Monday the 27th:Lilly Library Study Break at 8pm
Cookies, homemade treats and a variety of goodies can help counter the stress of studying!
Tuesday – Thursday:Relaxation Station
Crafts, card and board games, jigsaw puzzles are available 24/7 with the bonus of late night refreshments (provided by Devils After Dark )
Anytime: Know the Fo Want good luck on your exams? It’s a good luck tradition to pet one of the two Fo Dogs guarding the south entry to the Thomas Room.
No matter the campus – East or West – , be sure to check out all the information in the Duke Libraries’ End of Semester Survival Guide. Good Luck on Finals, and be sure to take advantage of Lilly Library’s student support system when you are on East Campus!
Last Thursday, we played host to Edgefest, an arts extravaganza that took advantage of the Libraries’ newest space, The Edge, by filling the walls with art. There was an amazing turnout, with hundreds of students flocking to sample the smorgasbord of tasty treats (everything from mocktails to cupcakes and mushroom sliders) and staying to add their own piece of whiteboard art.
The walls of the Edge were covered from top to bottom with art–both doodles and masterpieces alike. Duke’s unofficial artists had no shortage of creativity; from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to a full color map of Durham, Pacman to Pokémon; we saw all kinds of creations.
The Poetry Fox (a local Durham writer who writes on the spot poetry based on a single word) cranked out poems all evening for many eager poetry enthusiasts. Student performers, including Inside Joke, #busstopguy, and DUI, entertained artists throughout the evening.
Lilly Library’s “Final Four” – Our Class of 2015 – Part III
Lilly Library is fortunate to have a “strong senior line-up”, and Victor is an experienced point man on our team. Along with Natalie, Steven and Kenai, Victor is a member of our class of 2015. All of our seniors have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus “way back” in August of 2011! Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.
● Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
● Academics: Double major in Economics and French Studies, minor in Environmental Science and Policy
● Activities on campus: Outing Club
● Favorite campus eatery/food: Panda Express
● Favorite off-campus eatery/food: Vin Rouge
● Hobbies, Dream vacations: Playing piano in a duo with my roommate on guitar. Cooking for a dinner party. Renting a car and taking a wine tour of southern France in May.
Q: Why have you worked at Lilly Library for all 4 years? A: Working at Lilly Library is a very pleasant experience. I have interesting chats with patrons and friends who stop by the desk. The building itself is lovely, with its marble pillars in front and a spacious lobby. I have learned about art by flipping through books that I shelve or check in. Fantastic creations lie between the pages. When I moved to West Campus, the added travel time effectively decreased my hourly wage, but I didn’t mind too much. I live off campus now, and I enjoy biking to my work shifts when the weather is nice.
Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? What is your least favorite part?
A: My favorite part is hanging out behind the desk. The University Campus has changed a lot during my four years but Lilly remains a place fixed in a different time, with its rich aroma of dusty books. I like the Thomas reading room, which has the air of an aristocrat’s drawing room, decorated with beautiful Chinese art. My least favorite part is working during especially busy periods when stress is high.
Q: What is your favorite duty at Lilly? What is your least favorite? A: My favorite work duty is chillin’ at the desk. That includes sorting trucks, sensitizing full top shelves, and shelving books on the ledge, of course. My least favorite work duty is fixing the printers for patrons. … or maybe delivering books on cold days.
Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget? A: Steven and I were keeping a weeknight watch, when we were informed that a thief was in the Reference Room. Apparently this man was responsible for trying to sell several valuable library books on eBay. Staff had called in a security guard and two police officers were about to walk in the room and apprehend the man. In this tense moment, a blur of motion appeared on the periphery. A man appeared on the other side of the library, running past the front desk. Dave yelled, “That’s him!” and the security guard ran after him. It was clear that the security guard could not catch the agile thief, who disappeared into the night. Steven and I found it a strange and exciting event.
Q: What does a typical weekend shift look like for you? What shift do you like most – and why? A: I work three shifts: one during a weeknight, one during a weekday, and a Saturday night shift. My favorite is Saturday night, which has been a comforting constant during my entire undergraduate career. It makes me feel productive on Saturdays and it has been a little spot of tranquility I look forward to. Steven and I have shared most of these shifts together in our four years, on night watch, guarding the tomes of mysteries against forces that seek to destroy reason.
Q: What is your impression of Lilly’s film collection? Any recommendations? A: The Lilly film collection is excellent. I especially enjoy titles from the Criterion Collection. My personal recommendations are La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961), In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000), The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013), Jules and Jim (Francois Truffaut, 1961), and Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990).
Q: What are your plans for after graduation? A: No plans, yet.
Q: What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate? A: The atmosphere of calm and the friendliness of the staff.
Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in the future? A: I’ve learned how to better help customers (patrons).
Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly? Any advice to other students working at Lilly? A: Lilly is a crazy place, and I’ve helped maintain the strange character of this space. My only suggestion is that all Lilly student workers should help create the history of the Library.
Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Victor and our other seniors, treasured members of our Lilly “family”. We appreciate his good work and dedication to Lilly and wish him the best!
If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our four seniors: Natalie, Steven, Victor and Kenai. All of our seniors have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus way back in August of 2011. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.
Note: this article was published in the 2014 fall semester. With Commencement 2015 in May, reacquaint yourselves with Kenai, one of our treasured Lilly Library Class of 2015.
Lilly is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke undergraduates. To serve our community, Lilly Library remains open for 129 hours each week! Our student assistants are an essential element in maintaining a high level of service, and we want to introduce you to one of our “Class of 2015” – seniors who have worked in Lilly Library throughout their four years at Duke.
Meet Kenai McFadden:
Hometown: Orangeburg, South Carolina Family: I have 3 siblings – one older brother, a younger brother, and a little sister Academics: Pre-med, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Psychology Activities on campus: Vice President of the Class of 2015; FAC Board Member; President of The Inferno; Line Monitor Favorite off-campus activity: Dancing at Cuban Revolution Favorite on-campus activity: Cheering for Duke Athletics Favorite on-campus eatery: Pitchfork Provisions Favorite off-campus eatery: Sushi Love
Somehow, while the list above gives us basic information about Kenai, we believe there is so much more to reveal. Kenai is lively and engaging, so we asked another Lilly student assistant, Kelly Tomins (Lilly Class of 2016 ) to delve further and ask questions from one student to another. Their interview offers a perspective beyond the facts – enjoy!
What Is your spirit animal? Explain. I would have to go with a toy poodle. Toy poodles are not shy, have insane amounts of energy, are one of the smartest breeds of dog, and are agreeable with everyone. If only I could also be so easy to love…
If you could be any famous internet cat, which would you be? NO
What are your plans for after graduation? I’m a pre-medical student taking a gap year. I would love to continue volunteering as I apply to medical school,
If you could have a sleepover in any of the 12 branches of the Duke Library system, which would you choose? Definitely Ford or the Law Library because I’ve never visited them and it’d be fun to explore them at night.
What’s the strangest book you’ve come across in Lilly? Lilly is the art library at Duke, so I’ve come across various dirty comic collections, abstract art styles, and books on ridiculous theories. It’s hard to choose just one. You’d be surprised at how many crazy books are in the stacks.
What is your favorite work duty at Lilly? Book deliveries. It’s nice to deliver books for faculty to the various academic departments on East, especially when it’s nice outside. I can put in my music on, enjoy the weather, and get a great workout carrying books.
How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits? Customer service is very relevant to pretty much any field in which you’re working with people. We’ve had some tough patrons come through Lilly, and I feel equipped to handle all sorts of people after working closing shifts and during finals week. I also became pretty good at suggesting DVDs for patrons to watch.
What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate? I’ll miss working with my boss, Yunyi Wang, and my coworkers behind the desk. Some of my best friends at Duke I’ve met through Lilly, and I love Yunyi! She’s like my campus mom. 😀
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly? One time I took about 2 floors worth of books and shifted them one shelf – from one floor to the next. Crazy exciting stuff. It took the entire summer.
Have you ever locked anyone in the library when you work the closing shift? If not, were there any close calls? I’ve had two or three close calls for sure, and one time I apparently locked someone in, but I don’t believe it. People get locked in pretty often though, so I don’t feel bad even if I did.
Thanks to Kenai, and to Kelly, for mentoring our newer student assistants and for keeping Lilly Library such an inviting and lively hub on East Campus!
Lilly Library’s “Final Four” – Our Class of 2015 – Part II
Lilly Library is fortunate to have a “strong senior line-up”, and Steven is an experienced point man on our team. Along with Natalie, Victor and Kenai, Steven is a member of our class of 2015. All of our seniors have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus “way back” in August of 2011! Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.
• Hometown—Roslyn Heights, New York
• Academics—Double Major in Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations, and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, with a concentration in Arabic
• Activities on campus—Member of Duke Students for Justice in Palestine, Alpha Epsilon Pi.
• Favorite campus eatery/food—It’s gotta be The Loop. Not only is the food there top notch (my favorite little secret on the menu—the mac n cheese bites), but there’s no other place with a person like Javon heading the counter. I will always think of walking into The Loop to see Javon smiling, always greeting you with a “Sup, bossman!” He’s the most popular guy on campus for a good reason.
• Favorite off-campus eatery/food—So difficult to say with all the fantastic places Durham has for food. I honestly can’t choose one. Some of my favorite spots, though: Cookout, Chubby’s, Bull City Burger, Monuts was a recent one that is fantastic… the city certainly doesn’t lack for satisfying my every taste urge!
• Hobbies, Dream vacations—In my spare time, I love to play an Afro-Peruvian drum called the cajon. I love listening to music in general, along with reading and writing. I hope to travel the rest of my life. I want to see every corner of the globe and experience as many different things as possible. I want to pursue writing to the fullest. I wish to pursue immersive journalism and look at human rights and the human element in approaching some of the most dehumanized conflicts or situations in the world. I dream of just always be traveling around, a nomad moving through the cities and places of the world. My ultimate dream is to write novels and stories for a living.
Q:Why have you worked at Lilly Library for all 4 years? A: I have absolutely enjoyed my time working at Lilly. It truly feels like home to me at this point. All the people I met, the wonderful time I had with the staff. All the librarians are so friendly and kind; they have breathed warmth to me. Everyone is like a family at Lilly, while other places run more like a machine. I like the atmosphere, and the crazy people… I always knew it was where I’d enjoy my job the most. What’s nicest about working at Lilly is how egalitarian it truly feels to be a part of the staff. For example, and I mean this as the greatest compliment in the world, I didn’t even realize until this year that Kelley is the head of Lilly Library. She is such a fantastic leader and treats everyone so kindly that I didn’t even know she was “above” anyone from a position status. She (and everyone else really) fosters an incredible work environment.
Q:What is yourfavorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: My favorite part has to be the characters you meet. There are some interesting patrons and people who work at Lilly. The Lilly staff is composed of some of the kindest, coolest, intelligent, and interesting people. Whether it’s having librarians play their guitar outside on the Lilly steps, discussing esoteric books and films, or listening to the craziness of people like Danette, it’s been an absolute blast.
My least favorite part about working at Lilly has to be when someone comes in with a year’s supply of books to check in. There’s always one week in mid-April just after everyone’s finished their dissertations, so they all come in like an avalanche!
Q: What is your favorite duty at Lilly? Least favorite? A: I actually like delivering books at this point. It’s always nice to put on my headphones, groove to some music, and get paid to unknowingly memorize the entire faculty for all the departments on East Campus. It’s good to get some fresh air and switch things up a bit. Least favorite work duty—anything that I have to do that is meticulous. So shelf-reading is probably up there, as I certainly hate the world a little bit on those occasions when you reach a section and ALL the books are COMPLETELY out of order.
Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget? A: Tough one. Maybe it has to be when I was going upstairs through the stacks to shelve some books. I noticed a guy just doing some work on a desk. As I was going back down, I noticed the same guy, still doing work—only he had taken off all of his clothes except his underwear! The next minute, some of his friends came by, just casually talking to him as he was nearly naked. Totally epitomizes the weird and bizarre things you encounter at Lilly.
Q:What does a typical weekend shift look like for you? Which shift do you like most, and why? A: It has to be the Saturday night shift I share with my fellow senior and partner in crime, Victor. We’ve had the shift together forever. It feels a little great to have the library to ourselves. We’ve definitely shared a shenanigan or two in our time together, and the evening shift is so slow it’s just great to kick it back with Victor and discuss topics like music, film, politics, philosophy, etc. We’ve had some great times, and to have Kenai come in afterwards makes us seniors feel like Saturday night is our night.
Q:What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently? A: In terms of Lilly, while I still always share laughs with the librarians and my fellow workers, I’m not having as many comedic moments without Danette around this semester. Anything that woman says is hilarious. I had way too many funny moments with her!
Q:What is your impression of Lilly film collection? Any recommendations? A: It’s pretty cool when a patron comes in, asks about what movies we have, and I can say, “We have essentially any movie you can imagine.” Because it is true—I think there have been maybe two or three times in my four years at Duke when we didn’t have a movie a patron wanted. I’ve picked up some movie knowledge along the way just from seeing some of the films people check out. Of course, the expertise of all the librarians certainly helps a bit in that department.
If there’d be one suggestion I have, however—all the anime DVDs have to be brought back upstairs from the locked media! I’ve never understood how some of the most highly acclaimed anime films have been relegated downstairs to the locked media.
Q:What are your plans for after graduation? A: I have applied for a grant to pursue a journalism project this summer in Palestine and Israel. I hope to gather as many accounts in the region as I can and interweave the stories to create a narrative in what I envision to end as a book. Afterwards, I’m currently thinking to get a certificate to teach English overseas. I hope to pursue immersive journalism abroad, with the plan over the next few years to be in the Middle East. I’m currently considering, after my project in Palestine and Israel, to move to Cairo.
Q:What will you miss most about Lilly? A: Again, it has to be the people. Everyone has always made me feel so comfortable, so welcomed, and I have learned so much from the wonderful librarians and have experienced so much with them as well as with my fellow seniors.
Q:How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits? A: It has helped me learn how to be adaptable and work with all types of people. Patrons come in many shapes and sizes, and it is always necessary to be able to keep a smile on and make sure that everyone is satisfied. While most patrons are fantastic, there’s always the occasional person who walks in that is a little bit more difficult, and it has been important for me to learn to always work with a patron—no matter how much of a hard time they give you.
Q:What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly? Any advice to other students working at Lilly? A: Well, I wouldn’t say I’d suggest any of the crazy things I’ve done at Lilly to other student workers. But one story I’ll share was when I unknowingly stayed inside Lilly after it closed. I was in the staff lounge working all night on a paper for class, and I didn’t even realize that it was after 4 AM, and I found myself locked inside Lilly by myself! Needless to say, a man from the custodial staff was a little surprised to find me in the lounge all by myself at 5 AM. I hadn’t even known that there were sensors all over the library, and I am still so thankful that I didn’t set them off so that police came. What an ordeal that would have been
Q:Anything else? A: After being able to help one of the freshman workers the other day to get the electronic stacks downstairs working (tip* : all you have to do when they’re not working is to bang your feet on the metal bars coming out from the floor and slide in and out of the stacks—it will eventually start working again), I realized that I am way too good at this job now, and either it is time for me to graduate, or for Yunyi to employ me full-time.
Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Steven and our other seniors, treasured members of our Lilly “family”. We appreciate his good work and dedication to Lilly and wish him the best!
*However, we can’t say we endorse his tip about “fixing” our compact shelving!
If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our four seniors: Natalie, Steven, Victor and Kenai. All of our seniors have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus way back in August of 2011. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.
Hometown: Lansdale, PA (right outside of Philadelphia)
Academics: Public Policy Major
Activities on campus: Duke Chorale, and President of The Girls’ Club (a mentoring program serving middle school girls in Durham)
Favorite campus eatery/food: The Divinity School Cafe
Favorite off-campus eatery/food: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles
Hobbies or dream vacations: Hobbies are reading graphic novels, finding new music, watching YouTube videos; dream vacations in Istanbul, Hong Kong, and Prague
Q:Why have you worked at Lilly Library for all 4 years? A: I’ve chosen to work at Lilly for 4 years because of its atmosphere. The patrons and staff at Lilly create a space where you can relax, be friendly, and open. Although traveling from West can be a drag sometimes (especially with less buses on weekends), it’s always worth it! Talking with staff, being with other Lilly student workers, and patrons is always a pleasure.
Q:What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite? A: I think my favorite part of working at Lilly is how friendly everyone is. Rain or shine, busy or slow day, patrons and staff here are respectful and patient. I don’t think there’s anything about Lilly that I particularly dislike!
Q:What is your favorite work duty at Lilly? Least favorite duty?
A: My favorite duty is probably processing books–it’s a time where I can recharge. My least favorite would have to be shelf-reading…sorry, Yunyi!
Q:What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget? A: I studied Chinese to fulfill my language requirement, so practicing speaking Chinese with Yunyi is something I’ll remember always. Out of nowhere, Yunyi hurls questions at me in Chinese, and I often find myself scrambling to respond! Even so, I really appreciate her help–it definitely made me more comfortable in the classroom.
Q:What does a typical weekend shift look like for you? What shift do you like most? A: The typical weekend shift is pretty laid back. I’ll first go to the Regulator Bookstore on 9th street to pick up the New York Times for Lilly. Then I’ll come back to the library and work at the desk for most of the time. I enjoy weekday shifts the most, because I feel like they are just busy enough where I don’t feel too overwhelmed.
Q:What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently? A: At Lilly, the funniest thing that has happened to me recently is getting to know our weekend security guard Patricia (she usually is at the desk on Saturdays). Our conversations always make me laugh–last weekend she was helping me online shop for a graduation dress, and it was a lot of fun.
Q:What is your impression of Lilly’s film collection? Any recommendations? A: My overall impression of Lilly’s film collection is that it is very eclectic! If I were to suggest a film, I would say you should check out the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.
Q:What are your plans for after graduation? A: After graduation I plan on either participating in Teach for America, or working more policy/research orientated job in Washington, DC.
Q:What will you miss most about Lilly? A: The staff, and just the feel of being there.
Q:How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits? A: My time at Lilly will help my with my multitasking skills, organization, and learning how to help people with any questions they have in a timely manner
Q:What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly? A: Nothing too crazy…but if you are feeling tired and need a nap, don’t rule out the staff room couch (of course, never during your shift!)
Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Natalie and our other seniors, treasured members of our Lilly “family”. We appreciate her good work and dedication to Lilly and wish her the best!
Date: Thursday, April 2 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Food, Music, Art + More! All Day: Writeable walls open for artstigating (markers provided)! Location: The Edge, First Floor of Bostock Library More Info: Search “EdgeFest Duke” on Facebook
Don’t miss delicious food from Durham’s hot spots, including Juju, Monuts, Pie Pushers, NOSH, Mad Hatter, Pompieri Pizza, Toast & Cupcake Bar!
Stop by for mocktails, music and live entertainment from Poetry Fox, Inside Joke, #BusStopGuy, and DUI!
What’s EdgeFest? We provide the dry-erase markers. You provide the artstigatin’!
Starting at 9 a.m., the walls of The Edge are your canvas. By the end of the day, the walls will be covered with doodles, pictures, murals, and interactive displays by student groups, individuals, and fellow artstigators.
The creative fun starts at 9:00 a.m. and continues with a reception starting at 5:00 p.m.
Don’t miss EdgeFest on Thursday—the artstigatin’ will be wiped clean on Friday!
What If I’m No “Picasso”? Everyone is an Artstigator! We have awesome projectors onsite that you can use to project and trace anything you can put on your laptop. Need some inspiration? We’ll have some amazing art books on hand from Lilly Library’s collection to get your creative juices flowing!
Since 1947, the Friends of the Duke University Libraries have presented the contest in alternate years to promote reading for enjoyment and the development of students’ personal libraries. The contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate/professional students who are regularly enrolled at Duke University. The winners for the 2015 contest are:
First prize: Claudia Dantoin, “A British Homecoming: Growing Up Alongside Austen, Dickens, and Dahl”
Second prize: Katie Fernelius, “Women’s Fiction of the Past One Hundred Years: Re-Reading the World in My Own Image”
First prize (tie): Anne Steptoe, “Look Homeward: A Girl’s Journey Homeward through 20th Century Southern Literature” (pictured above)
First prize (tie): Andrew Patty, “Masculinity, Race, and Southern University: An Exploration of the Role of Fraternities in College Life” (pictured below)
Second prize: Yuqian Shi, “Across the Great Wall, I Can Reach Every Corner of the World”
Since 1947, the Friends of the Duke University Libraries have presented the Book Collectors Contest in alternating years to promote the development of students’ personal libraries.
Join us for a showing at which student competitors will have selections from their collections on display. Students will be on hand to answer questions about their individual collections. The showing is free and open to the public.
Join the Duke University Libraries at Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham for a toe-tapping discussion about the history of the banjo with Laurent Dubois, Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University.
Professor Dubois is currently writing a book about the banjo for Harvard University Press. He is the author of Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012), Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (2010), and a frequent contributor to such magazines as the New Republic, Sports Illustrated, and the New Yorker. He will discuss the African roots and Caribbean and North American plantation origins of this versatile instrument and how it has evolved into a multifaceted cultural symbol.
Plus live banjo picking!
Professor Dubois will be joined by musicians Zeke Graves,David Garner, and Jay Hammond, who will demonstrate various banjo playing styles and showcase historical and contemporary instrument designs from their own collections.
This event is part of the Engaging Faculty Series, sponsored by the Friends of the Duke University Libraries. Beer and other refreshments will be available for sale by Fullsteam, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the Libraries.
Free and open to the public.
For more information, contact: Aaron Welborn
Director of Communications, Duke University Libraries
The Collection Strategy and Development department coordinates the strategic development and management of the collections at Duke University Libraries. Staff and subject specialists work closely with faculty to devise collection strategies that support instruction and research. Say hello!
Name: Jeff Kosokoff
Years at Duke:0.67
What I do in the library: As Head of Collection Strategy and Development, the elevator speech says that I provide leadership and vision for the development of the Duke University Libraries collections to ensure that the scope and caliber of the resources to which the Libraries provide access are appropriate to support the mission of Duke University. I help manage our collections budgets, convene our Collections Coordinators Group, work with DUL librarians, and folks in the professional schools and other libraries to get things done with collections in ways that provide great service, help create the right scholarly communication ecosystem, and build on our existing strengths while developing in new directions for the future.
I went to high school: At the Metropolitan Learning Center in Portland, Oregon. MLC is the oldest K-12 public alternative school in the country. We didn’t have desks lined up in rows; we called our teachers by their first names and were largely in classes with other kids of all ages. I honestly can’t remember having any homework until 7th grade.
The most interesting place I traveled to: This is a tough one, as I love to travel. In a way, coming to Durham fits in here. Having said that, last year was a great one, since I spent 2 weeks each in Berlin and Morocco.
My longest road trip in the fastest car: When I was in grad school at Indiana University, I used to drive home to Oregon. My 1985 Tercel and I once completed the approx. 2,200 miles in 38 hours. Not bad considering I stopped a couple of times to nap.
Name: Dee McCullough
Years at Duke: 27 yrs, 4 months at DUL (31 yrs, 3 months at Duke)
What I do in the library: I am your general theme park worker; the rides are: collections budget, approval plans, purchase suggestions, SAP, electronic bookplates, data gathering/analysis, DULSA, web editing, GOBI, lost items replacement and currently New & Noteworthy book selection… ALL ABOARD!
I went to high school: As a Wildcat, at Garinger High in Charlotte, NC, the city’s oldest continuous high school: started as Charlotte High in 1909, then became Central High in 1923 and Garinger in 1959. Also one of the largest (63 acres; student population averaging 2,000), it was highlighted in a 1962 National Geographic issue as Charlotte’s showplace high school. My highlights there were in the footlights as Drama Club booster/president, Snips-n-Cuts yearbook copy editor, and JROTC drill team marcher and military ball queen (and sweating in 95-degree heat during a 2-hour battalion review!)
The most interesting place I traveled to: Definitely Cairo, Egypt… My junior year at Duke was transformed into a 10-month stay at the American University, allowing me to meet some of the friendliest people on the planet while also encountering people and ideas from all over the planet. I walked throughout the city, visiting many sacred and secular sites, and was especially delighted by Khan el-Khalili bazaar which is famous for its diverse commercial activities, souvenirs, antiques and jewelry. Khan el-Khalili’s original purpose was as the burial site for the Fatimid caliphs. Favorite, cheapest, and most nourishing food while in Cairo on a student budget: Kushari, a garlic-spiced mixture of rice/lentils/chickpeas/macaroni topped with tomato vinegar sauce.
My longest road trip in the fastest car:Well, it was the fastest car to me at the time: 1986 Toyota MR2, scooting up to New York City from Durham for a bagel run, and we saved a giant petulant snapping turtle who was stubbornly refusing to leave the middle of I-95!
Name: Candice Brown
Years at Duke: 7
What I do in the library: During my time at Duke, I’ve worked on a variety of projects. I’ve worked in the basement of Rubenstein with thousands of dusty newspapers and at Smith Warehouse translating Ottoman Turkish with the use of a cheat sheet. I’ve recently joined Collection Development as the Gifts Assistant coordinating gift-in-kind intake and processing.
I went to high school: At Cooperstown High School in upstate New York. It’s a quaint little town with literary history, a beautiful lake, and a major baseball problem – our biggest claim to fame.
The most interesting place I traveled to: Zaanse Schans in the Netherlands. Windmills, pewter, giant pancakes, and lots of cheese. Can’t go wrong.
My longest road trip in the fastest car: Rochester, New York, to Orlando, Florida, in a Honda Civic. It wasn’t very fast.
Name: Judy Bailey
Years at Duke:Decades (guess how many!)
What I do in the library:Whatever I’m asked to do
I went to high school: A long time ago
The most interesting place I traveled to:Many places in Israel
My longest road trip in the fastest car: They don’t intersect: fastest car was a ‘69 Vette, but my longest road trip was from Pontiac, Michigan, to Key West, Florida.
To cap off this culinary experiment, the Test Kitchen crew will be hosting a “tasting event” where you can satisfy your hunger for history and sample all of the recipes we’ve prepared to date. Try dishes from the 18th to 20th centuries, learn about ingredients they don’t make any more (like “sack” and “oleo”), and take home a zine of our favorite recipes for your next dinner party.
Finals are beginning to loom on the horizon. But don’t despair! Along with finals comes the Library Study Break! The Friends of Duke University Libraries and members of the Campus Club will be baking up a storm of homemade treats to sustain Duke’s student population through yet another round of studying.
Take a break from the books on Tuesday, December 9, at 8 p.m. and come by Perkins 217 to enjoy homemade baked goods of all kinds! Your textbooks will still be there when you come back.
The Friends of the Duke University Libraries Study Break is presented in partnership with the Duke Campus Club and the School of Medicine, and is sponsored by Pepsi, Saladelia Café, and Costco.
It’s almost that time of year again! Finals are just around the corner and—more importantly—so are the puppies!
Once again, Duke University Libraries and Duke PAWS will be bringing puppies back to the library to supply our stressed-out students will all the fur-therapy and snuggly cuddling they can handle during final exams.
Puppies in Perkins will return on Wednesday, December 1o, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (that’s a three-hour marathon of ear-licking, tail-wagging cuteness) in Perkins Library Room 217.
This year we are teaming up with the Duke University Archives to do something new in celebration of one of Duke’s own furry friends: Pompey Ducklegs. Pompey Ducklegs was the pint-sized pal of Samuel Fox Mordecai, the first dean of the Trinity Law School, and a fixture around Duke’s campus for many years. Pompey went wherever Mordecai went, and he became something of a mascot for the Law School. This year marks the 101st birthday of the delightfully named dachshund, and we thought everyone should celebrate. So stop by Perkins 217 on December 10, enjoy some cake in memory of Pompey Ducklegs, and unwind from the stress of finals with the help of some wet noses and wagging tails!
The Friends of the Duke University Libraries are proud to present the 2015 Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Contest. Since 1947, the Friends have presented the contest in alternate years to promote reading for enjoyment and the development of students’ personal libraries.
The contest includes an undergraduate and a graduate division. Cash prizes for each division are as follows:
First Prize Undergraduate: $1,000 Graduate: $1,000
Second Prize Undergraduate: $500 Graduate: $500
Winners of the contest will also be eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, where they will compete for a $2,500 prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress.
Students do not have to be “book collectors” to enter the contest. Collections may be in any area of interest, and they do not have to be academic in nature. A collection should reflect a clearly defined unifying theme and will be judged by the extent to which its books and materials represent that field of interest. Entries may incorporate books and manuscripts, ephemera, maps, prints and drawings, and autograph material as long as they are relevant to the collection’s focus. The books do not need to be rare and monetary value will not be considered during judging.
Steve Roden, sound artist, painter, writer, and collector is in residence at Duke Rubenstein Library this month. Throughout the month he’s giving talks, performances and demonstrations at various Duke and Durham venues. Whether you get a chance to hear Roden’s talks and pieces, his publications are well supported at Duke’s Lilly (art) and Music libraries.
Most engaging, perhaps, is his 2003 collection of retro advertisements for children’s products, Krazy Kids’ Food. A retrospective of his work,Steve Roden in Between : a 20 Year Survey, is in the Lilly Library. More aurally inclined? Check out (literally!) Roden’s sound recording, Splitting Bits, Closing Loops, a CD at the Music Library. Somewhere in between? We recommend his edited book, Site of Sound : of Architecture and the Ear, exploring the relationship between sound, language, orality and hearing with writings on Vito Acconci, Steve McCaffery, Achim Wollscheid, GX Jupitter Larsen, and Marina Abramovic.
Date: Saturday, October 25 When: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Where: von der Heyden Pavilion, Perkins Library, West Campus (map)
As part of Duke Family Weekend, the Duke University Libraries are pleased to present our annual event, “The Library Presents Duke Moms and Dads.” The event showcases the parent or parents of a first-year Duke student, allowing them an opportunity to share their wisdom and experiences as both a professional and a parent. We are excited to announce that this year’s speakers will be Emmitt and Pat Smith.
Emmitt and Pat Smith are the parents of five children, including Jasmin, a first-year student at Duke. No stranger to football fans, Emmitt is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. During a long career with the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals, he won three Super Bowls and became the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. After retiring from the game, he won over TV audiences when he was voted the winner of ABC’s 2006 season of Dancing with the Stars. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Pat Smith is the founder/CEO of Treasure You, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women in financial, emotional, or spiritual need. A former Miss Virginia and first runner-up of the 1994 Miss USA Pageant, she enjoyed a successful career as a TV host and actress, with appearances on Extra, Access Hollywood, Beverly Hills 90210, Sunset Beach, and the Wayans Brothers Show. She is the president of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities and founder/owner of Pat Smith Enterprises. Emmitt and Pat will talk about their careers, juggling work and home life, the joys of philanthropy, and being a Duke parent.
This event is part of Duke Family Weekend and open to everyone. For more activities on campus that weekend, check out the Duke Family Weekend website.
Date: Wednesday, November 5
When: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Refreshments served at 5:00 p.m, program begins at 5:30) Where: Franklin Humanities Institute Garage, Smith Warehouse Bay 4, (map)
Join the Duke University Libraries on November 5 for a book discussion with Henry Petroski, acclaimed author and Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke. Professor Petroski is the author seventeen popular books on engineering and design, including the classics To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design (1985), The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance (1990), The Book on the Bookshelf (1999), and To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure (2012). Professor Petroski will discuss his most recent work, The House with Sixteen Handmade Doors: A Tale of Architectural Choice and Craftsmanship (2014). The book is an “architectural whodunit” that unlocks the secrets of Petroski’s handmade summer cottage in Maine. The author found himself fascinated by the origins of his 1950s home and set out to discover all the mysteries it contains–from dimly lit closets to a secret passageway. Readers follow along as Petroski slowly reveals the art and craftsmanship that went into the home’s construction, without ever removing a single nail.
Professor Petroski’s lecture is part of the Engaging Faculty Series, sponsored by the Friends of the Duke University Libraries. Books will be for sale at the event, and light refreshments will be served starting at 5:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.
PARKING INFORMATION:The gravel lot across from Smith Warehouse on Buchanan Blvd. offers free parking after 5 p.m. If you have a Duke parking pass, the central gated area is accessible by card-swipe after 5 p.m. For more details on parking at Smith Warehouse, visit the Franklin Humanities Institute website.
As part of the Class of 2018 First-Year Library Experience the East Campus Libraries – Lilly and Music – will screen the Disney Pixar movie, The Incredibles,under the stars. Dash over to East Campus, bring a blanket (no capes!) and meet Incredible Librarians in action.
What: The Incredibles Film Showing
When: Thursday, September 25th at 8pm
Where: Outside on the East Campus Quad Rain venue: Nelson Music Room, East Duke Building
Brought to you by…
your INCREDIBLE East Campus Libraries
& Devils After Dark
How do you “library”? Let the Libraries Save the day!
Each August, First-Year students arrive on East Campus and begin a Welcome Week filled with numerous events, workshops and programs designed to ease their transition to undergraduate life. The libraries on East Campus support the new students with programs for the First-Year Library Experience.
On East Campus, after students settle in and begin classes, the Lilly Library and Duke Music Library offer several ways for the newest “Dukies” to learn and benefit from the incredible resources of the Duke Libraries. Lilly and Music sponsor Library Orientation events such as scavenger hunts, film showings, and prize drawings to familiarize them with library services and collections. Past years have seen students “Keep Calm and Library On”, play The Library Games, and the Class of 2018 will discover the “Super Powers” of the Incredible Duke Libraries!
Fall Semester 2014:
Meet the Incredible Libraries – Open House and Scavenger Hunt for Duke 2018
When: Tuesday, August 26th at 7pm
Where: Lilly Library
Movie on the Quad: The Incredibles
When: Thursday, September 25th at 8pm
Where: East Campus Quad between Lilly and the Union
In addition to Orientation, the East Campus libraries — Lilly and Music — invite first-year students to engage with the Duke University Libraries in these ways:
When I teach Writing 101, I focus not on content, but on process. The goal is to give first-year students what my co-teacher, Heidi Madden, and I like to call a tool chest of skills in academic communication, broadly understood, that will help them make the most of studying at Duke. The skills we emphasize include writing skills such as revision; giving and accepting rigorous yet fair feedback; and communicating clearly and effectively for different audiences, media, and formats. We also emphasize turning students into effective, knowledgeable, and critical researchers by teaching them how to master the complex modern research engine that goes by the name of a research library.
Still, to learn process you have to apply it. For their final paper, students write a research paper in an area of my scholarly expertise, late medieval badges. These are small objects found in Great Britain and northwestern Europe, usually about the size of a quarter and featuring a vivid image. They were made to be worn, usually sewn or pinned to clothing, but sometimes suspended as a pendant. Made of lead-tin alloy, badges were cheap to make and to buy. Some 15,000 survive; millions were probably made in the three hundred years they were in circulation. Although they are little known today, badges were once ubiquitous, ordinary artifacts. What makes badges rewarding for student research are their images, which draw on and disseminate iconographies that, however shocking, mysterious, or inscrutable they now seem to us, were once widely and immediately understood. A badge image presents itself to a modern viewer as a puzzle that repays diligent, focused, expert research by delivering new findings and a deeper understanding of the past.
What a great topic for Writing 101! For their final paper, each student selects and researches a single badge and its image. As a way of getting to know their badge better, we asked students to carefully draw it. Then, we used the library’s button-maker to affix each drawing to an aluminum, pinned back. Viola! The medieval badges live again in a modern form, as buttons. Students were also asked to write a blog post about their badge, which they have identified using categories and data from an important, web-based reference and research tool for badges, the Kunera database housed at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. This assignment allowed them to practice making academic research accessible and compelling to non-specialists. We, teachers and students, hope that the buttons and blogs pique your interest in medieval badges and in Writing 101 at Duke.
A Selection of Student Research on Medieval Badges
Tiffany Chen: What a week this has been! To be honest, when first faced with the task of researching the badge—well, actually, mine is an ampulla—I was sure it would not be so difficult. But when I realized that the ampulla for my paper is… undocumented in a conspicuous way… I found out how challenging researching the unknown can really be.
I have felt like a detective lately, sleuthing for clues and trying to piece them together in a way that not only makes sense, but also is likely to be correct. Luckily, I have found clues pointing me in promising directions. For instance, the location of my ampulla was listed as Jerusalem, but I had to look at the ampulla itself and its depiction to discover that it represented Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is held by tradition to be the location where Christ was resurrected.
I am on a good path towards uncovering more clues. So far, I have delved into the ampulla’s rich history, circa 1149-1199 (around the time of the Third Crusade to the Muslim world). I have researched its image and as well ampullae in general to better understand how they were used. But I have yet to uncover information on the ampulla’s inscription of capital letters, HMPO, and on other key features. More to come in the future! Until then, this detective needs to pick up her magnifying glass and see what else she can find.
Kay Hasegawa:Yes, that badge is showing exactly what you think it is, a woman standing next to a penis with little arms and legs, wearing a crown, and carrying a pilgrim staff and a shoulder bag. Very, very eccentric, and not exactly the first thing we would imagine when we think about medieval accessories in Western Europe! But the image embodies a very common desire for the agriculture-intensive peasants of the day, the wish for fertility of the land and of the mother. All hail the medieval phallic figure!
Alyse Whitaker:Do me a favor. Imagine a world in which it is acceptable for you and your peers to wear clothing or badges adorned with explicit images of female and male genitalia… In our world, it would be unusual to walk down the street and see a man wearing a shirt with a phallus on it because exposing genitals is not tolerated or legal in American culture. Thinking back to the Middle Ages, which supposedly is a time when people were more modest, it was shocking to discover that this assumption was not accurate. Here is a badge that caught my eye. It shows a phallus on a spit, something used to roast chicken over a fire, with a vulva functioning like a “grease trap” to catch the drippings. There are so many impressions that could be taken from this image. My first impression was that the artist was trying to express the efficiency of the men when it came to fertility,. Or perhaps the image was supposed to shock and ward off evil spirits? Badges such as this one may have been worn for many different purposes.
Special thanks to Elena Feinstein and Aaron Welborn for bringing the button-maker to the library, and to Mark Zupan for photographing the buttons.
Duke: 175 Years of Blue Devilish Images Student Photography Contest
We are pleased to announce the winners of this spring’s Student Photography Contest sponsored by Lilly Library and the Duke University Archives. Congratulations and many thanks to all the student contestants; we are pleased and overwhelmed by all the great photos. If you can’t make it into Lilly Library to view the winning photos on display, all the entries may be viewed on the Duke Libraries Photo Contest Flickr page.
Students reinterpreted iconic photos from four categories presented by University Archives, and the independent panel of judges selected the following winners:
Academics: First Prize – Donovan Loh, Field Trip to Lake Waccamaw
Runner-Up- Susannah Roberson, A Glimpse to the Past
Athletics: First Prize-Misty Sha, Jumping the Sunset
Runner-Up- Erica Martin, A Star on the Rise
Campus Scenes: First Prize – Misty Sha, Man in the Snow
Runner-Up- Shameka Rolla, Capturing the Moment
Social Life: First Prize – Catherine Sun, Jarvis Smoothie Night
Runner-Up- Jennifer Margono, Round Table Antics
All the students who contributed their contemporary perspective of past Duke scenes illustrate that campus life and student life remain constant over the years. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.
Currently on exhibit at Lilly Library: The winning photos are on display in Lilly’s lobby through May, and will be installed in Lilly Room 05 during summer 2014.
The end of the semester is at hand, and only one obstacle looms between Duke students and a summer of freedom: Finals Week. The echo of textbooks being opened resounds across campus, accompanied, as always, by the plaintive sighs of undergraduates. However, amid the bleakness of finals, the Libraries are partnering with DukePAWS to bring you a moment of snuggly, furry relief—Puppies at Perkins!
On Tuesday, April 29, come to Perkins Library Room 217 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and trade in your final exams stress for some puppy love. Two shifts of certified therapy dogs along with their owners will be taking over Room 217 (click for floor plan) for three hours for some much needed fur-therapy.
Be sure to drop by for a few minutes (or the full three hours, depending on how much snuggling you require) and unwind from the stress of finals with the help of some wet noses and wagging tails! You can join the Facebook event here.
Also on Tuesday, make sure you stop by Perkins Library at 8:00 p.m. for the Friends of the Duke University Libraries’ Study Break! The event is held in partnership with the Duke Campus Club and the Duke Annual Fund and is sponsored by Pepsi. After a long day of hitting the books, enjoy a smorgasbord of cookies, treats, and other home-baked goodies.
News, Events, and Exhibits from Duke University Libraries