42 School Librarians with a Purpose.

On September 15th, 42 school librarians from 5 counties gave up a precious Saturday morning to come to Duke’s Perkins Library and talk to each other.  The School Librarian Retreat was inspired by the Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit put on by ECU’s Joyner Library every winter.




The retreat was designed to give the school librarians a chance to discuss common themes and problems they face in their own libraries and to share ideas with each other.  By all accounts it was a rousing success.  Connections were made, ideas shared, and there were many empathetic nods as problems were discussed and solutions were suggested.

Door Prizes!

The planning team for this event included Ms. Dottie Black, the PepsiCo K-12 Technology Mentor Coordinator, Ms. Alesia Stevenson, the founder of the ECU conference, Dr. Pauletta Bracy from NCCU SLIS, Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell from UNC SILS, Ms. Jennifer Umbarger and Ms. Barbara Berry, Professional School Librarians from Durham Public Schools.



Durham High School Seniors Learn What to Expect from a College Library


Durham Public School students and librarians. Photo by Doug Hayes.

On May 23rd, Duke Libraries hosted a library field trip for 20 graduating seniors from 4 Durham High Schools: Northern, Southern, Jordan, and Hillside.  The purpose of the visit was to give the college-bound senior students an idea of what resources they will have available to them when they attend college next fall.  The idea was generated by Deborah Spears, a member of Friends of the Duke University Libraries.  


Dottie Black organized the event, Heidi Madden, Ph.D, led an instructional session on how to effectively search library databases, and three librarians from the Rubenstein Library; Jennifer Thompson, Lynn Eaton and Amy McDonald, created an opportunity for the students to interact with primary source materials.

Students examining primary source documents. Photo by Doug Hayes.


The students and the school librarians had a wonderful experience working with Duke librarians. At the end of the day, they answered the question, “What should you do when you get your first assignment in college?”, with a resounding, “Go to the library!”.