Trying to figure out what you’re going to do over your extra long Winter Break this year? You might already know you can access many of our library resources from home and that you can use Library Takeout to check out print books, but you may not know about some of the libraries’ more fun-focused online resources. Keep reading for popular streaming video, streaming music, and eBook resources! Duke’s personal librarians also share books, films, and other resources that they’ve been enjoying.
Duke has access to dozens of streaming video databases. Here are three I recommend checking out if you’re looking for something entertaining to watch.
Kanopy – This database has a vibrant collection of independent films, international films, and documentaries on a broad range of subjects. Think of it as an artsy version of Netflix.
Swank Digital Campus – If you’re looking for Hollywood movies, this is your spot. Swank has both recent films and older classics in a wide range of genres.
Academic Video Online (AVON) – This database has a huge collection of videos. Although the platform is most notable for its excellent documentaries (PBS, CNN, and BBC are all featured), it also has a number of independent feature films in its Sony Pictures Classics collection.
Overdrive – This platform has thousands of popular eBooks and audiobooks. Overdrive titles can be enjoyed on a computer, tablet, e-reader, or phone.
Naxos Music Library – This database has a massive collection of classical music with over 2 million tracks streaming. Great for throwing on while you relax at home!
Music Online: Jazz Music Library – This is your go-to spot if you want to stream jazz. The library includes thousands of artists and albums across a wide range of sub-genres from hard-bop to Latin jazz to swing.
Metropolitan Opera On Demand – Enjoy more than 700 full-length opera performances in this database.
Personal Librarian Recommendations
Curious what books and films Duke librarians have been enjoying recently? Check out the following recommendations.
Arianne Hartsell-Gundy – I’ve recently read two books. Unmarriageable: A Novel by Soniah Kamal, is a charming and fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan. It’s available on Overdrive and in print at Lilly and Perkins. I also enjoyed The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, available on Overdrive. Two first-time teen voters meet at their polling place and fall in love over the course of one crazy day in this YA novel. Bonus: there’s an adorable cat named Selma.
Carson Holloway – I’ve read two non-fiction books that were great. The first, Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline by Nick Estes, is about Standing Rock, but also about the long arc of resistance to the erosion of the rights of native people. The book is well written as a work of history, and it puts the development of indigenous rights in perspective, but it is also a pointed argument about the necessity of persistence. The second is Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano, and translated by Mark Fried. Mirrors is a sort of world history illustrated with factoids that remind us that not only the great men are interesting when big events happen. Galeano was from Uruguay and his perspective on the rise of colonial South America, women’s suffrage, and the role of illiterate people in history is fascinating.
Lee Sorensen – I’ve been playing around with the David Rumsey online map collection. I started out looking for historical maps of some of the places I was reading about, but soon discovered that the definition of “map” can be fun and entertaining. For example, I searched for the word “mythical” or “fantastic” and got quite a lot of representational results of imaginary places. I loved the 1938 Shell Oil company visualization of how the airport world would be!
Ira King – I recently re-watched one of my favorite films, Hoop Dreams, which we have streaming on Kanopy. On the surface this 1994 documentary is about basketball, but it encompasses race, class, the American education system, and more as the filmmakers follow two Chicago-area high school basketball players over a five year span. Hoop Dreams is frequently cited as one of the greatest documentaries of all-time, and I’m inclined to agree. I’ve also been enjoying Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past science fiction trilogy that begins with The Three Body Problem. This trilogy is available in audiobook format on Duke’s Overdrive page.
Greta Boers – I’d like to highlight three books I’ve really enjoyed— all long ago stories about women:
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish – a novel that focuses on a Sephardic community in 17th century London and modern day;
The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton – a novel about pre-Raphaelite artists in the late 19th century through the 20th;
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – a novel centered around a traditional burgher household in 17th century Amsterdam.
I liked these books because they are all about women in various historical periods, who are reimagined with more control and more power to shape their own destinies. All three of these novels have interesting connections to historical events. The main character of The Miniaturist is Petronella Oortman whose dollhouse (pictured above) is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The Jewish Museum London has a blog post about the 17th century Sephardic Jewish community written about in The Weight of Ink. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a fascinating essay with photos of the 17th and 18th century European clocks featured in The Clockmaker’s Daughter.