All posts by Duke University Libraries

Durham Reads Together: The U.S. Constitution

One Month, One Book, One Community

Starting on Constitution Day, September 17, the Durham County Library is hosting a month-long series of free programs focused on a community reading of the U.S. Constitution. Events include:

You can pick up a free copy of the U.S. Constitution at any Durham County Library location, while supplies last. And check out their Durham Speaks videos, short interviews with Durham residents sharing their thoughts on the Constitution and what it means to them.

A reminder to Duke students: As residents of Durham County, you’re eligible to get a free library card at any Durham County Library location. You’re not required to have one to participate in Durham Reads Together, but it’s another resource at your fingertips.

Post contributed by Kim Duckett, Head of Research and Instructional Services

 

Join Our Student Advisory Boards!

Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.
Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2017-2018 student library advisory boards.

Members of these advisory boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

The boards will typically meet four times a semester to discuss all aspects of Duke Libraries and provide feedback to library staff. This is an amazing opportunity for students to serve on the advisory board of a large, nationally recognized non-profit organization.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations.  Application deadlines are:

Members  of the Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board and the Undergraduate Advisory Board will be selected and notified by mid-September, and groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and Undergraduate Advisory Board

Emily Daly
Head, Assessment and User Experience Department
Librarian for Education
emily.daly@duke.edu
919-660-5879

 

 

First-Year Advisory Board

Ira King
Evening Reference Librarian and Supervisor, Lilly Library
ira.king@duke.edu
919-660-9465

 

New Staff and Changing Roles in Natural Sciences and Engineering Section

This spring Michael Peper and Melanie Sturgeon, two Duke science and engineering librarians, left Duke University Libraries to pursue other opportunities. We’re sad to lose these valued colleagues, but are thrilled to introduce two new staff members and some different roles for remaining staff. Please see below for our updated titles and responsibilities.


Elena Feinstein
Head, Natural Sciences and Engineering Section
Librarian for Biological Sciences

Elena has moved into a leadership role for the science and engineering librarians group, and she looks forward to continuing her work with the departments of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology as well as other biologically focused programs.

 

Ciara Healy
Librarian for Psychology & Neuroscience, Mathematics, and Physics

Ciara is thrilled about continuing her work with the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and learning more about the needs of the Departments of Mathematics and Physics.

 

 

Janil Miller
Librarian for Marine Science and Coordinator, Pearse Memorial Library at Duke Marine Laboratory

Janil will continue coordinating library services and collections at the Duke Marine Lab, serving the Nicholas School of the Environment’s Division of Marine Science & Conservation as well as other Marine Lab patrons.

 

Sarah Park
Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science

Sarah joins Duke on July 18 as liaison to the Pratt School of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. She has 15 years of experience as a science and engineering librarian, most recently at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In addition to her library science degrees, Sarah holds an M.S. in applied computer science.

 

Jodi Psoter
Librarian for Chemistry and Statistical Science

Jodi joins Duke on August 14 as liaison to the Departments of Chemistry and Statistical Science. She has 15 years of experience as a science and engineering librarian, most recently at Williams College.

 

 

Brittany Wofford
Coordinator for the Edge and Librarian for the Nicholas School of the Environment

Brittany will continue to coordinate services and spaces for The Edge research commons and will take on a new role as liaison to the Nicholas School of the Environment. Brittany has experience as the librarian for Cultural Anthropology, which will return to the care of librarian Linda Daniel.

If you’re ever in doubt about which of us to contact, we can all be reached at askscience@duke.edu. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Collection Spotlight: Trans Day of Visibility

Inspired by the success of our Blind Date with a Book program, we are launching Collection Spotlight, a thematic pop-up display of materials in the New and Noteworthy section of Perkins Library near the service desk. Our first Collection Spotlight highlights the Trans Day of Visibility, celebrated on March 31 to draw attention to the lives and accomplishments of trans & gender-nonconforming people, as well as continuing challenges faced by the community. The Duke University Libraries actively collect fiction and nonfiction books, films, and other materials by transgender authors and about transgender issues. In addition to supporting the program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke and other interdisciplinary scholarship, these materials  may reflect and validate the personal experiences and identities of our diverse student body and broader Duke community. Learn more about our LGBTQ collections.

Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity also has a small lending library of books and DVDs, and offers social and support groups as well as trainings such as Trans 101. In recognition of this Trans Day of Visibility,  the Center is hosting a performance of Mashuq Deen’s “Draw the Circle”  (Friday, March 31 at 6:00 p.m. in White Lecture Hall), the story of a conservative Muslim mother at her wit’s end, a Muslim father who likes to tell jokes, and a queer American woman trying to make a good impression on her Indian in-laws, all performed by Deen himself. A Trans 101 training will be held on the afternoon of March 30 in advance of this event.  


Highlights from our Collections:

Seasonal Velocities: Poems, Stories, and Essays by Ryka Aoki (2012)

Nevada by Imogen Binnie (2013)

My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity by Kate Bornstein (2013)

Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul (1996) and Stone Butch Blues: A Novel (1993) by Leslie Feinberg

Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques (2015)

Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family and Themselves edited by Zander Keig and Mitch Kellaway (2014)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (2014)

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock (2014)

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano (2007)

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Librarian for Sexuality Studies

 

From Kielbasa to Sfincione: A Personal and Academic Exploration of Urban Foods

Guest post by Ashley Rose Young, Ph.D. candidate in History at Duke and the Business History Graduate Intern at the Hartman Center.

My life has always revolved around the sale and distribution of food. My food-centric lifestyle is not all that surprising, as my family owns and operates gourmet food stores in Pittsburgh. By the time I was three years old, I was working behind the counter, standing on a plastic milk carton so that customers could see me while I earned my family “business degree.” After years of practice (and a growth spurt or two) I could easily reach over the counter to hand my family’s homemade kielbasas to customers. My grandfather made those sausages. He established the family business, too, by starting as an itinerant vendor at a roadside food stand in the 1940s. Over time, he worked his way towards opening a series of grocery stores with the support of my grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncles. Together, my family created a business committed to supporting small-scale local farmers and artisans while preserving the culinary heritage of Pittsburgh.

A profile of McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores featuring a photo of the author (age 6) with her grandparents, mother, and aunts.

Inspired by my own experiences and those of my family, my dissertation research focuses on urban food economies in the United States. Specifically, I study street food and market vendors in New Orleans and the global influences on the city’s Creole cuisine. As a major Atlantic port city, New Orleans was connected to communities and food cultures throughout the Atlantic Rim, adopting ingredients like okra from West Africa and cooking techniques like starting soups with a French-style roux. Tracing those influences, I have visited archives and conducted fieldwork in countries like France, Italy, and Morocco, all of which influenced the development Creole cuisine. At the National Library in France, I studied the parallels and dissimilarities between artistic renderings of street food vendors in Paris and those in New Orleans. While the images were different in the ways they revealed cultural bias, in both places it was common for artists to pair images of food vendors with sheet music that captured their cries of “Piping hot rice fritters!” and “Beautiful cakes!”

Fascinated by the prevalence of street cries in New Orleans’ historic soundscape, I sought connections to modern day street food cultures. In order to do so, I conducted fieldwork in Palermo, Sicily—a city known for its musical food vendors. Although most people do not associate New Orleans with Italian food culture, in the late nineteenth century, the city had one of the largest Sicilian immigrant populations in the world. In fact, at that time, New Orleanians colloquially referred to the French Quarter as “Little Palermo.” The sonorous voices of Sicilian food vendors rang throughout the city. Folklorists captured their calls on the page in compendiums like Gumbo Ya-Ya: Folktales of Louisiana (1945). In that volume, an Italian vendor is described as singing while he hawks his wares: “Cantal—ope—ah! Fresh and fine, just off a de vine, only a dime!”

A drawing and sheet music depicting a rice fritter vendor in twentieth century New Orleans. “The Calas Girl,” Cooking in the Old Créole Days: La Cuisine Créole à l’Usage des Petits Menages (New York, R. H. Russell, 1903).

Modern-day Palermo’s urban food scene shares similarities with New Orleans’ historic one. Like the Big Easy, Palermo’s streets are crowded with food vendors who entreat passersby with humorous and delightful calls. One of their more popular grab-n-go foods in the city is sfincione, or street pizza. Sfincione is simple and economical—a tasty combination of spongy crust, tomato sauce, olive oil, and a healthy sprinkling of dried parsley. Commenting on those humble origins with a bit of humor, one of the traditional Palermitano street cries is: “Scarsu d’ogghio e chinu i prubulazzo!” Or, in English, “Lack of oil and plenty of dust!” Another more enticing cry is, “Uara u sfuinnavi uara! Chistu è sfinciuni ra bella viaro!”—“I’ve just taken it out of the oven! This is a very beautiful sfincione!” The street cries of Palermo work in similar ways to those of historic New Orleans, attracting the attention of potential customers with a witty, entertaining performance. For food vendors past and present, charm is a major component of their business strategy. I had witnessed the power of charisma so long ago, perched on my milk carton while my mother wrapped parcels of sausage and joked with customers.

Sfincione vendor, Palermo, Sicily, 2014. Photo by Ashley Rose Young.

Entranced by that charm and my newfound academic approach to food, a dissertation (or one might say obsession) was brought to life. Even when traveling without a research agenda, I was constantly analyzing the local food cultures around me to connect what I observed in New Orleans with what I witnessed abroad. There were a few surprises along the way. While in Peru for an academic conference, for example, I learned about a maize beer called chicha de jora that resembled a fermented corn beverage popularized by Choctaw Indians in colonial New Orleans. Although I had originally focused my dissertation research on New Orleans’ connections to Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean, the discovery of chicha de jora encouraged me to study Latin American influences on Creole cuisine as well.

Municipal Market, Cusco, Peru, 2014. Photo by Ashley Rose Young.

Photography was a means of crystalizing these connections while also honoring the distinctiveness of community food cultures. Over the years, as I wandered through countless markets, I sought to capture the vibrancy of locally grown produce, the entrepreneurial spirit of food vendors, and the enduring presence of local food cultures in an age of homogenized industrial food.

I now have the opportunity to share these dynamic cultures in an exhibit I’ve curated for Perkins Library: To Market, to Market! Urban Street Food Culture Around the Globe. Through this exhibit, you can compare the texture and shape of ruby red radishes in Paris with their kaleidoscopic counterparts in Durham. Or you can draw parallels between curbside displays of fish in Essaouira, Morocco with those for sale at the Vietnamese Farmers’ Market in New Orleans East. The exhibit, which consists of twenty-four photographs, is loosely organized, encouraging you to create your own narrative of the interconnectivity of urban food around the world.

The exhibit is installed on the Student Wall on the first floor of Perkins Library, opposite the Thompson Writing Studio. It runs through March 31, 2017.

Free Electronics Engraving with Duke Police, Nov. 17

Duke Police will engrave your laptops, smart phones, and other electronics for free.
Duke Police will engrave your laptops, smart phones, and other electronics for free.

Date: Thursday, November 17
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 118

To help Duke University students, staff, and faculty protect their personal property such as laptops, iPhones, and iPads, the Duke University Police Department will be offering free engraving services in Perkins Library on Thursday, November 17.

Items are engraved with the owner’s name and other ID information to deter theft and help track owners when stolen items are recovered. Pawn shops will not accept items that are engraved with the owner’s information.

The engraving takes only 5 minutes and is free of charge.

What to bring:

  • Duke ID
  • Driver’s license
  • Laptops, smart phones, personal electronics
  • Anything else you want engraved!

For more information, contact Officer Kelly George with the Duke Police Department: 919-684-2444.

Duke University Libraries Receives Virtual Reality Grant to “Flip Prisons”

Durham School of the Arts students tour the abandoned prison in Wagram, NC, which the nonprofit organization GrowingChange is hoping to flip into a sustainable farm and education center.
Durham School of the Arts students tour the abandoned prison in Wagram, NC, which the nonprofit organization GrowingChange is hoping to flip into a sustainable farm and education center.

The Duke University Libraries have received a $52,647 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board to help transform an abandoned prison into a sustainable farm and education center through the magic of virtual reality.

“It’s not easy to visualize how an abandoned and unused prison can be repurposed to help a struggling community,” said David Stein, Duke PepsiCo Education Technology Partnership Coordinator and principal investigator for the project. “We are ‘shackled’ by our preconceived notions of what prisons can be.”

The prison in question is an actual former correctional facility in rural Wagram, in one of the poorest counties in North Carolina with one of the state’s highest unemployment rates. The idea to “flip” the abandoned site into a sustainable farm is the mission of GrowingChange, a North Carolina nonprofit led by a team of formerly incarcerated youth.

GrowingChange gives young people in the criminal justice system job training and life skills through farming and service learning. Their goal is to create as a national model for reusing closed prisons.

Eight high school students in the Game Art & Design concentration at the Durham School of the Arts, working under veteran teacher Robert Bourgeois, will work with youth participants in GrowingChange to design a virtual reality version of the flipped prison, in order to help people visualize the site’s untapped potential. Jail cells will be transformed into aquaponics tanks, guard towers into climbing walls, the galley into a certified community kitchen, and the old “hot box” will become a recording studio.

In recent years, virtual reality technology has been rapidly transforming industries from journalism to documentary filmmaking by providing audiences 360-degree sensory experiences that are hard to forget. The grant will support the development and design of the virtual reality program, which GrowingChange can use to better communicate its vision.

Training and technical support in virtual reality content production will be provided throughout the project by the Virtual Reality Learning Experience (VRLE), an educational outreach and advocacy arm of Durham’s Lucid Dream, a virtual reality production studio based in the American Underground technology incubator. “This is exactly the sort of transformational story that cannot be sufficiently conveyed using traditional mediums like video and web,” said Mike McArdle, co-founder at Lucid Dream/VRLE. “This project is perfectly suited for the sort of immersive and visceral experience that VR enables.”

Students from the Durham School of the Arts try out virtual reality technology at the American Underground offices of Lucid Dream, a virtual reality production company in Durham.
Students try out virtual reality technology at the American Underground offices of Lucid Dream, a virtual reality production company in Durham.

According to GrowingChange director Noran Sanford, “Just as our youth leaders have re-visualized their life, virtual reality allows them to share a new vision for Scotland, Hoke and Robeson Counties, home of North Carolina’s highest unemployment, poverty, and violent crime rates and the worst health outcomes. Classrooms, state leaders, and supporters touring a traveling museum exhibit will be able to walk along the top of the front guard tower and see the future vision of it becoming a climbing wall and repelling station. Through this process, our community will be able to re-visualize how youth from tough circumstances can become the leaders to help us change our grim statistics.”

The grant will be administered through the PepsiCo K-12 Technology Mentor Program, a partnership between the Duke University Libraries and Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs. The program, endowed by a grant from PepsiCo, encourages the use of educational technology in Durham Public Schools.

GrowingChange hopes that the Wagram prison will become a national model for reusing closed prisons.
GrowingChange hopes that the Wagram prison will become a national model for reusing closed prisons.

The grant is one of 63 service-learning, youth-led projects across the United States to receive funding this year by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Since its inception in 2006, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board has granted over $40 million, impacting over 21.5 million students.

“State Farm supports service-learning because it integrates service to the community into classroom curriculum using a hands-on approach to mastering subject material while fostering civic responsibility,” said Kim Conyers, Community Specialist for North Carolina. “The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is a prime example of State Farm’s commitment to education, our community and our youth.”

Media Contacts:

  • State Farm: Michal Brower, media spokesperson for North Carolina, 863-318-3088
  • Duke University Libraries: Aaron Welborn, director of communications, 919-660-5816
  • GrowingChange: Noran Sanford, 910-280-4150
  • Durham School of the Arts: Robert Bourgeois, 919-560-3926, ext. 23489
  • Lucid Dream VR / VRLE: Joshua Setzer, 919-454-9075
  • Duke PepsiCo Education Technology Coordinator: David Stein, 919-812-5873

New Program: Textbooks on Reserve in Perkins and Lilly

textbooks_on_reserve_600x360

Starting this semester (Fall 2016), the Duke University Libraries will be piloting a program to provide selected textbooks on 3-hour reserve in Perkins Library on West Campus. Some textbooks will also be available at Lilly Library on East Campus.

Included among the 300 items are textbooks for courses in Economics, Chemistry, Math, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. The books have been selected based on orders placed with the Duke Textbook Store by departments and faculty.

Visit our website to see a complete listing of the textbooks on reserve, organized by course.

Please note: Textbooks on reserve are not intended to take the place of students purchasing textbooks for their courses. Due to budget limitations, the Libraries are unable to purchase textbooks for every course at Duke.

Circulation numbers will be reviewed to determine if this pilot program is valued and should be extended.

For questions related to textbook reserves at Perkins Library, please contact: perkins-reserves@duke.edu.

For questions related to textbook reserves at Lilly Library, please contact: lilly-requests@duke.edu

Join Our Student Advisory Boards!

Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.
Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2016-2017 student library advisory boards.

Members of these advisory boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

The boards will typically meet four times a semester to discuss all aspects of Duke Libraries and provide feedback to library staff. This is an amazing opportunity for students to serve on the advisory board of a large, nationally recognized non-profit organization.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations.  Application deadlines are:

Members  of the Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board and the Undergraduate Advisory Board will be selected and notified by mid-September, and groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and Undergraduate Advisory Board

emily_dalyEmily Daly
Head, Assessment and User Experience Department
Librarian for Education
emily.daly@duke.edu
919-660-5879

 

First-Year Advisory Board

boers-greta Greta Boers
Librarian for Linguistics and Classical Studies
greta.boers@duke.edu
919-660-5864

 

Grad Students: A Reading Room Just for You

reiss room
The Richard and Nancy Riess Graduate Student Reading Room is located on the 2nd floor of Perkins Library in Room 211, next to the Staff Lounge.

With the start of a new academic year upon us, we thought this would be a good time to remind our hard-working graduate students that we have a dedicated library reading room just for them.

The Richard and Nancy Riess Graduate Student Reading Room is reserved for Duke University graduate students only. With seating for 14 people, it is located on the 2nd floor of Perkins Library in Room 211, next door to the library Staff Lounge. (See map below.)

The reading room is accessible by using a keypad on the door. To get the code, simply stop by the Library Service Desk on the main floor of Perkins Library, show us your Duke ID to verify your graduate student status, and fill out a short form.

Access to the Riess Graduate Student Reading Room is available to all graduate and professional school students throughout the university. We encourage you to stop by the Library Service Desk for the reading room code.

Students with questions about access to the space should contact Bobbi Earp, Service Desk Supervisor (bobbi.earp@duke.edu), Emily Daly, Head of the User Experience Department (emily.daly@duke.edu), or perkins-requests@duke.edu.

Map of the 2nd floor of Perkins Library, showing the location of the Reiss Graduate Student Reading Room.
Map of the 2nd floor of Perkins Library, showing the location of the Reiss Graduate Student Reading Room.

In Memoriam: Horst Meyer

Guest post by Melanie Sturgeon, Librarian for Engineering, Physics, and Computer Science

I was terribly saddened to hear that Professor Horst Meyer passed away this weekend. As the physics librarian, I started working with Horst three years ago. I feel like I should say that I never met anyone like Horst, but that’s not entirely true. Horst reminded me very much of my Grandpa, Harry Goldberg. It wasn’t that Horst acted like a grandfather towards me. It was their personalities. They were of an age and lived through a time that is difficult for most of us to imagine. My Grandpa was part of what we in the U.S. call our “greatest generation.” I’m not sure what they were called in Europe, other than “survivors,” I suppose. But neither Horst nor my Grandpa were hardened by what they had been through. Instead, they were almost giddy with life and determined not only to enjoy every minute of it, but to make sure those around them did as well.

Horst Meyer in Duke Gardens. Photo by W. Ketterle, from his website at the Duke Physics Department.
Horst Meyer in Duke Gardens, undated. Photo by W. Ketterle, from his Duke Physics Department website.

Working with Horst was a joy. He was always passionate about whatever he was doing and thankful to be doing it. As a leading physicist at Duke for almost sixty years, Horst was a brilliant scholar and a very familiar face in the library. Many librarians worked with him over the years and also have stories about him. It was impossible to come away from an interaction with Horst without a positive memory or a story you wanted to share with someone.

When the latest Stephen Hawking book came in for him, he was so excited he literally bounced up and down when I gave it to him. Later, when Horst returned the book, he joked about how proud he was that he was able to understand part of what Hawking wrote. He did clarify that Hawking’s work was in a completely different field of physics than his, then quickly returned to joking and smiled about needing to be a genius to understand the whole book.

I’m sure many people did consider Horst a genius. But as a librarian, my takeaway was an appreciation for someone who obviously enjoyed learning so much. Every interaction with him left me smiling and thankful for the opportunity to work with him. It turned out that Horst was also thankful for those opportunities. A few years ago, he submitted a wonderful letter of appreciation along with a very generous donation to the Libraries for always supporting him. This is something Horst did frequently. If he cared about something, he wanted to help it grow and flourish. You can read more in the beautiful DukeToday article about his dedication to art, music, and the Duke Gardens. Here in the Libraries, we will be forever grateful that he wanted to help with our mission to preserve the past and educate the future. His memory will live on in the Libraries through his contributions to the History of Medicine Collections and our collection of rare materials on physics.

I am deeply grateful for my time with Horst, and I’m reminded of the lessons my Grandpa taught me about truly enjoying life and pursuing your passions. While Harry Goldberg was no world-renowned scholar, he had that same infectious smile and positive outlook that Horst did. To be honest, I had a difficult time remaining professional with Horst, as I was always tempted to hug him goodbye and ask if I could adopt him as an honorary grandfather.

When Horst told me the end was close (while still requesting more research), I became visibly upset. He comforted me and assured me that he was a lucky man who had had a great life. I can only hope that we all feel that way—not just at the end, but every day as we pursue our dreams and appreciate the amazing life around us.

On the Road with the Frank C. Brown Collection

Guest post by Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for the Duke University Libraries and Principal Investigator for the grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings of early twentieth-century folk music.

Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.
Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.

 

We are a nation linked by iHeartRadio stations playing “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones—that much is certain. I come to understand this as I drive the Frank Clyde Brown Collection’s 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs of folk songs and ballads to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts. There, the NEDCC will use a new and highly innovative technology called IRENE to help us rediscover these performances, which have been essentially unavailable to scholars for nearly a century.

It’s almost too easy to contrast that single, frequently repeated song (unloved by me) with my cargo, but I do it anyway: it’s a 15-hour trip and I’ve got time. The 136 cylinders and discs hold an estimated 1,367 performances collected by Brown as he traveled across North Carolina between 1915 and his death in 1943. Brown, an English professor who also served as comptroller during Trinity College’s transition into Duke University, somehow also found time to drive into back areas throughout North Carolina to record this music. There’s a certain symmetry to me driving his recordings from Duke to Andover.

Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.
Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.

The wax cylinders are especially brittle, though, which is why Craig Breaden and I finally decided I should drive them to the NEDCC rather than ship them. Craig, the Rubenstein Library’s Audiovisual Archivist, serves as the Project Manager for this grant. We’ve taken special care in packing, and each cylinder is stored in its own box. Twenty cylinders are then housed in a storage box, and for the trip, each storage box is packed in a larger box and surrounded by foam packing peanuts. The single storage box of aluminum discs is packed the same way. Although not as fragile as the wax cylinders, some of the discs use an acetate “lacquer” for the recording medium, which can be damaged.

The care extends to the trip: I’ve rented a minivan, which provides the bonus of a separate air conditioning system for the back storage area. That helps keep the cargo at a uniform temperature—changes in temperature are particularly hard on wax cylinders. In fact, I decide not to eat dinner while the outdoor temperature is above 75 degrees because I don’t want to leave the air conditioning off for too long. I drive to Hartford, Connecticut, that night and when I check into the motel, I take all four boxes into my room, where I put them on the bed instead of on the floor, just in case the fan coil unit leaks. They look kind of cozy there.

FCBrownBeddedF
The boxed-up cylinders and discs, resting from their journey.

What makes the IRENE technology worth the trouble? Craig and I will write more about it over the course of this project, but IRENE is perfect for material like this. IRENE makes ultra-high resolution visual scans of a disc’s or cylinder’s grooves to create an image of the track; its software converts the images to sound files. Creating visual scans first means that we can get an accurate digital sound file without a needle or stylus. That provides two important advantages: we don’t risk further damage to the grooves of these fragile media, and IRENE can sometimes recover sound from cracked or broken discs and cylinders if it can get an image of the grooves sufficient to match up with the other pieces. It’s amazing, and only the NEDCC provides this service.

NEDCC6
Jane Pipik, Manager of Audio Preservation Services at NEDCC, demonstrates how IRENE translates visual groove scans into digital sound files.

All of us associated with this project feel like the Brown Collection is a great collection, the music a treasure waiting to be rediscovered. The recordings contain ballads and folk songs that can be traced back to England, songs that traveled to North Carolina from other parts of the United States, and songs like those around the murder of Laura Foster by Tom Dula (a.k.a. Tom Dooley) that originated here.

And that’s what distinguishes this music from the Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Although the same song might be represented several times in the collection, each performance is unique; each musician provided his or her own take on the lyrics and music, or of the people from whom he or she learned the music. Even though the title might be the same, each performance potentially offers insights to us about the culture of the musicians’ locale. That is what makes the trip worth it.


The grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings is part of the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, a national competition that funds the digitization of rare and unique content held by libraries and cultural memory institutions and that would otherwise be unavailable to the public. The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. 

The program receives generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.  Additional information is available at mellon.org.

Thank You to Our Annual Fund Donors

deborahjakubs600x360
A message from Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs

Every library book is like a little gift to someone. We never know who will find it or what difference it will make in their life. But in a library of millions of volumes, all those little gifts add up to something truly big.

The same is true for your gift to the Duke University Libraries.

As you see in the charts below, more than 2,000 people make a gift to the Libraries Annual Fund every year. That includes you and me. More than half of those gifts are $100 or less, and many of them come from repeat donors. Together, however, they add up to more than $2.6 million in unrestricted support over the past three years!

Libraries Annual Fund Donors
Libraries Annual Fund Donors
Libraries Annual Fund Cash
Libraries Annual Fund Cash

Unrestricted giving has enabled the Libraries to do some spectacular things. It has allowed us to build world-class collections and implement innovative programs, particularly for undergraduates. In fact, the Libraries are partners in research for students from the moment they step on campus until long after they’ve graduated.

Here are just a few of the things we’re able to do with support from the Libraries Annual Fund.

Every gift counts and every gift makes a difference! Thank you for joining me in supporting the Libraries Annual Fund. Together, we are making a real difference in the Duke community.

 

 

Archive Opening and Lecture with John Palfrey, Apr. 7

 

john palfrey
Palfrey is the author of “BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google”

What: Lecture and Opening of the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive
When: Thursday, April 7, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library
Reception to follow

9780465042999Join the Duke University Libraries as we celebrate the opening of the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive with a special lecture featuring educator and technology expert John Palfrey, distinguished authority on education and technology and author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google (Basic Books, 2015).

Palfrey is the Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He is also a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Previously, Palfrey served as Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School and as the founding chairman of the Digital Public Library of America. He has written extensively on internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world.

Palfrey’s talk will be followed by a brief response by N. Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Professor of Literature at Duke and author of numerous books, including How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (University of Chicago, 2012).

Sponsored by the Duke University Libraries, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Information Science + Studies Program, Information Initiative at Duke, Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Studies Program, Center for Documentary Studies, Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the UNC School of Information and Library Science.

Fairy Tales on The Edge

Welcome to our blog series on innovative projects coming out of The Edge! The Edge is a collaborative space in Bostock Library where students, faculty, and staff can work on research projects over the course of a semester or academic year. If think you have a project that would be ideal for the Edge, head over to our project spaces page to apply.

The Project: Fairy Tales, from Grimms to Disney

Fairy Tales, from Grimms to Disney is a digital library of 210 Grimms Fairy Tales in English translation, ordered by number and themes. The team built this digital library in WordPress to support the lecture course “Fairy Tales: Grimms to Disney” (Professor Jakob Norberg, Department of German), and students use the WordPress site to blog about weekly readings. Heidi Madden, Librarian for Western European Studies and Medieval Literature, answered some questions for us about this project.

What inspired this project?

Rumpelstiltskin. All images and illustrations by Arthur Rackham from public domain sources.
Rumpelstiltskin. All images and illustrations by Arthur Rackham from public domain sources.

The Fairy Tales course is a popular lecture course taught every year in the German Department by Professor Jakob Norberg. The project arose in conversation with Professor Norberg, who wanted to draw on the visual elements of fairy tales to inspire students to read widely. He also wanted to make the large course more interactive. Students discover and write about modern versions of fairy tales; they find a wide variety—with many international examples—of tales based on Grimm fairy tale characters, themes, and plots. Professor Norberg wanted to capture some of that information from one year to the next by having students contribute their ideas to a blog.

Who are the members of your team? What departments and schools are they part of?

  • Professor Jakob Norberg, Department of German
  • Heidi Madden, Duke University Libraries
  • Nele Fritz is a Library Science student (B.A.) at TH Köln – University of Technology, Arts and Sciences, Cologne, Germany. From September 2015 to March 2016 she worked as an intern in International and Area Studies and in Research Services at Duke University Libraries.
  • Liz Milewics and Will Shaw as Digital Scholarship consultants

How has working in The Edge influenced your team?

The Edge space was an ideal central meeting place for the team. The most important affordances of the project room were the display screen and the writable walls. The site has many pages and images, and we needed room to sketch and evaluate the site. It was also useful to have a large table, so that we could work together on tasks where we needed immediate feedback. Having the project room available to us two afternoons a week really helped with keeping us on schedule.

Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood

What tools do you use to work collaboratively?

We used WordPress, SAKAI, Basecamp, and Photoshop. Many students in the course are in engineering and computer science, and they have explored research involving text-mining and other digital tools for students to work with text data and images. Professor Norberg wanted his class site to list examples of that type of research as inspiration for students who take the class in the future. Having those clean text files readily available on the site allows for mobile reading, but also for downloading text data for projects.

What are you learning as part of this project that is surprising to you?

WordPress can be surprisingly difficult when building multimedia content and when building it with many pages. That’s why planning and sketching out the whole site is very important. Getting an overview of what the plug-ins offer is time-consuming. However, once the project was running, Professor Norberg was delighted to get to know his 43 students through their blogs very quickly.

Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb

What are the difficult problems you are trying to solve?

When the spring course is over, we want to turn the course site into a public site, so students interested in the course can explore the website. We also want to use the public website to showcase some of the original and tech-savvy research students are doing. In addition to that, we want to retain the bibliography of Grimm version fairy tales that students bring to the course from all of their diverse backgrounds.

What would you do with your project if you had unlimited resources?

We want the site to be used in teaching beyond Duke.

Final Thoughts

Nele Fritz, a graduate student from Germany, worked on this project as part of her field experience. Besides planning, sketching and building the site, this experience also included getting to know WordPress very well and monitoring the project with project management tools and strategies.

This post was written and compiled by Hannah Pope, a Master’s of Library Science student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is interested in instruction, helping with research, and encouraging student innovation in libraries. She is currently working as a field experience intern in the Assessment and User Experience department and with The Edge at the Duke University Libraries.

William Henry Harrison and Reform?

IMG_2161-1

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.

Harrison Lapel Pin

“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!

Meet the Staff: Collection Strategy and Development

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!

 

Jeff pic for blogName: 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.

   

Dee pic for blogName: 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!

 

Candice pic for blog

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.

 

Judy pic for blogName: 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.

 

 

Applications Open for Project Spaces in The Edge

Workers are putting the finishing touches on The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration, located on the first floor of Bostock Library.  The space contains nine project rooms that are reservable for short- or long-term use by project teams.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration, located on the first floor of Bostock Library. The space contains nine project rooms that are reservable for short- or long-term use by project teams.

In January 2015, The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration will open on the renovated first floor of Bostock Library. We are pleased to announce that project spaces in The Edge can now be requested for the Spring 2015 semester, using this online form. These project spaces can be reserved for repeated use by one group during the semester as they work through their research.

Students and faculty who are working on interdisciplinary, data-driven, digitally reliant, or team-based research are invited to apply for a project room in The Edge by Wednesday, November 26.  We’ll do our best to accommodate as many requests as possible and will notify all requestors no later than Friday, December 12, so you can make plans for the spring semester.

A portion of the project rooms in The Edge will still be “grab-able” (i.e., available for ad hoc reservations without submitting the project space request form). We also hope to re-open our form in the spring to accommodate additional groups in need of shared or dedicated project space.

Visit The Edge website for a list of other types of spaces in The Edge.

Questions about The Edge, or about project spaces in particular? Email edge@duke.edu.

We look forward to sharing this exciting new area of the Perkins & Bostock Libraries with you!

New Bulletin Boards in Perkins/Bostock

In response to user demand, we recently added three new  bulletin boards in Perkins and Bostock Libraries. These boards are available to the campus community for posting notices and flyers about Duke events and activities throughout the year.

CoarkBoard3
First floor of Perkins Library, across from the ePrint stations near the Circulation Desk.
CoarkBoard2
Lower Level 1 of Perkins Library, along the hallway connecting the central Perkins stair/elevator with the Link.
CoarkBoard1
Lower Level 1 of Bostock Library, next to the Multimedia Project Studio.

Please remember that posting flyers in other locations throughout the library—including stairwells, restrooms, public entryways, windows, and book stacks—is not permitted. Flyers posted in those locations will be taken down. This is to help maintain an attractive and uncluttered library environment, and to increase the effectiveness of library signage intended to assist our users. Please see our library policies for more information.

The Library Presents Duke Moms and Dads: Emmitt and Pat Smith, Oct. 25

1508206_10152144343279257_335407997_n
Emmitt and Pat Smith will speak in the von der Heyden Pavilion on October 25 as part of Duke Family Weekend.

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.

Save the Date: Henry Petroski Book Discussion, Nov. 5

Petroski_Books2
Henry Petroski will discuss his most recent book, The House with Sixteen Handmade Doors, on November 5.

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.

Read More:

 

Library Research Award Winners Announced

1009s
A snapshot from last year’s awards ceremony. Pictured here (from left to right): Ernest Zitser, librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Stuides; and 2012-2013 Aptman Prize winners Theodore Leonhardt (center) and Mary Tung (right).

The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013-2014 library research awards.

Every year the Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. This year competition for the awards was particularly keen, reflecting the quality of student research at Duke. The annual Duke University Libraries research awards reception, scheduled as part of Duke Family Weekend on Friday, October 24, at 3:30 p.m. in Lilly Library’s Thomas Room, will honor all the winners and applicants. The entire University community is invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients and applicants for the 2014 Aptman Prize, Holsti Prize, and Middlesworth Award.

Over 70 student entrants and their faculty supporters  participated in the process this year. Several of the entries mentioned Duke University librarians and library resources in their applications. Many thanks were reserved for the staff of the Document Delivery Department, which makes other libraries’ collections available for Duke students’ use. In addition, entrants made note of the support of several individual librarians, including Holly Ackerman, Rachel Ariel, Greta Boers, former librarian Margaret Brill, Linda Daniel, Elizabeth Dunn, Joel Herndon, Carson Holloway, Karen Jean Hunt, Kelley Lawton, Catherine Shreve, Lee Sorensen, Erik Zitser and  Luo Zhou.

The Lowell Aptman Prizes are awarded to undergraduates whose research makes excellent use of library resources and collections. It is awarded in three divisions: Honors Thesis, 3rd- and 4th-year students, and 1st- and 2nd-year students.

Honor Thesis Category

  • Winner: Mary Tung – “Bankrolling Apartheid: The Coins that Forged Modernity, Fostered Nationalism, and Funded Apartheid South Africa”
  • Runner-Up:  Rhyne King – “Persian History and Historiography: Understanding the Praxis and Politics of Religion in the Achaemenid Empire”

3rd- and 4th-Year Category

  • Winner: Carmi Medoff – “The Kodak Girl: Every Woman’s Woman”
  • Runner-Up: Brandon Maffei – “Unstable Grounds: Women as Revolutionaries in the Weather Underground”

1st- and 2nd-Year Category

  • Winner: Gayle Powell – “The Advent of  Black Sororities on Duke University’s Campus”
  • Runner-Up: Zachary Johnson – “Dreams of My Father and Self-Identifying”

The Ole R. Holsti Prize, our newest library research award, is awarded to students who exhibit excellence in the field of political science and public policy research. This is the first year the Holsti Prize has been awarded, and we look forward to many more.

  • Co-Winners: Nadia Hajji (“Post-Transitional Justice in Spain: Passing the Historical Memory Law”) and Lauren Hansson (“German Jewish Refugees in 1933: Failure of the League of Nations”)

The Chester P. Middlesworth Award recognizes students whose research makes use of the primary sources and rare materials held in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

  • Winner: Andrea Lewis –  “The Association is Dying: Black Student Activism and the Evolution of Conscious Space-Making at Duke University”

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Learn How the Duke Community Completes this Sentence: “Writing Is Like…”

writing is like 600x360
In a new exhibit on the Perkins Library Student Wall, Duke students, faculty, and staff all explain what “Writing is like…”

Guest post by Jennie Saia, Thompson Writing Program Coordinator. Jennie worked with Writing Studio Director Vicki Russell and Writing Studio Acting Director Jim Berkey to curate the “Writing Is Like…” exhibit. The exhibit will be on display on the Perkins Library Student Wall through mid-November.

Every October, the Thompson Writing Program (TWP) celebrates how vital writing is to life and work at Duke.

The TWP joins university writing programs around the country in honoring October’s National Day on Writing. Last year, Writing 101 faculty and Writing Studio tutors asked Duke community members to complete the sentence, “Writing is like…”

lll

Across campus, Duke students, faculty, and staff invented similes that expressed their thoughts on both academic and personal composition. Their comparisons get at the heart of what it feels like to actually sit down and write.

If you want to explore their answers, sixteen of the most creative replies are on display on the first floor of Duke’s Perkins Library. The showcased statements—sometimes profound, often humorous, occasionally sad—represent how the Duke community as a whole views writing. Join the conversation by adding your own simile to the open journal at the start of the exhibit.

IMG_2324

You can also become part of next year’s exhibit by joining the 2014 National Day on Writing celebration. On Monday, October 20, look for writing activities in Perkins Library on West Campus and around the East Campus Quad. Stop by throughout the day to grab some candy, meet other writers, and answer the question, “What is the future of writing?”

Pollinating the Grassroots: The Beehive Design Collective

Guest post by Maria Carla Cella, Graduate Liberal Studies Program. She curated the exhibit of prints currently on display on the Perkins Library Student Wall about the Beehive Design Collective.

Detail from "Mesoamerica Resiste," a poster by the Beehive Design Collective on display in Perkins Library on the Student Wall.
Detail from “Mesoamerica Resiste,” a poster by the Beehive Design Collective on display in Perkins Library on the Student Wall.

In our multimedia world, we are constantly seeking a good way to tell our story. From cave paintings to blog posts, generation after generation of storytellers try to find the most emotive way to record history and pass it on. As a student of Latin America and the Caribbean, I have delved into many mediums in my efforts to understand the complex relationship between the global south and north. Despite the availability of information on the internet, innumerable academic journals, countless books and documentaries on the topic, it is difficult to find a comprehensive examination of what globalization really entails. Transmitting the information in a way that resonates with the widespread population is an even harder task.

Enter the Beehive Design Collective. Founded in 2000, this non-profit, all-volunteer, activist arts collective creates collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools. With its mission of “cross-pollinating the grassroots,” the cooperative uses intricate graphic illustration in the form of giant pen and ink posters that communicate stories of resistance to corporate globalization, free trade, militarism, resource extraction, and biotechnology. The Bees spread their art across the Americas, wielding it as an educational tool and aiming to help communities conceptualize alternatives to a globalized economic model based on exploitation. Funding the printing costs with donations, the Bees distribute 50 percent of each print run (full run averaging 20,000-30,000 prints) to communities in the global south free of charge, giving away prints to frontline communities, educators, and organizers actively working on the issues featured in the posters.

The Beehive Collective’s use of imagery and symbolic art ties the local to the global, providing microscopic detail on the interconnected nature of global issues and compiling the images into, literally, a bigger picture that is both overwhelming and hypnotizing. Using a word-to-image approach, the Bees are translators of complex global stories, which they learn and share through conversations with affected communities. The first time I unfurled and laid eyes on their massive poster, Mesoamerica Resiste, I knew I had found a gem that begged to be shared, and that its message would flourish and proliferate in the minds of the Duke community. If you want to dive into the Beehive’s art and see the epic story for yourself, stop by Duke University’s Perkins Library, where four of the Beehive Design Collective’s epic works are on display. You can also learn more about the Beehive Design Collective at their website: beehivecollective.org.

Access Expanded Through New Library Agreement

Books
Starting Oct. 1, Duke students, faculty, and staff will be able to check out books in-person from nearly a dozen other major research libraries.

 

Duke University students, faculty, and staff will soon enjoy on-site library borrowing privileges at several other major research universities, courtesy of a new program known as BorrowDirect Plus.

Under a new pilot agreement beginning October 1, 2014, students, faculty, and staff from the following institutions will have reciprocal on-site borrowing privileges: Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Guest users who have been verified and have home library accounts in good standing will have in-person access to materials at any of the participating libraries. When visiting one of these libraries, members of the BorrowDirect Plus community will need to show their campus ID card and log into their home library account to show their current status. Once verified, they will be issued a library card from the institution they are visiting.

Items, collections, and participating libraries available will vary by institution. The lending library’s policies and loan periods apply to guest borrowers, and it is recommended that users considering a visit to another library view their policies ahead of time. Borrowed items may be returned at either the lending library or the user’s home library. (For example, a book checked out at Yale could be returned here at Duke, and vice versa.)

For the most part, these same materials are already available through BorrowDirect, a rapid book request and delivery system used by all of the participating institutions (with the exception of Duke). The new agreement expands the system to include this in-person component.

Duke Credit Union Removing Perkins Library ATM

untitled356
The Duke Credit Union will be removing its ATM in Perkins Library, citing a lack of use.

On Wednesday, September 10, the ATM on the first floor of Perkins Library will be removed by the Duke University Credit Union. The Credit Union, which owns the machine, stated that the ATM is being removed due to lack of use and low transaction volumes. There are no plans to add another ATM within the library at this time.

Several other ATMs are available across Duke’s campus, a few of them in close proximity to the library. Follow this link to find a full list of available ATMs on Duke’s campus, compiled by Student Affairs.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

New Exhibit: Queering Duke History: Understanding the LGBTQ Experience at Duke and Beyond

Queering Duke History Exhibit LogoOn exhibit August 14 – December 14, 2014
Perkins Library Gallery, Duke West Campus (Click for map)
Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Hours may vary before the start of the fall semester, and on holidays. Please check our posted library hours for the most up-to-date information.

This exhibition is a part of a semester-long commemoration of LGBTQ history at Duke, including other exhibits and events. More details are available on the Queering Duke History website.

 

About the Exhibit

Towerview Magazine, December 2003
Towerview Magazine, December 2003

A new exhibit in Perkins Library highlights the major points of struggle and triumph in Duke’s LGBTQ history over the past 50 years. The exhibit begins with the earliest records of LGBTQ activity on campus—the dark days of arrest and expulsions—and culminates with the thriving and active queer community seen at Duke today. This transition was neither quick nor linear. LGBTQ individuals on Duke’s campus faced major setbacks in every one of the last five decades.

The exhibit also functions as a timeline, marching the observer decade-by-decade in order to view every artifact within the greater context of Duke’s queer struggle. On display are arrest records for “homosexuality” in the 1960s, early 1970s-era queer publications, the official “dechartering” of the gay and lesbian alliance in the 1980s, the establishment of the LGB center during the 1990s, same-sex unions permitted in Duke Chapel at the start of the new millennium, and finally a reflection of the current vibrancy of Duke’s LGBTQ community.

The exhibit was curated by Duke alumnus Denzell Faison (T’14), with special thanks to co-advisors Dr. Janie Long, former director of Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and Professor Raymond Gavins, Duke Department of History. Thanks also to the Duke University Archives, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Blue Devils United, and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture for their institutional support and contributed resources.

For more information, visit the exhibit website.

Scene from the first Coming Out Day at Duke, 2007
Scene from the first Coming Out Day at Duke, 2007

 

Commemorative Exhibit Opening Event and Remarks: Please Join Us!

Date: Thursday, September 25
Time: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (Program begins at 5:15 p.m.)
Location: von der Heyden Pavilion, Perkins Library
Remarks by: Exhibit curator Denzell Faison (T’14), former director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity Dr. Janie Long, and Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead.

Free and open to the public.

 

 

Service Opportunity: Join Our Student Library Advisory Boards

Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.
Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2014-2015 student library advisory boards.

Members of these boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations. Deadlines for applying are:

Members will be selected and notified by mid-September, and groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

 

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and 
Undergraduate Advisory Board

emily_dalyEmily Daly
Head, Assessment and User Experience Department
Librarian for Education
emily.daly@duke.edu
919-660-5879

 

 

First-Year Advisory Board

boers-gretaGreta Boers
Librarian for Linguistics and Classical Studies
greta.boers@duke.edu
919-660-5864

 

 

 

munden-daveDave Munden
Evening Reference Librarian and Supervisor, Lilly Library
dave.munden@duke.edu
919-660-5998

 

 

Good Questions: Was There Writing on the Wall during the Arab Spring?

mummy graffiti600x360
Image from “Revolution Graffiti: Street Art of the New Egypt,” by Swedish photographer Mia Gröndahl (AUC Press, 2013). Gröndahl visited Duke and discussed her work last fall.

The questions we get in Perkins Research Services range from the fatuous to the far-fetched to the fascinating. This is one of a series on our most interesting research questions, and how we go about answering them. (Some details have been changed to protect our users’ privacy.)

We have heard a lot about the use of social media to coordinate the Arab Spring protests. Taking the grassroots question back to earth, a student recently wondered what role graffiti might have played. Perhaps she was inspired by a speaker here at Duke last fall, Mia Grondahl. “Adira” approached the Perkins Research Desk one evening this spring when Stephanie, our late-night librarian, was there.

Stephanie used the library catalog to identify a book on the topic and sent Adira to get it. Adira returned very excited that she also had found some similar books by browsing nearby. That might have been the end of the interaction, but Stephanie kept working on the question after Adira left, determined to find some good journal articles as well to email to her.

What she found was fascinating. It seems that graffiti did not incite protests, but flowered immediately after the Arab Spring, once people felt more empowered and free. As eL Seed, an artist who calls his work “caligraffiti” says in an interview from PRI’s The World, “I hear a lot that artists create revolution, but I believe in Tunisia is the contrary, revolution has created artists.”

The barricades put up in the wake of the uprisings were converted from their original obstructive purpose and became canvasses for uniting people with their spontaneous messages. In addition, they served as memorial spaces dedicated to those killed during the confrontations, as discussed in an article from Theory Culture & Society. In another article, Stephanie found the claim that the graffiti reflected further unification of the people, with Muslim and Christian symbols side by side. Meanwhile in Cairo the government gave up whitewashing the pervasive graffiti because it reappeared almost immediately, according to Al-Arab.

Research librarians learn something new every day thanks to questions like this. Doesn’t it inspire you to find out how graffiti’s role has evolved in the four years since the Arab Spring? Or at least to go out and express yourself, as the students in POLISCI 222 did this spring?

EdwardChenGraffitiArt
Arab Spring graffiti inspired by issues in the Middle East, underneath the Campus Drive bridge at Duke (photo by Edward Chen).

Post by Catherine Shreve, Librarian for Public Policy & Political Science

Badges to Buttons: Students Write About “Images That Shock”

Guest post by Professor Ann Marie Rasmussen and students in her Spring 2014 Writing 101 course, “Images that Shock: Obscenity from the Middle Ages to the Present,” which was co-taught with Heidi Madden, Librarian for Western European and Medieval/Renaissance Studies. Writing 101 courses are offered during a student’s first year at Duke and are designed to offer students a foundation for and  introduction to university-level writing. See more at the Thompson Writing Program’s Writing 101 website, or see a list of all Spring 2014 Writing 101 courses and course descriptions.

As part of their research into the meaning and historical significance of late medieval badges, students in Professor Rasmussen's Writing 101 course turned medieval badges into buttons.
As part of their research into the historical significance of late medieval badges, students in Professor Rasmussen’s Writing 101 course made their badges live again as buttons.

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.

 

Now Available: Check Out E-Books and Audiobooks on Your Phone or Tablet

Just a sampling of the hundreds of popular titles you can now download as eBooks or audiobooks and enjoy on your own device. Click on the image to get started.
Just a sampling of the hundreds of popular titles you can now download as eBooks or audiobooks and enjoy on your own device. Click on the image to get started.

Duke University Libraries and Ford Library at the Fuqua School of Business are excited to offer a new service that allows library users to download and enjoy popular eBooks and audiobooks on their own devices, including iPhones, iPads, NOOKs, Android phones and tablets, and Kindles.

The new service, called OverDrive, has hundreds of popular fiction and non-fiction titles to choose from, including best-selling novels, well-known classics, self-improvement guides, and much more. We are adding new titles to Duke’s collection all the time.

Here’s how it works:

  • To get started, visit the Duke OverDrive website. (You can easily get there through the eBooks portal on our library website.)
  • Browse through the available titles, and check them out using your Duke NetID.
  • You can check out up to five (5) eBooks or audiobooks at one time.
  • Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period (21 days). There are no late fees!
  • eBooks can be read immediately on any device with an internet browser. Audiobooks can be streamed using the OverDrive Media Console app, which you can download for free on all major desktop and mobile platforms.
  • If a title is already checked out, you can place it on hold and request to be notified when it becomes available. You can place up to ten (10) titles on hold at a time.
  • If you don’t see a title you’re looking for, submit a request from any search page using the recommendoption. We’ll add requested titles to our wishlist and purchase them as funds become available.
  • Once you download a title, you can transfer it to your iPhone, iPad, NOOK, Android phone or tablet, or Kindle.

That’s it! Pretty simple.

In addition to hundreds of new and recently published books, you can also download tens of thousands of public domain classics as eBooks through OverDrive. Look for the “Project Gutenberg” link under Featured Collections.

We are in the process of adding to our initial selections in OverDrive, so we encourage you to submit recommendations through the site if there are eBooks or audiobooks you’d like to see available.

To get started, visit the Duke OverDrive website. And let us know what you think!

Screenshot of the OverDrive interface. Just a click "Borrow" to check out a title with your Duke NetID, or place it hold and get notified when it becomes available.
Screenshot of the OverDrive interface. Just a click “Borrow” to check out a title with your Duke NetID, or place it on hold and get notified when it becomes available.

Student Writing Prizes: Earn $1,000!

Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 or $1,500 cash!
Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 or $1,500 cash!

The Lowell Aptman Prizes, Chester P. Middlesworth Awards, and Ole R. Holsti Prize were established by Duke University Libraries to reward excellence in research and writing. If you’re a Duke student, consider submitting a paper for one of these prizes—you could win $1,000 to $1,500!

The Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. Prizes are awarded in three categories (first- and second-year students, third-and fourth-year students, and fourth-year students working on an honors thesis), and each one comes with a cash award of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Eileen and Lowell (T’89) Aptman.

The Middlesworth Awards recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Prizes are awarded in two categories (undergraduates and graduate students), and each one comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, North Carolina.

The Holsti Prize recognizes excellence in undergraduate research using primary sources for political science or public policy. Ole R. Holsti (George V. Allen Professor Emeritus of Political Science) provided funding for this generous prize, which comes with a cash prize of $1,500.

The deadline for all three student library research awards is May 15, 2014. 

All winners will be recognized at a reception held the Friday afternoon of Duke Family Weekend (October 24, 2014), where they will receive award certificates and cash prizes.

For more information, including complete guidelines, application instructions, and selection criteria, visit our library research awards website.

 

Questions?

For questions about the Aptman Prizes, contact:
Carson Holloway
919-660-5997
carson.holloway@duke.edu

For questions about the Middlesworth Awards, contact:
David Pavelich
919-660-5825
david.pavelich@duke.edu

For questions about the Holsti Prize, contact:
Catherine Shreve
919-660-6934
catherine.shreve@duke.edu

Customized Searching and Other Website Updates

Make My Default Search
Use the gear icon to change your default search to Articles, All, or Our Website.

We’ve received a lot of great feedback since we launched our redesigned library website earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from a few tweaks. Our website team has been working on some small but helpful changes, based on web metrics, usability testing, survey feedback, and suggestions from YOU!

The first change you might have noticed is the little gear icon in the bottom left corner of the search box. Clicking on the gear allows you to set your personal default search preference. If you spend more time searching for journal articles rather than books, you can set “Articles” as your preferred search tab, and it will appear as the default every time you visit the library homepage. You can change the setting at any time. (The gear works with browser cookies, so if you clear your cache, you will have to reset it.)

Another addition, implemented at the request of many users, is the addition of a website search box in the upper right corner of the masthead. This makes it easier to search our website and find information about the Libraries.

Research Commons
The new Research Commons page explains what you can expect from the renovations in Bostock.

With the announcement about the upcoming construction of the Research Commons on the first floor of Bostock Library, we also added a page about that project, including a timeline, FAQs, sketches of the new layout, and more. You can find it by clicking on “Research Support” in the header of our website and following the “Research Commons” link in the drop-down menu.

We are continually refining and testing our redesigned website, and we greatly appreciate all the feedback our users have given us along the way. Your input (and patience) has helped us create a better, simpler, more intuitively organized library site for all Duke students, faculty, and researchers. If you have additional suggestions for improvement, or to report a problem with our website, let us know!

Good Questions: April Fools!

The questions we get in Perkins Research Services range from the fatuous to the far-fetched to the fascinating. This is one of a series on our most interesting research questions, and how we go about answering them. (Some details have been changed to protect our users’ privacy.) 

Anonymous IM makes it so easy to prank librarians that over the years we have finely tuned both our crap-detectors and our sense of humor. This month, for your entertainment, we bring you some of the silliest and least research-oriented questions we’ve gotten. We make no assertions about the users’ intentions.

look it upThe quick and frivolous

  • can I freeze rock buns?
  • my computer just got wiped
  • how old are you?
  • can u give me some help with my crush …. pllllllllllllllllllllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  :_(
  • PERKINS PERKINS COME IN PERKINS. STOP. THIS IS DUKE DIVINITY LIBRARY. STOP. WE ARE BUNKERED IN WITH MASSIVE SNOW. STOP.

Uh-oh
Sometimes our users do us a service by reporting problems in and around the libraries.

To whom it may concern: I wanted to inform you that on the second floor bridge, there is a HUGE ANT problem…I do not know why they are there, but I thought you may want to know!

[Did you know that our experts tell us the ants are seeking moisture, not your lunch? We are aware of the problem and doing our best to battle them on all fronts. To report a sighting, please fill out our building maintenance request form.]

FYI I think your current listing for: 20th century ghosts by Joe Hill is incorrect. It is currently: “There are many things that can go wrong with your car, but it’s knowing what to do that can make the difference between a small repair, a major bill, or worse.”

[We have reported this mismatched book summary to the vendor who provides them.]

Punked
We pride ourselves on providing answers or good referrals for all questions that come our way, however arcane. But we have not yet reached consensus on the answer to this ubiquitous question:

“What does the fox say?”

Post by Catherine Shreve, Librarian for Public Policy & Political Science

Interview Room Pilot at Perkins Library

The new Interview Room, Perkins 130, is equipped with a dedicated phone line.
The new Interview Room, Perkins 130, is equipped with a dedicated phone line.

Have a big job interview coming up this spring? Need a quiet space with a good phone connection? We’ve got you covered.

Starting March 26, Perkins Library will be offering a space for phone and virtual interviews in Perkins 130 for the remainder of the Spring 2014 semester as a pilot study. This room has a dedicated phone line that can be used to make business calls, both long-distance and local. Please visit the Perkins Research or Service Desk for the telephone number if you need to receive a call.

Duke students, staff, and faculty may reserve this room for up to one hour per day. To make a reservation, visit the Library Room Reservation page and click on “Reserve the Interview Room.” Then you can submit your reservation using your name and Duke e-mail address. The system will send a confirmation email to your Duke email. Make sure to respond within an hour to confirm your reservation.

The Interview Room is available whenever Perkins & Bostock Libraries are open. You can also reserve interview spaces in the Career Center at the Smith Warehouse Building.

Questions or comments? Drop us a line at asklib@duke.edu.

Map showing the location of the new Interview Room in Perkins Library.
Map showing the location of the new Interview Room in Perkins Library.

Manga Fan? The Duke University Libraries Have You Covered! Part II

monstershelf2

Guest post by William Hanley, Library Associate in Electronic Resources and Serials Management, manga expert and fan extraordinaire

Don’t forgot to check out Part I of the series.

Manga: /ˈmaŋgə/
(from the Oxford Dictionary)

Noun:    a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children.

Origin:   1950’s: Japanese, from ‘man’ (indiscriminate) + ‘ga’ (picture) (translated as “whimsical drawings” or “impromptu sketches” in modern English)

While manga are enormously popular in Japan and are read by business people, university students and the elderly, as well as children, they have become a global phenomenon.  Many series have themes in academic areas such as psychology, environmental studies, gender roles, world history, cultural studies in general and, of course, Japanese cultural studies in particular.

In the summer of 2013, Lilly Library acquired several manga series of particular merit in these categories.

Yotsuba book cover

Yotsuba&!
by Kiyohiko Azuma
Meet Yotsuba, the most precocious girl ever!  This series chronicles the life of Yotsuba Koiwai, a five-year-old girl who is energetic, cheerful, curious and odd.  She is also initially ignorant about many things a child her age would be expected to know, among them doorbells, escalators, air conditioners and even playground swings.  This naiveté is the premise of many humorous stories where she learns about, and frequently misunderstands, everyday things. Besides being a comedy about the wonders of childhood, another key aspect of this manga is the myriad references to modern Japanese culture, such as Japanese cuisine, seasonal festivals and high school cultural festivals, as well as urban and rural landscapes.  Some Japanese terms are not translated in the manga but the publisher adds translations as footnotes.

 

Bakuman book cover

Bakuman
story by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata

A manga about creating manga, Bakuman follows talented artist Moritaka Mashiro and aspiring writer Akito Takagi, two ninth grade boys who wish to become mangaka (manga creators).  Although the main characters and their story are fictional, the process of creating manga and the business models for the publisher, Shonen Jump, are authentic.  Some characters resemble real authors and editors of Shonen Jump and many manga titles mentioned in Bakuman are also series published in Shonen Jump at that time.  Furthermore, each chapter comes with a bonus page showing an excerpt from writer Tsugumi Ohba’s rough-draft storyboard, artist Takeshi Obata’s reworking of the draft, and then the final product.  These pages answer the question on the minds of millions of manga fans, “how do they do that?”

 

Lilly Library also purchased three works, Monster, Pluto, and 20th Century Boys, by acclaimed manga writer and artist Naoki Urasawa.  In 2010, when a prominent Japanese magazine held a poll on the Mangaka that Changed the History of Manga, Urasawa was one of the top ten.  As a storyteller, he is known for his dense, multi-layered, interconnecting narratives and his mastery of suspense.  His works often focus on character development and psychological complexity.

 

Monster book cover

Monster
by Naoki Urasawa

“…as exciting as an action movie, but with an added element of thought-provoking ethical debate.”  I believe this quote, from ComicsWorthReading.com, sums up this work really well.  Winner of multiple awards for best manga, including the sought-after Tezuka Cultural Prize in 2001, this psychological thriller tells the story of an outstanding surgeon and his involvement with a serial killer.  What makes this such a powerful work, is how Urasawa weaves his complex plot around the theme of an ethical dilemma, the decision of whether to save a life or take a life, and the irrevocable consequences of such a choice.

 

Pluto book cover

Pluto
by Naoki Urasawa

Another of Urasawa’s award-winning titles, Pluto is a retelling of a particular story arc of “Astro Boy”, the famous groundbreaking manga by Osamu Tezuka.  As with his other works, Urasawa spins a tale of psychological and philosophical themes, particularly those of identity, what it means to be human, and whether robots can have emotions.  It’s the imaginative world of the “God of Manga” Tezuka, mixed with Urasawa’s darker shades of ethical dilemmas.

 

20th Century Boys book cover

20th Century Boys
by Naoki Urasawa

With adventure, mystery and Urasawa’s trademark layers of interwoven plotlines, 20th Century Boys is at heart the story of a gang of boys who try to save the world.  But within this simple premise lies several deeper questions.  Are some moments in history more important than others?  Can one chance childhood encounter have a cataclysmic impact far in to the future?  While one can never tell what will result from his or her actions, is it also impossible to discern which actions will have far-reaching implications?  20th Century Boys plays on our desire to know the answers to such questions as well as our desire to reconcile the nostalgia of our past with the fear of our future.

Other landmark manga titles that have been in the Library’s collection for some time prior to last year include:

Lone Wolf and Cub book cover

Lone Wolf and Cub
story by Kazuo Koike, art by Goseki Kojima

The genre of the wandering, avenging samurai is well known even to western cultures.  Lone Wolf and Cub is perhaps the most influential manga written on this subject.  The series chronicles the story of Ogami Itto, the Shogun’s executioner.  Disgraced by false accusations from the Yagyu clan, he is forced to take the path of the assassin.  Along with his three-year-old son, Daigoro, he seeks revenge on the Yagyu clan and they become known as “Lone Wolf and Cub”. First published in 1970, Lone Wolf and Cub became wildly popular (roughly 8 million copies were sold in Japan) for its epic samurai story, its stark and gruesome depiction of violence during Tokugawa era Japan, its detailed historical accuracy, masterful artwork and nostalgic recollection of the bushido code.

Akira book cover

Akira
by Katsuhiro Otomo

A science-fiction tale known primarily as one of the most famous anime in history, Akira was first a well-known landmark manga.  Set in a post-apocalyptic city called Neo-Tokyo, the story follows two teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, whose lives change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that leveled Tokyo during World War III.   At the core of the agency’s motivation, is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira. While many remember Akira for its ultra-violent action sequences and unique pacing (A few seconds of real-time action may take up a full page worth of panels in the manga), at its heart Akira is a masterful character sketch involving themes such as youth alienation, rebellion against government corruption and identity transformation in adolescents.

A Drifting Life book cover

A Drifting Life
by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Manga master, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, is widely credited with starting the gekiga style of alternative comics in Japan, in which comics are used to tell gritty, introspective stories about the lives of everyday people.  A Drifting Life is his epic award winning autobiography.  Referring to himself as Hiroshi, Tatsumi begins his story with the surrender of Japan after World War II, when he was 10 years of age, and details the following 15 years of his life.  The manga involves complex family dynamics, Japanese culture and history, the intricacies of the manga industry and, most importantly, what it means to be an artist.

 

 

Good Questions: Is It the Shoes?

The questions we get in Perkins Research Services range from the fatuous to the far-fetched to the fascinating. This is the second of a series on our most interesting research questions, and how we go about answering them. (Some details have been changed to protect our users’ privacy.)

Sometimes the questions we get are terse yet timely, like this one: “Articles about engineering and manufacturing of basketball shoes.” This has obvious and immediate import in the month running up to March Madness, so Perkins librarian Brittany, ever on her toes, got right to work on it one Sunday evening.

the sneaker book Did you know there’s a “Sneaker Book?”

In fact, there are at least two, the newer one subtitled “50 years of sport shoe design” and available to Duke users upon request from the library at NC State. (The Triangle Research Libraries are team players, even during basketball season.) Brittany started by recommending these books for “Steve” to get some background before delving into the technical questions.

The full-court press followed, with more specific questions that were not answered in the books:

  • How is a basketball shoe made? What science goes into the design?
  • How do factories make basketball shoes? What machines are used? What is the process in detail?

For these answers Brittany turned to our databases, first constructing a search strategy in ProQuest: ‘athletic shoe’ in Subject AND (manufacture OR design) in Subject

She also recommended the Engineering Village database, which turned up a promising article, “A structural mechanics model for sports shoes: the heel strike” from the Sports Engineering journal. Who knew there was such a specifically targeted journal? Not this Social Sciences generalist.

We aim for both the slam dunk and the buzzer-beater when we answer research questions—zeroing in on exactly the information you need, and just in time. Brittany turned in a good performance in this round.

Moving forward, I wonder if March Madness led to this other question we received about the same time: “I want to find articles about how would drunk people walk. Like would they stumble to their dominant side?” Our answer, in part, is to be careful around those bonfires, folks. LET’S GO, DUKE!

Post by Catherine Shreve, Librarian for Public Policy & Political Science

Author Josephine Humphreys on Writing Historical Fiction, Mar. 3

CANCELLED :Writing Historical Fiction about Haitian Pirates and North Carolina Indians
Speaker: Josephine Humphreys
Date: Monday, March 3 — A rescheduled date has not been set
Time: 
3:30 p.m.
Where: Thomas Room, Lilly Library, Duke East Campus (Click for Map)

Humphreys_Josephine-300x237Award-winning novelist Josephine Humphreys, a Duke graduate, will present a talk and question session on her works of fiction which encompass historical settings. As a native and resident of Charleston, South Carolina, historical materials for her fiction have been close at hand. Her novel Nowhere Else on Earth (2000) is set in Civil War-era eastern North Carolina along the swampy Lumbee River and explores the lives of remarkable individuals from the Lumbee Indian settlement during this chaotic period. Jo’s current project is based on the history of Haiti and Charleston in the period of the American and Haitian revolutions. In the course of this research, Jo has visited Haiti recently and has further developed an interest in the country.

Duke Technology Program Reaches Out to Durham Schools

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke University Libraries are partnering with Duke’s office of Durham and Regional Affairs to encourage the use of educational technology in Durham Public Schools, thanks to an endowment from PepsiCo.

The PepsiCo K-12 Technology Mentor Program has been an outreach effort of the Libraries since 2007. It was originally created to provide better access to, support for, and integration of technology in Durham Public School classrooms.

Starting in March, the program will be coordinated by Duke’s office of Durham and Regional Affairs, in order to better integrate with Duke’s existing successful partnerships with Durham Public Schools.

David Stein, Senior Education Partnership Coordinator for the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, will lead the program. Stein serves as the university’s liaison to the eight public schools near Duke’s campus. Since he came to Duke in 2000, he has worked closely with Durham schoolteachers and officials to mobilize university resources in support of K-12 educational achievement.

Stein has developed and run programs like BOOST, in collaboration with Duke School of Medicine students, to encourage underrepresented minority students towards careers in medicine and science. He has also created numerous targeted enrichment programs like School Days, which encourages local eighth-graders to set their sights on college, and the John Hope Franklin Scholars, which fosters a love of history among high-potential middle-school students.

The goals of the PespiCo K-12 Technology Mentor Program are to keep classroom teachers abreast of instructional technology innovations, offer curriculum-related materials to support their work, and increase the information literacy of Durham Public School students.

Stein will work in close collaboration with Durham educators and Duke’s Libraries to develop technology training programs for educators, students, and parents. He will also continue to lead the John Hope Franklin Young Scholars Program and School Days.

“This new Duke Durham and Regional Affairs collaboration with the Duke Libraries is exciting and I am delighted that David Stein will be entrusted with this responsibility,” said Sam Miglarese, director of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership. “His educational expertise coupled with his love of innovative technology will support effectively DPS teachers in our partner schools. I am grateful to Dr. Phail Wynn and Dr. Deborah Jakubs for making this shared vision a reality.”

Prior to coming to Duke, Stein scouted and marketed inventions for Harvard University and served as the community liaison for the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He is a licensed secondary social studies teacher with a degree from Antioch College and attended graduate school in City Planning at the University of California at Berkeley.

For more information, contact: David Stein, Senior Education Partnership Coordinator, Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, dstein@duke.edu, (919) 668-6271

Book Talk and Signing with Judy Juanita, Feb. 19

Date: Wednesday, February 19
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (reception starts at 5:00)
Location: Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, Flowers Building (Click for Map)
Contact: John Gartrell, Director, Franklin Research Center, 919-660-5922, john.gartrell@duke.edu

virgin soul imagePoet, playwright, and activist Judy Juanita joins us to discuss her first novel, Virgin Soul. Virgin Soul tells the story of Geneice, a young college student in 1960s San Francisco balancing school and activism when she joins the burgeoning Black Panther Party during its formative years.

This event is part II of the “Women in the Movement” series hosted by the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture for 2013/14. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies, Program in Women’s Studies, Department of African & African American Studies, Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Franklin Humanities Institute, and Center for African and African American Research.

Free and open to the public.

Good Questions: How to Track Down a Top-Secret Letter

A declassified "top secret" letter sent by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to U.S. President Richard Nixon (via several intermediaries) in October 1973.
The declassified “top secret” letter sent by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to U.S. President Richard Nixon (via several intermediaries) in October 1973. Click on the image to see the full document on the National Security Archive website.

The questions we get in Perkins Research Services range from the fatuous to the far-fetched to the fascinating. This is the first of a series on our most interesting research questions, and how we go about answering them.

In this age of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks and Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, a lot of current U.S. classified information is in the news and floating around on the web, should you choose to seek it out. But how do you find top-secret communications between world leaders from the past? This was the question I received via IM recently.

According to several articles, in October 1973 Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir sent an urgent letter to President Richard Nixon via Henry Kissinger. The researcher (let’s call her Mary) had already checked many primary sources, databases, and yes, even Google. But she could not locate the original letter. Only quoted fragments of the declassified document could be found.

Rule #1 of library detective work: Go with your gut (especially if it’s an experienced gut). If you think it should be found in the National Security Archive database and Mary didn’t find it there—look again, trying other search strategies. So I did.

No luck there. This question obviously would take more persistence as well as intestinal fortitude. I checked the print Foreign Relations of the U.S. and other sources in the Reference area then redoubled my efforts. (For those with less research experience in this area, there are clues in the library’s guide to International & Transnational Relations.)

In true government document fashion, my search results often had obscure titles that made it difficult to know if I had hit pay dirt. With a combination of persistence, collaboration, educated guessing, and serendipity….

BINGO! Document 7 in a search of the National Security Archive website through GWU was described thus: “Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Brent Scowcroft to Kissinger, 5 October 1973, enclosing message from Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (passed through Israeli chargé Shalev).” The murky type on the cover page said “Top Secret/Exclusively Eyes Only.” Coo-oo-uhl. Once I deciphered the trail of all the people through whom it was transmitted, it became clear that the next page was Meir’s own message. I IM’d Mary, who excitedly confirmed this by matching some of the quotes she had found.

Although we found our answer on the free web after all, it took a library to index and share the document and librarian intervention to track it down. You might call us everyone’s favorite “intelligence agency,” mining and exposing information for the common good.

Post by Catherine Shreve, Librarian for Public Policy & Political Science

Manga Fan? The Duke University Libraries Have You Covered! Part I

Lilly-Manga2

Guest post by William Hanley, Library Associate in Electronic Resources and Serials Management, manga expert and fan extraordinaire

Manga: /ˈmaŋgə/
(from the Oxford Dictionary)

Noun:    a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children.

Origin:   1950’s: Japanese, from ‘man’ (indiscriminate) + ‘ga’ (picture) (translated as “whimsical drawings” or “impromptu sketches” in modern English)

While manga are enormously popular in Japan and are read by business people, university students and the elderly, as well as children, they have become a global phenomenon.  Many series have themes in academic areas such as psychology, environmental studies, gender roles, world history, cultural studies in general and, of course, Japanese cultural studies in particular.

In the summer of 2013, Lilly Library acquired several manga series of particular merit in these categories.

 

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind book cover

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
by Hayao Miyazaki

When it comes to manga and Japanese animation (anime) on a global scale, no name is better known than Hayao Miyazaki.  The film director, animator, manga artist, producer and screenwriter had a career that spanned six decades during which he’s received several awards including an Oscar for his movie, “Spirited Away.”  Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind tells the story of Nausicaä, a princess of a small kingdom on a post-apocalyptic Earth, who becomes involved in a war between kingdoms while an environmental disaster threatens the survival of humankind.  Using her innate empathic bond with the giant Ohmu, insects, and animals of every species, she struggles to bring about a peaceful coexistence among the people of her world, as well as between humanity and nature. It is a tale of humans’ struggle with nature and with each other, as well as the effect war and violence have on society.   The manga is often noted as Miyazaki’s best work.  Mike Crandol of Anime News Network praised the manga stating, “I dare say the manga is [Miyazaki’s] finest work ever–animated, printed, or otherwise–and that’s saying a lot.  Manga allows for a depth of plot and character unattainable in the cinematic medium, and Miyazaki uses it to its fullest potential.”  The series is available in the Lilly Library in a deluxe box set containing two hardcover volumes with bonus interior color pages and maps.

 

Hikaru no Go book cover

Hikaru no Go
by Yumi Hotta
Hikaru no Go is a coming of age story written by Yumi Hotta, based around the board game Go.  Although highly fictionalized (the story involves a typical Japanese sixth-grader who finds a best friend in a ghost from Shogunate Japan), the production of the series’ Go games was supervised by Go professional Yukari Umezawa (5-dan).  When added to Hotta’s research on the game, the series gives many accurate glimpses into the culture of modern-day Go.  Since its debut, the manga has been largely responsible for popularizing Go amongst the youth of Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan.

 

Full Metal Alchemist book cover

Full Metal Alchemist
by Hiromu Arakawa

Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, Full Metal Alchemist follows two brothers in their struggle for redemption.  After a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy, Edward and Alphonse Elric search for the Philosopher’s Stone.  It is the only tool that can restore their bodies.  The series explores the concept of equivalent exchange: in order to obtain something new, the person must pay with something of the same value.  Sacrifice is an ongoing theme throughout the story. As one of the best-selling (and possibly the most critically-acclaimed) series in the past 15 years, Full Metal Alchemist is an important pop cultural reference in manga.

5 Centimeters Per Second book cover

5 Centimeters Per Second
by Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters Per Second takes its name from the speed at which cherry blossoms – a symbol of transience in Japan – fall from the tree.  This manga adaptation of an anime of the same name portrays a love story where the central conflict is an epiphany: the realization that daily-life can separate people from one another, and that the slow passage of time can gradually deaden the deep feelings they may have for each other.  The work is filled with poignant images that come from two lives intersecting and the hope and disappointment that love brings.

 

 Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms book cover

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms
by Fumiyo Kouno

A quote from the back cover of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms sums up this historical drama quite well.  “What impact did World War II and the dropping of the atomic bomb have on the common people of Japan?  Through the eyes of an average woman living in 1955, Japanese artist Fumiyo Kouno answers these questions.”Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms brings together three short stories dealing with every-day people living in Japan and how the bombing of Hiroshima affected their lives.  With the first story taking place in 1955, the second in 1987, and the third in 2004 the work gives a unique view of how war impacts a country and its people throughout the years.

 

Twin Spica book cover

Twin Spica
by Kou Yaginuma

Twin Spica tells the story of a group of Japanese high school students training to become astronauts in the early 21st century after the country’s first human spaceflight launch ended in disaster.  A mixture of coming-of-age, science, and the supernatural genres, the series is a great example of the paramount theme in most manga for young adults and children: never give up in following your dreams.  Additionally, author Kou Yaginuma, makes various references to historical figures and events in space exploration, making the work both heartfelt and technically sound, a perfect blend of teenage melodrama and space science.

 

Genshiken book cover

Genshiken
by Shimoku Kio

Otaku is a Japanese word meaning “a person extremely knowledgeable about the minute details of a particular hobby; specifically one who is obsessed with anime, video games, or computers and rarely leaves home.”  Often used as a derogatory slang term in Japan — oddly enough, many American fans proudly self-identify as Otaku — this is the culture highlighted in Genshiken. Part comedy, part slice-of-life, Genshiken portrays a college club for otaku and the lifestyle its members pursue.  The series gives a surprisingly realistic glimpse into Japanese fandom and includes many excellent references to manga, anime, video games and other aspects of otaku culture such as cosplay, fan conventions, model building and figurines.

 

Library Holiday Hours

Snow Devil, 1939. Photo from Duke University Archives. Click to see the larger version on Flickr.
Snow Devil, 1939. Photo from Duke University Archives. Click to see the larger version on Flickr.

Please be advised that the Duke University Libraries will be closed to the public on the following days in observance of the holidays:

  • Monday, December 23
  • Tuesday, December 24
  • Wednesday, December 25
  • Tuesday, December 31
  • Wednesday, January 1

For a complete schedule of hours during the intersession break, please see our website.

Happy holidays!

 

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

booktree
Happy Finals Week! Enjoy our National Union Catalog Christmas tree in Perkins Library, and help us decorate it!

… how steadfast are your branches!

In this case, the tree in the entry of Perkins Library isn’t an evergreen, but made of the green cloth-bound National Union Catalog of Pre-1956 Imprints. The NUC, as it’s affectionately known in library circles, is a set of 754 volumes of catalog records for works printed before 1956 held in American and Canadian libraries. Consider it the über library catalog of library catalogs. This has since been superseded by the online resource WorldCat, although it should be noted that a large percentage of books listed in the NUC are not yet included in WorldCat.

Many libraries have preceded Duke in creating a Christmas tree out of the NUC. We took the opportunity to do so this holiday season as this particular set is about to be relocated in preparation for materials moving onto the first floor of Perkins from other parts of the library. Given that it’s finals week, the Libraries also wanted to provide some stress relief and delight for students who are filling up our spaces studying for exams. An ornament-making origami station has been set up at the entrance of Perkins Library for those who wish to decorate the tree.

Guest post by Jean Ferguson, Head of Research and Instructional Services

Reading Between the Lines: Reflections on a Student-Curated Exhibit

Guest post by Kathryn Desplanque, a third-year Ph.D. student inArt, Art History & Visual Studies. Her work focuses on satirical etchings and engravings in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century France. This semester she taught a Writing 101 class on modern caricature.

Students arranging artwork for the Student Wall exhibit. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Desplanque.
Students arranging artwork for the Student Wall exhibit. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Desplanque.

In my Writing 101 class, “Laughing Matters: Interpreting and Contextualizing Modern Caricature,” I wanted to give my students a chance to interact with the rich cartoon periodical collection of Perkins Library and the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The cartoon periodicals contained therein, of which my students were particularly drawn to the American Puck and the British Punch, contain gorgeous chromolithographed or woodblock engraved caricatures. These complicated visual objects necessitate interdisciplinary research, and through them, I have encouraged my students to engage with the material history of print culture and the periodical press.

I also wanted to give my students an opportunity to explore a kind of writing which I personally find to be tremendously challenging: writing and curating for public audiences. To prepare our Perkins Student Wall exhibit, the students of W101 “Laughing Matters”  reverse-engineered genre guidelines for label writing, produced magnificent labels, curated and hung our exhibit, Reading Between the Lines: Comical Interpretations of the Nineteenth Century. They did all of this with careful attention to audience experience: they built sub-themes into our exhibit, and hung the caricatures so as to take advantage of the colors and perspectival lines of their pieces. Throughout the curatorial process, I feel like I’ve learned the most of all, thanks to the candid and insightful discussion we’ve had throughout the semester.


Check out the exhibit! Reading Between the Lines will remain up on the Student Wall on the first floor of Perkins Library through the end of the fall 2013 semester.

Social Media Panel Discussion, Dec. 6

Social Media Academic

Academics and Unseen Publics: Approaches to Putting Yourself and Your Work Online
Date: Friday, December 6
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (panel discussion to begin at noon)
Location: Forum for Scholars and Publics, Old Chem 011, West Campus (Click for Map)
Registration: Please register for this event
Contact: Hannah Rozear, hannah.rozear@duke.edu

There is limited attendance as lunch will be provided for attendants and panel members.

Social media offers ways to rapidly communicate ideas and research to peers and broader audiences. The personal investment required to successfully engage in these spaces, however, can compete with attention given to more traditional academic communication. The evolving conventions around engaging in these spaces (e.g., the etiquette of live tweeting), combined with immediate and unexpected challenges from readers, can also make this a difficult activity to accept and incorporate as part of one’s academic work. How can one efficiently and effectively use social media? What opportunities does it enable, and what are the potential pitfalls? How do social media interactions influence how we pursue and talk about our academic research?

The upcoming panel, Academics and Unseen Publics: Approaches to Putting Yourself and Your Work Online, seeks to address all of these questions. Composed of Duke faculty, students, and staff, the panel will  discuss the ways they engage in social media like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, and offer their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of taking one’s research and academic self online. Discussion will be framed and moderated by Duke University Libraries Coordinator of Scholarly Communication Technology, Paolo Mangiafico.

Panelists:

  • Gary Bennett, Associate Professor of Psychology, Global Health, and Medicine
  • Kieran Healy, Associate Professor in Sociology and the Kenan Institute for Ethics
  • Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Graduate Arts Fellow for the Kenan Institute for Ethics; Artist-In-Residence, Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge; MFA-EDA student and professional photographer
  • Robin Kirk, Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute
  • Ava Lowrey, MFA-EDA student and documentary filmmaker
  • Anton Zuiker, Director, Communications at Duke Department of Medicine and co-founder of ScienceOnline
  • Paolo Mangiafico (moderator)

This event is co-sponsored by Duke University Libraries, the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, HASTAC, and the Thompson Writing Program, as part of the Libraries’ Managing Your Research workshop series.

How Are We Doing? Take Our Survey!

Click on the image to start the survey!
Click on the image to start the survey!

Here in the Libraries, we are always trying to improve our game. To help us serve our students and faculty better, we conduct periodic surveys to understand how you view our services, spaces, and materials, and how satisfied you are with your overall library experience.

From now until December 2, we will be conducting a brief user survey, which you can find linked prominently on our library homepage. Please take a moment and tell us how we’re doing.

The survey takes only 4-5 minutes to complete. All responses are completely anonymous.

The more feedback we get, the better equipped we will be to improve our existing services and develop new ones to meet emerging needs.

So please take a moment to complete the survey. We value your feedback. And we look forward to reporting what we learn from the survey results in the coming weeks. Thank you!

 

The Landscape of Crowdsourcing and Transcription: Nov. 20

OCR software doesn't recognize handwriting (even very fine handwriting like Francis Calley Gray's, shown here). So human volunteers must transcribe it before it can be data-mined.
OCR software doesn’t recognize handwriting (even very fine handwriting like Francis Calley Gray’s, shown here). So human volunteers must transcribe it before it can be data-mined.

Date: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217 (Click for map)
Contact: Joshua Sosin, joshua.sosin@duke.edu, or 919-681-2992

This event is free and open to the public.

One of the most popular applications of crowdsourcing to cultural heritage is transcription. Since OCR software doesn’t recognize handwriting, human volunteers are converting letters, diaries, and log books into formats that can be read, mined, searched, and used to improve collection metadata. But cultural heritage institutions aren’t the only organizations working with handwritten material, and many innovations are happening within investigative journalism, citizen science, and genealogy.

This talk will present an overview of the landscape of crowdsourced transcription: where it came from, who’s doing it, and the kinds of contributions their volunteers make, followed by a discussion of motivation, participation, recruitment, and quality controls.

 

About the Speaker

Ben Brumfield earned his B.A. in Computer Science and Linguistics from Rice University in 1997. He has seventeen years experience as a professional software engineer, including a dozen years building software for non-profit organizations, from libraries to genealogical organizations. In 2005, he began developing FromThePage, a collaborative transcription platform. He has spoken on crowdsourcing and collaborative manuscript transcription at the American Historical Association, Museum Computer Network, IMLS WebWise, Text Encoding Initiative, and Digital Humanities conferences,in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Sponsored by the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing.

Duke’s Global Endeavors: Panel and Lunch, Nov. 19

Creative Commons image via Flickr courtesy Kevin Schoenmakers.
Creative Commons image via Flickr courtesy Kevin Schoenmakers.

Date: Tuesday, November 19
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (lunch served at 11:00, panel begins at 11:30)
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217 (Click for map)
Contact: Dave Munden (dave.munden@duke.edu), or Rachel Ariel (rachel.ariel@duke.edu)
Registration: Please register online to attend

Free and open to everyone. Because lunch will be served, please register to help us estimate attendance.

In celebration of International Education Week, please join us for a special international buffet lunch and panel discussion on Duke’s global initiatives at home and around the world. Hear from university leaders across campus and learn more about Duke’s exciting endeavors in global research, study abroad, Duke Kunshan, DukeEngage, support for international students on campus, and more.

Lunch begins at 11 a.m., and the panel discussion starts at 11:30. The event will conclude with a Q&A and open conversation.

Speakers

Welcome: Eve Duffy, Director of Programs and Initiatives, Office of Global Strategy and Programs
Moderator: Li-Chen Chin, Director of Intercultural Programs, Center for Multicultural Affairs

Panel:

  • Laura Brinn, Director of Global Communications
  • Amanda Kelso, Director of Global Education for Undergraduates
  • Ralph Litzinger, Faculty Director of Global Semester Abroad
  • Jennifer D’A. Maher, Associate Dean for International Studies, School of Law
  • Eric Mlyn, Executive Director of DukeEngage
  • Dorothy Powell, Associate Dean for Global & Community Health Initiatives, Duke School of Nursing
  • Meg Trauner, Director of Ford Library, Fuqua School of Business, Kunshan Library Committee

This event is sponsored by the Professional Affairs Committee of the Duke University Librarians Assembly.

 

Indigeneity on the Move

Guest post by Carla Cella (MALS 2014), creator of the Day of Dead altar and exhibit on display outside International and Area Studies on the 2nd floor of Bostock Library. Read on as she explains and describes some of the influences behind the altar and those it seeks to honor.

Detail of the Day of the Dead altar on display outside the International and Area Studies offices in Bostock Library.
Detail of the Day of the Dead altar on display outside the International and Area Studies offices in Bostock Library.

In a world of growing global migration, indigenous tribes are often thought of as static relics of a past time, stewarding territories passed down for centuries. However, indigenous people are not exempt from global migratory trends. Although most indigenous groups in Latin America still live in rural areas, an increasing number are becoming urbanized. Some drivers of this diaspora are militarization, land dispossession, natural disasters, deteriorating environments, poverty, and a dream for a better life in the big city. By 2000, a third of Mexico’s indigenous people, approximately 12% of the country’s total population, had migrated to cities. Oftentimes, whole communities are displaced in the global push for energy and development. Such is the case with Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam, which will displace between 20,000 and 50,000 people who live adjacent to the Xingu River.

Aside from representing the incorporation of indigenous groups into a contemporary globalized and mobile way of life, Indigeneity on the Move also aims to keep the memory of past indigenous diasporas alive. The United States’ Indian Removal Act of 1830 was responsible for the Trail of Tears, a cultural trauma that was the Native American’s eviction from tribal lands and consolidation into designated reservations in the mid-west.

This altar honors the efforts of original peoples across the Americas to maintain a connection to their traditional culture, and pass it on to their progeny, as they uproot, pack up, and move away from their ancestral lands.

dayofthedeadaltardetail2
Join the Libraries for a special exhibit opening and Day of the Dead reception on Nov. 1. Click on the image for more details.

Postcard from Our National Book Collecting Contest Winner

Guest post by Ashley Young, Ph.D. candidate in history at Duke.

Earlier this year, Ashley Young took first prize in the graduate category of the Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Duke University Libraries. In August, we were delighted to find out that she also took second prize in the National Collegiate Book Collectors Contest. This is Ashley’s account of her trip to Washington, D.C., for the awards ceremony on October 18, hosted by the Library of Congress. Visit Ashley’s website to find out more about her research and interest in Southern foodways.


 

The Great Hall of the Library of Congress. Photos courtesy of Ashley Young.
The Great Hall of the Library of Congress. Photos courtesy of Ashley Young.

This past Thursday morning, I headed to the City Archives Division of the New Orleans Public Library as the sun’s first rays skimmed over the Mississippi, knowing that I wanted to get in a full day of research before venturing to Washington, D.C., for the National Collegiate Book Collectors Contest awards ceremony. As I pored over documents at the archive, I couldn’t help but daydream about my impending trip to the Library of Congress (LOC), where my fellow awardees and I were likely to take a tour of the special collections as part of the NCBCC event. Our families were also invited to partake in all of the celebrations, and my parents were planning to drive down from Pittsburgh for the weekend. I was looking forward to hearing Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the LOC, speak about some of the library’s most precious and unique documents. I was also eager to see the complete replica of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library and the celebrated architecture of the LOC’s Great Hall with its marble columns, jewel-toned stained glass ceiling, and brilliantly painted ceiling panels. Although undeniably enthusiastic, I had no inclination as to how memorable and inspiring this trip would be for my parents and me.

pic3
The main reading room at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The partial government shutdown necessitated some changes in the traditional proceedings of the NCBCC awards ceremony. Instead of heading to the LOC for the special collections tour as originally planned, we visited the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill. The library, which was originally built by the Folger family in the 1930s, is known for possessing the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Additionally, it houses a rich and deeply fascinating collection of early modern books, manuscripts, and artwork. One of my favorite aspects of the Folger is its main reading room, which is modeled after an Elizabethan-era great hall. The ornate wood, rustic chandeliers, and vaulted ceilings create an environment that undoubtedly inspires the privileged scholars who research there on a regular basis.

pic2
Exploring some highlights from the Folger’s rare book and manuscript collections.

After the guided tour of the library, an extremely kind and animated archivist shared a few highlights of the rare book and manuscripts collection with us. These materials were awe-inspiring, ranging from 16th-century cooking manuscripts to an original printing (c. 1623) of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works. Other treasures included a law signed by Queen Elizabeth I and an encyclopedia of herbs accompanied by the original wood block that was used to print the image of the plant on the displayed page. We could not help but fall into animated conversations about the practices of book printing and binding in the early modern era. Before we knew it, our time with these amazing materials was up and we were being ushered out of the Folger to go to the NCBCC award ceremony.

The ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the three student collections that were awarded prizes for their creativity and deep scholarly approach. John Cole, the director of the LOC, personally introduced each of our collections and presented us with our award. Then Mark Dimunation interviewed each of us at the podium, asking thought-provoking questions as to why we originally became interested in the focus of our particular collections, how these collections are changing the way scholars understand our nation’s history, and what materials we are eager to include in our collections in the future. I was grateful to have an opportunity to voice my passion for historical cookbooks and the ways in which these sources are so much more than just repositories of recipes. Rather, their pages contain significant historical themes such as American transatlantic ties to Europe; racial tensions in the Jim Crow era; women’s roles in the postbellum South; and New Orleans’ transatlantic cultural exchange with Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean.

Being interviewed by Mark Dimunation at the awards ceremony.
Being interviewed by Mark Dimunation at the awards ceremony.

After the official ceremony, there was a two-hour cocktail reception—a wonderful opportunity to meet passionate bibliophiles whose collections are as interesting and eccentric as my own. For example, one collector has amassed thousands of copies of Alice in Wonderland in dozens of languages. He even wrote a satirical cookbook based on the fantastical world of Wonderland, and is going to share a copy with me. (That is a cookbook I never expected to have in my collection!) By the time the event had come to a close, I felt as though I had found a new community with which to share my research and collecting interests—one that will inevitably enrich the ties I have already established with my tight-knit scholarly community at Duke.

Now I am settled back into my life in New Orleans with another day of satisfying research under my belt. My evening routine has changed slightly after my weekend in D.C.—instead of drinking my customary cup of tea out of a nondescript mug, I am happily slurping from one I purchased as a keepsake this past weekend. Its words replicate those that grace the Great Hall of the LOC: “Knowledge Comes, but Wisdom Lingers.” As I prepare for another day in the archives, I enjoy the small reminder that my pursuit of a Ph.D. reflects my ultimate dream of being a life-long academic. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue to cultivate my historic cookbook collection in the coming years and hopefully turn some of that accumulated knowledge into lingering wisdom.

Feeling certified and celebrated at the Library of Congress.
At the Library of Congress with fellow book collector Thomas Jefferson.

Redesigned Library Website: Give It a Test-Drive!

Click on the screenshot to see the new Duke University Libraries website (Duke on-campus access only).
Click on the screenshot to see the new Duke University Libraries website.

As we’ve mentioned here before, we’re getting ready to launch our redesigned Duke University Libraries website on October 14, during Duke’s Fall Break.

We’ve been documenting and testing our process for the better part of a year, and we greatly appreciate all the helpful feedback and comments our users have given us along the way. Your participation has made the process smoother and helped us make better-informed decisions about the design and functionality of our new site. Thank you!

With October 14 less than a week away, we’re ready to let the Duke community take our new website for a spin. We’re still tweaking some things and ironing out a few glitches, but we think it’s ready to share. Here’s a preview link on our development server: http://libcms.oit.duke.edu/

(Note: This is a temporary link. Our new site will publicly go live at library.duke.edu on October 14. All old URLs will be redirected to new ones.)

In our last post about the website redesign, we covered some of the major search and navigational differences between the old site and the new one. Here are a few additional improvements you may notice.

1. More emphasis on the search box.
Library websites are different from other university websites. This isn’t just our virtual face to the world. It’s a multifunctional tool, as well as the primary way most of our users “go to the library” and get to our resources. You’ll notice that the search box is larger and designed in a way to help you get the information you need more quickly, with fewer distractions on the page.

2. Easier access to important functions.
We’ve added a “Quick Links” section on the homepage to emphasize important information and answers to frequently asked questions. You’ll also notice that “My Accounts” is linked consistently in the header throughout the site. This takes you to a page where you can login to all of your library accounts in one place, from renewing books and viewing hold requests, to interlibrary loan and document delivery, to requesting materials from the Rubenstein Library.

3. Better integration with our physical space.
This is one new addition we think our students will really appreciate. Duke’s campus libraries are popular places. Study space is in high demand. With that in mind, we’ve created a new “Places to Study” page featuring a comprehensive list of library study spots on both East and West Campus. There are photos of study rooms and descriptions of their features. You can even filter study spaces by location, electrical outlets, nearness to coffee, etc. We’ve also made it easier to reserve a study space or meeting room with the click of a button.

4. New individual library homepages.
We’ve made significant updates to the homepages of our individual campus libraries, including Lilly, Music, the Marine Lab Library, the Library Service Center, and the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. For Lilly and Music, we’ve also added search boxes to make it easier to find materials housed in those locations.

Screenshot of the new Rubenstein Library homepage. (Duke access only)
Screenshot of the new Rubenstein Library homepage.

5. Easier access to international research and services.
Want to find materials on specific countries, like France, China, or Canada? Or perhaps schedule a one-on-one consultation with a subject or language expert? Click on our interactive International Resources map and see what resources and services we have available for different regions of the globe.

New interactive International Research page (Duke access only).
New interactive International Research page.

6. More personalized help.
We’ve revamped our list of librarians and subject experts to make it easier for you to find someone who knows your field and can answer questions about particular topics.

7. Enhanced searchability.
We’ve already talked about the redesigned search box on the homepage. But we also added some functionality to the website search in the header on every page. By using the drop-down button, you can search for books, articles, or all library materials without having to go back to the homepage.

8. Less jargon.
We’re librarians. We love acronyms, proper names, and technical terminology. But we recognize that not everyone else speaks librarianese. To that end, we’ve made a conscious effort to edit all of our site content for greater clarity, simplicity, accuracy, and web-friendliness. We hope it helps.

Again, take it for a spin and let us know what you think! And mark your calendar for October 14, when our new site officially goes live!

Database Training Session: Scopus, Oct. 16 (Free Lunch!)

scopus-home3

Scopus Training Session for Duke Faculty, Researchers, and Graduate Students
When: Wednesday, October 16
Time: 11:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Where: Schiciano Auditorium – Side A, Fitzpatrick Center (Click for map)
Contact: Melanie Sturgeon, melanie.sturgeon@duke.edu
Registration: Please Register to Attend

Note:  Lunch to follow in FCIEMAS lobby, 12:00-1:00 p.m. (provided by Elsevier). We will also be raffling off two iPod shuffles for attendees!

Please join us on October 16 for a Scopus training session on campus with Elsevier.

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature from international publishers, open access journals, conference proceedings, and trade publications. Database coverage includes Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering; Life and Health Sciences; Social Sciences, Psychology, and Economics; Biological, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

This training session will educate science faculty, researchers, and graduate students about Scopus, which was designed to save you time in finding the right articles. 

Topics Covered

  • Coverage and searching
  • Author Identifier / Author Search Tab / Author Evaluator
  • Citation overview
  • Setting up alerts and exporting citations
  • much more!

Additional Training Session for Duke Library Staff:

Date: Wednesday, October 16
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Bostock Library, Room 023
Contact: Melanie Sturgeon, melanie.sturgeon@duke.edu
Registration: Please Register to Attend

Snacks provided by Elsevier

Workshop: Research Data Management at Duke, Oct. 2

data mgmt

Date: Wednesday, October 2
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217 (Click for map)
Contact: Hannah Rozear, hannah.rozear@duke.edu
Please register to attend: http://tinyurl.com/my8knyd

Duke University Libraries invites you to attend GS711-10 Research Data Management, part of our Managing Your Research workshop series. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. Graduate student attendees will be eligible to receive RCR credit for participation in this event.

Workshop Description

In response to expectations for open access to publicly funded research, agencies from the NSF to the NEH require data management plans as part of funding proposals. Increasingly, researchers are expected to provide access to data as part of verifying and replicating research results. This workshop provides a high-level overview of the research data lifecycle, focusing on particular moments and issues to consider in order to effectively and responsibly manage data used in a range of disciplinary projects. Participants will learn about resources available at Duke to support data management and where to go for additional, customized help in planning data management for research.

Topics Covered

  • Funder requirements and writing data management plans for grant proposals
  • Records management for collaboratively produced data
  • Best practices for data description
  • Data storage options and appropriate back-up procedures
  • Sharing, publishing, and getting credit for your data
  • The when, why, and how of data archiving for long-term preservation

Speakers

  • Elena Feinstein, M.L.S., Librarian for Chemistry and Biological Sciences
  • Ciara Healy, M.L.S., Librarian for Psychology and Neuroscience and Library Liaison for Bass Connections in Brain & Society
  • Emily Mazure, M.S.I., Biomedical Research Liaison Librarian, Medical Center Library and Archives
  • Liz Milewicz, Ph.D., M.L.I.S., Head, Digital Scholarship Services Department, Duke University Libraries, and Library Liaison for Bass Connections in Information, Society & Culture

Imagine Life without Email: Paul Jones, Sept. 25

noemail
Thirty years ago, Paul Jones began advocating for people to use email. Now he’s on a quest to convince us to get rid of it.

Date: Wednesday, September 25
Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon (talk begins at 10:30)
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217 (Click for map)
Contact: Leila Ledbetter, leila.ledbetter@duke.edu, or  Hollie White, hollie.white@law.duke.edu
Registration Encouraged but not Required: Register online

There are things better than email. Paul Jones, who left email behind over two years ago, will explain. Nearly thirty years ago, Jones began working on and encouraging people to use the unified messaging systems that led up to what we now know as email. That was then, and this is now. Email has become a zombie that doesn’t realize it’s dead and falling apart, a vampire that sucks your life’s blood away slowly each night before bed and each morning as you wake. You’ve probably noticed this yourself. In an attempt to atone for his part for inflicting email on UNC, he has been exploring alternatives to email with a shotgun and a wooden stake (and Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) as his tools. This talk will touch on the sad beginnings of email, offer some atonement for Jones’ part in the mess, but mostly will discuss trends and alternatives needed to achieve the Logic and Destiny of #noemail.

Sponsored by the Professional Affairs Committee of the Duke University Librarians Assembly.

Refreshments provided. This event is free and open to the public.

 

Photo by Dan Sears
Paul Jones. Photo by Dan Sears

About Paul Jones: Paul Jones is Clinical Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Clinical Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Jones blogs about research on, opinions of, and work for better communications strategies and services at ibiblio.org, where he also serves at Director. He has published poetry in cookbooks, in travel anthologies, in a collection about passion (What Matters?), in a collection about love (…and love…), and in The Best American Erotic Poems (from Scribner). He has a personal copy of the world’s oldest Web page.

Free Film Screening: The Great Gatsby, Sept. 12

great_gatsby

Date: Thursday, September 12
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Duke East Campus Quad (Rain Venue: Nelson Music Room, East Duke Building)
Contact Information: Lilly Library Circulation Desk,  919-660-5995, lilly-requests@duke.edu

Bring a blanket and enjoy a free outdoor screening of director Baz Luhrmann’s blockbuster adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Tobey Maguire. The film will be shown this Thursday on Duke’s East Campus Quad.

Sponsored by Duke’s East Campus Libraries and Devils After Dark. Free and open to the public.

For more information about library orientation activities for Duke’s Class of 2017, including the #LibraryGames and your chance to win a Kindle Fire HD, see our library orientation website.

Be there, old sport!

 

Special Thanks to Donors to Our Annual Fund

vonderheyden_annual_fund

A message from Duke’s University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs

Meeting the needs of nearly 15,000 students, some 1,800 faculty and more than 30,000 employees of a major research university is challenging work. Unlike many private research libraries, we pride ourselves on being open to the public. Gifts to the Duke University Libraries Annual Fund help us to provide the highest level of service to our students, faculty, and the many outside researchers who use our collections and help us advance Duke’s research and teaching missions.

Because of the generous support of alumni, friends, faculty, parents, grandparents, corporations and foundations, the Duke University Libraries Annual Fund set an all-time high total in fiscal year 2013 in donors (1,887) and cash ($744,890). Those are increases of more than 17% and 30%, respectively.

Libraries Annual Fund Cash
Libraries Annual Fund Cash
Libraries Annual Fund Donors
Libraries Annual Fund Donors

 

 

 

 

 

Even more important is what these contributions allowed us to do for our students and faculty. Here are just a few things we’ve been able to accomplish this year because of contributions to the Libraries Annual Fund:

Annual Fund gifts help us to provide today’s Duke students and faculty with the very best collections and services and set a standard of excellence that improves the University’s national and international reputation. On behalf of the Libraries’ staff and Duke students, faculty, and researchers around the world, thank you for your continued support.

deborah jakubs 150x150Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs

 

 

 

 

Join Our Student Library Advisory Boards

student advisory boards

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2013-2014 student library advisory boards.

Members of these boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations. Deadlines for applying are:

  • Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board: September 8, 2013
  • Undergraduate Advisory Board: September 8, 2013
  • First-Year Advisory Board: September 10, 2013

Members will be selected and notified by mid-September, and the groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

 

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and 
Undergraduate Advisory Board

emily_dalyEmily Daly
Head, User Experience Department
Librarian for Education
emily.daly@duke.edu
919-660-5879
 

 

First-Year Advisory Board

boers-gretaGreta Boers
Librarian for Classical Studies and Linguistics
greta.boers@duke.edu
919-660-5864

 

 

 

munden-daveDave Munden
Evening Reference Librarian and Supervisor
dave.munden@duke.edu
919-660-5998

 

 

Von der Heyden Closed for Floor Refinishing, Aug. 11-16

Von der Heyden Pavilion
The von der Heyden Pavilion will be closed Aug. 11-16 for floor refinishing. No food or coffee service will be available during this time.

Throughout the week of Sunday, August 11, through Friday, August 16, the von der Heyden Pavilion in Perkins Library will be closed so that workers can refinish the floor and replace floor pads on all furniture in advance of the fall semester.

During this time, Saladelia at the Perk will also be closed and no food or coffee service will be available in the library. The nearest coffee service is at Twinnie’s in the CIEMAS Engineering Building, or at Joe Van Gogh in the Bryan Center.

The von der Heyden Pavilion will reopen on the afternoon of Friday, August 16. Saladelia at the Perk will resume service on Monday, August 19.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

New App: Get Academic Journals on Your iPad

In order to make our library resources more mobile-friendly, we’ve picked up a new tool called BrowZine, an app for iPads and Android tablets that lets you browse, read, and monitor current academic journals in your subject areas. And best of all for our Duke users, it’s free!

Here’s a 2-minute video about how it works:

If you want to use BrowZine, you can download it to your iPad or Android device by following these easy steps:

  1. Go to the App Store or Google Play, search for BrowZine, and install it. (It’s free.)
  2. When you open BrowZine for the first time, you’ll see a list of schools – select Duke, then enter your Net ID and password.
  3. Select subject areas, and start browsing journals. That’s it! You can save your favorites to your personal bookshelf.

How many journals are included? BrowZine has relationships with these academic journal publishers, so any journals included in that group and published since 2005 should be viewable through the BrowZine app.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

BrowZine is compatible with Zotero, Dropbox, Evernote and other services (Mendeley and RefWorks are coming soon), allowing you to organize and manage your research seamlessly. You can also save articles to your BrowZine pin board to read later, even when you’re offline.

If you have questions or comments, please get in touch with Emily Daly, Head of the User Experience Department, or contact your subject librarian.

 

Screenshots showing the bookshelf and article view on BrowZine, a new tool the Libraries are currently trialing.
Screenshots showing the bookshelf and article view on BrowZine, a new mobile-friendly tool available for Duke University library users.

New Grad Student Reading Room in Perkins

reiss room
The Richard and Nancy Riess Graduate Student Reading Room is located on the second floor of Perkins Library in Room 211, next to the Staff Lounge.

In order to make the lives of our hard-working graduate students easier, we’re setting aside a dedicated library reading room just for them.

The Richard and Nancy Riess Graduate Student Reading Room is reserved for Duke University graduate students only. With seating for 14 people, it is located on the second floor of Perkins Library in Room 211, next door to the library Staff Lounge. (See map below.)

The reading room is accessible by using a keypad on the door. To get the code, simply stop by the Perkins Library Service Desk on the main floor, show us your Duke ID to verify your graduate student status, and fill out a short form.

Access to the Riess Graduate Student Reading Room is available to all graduate and professional school students throughout the university. We encourage you to stop by the Perkins Service Desk for the reading room code.

Students with questions about access to the space should contact Michael Finigan, Head of Access and Delivery Services (michael.finigan@duke.edu), or Emily Daly, Head of the User Experience Department (emily.daly@duke.edu).

Map of Perkins Library, Second Floor, showing the location of the graduate student reading room.
Map of Perkins Library, Second Floor, showing the location of the graduate student reading room.

British Library Grant Helps Duke Preserve Tibetan Manuscripts

Menri Monastery in Northern India possesses the world’s largest collection of manuscripts relating to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.
Menri Monastery in Northern India possesses the world’s largest collection of manuscripts relating to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. All photos by Edward Proctor.

Duke University has received a grant from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme to digitize and preserve a trove of ancient religious manuscripts related to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

Once digitized, the manuscripts will be made freely available online through the British Library, giving scholars around the world access to an important archive of religious texts that were previously accessible only by traveling to a monastery in a remote part of the Indian Himalayas.

The Menri Monastery, located near the village of Dolanji in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, possesses the world’s largest collection of manuscripts relating to Bön. Most of these materials were rescued from ancient monasteries in Tibet before they were destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The collection includes some 129 pechas, or traditional Tibetan books, comprising more than 62,000 pages of text. A pecha consists of loose leaves of handmade paper wrapped in cloth, placed between wooden boards, and secured with a belt. Also included are some 479 handmade colorfully-illustrated initiation cards, or tsakli, which are employed in various rituals and contain significant amounts of text.

Duke librarian Edward Proctor, second from right, worked with monks at the monastery in 2009 to determine the feasibility of digitizing the Bön manuscripts.
Duke librarian Edward Proctor, second from right, worked with monks at the monastery in 2009 to determine the feasibility of digitizing the Bön manuscripts.

As the name suggests, the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme aims to preserve archival material that is in danger of disappearing, particularly in countries where resources and opportunities to preserve such material are lacking or limited. The Bön manuscripts are an excellent case in point, according to Edward Proctor, the principal investigator for the project. Proctor is Duke’s librarian for South and Southeast Asia. He also works to develop the South Asian Studies collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library through a cooperative arrangement with Duke.

“The Bön manuscripts are subject to a variety of perils,” said Proctor. “They are currently housed in a building that is neither air-conditioned nor humidity-controlled. Having so many unique materials in one location means that a single disaster, such as a massive mudslide or earthquake (not an infrequent occurrence in this area), could quickly extinguish the records of this ancient tradition.”

The Bön manuscripts cover a wide range of subjects, including history, grammar, poetry, rules of monastic discipline, rituals, astronomy, medicine, musical scores, biographies of prominent Bön teachers, and practical instruction manuals for the creation and consecration of paintings, sculptures, mandalas, ritual offerings, reliquaries, amulets, and talismans.

Proctor first traveled to the Menri Monastery in 2009 on a Pilot Project grant from the British Library to investigate the scope and condition of the Bön manuscripts and the feasibility of digitizing them. He will return later this fall and winter to oversee their digitization, which will be carried out by monastery staff. Proctor will provide training in digitization techniques and offer guidance on best practices in archival management. Once the project is complete, the digitization equipment funded by the British Library will remain at the monastery for the future use of the Bön monks.

Pechas, or traditional Tibetan books, consist of loose leaves of handmade paper wrapped in cloth, placed between wooden boards, and secured with a belt.
Pechas, or traditional Tibetan books, consist of loose leaves of handmade paper wrapped in cloth, placed between wooden boards, and secured with a belt.

According to Proctor, this digitization project is essential to the efforts of Bön monks and nuns to preserve their unique culture, as well as the efforts of scholars elsewhere to understand the early cultural and intellectual history of Central Asia.

“These unique documents already escaped destruction once, during the excesses of the Cultural Revolution,” said Proctor. “But there is still a risk that they could disappear. Just last year, a fire in an 18th-century temple in Bhutan reduced its entire manuscript collection to ashes. Tragically, the temple’s collection had been proposed to be digitized as part of a Major Project grant. Thanks to this grant from the Endangered Archives Programme, it will now be possible to ensure the long-term survival of the Bön manuscripts in Menri Monastery.”

To learn more about the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme, visit their website.

The collection also includes many tsakli, or handmade colorfully-illustrated initiation cards employed in various rituals.
The collection also includes many tsakli, or handmade colorfully-illustrated initiation cards employed in various rituals.

New Exhibit: Botanical Treasures from Duke’s Hidden Library; Reception 4/29

Herbarium Exhibit Banner Image

On exhibit April 10 – July 14, 2013
Perkins Library Gallery, Duke West Campus (Click for map)
Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am–7pm; Saturday, 9am–7pm; Sunday, 10am–7pm
Hours may vary during the summer months. Please check our posted library hours for more information.

 

About the Exhibit 

When you hear the word herbarium, you might think herb garden. Not so.

Instead, think of an herbarium as a kind of library of preserved plants. But instead of shelves upon shelves of books, an herbarium contains cabinets upon cabinets of dried and labeled plant specimens. Unlike most books in a library, which can be repurchased or duplicated, each herbarium specimen is truly unique. It is a representative of plant biodiversity at a particular place and time in the history of life on earth.

A new exhibit in Perkins Library explores the beauty and importance of herbaria in furthering our understanding of the natural world and highlights our own “hidden library” of plants right here on campus—the Duke Herbarium.

Detail: Herbarium sample of Rhynchospora, commonly known as beak-rush or beak-sedge.
Detail: Herbarium sample of Rhynchospora, commonly known as beak-rush or beak-sedge.

The Duke Herbarium, located in the Biological Sciences Building next to the French Family Science Center, is one of the largest herbaria in the United States and the second largest at a private U.S. university (after Harvard). With more than 800,000 specimens of vascular plants, bryophytes, algae, lichens, and fungi, the Duke Herbarium is a unique and irreplaceable resource used by local, national, and international scientific communities.

The role of herbaria in housing and protecting plant specimens is invaluable. Herbaria are where biologists turn to identify plant species, check the validity of a newly described species, track how a species has changed over time, and even analyze how entire landscapes have been altered. Herbarium specimens can yield information to help us better protect our planet. This is especially important today, when humans have a greater impact on the environment and plants are exposed to conditions they never would have encountered just a century ago.

Botanical Treasures of Duke’s Hidden Library examines the work of the Duke Herbarium, explains how plant specimens are collected, and highlights some surprising stories from the field, like how Duke biologists recently named a newly discovered genus of ferns after Lady Gaga!

The exhibit was curated by Layne Huiet, Senior Research Scientist and Vascular Plants Collections Manager, Duke Herbarium; Tiff Shao, Trinity 2012 (Biology), Associate in Research, Duke Herbarium; Anne Johnson, Trinity 2013 (Biology); and Kathleen Pryer, Professor of Biology and Director of the Duke Herbarium.

For more information, visit the exhibit website, or check out the website of the Duke Herbarium.

 

Exhibit Reception and Lecture—Please Join Us!

Alfred Russel Wallace in the Amazon: The Making of a Naturalist
Speaker:
 Sandra Knapp, Research Botanist at the Natural History Museum in London (Click for bio)
Date: Monday, April 29
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217, Duke West Campus (Click for map)
Exhibit reception to follow in the Perkins Library Gallery. Light refreshments will be served.
Contact: Meg Brown, meg.brown@duke.edu, 919-681-2071

Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace: British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, and biologist

Student Writing Prizes: Win $1,000!

Student Writing Prizes
Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 cash!

The Lowell Aptman Prizes and Chester P. Middlesworth Awards were established by Duke University Libraries to reward excellence in research and writing. If you’re a Duke student, consider submitting a paper for one of these prizes—you could win $1,000!

The Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. Prizes are awarded in three categories (first- and second-year students, third-and fourth-year students, and fourth-year students working on an honors thesis), and each one comes with a cash award of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Eileen and Lowell (T’89) Aptman.

The Middlesworth Awards recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Prizes are awarded in two categories (undergraduates and graduate students), and each one comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, North Carolina.

The deadline for both awards is May 15, 2013. 

All winners will be recognized at a reception held the Friday afternoon of Duke Family Weekend (October 25, 2013), where they will receive certificates and $1,000.

For more information, including complete guidelines, application instructions, and selection criteria, visit our library research awards website.

 

Questions?

For questions about the Aptman Prizes, contact:
Ernest Zitser
919-660-5847
ernest.zitser@duke.edu

For questions about the Middlesworth Awards, contact:
David Pavelich
919-660-5825
david.pavelich@duke.edu

Von der Heyden Pavilion Closed Friday, 3/15

Von der Heyden Pavilion
While the floors are being refinished, no coffee or food service will be available.

The von der Heyden Pavilion will be closed Friday, March 15, while Duke Facilities refinishes the floors. While the work is being done, Saladelia @ the Perk will also be closed, and no food or coffee service will be available. The Pavilion will reopen on Saturday, March 16.

For a complete list of campus dining venues that are open during Spring Break and their hours of operation, please see the Duke Dining website.

Alpine Bagels in the West Union and Twinnie’s at CIEMAS are both close to the library and both serve coffee.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

New Library Study Room Reservation System

Use your phone to book a library study, and see photos of the available rooms!
Use your phone to book a library study, and see photos of the available rooms!

Starting today, Duke University Libraries is excited to roll out a brand new room reservation system for study rooms in Perkins, Bostock, Lilly, and Music Libraries—one that you won’t have any reservations about!

This mobile-friendly system is a move toward making library services accessible from a number of digital platforms. Duke affiliates can book rooms on their phone or computer directly from the library homepage—a new link has been added right under the “Library Services” links on library.duke.edu.

As with previous room reservation policies, patrons will be able to book study rooms for up to 3 hours per day. Use is limited to users with a valid @duke.edu email address.

Existing reservations made in the 25Live system have been migrated to the new system. Although library study rooms can no longer be reserved on 25Live, class and study rooms in the Link and other campus locations are still available through this service. If you notice any discrepancies in your bookings in the new system, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Visit our new library study room reservation website to get started, bookmark it on your phone, and let us know what you think.

Desktop view of the new room reservation interface. Click on the image to go to the site.
Desktop view of the new room reservation interface. Click on the image to go to the site.

Why Catalogers Seldom Blog

The stereotype of catalogers is that we sit quietly behind the scenes, not interacting with users. A walk by our cubicles supports this view. However, we know that the records we work on are a kind of direct communication with users, who can use the library without speaking to a person, but have a hard time avoiding the catalog. Even someone who picks up a book from the New and Noteworthy shelves in Perkins Library and uses a self-check-out machine has used classification and the circulation module of the catalog. Other users access electronic resources through the catalog without even setting foot in the building.

Card Catalog in the Rubenstein Library.
Card Catalog in the Rubenstein Library.

Catalogers embrace other forms of electronic communication as well. We know the proverb about all work and no play, and what looks like work may actually be an exchange of a joke with the coworker in the next cubicle via email or Facebook. Our policies and procedures are documented online, and we participate in electronic forums with catalogers in other libraries. So why has a suggestion by our department head that we blog gone largely unheeded? I wrote one post, and it was fun. I got some compliments on it. However, it was not nearly as rewarding as the creation of a cataloging record. A record for an obscure pamphlet may never be directly used, but it will stand for decades, maybe centuries, as the signpost to that pamphlet. A blog post is a bit of flotsam thrown into a sea of unstructured data.

Post contributed by Amy Turner, Original Cataloger in the Cataloging and Metadata Services Dept.

Welcome to Our Redesigned Library Website!

redesigned library website launch
Click on the screenshot to visit our new library website!

Notice anything different? Our library website has a new look!

After soft-launching the site on October 14 and doing extensive back-end testing in the meantime, we’re excited to roll out the new library.duke.edu today.

We’ve been developing, testing, and documenting our website redesign for a year, and we greatly appreciate all the feedback our users have given us along the way. Your input (and patience) has helped us design a better, simpler, more intuitively organized site for Duke students, faculty, and researchers. 

Here are some highlights of what’s new and improved:

Take a look around and let us know what you think. Use our feedback form to tell us how we’re doing or report a problem or issue.

You can also share your comments and thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.