Category Archives: Feature Articles

Author Agreement for a DH Project — Is That a Thing?

This post by Liz Crisenbery, 2018-2019 Project Manager for Project Vox, is part of a series on graduate students’ “Intern Experience” at Duke University Libraries. 

Author agreements — contractual documents provided by the publisher to the author, explaining the terms of publication — are foundational to many print and digital publications. Yet this stock element of publishing is not frequently discussed in relation to DH projects. Open access is a hallmark of digital humanities — making content available to anyone with an internet connection and thereby challenging the paywall approach to scholarly publishing. While open access also pushes against the overuse of copyright protections, it doesn’t oppose or necessarily undermine the rights of authors. How might digital humanities projects use author agreements to help acknowledge and protect the labor of people who develop content while also ensuring the resulting works can have broad access and use?

Communicate the role of the author agreement as a contract
Why might an established DH project consider creating author agreements?

Enter Project Vox, an open-access digital-humanities project that seeks to amplify the voices of early modern female philosophers, challenge the canon, and provide access to teaching materials and research guides. It is chiefly a collaborative effort, dependent upon a team of individuals who research, write, edit, and stage biographical and bibliographical entries on women philosophers.

Project Vox itself is an open educational resource, yet not all the content that appears on the site is created by the team. As the range of content types published by Project Vox has expanded, we have realized the need to better communicate protections and access for works published on our site.

For instance, Project Vox recently published the first English translation of Émilie Du Châtelet’s essay on optics (the complete version of which was itself only recently discovered and transcribed). As project manager I worked with Liz Milewicz (co-director of Project Vox and Head of Duke Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Services) to create an author agreement that could be used for this translation and also future Project Vox publications. We wanted the translation to be easily accessible to a wide audience and to be available for use in research and instruction; we also wanted to protect the translator, Bryce Gessell, from having his work published in other forms without his consent.

Fortunately, we were able to consult with Duke Libraries’ Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications, specifically Arnetta Girardeau (Duke Libraries’ Copyright & Information Policy Consultant) and Dave Hansen (Associate University Librarian for Research, Collections, and Scholarly Communication), to create a template author agreement for Project Vox publications. Suffice it to say, we would not have created such a document without their expertise and guidance. This is the resulting template for Project Vox author agreements: Project Vox Author Agreement – Master Template.

The process of creating this agreement highlighted for us how author agreements can be challenging for DH publications and yet necessary if we truly hope to protect and honor the work of content creators while also making that content freely available. While some of the information included in the author agreement is relatively mundane (e.g., the name of the author, the name of the work, information used to create a citation, etc.), much of the document establishes legal relationships between different parties. In the process of creating our author agreement, we realized our long-held assumption that Project Vox was the “publisher” of content needed to be reevaluated. Rather, because Project Vox is hosted by Duke University Libraries, and because the Libraries provide a more stable partner for entering into agreements, the Libraries are named as the publisher. Increasingly, academic libraries are acting as publishers, challenging the nature of publishing and creating new models. (Maria Bonn and Mike Furlough edited an essay collection on this very subject, which is itself available via open access.)

illustrate what a Creative Commons license looks like
Creative Commons licenses provide digital projects and publications legal protections while promoting open access.

Additionally, the author in our agreement is tasked with choosing the type of Creative Commons license for their work and then to apply for that license. As stated on the Creative Commons organization’s website, “The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional ‘all rights reserved’ setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.”[1] These licenses allow copyright holders the ability to qualify how their work can be re-used while prioritizing greater access to the work.

Through creating this template and publishing the first work on Project Vox with a signed author agreement, I’ve gained insight into parts of DH publishing that I never previously considered, particularly related to process and documentation from the standpoint of a publisher. As DH projects continue to partner with libraries to facilitate hosting and digital publication, I hope to have more conversations about how different projects handle publication, if they have author agreements, and what processes they follow to make content accessible.

[1] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Liz Crisenbery is a PhD Candidate in musicology who studies early twentieth-century Italian opera, exploring the intersection of gender, politics, and music. Her dissertation examines masculine identities of fascist composers and reception of their operas during the height of Italian fascism. Other research interests include digital humanities, opera and media, and riot grrrl. During the 2018-19 academic year, Liz worked as project manager for Project Vox with the support of Bass Connections.

What to Read this Month: May 2019

We’re kicking off May with a short list of magical reads to celebrate the start of summer.
For more exciting reads, check out our Overdrive, New and Noteworthy, and Current Literature collections.


Enchantée by Gita Trelease.

A compellingly beautiful tale of magic, intrigue and deception, set against the backdrop of eighteenth-century Paris on the cusp of revolution.

Paris is a labyrinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible.

But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose – love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality or magic – before Paris burns.

For similar books, check out Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, and Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian.


City of Crows by Chris Womersley.

Set in seventeenth-century France – a country in the thrall of dark magic, its social fabric weakened by years of plague – Chris Womersley’s City of Crows is a richly imagined and engrossing tour de force. Inspired by real-life events, it tells the story of Charlotte Picot, a young woman from the country forced to venture to the fearsome city of Paris in search of her only remaining son, Nicolas. Fate (or coincidence) places the quick-witted charlatan Adam Lesage in her path. Lesage is newly released from the prison galleys and on the hunt for treasure, but, believing him to be a spirit she has summoned from the underworld, Charlotte enlists his help in finding her child.

Charlotte and Lesage – comically ill-matched but nevertheless essential to one another – journey to Paris, then known as the City of Crows: Charlotte in search of Nicolas, and Lesage seeking a fresh start.

Dazzlingly told, with humor and flair, City of Crows is a novel for readers who like their fiction atmospheric, adventurous, spine-tingling, and beautifully written. Pre-revolutionary France, with all its ribaldry, superstition, and intrigue is mesmerizing, and Charlotte Picot’s story – the story of a mother in search of her lost son – holds universal appeal.

Chris Womersley has also written The Low Road, Bereft, and Cairo. A collection of his short stories, A Lovely and Terrible Thing will be released in Australia this month.


Half-Witch by John Schoffstall.

In the world in which Lizbet Lenz lives, the sun still goes around the earth, God speaks directly to his worshippers, goblins haunt every cellar, and witches lurk in the forests. Disaster strikes when Lizbet’s father Gerhard, a charming scoundrel, is thrown into a dungeon by the tyrant Hengest Wolftrow. To free him, Lizbet must cross the Montagnes du Monde, globe-girdling mountains that reach to the sky, a journey no one has ever survived, and retrieve a mysterious book.Lizbet is desperate, and the only one who can help her is the unpleasant and sarcastic witch girl Strix. As the two girls journey through the mountains and into the lands of wonder beyond, on the run from goblins, powerful witches, and human criminals, Lizbet discovers, to her horror, that Strix’s magic is turning Lizbet into a witch, too. Meanwhile, a revolution in Heaven is brewing.

Half-Witch was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2018. Check out NPR’s Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction and Young Adult lists.


Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett.

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself – the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic – the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience – have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

One of my favorite authors, Tamora Pierce, remarks that Foundryside has “Complex characters, magic that is tech and vice versa, a world bound by warring trade dynasties: Bennett will leave you in awe once you remember to breathe!”


The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang.

Fallen prophet, master of the elements, and daughter of the supreme Protector, Sanao Mokoya has abandoned the life that once bound her. Once her visions shaped the lives of citizens across the land, but no matter what tragedy Mokoya foresaw, she could never reshape the future. Broken by the loss of her young daughter, she now hunts deadly, sky-obscuring naga in the harsh outer reaches of the kingdom with packs of dinosaurs at her side, far from everything she used to love.

On the trail of a massive naga that threatens the rebellious mining city of Bataanar, Mokoya meets the mysterious and alluring Rider. But all is not as it seems: the beast they both hunt harbors a secret that could ignite war throughout the Protectorate. As she is drawn into a conspiracy of magic and betrayal, Mokoya must come to terms with her extraordinary and dangerous gifts, or risk losing the little she has left to hold dear.

The Red Threads of Fortune is one of a pair of standalone introductions to JY Yang’s Tensorate Series, which Kate Elliott calls “effortlessly fascinating.” We have its twin novella, The Black Tides of Heaven.

 


April 2019 Collection Spotlight: Graphic Novels and Comics

This month’s Collection Spotlight shines a light on graphic novels and comics.  You will find a variety of graphic novels and comics from across our libraries on display.  Here are some examples:

Ms. Marvel, writer, G. Willow Wilson ; color artist, Ian Herring ; letterer, VC’s Joe Caramagna

 

 

 

I Kill Giants, [written by] Joe Kelly ; [art & design by] JM Ken Niimura

 

 

 

 

The Annotated Sandman,  by Neil Gaiman ; edited, with an introduction and notes by Leslie S. Klinger ; featuring characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg

 

 

Aya of Yop City, Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie

 

 

 

 

Wandering Son, [Shimura Takako ; translation, Matt Thorn]

 

 

 

 

French Milk, Lucy Knisley

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in finding out more details about finding graphic novels and comics in our collections, read on!

Comics and Graphic Novels in the Stacks

You can check out comics and graphic novels from our circulating collections.  We have comics and graphic novels scattered throughout our libraries, with most of them housed at Lilly Library on East campus.  You’ll find everything from The Walking Dead to Persepolis.

There are several ways to identify titles.  If you want to browse, relevant call number sections include PN6700-6790 and NC1300-1766.  You can do a title search in our library catalog for specific titles.  You can also use the subject headings Comic books, strips, etc. and graphic novels to discover more titles.

Manga

We have manga in the East Asian collection on the second floor of Bostock.  We hold about 600 titles in Japanese and 150 titles translated into English just in PN6790.J3 – PN6790.J34.  You can also find Korean manhwa in PN6790 K6 – PN6790.K64.  Popular titles held at Duke include One Piece, Dragon ballNarutoAstro Boy, as well as the complete works of Tezuka Osamu.

The Underground and Independent Comics Database

The Underground and Independent Comics database is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. It features the comics themselves along with interviews, commentary, and criticism. Includes artists such as Jessica Abel, Jaime Hernandez, Jason, Harvey Pekar, Dave Sim, and many more. There are comics from around the world, including Canada, France, Italy, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Korea, Japan.

Overdrive

We have just recently begun purchasing some comics for Overdrive!  More titles to come!

Rare and Original Issues at the Rubenstein Library

The Rubenstein’s comic collection spans many decades, publishers, and styles: from Golden Age Batman to modern graphic novels, and everything in between.

Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection

With more than 67,000 comic books from the 1930s to the 2000s, this is our largest collection.  All of the comic book titles are in the process of being added to the library catalog, so you will be able to search the catalog for your favorite superhero!   The titles currently available can also be found in the catalog by searching for “Edwin and Terry Murray Collection (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library).”   You can try searching by genres, such as “Detective and mystery comics” and  “Underground comics,” as well.

Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection

Contains thousands of additional comics and graphic novels with rich materials in international comics, especially Argentina and France, and comics created by women.  Find them in the Guide to the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection, 1938-2012.

 

In the meantime, check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins to find your next read!

Low Maintenance Book Club Reads David Sedaris!

Come laugh with Low Maintenance Book Club!  To close out the semester, we’ll be discussing three selections from David Sedaris’ newest collection of personal essays, Calypso: “Why Aren’t You Laughing?” “Now We Are Five,” and “A Number of Reasons I’ve Been Depressed Lately.”  Copies of this book are available for checkout from Duke University Libraries and Durham County Library.  We also have an audiobook through Overdrive.

Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Register for this discussion.  Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at aah39@duke.edu.

Duke Celebrates Frankenstein’s 200th Anniversary

Did you know that Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein turns 200 this year?  Duke University is celebrating in several ways.  First, the English department is partnering with our neighbors at UNC to participate in Frankenreads, a marathon reading of the text.  It will take place on Halloween in Allen 314, and you can register to read here.  You can also just come and enjoy the reading!

Here in the libraries our Collection Spotlight  on the first floor of Perkins Library near the Service Desk is devoted to all things Frankenstein.  See the bottom of this post for pictures of this display!  We are highlighting books about Frankenstein, works inspired by it, and books about some of the science around it (think anatomy and grave robbing).  And the spiders are free!  Here is a sample of some of the titles you will find:

Making the Monster: The Science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Mary Shelley, Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters

Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Science Fiction

Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film

Finally I will be writing a series of blog posts about Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and its legacy!  Follow along, if you dare!

What to Read this Month: September 2018

Looking for something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections!


Burger by Carol J Adams. The burger, long the All-American meal, is undergoing an identity crisis. From its shifting place in popular culture to efforts by investors such as Bill Gates to create the non-animal burger that can feed the world, the burger’s identity has become as malleable as that patty of protein itself, before it is thrown on a grill. Carol Adams’s Burger is a fast-paced and eclectic exploration of the history, business, cultural dynamics, and gender politics of the ordinary hamburger. You can read an excerpt of Burger here, and the author’s defense of the veggie burger here.

 


Buttermilk Graffiti : a Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New melting-pot cuisine by Edward Lee. American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavours. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories? A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. Listen to chef Edward Lee talk about his journey across America here.


Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is the groundbreaking moral examination of vegetarianism, farming, and the food we eat every day that inspired the documentary of the same name. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. You can read more about the book here.


Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating by Charles Spence. Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three? How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work? The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he’s stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience — how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations. You can read a review of the book here.


The Potlikker Papers : a Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge. Like great provincial dishes around the world, potlikker is a salvage food. During the antebellum era, slave owners ate the greens from the pot and set aside the leftover potlikker broth for the enslaved, unaware that the broth, not the greens, was nutrient rich. After slavery, potlikker sustained the working poor, both black and white. In the South of today, potlikker has taken on new meanings as chefs have reclaimed it. Potlikker is a quintessential Southern dish, and The Potlikker Papers is a people’s history of the modern South, told through its food. Beginning with the pivotal role cooks and waiters played in the civil rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South’s fitful journey from a hive of racism to a hotbed of American immigration. He shows why working-class Southern food has become a vital driver of contemporary American cuisine. You can read more about the book–and the complexities to telling history through food– here.


 A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine 1650-1800 by Susan Pinkard. Modern French habits of cooking, eating, and drinking were born in the ancien regime, radically breaking with culinary traditions that originated in antiquity and creating a new aesthetic. This new culinary culture saw food and wine as important links between human beings and nature. Authentic foodstuffs and simple preparations became the hallmarks of the modern style. Susan Pinkard traces the roots and development of this culinary revolution to many different historical trends, including changes in material culture, social transformations, medical theory and practice, and the Enlightenment. You can read more about Pinkard’s exploration of french culinary history here.

May 2018 Collection Spotlight: From Page to Screen

This month’s collection spotlight is “From Page to Screen,” where we are featuring books that have been turned into films or television shows in the last couple of years.  You can check out this display at the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins.  Here’s a brief selection of the titles you will find there:

You probably know that The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is now a Hulu television show, but did you also know that there was a 1990 film adaptation with scenes filmed here in Durham?

 

 

 


Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was adapted in 2015.  It stars some familiar faces, such as Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen, and features some beautiful scenery.  There was also an 1967 film adaptation.

 

 

 


The Price of Salt was adapted into the 2016 film Carol starring the Academy Award Winning Cate Blanchett.  It was published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan but was written by Patricia Highsmith (author of the classic The Talented Mr. Ripley, which was itself adapted in the 2000 film of the same name).

 

 


I Am Not Your Negro is an interesting case because while the text is from James Baldwin, it was compiled and edited together by the filmmaker Raoul Peck.  He worked with Baldwin’s published and unpublished work, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews to piece together the fulfillment of an idea of a book that Baldwin had envisioned about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King.  The resulting documentary was a powerful examination of race in American and garnered a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.


Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel was adapted into a 2017 film.  David Finkel is a MacArthur Fellow and Pultizer Prize winning reporter who embedded with the men of 2-16 after their deployment ended as a continuation of his work in the 2009 book The Good Soldiers.

 

 

 


You can find many of the films featured in our Collection Spotlight in our Lilly Library collection.

Click here, here, and here to see some of our previous Collection Spotlights.

Earning While They’re Learning: Up Late at Lilly Library

“Earning While They’re Learning” is an occasional series of stories celebrating our library student workers. The Duke University Libraries employ more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students every year, making us one of the largest student employers on campus.


Everyone’s got their “spot” on campus. It’s that place where you can step back from school work and daily stresses and find your zone. For Gauri Prasad, a senior majoring in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, that place is Lilly Library.

Since freshman year, Gauri has been a service desk assistant in Lilly. A typical night owl, you can usually find her working the latest of late-night shifts. She’s been specifically trained to close Lilly down, which means staying up until midnight on weekends and 4 a.m. every other night of the week.

Gauri doesn’t mind these late hours though, and has made some of her favorite memories alongside the rest of the closing shift staff.

“My favorite experiences at Lilly so far,” she remembered, “have come from working with the security guard, Lonnie Williams. He is one of the nicest people and was always ordering us pizza, sharing popcorn, or asking me for my “expert” engineering help in fixing his computer or phone.”

“I love Lilly because I love the people.” Gauri said. Whether she is sharing snacks and conversation with Lonny, helping students check out a DVD on Saturday nights, or interacting with faculty, Gauri enjoys being able to help people through positive social interactions.

It goes both ways, too. While she is manning the desk and supporting library patrons, she feels equally supported by her supervisors behind the scenes. For the past four years, she’s loved knowing that come Halloween and Valentine’s Day they will be there with a bag of candy or other treats.

“The entire staff is great: supportive, sweet, and thoughtful. They go above and beyond to try to make my experience better.”

Even off the clock, she feels most comfortable in Lilly. She loves hanging out in the lobby area, taking in the background noise, and studying in a space she knows so well and where everyone knows her well, too.

Reflecting at the end of our interview, she laughed a bit and said, “I think Lilly is the one place where I don’t just interact with engineers.”

For Gauri, Lilly is more than just her workplace. It’s home base.


About this Series: Students like Gauri are an indispensable part of our library workforce. Their employment provides Duke students with valuable financial aid to support their education, and they learn useful skills that enhance their academic studies and careers after college. This year, to encourage senior giving to the Libraries, George Grody (Associate Professor of Markets and Management Studies) has set up the Grody Senior Challenge. Every gift made by the Class of 2018 to the Libraries Annual Fund will be matched by Professor Grody. All funds will directly support library student workers who provide research and instructional help.

Earning While They’re Learning: Lessons Learned at the Rubenstein

Sophomore Gretchen Wright in the Rubenstein Library stacks.

“Earning While They’re Learning” is an occasional series of stories celebrating our library student workers. The Duke University Libraries employ more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students every year, making us one of the largest student employers on campus.


An undeclared sophomore with an interest in English and Classical Studies, student worker Gretchen Wright has found a whole new outlet for her passion for research and the humanities through the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Two hours a day, five days a week, this is where you’ll find Gretchen hard at work among the books she loves—shelving, sorting, and checking out the centuries-old manuscripts that have transformed her journey through Duke over the past two years.

“There are always things that are interesting to me,” Gretchen gushed when asked about her experience in the Rubenstein. “I like books, I like libraries, I like organizing things… I love it. It’s a great place to work!”

With an obvious excitement for history and literature, Gretchen never seems at a loss to find something to marvel at when she gets started talking about her work. Small wonder, too—Gretchen has interacted with some of the rarest, most engaging works in the world in her time at the Rubenstein. First edition Walt Whitman poems, complete with handwritten notes and edits; 16th-century prints of the Malleus Maleficarum, the first-ever witch-hunting manual; written exchanges between Alexander Hamilton and any number of people mentioned in the modern showstopper musical—Gretchen is working with documents that have changed the course of history, and her work at the Rubenstein remains a major source of inspiration for the research her classes often require of her.

“Duke has such a great collection of libraries, and the resources available are incredible,” Gretchen said. “Even though I work at the Rubenstein, we’re constantly interacting and touching and feeling books that I didn’t even know we had.”

Knowing about the documents available to her through the Rubenstein had a major influence on Gretchen. In her poetry class’s final project last fall, for instance, she incorporated a collection of late 19th-century photographs of Durham into a piece on the parallels between history and poetry. The semester after that, she enrolled in a course on the history of the book—held in the Rubenstein itself!

And although she’s not entirely certain where she wants to go in the future, Gretchen’s work in the Libraries has had a clear impact on the path she sees herself pursuing.

“I’ve definitely thought about going into library sciences as a career,” she said. “That’s definitely a possibility I could see myself going into.”

Overall, Gretchen seemed amazed at how much her perspective on research has changed since she began work in the Rubenstein. Before coming here, she had no idea how real and how powerful research in the humanities could be. Her work in the Libraries continues to thrill, challenge, and intrigue her, and the lessons she has learned here have changed her perspective on research forever.

“There’s so much, so many different directions you can take research of any particular topic,” Gretchen said. “Even if you spend hours and hours every day in the library, there will always be something else that you can look at—and I think that’s really great.”


About this Series: Students are an indispensable part of our library workforce. Their employment provides Duke students with valuable financial aid to support their education, and they learn useful skills that enhance their academic studies and careers after college. This year, to encourage senior giving to the Libraries, George Grody (Associate Professor of Markets and Management Studies) has set up the Grody Senior Challenge. Every gift made by the Class of 2018 to the Libraries Annual Fund will be matched by Professor Grody. All funds will directly support library student workers who provide research and instructional help.

Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Alyssa Wong

 

To help get us all in the mood for Halloween, The Low Maintenance Book Club will be reading stories by Alyssa Wong, a Chapel Hill, NC writer who writes fantasy and horror.  She has won several prizes, including a Nebula Award, a John W. Campbell Award, and a Locus Award!

We will be reading two short stories and a short comic: Hungry Daughters of Starving MothersThe Fisher Queen, and The Auntie.

 

Date: Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (note it’s an earlier start than previous discussions)

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Register for this discussion.  Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at aah39@duke.edu.

 

 

What to read this month

beachscene

I don’t know about you, but when it’s as hot as it’s been this week, all I want to do is stay inside in the air conditioning with a good book (assuming escaping to a lovely beach isn’t an option). If reading sounds good to you too, you might find some good titles in either our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections.

  1. The Queen of the Night by  Alexander Chee.  From a writer praised by Junot Díaz as “the fire, in my opinion, and the light,” a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman’s rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva .  You can read a NYT review here.
  2. Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton.  Do you enjoy historical fiction?  Then you might like this dramatization of the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when “being a writer” was not an option open to women.
  3. The Fugitives by Christopher Sorrentino, a National Book Award finalist. He has written a book that is a bracing, kaleidoscopic look at love and obsession, loyalty and betrayal, race and identity, compulsion and free.
  4. The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline is a not to be missed New York Times Bestseller.  This debut novel about the Manson family murders has had a lot of good reviews, such as this, this, and this.
  5. The After Party by Anton DiSclafani.  Looking for more of a traditional beach read?  The check out the book O Magazine describes as “One of the 3 Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down.”  This is the story of 1950s Texas socialites and the one irresistible, controversial woman at the bright, hot center of it all.

What to read this month

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Before you leave for Thanksgiving break, consider bringing home a book to read.  We’ve got a lot of great titles in New and Noteworthy and Current Literature.

  1. The League of Regrettable Superheroes : half-baked heroes from comic book history! by Jon Morris.  You know about Batman, Superman, and Spiderman, but have you heard of Doll Man, Doctor Hormone, or Spider Queen? In The League of Regrettable Superheroes , you’ll meet one hundred of the strangest superheroes ever to see print, complete with backstories, vintage art, and colorful commentary. So prepare yourself for such not-ready-for-prime-time heroes as Bee Man (Batman, but with bees), the Clown (circus-themed crimebuster), the Eye (a giant, floating eyeball; just accept it), and many other oddballs and oddities. Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The League of Regrettable Superheroes will appeal to die-hard comics fans, casual comics readers, and anyone who enjoys peering into the stranger corners of pop culture.
  2. Keep it fake : inventing an authentic life by Eric G. Wilson.  This is an interesting philosophical exploration of authenticity and how we invent versions of ourselves.  To learn more about it you may want to read this review or this podcast with the author.
  3. For anyone looking for a thriller to read over the break, you might want to try Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls.  Lee Child described this book as a “A stunning family tragedy and a hold-your-breath pedal-to-the-metal thriller magically blended by Karin Slaughter’s trademark passion, intensity, and humanity.  Certain to be a book of the year.”
  4. The gap of time : the Winter’s tale retold by Jeanette Winterson.  This book is the first in a new series called The Hogarth Shakepeare from Vintage books.  It is launching to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and will feature stand-alone retellings written by some of today’s leading authors, including Jeanette Winterson and Anne Tyler (who will be taking on The Taming of the Shrew).
  5. The pleasure of reading edited by Antonia Fraser and Victoria Gray.  This collection features essays from 40 authors, such as Margaret Atwood, J.G. Ballard, A.S. Byatt, Kamila Shamsie, Ruth Rendell, and Tom Stoppard, about what first made them interested in literature and in reading.  You can read some excerpts here.

360 Degrees of Art: An Edgefest Recap

 

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Starry Night

 

Last Thursday, we played host to Edgefest, an arts extravaganza that took advantage of the Libraries’ newest space, The Edge, by filling the walls with art. There was an amazing turnout, with hundreds of students flocking to sample the smorgasbord of tasty treats (everything from mocktails to cupcakes and mushroom sliders) and staying to add their own piece of whiteboard art.

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Just a few of the amazing creations we saw at Edgefest.

The walls of the Edge were covered from top to bottom with art–both doodles and masterpieces alike.  Duke’s unofficial artists had no shortage of creativity; from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to a full color map of Durham, Pacman to Pokémon; we saw all kinds of creations.

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The Poetry Fox types up a new poem for his latest patron.

The Poetry Fox (a local Durham writer who writes on the spot poetry based on a single word) cranked out poems all evening for many eager poetry enthusiasts. Student performers, including Inside Joke, #busstopguy, and DUI, entertained artists throughout the evening.

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A whiteboard rendering of a vintage book plate.

 

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2015

Lilly Library’s “Final Four” – Our Class of 2015

If you’ve been in Lilly Library  over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our four seniors: Natalie,  Steven, Victor and Kenai.  All of our seniors  have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus way back in August of 2011. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

Natalie Hall:

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Lilly Library’s Senior Natalie at the main desk
  • Hometown: Lansdale, PA (right outside of Philadelphia)
  • Academics: Public Policy Major
  • Activities on campus: Duke Chorale, and President of The Girls’ Club (a mentoring program serving middle school girls in Durham)
  • Favorite campus eatery/food: The Divinity School Cafe
  • Favorite off-campus eatery/food: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles
  • Hobbies or dream vacations: Hobbies are reading graphic novels, finding new music, watching YouTube videos; dream vacations in Istanbul, Hong Kong, and Prague

Q:  Why have you worked at Lilly Library for all 4 years?
A: ​I’ve chosen to work at Lilly for 4 years because of its atmosphere.  The patrons and staff at Lilly create a space where you can relax, be friendly, and open.  Although traveling from West can be a drag sometimes (especially with less buses on weekends), it’s always worth it!  Talking with staff, being with other Lilly student workers, and patrons is always a pleasure.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: I think my favorite part of working at Lilly is how friendly everyone is.  Rain or shine, busy or slow day, patrons and staff here are respectful and patient.  I don’t think there’s anything about Lilly that I particularly dislike!

Q: What is your favorite work duty at Lilly? Least favorite duty?

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Lilly’s Head of Access Services Yunyi with Natalie

A: My favorite duty is probably processing books–it’s a time where I can recharge.  My least favorite would have to be shelf-reading…sorry, Yunyi!

Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: I studied Chinese to fulfill my language requirement, so practicing speaking Chinese with Yunyi is something I’ll remember always.  Out of nowhere, Yunyi hurls questions at me in Chinese, and I often find  myself scrambling to respond!  Even so, I really appreciate her help–it definitely made me more comfortable in the classroom.

Q: What does a typical weekend shift look like for you? What  shift do you like most?
A: The typical weekend shift is pretty laid back.  I’ll first go to the Regulator Bookstore on 9th street to pick up the New York Times for Lilly.  Then I’ll come back to the library and work at the desk for most of the time.  I enjoy weekday shifts the most, because I feel like they are just busy enough where I don’t feel too overwhelmed.

Q: What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
A: At Lilly, the funniest thing that has happened to me recently is  getting to know our weekend security guard Patricia (she usually is at the desk on Saturdays).  Our conversations always make me laugh–last weekend she was helping me online shop for a graduation dress, and it was a lot of fun.

Q: What is your impression of Lilly’s film collection?  Any recommendations?
A: My overall impression of Lilly’s film collection is that it is very eclectic!  If I were to suggest a film, I would say you should check out the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A:  After graduation I plan on either participating in Teach for America, or working more policy/research orientated job in Washington, DC.

Q: What will you miss most about Lilly?
A: The staff, and just the feel of being there.

Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
A: My time at Lilly will help my with my multitasking skills, organization, and learning how to help people with any questions they have in a timely manner

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
A: Nothing too crazy…but if you are feeling tired and need a nap, don’t rule out the staff room couch (of course, never during your shift!)

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to  Natalie and our other seniors, treasured members of our Lilly “family”. We appreciate her good work and dedication to Lilly and wish her the best!