Category Archives: My Duke Library

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2020: Noelle

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?

Our Student Assistants

Young woman waving in Lilly
Noelle Brings a Smile at Lilly Pop-Ups

Lilly Library is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during what used to be a normal semester, Lilly Library remains open for 129 hours each week AND hosts lots of outreach events in support of the First-Year Experience!

If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our seniors: Noelle, Sarah, Esha, Toni, and Jessica. Noelle is one of our seniors who worked at Lilly Library since her first year at Duke.

Our student assistants are an essential element in supporting their fellow “dukies”; their presence underscores  how welcoming and inclusive our libraries are to new students. Noelle’s creativity and enthusiasm in her role of support for student outreach  is appreciated. She welcomed students  and created promotional materials for events such as  First-Year Orientations, Blue Devil Days, was a member of the Libraries’ Student Advisory boards, and even shelved lots of journals (not quite as exciting, but still appreciated).

Commencement 2020 may be virtual, but our regard for our student assistants is very real and enduring.

Take this opportunity to acquaint yourselves with Noelle, one of our treasured Lilly Library Class of 2020.

Senior Noelle

Two young women holding a book
Noelle (r) and a friend Bookface at Blue Devil Days during American Library Week
  • Hometown: Baltimore, MD
  • Family/siblings/pets: 1 younger brother, 1 dog!
  • Academic major: Neuroscience and Computer Science
  • Activities on campus: Devils En Pointe, Momentum Dance Company, Duke Swing Dance, Career Ambassador, Undergraduate Library Board, and Working at Lilly!
  • Favorite on-campus activity, besides working at Lilly: Dance!
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Sleeping in  – haha
  • Favorite campus eatery: Div Cafe
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Mad Hatter’s

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: The Thomas Reading Room because I could easily fall asleep in those nice plushy chairs.

Q: Why have you worked at Lilly Library ever since your first year?
A: I love coming in and seeing everyone who works there! And I love to make buttons of course.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
A: I haven’t actually done this but it would be kind of fun to see if you could fit into the dumbwaiter. Wouldn’t suggest it though!

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: After graduation, I’ll be moving to Charlotte!

Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: The narwhal!

Dancer Noelle as photographed for Devils En Pointe (pc)

 

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

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2019-20: Toni

Meet a Vital Library Resource

Woman with miniature horse
Toni with Kiwi at Lilly’s Stampede of Love December 2019

Lilly Library is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during what used to be a normal semester, Lilly remains open for 129 hours each week, and 24/7 during reading period and final exams each semester.

Our student assistants are an essential element in maintaining a high level of service, and we want to introduce you to one of our Lilly alumni, Toni – a  December 2019 graduate who worked in Lilly Library throughout her Duke career.

If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen all of this year’s seniors: Toni, Jessica, Sarah, Esha,  and Noelle. Toni is one of our seniors who worked at Lilly Library since she arrived as wide-eyed First-Year student on East Campus way back in August of 2016. Toni graduated last December, but is an honorary member of this year’s Lilly class.

Take this opportunity to acquaint yourselves with Toni, one of our treasured Lilly seniors of this past academic year, albeit, technically, a treasured alumna of the Lilly Library Class of 2019!

Senior Toniya aka “Toni”

Tall stack of books on desk with woman
A tower of books is no match for Toni
  • Hometown: I moved a lot growing up because my dad is in the Army, but we currently live in Washington D.C.
  • Family/siblings/pets:
    My mom, my dad, my three siblings, and a very sassy chihuahua
  • Academic major: Psychology
  • Activities on campus: The Center for Race Relations, researcher in the Duke Hospital Psychiatric Department, Camp Kesem Counselor, Residential Assistant
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working at Lilly): Hanging out with my friends late at night in the Bryan Center
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Volunteering for the organization “A Helping Hand” (check them out online!)
  • Favorite campus eatery: Il Forno
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Dames Chicken and Waffles

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: Probably the Lilly staff lounge! It’s so cozy down there and we might find yummy leftovers.
Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie you’ve come across in Lilly?
A: There was a book called The Aesthetics of Ugliness that I remember seeing my first year.
Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: My favorite part is definitely the people there. The staff and patrons have all been such warm, genuinely caring, fascinating individuals. This has led to many amazing spontaneous conversations! My least favorite part about working at Lilly is probably finding shift coverage during a shift at a busy hour (evenings on a weekday, late night on a weekend, etc.)
Q: Why have you worked at Lilly Library ever since your first year?
A: The staff has been so kind to me and coming back every year has been the only consistent part my Duke experience year after year. Going into a space where people know your name and have seen you mature has been so comforting. In addition, Yunyi is probably the best supervisor and mentor ever!
Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: One time a student came in at 2 am on the day of spring LDOC. His eyes were very red and he seemed dazed (I won’t speculate as to why) and he walked up to the desk and stared at me for a solid two minutes while I repeated “Can I help you? Sir? Do you need assistance finding materials?…. Sir?”. FINALLY, he asked me “Do you have any books about…. Physics?” I told him we had physics textbooks and asked if he wanted a book to read for class or as leisure reading. His response was “it’s for fun…. Thank you” then he promptly walked out the door before I could respond.
Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
A: One time during a reading period over-night shift, I texted this guy I liked at the time to come and keep me company behind the desk for a bit (DEFINITELY against the rules, but the things we do for love. Am I right?). He came over to Lilly at about 1:30 am and he stayed and talked to me until I forced him to go to bed around 7:45am (so basically the whole shift). It was very sweet, wholesome, but also super risky given one of the librarians could have came in early and saw him!
Q: What was closing Lilly late at night like? Eerily empty, people reluctant to leave, unexpected people?
A: I won’t change my answer now to my least favorite part of working at Lilly, but clearing people out at 4 a.m. was the WORST. People get so testy when you ask them to leave or remind them of closing soon. I’m always so grateful Lonny (the night shift guard, I heart you Lonny!) is usually willing to round up stragglers. Also, one of my most niche fears was that someone secretly lives in the basement of Lilly and they were going to pop up somewhere unexpectedly in the dark, eerie, basement at 4 am and attack me. I think if someone (or thing) lives down there, they’re too scared of Lonny to show their face.
Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
A: I created an online library catalog system at a non-profit I interned at a couple summers ago which kind of kick started me using the skills I’ve picked up here in all of my other jobs. I’ve learned how to talk to literally anyone and learn how to operate computer systems and data systems swiftly which will help me in whatever else I find myself doing later on in life!
Q: What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate?
A: Definitely the staff and the way feeling of security I felt working there. I had been performing the same tasks for four years and it’s nice to be able to zone out doing something familiar.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I will be completing a pre-medical post baccalaureate program at Bryn Mawr College in the fall before applying to medical school next year!
Q: What is your spirit animal? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about Lilly, did you?
A: A panda because I’m usually very mellow and unassuming. But I could actually bite your head off if I wanted to.

Graduation in December meant Lilly Library had to say farewell to Toni as an employee, but we treasure her as a member of our Lilly forever “family”. We appreciate her stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish her all the best!

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2020: Esha

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?

Lilly’s Senior Student Assistants

Young woman with miniature horse
Lilly Senior Esha with Kiwi at Lilly’s Stampede Of Love Study Break

Lilly Library is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community (during what used to be a “normal” semester), Lilly Library remains open for 129 hours each week! Our student assistants are an essential element in maintaining a high level of service, and we want to introduce you to one of our “Class of 2020” – seniors who have worked in Lilly Library throughout their Duke careers. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our seniors: Esha, Jessica, Sarah, Toni, and Noelle. Esha is one of our seniors who worked at Lilly Library since she arrived as wide-eyed First-Year student on East Campus way back in August of 2016.
Commencement 2020 may be virtual, but our regard for our student assistants is very real and enduring. Take this opportunity to acquaint yourselves with Esha, one of our treasured Lilly Library Class of 2020.

Senior Esha

  • Hometown: Charlotte, NC
  • Family/siblings/pets: 1 older brother, no pets
  • Academic major: Economics and Political Science
  • Activities on campus: RA (N1 and Craven), Resident
  • Assistant Leadership Council, ULAB, Senior Giving Challenge
  • Favorite on-campus activity, besides working at Lilly: Being an RA!
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Getting ice cream at the Parlour
  • Favorite campus eatery: Sazon
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Bali Hai
Two women students holding plaque
Lilly’s Class of 2020 Esha and Sarah

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: Green couches in Perkins first floor because they are so comfy!

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie you’ve come across in Lilly?
A: There were so many but a single one doesn’t come to mind right now!

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: Favorite part is working with the librarians because they are so nice/helpful, and fun to have random conversations with. Least favorite is when I have to check in/out 20+ books on my own.

Q: Why have you worked at Lilly Library ever since your first year?
A: I love working at Lilly because everyone is so friendly! They make you want to keep coming back.

Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: Having to check in two FULL-SIZED suitcases full of books by myself. I think I checked in at least 50 books!

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
A: Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything crazy in Lilly.

Q: What was opening an empty (or at least, it was supposed to be empty) Lilly like? Eerie?
A: I worked the Sunday morning shift, which was really nice because there were very few people (unless it was midterm/finals season), so everything was calm and quiet. I absolutely LOVED working Sunday mornings!!

Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
A: Working at Lilly taught me to be organized and be better at time management, which is super useful no matter where I end up after leaving.
Q: What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate?
A: I will definitely miss the librarians the most!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Who knows!

Q: What is your spirit animal? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about Lilly, do you?
A: Definitely an elephant

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

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2020: Jessica

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?

Lilly’s Senior Student Assistants

One of Lilly’s Class of 2020 – Jessica

Lilly is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during what used to be a normal semester, Lilly Library remains open for 129 hours each week! Our student assistants are an essential element in maintaining a high level of service, and we want to introduce you to one of our “Class of 2020” – seniors who have worked in Lilly Library throughout their Duke careers. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our seniors: Jess, Sarah, Esha, Toni, and Noelle. Jessica is one of our seniors who worked at Lilly Library since she arrived as wide-eyed First-Year student on East Campus way back in August of 2016.
Commencement 2020 may be virtual, but our regard for our student assistants is very real and enduring.

Take this opportunity to acquaint yourselves with Jessica, one of our treasured Lilly Library Class of 2020.

Senior  Jessica

Student with 3D Scanner
A model student: Jessica demos a 3D Scanner for a Lilly Library Facebook post
  • Hometown: Glen Rock, NJ
  • Family/siblings/pets: I have one younger brother
  • Academic major: Statistics and Computer Science
  • Activities on campus: Marching & Pep Band
  • Favorite on-campus activity, besides working at Lilly: Playing with the band at basketball games
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Used to be going for cheese and chocolate fondue at the Little Dipper on Ladies’ Night (it’s now closed though)
  • Favorite campus eatery: Div Cafe
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Sushi Love

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: I would say the armchairs in the Thomas Reading Room. It has a very pleasant, relaxing atmosphere, and I’m pretty sure I’ve already taken accidental naps there while doing homework.

Q: What’s the most interesting book you’ve come across in Lilly?
A: The most interesting book I came across at Lilly was a photography book about Jim Marshall. Someone had just returned it and I flipped through all the photos before putting it in the bin of Perkins books.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: I loved having time to put down the rest of my schoolwork and thinking about something else for at least a short while. I always found the tasks at Lilly like shelving books and processing holds to be quite satisfying. I don’t think I had a least favorite part!

Q: Why have you worked at Lilly Library ever since your first year?
A: I thought about switching to Perkins after freshman year, but then I wouldn’t get to see Yunyi every week!

Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: It’s not one specific memory, but because I’m in the band, a lot of the staff would chat with me about Duke football and basketball with me, especially Yunyi. I always knew that if the basketball team lost, I would get a chance to vent and complain about the team at my next shift. I will never forget how excited the staff always was for me when I got to travel with the teams for tournament games.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
A: It’s not super crazy, but the few times I had to shelve books or straighten the stacks on the 4th level and no one was around, I would listen to music and dance to myself as I worked.

Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
A: Lilly provided the first customer service-related job I’ve ever had, and my time at Lilly certainly helped me develop skills in that area, especially with continuing to be polite even when patrons were not (although that was quite rare to encounter). It also helped me with organization, multitasking, and adaptability, skills translatable into all kinds of fields.

Q: What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate?
A: I will definitely miss Yunyi and the other librarians/staff members the most.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I will be working as a Data Scientist for a start-up in New York City.

Q: What is your spirit animal? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about Lilly, did you?
A: Always a tough question, but I guess a cat?

Student
Lilly Senior Jessica

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

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2020 – Sarah

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?

Lilly’s Senior  Student Assistants

woman looking at stacks of books
Many “happy” book returns greet Lilly Senior Sarah

Lilly is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during what used to be a “normal” semester, Lilly Library remains open for 129 hours each week! Our student assistants are an essential element in maintaining a high level of service, and we want to introduce you to one of our “Class of 2020” – seniors who have worked in Lilly Library throughout their Duke careers. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

If you’ve been in Lilly Library over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our seniors: Jessica, Sarah, Esha, Toni, and Noelle. Sarah is one of our seniors who worked at Lilly Library since she arrived as wide-eyed First-Year student on East Campus way back in August of 2016.

Commencement 2020 may be virtual, but our regard for our student assistants is very real and enduring. Take this opportunity to acquaint yourselves with Sarah, one of our treasured Lilly Library Class of 2020.

Senior Sarah

Woman sitting in front of pumpkins
Sarah at the North Carolina State Fair
  • Hometown: Flower Mound, Texas (north of Dallas)
  • Family/siblings/pets: Mom, Dad, younger sister (in her first year of college)
  • Academic major: Biomedical Engineering
  • Activities on campus: Club Swimming, Sport Clubs Executive Board, RA (in Neighborhood 1 on East, then in Crowell/Wannamaker), former FYLAB / UAB member
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working at Lilly): Swimming with Club Swim!
  • Favorite off-campus activity: I love going to sporting events, and my favorite annual event to attend since I have moved here for college is the North Carolina State Fair.
  • Favorite campus eatery: Pitchforks (nothing beats 24-hour service)
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: The Pit (BBQ)

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: Probably the Thomas Room, because it has really comfy chairs and the doors on both ends lock so I would feel safer…

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie you’ve come across in Lilly?
A: I can’t think of a specific strange example right now, but a special DVD to me is DVD 30,000 (The Princess Bride) which the class of 2020 got to pick!

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: My favorite part is all the librarians that have been so kind and supportive to me during my time working at Lilly. I always feel so welcome in the library and it became a sort of safe haven for me during my time at Duke. My least favorite part is walking through the library at closing time, because it’s dark and I keep thinking someone will jump out at me and scare me. Also, having to drive back to west campus at 4am.

Q: Why have you worked at Lilly Library ever since your first year?
A: Because of the librarians! I started working at Lilly my first year because I really loved libraries and reading throughout my childhood and had volunteered at my public library in high school. I chose to stay throughout the years (even during the time I spent living on West Campus) because of the friendships I made with the people I worked with and because of the increased trust that everyone placed in me.

Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: The little things the staff did for the student workers to make us feel appreciated – candy for every Halloween and Valentine’s Day, and student worker lunches at the end of every semester during Finals week. Even though after my first year I knew these things were coming, they were still always a nice surprise.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly? A: I don’t know how crazy this is, but I’ve definitely fallen asleep at the desk while working the late night shift a few times more than I’d like to admit…

Q: What was closing, or opening an empty (or at least, it was supposed to be empty) Lilly like? Eerily empty, people reluctant to leave, unexpected people?
A: I worked a closing shift every week for the last three years I worked at Lilly, and most of the time people filtered out on their own within five minutes of closing time (even if they didn’t want to). I did sometimes get some interesting people that would filter through the building or have strange requests of me (for example, one time I got a call from a father who wanted me to find his daughter in the building and give her a message – but didn’t even know if she was actually at Lilly). Most of the time, though, the only spooky part was walking through the library alone and hoping no one was staking out to scare me. I only worked opening shifts at Lilly every once in a while, but it was always nice to come into an empty, quiet building and get to watch the early risers trickle in!

Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
A: Lilly has taught me a lot of lessons about how to serve others and how to be a go-getter. Working behind the desk in particular has built a lot of confidence for me in talking to people I don’t know and helping to serve them. As an engineer, I might not always be in a customer-facing position, but having that experience will certainly give me a boost over those who are not as comfortable working in service roles.

Q: What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate?
A: Both the librarians, who have always been so nice to me, and the space as I remember it in my head. I know with renovations coming to Lilly in the future that when I come to visit as an alum, I might no longer be able to walk around the space knowing exactly where everything is. I will miss that feeling of knowing a place so well.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: This summer I will be interning at Garmin International in Cary, NC to complete my internship requirement for the Master of Engineering program at Duke, and then I will graduate from Duke again in May of 2021!

Q: What is your spirit animal? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about Lilly, did you?
A: My favorite animal is a monkey so I will go with that!

Sarah and her Club Swim teammates

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Sarah and our other seniors, treasured members of our Lilly “family”. We hope to see Sarah while she continues her graduate studies at Duke next year, even if she no longer works with us. We appreciate her stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish her all the best!

My Duke Library: Andrea Kolarova’s Perspective

Hello! My name is Andrea Kolarova and I am graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Science (2020). During my three and a half years at Duke thus far, I have traveled all around the world, meeting new people and exploring unique ecosystems.

My main areas of interest are within ecology and conservation science. I am an avid reader, rock climber, and music lover. No matter where I have gone or where my interests have taken me, the Duke library system has followed me, supporting all my adventures!

How has the library impaDuke senior Andie Kolarovacted your Duke experience?

The libraries at Duke have been an integral part of my experience at Duke. During my four years, I’ve used the libraries in a variety of ways: there are study spaces for group projects or focused reading, textbooks on reserve, movies to rent, and seemingly limitless books. The librarians have also been an important part of my education — they’ve assisted me in getting the resources I need for my research projects, even when I was living way out in Beaufort!

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library or library’s collections?

The Duke Archives are such an interesting corner of the library system! My freshman year, I found out that we have a large collection of third wave feminist zines. It’s incredible to see and feel the original creations of folks from an era that excites my interest and admiration.

What’s a favorite space or service? And why?

Even though I’m now a senior, I sometimes return to Lilly Library to study with my little sister. I enjoy coming back to where my Duke journey began, especially in the big rooms with long tables and desk lamps.

Andie’s library pro tip:

Get to know your librarians! They are friendly, knowledgeable, and here to help you! They can assist you in using the inter-library loan system or familiarize you with the databases the university is subscribed to. Being a part of the Duke library system opens you up to an incredible breadth of material — take advantage of it!

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department

My Duke Library: Boyang Zhang’s Perspective

Boyang Zhang, who is from a small city in Northern China, is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering. His research interests are in the safe guidance and control of multiple agents, such as autonomous ground vehicles and unmanned quadrotor aerial vehicles, in dynamic and uncertain environments.


How has the library impacted your Duke experience?

I have found that Duke University Libraries offer many useful resources and tools to assist me in my research. They also provide a friendly and welcoming environment, and I thoroughly enjoy studying and researching there.

Boyang stands in front of the writings of one of his favorite authors, Jin Yong
Boyang stands in front of the writings of one of his favorite authors, Jin Yong (金庸)

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library or library’s collections?

I’ve had many pleasant experiences in the library, including its free access to numerous online research databases, notably IEEE, Web of Science, and Science Direct, that I can search and from which I can instantly download relevant articles. Moreover, it offers a variety of interesting and helpful workshops such as how to use the citation management software EndNote and how to find suitable journals to publish my research work. I’ve also enjoyed participating in advanced lectures on machine learning and data visualization in The Edge.

What’s a favorite space or service? And why?

I greatly appreciate the document delivery and interlibrary loan services. The libraries locate books and articles I request and deliver them directly to me in a timely manner. 

Boyang’s library pro tip:

Don’t hesitate to ask for help! The librarians are friendly and supportive, and are always willing to help.

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department.

My Duke Library: Zhuoyu Li’s Perspective

Zhuoyu Li is a first year master’s student in the Electrical & Computer Engineering program at Pratt. She came from Taiyuan, China a month ago to study at Duke. She instantly connected to the Duke University Libraries because of her love of libraries and books.


Zhuoyu enjoys a jigsaw puzzle at the Oasis on the fourth floor of Perkins Library.

How has the library impacted your Duke experience?
I’ve been at Duke for only a few weeks, but I’ve already found that the Perkins and Bostock Libraries are amazing places to study and get help with research. I am glad that I came to Duke.

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library?
I’ve realized that the library isn’t limited to self-study space. The Libraries provide so much more than just study space and books. I’ve found exhibit galleries, the OIT service desk, multimedia project studio, group study rooms, and meditation rooms, places where I can meet, study, and take a break from studying.

What’s a favorite space or service? Why?
It is challenging to pick only one. I love Oasis! It is a space on the fourth floor of the Perkins Library where I can relax from studying and enjoy puzzles.

Zhuoyu’s Pro Tip
Enjoy the sunshine and warmth in a comfy chair on the bridge between the Perkins and Bostock Libraries.

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department.

My Duke Library: Christine Wei’s Perspective

Christine Wei is majoring in Public Policy with a minor in Education. About her Duke experience she says, “Duke’s been a big part of my life since 2013; I was originally in the Class of 2017 and had to take two years off because I went through a mid-college-career crisis. Since then, I’ve shifted my priorities to put health first ahead of everything else and found myself happier and healthier than before. The only project I’ve been working on is a kindness and happiness-based one. I try to look for one to three positive moments in each day and document those to focus more on the positive rather than the negative, particularly in a world dominated by tragic news.”


How has the library impacted your Duke experience?

Librarians have helped me with my research in almost every class. I’ve needed to access databases and refine searches for peer-reviewed articles and more. Duke Libraries also offered employment through my work-study, and that’s been helpful beyond words.

Duke student Christine Wei in Perkins Library

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library?

I’ve rediscovered my innate curiosity for the way things work and why things are the way they are. For instance, I haven’t taken many natural science courses since high school, so learning more about popular science can be eye-opening.

What’s a favorite space or service? And why?

I love talking to librarians by the Perkins Service Desk. Doing so reminds me I’m always a part of something more and that collaboration trumps competition every time.

Christine’s library pro tip:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You’ll often find more than you expected.

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department.

My Duke Library: Elizabeth Smithwick’s Perspective

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Smithwick and I’m from Jacksonville, Florida. I am a senior at Duke studying chemistry. My undergraduate thesis focuses on calculating the redox potentials of iron-sulfur proteins. After graduation, I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Outside of school I enjoy hiking, painting, and reading science fiction. My favorite book currently is The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin.


How has the library impacted your Duke experience?  

For me, the libraries have always been a place to connect with other people while also tackling my courses at Duke. In contrast to being in my room studying all the time, I feel a sense of camaraderie with my peers in the library that I don’t always feel in other spaces at Duke. I am reminded that everyone here at Duke is working hard to do their very best.

Duke senior Elizabeth Smithwick

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library? 

My sophomore year I was enrolled in an Italian Renaissance art history class and as a research project, we were assigned to investigate an obscure Italian painter. For the painter I received, Marco Basaiti, the amount of information online was sparse, and I was unsure where to go next. Thankfully I was able to find a few physical books on art in the Renaissance that made brief mention to Marco Basaiti in the collection at Lilly library which opened a few more avenues of investigation. Specifically it was a book of drawings by old masters that led me to a few of his more well-known contemporaries that allowed me to find more material on Basaiti himself. Most of the research I had done in the past had mainly been in the form of online journal articles so exploring the stacks in Lilly was a novel experience and gave me a much greater appreciation for the large collection Duke already possesses.

What’s a favorite space or service? And why?

My favorite service of the library is the Document Delivery Service. The ability to access almost any scientific article reasonably quickly and easily is an extremely powerful tool and one I wouldn’t know what to do without.

Elizabeth’s library pro tip: 

Reach out to the librarians for research help with class projects and independent studies. Odds are they know of something that will help make research easier or more efficient. I know my life was forever changed as soon as I learned about EndNote which is a way to manage references for papers.

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department.

My Duke Library: Tyler Chery’s Perspective

Tyler Chery is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering and Religion.


How has the library impacted your Duke experience?

Ironically, I have never thought of myself as a “library person.”  I always appreciated the “college feel” that university libraries provide, but I never truly believed that I would identify with such a stressful and business-oriented establishment.  This all changed when I first discovered the wonders of The Link during the second semester of my freshman year.

Duke student Tyler Chery

Every Monday and Wednesday after my 8:30 am EGR 121 lecture I would commandeer group study room 11, grab a huge bean bag, and sleep like a baby until my next class. I still remember the awkward looks I would get as people walked into the study room only to find me sprawled on the floor knocked out. On Fridays I would return and crank out hours of homework before the weekend began. The Link became my productivity secret. 

As sophomore year rolled around I challenged myself to find all the nooks and crannies of Perkins and Rubenstein. Now, as a junior I consider myself to be an expert at finding study (and sleep) spaces in Perkins, Rubenstein, Bostock, and even Lilly on East Campus. In addition, I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the library staff now that I have a work-study job in the collections department of Perkins. I practically spend half of my time in the library these days.

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library?

RESERVE TEXTBOOKS! I literally checked out a reserve textbook 20 minutes before taking one of the rare open-book examinations in all of my time here at Duke. I still remember reading off a few exam answers word for word in the text.

Also, I highly recommend going on the Duke Libraries website and taking the time to search for online resources and databases before wasting your time on Google when writing essays. I have found some serious gems for my religious studies papers just by searching the online catalog.

What’s a favorite space or service? And why?

The Link!  Naps, vending machines, technology support; it has everything you need to complete an abundance of work over the course of one day. I have spent hundreds of hours in there.

Tyler’s library pro tip:

If you are someone who supposedly can only study in your room, or where no one else is watching, I challenge you to try any of the above locations that I have mentioned. You may feel uncomfortable for the first 30 minutes but eventually you will realize that you cannot afford to watch an hour of YouTube videos if everyone else around you is doing actual work.

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department.

My Duke Library: Tyler Goldberger’s Perspective

Tyler Goldberger is a senior studying History, Spanish, and Jewish Studies. He’s writing his double honors thesis on Spain’s difficulty in commemorating all of the victims of the Spanish Civil War and Francoism dictatorship and the work of the Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica to actively confront this history. Tyler recently authored the Duke Chronicle editorial Confronting Being a Low SES Student At Duke.


How has the library impacted your Duke experience?

The Duke Libraries have provided me with incredible opportunities to perform well in my classes and conduct research. As a low SES (socioeconomic status) student, I thought I would struggle with purchasing the necessary books to excel in my coursework. However, through the help of the librarian staff and search queries, I have never had to pay for a textbook, reducing my financial burden and allowing me to concentrate fully on my classes. Through the library system, especially through the ILL opportunity, I have also been able to retrieve necessary primary and secondary sources for various research projects over my four years. Duke Library System has greatly enhanced my academic journey, and I am so thankful for all of the resources it has provided me.

What’s something you’ve discovered in the library?

The library has allowed me to really learn what research is all about. Before entering the library, my vision of research was limited to high school experiences that really just made me synthesize secondary sources. Once coming to Duke, I have realized that research is alive, especially with the incredible resources provided by Rubenstein. I have had the opportunity to engage with local election results in Durham, abolitionist pamphlets from the 19th century, human rights policy in Spain, and so much more!

What’s a favorite space or service? And why?

The Chat a Librarian function on library.duke.edu has been extremely helpful. There have been many times when I am stuck somewhere but need to know the various resources that exist at the library. This service has saved me time and has helped me locate great sources for a project or personal research.

Tyler’s library pro tip

Utilize the specialist librarians. They will help you formulate questions and find resources for your next great research project!

My Duke Library is a project of the Research and Instructional Services department