Two Library Dates to Remember This Spring

Aerial view of Lilly Library on Duke's East Campus.


The following email was sent by the Provost’s Office to all Duke University faculty on February 28, 2024.

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to notify you about some important developments in the Duke University Libraries, explain how they may affect you, and share information that will help minimize any disruptions to your teaching and research. For simplicity’s sake, you just have to remember two key dates.

April 1

This is the last date to submit library purchase requests this semester (ordinarily accepted through May). If you need us to purchase any materials for upcoming classes or research, particularly this summer, please let us know by April 1. Requests received after April 1 will not be processed until July. *

Why the change? We’re sunsetting an important back-end system our staff use to handle everything from checking out books to managing thousands of databases, online resources, and acquisitions. Although you’ll hardly notice any difference on your end, it will take us some weeks to fully deploy the new system, requiring a temporary pause on new orders.

What can you do? Let your subject librarian know of any purchase requests you have by Monday, April 1.

May 4

This is the last day of final exams. After finals end, Lilly Library on Duke’s East Campus will close for a long-planned renovation and expansion. Construction work will begin this summer and is expected to last two years, during which time Lilly will be closed and all staff and onsite materials will be relocated.

While Lilly’s closure is necessary, it will inevitably inconvenience some people and reduce the level of library services available to students and faculty on East Campus.

What do you need to know?

  • Lilly Library will close for renovation after the last day of final exams, Saturday, May 4.
  • In preparation, Lilly collections are already being moved to other locations. If you visit Lilly this semester, you may notice some empty shelves. Some materials are moving to Perkins and Bostock Libraries, while others are being relocated to offsite storage. Library staff are working hard to ensure that as much of Lilly’s collection as possible remains accessible throughout the renovation.
  • Books and other materials currently housed in Lilly will be temporarily unavailable while they are being moved.
  • During the renovation, Lilly’s staff will be relocated to Bishop’s House behind Bassett Residence Hall (formerly home to Duke Continuing Studies). Bishop’s House will serve as a temporary location for library services on East Campus (holds and reserves, check out, printing, scanning, etc.).
  • We will continue to deliver library materials to faculty offices on East Campus during the regular academic year, as usual. However, expect delays and disruption during May and June 2024, while we finish moving collections.

What can you do?

  • If there are any Lilly materials you may need for teaching or research, check them out now, or request to have the parts you need scanned before they become inaccessible.
  • During the renovation, visit our temporary location at Bishop’s House for library assistance.
  • Don’t forget Interlibrary Loan: Duke users can draw from a combined library collection of 90 million books and other materials from our peer institutions quickly and easily.
  • Visit the Lilly Project website to learn more about the renovation, see renderings and FAQs, and find out more.

As you might imagine, an undertaking of this size requires intensive effort by many staff across the library organization. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we get started on this long overdue and badly needed building transformation that promises to dramatically improve the student experience at Duke for generations to come.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Joseph A. Salem, Jr.
Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs


We will work to fulfill requests received after April 1 through our partners and interlibrary loan where we can.

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