Frequently Asked Questions

We will be updating these FAQs and adding to them as the project gets under way. Check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

1. What is the Lilly Project?

The Lilly Project is the renovation and expansion of the Lilly Library building. Centrally located on East Campus, Lilly Library serves all segments of the Duke community. Our mission in support of academic excellence means that we must provide a twenty-first-century research experience whether we’re serving first-year students, undergraduate and graduate students, or faculty and staff.

However, simply put, Lilly Library is outdated in terms of technology and facilities. The challenges presented by our 1927 building require extensive upgrades in our infrastructure, but they also provide an opportunity to expand and enhance Lilly Library as we enrich East Campus.

2. Who are the architects?

To accomplish our vision, we’re working with the architectural firm Dewing Schmid Kearns. Several members of the design team have also worked on previous library projects at Duke, including the construction of Bostock Library and the von der Heyden Pavilion, the renovation of Perkins Library, and the Rubenstein Library renovation.

3. How long will the renovation take?

Once construction gets under way, we expect the library will reopen after 18 to 24 months.

4. Where will everything—all the books, films, staff, and furniture—go?

Our books, films, and journals have to be somewhere, and most will be moved to the Library Service Center (LSC) or to shelves in Perkins Library.

Lilly’s staff will continue to support library operations, but most will maintain offices elsewhere.

As for Lilly’s distinctive furnishings and art, they will be held in storage until the building reopens.

5. Because Lilly Library will be closed, what library services will remain on East Campus?

After the building closes, Lilly Library will maintain a presence on East Campus on the first floor of Epworth Residence Hall. The scheduling details will be updated. Note that this location will serve mainly as an access and delivery point for requests, with some technology such as ePrint and scanning, as well as course reserves. The Duke Music Library on East Campus remains available for broader library services.

6. How can I get books or films that I used to get at Lilly?

The good news is that library users can still get books, films, and journals. Just look things up in the online catalog as always, and the current location will display. You may have the option to request materials to be picked up at various library service points.

7. What will the impact of the Lilly Project be on other East Campus facilities?

Are you talking about the tennis courts? Everyone is asking about the tennis courts! Some of the tennis courts behind Lilly Library will be unavailable during phases of construction. More details to come.

There will also be some impact on the parking lot behind Pegram Dormitory designated as East Gated 2. Other parking remains available on East Campus.

Other services in Lilly will relocate to other buildings on East Campus. The Innovation Co-Lab 3D printers will be relocated temporarily to Wilson Dormitory, and the Value Transfer Station will be located in the East Campus Union.

8. How much will the Lilly Project cost?

The total cost of the renovation and expansion is estimated to be $40-$50 million, which will largely be funded through philanthropy.

9. How can I support the Lilly Project?

To find out how you can support the renovation of Lilly Library, contact Tom Hadzor, Associate University Librarian for Development. We also invite you to see our naming opportunities for the planned renovation and expansion.

10. How can I learn more?

Check this website for regular news and updates! You can also follow Lilly Library on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


The Renovation and Expansion of Lilly Library