Early mornings in the Gothic Reading Room, late-night coffee runs to von Der Heyden, maybe even a few minutes of shut-eye somewhere on the fourth floor of Bostock between class—there’s no denying that Duke students treat the Libraries like a second home.
This year for National Library Week (April 8-14), we wanted to celebrate our students’ daily devotion to our spaces by inviting them to send a postcard to friends and family from their “home away from home,” since they pretty much live here.
Throughout the week, we set up our own personal post office outside Perkins and Lilly libraries, stocked with all the necessities for correspondence: vintage-style postcards; an assortment of fountain pens and other old-fashioned writing implements; and, most important of all, free domestic and international stamps! We even had our own mailbox and sent the letters out the very next day.
Our Dukies couldn’t resist. Crowding around our station between classes, they wrote and mailed a total of 536 postcards, sending their library love across the world to thirty-seven different states and twenty-seven foreign countries.
Inspired by the old-school designs of the cards, and with a nod to our students’ more modern forms of communication, we also produced four geo-specific Snapchat filters for Perkins, Lilly, Bostock, and Rubenstein libraries. Over the course of the week, these were used almost 2,000 times—getting over 22,000 total views.
National Library Week is sponsored by the National Library Association and has been observed by libraries around the world since 1958. This year, we turned it into a week of fun and sentiment for the Libraries’ “residents,” as well as the families and friends on the receiving end of their handwritten greetings. Do the Libraries still feel like a second home to you? Show your appreciation by sending us a little fan mail!