Category Archives: Spring / Summer 2023

Staff News

Libraries Announce Senior Leadership Appointments

Earlier this year, the Duke University Libraries announced two appointments to our senior leadership team, after dual national searches. Both will serve as members of the Libraries’ Executive Group, reporting to the University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs.

Jameca Dupree

Jameca Dupree has been named Associate University Librarian and Director of Financial and Facility Services. In this role, she will have overall responsibility for the financial affairs and administrative operations of the Libraries, overseeing a $36 million operating budget and providing leadership over a division that includes Business Services, Facilities and Distribution Services, and the Library Service Center.

Dupree has worked at Duke for twenty-one years, including seventeen in the Libraries, in progressively responsible administrative, budget, and financial oversight roles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College, and a MBA from Fayetteville State University—both of which she earned while working full-time in the Libraries.

Emily Daly

Dupree’s appointment coincides with another addition to the Libraries’ Executive Group. Emily Daly has been named Associate University Librarian for Research and Public Services. In this position, Daly will provide leadership, vision, and strategic direction to advance the core teaching, learning, and research services of the Libraries. The division she oversees is broadly responsible for providing individualized library help and outreach to students, faculty, university staff, and the general public. Research and Public Services includes Access and Delivery Services, the East Campus Libraries, International and Area Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering, and the Marine Lab Library.

In addition to her work in the Libraries, where she has served in both librarian and managerial capacities since 2006, Daly has an extensive record of service to Duke. She currently serves on the Master’s Advisory Council and has been an academic advisor to pre-major Duke undergraduates since 2010. Daly holds a bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina State University, and a master’s in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill.

New Residency Program Launched for Early Career Librarians

As part of our commitment to embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work, the Duke University Libraries has launched a new residency program for early career librarians. The program seeks to provide meaningful work placements in specialized fields of librarianship, aligning the professional goals of residents with the strategic goals of the Libraries. While learning on the job, residents will work with colleagues who are highly skilled in these specialized areas and receive relevant development and training.

As a member of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, the Libraries established the Residency Program as part of our organization’s commitment to “diversify and thereby enrich the profession” and “to build an inclusive organizational culture supportive of Black, Indigenous and People of color (BIPOC).”

The residency program guarantees professional development funding to residents to fund travel, conference attendance, presentations, and other activities related to skill-building and their ongoing career trajectories. Residents are placed intentionally with the goal of their positions becoming regular, ranked librarian positions if successful during their three-year terms.

We are happy to announce the appointments of our first two residents. Adhitya Dhanapal has been appointed as Resident Librarian for South and Southeast Asian Studies, effective December 1. And Zhou Pan will serve as Resident Librarian for Resource Description, effective August 14. We are delighted to welcome them both to Duke!

Duke Selects New Library Enterprise System

Although most library users won’t notice any difference, changes are coming to an important back-end system the Duke University Libraries uses to handle everything from checking out books to managing thousands of databases and online resources. Between now and summer 2024, we will sunset our legacy library enterprise system and transition to the Ex Libris Alma Library Services Platform.

Most large research libraries like Duke’s rely on various commercial and open-source software products to handle the everyday work of library staff, integrating systems for broad interoperability and accessibility while at the same time providing a high-quality user experience to library patrons.

While Duke has long contributed to the development of open-source library technologies (we were the founding institution of the Open Library Environment and a charter member of FOLIO), the decision to implement Alma was made after an extensive internal review of the specific library needs of the Duke community, including the separately administered libraries serving the schools of Business, Law, Divinity, and Medicine, as well as Duke Kunshan University Library. After evaluating financial considerations, impact on staffing, and the sustainability of wide-ranging library technology projects in which Duke has invested heavily, library leadership decided to move forward with Alma.

“We are in a better place today because of the contributions and work of our staff, who have laid the foundation for stronger, more sustainable library system at Duke,” said Joseph Salem, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. “These investments, collaborations, and projects have been worthwhile in preparing us for an impactful future serving the Duke community.”

“We have a notable history of innovation through leveraging and integrating multiple technology platforms for library users,” said Tim McGeary, Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies & Technology. “We remain proud of FOLIO, our contributions and collaboration, and of our colleagues that have fully implemented FOLIO.  We will work with the FOLIO community during this transition to minimize impact on leadership and staff collaboration, and we will fulfill the financial commitments we have made in shared development projects. We also remain proud of our partnership with Index Data, which will continue through hosting and supporting the Library Data Platform. Index Data’s dedication to FOLIO, Project ReShare, and open-source technology development in libraries is strong, and we look forward to future partnerships.”

Project plans for implementing Alma are being developed and will be communicated soon.

A Week in the Life of a Library Intern

By Jovana Ivezic, Senior Conservation Technician

This summer, the Libraries’ Conservation Services department was delighted to welcome to Duke our newest HBCU Library Alliance intern, Angela Nettles. Angela is a rising senior at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she is studying Africana Women’s Studies.

Intern Angela Nettles prepping exhibit gallery walls

The internship program, sponsored by the University of Delaware and the HBCU Library Alliance, places interested undergraduates from historically black colleges and universities with host institutions, where they learn hands-on library preservation skills under the mentorship of professional conservators and library staff. By providing students from HBCUs with specialized and marketable skills, the program ultimately aims to diversify the library profession.

Assisting with collection treatments in the Conservation Lab

After two years of conducting the internship online due to COVID, it was refreshing to have an intern onsite again, and Angela dove right into work. During her first week, she assisted the Libraries’ Exhibition Department with setting up our new exhibit in the Chappell Family Gallery, Mandy Carter: Scientist of Activism. From sanding walls to setting up exhibit cases and adjusting overhead lights, Angela eagerly took part in every step of the process. She also spent time in the Verne and Tanya Roberts Conservation Lab, learning about how conservators make treatment decisions for general collections, and even performing some treatments herself. Interns like Angela spend four weeks onsite at their host institutions, in addition to two weeks of virtual classes with their fellow interns around the country.

This is the fifth year Duke has participated in the HBCU Library Alliance Summer Conservation/Preservation Internship Program, and we look forward to seeing what else Angela will accomplish in her career!

In the News: MLK Discovery Makes Headlines

A new biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., contains an object lesson—with a Duke connection—on consulting the primary source.

While doing research for his new life of King, author Jonathan Eig made a significant discovery in the papers of Alex Haley held by Duke’s Rubenstein Library.

What he found was that a harsh and oft-quoted criticism King once leveled at Malcolm X had in fact been made up by Haley. The fraudulent quote has been widely circulated in print and taught in history classes, influencing perceptions of the two leaders for decades.

The source of the revelation is the original transcript of Haley’s interview with King, later published in Playboy in 1965. It was the longest interview King ever granted to any publication and extensively covers his thoughts on the Civil Rights Movement. Among other things, King never said he felt “Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice,” by employing “fiery demagogic oratory in the black ghettoes, urging Negroes to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence.” King did say some of those things at different points in the interview, but not in that context, and not directed at Malcolm X.

The finding, originally reported by The Washington Post, takes up only a paragraph in Eig’s book but may have profound implications. It is expected to reshape historians’ understanding of King’s and Malcolm X’s relationship and raise additional doubts about Haley’s credibility, which has come into question in recent years amid other allegations of plagiarism, fabrications, and manipulated quotes.

Honoring a Duke Trailblazer and LGBTQ+ Advocate

Duke students pose with Dr. Janie K. Long (center), who retired from Duke as Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education in 2020.

“A safe space for all,” reads a new plaque on the fourth floor of Perkins Library. Fitting words for someone who made countless students feel safe and seen during their time at Duke—Janie K. Long.

Dr. Long retired in 2020. She had worked at Duke since 2006, first as Director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, then as Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, making her arguably the most senior “out” administrator at Duke. For years, students consistently ranked her classes in Women’s Studies and Sexuality Studies among the university’s top 5 percent.

Today, thanks in part to Dr. Long’s efforts, Duke is a more inclusive and equitable environment for all. The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity—which Long led until 2014—now has a prominent location in the Bryan Center. Duke’s Lavender Graduation celebration for LGBTQ+ graduates—which Long established—and Duke’s annual National Coming Out Day celebration are both longstanding and beloved campus traditions.

Dr. Long speaking at the dedication ceremony of a Perkins Library study space named in her honor, April 2023.

After she retired, some of Dr. Long’s friends and former students began discussing how they could honor her many contributions to Duke. They soon found an enthusiastic partner in the Duke University Libraries.

“It is impossible to overstate the impact Janie has made on the hearts, minds, and lives of Duke students,” said Howard Menaker T’74, one of a small group of Duke alumni who organized the effort to celebrate her legacy. “We wanted to find a way to honor her in a permanent way, and the Duke Libraries offered a wonderful way to do so.”

Their plans finally came to fruition this past April, when friends and well-wishers gathered to dedicate a library study space in Long’s honor—the first in our history named for an LGBTQ+ Duke administrator. Her legacy of working for a more diverse and inclusive Duke will also live on through the Janie K. Long Lecture Series, a newly established speaker series focusing on topics of interest to queer communities and highlighting library collections on the history of women, gender, and sexuality.

The first talk in the series took place after the dedication ceremony, featuring a panel discussion on queer student activism at Duke. Panelists included Mandy Carter, Durham-based Black lesbian activist and the subject of our newest library exhibit in the Chappell Family Gallery; Angel Collie, Director of Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity; Liam Miranda T’16 SPP’21, Senior Director of Research and Training at the Inclusion Playbook; and Janelle Taylor T’19, Policy Consultant at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Duke students celebrate Coming Out Day 2015 on the Bryan Center Plaza, an annual campus tradition that Dr. Long helped start.

The panel was moderated by Steven Petrow T’78, contributing columnist for the Washington Post and author, who helped to raise funds for the study space and lecture series named in Dr. Long’s honor.

“Her story is really part of our story,” said Petrow, who befriended Long shortly after she came to Duke in 2006. “I was a history major at Duke, so I always believe in the importance of understanding our history to understand our present and perhaps better indicate where we are going. Janie Long is really fundamental to the history of LGBTQ+ individuals at Duke. I think it’s crucial that we remember her and her many contributions.”

What Students Are Saying About Lilly

Students study for finals in Lilly Library, April 2023. (Photo by Bill Snead, University Communications)

Every couple of years, we survey the student body to understand how they view our services, spaces, and materials, and how satisfied they are with their overall library experience. (The short version: very satisfied, if we do say so ourselves.)

This year, approximately 2,500 Duke students responded to our call for feedback—about 15 percent of the total student population—evenly split between undergraduates and graduate students. Their answers were both candid (“I can never find an open group study room in Perkins”) and imaginative (“NAP PODS! This would be a game changer”).

Some of the most interesting findings were in the open-ended comments, where students could share anything they wanted us to know. The things they had to say about Lilly Library, in particular, reveal the fondness many students have for the East Campus library and its staff. But even Lilly’s most devoted fans found plenty of room for improvement in the current condition of the aging building, driving home the need for the upcoming renovation and expansion.

“I love Lilly Library. I wish I had more reason to visit Perkins/Bostock, but I am a Dance graduate student, so Lilly’s collections are more relevant to my research.” – Master’s student

“Lilly has the best vibes.” – First-year undergraduate

“The staff at Lilly is fantastic and I love going in to pick up books for my research, but as a workspace for graduate students it leaves a little to be desired.” – Ph.D. candidate

“I proudly don a Lilly sticker on my laptop. Some of the biggest things I’ll miss at Duke, when it’s time for me to go, are the libraries.” – Ph.D. candidate

“I really love Lilly Library! I study there every day and it’s an irreplaceable part of my life at Duke.” – Master’s student

“I like the study spaces on the first floor at Lilly Library because of how open the space is, so there are people watching out for each other. It makes me feel safer.” – Master’s student

“Get nicer chairs with some padding in Lilly, and please upgrade the Lilly basement.” – First-year undergraduate

“I always feel welcome in Lilly Library in particular (the library where I spend most of my time)—the staff is welcoming and friendly, and I always feel safe and comfortable there.” – Senior undergraduate

“Lilly Library has a bit limited collaboration space, which is filled up very quickly around the time of midterms and finals.” – First-year undergraduate

“I wish Lilly Library had a cafe, or even just a coffee machine in it.” – Master’s student

We hear you, and we’re doing something about it.

Over the next few months, we’ll be analyzing the survey data and ultimately use it to make service enhancements, expenditures, and other improvements across the Duke University Libraries. The more feedback we get, the better equipped we are to improve the services we already offer and develop new ones to meet students’ emerging needs.

Students study for finals in Lilly Library, April 2023. (Photo by Bill Snead, University Communications)

Q&A with Jodi Psoter, Librarian for Marine Sciences

The Pearse Memorial Library at the Duke Marine Lab is our only library with an ocean view. Meet the new librarian at the helm.

Sunrise at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC. (Photo by Jared Lazarus, University Communications)

After serving since 2017 as Librarian for Chemistry and Statistical Sciences on the main campus in Durham, Jodi Psoter relocated to Beaufort, North Carolina, to take over the library at Duke’s year-round coastal campus there. We recently sat down with her to ask how she’s settling in, and to understand how the small, specialized library she leads supports important Duke research on climate change, marine conservation, and environmental policy.

It’s been about six months since you moved from Durham to Beaufort. Looking back, what have been some of the best parts about the transition?

Jodi Psoter

I’ve loved moving to a new environment. I’ve lived in the mountains, when I worked at Williams College in Massachusetts. Then I moved to the Piedmont, when I first started working for Duke. Now I live at the beach! I just keep moving down in elevation. It’s a smaller community than Durham, but it’s sunny and there’s no snow, which is a delight for me. It also turns out that when you move to the beach, people you don’t talk to every day start talking to you. I didn’t realize how many people across the Duke Libraries have connections to the students and faculty at the Marine Lab and the research they do here. So I’ve enjoyed getting to work with new colleagues, both here and back at the Durham campus.

Another cool thing is that when people tour the Marine Lab, the tours always come through the library. So I meet a lot of people that way!

What do you miss about Durham, and how often do you get back?

The food! Lunch in the Marine Lab dining hall is buffet-style from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. That’s it. If you miss it, you miss lunch. There’s also not the variety of food you get in Durham, so I’ve been cooking more.

My parents actually live in Durham. Early in the pandemic, they came down from Massachusetts to visit me so we could form a bubble, and they never went back! They eventually got their own place. I go back to see them once a month, and I try to schedule my visits to the main campus around those trips.

Who uses the Marine Lab Library?

The faculty, students, and staff at the Marine Lab all use the library, but they use it in different ways. The faculty come in and chat for a while, or pick up books they’ve requested, but they’re not usually working in the space. The students tend to use the library as a change of scenery. They come here to relax or study together. We have a “creativity corner” for them with puzzles, coloring books, Sudoku, and other mental distractions, because that’s how I like to work. It helps to stop every now and then, use a different part of your brain, and refocus. As for the staff of the Marine Lab, they tend to use the library for pleasure reading. We have a nice collection of popular new releases right near the entrance, so they draw people in.

New releases on display in the library. (Photo courtesy Jodi Psoter)

As a Marine Lab newbie, you’ve been getting to know your new community. What have been some of the more interesting discoveries you’ve made?

The views never get old. If you sit in the librarian’s office, you can watch tugboats guiding the big cargo ships into port. You can also see dolphin pods and wild horses on the islands across the channel. The other day I was teaching a workshop, and I looked out the classroom window and said, “Oh, the horses are back!” Everyone stopped and turned to watch for a minute. The students see them all the time, but it never ceases to delight them.

Another discovery is that I have to plan library workshops around the weather. If it’s supposed to be sunny and beautiful, the students are going to be out on the research vessels doing fieldwork, not in the classroom or in the library. That’s something I never had to think about in Durham!

Wild horses on Carrot Island, across from the Duke Marine Lab. (Photo by Jaren Lazarus, University Communications)

Students often tell us that every Duke library has its own “vibe.” If you had to sum up the Marine Lab Library vibe in three words, what would they be?

Congenial, inclusive, and casual. Emphasis on the casual. When I was a chemistry librarian, we had to wear closed-toed shoes in the labs. I’m still not comfortable running around the labs here in open-toed shoes, but I’m gradually wearing more sandals.

If there’s one more way I could describe what it’s like here, it would be student-focused. Everyone’s job at the Marine Lab is to support the students. It turns out that the vibe here is totally my vibe!

You’re basically a staff of one, so you have to do a bit of everything. Can you give us an idea of what that entails?

I do everything a regular subject librarian does: research, instruction, building the collection. But because I’m new here, I’m also doing a lot of outreach. A good bit of what you do as a new librarian is prove yourself to your faculty. They need to be confident in your skills before they give you any class time with their students, because that time is valuable. So I’m spending a lot of time getting to know my faculty and letting them know what I can do for them, for their research and classes.

I also personally shelve all the books. As a subject librarian, I hadn’t shelved books in years, so I had to refresh myself on our call number system!

Nobody at the Marine Lab does just one job. Because it’s such a small community, you have to participate in different ways. That’s what I like best about it. I get to be the librarian, but I do other stuff like volunteering my services for field trips on the research vessels. Some might consider those things peripheral to the library, but in fact it’s essential to making the library a part of the community here!

Captain Sly and Third Cat, two of the resident cats at the Duke Marine Lab, hang out by the dining hall at lunchtime. (Photo courtesy Jodi Psoter)

Last year the university announced the Duke Climate Commitment, uniting Duke’s education, research, operations and public service missions to focus on climate change solutions. What are some ways the work of the Marine Lab Library supports that initiative?

It’s always been our job as librarians to support new university initiatives. We’re always naturally supporting the Duke Climate Commitment, because that’s the research that our faculty and students are already working on. And it’s not just the Marine Lab Library. I work very closely with my colleagues in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Department of the Libraries, and their students and faculty are all working on issues related to climate change in some way.

That being said, there’s a noticeable shift in the way climate research at Duke is becoming more interdisciplinary. You have traditional sciences talking to different disciplines. I think that’s where the really interesting support for the Climate Commitment is going to come in. When we librarians can pool our interdisciplinary resources and share those with researchers, that’s when we’re going to have the biggest impact.

What’s one of the more memorable experiences you’ve had while living in Beaufort?

I got to the meet the grandson of Arthur Sperry Pearse, who founded the Duke Marine Lab. The library is even named for him! He came into the library one Friday afternoon with his wife and new baby. The baby hadn’t visited the Marine Lab yet. So we took pictures at all the Arthur Pearse memorials. Then they wanted to buy some souvenirs. So I’m running around looking for someone who can open the store for Arthur Pearse’s grandson, and we eventually found someone, so the baby was happy with its new Marine Lab t-shirt. That was a fun day!

Card catalog at the Duke Marine Lab’s Pearse Memorial Library, opened to a record by the library’s namesake, Arthur Sperry Pearse.

What’s coming next at the Marine Lab Library?

I’m doing an inventory and collection analysis, in order to figure out where the library’s collection needs to go in the future, and how it needs to be formatted. When you look at our collection over the last fifty years, you can see how research at the Marine Lab has changed. Back in the day, Beaufort was known for its fisheries and canning industry, which had a large impact on the local flora, fauna, and water. Today there’s only one fishery left. But at one point the library had tons of books and resources on fisheries. Now the research is moving toward coastal erosion, climate change, and policy. It’s interesting to see how the research done at the Marine Lab reflects changes in the local community, which is then reflected in the library collections we buy to support the research.

But the biggest news is that the Marine Lab Library turns fifty next year! Possibly, depending on how you look at it. The architectural plans say 1974, and 1976 is when the building was dedicated. But I turn fifty next year, too, and so does my friend Gilbert, the Campus Services Coordinator for Duke Dining and Residence Life here at the Marine Lab. He and I both want to have our party with the library, so we’re going with ’74! We’ll definitely have a second celebration in 2026.

Last question: Have you gone out on a Duke boat yet?

Yes! I actually ended up going out on a research vessel with some students to the Duke Aquafarm recently. It’s Duke’s other “campus farm,” where they grow oysters instead of produce. I made sure to wear the lifejacket Santa got me for Christmas, because fun fact—I don’t swim very well!

Jodi Psoter at the helm of the Kirby-Smith, a research vessel at the Duke Marine Lab, on a recent trip with students to the Duke Aquafarm.

More to the Story: New Marine Lab Library Internship Honors a Lifelong Passion

The Duke University Libraries are delighted to announce a new internship established in memory of a Duke alumna and longtime library supporter with a passion for marine science, Sue Reinhardt (1957-2022).

The Susan Baker Reinhardt Marine Lab Library Internship will provide Duke undergraduate or graduate students studying at the Marine Lab with hands-on experience in science librarianship, enabling them to explore the interdisciplinary nature of marine science while gaining real-world skills partnering with scientists and the local community.

According to Bill Reinhardt, who established the library internship in memory of his wife of forty-three years, the goal is to provide opportunities for Duke students that were not available (or denied) to Sue and other women in the sciences when she was pursuing her own education and career.

After studying at the Duke Marine Lab and the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, Wales, Sue earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke in 1979, double-majoring in marine science and zoology. She later received a master’s in marine science from the University of South Florida in 1984. Her research was published in the journals Polar Biology and Marine Biology. She also co-authored a paper on lipid components of eleven species of Caribbean sharks, and five papers on the sources, distributions, and fates of pelagic tar in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The first Susan Baker Reinhardt Marine Lab Library Intern will begin work next year.

Looking out towards the water from the Pearse Memorial Library at the Duke Marine Lab. (Photo courtesy Jodi Psoter)

7 Dictionaries That Are a Little Different

Detail, Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, 1941.

If you’re reading this magazine, we suspect you possess a formidable vocabulary. (Forgive us for being so bold, but you have that look about you.) Whether you’re a whiz at Wordle, a grammar geek, or a student of the sesquipedalian style, you probably welcome the occasional excuse to reach for your favorite dictionary. As a library, we have thousands of dictionaries, in every language from Albanian to Zulu. But not all lexicons are alike. Here’s a selection of specialized dictionaries you should know about, when an ordinary word search just won’t do.

CONCEPTUAL DICTIONARY: Sometimes known as a reverse dictionary or descriptionary, a conceptual dictionary is good for when you know what something is, but not what it’s called. Somewhat like a thesaurus, entries are organized by concept—such as art or nature—rather than alphabetical order, with broad categories gradually narrowing down to more specific terms and expressions.

DICTIONARY OF CLICHÉS: Whether you employ clichés like they’re going out of style or avoid them like the plague, you can identify nearly 4,000 of them with this handy reference. A helpful tool for trimming flabby prose and making your writing crystal clear.

DICTIONARY OF SIMILES: When your search for the perfect analogy leaves you as empty-handed as a tree in winter, and the best comparisons you can think of are about as exciting as broccoli, a dictionary of similes can help. All you need is some inspiration to remind you that analogies are as abundant as salt in the sea, and without them the English language would be as bland as hominy grits.

DICTIONARY OF LAST WORDS: Looking for a good kicker for that last will and testament? Allow us to recommend a list of notable figures who met their final deadline in quotable style. As Groucho Marx aptly put it, “This is no way to live!” Truly a subject on which there’s always more to be said.

SLANG DICTIONARIES: Whenever you’re in the mubblefubbles (low spirits), do what we do. Get out of your nerd box (study cubicle) and peruse one of our dictionaries of slang. Soon you’ll be grinning like a long-tailed beggar (a cat) and feel like everything is lovely and the goose hangs high (everything’s great). Forget Urban Dictionary. Historical slang dictionaries aren’t online, and that’s where you find the best flub-dub-and-guff (rhetorical embellishments).

DICTIONARY OF ONE-LETTER WORDS: Of the twenty-six letters in our alphabet, one of the most versatile is X. It has more than seventy different definitions. X marks the spot on a pirate’s map. It’s an incorrect answer on a test, a power of magnification, a female chromosome, and a kiss at the end of a love letter. The dictionary of one-letter words reminds us that even the smallest words in the English language carry a large range of meanings.

DICTIONARY OF OLD TRADES, TITLES, AND OCCUPATIONS: What exactly is a buddle boy, and what does one do? When was the last time you saw a claque or a dobber on the job? And who even knows what a hokey pokey man or rogue spotter is? History is full of bygone vocations and specializations. When you need to know more about them, it’s this dictionary’s job to inform you.

The Duke Endowment Awards Additional $10 Million to Lilly Library Renovation Project

A rendering of the expansion of the library facing the residential “backyard” of East Campus, including a shaded terrace with outdoor seating.

Duke University has received a second $10 million award from The Duke Endowment for the renovation of its historic Lilly Library on East Campus. In 2020, The Duke Endowment gave an initial $10 million to support the renovation project.

The university will preserve the library’s historic Georgian style while updating the building’s interior and exterior and increasing its footprint by 78%—from 31,500 square feet to 56,300—resulting in more seating, collaborative study spaces, and technology-equipped project rooms.

Construction is expected to begin in 2024 with an anticipated completion date of 2027, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the library’s opening.

“We are grateful to The Duke Endowment for this transformational gift and their continued support for Lilly Library,” said Duke University President Vincent E. Price. “This is an exciting moment in Lilly’s nearly 100-year history, as we look forward to the many ways the renovation will enhance the East Campus experience and support our first-year students’ success.”

The renovation project will also update heating and cooling systems, lighting, technology, and furnishings to meet contemporary standards for safety and accessibility. The library’s well-loved reading rooms will retain their historic charm while their infrastructure is enhanced. New features will include an assembly space for events, a second entrance on the southwest side of the building that will connect with the residential “backyard” of East Campus, and a café space where students and faculty can meet over coffee.

Rendering of Lilly Library Commons
One of the most dramatic new features is the addition of a new entrance on the southwest side of the building, leading to a cafe where students and faculty can meet over coffee and snacks.

“While Lilly Library is beloved and popular with many of our users, it simply wasn’t designed to meet the needs of today’s students and researchers,” said Joseph Salem, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. “We’re so pleased that The Duke Endowment is enabling us to bring to East Campus the kind of modern library spaces, services, and programs that have been so successful in Perkins, Bostock, and Rubenstein libraries on West Campus.”

Lilly Library opened in 1927 on East Campus as Duke University’s first library while West Campus was being constructed. It served as the Woman’s College Library for more than 40 years, but when the Woman’s College merged with Trinity College of Arts & Sciences in 1972, the library was renamed the East Campus Library.

In 1990, philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the last great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, made a gift to renovate the library—leading to the naming of the library in her honor.

“Lilly Library is a rich part of Duke’s history and has played a critical role in the evolution of Duke Libraries,” said Charles C. Lucas III, Chair of The Duke Endowment Board of Trustees. “Lilly is an important part of the student experience, especially on East Campus, and is vital to teaching, research and learning at Duke. The Duke Endowment is proud to continue supporting Duke University’s goals of restoring and enhancing Lilly Library for generations to come.”

Rendering of Booklover's Room
A rendering of the Booklover’s Room, a comfy spot for casual reading.

The Duke Endowment’s continued support of the university energizes the campus, said David Kennedy, vice president of alumni engagement and development.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for what is to come for everyone in the Duke community who will experience Lilly Library. The Duke Endowment has been an integral part of making that happen,” Kennedy said.

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James. B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds, and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4.3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.