What to Read this Month: June

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!


The Allure of the Multiverse: Extra Dimensions, Other Worlds, and Parallel Universes by Paul Halpern. Our books, our movies–our imaginations–are obsessed with extra dimensions, alternate timelines, and the sense that all we see might not be all there is. In short, we can’t stop thinking about the multiverse. As it turns out, physicists are similarly captivated. In The Allure of the Multiverse, physicist Paul Halpern tells the epic story of how science became besotted with the multiverse, and the controversies that ensued. The questions that brought scientists to this point are big and deep: Is reality such that anything can happen, must happen? How does quantum mechanics “choose” the outcomes of its apparently random processes? And why is the universe habitable? Each question quickly leads to the multiverse. Drawing on centuries of disputation and deep vision, from luminaries like Nietzsche, Einstein, and the creators of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Halpern reveals the multiplicity of multiverses that scientists have imagined to make sense of our reality. To learn more check out this Wall Street Journal review or watch an interview with the author.


Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett. When mysterious faeries from other realms appear at her university, curmudgeonly professor Emily Wilde must uncover their secrets before it’s too late, in this heartwarming, enchanting second installment of the Emily Wilde series. Emily Wilde is a genius scholar of faerie folklore who just wrote the world’s first comprehensive encyclopaedia of faeries. She’s learned many of the secrets of the Hidden Ones on her adventures . . . and also from her fellow scholar and former rival Wendell Bambleby. Because Bambleby is more than infuriatingly charming. He’s an exiled faerie king on the run from his murderous mother and in search of a door back to his realm. And despite Emily’s feelings for Bambleby, she’s not ready to accept his proposal of marriage: Loving one of the Fair Folk comes with secrets and dangers. With new relationships for the prickly Emily to navigate and dangerous Folk lurking in every forest and hollow, Emily must unravel the mysterious workings of faerie doors and of her own heart. To learn more about this book and the series, you can read several reviews.


Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure by Maggie Jackson. In an era of terrifying unpredictability, we race to address complex crises with quick, sure algorithms, bullet points, and tweets. How could we find the clarity and vision so urgently needed today by being unsure? Uncertain is about the triumph of doing just that. A scientific adventure tale set on the front lines of a volatile era, this epiphany of a book by award-winning author Maggie Jackson shows us how to skillfully confront the unexpected and the unknown, and how to harness not-knowing in the service of wisdom, invention, mutual understanding, and resilience. In laboratories, political campaigns, and on the frontiers of artificial intelligence, Jackson meets the pioneers decoding the surprising gifts of being unsure. Each chapter examines a mode of uncertainty-in-action, from creative reverie to the dissent that spurs team success. Step by step, the art and science of uncertainty reveal being unsure as a skill set for incisive thinking and day-to-day flourishing. You might enjoy this NPR interview.


Your Absence is Darkness by Jón Kalman Stefánsson ; translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton. A spellbinding saga about the inhabitants and inheritors of one rural community, by one of Iceland’s most beloved novelists. A man comes to awareness in a cold church in the Icelandic countryside, not knowing who he is, why he’s there or how he arrived, with a stranger staring mockingly from a few pews back. Startled by the man’s cryptic questions, he leaves–and plunges into a history spanning centuries, a past pressed into his genes that sinks him closer to some knowledge of himself. A city girl is drawn to the fjords by the memory of a blue-eyed gaze, and a generation earlier, a farmer’s wife writes an essay about earthworms that changes the course of lives. A pastor who writes letters to dead poets falls in love with a faraway stranger, and a rock musician, plagued by cosmic loneliness, discovers that his past has been a lie. Faced with the violence of fate and the effects of choices, made and avoided, that cascade between them, each discovers the cost of following the magnetic needle of the heart. Check out this NYT review or this Washington Post review.


I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition by Lucy Sante. An iconic writer’s lapidary memoir of a life spent pursuing a dream of artistic truth while evading the truth of her own gender identity, until, finally, she turned to face who she really was. For a long time, Lucy Sante felt unsure of her place. Born in Belgium, the only child of conservative working-class Catholic parents who transplanted their little family to the United States, she felt at home only when she moved to New York City in the early 1970s and found her people among a band of fellow bohemians. Some would die young, to drugs and AIDS, and some would become jarringly famous. Sante flirted with both fates, on her way to building an estimable career as a writer. But she still felt like her life a performance. She was presenting a façade, even to herself. Sante’s memoir braids together two threads of personal narrative: the arc of her life, and her recent step-by-step transition to a place of inner and outer alignment. To find out more, see this NYT review or this NPR interview.

New Handbook for European Studies Librarians

The Handbook for European Studies Librarians, a practical guide for academic librarians, library professionals, and research scholars, is now available to read online as an e-book or to download as a PDF. Co-edited by Heidi Madden, Head, International and Area Studies & Librarian for Western European and Medieval Renaissance Studies at Duke University and Brian Vetruba, Librarian for European Studies, Jewish Studies, and Linguistics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, this open-access book is published by University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing Services.

With contributions from experts at more than 20 academic institutions, the 30-chapter Handbook not only provides authoritative guidance on finding and interpreting information from specialized sources (European statistical agencies, legal bodies, and archives), but also resources on underrepresented groups (black, queer, migrant). In addition, it includes up-to-date lists of core materials and country-specific vendors as well as strategies and materials for diversifying collections to support research.

This book will be a useful companion for academic librarians and library and information staff who work on collection development projects or answer reference questions from scholars researching topics about European history, politics, languages as well as area studies.

Check it out at z.umn.edu/HESL!

Library Data Parties (the BEST kind of party!)

Post by Joyce Chapman, Assessment Analyst and Consultant.

Our path to hosting library data parties started with something we’ve done many times before. Every two years, the Duke University Libraries runs a large-scale student satisfaction survey to learn how the Libraries can better meet our student needs. Once the data is in, our work begins: small teams of staff code thousands of comments with topical tags, reformat the data, and build interactive dashboards with which both quantitative and qualitative survey data can be analyzed and explored. Once the dashboards are ready, we hold a large staff workshop, where over 50 staff from different library departments come together to explore student feedback. At the workshop, staff document trends, note areas where the Libraries needs to improve, and look for areas where students of a specific demographic (such as undergraduates, or students a particular school) have different concerns or problems than the main body of students. Staff then brainstorm solutions that the Libraries can enact to address the problem areas uncovered by the survey, and finally they rank the cost and impact of each solution. The recommendations are then presented to library leadership teams, and groups of staff work over the course of the next year to enact as many solutions as possible.

A dashboard showing survey questions on the left and stacked bars on the right.
Staff explore the survey data using an interactive Tableau dashboard.

While students provide the data by taking the survey, in the past they have not been involved in data analysis or brainstorming potential solutions to problem areas the survey uncovered. In 2024, the Libraries decided to try something new to bring students’ valuable feedback to these parts of the process where it had been historically lacking. We threw some parties!!! Because who doesn’t like a good party?

What happens at library Data Parties?

At this point the burning question on your mind is likely “what happens at a library data party?” Are there data-themed cocktails? Are participants required to interpret data through dance? The answer is no. This is just the most exciting name we can come up with for a 2-hour intensive workshop with free snacks that involves a lot of data.

We held one event for undergraduates and another for graduate students. During the Data Parties, students were split into small groups, and each group was provided with a worksheet to complete as they moved through five stations in a large conference room. Each station focused on a topic, such as “physical spaces in the libraries.” A set of large visualizations were taped to the walls displaying the data from the survey relevant to that topical station. Students had ten minutes per station, half of which was spent examining the data individually prior to discussing the data as a group and completing the worksheet. At each station, students were asked to consider the following questions:

  • What, if anything, surprises you about the data?
  • Do you notice any other patterns?
  • What more do you wish you knew or what additional information do you wish you had?
  • Given the data, what are the problems or issues that exist for the libraries in this area?

Following the small group work, students came together with staff moderators. In a group conversation, students generated a list of problems on a whiteboard, which they then ranked with colored post-its as having high, medium, and low impact. Next, they brainstormed solutions to the problems on a second whiteboard.

A scatterplot with a small number red and gray bubbles. Text on the chart explains the meaning of the position of bubbles highlighted in red.
In one of the data party visualizations, students see how services stack up by comparing importance ratings to satisfaction scores.
A whiteboard where ideas have been written in columns of text. Next to individual ideas, there are pink, yellow, and blue sticky notes.
The full group brainstorms during the Data Parties helped identify specific, high-priority problems and some possible solutions.

How did we organize the Data Parties and get people to show up?

The Libraries sent direct email invitations to the 437 students who had volunteered their contact information on the biennial student survey to participate in “future feedback opportunities with the Libraries.” Thirty-eight kindly souls responded, though due to scheduling conflicts, not all of them were able to participate. We got 14 additional volunteers by advertising via the Libraries’ social media accounts, posting an event that appeared on the library homepage carousel, flyering outside the library coffeeshop with candy, and submitting a blurb to be included in the Duke International Student Center’s newsletter. As an incentive, participants were offered a $25 Amazon or restaurant gift card, as well as snacks during the event.

How well did the Data Parties work?

The structure of the Data Parties worked well to engage students in discussions about the survey data and generate high priority solutions. Students used their unique perspective and knowledge of campus facilities and organizations to generate ideas for how to address problems that staff would not have come up with on their own. A post-event feedback form indicated that students enjoyed talking with peers about the libraries and brainstorming solutions.

One difficulty was that with a single, two-hour event, students only saw a staff-curated view of the data via pre-made charts and graphs. They were not able to explore the data deeply and generate their own insights. This was because we had tried to keep it easy for students to participate by keeping the event short and avoiding pre-work. Graduate students in particular said they would have liked to explore the data in more depth themselves, and might be willing to participate in a series of discussions instead of a single event.

Another challenge was recruitment and participation. Despite slots filling up quickly, only half of the graduate students registered for the event actually showed up. We used that information to increase our recruitment efforts for the undergraduate event.

We also found it difficult to juggle gathering feedback from both students and other library stakeholders. This method of engaging students in the analysis process had the unintended result of generating suggestions that did not get reviewed by the broader library staff at the staff workshop, which had already occurred. In the future, it may be better to treat the process as three phases that each need both staff and student feedback: analyzing survey data, brainstorming recommendations, and prioritizing those recommendations.

Recommendations for the Libraries to pursue

The highest areas of need and impact uncovered by our direct analysis of the survey data, discussions during the staff survey data workshop, and the Data Parties with students are Outreach and Space Strategy. The primary recommendations are:

Coordinated patron outreach

The 2023 Student Survey, 2023 International Student Study, and 2024 Strategic Plan have all identified a critical need for increased outreach to students and faculty providing information about the Libraries’ services, resources, and spaces. Findings from the student survey emphasize a need for centralized vision and management for this outreach. Ideally, a new staff position would be hired to address the increased demand for communication strategy and graphic design support these recommendations would require. As a new position may be impossible in the short term, we recommend a combination of stop-gap measures:

  • Re-designate part of an existing staff person’s responsibilities to take ownership over new patron outreach efforts
  • Hire an outreach design intern (proposal being put forward by AUXS)
  • Form a standing outreach and content strategy working group to prioritize project work and develop content, in partnership with the outreach coordinator and the Web Editorial Board

Coordinated space strategy

While every student survey generates suggestions for improvements to spaces, the post-pandemic survey results suggest more dramatic changes than have been undertaken in recent years. These changes require looking at use of our spaces as a whole; understanding the changing needs of our patrons; and developing a multi-year, multi-space strategy for keeping our spaces responsive to patron needs between renovations. As with outreach, a coordinated approach to space strategy would ideally be assigned to a dedicated staff person, but the Assessment Core Team recommends a stop-gap measure of charging a standing space strategy team. A motivated and dedicated leader will be critical to the team’s success. A spaces team has also been recommended after past biennial student satisfaction surveys.

What’s next?

The Libraries is entering a new strategic plan cycle, and we expect a lot of changes to be happening in over the next few years. Our plan is to reflect on our new priorities and what we have learned from our biennial surveys, and redesign our survey instrument and analysis process. Some changes we are considering are: lengthen the cycle to one survey every three years, redesign the survey to reduce the length and ensure coverage of high priority topics, expand our engagement with students during survey analysis, use the Data Party format for staff data exploration events as well, and make sure our recommendations are focused and reflective of a combination of data from both the student and staff perspective.

Collection Spotlight: Read Like A Celebrity

Want to read like a celebrity? Check out our collection spotlight this month on the first floor of Perkins Library near the Perkins Service Desk. We’re highlighting books that celebrities have noted as favorites or current reads on social media and in interviews. Here are some examples of what you will find:

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid ( Jonathan Van Ness)

Slouching towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (Emma Roberts)

What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? by Marianne Schnall (Beyonce)

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq (Elliot Page)

The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng (Ken Follett)

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King (Constance Wu)

Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan (Kelly Rowland)

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (Nigella Lawson)

Stray: A Memoir by Stephanie Danler (Troian Bellisario)

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (Jamie Chung)

Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn (Brie Larson)

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (Jennette McCurdy)

LMBC Big Books Edition: Don Quixote

It’s almost summer, and that means it’s time for the Low Maintenance Book Club Big Books Edition! This year, we’ll be reading Don Quixote, sometimes described as a founding novel of Western Literature and/or the greatest work ever written. Do you agree? Let’s discuss!

Since this work is especially epic, we’ll cover it over four meetings. The second will take place on Thursday,  June 20th at noon over Zoom and will cover Part III & IV. Although you’re welcome to read any translation, we recommend works by Grossman, Raffel or Jarvis.

Our first discussion took place on Wednesday, May 22nd and covered Part I & II.

Although the readings are longer, the low maintenance attitude is the same. Join as you like, discuss as much as you want–or just hang out and enjoy the company. Everyone is welcome. Just RSVP so we know how many to expect, and we’ll send out a Zoom link the morning of the meeting.

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).

What to Read this Month: May

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Since many people will soon be taking their summer vacations, I’m focusing on some audiobook examples this month!


Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her by Robin Gerber. Barbie and Ruth is the remarkable true story of the world’s most famous toy and the woman who created her. It is a fascinating account of how one visionary woman and her product changed an industry and sparked a lasting debate about women’s roles. At once a business book, a colorful portrait of an extraordinary female entrepreneur, and a breathtaking look at a cultural phenomenon, Barbie and Ruth is a must read for anyone who ever owned a Barbie doll. This is the entwined tale of two exceptional women. One was a voluptuous eleven-inch-tall beauty who debuted at the 1959 Toy Fair in New York City and quickly became the treasure of 9 out of 10 American girls and their counterparts in 150 countries. She went on to compete as an Olympic athlete, serve as an air force pilot, work as a boutique owner, run as a presidential candidate, and ignite a cultural firestorm. The other was Ruth Handler, the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants. A brilliant, creative, ruthless, and passionately competitive visionary, Ruth was a mother and wife who wanted it all—a masterful entrepreneur who, together with her curvaceous plastic creation, changed American business and culture forever. Narrated by Karen Gundersen.


A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher. “Mom seems off.” Her brother’s words echo in Sam Montgomery’s ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone. She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam’s excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out. But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above. To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried. Author Mary Robinette Kowal narrates!


Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout. With her trademark spare, crystalline prose—a voice infused with “intimate, fragile, desperate humanness” (The Washington Post)—Elizabeth Strout turns her exquisitely tuned eye to the inner workings of the human heart, following the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton through the early days of the pandemic. As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea. Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we’re apart—the pain of a beloved daughter’s suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love. Narrated by Kimberly Farr.


The World’s Worst Assistant by Sona Movsesian. From Conan O’Brien’s longtime assistant and cohost of his podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, a completely hilarious and irreverent how-to guide for becoming a terrible, yet unfireable employee, spilling her trade secrets for minimizing effort while maximizing the rewards. Sona Movsesian didn’t wake up one day and decide to become the World’s Worst Assistant. Achieving such greatness is a gradual process—one that starts with long hours and hard work before it eventually descends into sneaking low-dosage edibles into your lunch and napping on your boss’s couch. With a forward from Conan O’Brien, The World’s Worst Assistant is a mixture of how-tos (like How to Nap at Work and How to Watch TV at Your Desk), tips for becoming untouchable (like memorizing social security and credit card numbers and endearing yourself to friends and family), and incredible personal stories from Sona’s twelve years spent working for Conan that put their adorable closeness and professional dysfunction on display. In this audiobook, Sona will explain her descent from eager, hard-working, ambitious, detail-orientated assistant to self-awarded title-holder for the worst in history.


Erasure by Percival Everett. Percival Everett’s blistering satire about race and publishing, now as the Oscar-nominated film, American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson and starring Jeffrey Wright and Tracee Ellis Ross. Thelonious “Monk” Ellison’s writing career has bottomed out: his latest manuscript has been rejected by seventeen publishers, which stings all the more because his previous novels have been “critically acclaimed.” He seethes on the sidelines of the literary establishment as he watches the meteoric success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, a first novel by a woman who once visited “some relatives in Harlem for a couple of days.” Meanwhile, Monk struggles with real family tragedies-his aged mother is fast succumbing to Alzheimer’s, and he still grapples with the reverberations of his father’s suicide seven years before. In his rage and despair, Monk dashes off a novel meant to be an indictment of Juanita Mae Jenkins’s bestseller. He doesn’t intend for My Pafology to be published, let alone taken seriously, but it is-under the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh-and soon it becomes the Next Big Thing. How Monk deals with the personal and professional fallout galvanizes this audacious, hysterical, and quietly devastating novel. Narrated by Sean Crisden.

Don’t-Miss Database: GeoRef

Logo for GeoRef database

Post contributed by Deric Hardy, Librarian for Science and Engineering

Are you a Duke researcher in need of a tool to perform thorough searches of the body of existing scholarly geoscience literature?

If the answer is yes, then look no further than the GeoRef research database, available through the Duke University Libraries.

GeoRef provides broad coverage of geology and geoscience literature and is a valuable search and discovery tool for Duke science and engineering students, researchers, and scholars.

Created in 1966 by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), this research database provides Duke users with geological coverage of North America from 1666 to the present, as well as global coverage from 1933 to the present.

Why Should You Use This?

Today, researchers across science and engineering disciplines want access to efficient search tools that maximize search results, condense search processes, and save time.

GeoRef provides researchers with access to scholarly material on a wide range of environmental issues with global impact, such as sustainability, emissions reduction, climate change, and other emerging climate research themes aligned with the Duke Climate Commitment.

As an important research tool, it contains 4.6 million total records and includes scientific journals in 40 languages, as well as books, reports, maps, theses, dissertations, and geological survey publications.

Cool Features

Students and researchers commonly perform literature searches using separate research databases, but what if there was a search tool that allowed users to search multiple databases simultaneously from a single interface?

The Engineering Village, a multi-database platform that includes GeoRef, Inspec, and Compendex databases, provides users with this type of interface and capability to perform what is known as “Federated Search.”

logo of Engineering Village database

screenshot of Engineering Village federated search

The “Federated Search” functionality provides researchers with the ability to search GeoRef, Inspec, and Compendex with one search for a larger, more diversified, yet comprehensive range of scholarly search results.

Screenshot of Engineering Village database search

Database Tips

Researchers who want to narrow down a huge number of search results to more research relevant sources will find these additional database techniques useful for refining their queries.

“Autostemming,” a default Engineering Village search feature, provides users with results containing all possible variations of keywords entered into a search by users, including root terms and any additional words with alternative suffixes.

Screenshot of search filters and autostemming option in Engineering Village database

Additionally, users may utilize the “Thesaurus Search” feature to perform searches using controlled vocabulary exclusive to each Engineering Village database.

“Thesaurus Search” allows researchers to locate indexed articles more precisely related to their selected geoscience research topic in a fast and accurate manner.

Similar Resources

Duke University Libraries offers multidisciplinary and subject-specific databases that give researchers greater capabilities for both broad and narrow scoping of the current geoscience scientific literature.

The following list of available research databases, in addition to GeoRef, and other Engineering Village databases, are recommended for geoscience literature searches:

Multidisciplinary:

Web of Science

Subject-Specific:

Environment Complete
Earth, Atmospheric, and Aquatic Science Collection (ASFA)

Questions?

Contact Deric Hardy, Librarian for Science and Engineering.

The Duke Open Monograph Award: Celebrating Open Access to Scholarship in the Humanities — Faculty Panel Event

Post by Haley Walton, Librarian for Education and Open Scholarship

Image courtesy of _FXR/Flickr.

In 2018, Duke joined the Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME) pilot, a five-year collaborative effort between the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUP) to make scholarly books open access. Over the past six years, the Duke University Libraries has seen fifteen Duke-authored monographs to publication as both traditional print runs and digital open downloads through the Open Monograph Award.

What is open access to scholarly books?

The open access movement has historically been focused on scholarly journal articles—flipping the publishing model to remove paywall barriers of subscriptions and allow anyone with an internet connection to access current research. Book-length works in the humanities and social sciences have tended to fall by the wayside in the OA movement due to their format and the manner in which they’re published through university presses…

Until now.

Celebrate 5 years of TOME authors!

At a lunch event on Tuesday, May 7, sponsored by Duke University Libraries and the Franklin Humanities Institute, three authors of TOME-funded books will share their experience and the outcomes of publishing their books openly.

Lunch will be served. Please register to ensure there is food for all.

You Passed! Now Pass It On. Donate Your Textbooks to the Library.


For the last several years, the Duke University Libraries has purchased copies of the assigned texts for a wide range of Duke courses and made them available to check out for free. It’s one of our most popular services, and students regularly tell us how much they appreciate it. And no wonder, when the cost of a single textbook can often exceed $300.

Now there’s a way you can help us make the program even better and do something about the ridiculous cost of textbooks at the same time. At the end of this semester, donate your textbooks to the library. We’ll make them available for other students to check out for free.

Don’t you wish someone had done that for you? Be that someone.

Look for the textbook donation bins in Perkins, Bostock, Lilly, and Divinity libraries starting this week. When you’ve finished with your classes, simply drop your books in the bin and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made some future Duke student’s day.

So if you passed your classes, pass it on. Donate your textbooks to us and make a Duke education more affordable for all.

(And if you didn’t pass, we’ll understand if you need to hang on to those books a little longer.)

Find Out More

For more information about our textbook donation program, please contact Jeremy Martin, Reserves Coordinator in Perkins Library.

Your End-of-Semester Library Toolkit, Spring 2024

You’re almost there! Here are some resources to power you through the end of the semester and beyond.

End-of-Semester Events

Lilly Relaxation Station – Friday, April 26th to Monday, May 4th. Take a break and refresh during Reading and Exam Period! Open 24/7: Puzzles, games, Play-Doh, origami, coloring… just chill for a bit in Lilly’s 1st floor classroom! Light snacks will be provided in the evening April 29th through May 2nd.

Crafternoon at Perkins –  Join us at Perkins Library on Friday, April 26th from 3-5pm to unwind and unleash your inner zen by making origami while indulging in some sweet treats. Don’t miss out on this origam-azing opportunity to de-stress before finals!

To Help You Study

Take a Break

Take Care of Yourself

The Library @ Home

The library is always here for you!  Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you.  We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices. Here are some of the resources we have to do this!

Streaming Video includes:

Kanopy: Watch thousands of award-winning documentaries and feature films including titles from the Criterion Collection.

SWANK Digital Campus: Feature films from major Hollywood studios.

See the full list: bit.ly/dukevideos.

Overdrive Books:

Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindles®.

Streaming Music includes:

Contemporary World Music: Listen to music from around the world, including reggae, Bollywood, fado, American folk music, and more.

Jazz Music Library:  Access a wide range of recordings from jazz classics to contemporary jazz.

Medici.tv: Browse an online collection of classical music, operas and ballets.

Metropolitan Opera on Demand:  For opera fans, a large selection of opera videos from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Naxos Music Library:  Huge selection of classical music recordings—over 1,925,000 tracks!

Smithsonian Global Sound: Find and listen to streaming folk and related music

See the full list: library.duke.edu/music/resources/listening-online

Research Tools To Use After You Graduate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to graduate!

You’ve reached this important milestone in your academic career and are about to do great things! Some of you will embark on your careers shortly after graduation, some will go on to graduate and professional schools, and others may even write and get published. Whatever path you take, there’s a good chance you will still need to perform research, which leads to the question…

Will I be able to access Duke University Libraries’ resources after I graduate?

Unfortunately, you will lose some of your access to these resources. However, you can still conduct research, but it may require you to do more digging.

Check out these helpful tips!

Options at Duke Libraries

Local Academic Libraries

If you are relocating to a community with a nearby university or college, you may be able to use their library resources. Visit their website for exact details of services and policies.

Common things to look for:

  • Do they have a Friends of the Library program?
  • Can you use some of their online databases if you visit their library?
  • Do they have a rare books and manuscripts collection?
  • Do they allow any of their books to be checked out to the public?

Local Public Libraries

Though they will have less of an academic focus than our libraries, you may be pleasantly surprised by what your public library offers!

  • Apply for a free library card at your local library. Sometimes for a small fee, you can also get library cards to access resources at the libraries in surrounding towns. 
  • Find out what kinds of online databases they have. They may have access to newspapers, data sets, journal and magazine articles, streaming films, etc.
  • Find out how their interlibrary loan program works. 

Digital Collections

Many libraries and museums have digitized a few of their collections. Examples:

Online Repositories

There are legitimate online scholarly repositories that may share scholarly articles (often preprints). Examples:

With these tools in hand, you’ll be ready to accomplish whatever research needs you may have in the future!

Libraries Assembly Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Post by Luo Zhou, Librarian for Chinese Studies; Rachel Ingold, Curator of the History of Medicine Collections; and Laura Williams, Head of the Music Library


This year commemorates a significant milestone: the 50th anniversary of Libraries Assembly (LA), the association for staff across all the libraries at Duke University. To kick off this celebration year, a fresh new logo was unveiled, designed by Aaron Canipe, symbolizing LA’s core commitment to fostering  connections and partnerships with co-workers, and offering information about Duke and its libraries. The new logo was selected from more than five designs submitted by staff at the logo redesign contest that lasted from September to December 2023.

An exhibition documenting LA’s history, prepared by Rachel Ingold (current LA president), was on display at the entrance of Perkins Library for the whole month of February. It included photographs from past LA events and the Branson Committee Report that led to the formal establishment of Librarians Assembly on December 4, 1973 with librarians from Perkins Library and the Medical Library, and later those working at the Goodson Law Library and the Ford Library (Fuqua School of Business), and the Divinity School Library.

On February 7, library staff gathered in Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room to celebrate the milestone with a delectable cake and an enlightening panel discussion featuring five librarians who have made contributions to this association to share their experiences: Donna Bergholz (retiree), Beverly Murphy (Medical Center Library), Beth Doyle, Emily Daly and Christina Manzella. The panel also had contributions from Barbara Branson (read by Laura Williams) and Rachel Ingold as the moderator.

The panel began by delving into the creation of the Branson Committee, established in response to the efforts to formalize the status of professional librarians by the University’s Personnel Office (now Human Resources). Details were shared about the formation of the committee, their work on gathering information on the salary, benefits, and status of professional librarians in academic libraries in the United States, and the important final report that made possible the formation of this association.

The panel moved on to the change of name from Librarians Assembly to Libraries Assembly in 2018, expanding membership to include all staff working within libraries at Duke. More recently in June 2020 (with updates in February 2023), the Libraries Assembly made a resounding Statement on Systemic Racism, formally announcing its support to the movement for racial equality and affirming its commitment to a plan of action. The panel concluded with a positive outlook for future opportunities where LA continues to serve as an advocate for excellence in librarianship and to promote the interests and participation of its members in the affairs of the libraries, the University, and the profession at large. You can find a link to the recording here.

The celebration was well attended and enthusiastic feedback was heard from all. LA invites all staff working at libraries at Duke University to continue to share their experiences with LA throughout this year with stories and photographs.

What to Read This Month: April

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!

The Ascent by Adam Plantinga. When a high security prison fails, a down-on-his luck cop and the governor’s daughter are going to have to team up if they’re going to escape in this “jaw-dropping, authentic, and absolutely gripping” (Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author) thriller. Kurt Argento, an ex-Detroit street cop, can’t let injustice go–and he has the fighting skills to back up his idealism. If he sees a young girl being dragged into an alley, he’s going to rescue her and cause some damage. When he does just that in a small corrupt Missouri town, he’s brutally beaten and thrown into a maximum-security prison. Julie Wakefield, a grad student who happens to be the governor’s daughter, is about to take a tour of the prison. But when a malfunction in the security system releases a horde of prisoners, a fierce struggle for survival ensues. Argento must help a small band of staff and civilians, including Julie and her two state trooper handlers, make their way from the bottom floor to the roof to safety. All that stands in their way are six floors of the most dangerous convicts in Missouri. Watch this interview with the author on YouTube.

Company: Stories by Shannon Sanders. A brilliantly woven collection of stories about the lives and lore of one Black family. Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2023, Shannon Sanders brings us into the company of the Collins family and their acquaintances. Moving from Atlantic City to New York to DC, from the 1960s to the 2000s, from law students to drag performers to violinists to matriarchs, Company tells a multifaceted, multigenerational saga in thirteen stories. Each piece includes a moment when a guest arrives at someone’s home. In “The Good, Good Men,” two brothers reunite to oust a “deadbeat” boyfriend from their mother’s house. In “The Everest Society,” the brothers’ sister anxiously prepares for a home visit from a social worker before adopting a child. In “Birds of Paradise,” their aunt, newly promoted to university provost, navigates a minefield of microaggressions at her own welcome party. And in the haunting title story, the provost’s sister finds her solitary life disrupted when her late sister’s daughter comes calling.  Buoyant, somber, and sharp, this collection announces a remarkable new voice in fiction. See what The Washington Post has to say about this richly detailed debut.

End Times by Rebecca Priestley. In the late 1980s, two teenage girls found refuge from a world of cozy conformity, sexism and the nuclear arms race in protest and punk. Then, drawn in by a promise of meaning and purpose, they cast off their punk outfits and became born-again Christians. Unsure which fate would come first – nuclear annihilation or the Second Coming of Jesus – they sought answers from end-times evangelists, scrutinizing friends and family for signs of demon possession and identifying EFTPOS and barcodes as signs of a looming apocalypse. Fast forward to 2021, and Rebecca and Maz – now a science historian and an engineer – are on a road trip to the West Coast. Their journey, though full of laughter and conversation and hot pies, is haunted by the threats of climate change, conspiracy theories, and a massive overdue earthquake. Read an excerpt from the book.

How To Hug a Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life by Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis. Most of us know someone who, for whatever reason, always seems to cause problems, irritate others, or incite conflict. Often, these people are a part of our daily lives. The truth is that these troublemakers haven’t necessarily asked to be this way. Sometimes we need to learn new approaches to deal with people who are harder to get along with or love. How to Hug a Porcupine explains that making peace with others isn’t as tough or terrible as we think it is—especially when you can use an adorable animal analogy and apply it to real-life problems. Whether you want to calm the quills of parents, children, siblings, coworkers, friends, or strangers, How to Hug a Porcupine provides valuable strategies for your encounters with “prickly” people, such as three easy ways to end an argument, how to spot the porcupine in others, and how to spot the porcupine in ourselves. Be sure to check out this Apple Books review.

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan. A National Bestseller and Good Morning America Book Club Pic! Vanessa Chan weaves the spellbinding story of an ordinary housewife who becomes an unlikely spy.  Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day. Cecily knows two things: this is all her fault and her family must never learn her dark secret. A decade prior, Cecily was desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fujiwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction–and she will do anything to save them. Told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is “a searing historical novel.”–The Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t-Miss Database: Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry

Screenshot of Columbia Granger's World of Poetry homepagePost contributed by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head, Humanities and Social Sciences and Librarian for Literature

The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry was originally a print index (first edited by Edith Granger in 1904) with thirteen editions. Though the online resource has many enhanced features, you can still search by poet, title, and first line. The word “world” in the title is apt because the poets represented span many countries.

Why Should You Use This?

This database is a reliable resource for locating a specific poem. Though there are great online resources like the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets that you can also use, some of what you will find online isn’t accurate or is incomplete. There are over 300,000 poems in full text and 450,000 citations in Granger’s. These numbers mean that frequently you can read the poem right there.

Screenshot of Ada Limon's poem, "Almost Forty an Old Story," in Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

If the full text of the poem isn’t available, you can learn where it was published. You can then locate that publication in Duke Libraries. As shown in the example below, the poem “America I Do Not Call Your Name Without Hope” is available in the book Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness in our collection.

Screenshot of information about the poem "America I Do Not Call Your Name Without Hope" in Granger's World of Poetry Database

Cool Features

Since I firmly believe that hearing a poem read out loud enhances the experience, one of my favorite features is the Listening Room. Most of the poems included are classics, but you can listen to contemporary poets or actors. For example, you can listen to Rita Dove read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43. I also like the Compare Poems feature where you can look at two poems side-by-side.

Database Tips

In many cases the quick search box for “poet” and “poem” is sufficient, but the advanced search options are useful if you don’t already have a specific poem in mind.

Screenshot of advanced search in Granger's World of Poetry

Similar Resources

Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry is one of the best tools for locating a specific poem, but we do have full text poetry collections such as African American Poetry, American Poetry, and English Poetry!

Questions?

Contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head, Humanities and Social Sciences and Librarian for Literature.

Professor of Latin, William Francis Gill (T 1894)

Portrait of W. F. Gill
William Francis Gill

Latin Professor William “Billy” Francis Gill graduated from Trinity College in 1894, and completed his graduate work at Johns Hopkins  University in 1898. He returned to Trinity to teach Latin from 1898 until his death from pneumonia on October 18th,  1917 at Watts Hospital, now the North Carolina School of Math and Science.  He established Duke’s Classical Club in 1910, and collective with other faculty, the 9019 Honor Society.  The only endowment for collections in Classical Studies was established in honor of Professor Gill by his friends and family in 1917.

9019 Honor Society Group Photograph
9019 Honor Society- W. F. Gill standing far right

Professor Gill emerges from archival sources at Duke and Johns Hopkins as a studious scholar, an inspiring teacher, a kind friend, and a reflective, observant, and a witty writer.  The following offer glimpses of his personality and character.

Billy  Gill was born in Henderson, North Carolina, on October 5th, 1874, to Dr.  Robert Jones Gill and Anne Mary Fuller.  He was highly regarded as a student at Trinity College, and even more highly respected as a professor and scholar after he returned in 1898.

Duke President John F. Crowell wrote the following recommendation for his  application to Johns Hopkins University in 1894:

In general, it may be said that few of our students have ever had better groundwork for university study than he has.  His four years here have all been years of solid growth and detailed attention to the regular courses in which he ranks among the first.  In general culture he is advanced beyond his years. 

Crowell, John F. Letter. Office of the Registrar records.  Box 78, Special Collections, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University.

Application to Johns Hopkins
Application to Johns Hopkins

Billy enjoyed writing home.  In the 1898 Trinity Archive, an enthusiastic article describes his studies at Johns Hopkins, analyzing the transformation of higher level education over the 19th century, and emphasizing his excitement about independent study as the “great revolution in American colleges”.  He describes the demanding study schedule, the richness of the libraries in Baltimore, but his clever wit is also evident when, as a classical scholar, he defines civilization, “if the spring is specially beautiful and his landlady’s daughter very attractive, he may consent …(to) remember earlier days before he abandoned civilization, as to take his lady friend.”

One quote from that article is gratifying to anyone who loves libraries:

Another most commendable feature in Hopkins University life, is its library.  Unlike the other university whose library system I have investigated, the Hopkins library is thrown open to students without reserve…. This room is the student’s workshop.  This is the Socratean basket in which he is lifted from the business world.

Student Life at Hopkins. Trinity Archive. Vol 12, p. 70. November 1898

Professor Gill’s fresh approach to his subject of Latin is evident in two articles he wrote for his hometown newspaper describing his summer trip to Rome and to Athens in 1902.  In them he writes of his love for the Classics with a delight in its modern context.

This first trip was undertaken with no desire to advance new theories on the location of this temple or that street, but on the contrary it had the very modest purpose of re-reading my Catullus, Horace or Virgil amid the city that knew them. … But, greater wonder still, there is no sign of the Rome of the times of Caesar and Cicero.  Everything speaks of today.  Is it for this that I have come thousands of miles, to see the same city that might be visited at any time at the cost of a few hours ride? No, Rome differs from all other cities at just this point.  She unites the old with the new, builds upon her past in a way that no other city can. 

Letter from Rome: Professor W. F. Gill Writes Interestingly from the “Eternal City”.  Greenleaf. August 7, 1902

His progressive approach to teaching the Classics is evident in his response to changes in the curriculum, which relinquished Latin as a requirement, and must have generated his own mixed feelings. Trinity’s  original entrance exams and curriculum had been traditional, as with most colleges and universities before 1900, requiring students to master both Greek and Latin.   Both Latin and Greek became optional with the new century, and a student could study either French or German instead.

He lived through that transition in educational ideals which reduced the requirements of Latin both in the curriculum and for entrance.  …  Moreover contemporary with this change was one in his own interests.  Trained in the old school of linguistics, he gradually turned to the interpretation of Latin literature and allied phases of classical antiquity. 

William Francis Gill – A faculty Memoire. Trinity Alumni Register. Vol. 3, p. 261-263.  1918.

The death of Professor Gill happened very suddenly, from a class on Monday October 14th to Watts Hospital in three days. Newspaper articles across the State, President William P. Few’s speech at his Memorial on campus, collective remembrances by faculty in 1918, all attest to the esteem of his colleagues, students, friends and family and their deep loss. As a high officer among the Masons, the order was responsible for the burial ceremony in Henderson.  In 1925 Alumnus Linville L. Hendren (T 1900) described his fellow as “that high minded gentleman and friend to all students..”

Alumni Address of Linville L. Hendren.  Trinity Alumni Register . Vol. 11, p. 327.  1925.

Another testimonial to his character and his extensive influence on the college ethos, is also from the faculty Memoire, describing his scholarship and kindness.

In our deliberations he was uncompromising in his conceptions of right and wrong, always devoted to high standards of scholarship and conduct.  In the estimation of moral and intellectual values the loss of his counsel and influence will be seriously felt by his colleagues. 

Distinctive as were these traits of character, they were overshadowed by another quality, his capacity for friendship.  All members of the community were subjects of his thoughtfulness.  His was that rare degree of kindliness which never waited for, but sought, opportunities to do service.

Gravestone
Gravestone Fuller Family Cemetery, Vance County

An article in his hometown newspaper, written on October 19th, notified the local communities of his death.

Trinity College is bereaved, and the day’s work, hopefully planned, ended in a mission of gloom.  The flag floats at half mast, and all class activities were suspended for today and tomorrow.  The body lies in state at the East Duke building, with guards of honor from college organizations on watch.  Chapel exercises tomorrow morning will be dedicated to the review of the life of the college professor and man.

Professor of Trinity is Dead. News and Observer.  October 19th, 1917

The text on his gravestone reads:

ONLY WHEN LIFE’S TAPESTRIES ARE  ALL

FINISHED CAN THE GOLDEN THREADS OF HIS

INFLUENCE BE WOVEN INTO A MASTERPIECE TO

BE JUDGED BY THE MASTER ARTIST HIMSELF

 

Professor Gill is buried next to his mother in the Fuller Family Cemetery in Vance County.  A life size portrait hangs in the Classical Studies Conference Room in the Allen Building on West Campus.


Many thanks to Mr. Allen Dew, and Ms. Betty King, both of Granville County, North Carolina.  Mr. Dew coordinated the search to locate Professor Gill’s gravesite.   Ms. King kindly and generously shared her personal research on Professor Gill.  Archivists Ms. Ani Karagianis (Duke University Archives) and Ms. Brooke Shilling (Special Collections, Johns Hopkins University) were invaluable in their research assistance.

Lilly’s Loebs and the Legacy of Professor “Billy” Gill

This room is the student’s workshop.
This is the Socratean basket in which he is lifted from the business world.
Professor William Francis Gill (T 1894), on libraries.

Loebs on shelf

 

The Gill Endowment

The single endowment for collections in  Classical Studies for the Duke University Libraries was created in memory  of Latin Professor William “Billy” Francis Gill  in December 1917. Native to Henderson, North Carolina, Professor Gill graduated from Trinity College in 1894, and completed his graduate work at Johns Hopkins  University in 1898.  He returned to Trinity to teach until his untimely death in October of 1917.  He established Duke’s Classical Club in 1910.  Materials in the Duke University Archives, and Johns Hopkins University Archives, offer glimpses of the life, personality, and scholarship of Professor Gill, in a separate blog post: Professor of Latin, William Francis Gill (T 1894) .

Lilly’s Loeb Classics Collection

Greek Loeb Classics
Greek Loeb Classics on the Move

The Loeb Classics are facing editions in Latin and Greek, with 560 volumes in a complete set.  Over the last 100 years, Duke University Libraries have collected duplicate, triplicate and in some cases five or six copies of each author, with several thousand copies currently in the University’s Libraries. Lilly’s Loebs duplicate two complete collections in Perkins Library,  many editions in the Divinity School Library, as well as the online Loeb Classical Library.   There is another collection at Duke’s Kunshan Library.

As the original library of Trinity College, Lilly’s collection includes some of the oldest acquisitions, many of them bought for the Woman’s College Library in the 1930s. Many are in good condition, others are visibly tattered, worn, loved, and annotated by generations of students who studied Latin and Greek on East Campus.

In the spirit of Professor Billy Gill’s commitment to classical scholarship and teaching, in preparation of  Lilly’s renovation, and in honor of those studious alumni, we are giving away the Lilly Loebs as gifts to Duke’s current students, faculty and staff.  Each book includes a plate commemorating the Lilly Renovation Project, designed by Ms. Carol Terry, of Lilly Library.

Duke  faculty, staff and students are invited to select gift copies from the Lilly Library Loeb Classics collection.  Details:

Bookplate Lilly LibraryLilly Gives its Loebs to Duke Students, Faculty, and Staff

When: Friday April 12: 1 to 5pm*
Where: Lilly Library Room 103

Note: for this event, a Duke ID is required.
*On Friday, April 12th, there is a limit of 10 titles per person.

Due to an enthusiastic response, all titles were claimed on Friday April 12th. Thank you to  our Duke community for your interest.

Exhibition on Humanistic Buddhism at the IAS Gallery

A brand-new exhibit on Humanistic Buddhism (人間佛教) has just opened in the IAS Office Exhibition Space, on the second floor of Bostock Library. This is a collaborative project between Duke University Libraries’ East Asian Collection and Fo Guang Shan Temple, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The curators of the exhibition are Alexander Atkins, a PhD student at the Department of Religion; Master Miaozhou (妙舟), head of Fo Guang Shan Temple, North Carolina; Luo Zhou, Chinese Studies Librarian, and Matthew Hayes, Japanese Studies Librarian.

Buddhism is a fast-growing religion in the United States, and the study of Buddhism in America has seen substantial growth since 1990s. A quick search of TRLN catalog for the Library of Congress subject heading “Buddhism-United States” found that 94 out of 108 books were published after 1990. The three main streams of Buddhism in the United States are the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. American Buddhist groups come from many national origins and ethnicities. The exhibit sheds light on a local Buddhism group and Humanistic Buddhism.

Below is the text of the introduction to the exhibit, written by Alexander Atkins:

Zen, Insight Meditation, and Tibetan Buddhism are all household names in the West, but few have heard of the massive global movement of Humanistic Buddhism (人間佛教 Renjian Fo Jiao). Humanistic Buddhism originated in the early 20th century Republic of China expanding through Taiwan into every continent. Its ideas are found within the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Chinese Buddhist Association, spread through Southeast Asian Buddhist groups, and many large Taiwanese Buddhist organizations in Taiwan such as Fo Guang Shan (佛光山), Dharma Drum Mountain (法鼓山 fagushan), and Tzuchi (慈濟ciji).

Taixu (太虛 1890-1947) is one of the most important Chinese Buddhist monks of the 20th century and founder of Humanistic Buddhism. He is best known for his attempts to reformulate Chinese Buddhism amidst the intellectual landscape of the newly formed Republic of China and the post-May Fourth era, a time when many academics and students sought a modern China to push out negative foreign influence and strengthen the country. Taixu sought to push against the academic trends of religion being irrelevant to science, modernization, and social improvement by presenting its importance and use through his formulation of Humanistic Buddhism. He actively argued that Buddhism was compatible with science while formulating monastic education to include science and humanities within the Buddhist curriculum. Though he judged his reform attempts as a failure and died too soon, his ideas continued to influence Chinese Buddhism throughout the world.

Ven. Master Hsing Yun (星雲 1927-2023), inspired by Taixu’s ideas, continued the Humanistic Buddhism movement as many Buddhists fled the newly founded PRC, founding Fo Guang Shan in southern Taiwan in 1967. Through Hsing Yun’s great gifts of organization and giving, Fo Guang Shan has now spread to around 200 countries. He viewed his work as carrying out the global vision for Humanistic Buddhism, making Buddhism’s benefits accessible to all. The closest temple to Duke University is North Carolina Fo Guang Shan (北卡佛光山 Beika Fo Guang Shan) located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

An introduction about the Venerable Master Hsing Yun (星雲) from Fo Guang Shan Temple, North Carolina:

Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in Jiangsu, China in 1927 and entered a monastery near Nanjing at age twelve. He passed away on February 5th, 2023, at the age of 97.

For over 80 years, Venerable Master devoted his life to the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism, which takes to heart spiritual practice in daily life.  He was a Buddhist monk, educator, author, and philanthropist.

In the past 56 years since the founding of Fo Guang Shan, he established more than 300 temples worldwide and founded five universities in Taiwan, Australia, the Philippines, and the USA, as well as the Buddha’s Light International Association, which is granted the NGO association status by the United Nation, with millions of members. Countless people have benefited from his compassionate endeavors.

Early on in his monastic career, Venerable Master Hsing Yun was involved in promoting Buddhism through the written word.  He had served as an editor and contributor for many Buddhist magazines and periodicals, authoring the daily columns, and had authored books on how to bring happiness, peace, compassion, and wisdom into daily life.  His writings have been translated into English and many other languages. As a lifelong prolific writer, he authored the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, totaling 395 volumes.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s life was a shining example of the teachings of Buddha. Throughout his lifetime, he dedicated himself to serving countless individuals, providing guidance and hope to Buddhists everywhere. His achievements have left an indelible impact on the world and will continue to inspire future generations. The legacy of Venerable Master Hsing Yun will live on and his unwavering commitment to propagating Humanistic Buddhism and delivering sentient beings will always be remembered.

The Humanistic Buddhism (人間佛教) exhibit is open to the public and will be up from now until the end of August. Please stop by and take a look!

DUL Creative Writing Awards

Are you an undergraduate who enjoys creative writing?  You could win an award for your talents!

The Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award

The Rosati Creative Writing Prize is awarded each spring in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing.  All Duke first year or sophomore students are eligible to submit work for consideration.  Projects may be any genre and take any form (audio/video, digital media, etc.), but must include a substantial creative writing component.

Deadline: June 15th, 2024

Prize: $1500

For more details: https://library.duke.edu/research/awards/rosati

The William Styron Creative Writing Award

 The Styron Creative Writing Prize is awarded each spring in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing. All Duke juniors and seniors (graduating spring 2023) are eligible to submit work for consideration. Projects may be any genre and take any form (audio/video, digital media, etc.), but must include a substantial creative writing component.

Deadline: June 15th, 2024

Prize: $1500

For more details: https://library.duke.edu/research/awards/styron

Eligibility for both awards:

  • You must be a Duke undergraduate student
  • You may submit multiple, different projects in a given year but each project should be submitted individually with an accompanying application cover sheet
  • Submitted projects must have been written during the current academic year
  • Projects are judged based on quality and originality of writing
  • At this time submissions must be written in English
  • No minimum or maximum length required

Contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Librarian for Literature, at arianne.hartsell.gundy@duke.edu, if you have questions.

Don’t-Miss Database: Trismegistos

Screenshot of homepage of Trismegistos databasePost contributed by Greta Boers, Librarian for Classical Studies

Trismegistos (“An interdisciplinary portal of the ancient world”), is a tool for discovering writings from ancient Egypt and the Nile Valley, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe at any time between 800BC and 800AD. This ongoing project at the Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven describes primary texts held by more than 150 institutions, in over 50 ancient languages, and as of March 2024, contained 962,930 entries.

Why Should You Use This Database?

You can use Trismegistos as a discovery tool for ancient writings preserved on papyrus, stone, pottery, and metal, as well as other media, from collections on websites, and in museums, archives, and universities around the world.

By providing systematic metadata for each text, Trismegistos offers both flexible and nuanced ways to search them. The results point to the institutions which house the texts, and in some instances the full text itself. Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri and Papyri.info, a project initiated by Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3), are among the institutions linked from the database.

Cool Features

You could pass the time discovering that in Alexandria the new moon in January 400 BC was on the 26th  by the Julian calendar, but on the 27th of the month of Phaophi in the Egyptian calendar.

If you wanted to learn Old Nubian it is possible to find 565 of the existing texts. You can sort these by material, using the graph. In this case the limit is to texts in stone. If you click on TM 99098 it will take you to another link to commentaries, including the 1927 article in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.

Screenshot of search results for Old Nubian in Trismegistos database

Screenshot of list of Old Nubian texts from search in Trismegistos database

Screenshot of citation to commentary from Trismegistos database

Using Trismegistos as your search tool, you can find the earliest fragment (AD01 – AD02) of Dioskorides’ De Materia Medica in papyrus at the University of Cologne, as well as the famously beautiful codex (AD06) at the National Library of Austria.

Screenshot of texts found through Trismegistos database

Tax extensions? A lentil cook requested to postpone his taxes because of unfair competition from pumpkinseed sellers in the 3rd century BC. Trismegistos points you to Papyri.info, which links to an image in Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence.

Database Tips

The database has two tiers, one is freely accessible to a general audience. Duke subscribes to the version that offers more sophisticated search capabilities, visualizations (pie charts, tables, maps, word clouds, and timelines), and exporting, with a steeper learning curve. Duke users can access this version of Trismegistos our Libraries’ website.

Similar Resources

There are many other library research databases which mine texts in the ancient world. These include Thesaurus Linguae Graecae and Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. Be sure to look at the Research Databases page for other resources. Another prime resource is the Digital Classicist Wiki which points to many open access resources for research in the ancient world.

Questions?

Contact Greta Boers, Librarian for Classical Studies.

ONLINE: Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Remote Control

Join Low Maintenance Book Club as we read Hugo Award-winning novelist Nnedi Okafor’s novella, Remote Control. Our discussion will take place over Zoom from noon-1pm on Tuesday, March 26th. Copies of the print and ebook are available from Duke University Libraries and many public libraries.

As always, you’re welcome regardless of how much (or whether) you’ve read. Just RSVP to receive the Zoom link the morning of the meeting. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).

Exploring the Cost of Course Materials for Undergraduates: Toward an Affordable, Equitable Duke Education

Post by Ella Young, Research and Public Services InternCartoon illustration of people's hands holding up books, notebooks, and other printed materials.


In order to explore the true cost of a Duke undergraduate education, the Duke University Libraries are conducting a survey of teaching faculty to assess course materials costs for undergraduate students. By soliciting faculty responses, we seek to understand what types of materials are assigned in undergraduate courses across disciplines and their costs for students. The price of traditional textbooks and single-use online codes for homework has been rising for over 20 years, and students across the U.S. have reported struggling to afford their course materials alongside daily expenses. At Duke, if every undergraduate purchased every assigned textbook for their classes, they would cumulatively pay upwards of $1.4 million per academic year.

The Libraries plan to use data from the survey to assess how we can better support student access to course materials and to gauge interest in Open Educational Resources as a cost-effective alternative to traditional textbooks.  Surveying faculty about their interest in OERs moves Duke one step closer to implementing affordability initiatives and expanding OER availability on campus.

Have you taught an undergraduate course within the past 5 years? Click here to complete the survey!

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are “openly-licensed, freely available educational materials that can be modified and redistributed by users” (The OER Starter Kit). This includes textbooks, searchable repositories, images, artwork, and even online college courses.

OERs benefit students by reducing college costs, and instructors can tailor OER to fit their needs. People who otherwise would not have access to college-level materials also can gain an education with open access materials.

How do OERs work?

Creative Commons (CC) licenses are copyright licenses that give users permission to reuse, distribute, remix, adapt, or build upon someone’s original material. All OERs are made available under some type of open license. There are six levels of license types with varying permissions, which you can explore here.

Learn more about OERs

To get started using Open Educational Resources, Duke Libraries has a guide to OERs with introductory information and links to open resources for instructors. For questions about OERs or how to make your courses accessible and affordable, contact Haley Walton, Librarian for Education and Open Scholarship, at the Duke University Libraries.

Open Education Week, a worldwide event for celebrating and promoting OERs, will take place this year the week of March 4th—8th. During OER Week, organizers across the globe will be hosting in-person and virtual events to showcase and discuss open education initiatives. A calendar of events can be found here.

We invite teaching faculty at Duke to click here to complete the survey!

All responses are anonymous.

Don’t-Miss Database: CAB Abstracts

Photo of unnamed grassy, mountainous region with title CAB Abstracts superimposed

Post contributed by Jodi Psoter, Librarian for Marine Science

CAB Abstracts searches books, articles, conference papers, and reports from over 120 countries in fifty languages. This resource focuses on the applied life sciences field, including agriculture, forestry, human nutrition, veterinary medicine, and the environment. Date coverage is from 1973 to the present. Additionally, your search results will include references from the archive (1910-1972) for seventeen print journals.

Why Should You Use This?

With an international focus and an interdisciplinary scope, this is a great resource for climate and environmental research topics including ecology, marine science, climate change, aquafarming, forestry, soil science, engineering, and hydrology. The international coverage provides English-language abstracts for all non-English language publications.

Screen shot of a citation record with the language field identified by a red box

Cool Features

When I work with students, I remind them that not everyone describes a concept using the same word. A database’s thesaurus helps to find the single word that will retrieve results even if an author uses a variation of your search term. It’s like finding a keyword #hashtag for your topic. The following screenshot shows that “oyster culture” is the preferred word when looking for information about “oyster farming.”

Screenshot of a thesaurus search for oyster farming in CAB Abstracts with the preferred term oyster culture highlighted.

Database Tips

CAB Abstracts is just one database that DUL purchases from EBSCOhost. Click the “Choose Database” link to replicate your search in multiple databases. Bonus: This works in all the EBSCOhost databases not just CAB Abstracts!

Screenshot highlighting Choose Databases option in CAB Abstracts

Screenshot listing databases for simultaneous searching in CAB Abstracts

Similar Resources

Additional databases where you can search for the intersection of climate and other disciplines include: Gender Watch, Communications & Mass Media Complete, and Points of View Reference Center. Check out our Research Databases page for more great resources!

Questions?

Contact Jodi Psoter, Librarian for Marine Science.

Unraveling the Mysteries of the Renaissance: My Unexpected Journey in the Medieval/Renaissance FOCUS Cluster

Guest post by Gabe Cooper, a first-year student from Columbia, SC. He intends to major in Economics with maybe a French minor and an Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate.


18th-century illustration of a caiman holding a false coral snake in its mouth.
A dynamic scene of a caiman holding a false coral snake in its mouth, from Maria Sibylla Merian’s Surinam Album.

What drew you to sign up for Scientific Revolutions: Music, Medicine, and Literature the Renaissance FOCUS program? And specifically Professor Tom Robisheaux’s class “Renaissance Doctors, Engineers, and Scientists”?

I discovered this FOCUS cluster almost completely by accident. I came up to Duke to visit during Blue Devil Days and chose to attend a lecture about unraveling the secrets of Leonardo da Vinci, knowing I had enjoyed learning about the Renaissance in the past but also not really knowing what I was getting myself into. When I walked into the lecture room, I was greeted by an eccentric, wise person; the epitome of a college history professor—this is when I met Professor Robisheaux.

Gabe Cooper

I was expecting the mini lecture to be simple—a lecture where Professor Robisheaux talked to us about Leonardo da Vinci. Instead, he tasked the class of newly accepted Duke students to unravel the mystery of Leonardo ourselves. How was the world connected for Leonardo da Vinci? What did his artwork, architectural designs, and a piece of music have in common? All these questions Professor Robisheaux asked us, and all that we had to answer were primary materials and each other. Suddenly, I was in the position to be the one who investigated and be the historian; Professor Robisheaux was just a guide.

This experience during Blue Devil Days drew me to sign up for this MedRen FOCUS cluster because Professor Robisheaux’s teaching style was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and the lecture made me rethink everything I knew about Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. I wanted to explore this cluster further, and I am so glad I did.

As a student interested in the sciences, what did studying the Renaissance in a humanities program like the MedRen Focus teach you?

The MedRen FOCUS taught me that the distinctions we make today between different subjects in the sciences and the humanities are not as strong as I previously believed. Almost all the figures we studied with Professor Robisheaux were polymaths: Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist, engineer, and courtier; Maria Sibylla Merian was an artist, biologist, and explorer; Paracelsus was a physician who understood medicine and the human body through art and his religious beliefs. Everything was interconnected during the Renaissance, and by studying this period in history, I’ve been better able to see the interconnectedness of the world around me.

18th-century illustration of spiders crawling on plant branches
A busy scene of Huntsman spiders, pink toe tarantulas, leaf-cutter ants, and a ruby-topaz hummingbird, from Maria Sibylla Merian’s Insects of Suriname.

What was it like encountering early printed books from the Renaissance for the first time?

It was stupefying to encounter early printed books because time seemed to have collapsed. These books were a physical representation of time—they had survived centuries before me and would likely survive centuries after me. But at the same time, the books were just books. They looked ordinary and you could still understand their pictures and sometimes even what they were saying. It was a weird dichotomy between awe and ordinariness, and I would highly encourage anyone to explore the Rubenstein Library’s collection.

What was your topic for the final paper in Professor Robisheaux’s class? What did you choose to write about and why?

My topic for my final paper in Professor Robisheaux’s class was centered around the question “How did art become the pinnacle of subjectivity that we know today?” I came up with this question because throughout Professor Robisheaux’s course, a key theme that emerged in our discussions was the fact that art was viewed as mainly objective during the Renaissance, with very set guidelines and procedures. However, while looking at De europische insecten at the Rubenstein Library during class one day, Maria Sibylla Merian seemed to stand out as an outlier. All of her work had very little commentary, a sense of chaos, and focused on the subjective, individual experience of nature.

And perhaps the most exemplary in accomplishing this switch to subjectivity is Merian’s Surinam Album, which masterfully displaying the wildlife of Surinam in the eighteenth century. This album, full of vibrant colors, intricate details, and dynamic scenes, gives the impression that Merian is tasking the viewer with making sense of what these scenes in nature mean, as if she is rendering them the scientist. I wanted to dive deeper into these themes in my final paper, using everything I had learned throughout the course to try to become a historian.

18th-century illustration of butterflies and caterpillar
Two Menelaus Blue Morpho butterflies fluttering around its caterpillar form on a Barbados Cherry, from Maria Sibylla Merian’s Insects of Suriname.

Any other things you would like others (especially future students!) to know about the FOCUS program or the Libraries?

One of the most valuable aspects of FOCUS is the relationships you make with fellow classmates and your professors. Meeting with Professor Robisheaux, Professor Kate Driscoll, Professor Roseen Giles, Dr. Heidi Madden, Ms. Rachel Ingold, and all of your classmates every week for dinner and field trips allows you to really get to know everyone in your FOCUS program. This is truly invaluable because when you take FOCUS as a first semester freshman, you are dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Who will be your friends? Are you going to achieve the same amount of success you did in high school? How do you deal with being on your own? Having a tightly-knit community that is provided by FOCUS makes the entire college transition much easier because you have professors and librarians that want to help you succeed and classmates who are going through the same challenges you are.

What to Read This Month: February

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward. From two-time National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Jesmyn Ward comes a haunting masterpiece–a reimagining of American slavery that takes the reader on a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation. Sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, Annis struggles through the miles-long march and seeks comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take.  Shortlisted for the 2024 Carnegie Medal for Excellence, Let Us Descend leads readers through Annis’s descent in a story of rebirth and reclamation. Don’t miss NPR‘s review and Barnes & Noble’s Poured Over Podcast interview with Jesmyn Ward.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. From the New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia and Code Name Hélène comes a gripping historical mystery inspired by the life and diary of Martha Ballard, a renowned 18th-century midwife who defied the legal system and wrote herself into American history. Maine, 1789: When the Kennebec River freezes, entombing a man in the ice, Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine cause of death. As a midwife and healer, she is privy to much of what goes on behind closed doors in Hallowell. Her diary is a record of every birth and death, crime and debacle that unfolds in the close-knit community. Months earlier, Martha documented the details of an alleged rape committed by two of the town’s most respected gentlemen–one of whom has now been found dead in the ice. But when a local physician undermines her conclusion, declaring the death to be an accident, Martha is forced to investigate the shocking murder on her own. Clever, layered, and subversive, Ariel Lawhon’s newest offering introduces an unsung heroine who refused to accept anything less than justice at a time when women were considered best seen and not heard. The Frozen River is a thrilling, tense story about a remarkable woman who left an unparalleled legacy yet remains nearly forgotten to this day. “Fans of Outlander’s Claire Fraser will enjoy Lawhon’s Martha, who is brave and outspoken when it comes to protecting the innocent. . . impressive.” —The Washington Post. See what NPR had to say about this masterfully woven novel.

The Status Revolution: The Improbable Story of How the Lowbrow Became the Highbrow by Chuck Thompson. How did rescue dogs become status symbols? Why are luxury brands losing their cachet? What’s made F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous observations obsolete? The answers are part of a new revolution that’s radically reorganizing the way we view ourselves and others, that “will be hard for pop-culture readers to put down” (Booklist). Status was once easy to identify–fast cars, fancy shoes, sprawling estates, elite brands. But in place of Louboutins and Lamborghinis, the relevance of the rich, famous, and gauche is waning and a riveting revolution is underfoot. Chuck Thompson–dubbed “savagely funny” by The New York Times and “wickedly entertaining” by the San Francisco Chronicle–sets out to determine what “status” means today and learns that what was once considered the low life has become the high life. Thompson tours the new world of status from a small community in British Columbia where an indigenous artist uses wood carving to restore communal status; to a Washington, DC, meeting of the “Patriotic Millionaires,” a club of high-earners who are begging the government to tax them; to a luxury auto factory in the south of Italy where making beautiful cars is as much about bringing dignity to a low-earning region than it is about flash and indulgence; to a London lab where the neural secrets of status are being unlocked. With his signature wit and irreverence, Thompson explains why everything we know about status is changing, upends centuries of conventional wisdom, and shows how the new status revolution reflects our place in contemporary society. Check out what Kirkus Reviews has to say about this thought-provoking read.

Judas Goat: Poems by Gabrielle Bates.  Gabrielle Bates’s riveting debut collection Judas Goat plumbs the depths of intimate relationships, and as the Chicago Review of Books hails, “Bates wields brevity so sharp it leaves one breathless, with layers of meaning appearing like invisible ink under a lightbulb with each re-reading.” The book’s eponymous animal is used to lead sheep to slaughter while its own life is spared, and its harrowing existence echoes through this spellbinding collection of forty poems, which wrestle with betrayal and forced obedience, violence and young womanhood, and the “forbidden felt language” of sexual and sacred love. These poems conjure encounters with figures from scriptures, domesticated animals eyeing the wild, and mothering as a shapeshifting, spectral force; they question what it means to love another person and how to exorcise childhood fears. All the while, the Deep South haunts, and no matter how far away the speaker moves, the South always draws her back home. With Judas Goat, Bates establishes herself as an unflinching witness to the risks that desire necessitates. Learn more about this electrifying debut collection in a discussion with the author on Keep the Channel Open podcast.

Tomb Sweeping: Stories by Alexandra Chang. From the award-winning writer of Days of Distraction comes this playful and deeply affective short story collection about the histories, technologies, and generational divides that shape our relationships. With her debut story collection, Chang further establishes herself as “a writer to watch” (New York Times Book Review). Set across the US and Asia, Alexandra Chang immerses us in the lives of immigrant families, grocery store employees, expecting parents, and guileless lab assistants. A woman known only to her neighbors as “the Asian recycling lady” collects bottles from the streets she calls home… a young college grad ponders the void left from a broken friendship…. an unfulfilled housewife in Shanghai finds a secret outlet for her ambitions in an undercover gambling den…. two strangers become something more through the bond of mistaken identity. Tomb Sweeping brims with remarkable skill and talent, keeping a definitive pulse on loss, community, and what it means to feel fully alive. Read the USA Today review.

Pratt Students Comb Libraries for Spring Library Scavenger Hunt

Post by Deric Hardy, Assistant Librarian for Science and Engineering, and Allison McIntyre, Communications Consultant for Graduate Communications and Intercultural Programs, Pratt School of Engineering


Engineering students by nature are inquisitive, analytical thinkers, and naturally fond of seeking scholarly pursuits!

This affinity for intellectual curiosity led teams of EGR 506 and 706 students to the Perkins, Bostock, and Rubenstein Libraries for the spring edition of the Engineering Library Scavenger Hunt on Jan. 22-23.

Engineering students explored the many different areas of Perkins, Bostock, and Rubenstein with the hopes of being the first team to complete 23 scavenger hunt missions with the most points at the end of one hour. One of those missions required teams to use the library website to locate two different engineering books as well as find a book in their native language. Another task included having students browse our exhibit galleries to discover the “hidden figure” who taught Charles Darwin to stuff birds.

Students also learned about the history of Duke University in the Gothic Reading Room and searched for one of our former Duke Presidents. Other missions included finding the Oasis, Nicholas Family International Reading Room, Prayer and Meditation Room, Project Room #9, the OIT Help Desk in the Link, and the Librarian for Science and Engineering at the Perkins Service Desk.

The purpose of this event was to provide engineering students with a great introduction to Duke University Libraries, promote greater awareness of library spaces, resources, and services, and provide a wonderful user experience to encourage many return visits!

This event was made possible through a collaborative partnership between Duke University Libraries and the Graduate Communications and Intercultural Programs.

If you have any questions, please contact Deric Hardy (deric.hardy@duke.edu) or Graduate Communications and Intercultural Programs in the Pratt School (gcip-pratt@duke.edu).

ONLINE: Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Grab your dance card and a glass of ratafia and join the Low Maintenance Book Club as we read Romancing Mister Bridgerton, the inspiration for the third season of Bridgerton. Our discussion will take place from noon-1pm on Tuesday, February 20th over Zoom. We have access to a physical copy and an audiobook on Overdrive. Also check your local public library for copies.

As always, you’re welcome regardless of how much (or whether) you’ve read. Just RSVP to receive the Zoom link the morning of the meeting. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).

What to Read this Month: January

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!


The Cat’s Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savanna to Your Sofa by Jonathan B. Losos. The domestic cat– your cat–has, from its evolutionary origins in Africa, been transformed in comparatively little time into one of the most successful and diverse species on the planet. Jonathan Losos, writing as both a scientist and a cat lover, explores how researchers today are unraveling the secrets of the cat, past and present, using all the tools of modern technology, from GPS tracking (you’d be amazed where those backyard cats roam) and genomics (what is your so-called Siamese cat . . . really?) to forensic archaeology. In addition to solving the mysteries of your cat’s past, it gives us a cat’s-eye view of today’s habitats, including meeting wild cousins around the world whose habits your sweet house cat sometimes eerily parallels. Humans are transforming cats, and they in turn are transforming the world around them. This charming and intelligent book suggests what the future may hold for both Felis catus and Homo sapiens. To learn more, check out this Washington Post review or watch this interesting presentation he did for The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center.


Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer. ASSISTANT WANTED: Notorious, high-ranking villain seeks loyal, levelheaded assistant for unspecified office duties, supporting staff for random mayhem, terror, and other Dark Things In General. Discretion a must. Excellent benefits. With ailing family to support, Evie Sage’s employment status isn’t just important, it’s vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn’s most infamous Villain results in a job offer—naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. Don’t find evil so attractive, Evie. But just when she’s getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat…and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain—and his entire nefarious empire—out. Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work…and ensure he makes them pay. After all, a good job is hard to find. If you haven’t already discovered this story on TikTok, you can read a review on Reactor Magazine.


A History of Fake Things on the Internet by Walter J. Scheirer. Computer scientist Walter J. Scheirer takes a deep dive into the origins of fake news, conspiracy theories, reports of the paranormal, and other deviations from reality that have become part of mainstream culture, from image manipulation in the nineteenth-century darkroom to the literary stylings of large language models like ChatGPT. Scheirer investigates the origins of Internet fakes, from early hoaxes that traversed the globe via Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs), USENET, and a new messaging technology called email, to today’s hyperrealistic, AI-generated Deepfakes. An expert in machine learning and recognition, Scheirer breaks down the technical advances that made new developments in digital deception possible, and shares behind-the-screens details of early Internet-era pranks that have become touchstones of hacker lore. His story introduces us to the visionaries and mischief-makers who first deployed digital fakery and continue to influence how digital manipulation works–and doesn’t–today: computer hackers, digital artists, media forensics specialists, and AI researchers. Ultimately, Scheirer argues that problems associated with fake content are not intrinsic properties of the content itself, but rather stem from human behavior, demonstrating our capacity for both creativity and destruction. To learn more you can read a review in the Washington Post or in The New Yorker.


The Absent Moon: A Memoir of a Short Childhood and a Long Depression by Luiz Schwarcz (translated by Eric M.B. Becker). A literary sensation in Brazil, Luiz Schwarcz’s brave and tender memoir interrogates his ordeal of bipolar disorder in the context of a family story of murder, dispossession, and silence–the long echo of the Holocaust across generations. When Luiz Schwarcz was a child, he was told little about his grandfather and namesake, Láios–“Luiz” in Hungarian. Only later in life did he learn that his grandfather, a devout Hungarian Jew, had defied his country’s Nazi occupiers by holding secret religious services in his home. After being put on a train to a German death camp with his son André, Láios ordered André to leap from the train to freedom at a rail crossing, while Láios himself was carried on to his death. What Luiz did know was that his father André, who had emigrated to Brazil, was an unhappy and silent man. Young Luiz assumed responsibility for his parents’ comfort, as many children of trauma do, and for a time he seemed to be succeeding: he blossomed into the family prodigy, eventually growing into a groundbreaking literary publisher in São Paulo. He found a home in the family silence–a home that he filled with books and with reading. But then, at a high point of outward success, Luiz was brought low by a devastating mental breakdown. The Absent Moon is the story of his journey to that point and of his journey back from it, as Luiz learned to forge a more honest relationship with his own mind, with his family, and with their shared past. Check out this NYT review or this Forward review for more details.


Investing in the Era of Climate Change by Bruce Usher. A climate catastrophe can be avoided, but only with a rapid and sustained investment in companies and projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To the surprise of many, this has already begun. Investors are abandoning fossil-fuel companies and other polluting industries and financing businesses offering climate solutions. Rising risks, evolving social norms, government policies, and technological innovation are all accelerating this movement of capital. Bruce Usher offers an indispensable guide to the risks and opportunities for investors as the world faces climate change. He explores the role that investment plays in reducing emissions to net zero by 2050, detailing how to finance the winners and avoid the losers in a transforming global economy. Usher argues that careful examination of climate solutions will offer investors a new and necessary lens on the future for their own financial benefit and for the greater good. Companies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions will create great wealth, and, more importantly, they will provide a lifeline for humanity. You can find out more in this Publisher’s Weekly review or this Author Talks.

Duke University Libraries Summer Research Grants for LIFE Students

  • Do you have a cool project idea that uses extensive library resources, such as archival materials or foreign language books?
  • Are you a first generation and/or low income undergraduate student?
  • Would having up to $4500 assist with your project idea?

If you answered yes to all three, then consider applying for the Duke University Libraries Summer Research Grants (DULSRG)! We welcome applications from students with all levels of prior experience using library materials. Our application deadline is March 20th, 2024!

DULSRG are awarded to first-generation and/or low-income undergraduate students to support original library research either at Duke or at another library or cultural institution with a library. Awards are granted up to a maximum of $4500 to cover expenses such as campus housing, transportation, meals while conducting research, online trainings, and digitization expenses. Because research expenses can vary depending on the field of research and the duration of the project, students are able to pool grant funding with other awards.

Your research does not need to be conducted in person! The grant will cover any expenses related to virtual research and access using Duke or another library’s resources! This could include utilizing digitized collections such as Duke’s own University Archives or Government Documents, or accessing the digitized collections of another university or cultural institution!

You can find out more details about the award, including how to apply and examples of past projects, here:  https://library.duke.edu/research/life-grant

Deadline: March 20th, 2024

Contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Librarian for Literature, at arianne.hartsell.gundy@duke.edu, if you have questions.

Don’t-Miss Database: The Japan Times Archives

Screenshot of The Japan Times Archives basic search pagePost contributed by Matthew Hayes, Librarian for Japanese Studies and Asian American Studies

The Japan Times Archives offers a searchable collection of digitized issues of Japan’s largest and longest running English-language newspaper, covering the years 1865 through the present. The database also includes access to digitized issues of several subsidiary newspapers, including The Japan Advertiser, The Japan Times & Mail, The Japan Times and Advertiser, and The Nippon Times.

Why Should You Use This Database?

For faculty and students working in English, this database offers perhaps the most comprehensive cross-section of current events in Japanese history, society, and politics, especially as they relate to the international community. The chronological coverage is also unmatched as users can explore articles from Japan’s closed-country period shortly before 1868, through wartime and postwar periods of the mid-twentieth century, and beyond to Japan’s current moment.

Cool Features

The coolest feature of this database is the ability to run full-text searches in any issue. This is made possible through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. This means that if a user is looking for articles on a very specific topic—even a single keyword—during a narrow run of issues, they can have results in a few seconds. For example, if a user wants to gather articles on the Anpo protests, a series of massive and violent demonstrations protesting the United States-Japan Security treaty, and which were most concentrated in 1960, they might search for “protest” and narrow to the mid-year period of 1960, as below:

Screenshot of search interface with “protest” used as search term, dates defined as May through June 1960, and issues set to “main.”

This search will return more than 500 results with the term “protest” either in the headline or article text. Users can then browse to find the article that suits their needs.

June 16, 1960, article covering the Anpo protests.

Database Tips

Don’t limit yourself to newspaper articles! Advertisements are also a great way to better understand the commercial and visual design histories of Japan. In addition to local products and events, many issues also advertised international products. If users are interested in how Japan participated in international commercial markets, or what types of appeals were made to local consumers, there are thousands of options here.

March 22, 1897, advertisement for Murai & Bros. tobacco products, which were manufactured in Winston, North Carolina.

January 1, 1939, advertisement for Tokyo New Grand Restaurant.

Similar Resources

A few of Duke’s other Japanese historical newspaper databases include Yomiuri Shimbun 讀賣新聞 (in Japanese), Asahi Shimbun 朝日新聞 (in Japanese), and Mainichi Shimbun 每日新聞 (in Japanese). Rubenstein Library also holds the Masaki Motoi Collection of Japanese Student Movement Materials, which contains several original issues of left-wing student newspapers from 1959 through 1977.

Questions?

Contact Matthew Hayes, Librarian for Japanese Studies and Asian American Studies.

What’s Streaming at Duke Libraries: Celebrating MLK Day 2024

To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., these ten documentary films champion the ideals of freedom, social justice, and equality. The King Center’s strategic theme for 2024 is ‘Shifting the Culture Climate through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence.’ The movies listed here are all available to the Duke community, complements of Duke Libraries. Let’s watch, interrogate, contemplate, and celebrate!

Poster for film, King, a Filmed Record
King, A Filmed Record

KING: A FILMED RECORD… MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS
(dirs. Ely Landau & Richard Kaplan, 1970)
Presented in two episodes, and constructed from a wealth of archival footage, King is a monumental documentary that follows Dr. King from 1955 to 1968. Rare footage of his speeches, protests, and arrests are interspersed with scenes of other high-profile supporters and opponents of the cause, punctuated by heartfelt testimonials. King was originally presented as a one-night-only special event on March 20, 1970, at an epic length of more than three hours. Since that time, the film has only occasionally been circulated in a version shortened by more than an hour. Newly restored by the Library of Congress, in association with Richard Kaplan, and utilizing film elements provided by The Museum of Modern Art, the original version of King can again be seen in its entirety.

BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN (dirs. Nancy Cates and Bennett Singer, 2002)
On November 20, 2013, Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Who was this man? He was there at most of the important events of the Civil Rights Movement – but always in the background. Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin asks “Why?” It presents a vivid drama, intermingling the personal and the political, about one of the most enigmatic figures in 20th-century American history. One of the first “freedom riders,” an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph, organizer of the march on Washington, intelligent, gregarious and charismatic, Bayard Rustin was denied his place in the limelight for one reason – he was gay.

Still from film, The Loving Story
The Loving Story

THE LOVING STORY (dir. Nancy Buirski, 2011)
On June 2, 1958, Richard Loving and his fiancée, Mildred Jeter, traveled from Caroline County, VA to Washington, D.C. to be married. Later, the newlyweds were arrested, tried, and convicted of the felony crime of miscegenation. Two young ACLU lawyers took on the Lovings case, fully aware of the challenges posed. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in their favor on June 12, 1967, which resulted in sixteen states being ordered to overturn their bans on interracial marriage.

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME (dir. Sam Pollard, 2012)
Based on Douglas A. Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which men, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century. For most Americans this is entirely new history. Slavery by Another Name gives voice to the largely forgotten victims and perpetrators of forced labor and features their descendants living today.

Still from film, Spies of Mississippi
Spies of Mississippi

SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI (dir. Dawn Porter, 2013)
In the spring of 1964, the civil rights community is gearing up for “Mississippi Freedom Summer,” during which hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly white student activists from the North will link up with mostly black freedom workers to accomplish what the Mississippi power structure fears the most: registering black people to vote. For the segregationists, Freedom Summer is nothing less than a declaration of war. Mississippi responds by swearing in hundreds of new deputies, stockpiling tear gas and riot gear, and preparing the jails for an influx of summer “guests.” But the most powerful men in the state have another weapon to fight integration. They have quietly created a secret, state-funded spy agency, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, answering directly to the Governor. During the height of the civil rights movement, sovereignty commission operatives employed a cadre of black operatives who infiltrated the movement, rooting out its future plans, identifying its leaders, and tripping up its foot soldiers. By gaining the trust of civil rights crusaders, they gathered crucial intelligence on behalf of the segregationist state.

AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS
(PBS, 6-part series, 2013)
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is an award-winning six-part Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television series written and presented by Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The series is lauded for its extensive look into African-American history  with the filmmaker collaborating with 30 historians for this project. It won an Emmy award in 2014 for Outstanding Historical Programming-Long Form.

Photograph from film, Through a Lens Darkly
Through a Lens Darkly

THROUGH A LENS DARKLY: BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THE EMERGENCE OF A PEOPLE
(dir. Thomas Allen Harris, 2014)
The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost. Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, the film opens a window into lives, experiences and perspectives of black families that is absent from the traditional historical canon. These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and society and its founding ideals. Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book Reflections in Black and featuring the works of Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh and many others, Through a Lens Darkly introduces the viewer to a diverse yet focused community of storytellers who transform singular experiences into a communal journey of discovery – and a call to action.

THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES (dir. Brett Story, 2016)
An examination of the prison and its place — social, economic and psychological — in American society. Excavates the often-unseen links and connections that prisons and our system of mass incarceration have on communities and industries all around us– from a blazing California mountainside where female prisoners fight raging wildfires to a Bronx warehouse that specializes in prison-approved care packages to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of new prison jobs to the street where Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson. Includes interviews with ex-convicts, prisoners and people who live near prisons.

BREAKING THE SILENCE: LILLIAN SMITH (dir. Hal Jacobs, 2020)
Lillian Smith (1897-1966) was one of the first white southern authors to speak out against white supremacy and segregation. A child of the South, she was seen as a traitor to the South for her stance on racial and gender equality. A friend of Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr., she used her fame after writing a bestselling novel (“Strange Fruit”) to denounce the toxic social conditions that repressed the lives and imaginations of both blacks and whites. With her lifelong partner Paula Snelling, she educated privileged white girls at her summer camp in north Georgia and tried to open their minds to a world of compassion and creativity.

Still from film, American Justice on Trial
American Justice on Trial

AMERICAN JUSTICE ON TRIAL: PEOPLE V. NEWTON
(dirs.. Herb Ferrette & Andrew Abrahams, 2022)
American Justice On Trial tells the forgotten story of the death penalty case that put racism on trial in a U.S. courtroom in the fall of 1968. Huey P. Newton, Black Panther Party co-founder, was accused of killing a white policeman and wounding another after a predawn car stop in Oakland. Newton himself suffered a near-fatal wound. As the trial neared its end, J. Edgar Hoover branded the Black Panthers the greatest internal threat to American security. Earlier that year, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy rocked a nation already bitterly divided over the Vietnam War. As the jury deliberated Newton’s fate, America was a tinderbox waiting to explode. At his trial, Newton and his maverick defense team led by Charles Garry and his then rare female co-counsel Fay Stender, defended the Panthers as a response to 400 years of racism and accused the policemen of racial profiling, insisting Newton had only acted in self-defense. Their unprecedented challenges to structural racism in the jury selection process were revolutionary and risky. If the Newton jury came back with the widely expected first-degree murder verdict against the charismatic black militant, Newton would have faced the death penalty and national riots were anticipated. But Newton’s defense team redefined a “jury of one’s peers,” and a groundbreaking diverse jury headed by pioneering Black foreman David Harper delivered a shocking verdict that still reverberates today.

 

Two Events to Launch a New Book Series: Studies in the Grateful Dead

Join us for two author talks this semester and the launch of a new book series from Duke University Press, Studies in the Grateful Dead, exploring the iconic rock band’s lasting impact on American culture and the “long strange trip” their music is still taking today. 

Edited by Nicholas G. Merriweather, Executive Director of the Grateful Dead Studies Association and former Grateful Dead Archivist at the University of California–Santa Cruz, the new book series explores the musical and cultural significance, impact, and achievement of the Grateful Dead while reinventing the academic and popular discourse devoted to the band.  

According to the Duke University Press website, Studies in the Grateful Dead “establishes the Dead as an anchor for the 1960s counterculture, which proved to be the source of key historical moments that have shaped music, art, film, literature, politics, and philosophy in America ever since. In this way, books in the series will deepen understandings of postwar American culture while providing a full examination of the ‘afterlife’ of the Grateful Dead, with all the seriousness and joy their work deserves.” 

Each event will feature a Q&A with the author, light refreshments, and enough obscure band trivia (and deep analysis) to satisfy Deadheads of all ages. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.


Date: Friday, February 2 
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153) 

Get Shown the Light: Improvisation and Transcendence in the Music of the Grateful Dead, by Michael Kaler, Associate Professor at the Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy, University of Toronto Mississauga.

 


Date: Friday, April 5 
Time: 6:00 p.m. 
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153) 

Live Dead: The Grateful Dead, Live Recordings, and the Ideology of Liveness, by John Brackett, an independent scholar and author of John Zorn: Tradition and Transgression, and coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches. 

 


Duke has several notable connections with the Grateful Dead. Last April marked the 45th anniversary of the jam band’s 1978 concert at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, widely regarded as one of their best shows of the decade and one of five times they performed at this university. The Duke community celebrated the event with an engaging panel discussion and performance at the Rubenstein Arts Center. You can also watch a recording of the historic concert online. 

Co-sponsored by Duke University Press, Duke University Libraries, and Duke Arts 

More Open Access Publishing Opportunities with ACM and RSC

Starting in January 2024, Duke authors will have even more opportunities to publish open access without paying a fee. Duke University Libraries is pleased to announce that we have entered publication agreements with the Association for Computing Machinery and the Royal Society of Chemistry. These augment existing agreements with PLOS, Cambridge University Press, and others. The Libraries’ seek to increase the reach of Duke scholarship and to lower barriers for Duke authors to make their work freely available, and publication agreements are one tactic in pursuit of this goal.

While the Association for Computing Machinery has offered some author fee (APC)-based open access publishing options for the last decade, they have recently embarked on a more accelerated transition to become a completely open access publisher by 2026, which we fully support. Under their ACM OPEN model, publications with Duke corresponding authors will be published openly without any cost to the authors, supported by Duke University Libraries sponsorship. This applies to ACM journals, conference proceedings, and magazines, and eligible authors are identified by their institutional email address. Authors affiliated with Duke professional schools and with Duke Kunshan University are included.

The Royal Society of Chemistry intends to continue to be a hybrid publisher in the near future, publishing both paywalled and open access content. Through this new arrangement with Duke University Libraries, Duke researchers will continue to have subscription access to read RSC publications, as well as now being able to publish open access with RSC without having to pay article charges. The publication benefit applies to Duke corresponding authors publishing in “hybrid” RSC journals (all RSC journals except for their “gold” OA journals). As with ACM, authors will be identified by institutional email address and the program is inclusive of the professional schools and DKU.

Duke University Libraries have for many years been strong supporters of making high quality research available to broader audiences, helping to put knowledge in the service of society. While there are benefits to these kinds of publication agreements, they may also perpetuate inequities in the scholarly publishing system. As the Libraries have expressed in the past, we do not want to rely on the APC (article processing charge) model long-term and are committed to continuing to work with peer institutions, funding agencies, scholarly societies, and publishers to develop alternative models that present fewer cost barriers to readers and authors.

Regardless of where they publish, Duke authors can also make their individual articles openly available at no cost via the library’s DukeSpace open access repository and their Scholars@Duke profile, through the open access policy adopted by Duke’s Academic Council in 2010. More information about how to make your publications available this way can be found here: https://guides.library.duke.edu/dukespace 

If you have any questions or encounter any problems using these publisher programs, please reach out at open-access@duke.edu.

Welcome to our new Resident Librarian for South and Southeast Asian Studies!

The International and Area Studies (IAS) Department is thrilled to formally introduce Adhitya Dhanapal, the new Resident Librarian for South and Southeast Asian Studies at Duke University Libraries. Adhitya is only the third South Asian studies librarian at Duke University, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary of collaborative collection development via the South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program (SACAP).

Image courtesy: Princeton University Library Instagram

Adhitya Dhanapal, who is nearing the completion of a PhD thesis on the transnational history of the South Asian handloom weaving industry, is an enthusiast of textiles in both his academic and private life. Prior to commencing the Ph.D. program at Princeton University, Adhitya completed an M.A. in Arts and Aesthetics, followed by an M.Phil. in History, both degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.

Adhitya Dhanapal and Ellen Ambrosone look over materials in Firestone Library. Photo credit: Sameer Khan, Fotobuddy.

Most recently, Adhitya served as a library fellow at Princeton University, working under the tutelage of Dr. Ellen Ambrosone, the Librarian for South Asian Studies. As the Graduate Student Assistant of the South Asian Ephemera Collection, he made initial selections and created related metadata for contemporary ephemera in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Tamil. Having spent copious hours in numerous libraries, Adhitya “became curious to better understand the history of collecting practices and the creation of archives and other repositories.” Fortunately, Duke has a rich collection of South Asian materials for both Adhitya’s curiosities as well as the growing number of faculty and students interested in this large and diverse part of the world.

The materials on display in DUL’s SACAP 60th anniversary exhibition

Adhitya officially started on the 1st of December and is settling-in nicely to his new digs. His office is located in the revamped and now, for the first time in four years, fully-staffed IAS suite, on the second floor of Bostock Library, on the West Campus of Duke. Please come on by and say hello!

Welcome, Adhitya, we’re fortunate and happy to have you!

Happy Birthday to Jane Austen!

A Page from Jane Austen’s handwritten music book

Today (December 16th) is Jane Austen’s birthday! Every year I like to write a blog post to celebrate. This year I’m going to focus on music. Her whole family loved music, and she made a point to practice the piano every day.

You can see the Austen Family Music Books because they have been digitized by the Library Digitisation Unit, University of Southampton. They consist of eighteen printed and manuscript music books owned by members of the family, including Jane herself.

If you want to learn more, you can listen to performances of many of the songs found in these music books or mentioned in her letters or novels.  We also have several scholarly books that discuss the importance of music in Jane Austen’s life and work.

Performances 

The Jane Austen Companion

Jane’s Hand: The Jane Austen Songbooks

Entertaining Miss Austen

Jane Austen’s Songbook

You can also listen to a Spotify playlist, and you may be interested in the ongoing Jane Austen Playlist project.

Books

The Innocent Diversion: A Study of Music in the Life and Writings of Jane Austen

The Routledge Companion to Jane Austen (see chapter 17)

A Dance with Jane Austen: How a Novelist and Her Characters Went to the Ball

‘Yes, yes, we will have a Pianoforte, as good a one as can be got for 30 Guineas — & I will practise country dances, that we may have some amusement for our nephews & neices, when we have the pleasure of their company.’
Jane Austen to Cassandra, 28 December 1808, Chawton

Analyzing Duke’s Ukrainian-Language Collection

This blog post was co-authored by Alaina Economus, Slavic Language Resource Description Intern, Resource Description Department, and Erik Zitser, Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Duke University Libraries.

Is it true that Duke University Libraries hold the largest collection of Ukrainian language materials in in the southeastern United States? How do we know? And why does it matter? These are the questions that guided the collection analysis project that Alaina Economus undertook in the summer of 2023 as part of the Field Experience course for the Master of Science in Library Science degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), under the supervision of Erik Zitser, Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Duke University Libraries (DUL).

Why Knowing About Duke’s Ukrainian Language Collection Matters

Although DUL has been collecting Ukrainian language publications since before Ukraine’s formal declaration of independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991, until now this research collection has not received a formal quantitative assessment. According to the existing library literature, doing a collection analysis is an important way of determining not only the size and focus of a particular academic collection, but also the extent to which it fulfills the research and teaching mission of both the university and the broader scholarly community.  Unfortunately, relying on circulation statistics—the standard way of determining the “fit” between a collection and its users—is not very effective in the case of non-English (“foreign”) language materials. That is because such research materials support a relatively small, but select audience of specialists and, consequently, do not circulate as frequently as works published in the dominant language of most of the people who use the scholarly resources collected by American research libraries.

That is why, after conducting a literature review on the topic of collection assessment in general and Slavic language collections in particular, Alaina decided to focus not on the circulation of Duke’s Ukrainian language materials—whether among members of the Duke University community or between DUL and its interlibrary loan partners in the Triangle Research Library Network (TRLN) and Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation—but on the internal coherence of DUL’s Ukrainian collection as a whole, i.e., the extent to which these primary and secondary sources represent an interdisciplinary field of study (rather than one specific topic or area of focus) that can support at least the initial phase of a scholarly research project. For example, researchers specializing in contemporary Ukrainian literature must have access to a diverse range of works and authors. Additionally, they require a language-specific bibliographic index that includes journals not covered by English-language databases such as the MLA International Bibliography. Full-text access to major Ukrainian journals, as well as reference works and materials on authors, historical events, and cultural context (including works in English), are also necessary for the coherency and currency of this non-English-language circulating collection.

An analysis of the Ukrainian language collection at DUL is not only useful, but also topical, especially within the context of Russia’s ongoing, neo-imperialist war against Ukraine. Assessing DUL’s collection of Ukrainian language materials at a moment when Ukrainian cultural institutions (including libraries) are under direct military attack, gives Alaina’s project an added political dimension. From this perspective, this collection assessment project can be seen not only as a contribution to the decolonization of the (Russocentric) field of Slavic area studies but also to a broader dialogue about the importance of non-English language-specific materials in promoting bibliodiversity and supporting the cultural preservation of, and access to “at-risk” library collections.

The Current Composition of Duke’s Ukrainian Language Collection

A quantitative analysis of DUL’s Ukrainian language collection confirms that DUL does, indeed, hold the largest collection of Ukrainian language materials in the southeastern United States.  Just as importantly, it also documents the effectiveness of the Slavic language cooperative collection development agreement between DUL and UNC-CH libraries, the two main institutions primarily responsible for collecting Slavic language materials in the Research Triangle.

At the time of data collection (July 2023), Duke University Libraries held 11,744 Ukrainian-language items. As Figure 1 demonstrates, the majority of these items were monographic (87%) and serial (12%) publications, with only a smattering of Ukrainian-language audiovisual and cartographic materials.

Figure 1: Formats

As of July 2023, roughly 6% of the collection had not received any Library of Congress call number or subject heading analysis, and approximately 12% were assigned either an obsolete (Dewey Decimal) call number, government document identification number, or another classification identification. In other words, almost 20% of the Ukrainian collection remained un- or under-cataloged. Consequently, the following description relates primarily to the remaining 80% of the collection (approximately 9,400 items).

As one would expect in a general research collection focused primarily on humanities and social sciences, an analysis of LC-subject headings (Figure 2) reveals that the DUL’s Ukrainian collection is lacking in materials related to science, medicine, technology, and music; however, except for literature, history, and social sciences, no other subject class makes up more than 5% of the overall collection.

Figure 2: LC-Subject Class Analysis

Over half of the collection (56%) is comprised of items assigned P (Literature) or D (History) call numbers, a majority of which are PG (Slavic languages, Baltic languages, and Albanian languages) and DK (History of Russia, Soviet Union, and former Soviet Republics) call numbers, respectively. As Figure 3 demonstrates, breaking down the PG class further shows that contemporary Ukrainian literature represents almost half of the total items assigned P call numbers. Approximately 11% of such items is Ukrainian-language literature that has been published after 2001.

Figure 3: Ukrainian Literature by Call Number

 

The Benefits of Collaborative Collection Development

DUL’s Ukrainian-language holdings compare favorably to those of other members of the East Coast Consortium for Slavic Collections (ECC), a library organization that was established in 1993 to “coordinate the activities of Eurasian area studies library collections located in the eastern United States and Canada.”  Besides Duke University, ECC includes representatives from twelve other repositories of large Slavic collections: Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, New York University, Princeton University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, and Yale University. ECC members “work in concert with one another on the purchase of expensive resources…and cooperate on serial retention projects as well as duplicate exchange programs.”  By means of “this type of coordination and cooperation each ECC member library can maximize its financial resources to meet the research, teaching and learning needs of their users.”

Figure 4: Ukrainian-language items at ECC Member Institutions. Source: OCLC WorldCat [*]

DUL’s contribution to this collective endeavor guarantees that students and scholars, both at Duke and nationwide, have access to “a full range of materials from and about this world area,” including from Ukraine.  According to WorldCat data (which significantly undercounts the holdings in the library’s online public access catalog [*]), DUL has the eighth largest collection of Ukrainian-language materials in the ECC, with more materials than five other member libraries. Harvard University possesses the largest collection, with over 72,000 items. Dartmouth has the fewest with 286 items.

Since DUL and UNC-CH libraries are members both of ECC and TRLN, this quantitative analysis also sheds light on the effectiveness of the longstanding collection agreement between the Research Triangle’s two largest academic research libraries. Before the first decade of the 21st-century, primary responsibility for collecting research-quality Ukrainian language materials had belonged to DUL. Since 2010, however, DUL and UNC-CH have split the collecting responsibility between them: DUL now collects only Ukrainian-language materials published in the multi-national and multi-ethnic country that is post-independence Ukraine, while UNC-CH collects Ukrainian materials published in other languages, primarily Russian.  As is the case with the ECC, such cooperation is intended to reduce duplication while increasing the number of unique items available in TRLN.  By this logic, the number of shared items between the two institutions should be relatively low and should have declined in quantity since the mid-2000s.  That is precisely what a quantitative analysis of duplicate Ukrainian titles between DUL and UNC demonstrates.

Figure 5: Duplicate Ukrainian Holdings: Duke and UNC, 2004-2023

According to Figure 5, from 2004 (the year DUL began to track items and functions via its current integrated library system) to 2022, there has been a significant decline in duplicate Ukrainian items held by both DUL and UNC-CH. While the decline began before the formal establishment of the present cooperative collection development agreement in 2010, the collaboration between the two institutions has succeeded in keeping duplicates down significantly (in the single digits) since 2015. This data speaks to the effectiveness of cooperation between DUL and UNC-CH in Ukrainian collecting, both to reduce costs for individual TRLN libraries, and to create a sound foundation for North Carolina-based students and scholars interested in conducting research on this region of the world.

The Distinctiveness of Duke’s Ukrainian Language Collection

One way of demonstrating the distinctiveness of the Ukrainian-language collection at DUL is to analyze its unique holdings.  According to WorldCat, DUL possesses 73 unique Ukrainian-language items, and over a thousand items that are held by only two or three other libraries worldwide. These items represent a wide variety of formats, subject areas, and publication years. Of these items, we have selected two that showcase the uniqueness and breadth of DUL’s Ukrainian-language collection.

DUL is one of only four libraries in the world (and one of only two in North America) that hold any issues of Dnipro (“The Dnepr [River]”), a Ukrainian-language newspaper published in the United States by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church between 1921 and 1950. DUL holds seven unique runs of this historical newspaper for the period 1924 to 1942. These issues provide a glimpse into the world of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, as well as capture the reactions and emotions of Ukrainian-Americans regarding events occurring in Ukraine itself. One example is the paper’s coverage of the man-made famine (Ukr. Holodomor, “death by hunger”) that killed millions of ethnic Ukrainians during the Soviet campaign to “collectivize” agriculture in 1932 and 1933, under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. Throughout the early to mid-1930s, the paper reported extensively about the famine and related events, publishing written protests against the Soviet regime, appeals for donations to aid famine victims, and poetry from readers processing the horror at what they were reading in the paper.

Figure 6: Two issues of Dnipro (1932) from DUL’s American Newspaper Repository Collection

Dnipro contains important evidence not only the day-to-day life of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, but also captures the ways in which this community maintained and celebrated their culture abroad amidst persecution and repression at home.  Its coverage, thus, complements that of the three other Ukrainian diaspora newspapers in DUL’s American Newspaper Repository Collection, which holds many foreign language and immigrant papers, including those produced by immigrants and expatriates from twentieth-century Russia and Eastern Europe. As is the case with Dnipro, some of these newspaper runs apparently exist nowhere else in the original (paper) format, which makes this collection of American historical newspapers of the Russian and East European diasporas into a resource of major scholarly significance.

Figure 7: Iryna Senyk and the cover of Oderzhyma svobodoiu (2017)

DUL is also the only library in the United States to have a copy of Oderzhyma svobodoiu: shliakh Heroïni Svitu Iryny Senyk, a 2017 collection of poems, correspondence, writings, and needlework patterns of Iryna Senyk (1926-2009), a nurse, poet, and Soviet political dissident who was a member of both the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. Senyk was imprisoned for a nonconsecutive total of 34 years spanning from 1945 to 1983 for her persistent support of Ukrainian sovereignty, her outspoken advocacy for other Ukrainian prisoners, and her work to bring international awareness to the human rights violations perpetrated by the Soviet regime. This book, which was published by Discursus, a small publishing house in the western Ukrainian village of Brusturiv (Kosivs’kyi raion, Ivano-Frankivs’ka oblast’), places Senyk’s writings into a larger context of the fight for Ukrainian independence during the Soviet period and provides an important example of the role of women not only in the preservation and celebration of Ukrainian culture, but also in the international human rights movement.  In this sense, this unique item from the library’s circulating collection complements the non-circulating collection of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Books & Special Collections Library’s Sally Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture and Human Rights Archive, extending their existing holdings to materials on non-Western women activists.

Conclusion

The preceding summary of Alaina’s research into the composition of DUL’s Ukrainian language collection showcases the importance of language-specific collection analysis in preserving cultural heritage and fostering academic research. Her work not only provides valuable insights into the composition, strengths, and gaps of the collection, but also speaks to the importance of accurate metadata to collection analysis projects. The comparison of DUL’s collection, specifically with the Ukrainian holdings of the UNC-CH library and other members of the East Coast Consortium of Slavic Library Collections, speaks to the utility and effectiveness of interinstitutional collection agreements. Finally, the unique materials presented as examples of the distinctiveness of DUL’s Ukrainian-language collection attest to its historical and cultural significance and, consequently, to its immense research potential for both current and future scholars.

The collection analysis project summarized in this blog post provides one concrete, practical example of the steps that library professionals can take to make the cultural products of formerly colonized nations like Ukraine more visible in American research repositories.  The data collected during this study will be used to inform future decision about the DUL’s Ukrainian collection, including the kinds of materials we collect and the way these materials are described and made available to researchers.

For questions about the collection analysis project, please email alaina.economus@duke.edu.  Inquiries about Duke’s Ukrainian collection more broadly can be addressed to ernest.zitser@duke.edu.


[*] The WoldCat data used to generate Figure 4 are only a rough approximation of actual institutional holdings and may significantly underrepresent the number of titles listed in each individual library’s open access online catalog (OPAC). For example, a search of the University of Toronto library’s OPAC demonstrates that this institution actually holds over 40,000 Ukrainian language titles (in all formats), nearly double the number listed in WorldCat.  Thanks to Ksenya Kiebuzinski for this important clarification.

What to Read this Month: December

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Since many people will soon be traveling, this month we are focusing on audiobooks.


Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo is the second in a series (see the first one). Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale. Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.


The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival. One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned—always on July 24, which is only weeks away. As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. You can listen to an excerpt here.


Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen. Ava Wong has always played it safe. As a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer with a successful surgeon as a husband, a young son, and a beautiful home—she’s built the perfect life. But beneath this façade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years, and her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point. Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China, who abruptly dropped out under mysterious circumstances. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy, awkward girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world, dripping in luxury goods, including a coveted Birkin in classic orange. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing near-exact replicas of luxury handbags and now she needs someone with a U.S. passport to help manage her business—someone who’d never be suspected of wrongdoing, someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes once again, Ava is left to face the consequences. To learn more, you can read this NYT review or this Asia Media website review.


Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin. The seven houses in these seven stories are strange. A person is missing, or a truth, or memory; some rooms are enticing, some unmoored, others empty. But in Samanta Schweblin’s tense, visionary tales, something always creeps back inside: a ghost, a fight, trespassers, a list of things to do before you die, a child’s first encounter with darkness or the fallibility of parents. In each story, twists and turns will unnerve and surprise: Schweblin never takes the expected path and instead digs under the skin, revealing surreal truths about our sense of home, of belonging, and of the fragility of our connections with others. Find out more at Harvard Review or by reading this NYT review.


Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

Your End-of-Semester Library Toolkit, Fall 2023

You’re almost there! Here are some resources to power you through the end of the semester and beyond.

End-of-Semester Events

Miniature Therapy Horses at Lilly Library – Sunday, December 10th from 11 AM to 1 PM. Take a break from studying and drop by Lilly Library to de-stress with the miniature therapy horses from Stampede of Love and relax with some snacks and hot cider!

Lilly Relaxation Station – Monday, December 11th to Monday, December 18th. Take a break and refresh during Reading and Exam Period! Open 24/7: Puzzles, games, Play-Doh, origami, coloring… just chill for a bit in Lilly’s 1st floor classroom! Light snacks will be provided in the evening December 11th through the 14th.

Crafternoon at Perkins: Holiday Edition – Monday, December 11th from 11:30 to 1PM. Stuck on what to gift Grandma or how to craft the perfect card for a friend? Stop by the lobby outside of Perkins Library to make origami ornaments, creative holiday cards, and other crafts. You supply the creativity, and we supply the materials – cardstock, origami paper, googly eyes, and much more!

To Help You Study

Take a Break

Take Care of Yourself

The Library @ Home

The library is always here for you!  Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you.  We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices. Here are some of the resources we have to do this!

Streaming Video includes:

Kanopy: Watch thousands of award-winning documentaries and feature films including titles from the Criterion Collection.

SWANK Digital Campus: Feature films from major Hollywood studios.

See the full list: bit.ly/dukevideos.

Overdrive Books:

Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindles®.

Streaming Music includes:

Contemporary World Music: Listen to music from around the world, including reggae, Bollywood, fado, American folk music, and more.

Jazz Music Library:  Access a wide range of recordings from jazz classics to contemporary jazz.

Medici.tv: Browse an online collection of classical music, operas and ballets.

Metropolitan Opera on Demand:  For opera fans, a large selection of opera videos from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Naxos Music Library:  Huge selection of classical music recordings—over 1,925,000 tracks!

Smithsonian Global Sound: Find and listen to streaming folk and related music

See the full list: library.duke.edu/music/resources/listening-online

LIFE Summer Research Grant Reflections: Scramble for Western Sahara

This is the third blog post in a series written by the 2023 recipients of the Duke University Libraries Summer Research Fellowship for LIFE Students. You can read the first post here and the second post here. Jurica Miklobusec is a junior majoring in Political Science.

Even though released from Spanish occupation in 1976, Africa’s last colony is still undergoing the process of decolonization. Why is that?

After the Berlin Conference (1884-1885) during which European empires carved up the African continent, the territory of present-day Western Sahara was given to the Kingdom of Spain. After the decolonization of Morocco in 1956, the country has been claiming rightful and historical ownership of the Western Saharan territory, contending that European colonization separated the two geographical entities. Since its independence, Morocco has unremittingly insisted on the incorporation of Western Sahara within its territory, despite the clear resistance and desire for self-determination of the Indigenous Saharawi population that inhabits the area.

The dynamic between Western Sahara and Morocco has long been a perplexing geopolitical riddle. The clash between a collective memory of historical ties and the modern aspirations of a people seeking to define their identity in the post-colonial era piqued my interest. To me, it wasn’t just a question of territorial claims, but one of identity, historical legitimacy, and the complex relationship between the past and the present.

At the heart of my research was a quest to unravel the complex interplay of legal, historical, and social threads that have woven the fabric of Western Sahara’s aspirations for statehood. The primary focus was to understand the influences causing legal and social issues that this territory faces in its pursuit of self-governing and statehood. These questions took me on a journey to Morocco to find the root of Moroccan endeavors to incorporate Western Sahara,
based on what they believe are historical connections predating European colonization.

Morocco’s claim to historical and legal ties to Western Sahara is largely based on religion. In Islam, the sultan is given sovereignty by the population’s pledge of allegiance; historically, several tribes of Western Sahara have offered their pledge of allegiance to Moroccan
sultans. Morocco traces these ties back to the eleventh century. Therefore, Morocco considered that the end of French and Spanish colonial rule over Morocco and Western Sahara would enable the restoration of the old sultanate (now a kingdom). The people of Western Sahara claim that Morocco’s desire for proprietorship has no relation to historical or religious ties, but the exploitation of natural resources. Polisario Front (a Saharawi liberation group) considers Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (a partially recognized state) to be the only legitimate entity representing the desires of the Indigenous population. It considers that Saharawi people bear no more connections to Moroccan sultans.

The problem that I was trying to understand in this research was twofold. First, similarly to the majority of contemporary African countries, Western Sahara lacks a historical antecedent. The Saharawi people never constituted a nation in pre-colonial times, and their present-day nationalism can be described as a recent phenomenon, which took root only in the latter part of the Spanish colonial period. Second, the desire to realize its national project has led Morocco to unrelenting suppression of human rights and defiance of the United Nations and International Court of Justice’s resolutions for holding a referendum that would allow the Indigenous population to choose whether it wanted to be incorporated within the Moroccan territory or establish an independent nation.

Since the end of the armed conflict between the two parties in 1991, the case of Western Sahara has been considered a frozen conflict. Since most of the world’s countries want to retain a neutral influence over the sovereignty issue, they do not express any real desire to negotiate or advocate in favor of any party. This political limbo is an indispensable problem worth researching and solving due to the lack of exposure to International Law, the statelessness of the Saharawi people, and the complete lack of their cultural and national identity.

Engaging with the Indigenous Sahrawi population as well as Moroccans was the most enlightening and enjoyable aspect of this research. Listening to their stories, hopes, and dreams painted a more vivid picture than any document or scholarly article ever could. Their oral history, combined with their modern aspirations, provided an authentic human perspective often overshadowed by political debates. What truly took me by surprise was the resilience and determination of the Sahrawi people. In the face of external pressures and political maneuvers, their unwavering belief in their right to self-determination was both humbling and inspiring. On the other hand, understanding Morocco’s perspective and the genuine belief in a shared history underscored the nuanced complexities of the situation.

I believe that the best approach to conducting research of this kind is to dive deep into the local narratives and engage directly with the communities involved. While scholarly articles and official documents are invaluable, the pulse of such issues can often be best felt by immersing oneself in the lived experiences of the local populace. For anyone wanting to conduct research of this kind—remember that it’s a delicate balance of empathy, objectivity, and thorough analysis. Research, I realized, is as much about listening as it is about questioning. The power of local narratives, the importance of cultural sensitivity, and the need to approach subjects with an open heart were invaluable lessons. Furthermore, the realization that not every question will find an answer, but that every answer will surely lead to more questions, is what keeps the research going.

I am very grateful to Duke Libraries for giving me the guidance, resources, and support to deepen my understanding of this issue and refine my research skills. Being able to personally visit both Morocco and Western Sahara has allowed me to gather firsthand perspectives from different parties involved in this intricate issue. Since the literature on the topic of Western Sahara is quite scarce due to media blockade and journalism suppression in Morocco, conducting this research would have been that much more difficult without hands-on experience. The summer spent researching Morocco and its past was definitely one of the best educational opportunities I’ve had so far at Duke.

Why We’re Dropping Basecamp

Screen shot depicts a Microsoft To Do task labelled "Let Basecamp subscription lapse."

We at Duke University Libraries have decided to stop using the project management platform, Basecamp, to which we have subscribed for almost a decade. We came to this decision after weighing the level of its use in our organization, which is considerable, against the harms that we see perpetuated by the leadership of Basecamp’s parent company, 37signals. As a result of our discussions, we will not renew our current subscription when it ends in December. In the meantime, a small group of our staff have committed to help colleagues export their Basecamp content so it can be archived, and we will move to using other productivity platforms.

In July of this year, in a team chat, one of our colleagues shared a link to a blog post authored by one of the founders and owners of 37signals, and commented, “We really might want to rethink our usage of Basecamp.”

It jogged our memories of events some 26 months earlier, when another colleague shared an article published on The Verge, “Breaking Camp.” As reported, internal conflict regarding a culturally-insensitive list of “funny” customer names led Basecamp’s leadership to ban employees from holding “societal and political discussions,” ignoring that the conflict focused on workplace dynamics. Mass resignations resulted, and the experiences of the employees interviewed paints a picture of company leaders who initially supported Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) activities but eventually placed severe restrictions on how those activities could play out at work. In a playbook for the ages, those in power failed to acknowledge the complicated interconnectedness and nuance of the issues under discussion, and set policies that shut down discussions challenging the company culture.

The discussions we had in 2021 identified concerns about both the culture at Basecamp and the impact a decision to leave it would have on our daily work. Staff reflected on the ease of using the platform, the large number of projects that rely on it, and the complication of a decision that would impact groups across in the Libraries in such a direct way. While we talked about how we might respond to the values of third-party companies, we eventually decided not to pursue a cancellation.

When we revisited the discussion this summer, it took a decidedly different direction. The blog post that our colleague shared in July, titled “The law of the land,” by 37signals co-founder, co-owner, and CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson, celebrates the US Supreme Court’s ruling ending considerations of race in admission to colleges and universities. In that post, Hansson links to another that drew our attention, “The waning days of DEI’s dominance.” We also read a third post of his, “Meta goes no politics at work (and nobody cares).” We found there a thread of ugly thought, couched in an overriding intellectual dishonesty, that re-escalated our discussion about continued use of Basecamp.

Continue reading Why We’re Dropping Basecamp

In Memory of Jerry LeVerne Perry Chappell W’62

Guest post by Meg Brown, Head, Exhibition Services and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Librarian

Jerry and Bruce Chappell in the library exhibit gallery named in their honor, October 2015.

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune of spending a magical evening with Jerry and Bruce Chappell, the namesakes of the Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery near the main entrance of Perkins Library on Duke’s West Campus.

Jerry was a member of our Library Advisory Board for 12 years. She and Bruce have long been generous supporters of the Libraries’ exhibition program, and they have always been very kind to me personally. Sadly, Jerry passed away a few days after our visit, on November 6, 2023, and I’m so grateful to have had such a wonderful evening with an amazing, warm, loving woman.

I was there with Susan Berndt of Duke Alumni Engagement and Development. It was a beautiful night, and Jerry took us through her garden and shared stories of special people who taught her about plants. She spoke with gratitude of the time she spent with her mother in the yard. She asked me about my mother, and she listened with interest. She toured us through her book-filled home, including a room with an extensive genealogy collection. She spoke about researching her family history and how it was all intertwined with her studies years ago at Duke, and how she never lost her love of learning. She worried aloud about new generations of people who don’t appreciate books, and we commiserated about a future full of digital history. But together we tried to look on the bright side of all of the opportunities for research this might bring.

We all sat down and talked about the library, and about the future of the library exhibition program. Bruce and Jerry told us stories about what Duke had meant to them. They explained that it was fun, it was extraordinary, it was hard work, and it was family. One of Jerry’s favorite professors was Dr. Robert Durden, a professor of history and author of several books about the history of this institution. It turned out that Durden’s mother was also Jerry’s housemother when she was a Duke undergraduate in the Woman’s College. She spoke of how important those relationships were, and how she always felt welcome there. She spoke of Duke even today as an extension of her family, her sorority sisters, her classmates, her teachers, the new students and alumni she meets all around the world.

Jerry Chappell (née Perry) as a Duke undergraduate, second from left, from the 1960 Chanticleer yearbook.

That night, Jerry treated me like family. She asked me about my work, my kids, my passions. She hugged me when I left and she thanked me. She held my hand and I felt appreciated, like she wanted to make sure I knew I was doing good work. All that the Chappells asked of me that night was that I make the library a place where people feel inspired—and in Jerry’s honor, I hope I am able to always fulfill that request.

The next time you visit Perkins Library, I hope you will look up and see the Chappells’ name on the gallery near the main entrance. And I hope the exhibitions there will inspire you to feel that Duke is still a welcoming place.

Thank you, Jerry, for everything.

What’s Streaming at Duke Libraries: Native American Culture and History

Duke Libraries’ streaming video offerings have been growing by leaps and bounds. Today we’re featuring Native American films, available from a variety of streaming platforms that the Libraries provide to the Duke community. We hope these works will surprise, delight and enlighten you. Check them out using your Duke NetID and password!

Lakota Nation vs. United States
(dirs.  Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli, 2022)

Streaming on AVON

Movie poster, Lakota Nation

A provocative, visually stunning testament to a land and a people who have survived removal, exploitation and genocide – and whose best days are yet to come.  The film “interleaves interviews of Lakota activists and elders with striking images of the Black Hills and its wildlife, historical documents and news reports, clips from old movies and other archival footage to extraordinary effect, demonstrating not only the physical and cultural violence inflicted on the Lakota but also their deep connection to the Black Hills, the area where Mount Rushmore was erected.” —New York Times, 7-13-2023.


 

Being Thunder (dir. Stéphanie Lamorré, 2021)Movie poster, Being Thunder
streaming on PROJECTR

At the annual regional powwow of New England tribes, there is no formal rule to prohibit Two Spirit Genderqueer people from competing in a category different from their birth gender. Sherenté dances with joy and beauty, but is blindsided by ongoing dishonesty and insensitive behavior by judges and tribal leaders. Sherenté’s enduring courage and dignity are ultimately met with an outpouring of support from family, powwow attendees, and fellow competitors.


 

Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives on Restoring Our World 
(dirs. Anna Palmer & Costa Boutsikaris, 2021)

streaming on DOCUSEEK

Film poster, Inhabitants

Inhabitants follows five Native American communities as they restore their traditional land management practices in the face of a changing climate. The five stories include sustaining traditions of Hopi dryland farming in Arizona; restoring buffalo to the Blackfeet reservation in Montana; maintaining sustainable forestry on the Menominee reservation in Wisconsin; reviving native food forests in Hawai’i; and returning prescribed fire to the landscape by the Karuk Tribe of California. As the climate crisis escalates, these time-tested practices of North America’s original inhabitants are becoming increasingly essential in a rapidly changing world.


 

Once Upon a River (dir. Haroula Rose, 2019)
Streaming on Kanopy

Movie poster, Once Upon a River

Based on the best-selling novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell, Once Upon a River is the story of Native American teenager Margo Crane in 1970s rural Michigan. After enduring a series of traumas and tragedies, Margo sets out on an odyssey on the Stark River in search of her estranged mother. On the water, Margo encounters friends, foes, wonders, and dangers; navigating life on her own, she comes to understand her potential, all while healing the wounds of her past.


 

The Warrior Tradition (PBS series,  2019)
Streaming on Films on Demand

Movie poster, Warrior Tradition
The astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. This program chronicles the accounts of Native American warriors  and explores the complicated ways the culture and traditions of Native Americans have impacted their participation in the United States military.

Movie poster, Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals 
(dir. Chris Eyre, 1998)

Streaming on Swank Digital Campus

Smoke Signals is recognized as being the first feature-length film written, directed, and produced by Native Americans to reach a wide audience both in the US and abroad.
With a screenplay by Sherman Alexie, based on his short stories, this coming-of-age story with a light, comedic heart, was added to the National Film Registry in 2018 for its cultural significance to film history.


Powwow Highway 
(dir. Jonathan Wacks, 1989)
Streaming on Kanopy
Movie poster, Powwow Highway

Two Cheyenne Indian friends with very different outlooks on life set off on a road trip. Philbert Bono is a spiritual seeker trying to find the answers to life’s questions; his pal, Buddy Red Bow, is a realist who sees the world in black-and-white terms. Filming was done on location on Native American reservations in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.


 

The Exiles (dir.  Ken Mackenzie, 1961)
Streaming on AVON

DVD cover, The Exiles

The Exiles (1961) is an incredible feature film by Kent Mackenzie chronicling a day in the life of a group of twenty-something Native Americans who left reservation life in the 1950s to live in the district of Bunker Hill, Los Angeles, California. The structure of the film is that of a narrative feature, the script pieced together from interviews with the documentary subjects. Despite (or because of) the fact that no other films at the time were (and still very few now are) depicting Native American peoples (aside from the overblown stereotypes in Westerns) let alone urban Native Americans, The Exiles could not find a distributor willing to risk putting it out theatrically, and so over the years it fell into obscurity, known and loved by cinephiles and admired for its originality and honesty. Selected  by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2009, Milestone Films first premiered The Exiles in theaters in 2008, and critics and audiences were stunned by the film’s harsh beauty and honesty.

 

 

LIFE Summer Research Grant Reflections: A New Look at Cleopatra: Egypt, Rome, and Beyond

This is the second blog post in a series written by the 2023 recipients of the Duke University Libraries Summer Research Fellowship for LIFE Students. You can read the first post here. Jason Liang-Lin is a Duke senior.

Growing up, I was always fascinated with  the Ancient World. How could it be possible to piece together what life was like from over four millennia ago? Books on Greek myth, Roman culture, and Egyptian history always populated my hauls from the public library. However, there was no way to dive deep into these timeless civilizations in primary or secondary school. When I stepped onto Duke’s campus my first year, I was eager to delve into a rich variety of subjects, including the study of classical antiquity. For me, I valued the diverse viewpoints that a liberal arts education brings, and Classics gave the bang for the buck. With Classics, I was learning about foreign language, political philosophy, visual art, drama, and literature all at once.

I was first hooked on studying the Late Republic (~130 B.C.-31 B.C.) and Julio-Claudian (27 B.C.-68 A.D.) eras of Roman history from the course “Age of Nero.” There, I learned how the prototypical image of Emperor Nero as an egotistical maniac who fiddled while Rome burned in a self-inflicted fire was far from the truth. My professor Dr. Lauren Ginsberg cautioned us to consider the historiography, the surrounding context for how history is written, of our ancient textual sources. Historiography is critical because of the adage “history is written by the victors.” Though ancient histories written by venerated authors such as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Livy are foundational primary texts, their works often recorded events centuries after they occur and are shrouded by the imposing political currents of the time. This bias complicates any study of history, and disentangling fact from flair is a delicate balance. These lessons were further emphasized in my most recent course “the Romans,” which was also taught by Dr. Lauren Ginsberg and provided the inspiration for my summer project. While transitioning from the Late Republic to the rise of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Gaius Octavian (later Augustus), the prominent figure Cleopatra VII (Cleopatra) became central to the histories of Rome and Egypt. I was drawn to her impressive achievements from independently raising an army to being the first of the Greek Ptolemaic rulers to speak native Egyptian.

From the days of Augustus Caesar to the Renaissance, Cleopatra has been characterized as temptress seducing ordinarily virtuous Roman men with her feminine wiles. Yet, this characterization papers over her status as a genuinely powerful monarch who prevented Egypt’s subordination as a client state, embarked on ambitious infrastructural initiatives, and avidly researched toxicology.

Recent scholarship has been shedding light on the latter narrative, upending the dominant Western paradigm of Cleopatra. However, few resources have synthesized the interplay between sources from classical antiquity and the contrasting perspectives of medieval Islamic scholars on Cleopatra. Further, the rich body of research into Cleopatra has only recently searched beyond the Horatian and Vergilian poetic interpretations of Cleopatra and uncovered diverse Roman and Egyptian perceptions of her. My project aims to be at the forefront of Cleopatra’s image revolution by integrating aspects of her leadership and scientific scholarship, as espoused by non-Roman sources, with traditional classical accounts. This study investigates alternative narratives to the visual forwarded by the Roman elite, taking into account sources both contemporaneous and post-Cleopatra. I aim to use a mixed-methods approach incorporating material, religious, and literary culture to conduct a cross-cultural analysis of Cleopatra, including how the Roman reception of her evolved, how her perception to civilizations beyond Rome deviated, and her ill-discussed scientific endeavors.

With the help of Duke University librarians Arianne Hartsell-Gundy and Greta Boers, Duke LIFE Library program advisor Rukimani Pv, and my research advisor Dr. Lauren Ginsberg, I embarked on a journey for the summer that included reading seminal biographies of Cleopatra, an academic study between Cleopatra and Rome, and literature reviews of modern scholarly research into Cleopatra. These resources were made available by the vast collections of Duke University Libraries. Contrasting popular culture, each book or research article emphasized the lack of evidence that Cleopatra traded sex for political favors or had rampant affairs. In fact, Cleopatra’s beauty did not become a subject in text until centuries after her life. Rather, Cleopatra was a well-educated queen and a shrewd politician who formed multiple beneficial alliances with Egypt’s much stronger neighbor.

In the last part of the summer, I had the privilege of visiting Rome to firsthand examine the material culture created during and after Cleopatra’s rise to power. Specifically, I visited the limited, six month exhibition “The Beloved of Isis. Nero, the Domus Aurea and Egypt,” which displayed the Egyptian influence on Rome the century following Cleopatra’s death. Situated in the excavation site of the “Domus Aurea,” the Golden House that Emperor Nero constructed in 68 A.D., is a section dedicated to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of fertility, healing, and divine motherhood. When Cleopatra was coming to power, Isis’s religious reach was spreading far beyond Egypt because of her appeal to the merchants and sailors of the Mediterranean. Cleopatra, recognizing the popularity of her cult, took advantage of her divine status as a ruling Ptolemy to adopt the persona of Isis on Earth. No doubt Cleopatra accelerated the image of Isis in Rome even after her suicide at the Battle of Actium in 30 B.C.

In addition, I visited the Ara Pacis Augustae, the Altar of Augustan Peace. Augustus constructed this monument to promote an image not only of dominion over the western and eastern parts of the empire, but also of the peace and prosperity that only Augustan heirs can continue. In Diana Kleiner’s Cleopatra and Rome, she argues that Cleopatra’s influence permeates throughout the structure, from the design to its figure carvings. First, the Ara Pacis emulated the peaceful procession and ritual sacrifice reliefs found in the Dendera Temple where Cleopatra carved herself with the young Caesarion, the child she bore with Julius Caesar. Further, Cleopatra’s daughter Cleopatra Selene likely appears alongside Cleopatra’s grandson in the north frieze of the Ara Pacis, possibly to represent Egypt’s integration into the Roman empire under Augustus. I also visited the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, a section in the Vatican Museums that holds a rich trove of artifacts from Roman Egypt and Egyptian-inspired Rome. Together, modern scholarly sources and material evidence paint Cleopatra as a powerful woman who had an indelible religious, political, and visual impact on Rome.

In conducting this research, I confronted a number of challenges. Claims regarding Cleopatra’s personality and actions are often difficult to verify, and academic studies readily admit this. All contemporaneous sources on Cleopatra that survive were written by Roman authors who readily employ invectives. Though certain writings are attributed to Cleopatra from a treatise on cosmetics to essays on gynecology and alchemy, there is no definitive evidence of any extant works written by her. Personally, Roman and Ptolemaic lineages were quite difficult to keep track since they have longstanding traditions of incestuous marriages, are rife with political murders, and frequently include adopted children of relatives. Through this research process, I also recognized that organization and focus are two invaluable assets for efficiently conducting in-depth research.

With the summer over, I anticipate exploring deeper into the non-Roman depictions of Cleopatra and how those images clash or complement the Roman view of her. My immediate focus will be to read through Bernard Legras’s Cléopâtre l’Egyptienne (2021), which uses a variety of non-Roman sources to construct a more objective, scholarly picture of Cleopatra. Ultimately I see this project as the cornerstone of a senior dossier for a potential major in Classical Civilizations.

I am grateful for the support of Duke University Libraries and their patrons in providing the intellectual and financial resources for this summer research opportunity. I also greatly appreciate the research suggestions and writing advice of my faculty mentor, Professor Lauren Ginsberg, Duke librarians Arianne Hartsell-Gundy and Greta Boers, and program advisor Rukimani Pv. Finally, I want to thank my 2023 LIFE Summer cohort Axelle Miel and Jura Miklobusec. I can’t wait to see where your research takes you.

Don’t-Miss Database: Qwest TV EDU

Screenshot of Qwest TV EDU database landing page

Post contributed by Laura Williams, Head of the Music Library.

Qwest TV EDU is a video streaming channel showcasing Black music and global sounds. Created by music legend Quincy Jones, the database features a wide range of musical genres and styles, including jazz, the blues, soul, funk, world music, electronic music, classical music, and much more.

Why Should You Use This?

Qwest TV provides several major categories to explore in its catalog, including concerts, documentaries, and a rich trove of archival material with showstopping performances by legendary artists. Videos in Qwest TV span historic recordings from the 1950s right up to the present day, showcasing the storied history of musical styles and influences around the world.

The archive features some extraordinary live performances, including a 1963 Parisian concert by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald, and a 1982 performance by the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, with dazzling virtuosic solos by the young Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis.

Ella Fitzgerald Live at the Olympia, Paris (1963)
Ella Fitzgerald Live at the Olympia, Paris (1963)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live at the Village Vanguard (1982)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live at the Village Vanguard (1982)

Cool Features

One of the most interesting ways to delve into Qwest TV’s offerings is through recommendation lists created by Guest Curators who bring wide-ranging perspectives to their selections. Qwest TV also features some original content, such as Twelve Qwestions, a series of exclusive interviews. In anticipation of Gregory Porter’s visit to Duke in February 2024 through Duke Arts, you can explore his curated list of selections, a Twelve Qwestions interview, a documentary about the two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, as well as a live performance:

Gregory Porter “Liquid Spirit” -- Live at Jazz a la Villette Festival (2013)
Gregory Porter “Liquid Spirit” — Live at Jazz a la Villette Festival (2013)

Database Tips

A myriad of browsing categories connect content in a variety of interesting ways, highlighting Fresh Talents and Gems from the Vaults, as well as bringing together imaginative groupings such as Space is the Place (a celebration of spiritual jazz), the somewhat enigmatic New Ancient Strings, and an exploration of electronica in Africatronics.

One of the most exciting videos I discovered is a recent concert from the New World Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Eddins which “explores a symphonic world that influenced and was influenced by the musical heritage of the African diaspora.” Stunning performances by the orchestra and celebrated American soprano and scholar Dr. Louise Toppin are illuminated throughout by the historical commentary and insights provided by noted musicologist Dr. Tammy Kernodle, making this concert nothing short of extraordinary from both a musical and scholarly standpoint.

New World Symphony - Harlem Renaissance2023
New World Symphony – Harlem Renaissance
2023

Similar Resources

Other related streaming databases that might be of interest are the Naxos Music Library Jazz, Smithsonian Global Sound, and Medici.tv EDU, which features a similar international lineup of live concerts and documentaries, but with more emphasis on classical music, opera, and ballet. You’ll find more on our Online Listening and Viewing page.

Questions?

Contact Laura Williams, Head of the Music Library.

What to Read this Month: November

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day by Kaitlin B. Curtice. In an era in which “resistance” has become tokenized, Indigenous author Kaitlin Curtice reclaims it as a basic human calling. We each have a role to play in the world right where we are, and our everyday acts of resistance hold us all together. Curtice shows that we can learn to practice embodied ways of belonging and connection to ourselves and one another through everyday practices, such as getting more in touch with our bodies, resting, and remembering our ancestors. She explores four “realms of resistance”–the personal, the communal, the ancestral, and the integral–and shows how these realms overlap and why all are needed for our liberation. Readers will be empowered to seek wholeness in whatever spheres of influence they inhabit. To learn more about Curtice’s work, you might want to watch this Reader Meet Writer video from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.


Bad Cree by Jessica Johns. In this gripping, horror-laced debut, a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.
Night after night, Mackenzie’s dreams return her to a memory from before her sister Sabrina’s untimely death: a weekend at the family’s lakefront campsite, long obscured by a fog of guilt. But when the waking world starts closing in, too—a murder of crows stalks her every move around the city, she wakes up from a dream of drowning throwing up water, and gets threatening text messages from someone claiming to be Sabrina—Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone. What really happened that night at the lake, and what did it have to do with Sabrina’s death? Only a bad Cree would put their family at risk, but what if whatever has been calling Mackenzie home was already inside?  To learn more check out this excerpt from CBC, or this BookPage review.


The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History by Ned Blackhawk. The most enduring feature of U.S. history is the presence of Native Americans, yet most histories focus on Europeans and their descendants. This long practice of ignoring Indigenous history is changing, however, with a new generation of scholars insists that any full American history address the struggle, survival, and resurgence of American Indian nations. Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. Ned Blackhawk interweaves five centuries of Native and non‑Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century. Blackhawk’s retelling of U.S. history acknowledges the enduring power, agency, and survival of Indigenous peoples, yielding a truer account of the United States and revealing anew the varied meanings of America. Ned Blackhawk just won the National Book Award for nonfiction!


A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt. In the stark expanse of Northern Alberta, a queer Indigenous doctoral student steps away from his dissertation to write a novel, informed by a series of poignant encounters: a heart-to-heart with fellow doctoral student River over the mounting pressure placed on marginalized scholars; a meeting with Michael, a closeted man from his hometown whose vulnerability and loneliness punctuate the realities of queer life on the fringe. Woven throughout these conversations are memories of Jack, a cousin caught in the cycle of police violence, drugs, and survival. Jack’s life parallels the narrator’s own; the possibilities of escape and imprisonment are left to chance with colonialism stacking the odds. A Minor Chorus introduces a dazzling new literary voice whose vision and fearlessness shine much-needed light on the realities of Indigenous survival. To learn more, check out this excerpt from CBC, or this review from Colorado Review.


Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones. December 12th, 2019, Jade returns to the rural lake town of Proofrock the same day as convicted Indigenous serial killer Dark Mill South escapes into town to complete his revenge killings, in this riveting sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones. Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho. To learn more, check out this review from Tor, or this interview in Esquire.

Help Us Help You. Take the Perkins Library Customer Service Experience Survey!

Guest post by Brandon Britt, Access Services Librarian, and Annette Tillery, Perkins Service Desk Supervisor


The Duke University Libraries are highly invested in ensuring that the services and experiences we offer to all who visit us at our Service Desk are as responsive to user feedback as possible. 

Examples of this work are our Biennial User Satisfaction Surveys, a study on the needs and experiences of Black students at Duke, and efforts to gain insight on the needs and experiences of first-generation students at Duke.  

In building on our tilt towards actively listening to the ones for whom we come to work daily, we welcome you to provide us with feedback on your visits to Perkins!  

The Perkins Library Customer Service Experience Survey is a short, 3-minute survey which allows you to give feedback on your time engaging with the people and resources in the building. We welcome constructive remarks about your time in the building! 

Simply click the survey link above or scan the QR code when you see these signs around Perkins Library.  

For more information about this survey, please contact Annette Tillery at annette.tillery@duke.edu or Brandon Britt at brandon.britt@duke.edu. 

LIFE Summer Research Grant Reflections: Visualizing Philippine Overseas Employment by Amira Axelle Miel

This is the first blog post in a series written by the 2023 recipients of the Duke University Libraries Summer Research Fellowship for LIFE Students. Amira Axelle Miel is a senior majoring in political science with a minor in music.

Axelle Miel standing in the Plenary Hall of the Philippine House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines

Axelle Miel standing in in the Plenary Hall of the Philippine House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines

Introduction and Overview

Through the help of the Duke Libraries Summer Research Grant and the Deans Summer Research Fellowship, this summer I undertook a research project that aimed to illuminate the overseas labor migration phenomenon in the Philippines in two ways. First, I wanted to visualize the occupational composition of the overseas workforce throughout history; second, I was interested in exploring the different government agencies involved in overseas employment.

I was drawn to this topic because being from the Philippines, I have seen firsthand how people turn to overseas employment out of necessity, often at a high personal cost. Overseas labor migration began in earnest in the 1970s as a short-term solution for the human capital surplus at home and a simultaneous global demand for labor after the Middle Eastern oil boom. Though initially meant as a temporary labor program, the country continued to churn out Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) at a steady rate as Filipinos increasingly realized that they could earn higher wages by working the same job abroad than if they had done it at home. Not only that, but lower-skilled jobs outside the country sometimes paid even better than higher-skilled jobs in the Philippines.

This persisting wage premium and lack of comparable opportunities for economic mobility in the Philippines have resulted in a contemporary narrative painting OFWs as “modern-day heroes” who sacrifice years of their lives away from their community all so that they could better support their loved ones financially. It is estimated that two million OFWs go abroad for work every year and that the remittances they send back home to their family comprise 10% of national GDP.

Specific project goals

Something that particularly interested me going into the summer was a statistical report that I saw dating from 2021 stating that 43% of OFWs worked in “elementary” or unskilled occupations. I had also heard about an apparent justification and endorsement of the personal costs of being an OFW, especially among those in lower-skilled work. I then became curious about the general occupations in which OFWs were employed abroad. I wanted to know – has our overseas Filipino workforce always been skewed towards elementary workers? What other jobs do OFWs work in that we don’t hear about?

Additionally, despite the pervasiveness of overseas employment in the Philippines, there is currently no clear explanation of the different government agencies involved in the lengthy process of becoming an OFW, from finding work to being deployed abroad to returning home for good after your contract. Even official government sources do not have this information available online – the newly created Department of Migrant Workers, which handles all affairs relating to overseas work, is still in the process of merging directives from different agencies and does not have updated information on their website. I wanted to understand for myself who the key actors were in this bureaucratic process.

I published my findings in this Notion site, where I go in-depth into how I investigated both of these project goals. You can read about my methodology and data by visiting the link. In the rest of this blog post, I will reflect on what I’ve learned this summer and my future plans.

Total Number of Overseas Filipino Workers by Occupation over Time (1993-2019)

Total Number of Overseas Filipino Workers by Occupation over Time (1993-2019). See more findings in the Notion site

Learning #1: Honing my data science and visualization skills

One thing that I had hoped to accomplish with this project was to develop my quantitative research skills. For most of my Duke years, I focused on qualitative research as I felt I was stronger in that area. However, I have increasingly come to appreciate the importance of quantitative methodologies; thus, I decided to challenge myself to use data science to answer my questions about OFWs and their occupations. Over the summer, I learned the fundamentals of Python as I initially wanted to create graphs using the coding language. However, due to time constraints, I ended up using Tableau, a data visualization software, to make and publish my charts.  I am quite proud of the work that I did and plan to continue studying Python and other coding languages!

Learning #2: The limits of labeling and grouping humans into numbers

Other than working with data science, my occupation visualization project allowed me to reflect on the limitations of quantitative research. In a past class, I learned about how statistics often reduce multi-dimensional humans and human experiences to mere numbers. I also learned that the categories that we use to define people in surveys, censuses, and reports contain biases that impose judgment on marginalized groups and paint an inaccurate picture. Consequently, I was especially aware of the implications of the labels in my own project.

Because I was working with data concerning people’s jobs, I wanted to make sure that each occupation group, regardless of their income or education level, was not described in a condescending way. One thing that I knew I didn’t want to do was to use the term “unskilled workers” to describe people doing routine and/or physically taxing work. “Unskilled workers” is seen in literature and legislation, but I believe that every job involves a skill of some sort, whether that is dexterity, endurance, communication, critical thinking, or creativity. Instead, I changed it to “elementary workers.” This is similar to the term “elementary occupations” that is also commonly used to describe similar jobs, but I felt that “occupations” was impersonal and dehumanizing. I acknowledge that the descriptors that I ultimately decided to use are not perfect, as they still operate within a hierarchy that reflects our capitalist economic systems, but I am proud of the intentionality with which I approached something that I would have previously overlooked before coming to Duke.

Learning #3: The importance of bottom-up research

Lastly, while I primarily used statistics and academic literature to answer my research questions this summer, I complemented these sources with an internship at the Philippine House of Representatives, where I was primarily involved with the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs. It was by meeting people who were actively involved in and were working on issues relating to OFWs that I got to understand which needs were most pressing and which problems I should be focusing most of my academic efforts. Consequently, I am ending my summer with the renewed conviction that scholars should conduct research with both their feet firmly on the ground, not from within the ivory (or Duke blue) tower.

I had intended this summer project as a preliminary research stage for my political science senior thesis, which was supposed to be on overseas migration. The Libraries’ research grant allowed me to delve into data, but also be around advocates and politicians who were doing the much-needed work in the field. This allowed me to paint a richer picture of overseas labor migration.

However, my time working with these politicians led me to discover a topic that was more compatible with my own research interests and theoretical experience – local political dynasties. For decades, Philippine politics has been dominated by families who pass on government seats to different members over generations, with the goal of consolidating wealth and power. These dynasties are a big reason why inequality is still quite high in the Philippines – and consequently, why overseas migration is still so prevalent today. Thus, I am now writing my senior thesis on policymaking differences among political dynasties in the House of Representatives. Though it was not what I initially set out to do, I am genuinely excited for what I will find, and I am grateful that my summer experience led me in this direction.

I look forward to making the most out of my remaining time at Duke, always with an eye towards using my studies to impact my home country of the Philippines.

ONLINE: Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Tiny Beautiful Things

In November Low Maintenance Book Club will be reading selections from Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. We will be reading “Like an Iron Bell, “How You Get Unstuck,” “The Future Has an Ancient Heart,” “Tiny Revolutions,” and “Tiny Beautiful Things.” Some of the themes and topics in this collection are very heavy, so feel free to skip or substitute an essay. We will be meeting on Wednesday November 29th at noon. You are welcome to read either the 2012 or 2022 edition. We have several copies available in our library, and it should be available in most public libraries.

The meeting will be held over Zoom, so make sure to RSVP to receive an invitation link the morning of the 29th. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).

What to Read this Month: October

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Against Technoableism is a manifesto exploding what we think we know about disability, and arguing that disabled people are the real experts when it comes to technology and disability. When bioethicist and professor Ashley Shew became a self-described “hard-of-hearing chemobrained amputee with Crohn’s disease and tinnitus,” there was no returning to “normal.” Suddenly well-meaning people called her an “inspiration” while grocery shopping, or viewed her as a needy recipient of technological wizardry. Most disabled people don’t want what the abled assume they want—nor are they generally asked. Why do abled people frame disability as an individual problem that calls for technological solutions, rather than a social one? In a warm, feisty, opinionated voice and vibrant prose, Shew shows how we can create better narratives and more accessible futures by drawing from the insights of the cross-disability community. To learn more, you might want to read this NYT review or this excerpt published in Wired.


When British poet Amy Key was growing up, she envisioned a life shaped by love–and Joni Mitchell’s album Blue was her inspiration. ” Blue became part of my language of intimacy,” she writes, recalling the dozens of times she played the record as a teen, “an intimacy of disclosure, vulnerability, unadorned feeling that I thought I’d eventually share with a romantic other.” As the years ticked by, she held on to this very specific idea of romance like a bottle of wine saved for a special occasion. But what happens when the romance we are all told will give life meaning never presents itself??Now single in her forties, Key explores in Arrangements in Blue : Notes on Loving and Living Alone the sweeping scales of romantic feeling as she has encountered them, using the album Blue as an expressive anchor: from the low notes of loss and unfulfilled desire–punctuated by sharp, discordant feelings of jealousy and regret–to the deep harmony of friendship, and the crescendos of sexual attraction and self-realization. You can read reviews in New City Lit and Chicago Review of Books.


Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa (and translated by by Eric Ozawa) is about a young woman who loses everything but finds herself–a tale of new beginnings, romantic and family relationships, and the comfort that can be found in books. Twenty-five-year-old Takako has enjoyed a relatively easy existence–until the day her boyfriend Hideaki, the man she expected to wed, casually announces he’s been cheating on her and is marrying the other woman. Suddenly, Takako’s life is in freefall. She loses her job, her friends, and her acquaintances, and spirals into a deep depression. In the depths of her despair, she receives a call from her distant uncle Satoru. To learn more, there’s an NPR review.


The automobile was one of the most miraculous inventions of the 20th century. It promised freedom, style, and utility. But sometimes, rather than improving our lives, technology just makes everything worse. Over the past century, cars have filled the air with toxic pollutants and fueled climate change. Cars have stolen public space and made our cities uglier, dirtier, less useful, and more unequal. Cars have caused tens of millions of deaths and injuries. They have wasted our time and our money. In Carmageddon, journalist Daniel Knowles outlines the rise of the automobile and the costs we all bear as a result. Weaving together history, economics, and reportage, he traces the forces and decisions that normalized cars and cemented our reliance on them. Knowles takes readers around the world to show the ways car use has impacted people’s lives–from Nairobi, where few people own a car but the city is still cloaked in smog, to Houston, where the Katy Freeway has a mind-boggling 26 lanes and there are 30 parking spaces for every resident, enough land to fit Paris ten times. With these negatives, Knowles shows that there are better ways to live, looking at Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Tokyo, and New York City. To learn more, you can read this Washington Post review or this Climate Pod recording with the author.


The Ramirez women of Staten Island orbit around absence. When thirteen‑year‑old middle child Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, it left the family scarred and scrambling. One night, twelve years later, oldest sister Jessica spots a woman on her TV screen in Catfight, a raunchy reality show. She rushes to tell her younger sister, Nina: This woman’s hair is dyed red, and she calls herself Ruby, but the beauty mark under her left eye is instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy, after all this time? What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is a vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love. To learn more, you can read this review from Latinx In Publishing or this article from Shondaland about the book and the author’s journey to get it published.

Lilly Collection Spotlight: Bad Houses

Movie still from Amityville Horror

GUEST POST BY STEPHEN CONRAD

Duke Libraries’ resident aficionado of off-beat and oft-frightening films is back to cast a horror-ful look at houses both embodying and encasing evil. Enjoy this spine-tingling Lilly Library Collection Spotlight, curated every Halloween by Stephen Conrad, Team Lead of Monographic Acquisitions (and most importantly–movies), and enter his warped world of BAD HOUSES!

DVD cover of Old Dark House

The Old Dark House – This pre-code chiller from director James Whale (‘Frankenstein’, ‘Invisible Man’ etc.) is a startling and also chuckling early-talkies take on the scary house theme. Five motorists seek shelter from a deluge in the titular Old Dark House, occupied by the cranky and bizarre Femm family. Boris Karloff gets his first top billing playing the servant Morgan, a brutish and hirsute drunk prone to rages. But beware, the biggest threat might be locked away upstairs…

 

DVD cover, The Innocents

The Innocents – Truman Capote co-wrote the screenplay for this 1961 adaptation of Henry James’s ‘Turn of the Screw’, directed by Jack Clayton. Deborah Kerr plays a young governess hired to take care of two young charges in a spooky and sprawling country estate. There is a haunting afoot though, with the house playing no small part in the mood and atmosphere. Brilliant cinematography by Freddie Francis really sets off the black & white scene, with truly effective use of candles and shadows.

 

DVD cover, The Sentinel

The Sentinel – You’ll be gobsmacked by the stellar cast but then utterly horrified by the proceedings in this frightening 1977 evil house terror from Michael Winner. A young fashion model named Alison moves into a brownstone (at 10 Montague Place, in Brooklyn Heights, btw) also occupied by a blind priest. Soon after moving in things turn very strange and sinister for Alison, and her presence there is more intentional than expected, for “there is evil everywhere and the Sentinel is the only hope”.

 

DVD cover, Hausu (House)

House (Hausu) – For sheer, nightmarish, what-the-what-ness, there may not be a better movie than Nobuhiko Ôbayashi’s 1977 Hausu. A schoolgirl takes six of her classmates on a summer trip to her Aunt’s country house which is, yes, haunted. One by one they vanish, in an utterly brilliant, wacky and deranged series of happenings and scenarios. Some of the wildest and weirdest effects possible are employed, including hyper-wild uses of colors. Watch and discover that it is possible to view something slack-jawed while laughing and also being freaked out and thoroughly amazed.

 

Dvd cover, House of the Devil

House of the Devil – An early directorial effort from modern genre master Ti West, this 2009 throwback shocker is set in the ‘80s (complete with ample Walkman usage). A college student takes a strange babysitting gig at a large house on the outskirts of town on a lunar eclipse (tip: DON’T do that) and all hell breaks loose. The slow burn leads to a gruesome and graphic final chapter, making hash of whatever nerves you had left. Could it be…..Satan?

Dancing skeletons

Do you recognize the movie that’s pictured at the top of this post? Test your trivia skills and see if you can Name that Film.

Bone-chilling postscript: the Libraries offer hundreds of streaming movies to watch (with Duke netid/password authentication) from platforms like Swank Digital Campus (“Horror” category), Projectr (“Haunted Arthouse” category), Films on Demand World Cinema (check out Roger Corman’s Bucket of Blood) and Kanopy (Horror & Thriller category) plus DVDs to borrow along with external DVD drives to play them. Very scary! External dvd drive with dvd displayed in open slot

The Making of a Poet: Mohsen Mohamed & Sherine Elbanhawy residency, 23 – 27 Oct. 2023

The Making of a Poet is a Trent Grant and Laertes Press sponsored residency for Mohsen Mohamed and Sherine Elbanhawy. In 2021, Mohsen published his first book of poetry, مفيش رقم بيرد (Mafīsh raqam bīrudd)  which won first prize for vernacular poetry at the Cairo International Book Fair as well as the Sawiris Cultural Award. He wrote the poems while incarcerated in several prisons between 2014-2019 as he notes, “poetry in prison is like dreaming; it’s an alternative space to live, experience, and see the world.” Written in Egyptian Arabic, his poetry oscillates between longing and loss, between the present and the past, and between optimism and despair.

Mohsen will be joined by Sherine who was inspired to translate Mohsen’s work after a chance meeting at a workshop. She read his poetry and noted that “[his] poetry is very much ingrained in the tradition of poetry as a voice of resistance.” Sherine’s translation was published earlier this year by Laertes Press, an independent press committed to literary translation based in Chapel Hill and is entitled No One is On the Line.

The Bedfellows Are Sleeping and I’m Whispering

Oh, what a story,
the story
of my oppression

الرفاق نايمين و أنا بهمس

يا حكاية ظلمي يا حكاية

Mohsen was born in Mansoura, a city in Egypt located along the Nile, and had been pursuing a degree in Business Administration. However, he was wrongly arrested in 2014 and spent 5 years incarcerated in 6 different jails. He currently lives in Oxford, England. Last year he was interviewed about his poetry and his time in prison (in Arabic).  Some of the poems in No One is On the Line, as well as new poems by Mohsen will be published later this year in a new collection of Egyptian prison writings in the post-2011 period by the University of California press.

In the deafening
silence of the nights
in the colossal
isolating barrier,
I grappled with question and answer,
like a mute who strives
to interrogate someone sightless

في الليالي وصمتها القاتل
والجدار العازل الحائل
كنت أجاوب فيها و أتسائل
زي أخرس يسأل الأعمي
حطوا ليه على عينه غماية

Sherine Elbanhawy, is currently pursuing a MA in Islamic Studies-Women and Gender Studies at McGill University. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She’s the founder of Rowayat, a literary magazine showcasing Egyptian and Arab/SWANA writers.

 Fawzi

Running and fleeing at a protest
in a snapshot caught by a friend,
a taste of teargas,
and people making way for you
to revive a friend
suddenly passed out.
On the left side
of the photo
betrayers and decent people.
In the back,
a throng, seen and unseen.

فوزي

وكر وفر في مظاهرة
و صورة لقطها ليك صاحبك
بطعم الغاز
وناس توسع لك طريق
علشان تداوي رفيق
أغمى عليه فجأة
وناس في شمال الصورة كات خاينة
وناس صادقة
وناس في الخلف مش باينة
وناس في الخلف

Over the course of the 23-27 Oct. week, Mohsen and Sherine will participate in a number of events and we hope you’ll attend!

On Tuesday, we’ll visit with Dr. Claudia Yaghoobi of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a reading and discussion with her students in her course entitled Iranian Prison Literature.

The next day, Mohsen and Sherine will present at the John Hope Franklin Centre as part of the W@C speaker series.

Knowledge

But I can still say
that I love, that I dream,
get inspired,
and get hurt.
The booming of the poem
vibrates inside iron bars,
but its wrists have never been shackled,
nor has steel ever muzzled its songs,
nor has the voice of an ode become hoarse.

المعرفة

لكني لسه بعرف أقول
وأحب وأحلم وانشرح
وانجرح
صوت القصيدة العالي يتسلل
بين الحديد أبو سلسلة ومعصم
الشعر عمره ف مرة ماتسلسل
ولا صوت غنا بحديد بتكمم
ولا عمر مرة قصيدة صوتها أتنبح

On Thursday evening, our esteemed guests will be hosted by Letters Bookshop in downtown Durham for a soirée of reading and translating. Sherine’s translation will be on sale and Mohsen and Sherine will be delighted to sign your copy!

Our final event, entitled Egypt’s carceral poetry and the public sphere will take place in Duke Libraries RL249 where Mohsen and Sherine will be in discussion with Duke University Professors Frances Hasso and Corina Stan.  The hope is to extract commonalities and parallels that help us to understand the carceral experience with respect to care and caring, its reconfiguring of human distances, and its impact on human rights and the suppression of artists.

Don’t-Miss Databases: Proquest Black Studies

Image from Proquest Black Studies

Proquest Black Studies combines primary and secondary sources, leading historical Black newspapers, archival documents, government materials, video, writings by major American Black intellectuals and leaders, and essays by top scholars in Black Studies. Years of coverage include 1650 to the present.

Why Should You Use This?

Anyone looking for primary sources in African American studies should start here. Proquest Black Studies provides access to a wide range of primary sources under one platform. You’ll find records of organizations including the Black Panther Party and the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs Records, 1895-1992. Jump start your research on historical figures (e.g., pilot Bessie Coleman) by browsing the Featured People list. You can also search the full text of eleven historical Black newspapers.

Bessie Coleman, First Licensed African American Woman Female Pilot
Bessie Coleman, First Licensed African American Woman Female Pilot

Cool Features

Documentaries, speeches, interviews, newsreels, and other types of videos are added features. I enjoyed watching Langston Hughes reading his poem “The Weary Blues” accompanied by a jazz band.

Langston Hughes: Performance "The Weary Blues" with Jazz Accompaniment
Langston Hughes: Performance “The Weary Blues” with Jazz Accompaniment

Database Tips

You can search the entire database for any terms you want to find, but choose the Basic Search page for an overview of the types of collections available and choices for browsing.

Similar Resources

Other online primary source databases for African American studies include African American Communities (focusing on Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and North Carolina) and HistoryMakers Digital Archive (video oral histories of African Americans). You’ll find more on our Research Databases page.

Questions?

Contact Heather Martin, Librarian for African and African American Studies.

Congratulations to Our Research and Writing Award Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2022-2023 library writing and research awards. Every year the Duke University Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research and writing of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Lowell Aptman Prize

Recognizing excellence in undergraduate research using sources from the Libraries’ general collections.

  • Honors Thesis Winner: Alexandra (Bailey) Griffen for “The ‘Last Midwife’ that Never Was: Gender Race and Birth in Durham’s Medical Establishment, 1900-1989,” nominated by Dr. Sarah Deutsch. 
  • Third/ Fourth Year Winner:  Angela Wu for “Ncosi, The Story of South Africa’s AIDs HIV Poster Child,” nominated by Dr. Karin Shapiro. 
  • First/Second Year Winner: Rhiannon Camarillo for “Abortion Liberalization in West Germany: A Lasting Legacy of Conservatism,” nominated by Dr. James Chappell. 

Chester P. Middlesworth Award

Recognizing excellence of analysis, research, and writing in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

  • Zoe Kolenovsky for “Cancer Alley, Louisiana: A Case Study in Race- and Class-Based Discrimination as Drivers of Environmental Injustice,” nominated by Dr. Nancy MacLean 

Ole R. Holsti Prize

Recognizing excellence in undergraduate research using primary sources for political science or public policy.

  • Axelle Miel for “Concentrix in the Philippines: The Political Risk of Remote Work,” nominated by Dr. Edmund Malesky
  • Kulsoom Rizavi for “Intra-Party Polarization – Characterizing its Nature and Extent through r/Democrats and r/Republican,” nominated by Dr. Christopher Bail 

Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award

Recognizing outstanding creative writing by first year students and sophomores.

  • Camden Chin for “The Value of a Dollar”
  • Erin Lee for “Chuncheon”
  • Kulsoom Rizavi for “Sound of Otherness”

The William Styron Creative Writing Award

Recognizing outstanding creative writing by juniors and seniors.

  • Ruby Wang for “2001: An Ode to Mother”
  • Sophie Zhu for “White Fox”

Join Us at the Awards Reception!

We will be celebrating our winners and their achievements at a special awards reception coinciding with Duke Family Weekend. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.

Date: Friday, November 3
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Breedlove Conference Room (Rubenstein Library 349)

Grad Students: Satisfy Your RCR Credits with the Libraries during Fall Break, Oct. 16-17


If you’re a graduate student at Duke, Fall Break may be a good time to work through several of your RCR credits in just two days! The Duke University Libraries offer a cluster of workshops on diverse subjects in several different disciplines on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 16-17.  Register now!

ONLINE: From Publication to Product: Take Your Research Out of the Lab and into the Environment (RCR Workshop GS717.14) Monday, October 16, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Applying a Project Management Mindset to Your Academic Life (RCR Workshop GS717.15) Monday, October 16, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Shaping Your Professional Identity Online (RCR Workshop 717.13) Monday, October 16, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Expand your Toolbox for International Research (RCR Workshop GS717.16) Monday, October 16, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Library Toolbox for Responsible Research in the Sciences and Engineering (RCR Workshop GS 714.05) Tuesday, October 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Public Humanities (RCR Workshop GS717.12) Tuesday, October 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

IN-PERSON: Project Management Lab: Moving from Idea to Action (RCR Workshop GS717.17) Tuesday, October 17, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Murthy Digital Studio.

Best wishes for a pleasant fall break from Duke University Libraries!

ONLINE: Low Maintenance Book Club reads Edgar Allan Poe

Low Maintenance Book Club gets spooky with the original master of macabre Edgar Allan Poe. We will be reading the following stories and poems: “Ligeia,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “Annabel Lee” (we promise these are mostly quite short).  We will be meeting on Monday October 30th at noon. As always, you’re welcome regardless of how much (or whether) you’ve read. You are welcome to read any edition of Poe’s work. You should be able to find these works in Project Gutenberg, and we have several different copies in the library, including Selected Tales and Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays.

The meeting will be held over Zoom, so make sure to RSVP to receive an invitation link the morning of the 30th. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).

Let Freedom Read During Banned Books Week 2023

Banned Books Week is taking place this week from October 1st-7th. LeVar Burton is the honorary chair. He will headline a live virtual conversation with Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels about censorship and advocacy at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4. The event will stream live on Instagram (@banned_books_week).  Here are some other online events that might be of interest if you are interested in learning more:

From How to Now: Book Bans in the U.S. on Tuesday October 3rd at 9pm EST. Moderated by Ipek Burnett with appearances by Nic Stone, Becky Calzada, Leela Hensler, and Summer Lopez.

Authors and Advocates on Fighting Book Bans on Wednesday October 4th at 1:00pm EST. Join author John Green, writer and illustrator Mike Curato, librarian and Texas FReadom Fighters co-founder Becky Calzada, and Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels for a conversation about the impact of book bans.

LIVE from NYPL and The Atlantic . Banned: Censorship and Free Expression in America on Thursday October 5th at 7:00pm EST.  join The New York Public Library and The Atlantic for a discussion with authors Ayad Akhtar and Imani Perry, moderated by Atlantic executive editor Adrienne LaFrance, about the danger of book banning and limits on freedom of expression.

We also have quite a few books about censorship and book banning if you want to learn more:

Book Banning in 21st-century America by Emily Knox

Censored: A Literary History of Subversion and Control by Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis

Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times by Azar Nafisi

Young Adult Literature, Libraries, and Conservative Activism by Loretta M. Gaffney

Book Banning and Other Forms of Censorship by Carolee Laine

Censorship Moments: Reading Texts in the History of Censorship and Freedom of Expression edited by Geoff Kemp

Silenced in the Library: Banned Books in America by Zeke Jarvis

Literature and the New Culture Wars: Triggers, Cancel Culture, and the Teacher’s Dilemma by Deborah Appleman

If you know someone impacted by book bans, there are several efforts to make these books available, including The Digital Public Library of America’s Banned Book Club project and the Brooklyn Public Library’s  Books UnBanned project.

Open Scholarship in the Humanities: Nitin Luthra

The following is one of four profiles of researchers who have engaged in open scholarship at Duke. Please join us on October 5 for Open Scholarship in the Humanities — an in-person panel discussion with these current and former graduate students, who will explore their approaches to engaging in open humanistic scholarship. You can learn more about this ScholarWorks Center event in this blog post, and you can register at https://duke.libcal.com/event/11159787. The event qualifies for 200-level RCR credit. We hope to see you there!

Meet Nitin Luthra

Nitin Luthra (he/him) is a doctoral researcher at the Department of English, Duke University. Before coming to Duke, he worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Delhi (India) for 7 years. His research interests include critical theory, ethics, public and political rhetorics, contemporary postcolonial and world literatures. Deeply influenced by democratic theory, his current work focuses on the representations of refugees and the manifestation of violence in recent literature on migration.  

About Nitin’s Research

Nitin writes, “As a scholar interested in migration and forced displacement, I explore the discourses of far-right groups against immigrant populations of color. In this project, I wanted to learn computational text analysis for larger body of texts and employ those tools to excavate patterns within novels appreciated by right-wing circles. After reading an article by Duke professor Corina Stan (“Invasion and Replacement Fantasies: Jean Raspail’s The Camp of Saints and the French Far Right,” Palgrave Handbook of European Migration, 2023), I was drawn to read French texts (in translation) like The Camp of Saints (1973) and Submission (2015). Jean Raspail’s novel The Camp of Saints imagines an apocalyptic scenario where one million refugees from India ‘invade’ France followed by the rest of Europe. This half-century old racist novel gained international resurgence in the aftermath of the European refugee crisis when conservative leaders like Marine Le Pen praised it for being visionary. In the US, Steve Bannon, the chief strategist of Trump administration in its early days, described the influx of refugees in Europe in terms of this novel. In January 2016, he said: ‘It’s not a migration. It’s really an invasion. I call it the Camp of Saints’ (Paul Blumenthal and JM Rieger, “This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World”). One aspect of this far-right response related to my research is its praise in terms of a defense of the cultural construct of ‘the West,’ a recent invention going back to the end of the 19th century, as ‘an immense effort to forget the anxieties surrounding the dissolution of European empire looking forward to the era of decolonization’ (Christopher Gogwilt, The Rhetorical Invention of the West p. 9).

“These French and Western European anxieties against Islam take us to French novelist Michel Houellebecq’s popular novel Submission, which imagines an imminent dystopian future where France elects a Muslim president and Europe is on its way to becoming integrated into Eurabia. Like the reverse-colonization scenario in The Camp of Saints, this novel speaks to the replacement anxieties of the far-right— theorized by Renaud Camus as ‘the Great Replacement theory’— who imagine the increase in non-white populations as threatening to the French or Western civilization. These racist and xenophobic apprehensions are not just limited to the sphere of letters in print and social media forums. The white nationalist Payton Gendron, who killed 10 people in the 2022 mass shooting in Buffalo, was fixated on this idea of the great replacement.” 

On the Use of Computational Text Analysis Methods to Study Fiction

“This cultural hostility became the catalyst to an exploratory text analysis project through visual coding in Orange. I begin with the SentiArt tool for sentiment analysis. Generally, sentiment analysis is used to analyze tweets and reviews. But SentiArt is designed for literary texts. It uses vector space models to compute the valence of individual words. This makes it able to understand the emotional content of the texts with much more accuracy and nuance than other sentiment analysis tools like Vader and Liu-Hu. I use data from this analysis to guide my close reading of these texts. 

“The next step of the process was topic modeling using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). The statistical model allows us to discover topics (collection of words that tend to occur together) in a corpus. These topics can then classify individual documents in the corpus based on their relevance to each topic. I passed the resulting data through the Orange Multidimensional Scaling widget, which projected multidimensional objects into a two-dimensional plane to help us see their closeness or distance. 

“While helpful, these techniques are based on a ‘bag of words‘ model which often simplifies the contextual meaning of literary texts. Thus, to add more semantic heft to my analysis, I also ran the data through the Semantic Viewer to identify the keywords in each corpus. While the viewer identified keywords using several methods like TF-IDF, Rake, etc., I found Google’s mBERT to be the most accurate algorithm that focused not just on the frequency of words but also on their literary and semantic force. The TF-IDF model finds the most relevant words in a particular document, but the mBERT (‘m’ stands for multilingual) machine learning model converts phrases/words into vectors, which allows it to be more context dependent than other traditional models. 

“In my analysis, I discovered that even though these novels follow the trope of invasion novels describing the takeover in painstaking and racist detail, ultimately they argue for the degeneration of the ‘West’ and the values it is thought to represent. The political takeover by those not considered to belong to this construct is only a consequence of this decadent slumber.

“The methods I followed were part of an exploratory analysis juxtaposing literary analysis with statistical tools. Combining computational techniques with literary techniques can allow for surprising insights within a text or corpus that may not be easily detectable. While I used the tools on two novels in this preliminary phase, the tools can be quite helpful when studying bigger corpora.”

Learn More

The tools Nitin uses for his research are part of the Orange Data Mining platform, a powerful software suite used for many types of data analysis and textual exploration. 

Come meet Nitin and learn about his work at the ScholarWorks Center’s Open Scholarship in the Humanities panel discussion on October 5 (12:00-1:00 PM, Bostock Library 127; lunch is provided). Please take a moment to register and learn more about the event. We’ll see you there!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Through a Streaming Lens

The Libraries provides access to thousands of streaming films to the Duke community, through multiple platforms. For Hispanic Heritage Month this year, take a look at our newest offering: PROJECTR. Projectr curates an ever-expanding collection of acclaimed movies, archival restorations, award-winning documentaries and artist-made works from around the world. Projectr offers over a hundred works exploring the Latinx and Latin American experience. You can browse this rich collection by Subject or Country, and get recommendations from independent filmmakers.

Here is a small selection that Projectr presents, with descriptions they provide. Explore and enjoy! 

Fruits of Labor (dir. Emily Cohen Ibañez)Woman's face with butterflies and flowers over her
A Mexican-American teenage farmworker dreams of graduating high school when ICE raids in her community threaten to separate her family and force her to become her family’s breadwinner. Fruits of Labor is a lyrical, coming-of-age documentary about adolescence, nature, and how ancestors paved the way for us. 

La Flor (dir. Mariano Llinás)
T.V. series still of women pointing gunsLa Flor is an eight-part film, a decade in the making. It is an epic adventure in scale and imagination, a wildly entertaining ode to the power of storytelling. Filmed around the world, it is composed of six distinct episodes over eight parts, each starting the same four actresses. It redefines the concept of binge viewing. 

Dry Ground Burning (dirs. Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós)Film still with two characters looking into the distance,

An electrifying portrait of Brazil’s dystopian contemporary moment that blends documentary with narrative fiction and genre elements. “A politically incendiary ethnographic sci-fi…In Dry Ground Burning, the future isn’t just female: it is Black, lesbian, profoundly matriarchal.” —Sight and Sound

A River Below (dir. Mark Grieco)
Movie posterA captivating documentary about the ethics of activism in the modern media age. A River Below examines the efforts of two conservationists in the Amazon. One is a marine biologist and the other an animal activist and host of a popular National Geographic t.v. show. Their methods to save the pink river dolphin from extinction triggers unforeseen consequences.

Cuatro Paredes (dir. Matt Porterfield)
Film posterA luminous short film by Matt Porterfield (SOLLERS POINT, PUTTY HILL) featuring rising star Barbara Lopez, CUATRO PAREDES follows Karla, recently arrived in Tijuana, Mexico to stay at her estranged aunt’s house a year after her father’s death. In this moment of solitude and calm, she looks up, down, inward and outward through the transpositional alchemy of text and is reminded that speaking to oneself feels like a vital human practice.

 

 

 

 

Open Scholarship in the Humanities: Emilie Menzel

The following is one of four profiles of researchers who have engaged in open scholarship at Duke. Please join us on October 5 for Open Scholarship in the Humanities — an in-person panel discussion with these current and former graduate students, who will explore their approaches to engaging in open humanistic scholarship. You can learn more about this ScholarWorks Center event in this blog post, and you can register at https://duke.libcal.com/event/11159787. The event qualifies for 200-level RCR credit. We hope to see you there!

Headshot of Emilie Menzel.Meet Emilie Menzel

Emilie Menzel is the Collections Management and Strategies Librarian for Duke’s Goodson Law Library and the Research and Instruction Librarian for the literary organization Seventh Wave. Her work and research support critical librarianship, libraries as active sites of information creation, and librarians as conduits for collaboration. Additionally, Emilie is a poet and writer, author of the book-length lyric The Girl Who Became a Rabbit (Hub City Press, 2024). She lives at the wood-skirts of Durham and online at emiliemenzel.com.

About Emilie’s Work with Project Vox

Published by Duke University Libraries, Project Vox (https://projectvox.org) is an open educational resource that amplifies the voices of marginalized philosophers. Emilie reflects on her role with the project:

“Last year while finishing my Masters in Library Science from UNC, I worked as the Teaching Resources Analyst for the Duke digital scholarship group Project Vox. Project Vox highlights early modernist philosophers from historically marginalized backgrounds; one way in which they do so is through a curation of open access reading lists and syllabi. As the Teaching Resources Analyst, I led an assessment of Project Vox’s existing teaching resources, surveyed Philosophy instructors about their teaching resource needs, and then used this information to intentionally reorganize, redesign, and solicit further open access teaching resources. What began as a single, text-heavy, static list of links was reconsidered and expanded into three philosophy teaching resource tools organized particularly around Philosophy instructors’ information seeking habits. The resulting teaching resource tools allow Philosophy instructors to easily identify topic-relevant reading recommendations, find suggestions of philosophers to pair or juxtapose in a course session, and search syllabi by course structure.

“This project overlays closely with the principles of open scholarship. It supports open access information and encourages collaboration and connection between Philosophy instructors. Further, the teaching resource tools themselves–i.e. the discovery and access points for the resources–were designed through close collaboration with the end-users; decisions about resource topics, organization, and presentation of information were shaped by open conversation with the user community.”

On the Invisible Work of Digital Scholarship

“Philosophy instructors frequently face pushback around centering historically marginalized philosophers. As I identified in this project’s survey, many instructors are best able to integrate non-canonical philosophers into institutionally accepted syllabi by pairing non-canonical philosophers with discussions of canonical philosophers. Knowing this, it makes sense that it could be useful for Philosophy instructors to be able to search teaching resources for, in essence, ‘What non-canonical philosopher can I teach beside Descartes?’ I thus created a Philosopher Pairings tool: a way for instructors to search for non-canonical philosophers that pair well with the canonical philosophers they are already teaching. In making this tool, however, I began to consider how creating an organizational system around canonical philosophers could be antithetical to the mission of Project Vox: to center non-canonical philosophers. The organization of information, of course, shapes our perception of what is valuable in that information set. I had to reorganize the tool. Back to the drawing board, restructuring the tool, reconsidering the philosophers data type in the backend of the database. 

“Another significant element of this project, likely imperceptible to most in the end product, was the challenge to design a teaching tool interface that could be easily maintained, understood, and updated by the Project Vox team. As a university-based, student-supported research project, the Project Vox team regularly changes composition. Each year, new undergraduates and graduate students bring an exciting range of interests and skills to Project Vox. My redesign of the teaching resource tools had to consider this array of technology backgrounds to ensure that the teaching resource tools I developed could actually be maintained by new team members for years to come. This task required simplifying the back-end organization of the database, as well as clear, highly thorough documentation.”

Learn More

To see Emilie’s redesign of the Project Vox teaching resources, please visit https://projectvox.org/teaching/. More about Project Vox and its mission can be found at https://projectvox.org/about-the-project/

Come meet Emilie and learn about her work at the ScholarWorks Center’s Open Scholarship in the Humanities panel discussion on October 5 (12:00-1:00 PM, Bostock Library 127; lunch is provided). Please take a moment to register and learn more about the event. We’ll see you there!






What to Read this Month: September

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Murder your Employer: the McMasters Guide to Homicide by Rupert Holmes. Who hasn’t wondered for a split second what the world would be like if a person who is the object of your affliction ceased to exist? But then you’ve probably never heard of The McMasters Conservatory, dedicated to the consummate execution of the homicidal arts. To gain admission, a student must have an ethical reason for erasing someone who deeply deserves a fate no worse (nor better) than death. The campus of this “Poison Ivy League” college–its location unknown to even those who study there–is where you might find yourself the practice target of a classmate…and where one’s mandatory graduation thesis is getting away with the perfect murder of someone whose death will make the world a much better place to live. To learn more, you may enjoy this Barnes & Noble sponsored conversation between the author and Neil Patrick Harris.


Jezebel by Megan Barnard. Jezebel. You’ve heard the name. But you’ve never heard her story. “Historical fiction at its finest,” (Louisa Morgan) this propulsive novel is a stunning reimagining of the story of a fierce princess from Tyre and her infamous legacy. Jezebel was born into the world howling. She intends to leave it the same way. When Jezebel learns she can’t be a king like her father simply because she’s a girl, she vows never to become someone’s decorative wife, nameless and lost to history. At fifteen she’s married off, despite her protests, to Prince Ahab of Israel. There, she does what she must to gain power and remake the dry and distant kingdom in the image of her beloved, prosperous seaside homeland of Tyre, beginning by building temples to the gods she grew up worshipping. As her initiatives usher in an era of prosperity for Israel, her new subjects love her, and her name rings through the land. Then Elijah, the prophet of Yahweh and her former lover, begins to speak out against her. Bitter at having been abandoned by Jezebel, he lashes out, calling her a slut. Harlot. Witch. And the people, revering their prophet’s message, turn on her. A stunning revision of a notorious queen’s story, Jezebel is a thrilling lyrical debut about a fierce woman who refuses to be forgotten. Check out this essay “Why the Rise of Morally Gray Women In Fiction Is Good For All of Us” by the author.


The Darkness Manifesto: On Light Pollution, Night Ecology, and the Ancient Rhythms that Sustain Life by Johan Eklöf. How much light is too much light? Satellite pictures show our planet as a brightly glowing orb, and in our era of constant illumination, light pollution has become a major issue. The world’s flora and fauna have evolved to operate in the natural cycle of day and night. But in the last 150 years, we have extended our day–and in doing so have forced out the inhabitants of the night and disrupted the circadian rhythms necessary to sustain all living things, including ourselves. Swedish conservationist Johan Eklöf urges us to appreciate natural darkness, its creatures, and its unique benefits. He ponders the beauties of the night sky, traces the errant paths of light-drunk moths and the swift dives of keen-eyed owls, and shows us the bioluminescent creatures of the deepest oceans. As a devoted friend of the night, Eklöf reveals the startling domino effect of diminishing darkness: insects, dumbfounded by streetlamps, failing to reproduce; birds blinded and bewildered by artificial lights; and bats starving as they wait in vain for insects that only come out in the dark. Here’s a NYT review and a review from the Geographical Magazine.


American Mermaid by Julia Langbein. Broke English teacher Penelope Schleeman is as surprised as anyone when her feminist, eco-warrior novel American Mermaid becomes a best-seller. But when Hollywood insists she convert her fierce, androgynous protagonist into to a teen sex object in a clamshell bra, strange things start to happen. Is Penelope losing her mind, or has her fictional mermaid come to life, enacting revenge against society’s limited view of what a woman can and should be? American Mermaid follows a young woman braving the casual slights and cruel calculations of a winner-take-all society and discovering a beating heart in her own fiction: a new kind of hero who fights to keep her voice and choose her place. A hilarious story about deep things, American Mermaid asks how far we’ll go to protect the parts of ourselves that are not for sale. You can read a review in the Chicago Review of Books or this blog post by The Bossy Bookworm.


Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People by Erica Abrams Locklear. When her mother passed along a cookbook made and assembled by her grandmother, Erica Abrams Locklear thought she knew what to expect. But rather than finding a homemade cookbook full of apple stack cake, leather britches, pickled watermelon, or other “traditional” mountain recipes, Locklear discovered recipes for devil’s food cake with coconut icing, grape catsup, and fig pickles. Some recipes even relied on food products like Bisquick, Swans Down flour, and Calumet baking powder. Where, Locklear wondered, did her Appalachian food script come from? And what implicit judgments had she made about her grandmother based on the foods she imagined she would have been interested in cooking? Appalachia on the Table argues, in part, that since the conception of Appalachia as a distinctly different region from the rest of the South and the United States, the foods associated with the region and its people have often been used to socially categorize and stigmatize mountain people.  The question at the core of Locklear’s analysis asks, How did the dominant culinary narrative of the region come into existence and what consequences has that narrative had for people in the mountains? To learn more, check out this review from the Southern Review of Books.






Stories of American Methodist Missionaries from Duke’s Korean Studies Collection, Part 1

This blog post by Miree Ku, Korean Studies Librarian, is the first in a series devoted to stories about American missionaries in Korea from Duke’s Korean collection and archives.

My interest in American Methodist missionaries in Korea was sparked by simple curiosity.  In 2007, when I first started working as a Korean Studies librarian at Duke University Libraries, I discovered that there was a library endowment called the Judy Fund, which was designated for the acquisition of and/or access to Korean materials in both paper and electronic formats. I was surprised to learn of the existence of this fund because it was established back in 1994, at a time when there was no Korean Studies program or faculty at Duke.  I wondered why some donor would set up a fund specifically for Korea, but at that point in time, I didn’t know Judy’s full name and was unable to find any archival records about him (or her?) in the library.

This curiosity returned to me a few years later when I received some boxes containing Korean materials gifted to Duke University Libraries. The boxes contained old Bibles, notes, diaries, calendars, and books published from the colonial period through the 1970s, in both Korean and English. According to the gift records, they were donated in 1999 but remained unprocessed for a long time because there was no one to manage Korean language materials. While sorting through the books one by one, I came across a very small red book titled Fifty Helps for the Beginner in the Use of the Korean Language (1911).  The first page of this book contained an inscription that reads: “Carl W. Judy.”  I was thrilled to see a familiar name and felt certain that these gift materials had been donated by the person who established the Judy Fund.

Baird A. L. A. (1911). Fifty helps for the beginner in the use of the korean language. Fukuin Print.

I was also surprised to see the names of missionaries associated with Duke’s Korean collection and archives appearing one after another. In the process of trying to identify these individuals I started researching the history and activities of foreign missionaries in Korea. The result of this research is my online library guide to the Carl Wesley Judy Collection, which is still on ongoing work as I continue to add his donated books. This guide describes the collection of materials that Carl W. Judy donated at the same time that he established the Judy Endowment at the Duke University Libraries. In addition to Judy’s own books, this guide also describes some of the books donated by other American missionaries to Korea, all of whom were either related to and/or worked alongside Carl W. Judy, including his father-in-law, Lyman Coy Brannon (Korean name 부라만, or 브라만), his wife, Margaret Brannon Judy (Korean name 주진주), Jack Aebersold (Korean name 이요한), and Roberta Rice (Korean name 나옥자).

Ku, Miree. “Carl Wesley Judy Collection.” Duke University Libraries.

In 2021, when I moved into the office previously occupied by Kristina Troost, the longtime head of the International and Area Studies Department, I discovered additional documents related to Judy. These included memoranda, letters from Judy to Duke University libraries, and acknowledgements from the Libraries. When I came across these documents, I was deeply moved by the story of Judy, his family, and other missionaries who ventured to a distant and unfamiliar country and dedicated their lives to serving the people of Korea. Even upon returning home to America, they held Korea close to their hearts.

Top: Memoranda (November 8, 1993 & January 28, 1994) Bottom (left): Carl W. Judy Korean Library Fund (Dec, 1993) Bottom (right): Carl W. Judy’s letter (and check) to Duke Libraries (Nov, 2001)

Carl Wesley Judy

Carl Wesley Judy (Korean name 주덕, also known as 주디 or 쥬디), the American Methodist pastor and Duke alumnus who established the Judy Endowment for the Korean collection at Duke University Libraries, spent nearly 35 years as a medical missionary in Korea (1948-1983).  During the course of his career, he worked with Korean villagers from the Kyungchonwon Leper Colony (경천원) in Wonju, provided scholarships to Korean high school and graduate students, and helped Korean pastors build or establish over 200 churches.

Left: a photo from the groundbreaking ceremony of Christian Hospital (the person holding a shovel in front is Rev. Judy), November 1957. Middle: Carl Wesley Judy. Right: Carl Wesley Judy & Margaret Brannan Judy. Source: http://www.wonjutoday.co.kr/

Judy was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on April 10, 1918, and graduated from the Divinity School of Duke University in 1943 with a B.D. degree. I found his bachelor’s thesis, titled Morris Harvey College as a Factor in the History of the Western Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in the Duke University Archives. Morris Harvey College later awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity (1966).

Judy, C. W. (1943). Morris Harvey college as a factor in the history of the Western Virginia conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, South.

While Judy was working for the Western North Carolina Annual Conference in 1944, he met Margaret Taylor Brannon (Korean name 주진주). She was born in Wonsan, Korea, the daughter of Methodist missionaries Myrtle and Lyman Brannan. In 1944, Carl and Judy were married at the Central Methodist Church in Asheboro, North Carolina. In 1946, the Judys were approved as missionaries by the Methodist Board of Mission and assigned to serve the areas of Cheonan, Daejeon, and Jeolla Provinces. Two years later, Carl, Margaret, and their two children departed for Korea.

The outbreak of the Korean War, on June 25, 1950, forced the family to return to their home in New Haven, Connecticut. But the Judys were not done with their mission. Despite the ongoing military hostilities, the Missionary Board asked Carl to return to Korea and to help the Korean Methodist Church and its followers cope with the chaos of those traumatic days. This time, however, Carl was accompanied by his father-in-law, Rev. Lyman Coy Brannon, rather than his wife.  After the war, Margaret and Carl’s children returned to Korea and the Judys reopened a mission station in Wonju in April 1954.

Carl W. Judy and Margaret B. Judy assigned to Wonju Jeil Methodist Church in November, 1954.

In 1959, Rev. Judy, along with Dr. Florence Jessie Murray, a United Church missionary doctor from Canada, established the Wonju United Christian Hospital, currently known as Yonsei University Wonju Severance Hospital.  Following in the footsteps of Margaret’s parents, the Judys spent the rest of their time in Korea as missionaries. Carl and Margaret retired to Asheboro, North Carolina, in 1984.

Lyman Coy Brannan

Carl Wesley Judy’s father-in-law, Lyman Coy Brannan (1880-1971), was a well-known Methodist Church pastor.  Reverend Brannan (better known by his Korean name 부라만 or 브라만) began his mission to Korea in 1910.  In 1914, Brannon married Mattie Myrtle Barker in Korea.  Their daughter, Margaret Brannan, was born in 1916.  From 1937 to 1940, he served as the school chaplain of Songdo High School, which was originally established in Songdo by Yun Chi-ho in 1906.

Brannon worked in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province of Korea (which is now South Korea), and primarily in Wonsan and Songdo (which is now Kaesong in North Korea). One of the sites where he focused his missionary efforts was a very small church known as Munam Church (문암감리교회 in Korean), which he established in a secluded mountain valley in Gangwon Province.  According to local folklore, it was situated at this remote location because soon after he arrived to sow the seeds of the gospel, the young American pastor became trapped in deep snow in Munam Village.  Whatever the case may be, Brannon’s establishment served as a Methodist home church, a group of Christians who regularly gather for worship in private homes.  During the colonial period, it is said that some Korean patriots, who were fighting for independence from Japanese colonial rule, sought refuge in this church to evade the Japanese police and potential imprisonment. Despite the intense pursuit by the Japanese authorities, this remote village remained untouched.

Another one of the sites where Brannon focused his missionary efforts was the Donam-ri Methodist Church in Deokwon, South Hamkyong Province (which is now Wonsan, North Korea).  Donam-ri was the hometown of Yongsin Choi (1909-1935), a Korean Methodist preacher who became a pioneer in promoting the enlightenment movement for rural communities and whose life-story served as the inspiration for the famous Korean novel called Evergreen Tree (상록수) written by Sim Hun in 1936. Yongsin Choi was born and raised in this area and received education there. She attended Doonam Church, a Methodist church near her home, which provided medical and educational services, and it is possible that Rev. Brannon was one of the American Methodist missionaries who taught her.  This hypothesis is supported by the fact that in the early missionary era, there were no Korean language teaching methods or textbooks available for foreigners. However, Brannon achieved fluency in the Korean language through his tireless efforts and dedication to learning. In fact, among the early Methodist missionaries, only two were capable of leading revival meetings in Korean: Lyman Brannon and Harrison Stokes (another missionary connected to Duke University, who will be introduced in the next blog post in this series).

Reverend Brannan dedicated his life to serving his congregants and did not officially retire until after the outbreak of the Korean War.  In fact, according to a New York Times article from June 25, 1950, Brannon and his wife were among the eight American Methodist missionaries who found themselves in Kaesong on the very day that this city fell to the troops of Communist North Korea.

“War is Declared by North Koreans…” The New York Times (June 25, 1950)

The Judy Collection and the Study of Korean Christianity

When I first discovered a very small Bible with Rev. Brannan’s name among the materials donated by Carl W. Judy, I wondered who he was. While conducting research on Judy, I was deeply moved to learn that Rev. Brannan was Judy’s father-in-law and that his old Bibles and books had been kept by his daughter and son-in-law.  Besides such sentimental reasons, this item is also an example of the way the materials from the from the Carl Wesley Judy Collection can be used to understand the history of Christian, and particularly Methodist, missionary work in Korea.

Rev. Brannon’s hymn (From Judy’s collection)

Catholic missionaries were the first to bring Christianity to Korea in the late 18th century. In 1784, a Korean scholar named Yi Seung-hun made contact with Catholic priests in Beijing, China, and was baptized into the Christian faith. He then introduced Catholicism to a small group of friends and family, and the religion began to spread slowly. However, the spread of Catholicism faced resistance from the Confucian establishment in Korea, which viewed it as a threat to the traditional social order. In 1801, for the first time in the country’s history, more than 300 Korean Catholic converts were executed, and persecution of Catholics continued throughout the 19th century.

In the late 19th century, Protestant missionaries began to arrive in Korea, and their message of individual salvation and social reform resonated with many disillusioned Koreans who were dissatisfied with the traditional social order. Protestantism began to spread rapidly, and by the early 20th century—the time period when Brannon started his missionary work—it had become a significant force in Korean society.  As the materials from the Judy Collection demonstrate, American Methodists were crucial for the spread of Christianity in 20th-century Korea, and are one of the reasons why Protestantism is one of the largest religions in the country. The Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations together have a membership of over 10 million people, which accounts for about 20% of the population.

For more on the history of Christian missionaries in Korea, and the way the Korean collection at Duke University can be used to study this topic, check out the following list of recommended readings:

 






Open Scholarship in the Humanities: Ann Chapman Price

The following is one of four profiles of researchers who have engaged in open scholarship at Duke. Please join us on October 5 for Open Scholarship in the Humanities — an in-person panel discussion with these current and former graduate students, who will explore their approaches to engaging in open humanistic scholarship. You can learn more about this ScholarWorks Center event in this blog post, and you can register at https://duke.libcal.com/event/11159787. The event qualifies for 200-level RCR credit. We hope to see you there!

Meet Ann Chapman Price

Photo of Ann Chapman Price.Ann Chapman Price is a historian of Christian spirituality, with a focus on medieval and early modern European theology and society. She is interested in the development of Christian mysticism throughout the tradition, the theology of medieval women’s religious texts, and the intersections of Christian spirituality with issues of race, sex, and gender. Ann’s research in the digital humanities primarily focuses on the study of texts and their representation and scholarly editing in the digital realm.

About Ann’s Digital Editing Work

Ann writes, “I was first inspired to learn the art of scholarly digital editing when I encountered the Exploring Medieval Mary Magdalene Project. In this project, eleven manuscript witnesses to the medieval Mary Magdalene conversion legend (including Latin and Vernacular manuscripts) were collected into a single digital corpus, transcribed, and made digitally available for comparison and research. I was impressed by the visualization tools that allow users to interact productively with the manuscripts and their transcriptions. While I was motivated by the Exploring Mary Magdalene Project to learn how to create similar scholarly digital editions, I was also encouraged in my efforts by Fragmentarium, a Laboratory for Medieval Manuscript Fragments. This database, which enables the digital collection and study of thousands of dispersed manuscript fragments, suggested to me the value of creating scholarly digital editions even of discrete fragments since these can be collected or connected digitally for analysis and exploration. 

“I created a scholarly digital edition of a Latin manuscript fragment in the holdings at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University. This fragment is a single leaf from a twelfth-century liturgical document (a breviary, which gives directions for the celebration of the various services on specific hours of specific days). The edition was enabled by the support of Duke University’s Program in Information Science and Studies, and images of Latin MS 005 have been made available for this project by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Excerpt of a page of Latin handwritten text from the twelfth century.
Twelfth-century breviary fragment, housed in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University, that Ann Chapman Price has incorporated into a digital edition.

“My aims were two-fold. First, I wanted this digital edition to be a resource for the study of Latin paleography. Thus, my edition is a contribution to the publicly available materials for examining medieval Latin abbreviations, letter forms, and conventions for marking out sections of the text. This could be helpful for students beginning to learn Latin paleography. In creating a digital edition that could be examined in connection to others, I also imagined that my work could contribute to larger studies of paleography, such as variations across geographical regions or shifts between scripts over time. Secondly, I provided copious references for the liturgical elements of this breviary fragment, such as chants in the Cantus index, scriptural allusions, and comparable breviary fragments, with the hope that this digital edition could aid scholars of medieval liturgy in developing more robust understandings of liturgical culture and ritual.”

On the Invisible Work of Digital Scholarship

“One of the most important concepts that I needed to understand early on was the distinction in digital editing between, on one hand, the final product that is considered the ‘visualization’ of the edition and, on the other hand, the data that makes up the edition itself. In other words, we could think of the ‘edition’ as simply the XML document that holds the transcription and annotations (i.e., ‘tags’ or ‘markup’). This is distinct from the media that make the edition available to users, whether in the form of a website or PDF document. A separate language, XSLT, is needed to take an XML document and process it into a format that is ideal for presentation and use. Not knowing XSLT, I chose to create a visualization of my edition by using an open-source software called EVT (Edition Visualization Technology), which has been developed by numerous scholars under the coordination of Roberto Rosselli Del Turco. I also relied on other tools developed by digital humanists, such as the Image Markup Tool from the University of Victoria. 

“For this reason, what might be unexpected for users of my scholarly digital edition is simply the collaborative nature of the work that goes into such an edition. In addition to learning the ‘nuts and bolts’ of using an XML editor, aligning with TEI’s standards, and using Unicode characters to represent medieval Latin, a significant amount of the work that I invested in this edition was focused on researching other scholarly editions and related projects. Secondary research into the work of scholars engaged in similar pursuits yielded numerous helpful suggestions from tools to processes to practical solutions. I would say that this kind of research is a ‘must’ for those embarking on scholarly digital editing.”

Learn More

To explore Ann’s work, we invite you to visit the resources below.

The links below provide some context for Ann’s scholarship, including software, projects, and scholarly databases mentioned above.

Come meet Ann and learn about her work at the ScholarWorks Center’s Open Scholarship in the Humanities panel discussion on October 5 (12:00-1:00 PM, Bostock Library 127; lunch is provided). Please take a moment to register and learn more about the event. We’ll see you there!








Congratulations to Our National Book Collecting Contest Winner!

Recent Duke doctoral graduate Joshua Shelly (Ph.D., 2023) won second prize in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. (Image courtesy Joshua Shelly/Carolina-Duke German Studies Program)


Congratulations to Joshua Shelly, a newly minted Ph.D. from the Carolina-Duke German Studies Program, who just won second place in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest!

In recognition of his bibliophilic brilliance, he will receive a $1,000 cash prize (presumably to spend on more books!) and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Duke at a special awards ceremony on September 22 at 5:00 p.m. at the Library of Congress’s Whittall Pavilion. As his home institution, the Duke University Libraries also receives $500.

The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is the Final Four of book collecting competitions, bringing together the winners of more than three dozen local competitions at colleges and universities across the United States, including Duke. It is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Center for the Book, and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress.

Joshua’s collection was inspired by an essay he came across while in an archive working on his dissertation. “Alte Bücher in Haifa” (Old Books in Haifa), published in Paris in the 1930s, captures the experience of a German-reading Jew seeking to rebuild his library through Haifa’s used book market. Joshua’s collection focuses on works important to German Jews in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He notes, “Whether clicking through internet pages on the path to that one title, browsing Bücherschränke (little libraries) in Berlin, or else leafing through physical pages in a book shop in Jerusalem, my decision to add a book to my collection is shaped by factors such as the book’s physical condition, price—where relevant—and my own idiosyncratic literary taste.”

Earlier this year, Joshua took first place in the graduate category of the Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Duke University Libraries, for his collection “Alte Bücher in Haifa: (Re)building a German Jewish Library in the 21st Century.” That earned him a $1,500 cash prize and the eligibility to compete on the national level.

Duke has been well-represented in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition. Past winners include:

  • 2021 Winner, Essay Prize: Joseph E. Hiller, Como un detective salvaje: Gathering Small Press, Experimental, and Untranslated Latin American Literature
  • 2015 Winner, Essay Prize: Anne Steptoe, Look Homeward: Journeying Home through 20th Century Southern Literature
  • 2013 Winner, 2nd Prize: Ashley Young, New Orleans’ Nourishing Networks: Foodways and Municipal Markets in the Nineteenth Century Global South
  • 2011 Winner, 1st Prize: Mitch Fraas, Anglo-American Legal Printing 1702 to the Present

Look for the announcement of the applications for the 2025 Nadell Book Prize in Spring 2025!






ONLINE: Low Maintenance Book Club reads American Born Chinese


Join us for our first Low Maintenance Book Club of the fall! We’ll be reading and discussing Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese (now a Disney+ original series) at our next meeting on Tuesday September 26th at noon. As always, you’re welcome regardless of how much (or whether) you’ve read. Copies of the book are available through Duke University Libraries, on our Overdrive, and at your local public library.

The meeting will be held over Zoom, so make sure to RSVP to receive an invitation link the morning of the 26th. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).






Open Scholarship in the Humanities: Jobie Hill

The following is one of four profiles of researchers who have engaged in open scholarship at Duke. Please join us on October 5 for Open Scholarship in the Humanities — an in-person panel discussion with these current and former graduate students, who will explore their approaches to engaging in open humanistic scholarship. You can learn more about this ScholarWorks Center event in this blog post and you can register at https://duke.libcal.com/event/11159787. The event qualifies for 200-level RCR credit. We hope to see you there!

Meet Jobie Hill

Photograph of Jobie HillJobie Hill is a Ph.D. student in the Duke History department and the creator of the Saving Slave Houses project (online at https://www.savingslavehouses.org/). We asked her to describe her scholarly background, the development of her project, and some of the invisible work that goes into creating open scholarship. Jobie writes:

“I am a licensed Preservation Architect and Slave House Expert with over twenty years of professional experience. I have degrees in historic preservation, art history, archaeology, anthropology, and I’m currently working on a PhD in history. I am a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). I have conducted interdisciplinary research examining slave houses, the influence these dwellings had on the lives of their inhabitants, and the preservation of the history of enslaved people.

“My personal mission is to advance an evidence-based understanding and acknowledgement of the institution of slavery in America. A cornerstone of this effort is the belief that the histories of many non-white Americans have been told to them and not by them. To that end, I am dedicated to the interpretation and preservation of the living and working environments of enslaved people, integrated with their own oral histories and historical records related to the business of slavery.”

About Saving Slave Houses

“In 2012 I started the project Saving Slave Houses (SSH) with the primary goal of ensuring that slave houses, irreplaceable pieces of history, are not lost forever. The project was meant to change the way we think, talk, research, document, interpret, preserve, restore, teach about, and learn from slave houses. 

“An important component of SSH is the Slave House Database (SHD). The SHD is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, national study of slave houses in the U.S. Its inclusion of narratives from formerly enslaved people who lived in the houses fuses a voice about the human condition with the physical structure. The SHD is designed to be a resource for researchers, descendants, museums, organizations and the public to study and interpret the surviving evidence of slavery.

“Recently, I have been exploring collective storytelling at historic sites of slavery. How–and by whom–these stories are told matters. I have been fortunate to work with descendants of enslaved communities to explore the what and how of collective storytelling.”

In this video, Jobie Hill shares more about the Saving Slave Houses project.

On the Invisible Work of Open Scholarship

“I have always known the work I do is important, but I’m not a good marketing person. I mean that I am not one to spend a lot of time describing what I plan to do – I just do it. Knowing this about myself, very early on in my work I started making an effort to document what I was doing so people could see my process for themselves. I also participate in as many public outreach activities as possible. Because of these choices, I don’t think there is anything missing from the final product.”

Learn More

We invite you to explore the Saving Slave Houses website and learn about the important research and preservation work Jobie continues to do. To read media coverage, hear interviews, and see videos about her work, please visit Saving Slave Houses in the Media.

Come meet Jobie and learn about her work at the ScholarWorks Center‘s Open Scholarship in the Humanities panel discussion on October 5 (12:00-1:00 PM, Bostock Library 127; lunch is provided). Please take a moment to register and learn more about the event. We’ll see you there!






Duke Engineering Exposition at Rubenstein Library, Sept. 27

Are you curious about the history of Duke’s Engineering School? Would you like to hold an amputation saw from the 16th century as you contemplate the evolution of surgical tools? Do you want to know how a lipstick tester would work and how it came to Duke?

Join us for a special open house especially for students, faculty, and staff from the Pratt School of Engineering!

Date: Wednesday, September 27
Time: 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153)

Artifacts on display will highlight:

  • University Archives materials
  • medical instruments
  • other artifacts that reflect technological changes

This informal open house will feature numerous items from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library on Duke’s West campus.

Attendees will have a chance to browse materials and talk with library staff about our collections. Plus enter a raffle to win fabulous library swag! Hope to see you there!






Oct 5: Open Scholarship in the Humanities

Open Scholarship in the Humanities: Insights from Graduate Students’ Digital Projects
Thursday, October 5, 12:00-1:00 PM
The Edge Workshop (Bostock Library)
Register: https://duke.libcal.com/event/11159787
Lunch included – please register for planning purposes.
All are welcome to attend. This event qualifies for 200-level RCR credit.

Open scholarship encompasses a range of activities and outputs that encourage inclusion, transparency, collaboration, and innovation. Though often interchanged with the term “open science,” open scholarship transcends disciplines. Research, teaching, and publishing in the digital humanities, for instance, has been designed and implemented in ways that promote not just access but also accessibility, reuse, and more equitable engagement in scholarly work; and much of that work in turn relies on the ability to openly access and reuse content for future research.

This in-person panel discussion with four current and former graduate students will explore their approaches to engaging in open humanistic scholarship. Digital Humanities Consultant Will Shaw will moderate this discussion of the practical and ethical aspects of conducting digital projects in the open, from using information created or collected by others to sharing one’s own research outcomes in ways that are accessible and reusable. This event will conclude with an open Q&A to allow for interactive discussion among the panel and attendees.

Whether you’re planning to start your own digital project or just interested in learning more about public scholarship and digital humanities, join us for lunch and conversation about what motivates these projects, the people and work involved in realizing them, and insights into what makes this work challenging, rewarding, and essential.

Panel
Jobie Hill (Department of History, Duke University)
Nitin Luthra (Department of English, Duke University)
Emilie Menzel (Goodson Law Library, Duke University)
Ann Chapman Price (Department of Religious Studies, Duke University)
Moderator: William Shaw (Digital Scholarship & Publishing Services, Duke University Libraries

Sponsored by Duke University Libraries’ Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services department and the ScholarWorks Center.  Registration requested for planning purposes and for those wishing to receive 200-level Responsible Conduct of Research credit.






What to Read this Month: August

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Swipe Up for More! Inside the Unfiltered Lives of Influencers by Stephanie McNeal. If you’re anything like journalist Stephanie McNeal—aka, a millennial woman—you spend hours every day indulging in Instagram’s infinite scroll. The influencers on the platform aren’t just providing eye candy; these tastemakers impact how we cook, consume, parent, decorate, think, and live. But what exactly is going on behind the curtain of the perfectly curated Instagram grids we obsess over the most? Through intimate, funny, and vulnerable reporting, McNeal takes us through the looking glass and into the secretive real world of three major influencers: fashion and lifestyle juggernaut Caitlin Covington of Southern Curls & Pearls, runner and advocate Mirna Valerio, and OG “mommy blogger” Shannon Bird.  This audiobook is narrated by the author, and you can read an excerpt on Glamour.


American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795 by Edward J. Larson. New attention from historians and journalists is raising pointed questions about the founding period: was the American revolution waged to preserve slavery, and was the Constitution a pact with slavery or a landmark in the antislavery movement? Leaders of the founding who called for American liberty are scrutinized for enslaving Black people themselves: George Washington consistently refused to recognize the freedom of those who escaped his Mount Vernon plantation. And we have long needed a history of the founding that fully includes Black Americans in the Revolutionary protests, the war, and the debates over slavery and freedom that followed. We now have that history in Edward J. Larson’s insightful synthesis of the founding. To find out more, read this NYT review or watch this discussion with the author hosted by the National Archives.


This Bird has Flown by Susanna Hoffs. Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song–written by world-famous superstar Jonesy–but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since. Now she’s living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom. But when her longtime manager Pippa sends Jane to London to regroup, she’s seated next to an intriguing stranger on the flight–the other Tom Hardy, an elegantly handsome Oxford professor of literature. Jane is instantly smitten by Tom, and soon, truly inspired. But it’s not Jane’s past alone that haunts her second chance at stardom, and at love. Is Tom all that he seems? And can Jane emerge from the shadow of Jonesy’s earlier hit, and into the light of her own? In turns deeply sexy, riotously funny, and utterly joyful, This Bird Has Flown explores love, passion, and the ghosts of our past, and offers a glimpse inside the music business that could only come from beloved songwriter and Bangles co-founder Susanna Hoffs. You can read this NPR review or this Los Angeles Times review.


Fire Weather: A  True Story from a Hotter World by John Vaillant. In May 2016, Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s oil industry and America’s biggest foreign supplier, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the lens of this apocalyptic conflagration–the wildfire equivalent of Hurricane Katrina–John Vaillant warns that this was not a unique event, but a shocking preview of what we must prepare for in a hotter, more flammable world. With masterly prose and a cinematic eye, Vaillant takes us on a riveting journey through the intertwined histories of North America’s oil industry and the birth of climate science, to the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern forest fires, and into lives forever changed by these disasters. John Vaillant’s urgent work is a book for–and from–our new century of fire, which has only just begun. You can find out more with this Washington Post review or this Guardian review.


Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs. In this spellbinding debut novel, two estranged half-sisters tasked with guarding their family’s library of magical books must work together to unravel a deadly secret at the heart of their collection–a tale of familial loyalty and betrayal, and the pursuit of magic and power. For generations, the Kalotay family has guarded a collection of ancient and rare books. Books that let a person walk through walls or manipulate the elements–books of magic that half-sisters Joanna and Esther have been raised to revere and protect. All magic comes with a price, though, and for years the sisters have been separated. Esther has fled to a remote base in Antarctica to escape the fate that killed her own mother, and Joanna’s isolated herself in their family home in Vermont, devoting her life to the study of these cherished volumes. But after their father dies suddenly while reading a book Joanna has never seen before, the sisters must reunite to preserve their family legacy. In the process, they’ll uncover a world of magic far bigger and more dangerous than they ever imagined, and all the secrets their parents kept hidden; secrets that span centuries, continents, and even other libraries. Read an interview with the author or read this review to learn more.






What to Read this Month: July

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


An Admirable Point: A Brief History of the Exclamation Mark! by Florence Hazrat. Few punctuation marks elicit quite as much love or hate as the exclamation mark. It’s bubbly and exuberant, an emotional amplifier whose flamboyantly dramatic gesture lets the reader know: here be feelings! Scott Fitzgerald famously stated exclamation marks are like laughing at your own joke; Terry Pratchett had a character say that multiple !!! are a ‘sure sign of a diseased mind’. So what’s the deal with ! ? Whether you think it’s over-used, or enthusiastically sprinkle your writing with it, ! is inescapable. An Admirable Point recuperates the exclamation mark from its much maligned place at the bottom of the punctuation hierarchy. It explores how ! came about in the first place some six hundred years ago, and uncovers the many ways in which ! has left its mark on art, literature, (pop) culture, and just about any sphere of human activity–from Beowulf to spam emails, ee cummings to neuroscience. You may enjoy this Word Processing podcast interview with the author!


You are Here by Karin Lin-Greenberg. The inhabitants of a small town have long found that their lives intersect at one focal point: the local shopping mall. But business is down, stores are closing, and as the institution breathes its last gasp, the people inside it dream of something different, something more. In its pages, You Are Here brings this diverse group of characters vividly to life–flawed, real, lovable strangers who are wonderful company and prove unforgettable even after the last store has closed. Exploring how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are inextricably bound to the places we call home, You Are Here is a keenly perceptive and deeply humane portrait of a community in transition, ultimately illuminating the magical connections that can bloom from the ordinary wonder of our everyday lives. You can read reviews in the Asian Review of Books and Publisher’s Weekly.


Death of a Dancing Queen by Kimberly G. Giarratano. A female Jewish P.I finds herself involved in a deadly gang war while looking for a murder suspect in this new own voices crime novel. After her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Billie Levine revamped her grandfather’s private investigation firm and set up shop in the corner booth of her favourite North Jersey deli hoping the free pickles and flexible hours would allow her to take care of her mom and pay the bills. So when Tommy Russo, a rich kid with a nasty drug habit, offers her a stack of cash to find his missing girlfriend, how can she refuse? At first, Billie thinks this will be easy earnings, but then her missing person’s case turns into a murder investigation and Russo is the detective bureau’s number one suspect. Suddenly Billie is embroiled in a deadly gang war that’s connected to the decades-old disappearance of a famous cabaret dancer with ties to both an infamous Jewish mob and a skinhead group. Toss in the reappearance of Billie’s hunky ex-boyfriend with his own rap sheet, and she is regretting every decision that got her to this point. Becoming a P.I. was supposed to solve her problems. But if Billie doesn’t crack this case, the next body the police dredge out of the Hudson River will be hers. Read a review in Foreword or at Crime Fiction Lover.


Number One is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions by Steve Martin with drawings by Harry Bliss. An illustrated memoir of Steve Martin’s legendary acting career, with stories from his most popular films and artwork by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. He has never written about his career in the movies before. In Number One Is Walking , he shares anecdotes from the sets of his beloved films– Father of the Bride, Roxanne, The Jerk, Three Amigos, and many more–bringing readers directly into his world. He shares charming tales of antics, moments of inspiration, and exploits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, and Chevy Chase. Martin details his forty years in the movie biz, as well as his stand-up comedy, banjo playing, writing, and cartooning, all with his unparalleled wit.


My Nemesis by Charmaine Craig. Tessa is a successful writer who develops a friendship, first by correspondence and then in person, with Charlie, a ruggedly handsome philosopher and scholar based in Los Angeles. Sparks fly as they exchange ideas about Camus and masculine desire, and their intellectual connection promises more–but there are obstacles to this burgeoning relationship. While Tessa’s husband Milton enjoys Charlie’s company on his visits to the East Coast, Charlie’s wife Wah is a different case, and she proves to be both adversary and conundrum to Tessa. Wah’s traditional femininity and subservience to her husband strike Tessa as weaknesses, and she scoffs at the sacrifices Wah makes as adoptive mother to a Burmese girl, Htet, once homeless on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. But Wah has a kind of power too, especially over Charlie, and the conflict between the two women leads to a martini-fueled declaration by Tessa that Wah is “an insult to womankind.” As Tessa is forced to deal with the consequences of her outburst and considers how much she is limited by her own perceptions, she wonders if Wah is really as weak as she has seemed, or if she might have a different kind of strength altogether. For more details, check out this NYT review and this review in the Boston Globe.






ONLINE: Big Books Edition: “The God of Small Things”

It’s almost summer, and that means it’s time for the Low Maintenance Book Club Big Books Edition! This year, we’ll be reading Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997.

The last meeting of three is scheduled for Wednesday, July 26th from noon-1pm over Zoom. At this meeting, we’ll discuss chapters 15-21.

The second of three meetings was scheduled for Wednesday, June 28th. At this meeting, we discussed chapters 8-14.

The first meeting was scheduled on Wednesday, May 25th.  At this meeting, we discussed chapters 1-7.

Print, ebook and audiobook formats can be found at Duke University Libraries and most public libraries.

Although the readings are longer, the low maintenance attitude is the same. Join as you like, discuss as much as you want–or just hang out and enjoy the company. Everyone is welcome. Just RSVP so we know how many to expect, and we’ll send out a Zoom link the morning of the meeting.

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).






Who said that? Librarian tips for verifying quotes.


In a digital world where famous quotations are used in memes and inspirational social media posts, often, like a game of telephone, quotes evolve into something that differs significantly from the original words spoken or written. Verifying the authenticity of quotes can take time and effort. Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head of Humanities and Social Sciences and Librarian for Literature, has provided tips and tricks to streamline the search process!


Tips:

  • When using an online authentication website, i.e., The Quotations Page, don’t use the whole quote because you might get inaccurate results if it’s incorrect. Consider using a word or phrase from the quote plus the author’s name.
  • Try searching using a quotation reference volume (such as the Oxford Essential Quotations) available digitally from the library. Digital reference books can be searched using the same method described above: author’s name plus a keyword or phrase from the original quote.
  • Another quick tool to consider is using Google Books and searching by the author or person’s name plus keywords or phrases from the quote. If the quote exists, an excerpt is likely going to come up. If cited, you can follow the citation from the eBook to the original document where the words were issued, such as correspondence, diaries, speeches, interviews, etc.

    Most of all, don’t get discouraged; sometimes, it is impossible to nail down a precise quotation. Recently, Arianne worked with a scholar trying to verify a quote attributed to Edward O. Wilson: “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, and even spiritual satisfaction.” She hunted for the quote in the general quote collections, science-specific quotation sources, and Google Books, which cited Biophilia; however, Biophilia did not provide this quotation, leaving the origins of those words as a mystery indicating somewhere along the way words were modified. The scholar went so far as to reach out to Edward O. Wilson, who was unsure of its origins! This example demonstrates the complexities of verifying quotations and that, occasionally, there’s no definitive answer. Still, it is always good to do due diligence before using a quotation in a paper or article. We hope with these tips, it may be possible for you to get at close as possible to the approximation of who said what! For more suggestions, visit Arianne’s Literature in English research guide.


     






Lilly Collection Spotlight – Gone Fishin’

Book cover with a picture of a fish
Gone Fishin’: The Compleat Angler

Summertime is here! The pace on both East and West Campus is a little slower, so it’s a perfect time for a break from the academic rigor of the rest of the year. At Lilly, we go beyond the usual “beach reads” to cast our collection spotlight net wide as we dive into the Duke Libraries collections in search of fishy films and books.

And we mean fishy in the broadest sense – maybe there is a fish, or someone who fishes, someone with a aquatic name, or just a lot of water… it’s all about your sense of scale 😉

Books: Catch these some of these fish stories!

The Fishermen: a novel

The Fishermen
A Cain and Abel-esque story of a childhood in Nigeria. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, brothers take advantage of his absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they meet a madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next will transcend the lives and imaginations of the book’s characters and readers.

Compleat Angler
First published in 1653, this literary and nature classic was created by a Londoner with a passion for rustic life. Cast in the form of a dialogue between the veteran angler Piscator and his pupil Viator, it both informs and delights with an ingenious exploration of fishing’s subtle intricacies and the pleasures of the natural world.

Sockeye Mother
To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the sockeye salmon is more than just a source of food. The Sockeye Mother explores how the animals, water, soil, and seasons are all intertwined

The Outlaw Ocean

The Outlaw Ocean
There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation.

Beyond That, the Sea
As German bombs fall over London in 1940, working-class parents send their eleven-year-old daughter to America to live for the duration of the war. Scared and angry, feeling lonely and displaced, Bea crosses the Atlantic to  Boston. As Bea comes into herself and relaxes into her new life–summers on the coast in Maine, new friends clamoring to hear about life across the sea – the girl she had been begins to fade away, until, abruptly, she is called home to London when the war ends.

When I was a Fish
This fast-paced biography recounts the life of Mike Bruton, one of the leading fish biologists in Africa, and also explores the various issues in which he was involved as a scientist, conservationist and science educator. Whether or not you are a fisherman, aquarist or sushi eater, you will be fascinated by these astonishing tales of a man who almost became a fish!

Miss Iceland
Iceland in the 1960s. Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer; there is only one problem: she is a woman. Hekla heads for Reykjavik with a manuscript buried in her bags. She moves in with her friend Jon, a gay man who longs to work in the theatre, but can only find dangerous, backbreaking work on fishing trawlers. The two friends feel completely out of place in a small and conservative world.

 

Films?  “Reel” in more fish tales!
Catch or stream :

 

Jaws

Jaws DVD 138 or Stream (with Duke NetID)
You’re gonna need a bigger boat…
It is the ultimate fish tale!  Do we really need to provide a summary?

Mother of the River (Stream with Duke NetID)
Drawing on Caribbean folklore, this exuberant experimental drama uses animation and live action to discover a film language unique to African American women. The multilayered soundtrack combines the music of Africa and the diaspora-including Miriam Makeba, acappella singers from Haiti and trumpetiste Clora Bryant.

Contracorriente (Undertow)

Contracorriente = Undertow
Miguel, a respected Peruvian fisherman, is expecting his first child with his beautiful wife, Mariela. Their peaceful existence is threatened by Miguel’s love for Santiago, a visiting artist whose presence is viewed as a threat by the villagers.

Planet Ocean (Stream with Duke NetID)
A look at the natural beauty of the oceans and mankind’s impact on their ecosystem.

Cast Away
Chuck Noland, a FedEx systems engineer, finds his ruled-by-the-clock existence ended when a harrowing plane crash leaves him isolated on a remote island. As Chuck struggles to survive, he finds that his own personal journey has only just begun.

Moana – on DVD or Streaming

Moana Lilly DVD or Stream with Duke NetID
A mythic adventure set around 2,000 years ago across a series of islands in the South Pacific. The film follows the journey of a spirited teenager named Moana as she meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together they traverse the open ocean, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.

Aquarela  Lilly DVD or Stream with Duke NetID A deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. From the precarious frozen waters of Russia’s Lake Baikal to Miami in the throes of Hurricane Irma to Venezuela’s mighty Angels Falls, water is the main character, with director Victor Kossakovsky capturing her many personalities.

 

 

 






Understanding the Experiences and Needs of International Students at Duke

Post by Joyce Chapman, Assessment Analyst and Consultant; Sarah Park, Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science; and Matthew Hayes, Librarian for Japanese Studies and Asian American Studies


Duke students enjoy Holi, the Hindu holiday also known as the Festival of Colors. Photo by Jared Lazarus/University Communications.


How can the Duke Libraries better support the needs of international students at Duke? A team of library staff conducted qualitative research with international students over the past year in order to answer this question. This research was part of a multi-year effort at the Libraries to better understand the experiences and needs of various populations at Duke, including first-generation college students, and Black students. 

Our final report discusses the full research process and our findings in more detail than that provided below, including a full list of recommendations resulting from the study. 

We began by reading existing research on university and academic libraries’ support of international students and speaking with key stakeholders on campus. In fall of 2022 and spring of 2023, we conducted a series of discussion groups with both graduate and undergraduate international students. We also surveyed international students to better understand their library and campus experiences at Duke.  

On the whole, participants express high satisfaction both with the Libraries and Duke University. In the 2023 Libraries Student Survey, international student respondents were more likely to report feeling welcomed at the Libraries and that the library is an important part of their Duke experience than domestic students. When asked in discussion groups what helps them feel welcome, international students discussed how the Libraries’ wide array of exhibits and events with international focus, as well as visible print materials in non-English languages, make the Libraries a welcoming space for them.  Numerous students mentioned the positive impact of the Duke International Student Center (DISC) and a range of orientational programs, such as campus wide, program specific, and international student specific orientations, in fostering a sense of belonging and welcome at Duke. For undergraduates specifically, peers play an important role in making them feel welcome.  

Studying for finals in Lilly Library on Duke’s East Campus. Photo by Bill Snead/University Communications.


Participants were also asked which people, services, and spaces feel supportive and safe at Duke University. For undergraduates, examples include Counseling and Psychological Services; Duke LIFE (Lower Income, First-Generation Engagement); the campus farm; Resident Advisor supervisors; advisors; fellow Duke students; professors and Teaching Assistants; the Career Resource Center; campus events; Duke health insurance; student clubs; and the campus gyms. For graduate students, supportive services primarily revolve around departments and programs, including departmental staff such as program administrators, Directors of Graduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies Assistants, program advisors, career services teams within schools, and department coordinators. Graduate students also discussed fellow international students, upperclass students within their programs, instructors, and lab mates as sources of support. 

Overall, international students at Duke feel welcome and supported by both fellow students and faculty. Participants also discussed aspects of Duke that have felt unwelcoming, including the additional stress of administrative requirements around acquiring healthcare, visas, driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and housing. Both graduate and undergraduate participants discussed how cultural differences can make students feel out of place. A few students shared their experiences of encountering microaggressions from some fellow students and faculty. These microaggressions often stem from assumptions made by the microaggressor based on the students’ nationality or from the microaggressor’s own U.S.-centric worldview, even in academic situations where a global perspective is expected. A theme among undergraduate students was the unwelcoming exclusivity of social groups and some clubs, which was described as a cause of social anxiety. For graduate students in particular, the cost of living, feeling unsafe off campus, and transportation are three of the least welcoming aspects of life at Duke. Some students additionally brought up the stress caused by the pervasive nature of academic elitism at Duke, an issue that would not be unique to international students. 

Participants were asked who they turn to when they have questions. Undergraduates often turn to friends, upperclass students, advisors, student support offices, and even large chat groups used by their cohorts. Graduate students tend to rely more on formal entities such as advisors, graduate program offices, and faculty, though they also consult lab mates, upperclass students, friends, and their extended networks. 

Duke students and alumni celebrate Homecoming Weekend on the Bryan Center Plaza. Photo by Jared Lazarus/University Communications.


Students reflected on what was most challenging for them when they first arrived in Durham or on campus. Literature reviews discussing the challenges international students face while studying abroad often emphasize language and communication barriers. However, challenges identified at Duke centered more on cultural and social interactions, with little mention of basic communication issues. Students expressed feelings of being overwhelmed with a bewildering variety of resources and facing challenges in navigating through available options. While such overwhelming feelings are not unique to international students, it is notable that their American counterparts are often guided by relatives who have experience with the U.S. education system. Additionally, many undergraduate students talked about differences in education systems and pedagogical approaches between their home countries and Duke. 

We also asked participants how they use the Libraries at Duke and what works well for them. The overall attitude toward the Libraries is very positive. International students use and value the Libraries for its variety of study spaces, online resources, textbook loans program, interlibrary loan services, and research support. When asked what works well in the Libraries, the majority of comments focused on the ease-of-use of library facilities and spaces, as well as on the accessibility of library materials. Many students also appreciate the ability to use the Libraries as a place to relax and unwind throughout the day. Students praised the volume of Duke’s holdings, its networked relationship to other lending institutions, the ease of finding online resources, and the savvy work of librarians in assisting students during research consultations. 

International students also identified several areas of the library that do not work well for them. Among these, students described their limited awareness of library services and librarian subject expertise. Many also commented on the crowded nature of study spaces, and the frustrating waitlist for carrels. While study rooms are highly valued by international and domestic students, we found that they are also one of the Libraries’ services for which students express frustrations and a greater need. We found that many undergraduate international students were unaware of the ability to receive personalized help from library staff, and that the Libraries’ support role is known only to small cross-sections of the international student population. When students learn of personalized assistance from librarians they often do not do so through the Libraries, but from professors and other students. Students praised information provided by librarians in their Writing 101 and English for International Students classes, but requested that the Libraries provide more outreach and information sessions extended over a longer portion of the student’s academic career at Duke. Some students expressed a strong interest in having tour opportunities, more library orientations, and greater awareness of the general services offered by U.S. academic libraries, with which many international students may be unfamiliar.  

When asked what services and programs the Libraries could offer to further support international students, participants had several ideas. The overarching theme was a desire for enhanced communication and promotion of library services and resources. This could include promotion through the DISC newsletter and international student orientations. It could also include channels not specific to international students, such as professors, programs, program orientations, and increasing advertising about the Libraries on campus but outside the library buildings themselves. Students were also interested in the Libraries increasing its offerings of workshops and tours. Echoing findings from the Libraries’ 2023 Student Survey, a recurring request from international students in discussion groups was for increased foreign language materials, and in particular, leisure reading materials and current newspapers. Other ideas from students include increasing collaboration with DISC and other campus offices, and providing popular games from students’ home countries in a leisure area of the Libraries. 

Getting ready for final exams in the Link at Perkins Library. Photo by Jared Lazarus/University Communications.


What’s Next?

These findings became the basis of 29 recommendations outlined in the Research Team’s full report. The Research Team will present this study at the Libraries’ all-staff meeting, and will share it widely with other units on Duke’s campus over the summer of 2023. We will also share the report within the library community to encourage other libraries to consider these questions and undertake similar work at their own institutions. 

One of the report’s recommendations is that the Libraries’ charge an International Student Study Implementation Team in fall 2023 that will prioritize and coordinate the implementation of recommendations from the study.  

For more information on this study, contact Joyce Chapman, Assessment Analyst and Consultant, at joyce.chapman@duke.edu. 






5 Titles: Emancipation Celebrations

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection, featuring topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and/or highlighting authors’ work from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to briefly sample titles rather than provide a comprehensive topic overview. Heather Martin, Librarian for African and African American Studies, selected this month’s 5 Titles. With its establishment as a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth/Freedom Day (June 19) gained wider national and international attention. Juneteenth celebrations originated in Texas to commemorate the arrival of Union Troops in Galveston on June 19, 1865 (two years after the Emancipation Proclamation) and the army’s announcement that all the enslaved people in Texas were free. However, emancipation celebrations by people of African descent have a long and varied history, marking multiple emancipation milestones (e.g., the British abolition of slavery, August 1, 1834; enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863; and the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment, February 1, 1865). This month’s five titles explore the history and representation of emancipation celebrations and their importance to the African American community, identity formation, and struggle for equality.


Rites of August First: Emancipation Day in the Black Atlantic World by J.R. Kerr-Ritchie. Kerr-Ritchie examines how August 1, 1834, the day that the British Abolition of Slavery Bill took effect, was celebrated throughout the West Indies, Canada, Britain, and the northern and western United States. He documents how the emancipation commemorations (called West India Day, August First Day, or Emancipation Day) encouraged anti-slavery activism in the United States and promoted connections among people of African descent across nationalist boundaries. Kerr-Ritchie also describes the day’s importance to communities of Black loyalists in Britain, Canada and Black militias around the Atlantic. Listings of commemorations held by specific churches and public celebrations in specific northern cities allow readers to explore local connections to August First.


Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning in African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808-1915 by Mitch Kachun. In his interpretation of emancipation celebrations from “the abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1808 through the fiftieth anniversary of U.S. emancipation in 1915,” Kachun traces the themes of how African Americans used these commemorations to create “a collective history of African American people” and how the commemorations were centers of conflict and controversy. Providing a chronological narrative of emancipation celebrations, the book’s chapters cover Freedom Day commemorations by free Blacks in the Northeast after the United States abolished the Atlantic slave trade on January 1, 1808; regional socializing and organizing opportunities for people of African descent during celebrations of the British abolition of slavery in the West Indies on August 1, 1834; the expansion of emancipation celebrations into the southern United States after the Civil War; and differences between the political focus of freedom festivals in different areas of the United States.


O Freedom! Afro-American Emancipation Celebrations by William H. Wiggins, Jr. Wiggins takes us on a tour of emancipation celebrations that he visited in 1972 and 1973. Each town observes a different emancipation commemoration date: Rockdale, Texas – June 19; Allensville, Kentucky – August 1, Columbus, Georgia – January 1; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – February 1. Through his research and excerpts from interviews taped with participants in these celebrations, Wiggins uncovers the significance of these differing Emancipation Day dates. The book includes detailed descriptions of Emancipation Day traditions, including the performance of historical pageants/dramas, church services, picnics, barbecues, parades, athletic contests, and political organizing (e.g., voter registration drives). Images of memorabilia and photographs from emancipation celebrations complement Wiggins’s narration and the interviews.


Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer. From the introduction: “Envisioning Emancipation explores how black people’s enslavement, emancipation, and freedom were represented, documented, debated and asserted in a wide range of photographs from the 1850s through the 1930s.” Curating photographs drawn from archives, museums, and libraries, Willis and Krauthamer create a visual narrative of the use of photography by enslavers, Black abolitionists (including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass), and the formerly enslaved. Photographs provide a record of Black people during the Civil War and African American self-fashioning after emancipation. Includes multiple photographs of Emancipation Day celebrations.


On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed. Gordon-Reed’s brief and engrossing memoir melds Texas Hollywood myths (cowboys, ranchers, oilmen) and multiracial history with her recollections of Conroe, Texas, her small hometown. Juneteenth celebrations originated in Texas, and Gordon-Reed shares the story of enslaved and free Blacks in the area when it was part of Mexico, a separate republic, and later, a part of the United States. She examines the legacy of the Juneteenth celebration as well as African Americans’ continuing struggle for equality in the state and country. From MIT Press, “Reworking the traditional “Alamo” framework, she powerfully demonstrates, among other things, that the slave- and race-based economy not only defined the fractious era of Texas independence but precipitated the Mexican-American War and, indeed, the Civil War itself. In its concision, eloquence, and clear presentation of history, On Juneteenth revises conventional renderings of Texas and national history.”


 






Duke University Libraries 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.






What to Read this Month: June

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Pageboy by Elliot Page. With Juno’s massive success, Elliot became one of the world’s most beloved actors. His dreams were coming true, but the pressure to perform suffocated him. He was forced to play the part of the glossy young starlet, a role that made his skin crawl, on and off set. The career that had been an escape out of his reality and into a world of imagination was suddenly a nightmare. As he navigated criticism and abuse from some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, a past that snapped at his heels, and a society dead set on forcing him into a binary, Elliot often stayed silent, unsure of what to do, until enough was enough. Full of behind the scenes details and intimate interrogations on sex, love, trauma, and Hollywood, Pageboy is the story of a life pushed to the brink. But at its core, this beautifully written, winding journey of what it means to untangle ourselves from the expectations of others is an ode to stepping into who we truly are with defiance, strength, and joy. Read The New York Times Book Review to learn more.


Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters. Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby–and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it–Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form an unconventional family–and raise the baby together? This provocative debut concerns what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us with a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel. Read this The New Yorker book review to learn more.


Couplets: A Love Story by Maggie Millner. A dazzling love story in poems about one woman’s coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming undone. A woman lives an ordinary life in Brooklyn. She has a boyfriend. They share a cat. She writes poems in the prevailing style. She also has dreams: of being seduced by a throng of older women, of kissing a friend in a dorm-room closet. But the dreams are private, not real. One night, she meets another woman at a bar, and an escape hatch swings open in the floor of her life. She falls into a consuming affair–into queerness, polyamory, kink, power and loss, humiliation and freedom, and an enormous surge of desire that lets her leave herself behind. Maggie Millner’s captivating, seductive debut is a love story in poems that explores obsession, gender, identity, and the art and act of literary transformation. In rhyming couplets and prose vignettes, Couplets chronicles the strictures, structures, and pitfalls of relationships–the mirroring, the pleasing, the small jealousies and disappointments–and how the people we love can show us who we truly are. Learn more in this book review by The Washington Post.


The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying, and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris, tracking down her estranged daughter, who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finally grapples with how AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness amid disaster. “A page turner . . . An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.” –The New York Times Book Review. Read more about this historical novel in the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Real Life by Brandon Taylor. A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice. Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he works uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his circle of friends–some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But throughout a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community. Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds and at what cost. Read The Guardian Book Review to learn more.


 






5 Titles: Voices from the Rural United States

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection, featuring topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and/or highlighting authors’ work from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to briefly sample titles rather than provide a comprehensive topic overview. Ira King, First-Year Experience and Disability Studies Librarian selected this month’s titles, and he writes, “According to the 2020 Census, around 80% of the United States population lives in urban areas, a large increase from 64% in 1950. The United Nations estimates this number will rise to 89% by 2050. As America becomes an increasingly urbanized nation, how do we visualize our rural areas and those living there? Media depictions of rural America tend to homogenize and stereotype the people who live there regardless of whether the intended depiction is positive or negative. Although rural areas are often considered a contemporary political signifier for an idealized “way things used to be” that never truly existed, rural America is becoming more diverse. As a rural Missourian who has since moved to an urban area, I’ve heard people ask many variations of “Why would anyone want to live there” or “Why don’t people just move to cities.” This line of thinking disregards the material circumstances of many rural Americans and ignores the strong ties and history people have with their communities, families, land, and natural spaces. Although you could likely spend the rest of your life exclusively researching the rural United States, these books and films provide a starting range of voices and viewpoints that highlight the complexity of the rural United States.”


Sweetwater: Black Women and Narratives of Resilience by Robin M. Boylorn. In Sweetwater, Boylorn, a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama and member of the Crunk Feminist Collective, writes of her childhood growing up in a small rural community in North Carolina. Described by the author as black girl autoethnography, Boylorn shares her own lived experiences and narratives from black women in her community, including multiple generations of women in her family. Boylorn writes, “In the face of adversity, tragedy, violence, discrimination, and oppression, I examine our lives, over generations, to determine how black women use narratives to cope and communicate about their experiences and as acts of social resistance.” The author emphasizes the resilience at the core of the stories of rural black womanhood contained in her book. Narrative chapters are interspersed with poems by Mary E. Weems. Sweetwater highlights the importance of centering lived experiences and black feminism, especially from underrepresented communities.


Just Queer Folks: Gender and Sexuality in Rural America by Colin R. Johnson. Although many works of gay and lesbian history focus on urban areas, Colin R. Johnson’s book argues that rural and small-town America was much more queer in the early twentieth century than previously assumed. A gay man who grew up in a small town in Illinois who is now a professor of gender studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, Johnson explores this argument from several angles. One chapter looks at the same-sex intimacy that occurred in various non-metropolitan parts of the United States, including male farm laborers in the Heartland and timber workers in the Pacific Northwest. Another delves into the archetype of the eccentric small-town lifelong bachelor or bachelorette. The final chapter examines rural women and female masculinity by analyzing photographs taken during the 1930s. If you’re looking for a read on contemporary LGBTQ Americans in this vein, you may also want to check out Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from the Red States by Samantha Allen. In this book, Allen, an award-winning journalist and transgender woman, goes on a road trip exploring queer life across America.


The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham. In this memoir, Lanham, a poet, ornithologist, and Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, writes of his experience as a Black man growing up in rural South Carolina on a small family farm. In the book’s opening paragraph, Lanham writes, “I am a man in love with nature. I am an eco-addict, consuming everything the outdoors offers in its all-you-can-sense seasonal buffet. I am a wilding, born of forests and field and more comfortable on unpaved back roads and winding woodland paths than in any place where concrete, asphalt, and crowds prevail.” Lanham lyrically explores his passion for nature and conservation while examining the legacy of slavery and segregation in the American South and its effect on African-Americans’ relationship to land and nature. In the chapter “Birding While Black,” the author describes what it’s like to be Black in spaces where non-white people are “a rare sighting.” Lanham argues for the inclusion of more Black people in natural spaces, both as hobbyists and as professional biologists and conservationists.


Minari dir. Isaac Lee Chung. A semi-autobiographical film from writer-director Issac Lee Chung, Minari follows a family of South Korean immigrants who move to rural Arkansas in the 1980s. The film begins with the father, Jacob (played by Steven Yeun), showing his family the newly purchased plot of Ozark farmland where they’ll be living and starting a Korean produce farm. The mother, Monica (played by Han Ye-ri in her Hollywood debut), is skeptical about their move to Arkansas and worried about her young son, David (played by an excellent Alan Kim), who has a heart condition. The film explores the tension between the father’s hopes and dreams and the material challenges and familial and social worries that occur in their new home. Primarily shot near Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a ranch (technically not in the Ozarks, but close enough for this former resident), the film features beautiful scenery and captures the joy and frustrations of living off the land.


Hale County This Morning, This Evening dir. RaMell Ross. This experimental documentary features people and images from Hale County, a rural area in Alabama’s Black Belt. The film loosely follows two young men, Quincy and Daniel, who the director met while teaching photography and coaching basketball in the area. Director RaMell Ross challenges the common stereotyping and framing of young Black men that occurs across popular media. Regarding his decision to start filming in this area, Ross speaks in an interview of his “sadness about the generalized inability to see communities like this one from the inside.” He asks, “Where do these communities see themselves represented and celebrated in the world?” Filmed over a period of 5 years and edited from 1300 hours of footage to a 76-minute documentary, Ross captures both mundane and dynamic moments in the lives of residents of Hale County.


 






Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Logo. A navy circle with a keyboard around the letters G A A D.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day Logo. A navy circle with a keyboard around the letters G A A D.

Post contributed by Ira King, Librarian for Disability Studies, and Ciara Healy, Librarian for Psychology & Neuroscience, Mathematics, and Physics.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! 

May 18th marks the 12th annual celebration of GAAD. This day serves to raise awareness of the need for digital inclusion and accessible web content for people with disabilities. 

Why does web accessibility matter? People with disabilities have a right to access and enjoy web content and digital objects. Based on data from the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.3 billion people have disabilities, or 1 in 6 people worldwide. According to a WebAIM report from February 2023, 96.3% of the top million homepages on the Internet had accessibility errors based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The most common accessibility error is low contrast text. Other common errors include missing alternative text for images, empty links, and improperly structured headings (very important for people using screen-readers). Ensuring web pages are accessible makes the Internet a more equitable and inclusive space. 

How can you ensure your web content is accessible? Duke’s Web Accessibility page is a good starting point. Useful info on this webpage includes Duke’s Web Accessibility Guidelines, How-to pages for creating different types of accessible content, and a list of training sessions on web accessibility. Zeke Graves, a Web Experience Developer at Duke Libraries, wrote a Quick Start Guide to Web Accessibility at Duke Libraries and Beyond that could also be helpful for those starting out in this area. 

Another expanding area of accessibility and digital inclusion is in video games. You may have watched the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, but did you know that The Last of Us Part II’s release in 2020 was a landmark moment for accessibility in gaming? Organizations like AbleGamers and websites like Can I Play That? are advocating for a more inclusive gaming landscape. Game developers have also created a list of Game Accessibility Guidelines to make games more accessible for those with disabilities. If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more about accessibility and disability representation in gaming, you may want to check out the 2023 book Gaming Disability: Disability Perspectives on Contemporary Video Games

If you’re around Duke’s campus right now, you can stop by Perkins and Lilly to see the Disability Pride Collection Spotlights






What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource? Meet Lilly Library’s Class of 2023

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?
Meet Lilly Library’s Class of 2023

There is life outside of Lilly! Congratulations to Celine!

The Lilly and Music Libraries are at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during the semester, the East Campus Libraries remain open for 175 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 2023”. Get to know Celine W., one of our graduating student assistants in this profile, and you’ll appreciate her as much we do.

Duke – and Lilly! – Senior Celine

A Lilly selfie with Celine

  • Hometown: Colleyville, TX
  • Family/siblings/pets:
    An older sister (with the cutest dog, Zoey!) and a younger brother
  • Academic major: Literature
  • Activities on campus:
    Asian American Studies Working Group
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working in the library):
    Relaxing at the Duke Gardens
  • Favorite off-campus activity:
    Ice cream at Pincho Loco
  • Favorite campus eatery: Beyu Blue!!
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Wheat

Behind the Curtain at Lilly

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: I would like to sleep in the Stacks!! I think setting up a sleeping bag and napping amongst the shelves would be very cozy!!

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie or music you’ve come across in the library?
A: There’s this Vivienne Westwood book that’s bound in the iconic tartan pattern, and I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it looks incredible and is filled with so many historically important runway looks.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at library? Least favorite?
A: I love talking to the patrons and learning about their research! Especially when they come by to pick up a bunch of books from reserve! I do get a question about printing every shift, so I could do without that.

Q: What is one memory from your time in the library that you will never forget?
A: Learning how to use the dumbwaiter or the microfiche, it’s like learning a piece of technology that would’ve been so revolutionary before.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the library?
A: Using the dumbwaiter!! It feels like I’m living out a retro library experience!

Q: How will your time working in the library help you in your future pursuits?
A: I think any type of work where I get to talk to people and help them interact makes my life richer and grows my empathy toward serving others. I’m studying to become a doctor, and take every experience where I can help others as a learning experience!

Q: What will you miss most about the library when you graduate?
A: The beautiful interior. Lilly was my home in freshman year, and I’m excited to see it become home to many students in the future.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I’m taking a gap year before medical school, and will be working at a hospital.

Q: What is your spirit animal? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about working in the library, do you?
A: A panda!!

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Celine and our other graduates, treasured members of our East Campus Libraries “family”. We appreciate Celine’s stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish her all the best!






What Is a Vital Lilly Library Resource? Meet the Lilly Class of 2023

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?
Meet Our Lilly Class of 2023

The Lilly and Music Libraries are at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during the semester, the East Campus Libraries remain open for 175 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 2023”. Get to know Hailey B.,  one of our graduating student assistants in this profile, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

Hailey, Lilly student assistant and Duke Class of 2023

Duke – and Lilly! – Senior Hailey

  • Hometown: Palm Harbor, FL
  • Family/siblings/pets: I have one (much) younger 3-year-old half-sister and a dog named Carter
  • Academic major: Psychology, plus minors in Computer Science and Math
  • Activities on campus: Duke University Marching Band (DUMB), Duke Cyber, Durham Chi Omega
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working in the library 😉 ): Being at Duke games with the marching/pep band! My personal favorite is Duke WBB games
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Trying new restaurants with friends
  • Favorite campus eatery: Krafthouse
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: HeavBuffs

Behind the Curtain at Lilly

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: Probably the Thomas Reading Room at Lilly – it’s the most beautiful space and I’d love to wake up to the sunlight through those big windows. Plus the couches are great.

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie or music you’ve come across in the library?
A: Most interesting is definitely “First Person Singular” by Haruki Murakami. It’s a collection of short stories all about different narrators, all told from first person singular point of view. It’s super cool and I totally recommend it. Most strange would be a book of poems told entirely from the point of view of a cat – it was incredible. Also interesting that both my picks include playing with POV – maybe that kind of thing just really gets me.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at library? Least favorite?
A: My favorite part is for sure the people – everyone who works at Lilly is incredible and they’re the best coworkers. I can always count on one of the other students or staff librarians brightening my day. My least favorite thing as an avid reader is that I constantly have to resist the urge not to check out 40 books every time I work a shift.

Q: What is one memory from your time in the library that you will never forget?
A: I found out I had made it to the final interview round for a really competitive job while I was on shift and everyone was so happy and helped me celebrate. It was a really special moment.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the library?
A: I honestly don’t think I’ve ever done anything super crazy – probably just printing out so many pages at one time that I stood at the printer for like 20 minutes.

Q: How will your time working in the library help you in your future pursuits?
A: Customer service is always applicable! Plus a great eye for detail and the ability to learn new things quickly.

Q: What will you miss most about the library when you graduate?
A: Similar to my favorite part, I’ll miss the people. I’ll have to come back and visit so I can see some of them again! Note: Please do! We always love seeing our “Lilly alumni”!

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I’m currently interviewing for jobs (I have another one this week, wish me luck) with nonprofit organizations and will be working for 1 gap year, before attending law school in Fall 2024. Longer-term, I plan to work in social justice law.

Q: What is the animal that you most identify with? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about working in the library, do you?
A: I’ve been told I remind people of a chinchilla – I’m not entirely sure what that means but I love chinchillas so I’ll take it. Other answers I’ve received: orange cat, pangolin, and panther.

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to them and our other graduates, treasured members of our Lilly Library “family”. We appreciate Hailey’s stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish them all the best!






What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource? Meet Our Class of 2023!

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?
Meet Our Class of 2023

Young woman
Meet “Lilly'” Class of 2023 – Emma

The Lilly and Music Libraries are at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during the semester, the East Campus Libraries remain open for 175 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 2023”. Get to know Emma L., one of our graduating student assistants in this profile, and you’ll appreciate her as much we do.

Duke – and Lilly! – Senior Emma

Young woman
A Lilly selfie with Emma

  • Hometown: Oak Park, IL
  • Family/siblings/pets:
    One younger sister. The closest thing I have to a pet is a lot of houseplants.
  • Academic major: Biology and Chemistry
  • Activities on campus: Research, Duke Symphony Orchestra, avid Cameron Crazie
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working in the library 😉 ): Duke Symphony Orchestra!
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Walks at Eno
  • Favorite campus eatery: Late-night Pitchforks
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: The Parlour

Behind the Curtain at Lilly

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: The bottom floor of the Biddle library, it’s so calm and quiet.

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie or music you’ve come across in the library?
A: The locked stacks at Lilly have some really cool, really old books! No one book in particular stands out to me, but I love working in that room and seeing all the titles and publication years in there.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at library? Least favorite?
A: The people are my favorite thing by far! I’ve met so many wonderful people at Lilly, from the librarians to the other student workers to the people who come up to the front desk. My least favorite part is when I just barely miss the bus after my shift, which isn’t even to do with Lilly.

Q: What is one memory from your time in the library that you will never forget?
A: There was a tornado warning during one of my shifts this year, so we had to gather everyone up and go down to the basement. It only lasted 15-ish minutes, but it was interesting while it lasted.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the library?
A: I’ve done several shifts without shoes on because it was raining so hard that they were too wet to wear by the time I got to work.

Q: How will your time working in the library help you in your future pursuits?
A: I’ve learned how to make searches specific enough to find what I’m looking for when finding sources for research. It’s also really helped me learn how to troubleshoot a printer (always a good skill to have).

Q: What will you miss most about the library when you graduate?
A: How friendly everyone who works there is! Especially having worked at Lilly for four years, I’ll miss all the people (especially the librarians) who I met as a freshman. My favorite part of working an early shift this year is that I get to chat with everyone as they come in, and I’m sad I won’t get to do that anymore.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I’ll be pursuing a PhD in molecular microbiology at Tufts in Boston!

Q: What is your spirit animal? … well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about working in the library, do you?
A: A cat, purely because of how much they love napping in the sun

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Emma and our other graduates, treasured members of our East Campus Libraries “family”. We appreciate Emma’s stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish her all the best!






What is a Vital Music Library Resource?

What is a Vital Music Library Resource?

Cierra at work in the Duke Music Library

The Lilly and Music Libraries are at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during the semester, the East Campus Libraries remain open for 175 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 2023”. Get to know  Cierra H., one of the Duke Music Library‘s graduating student assistants in this profile, and you’ll appreciate her as much we do.

Duke (and Music!) Senior Cierra

  • Hometown: Roanoke Rapids, NC
  • Family/siblings/pets: Three younger siblings, Three dogs
  • Academic major: Biology
  • Activities on campus: Duke Med BEC Fellows/Root Causes/Project FEED, Duke Jazz Ensemble
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working in the library): Working in my research lab
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Bowling
  • Favorite campus eatery: Il Forno / Sazon
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Guasaca

Behind the Curtain at the Music Library

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: The Music Library because it is always quiet in the evenings, there is plenty of space as well as a piano which would be fun to play.

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie or music you’ve come across in the library?
A: There was once a book full of slang that I thought was interesting. We tend to read more of the serious works and to read something that was serious, but lighthearted, was fun.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at the Music Library? Least favorite?
A: My favorite part is finding new books to read and helping people out at the desk. It is also therapeutic to re-shelve or process new books as well as pull items. I don’t think I have a least favorite thing about working at the library.

Q: What is one memory from your time in the library that you will never forget?
A: I will never forget two things. One is the freebies event we had where we gave away a bunch of scores and books. The second is when Jamie put up a skeleton behind the circulation desk named Skylar who pretended to be conducting music on Halloween .

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the library?
A: I haven’t done anything crazy in the library.

Q: How will your time working in the library help you in your future pursuits?
A: I’ve learned to catalog books and how to better interact with people. I’ve gotten to work with some amazing staff and make friends amongst my peers that also work here. There is never a dull moment and some of the socialization skills I’ve gained will be useful in my future.

Q: What will you miss most about the library when you graduate?
A: I will miss the staff: Laura, Sarah, and Jamie (and Jamie’s emails every week). They were very welcoming at first and over the two years, they have gotten to know me on a personal level and I’ve enjoyed every conversation we’ve had.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: Clinical research for two years while applying to medical schools.

Q: What is your spirit animal? … Well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about working in the library, do you?
A: A dolphin

Graduation in May means the Duke Music Library will say farewell to Cierra and our other graduates, treasured members of our East Campus Libraries “family”. We appreciate Cierra’s  stellar work and dedication to Music and wish her all the best!






What to Read this Month: May

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty. Blandine isn’t like the other residents of her building. An online obituary writer. A young mother with a dark secret. A woman waging a solo campaign against rodents — neighbors, separated only by the thin walls of a low-cost housing complex in the once bustling industrial center of Vacca Vale, Indiana. Welcome to the Rabbit Hutch. Ethereally beautiful and formidably intelligent, Blandine shares her apartment with three teenage boys she neither likes nor understands, all, like her, now aged out of the state foster care system that has repeatedly failed them, all searching for meaning in their lives. Set over one sweltering week in July and culminating in a bizarre act of violence that finally changes everything, The Rabbit Hutch is a savagely beautiful and bitingly funny snapshot of contemporary America, a gorgeous and provocative tale of loneliness and longing, entrapment and, ultimately, freedom. Learn more about this National Book Award Winner in The New York Times Book Review.


Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts impulsively: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I. So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her work? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller is? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree. But June can’t escape Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves. With its immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, cultural appropriation, and the terrifying alienation of social media.


The Measure by Nikki Erlick. Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice. It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, a small wooden box is waiting for you. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge? The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another. Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious, and invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny that encourages us to live life to the fullest. Read more in The New York Times Book Review. This intriguing novel was selected as this year’s reading for first-year students Duke Common Experience.


The Forgotten Girls: A Memoir of Friendship and Promise in Rural America by Monica Potts. Growing up gifted and working-class poor in the foothills of the Ozarks, Monica and Darci became fast friends. The girls bonded over a shared love of reading and learning, even as they navigated the challenges of their tumultuous family lives and declining town. Monica left Clinton for college and fulfilled her dreams, but Darci and many in their circle of friends did not. Years later, working as a journalist covering poverty, Potts discovered what she already intuitively knew about the women in Arkansas: Their life expectancy had dropped steeply—the sharpest such fall in a century. This decline has been attributed to “deaths of despair”—suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses—but Potts knew their causes were too complex to identify in a sociological study.  In this narrative, Potts deftly pinpoints the choices that sent her and Darci on such different paths and then widens the lens to explain why those choices are so limited. Learn more in this All Things Considered NPR interview.


Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati. A stunning debut follows Clytemnestra, the ancient world’s most notorious villainess, and the events that forged her into the legendary queen. As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts. Because this was not the first offense against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot. But when your husband returns triumphantly, you become a woman with a choice. Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands into the game of retribution. A blazing novel set in Ancient Greece, this is a thrilling tale of power, prophecies, hatred, love, and an unforgettable Queen who fiercely dealt death to those who wronged her.


 






What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource? Class of 2023

What is a Vital Lilly Library Resource?

Kari at the Lilly Collection Spotlight

The Lilly and Music Libraries are at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during the semester, the East Campus Libraries remain open for 175 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 2023”. Get to know Duke senior Kari N.,  a  David M. Rubenstein Scholar and one of our graduating student assistants, and you’ll appreciate her as much we do.

Duke  (and Lilly!) Senior Kari

One of Lilly’s “Class of 2023” – Kari

  • Hometown: Chicago
  • Family/siblings/pets: I am an only child to my mother, Kimberly. I have a cat named Lex, sometimes lovingly called Lexthaniel or Lex Luther.
  • Academic major: Sociology with a concentration in Crime, Law, and Society. Education minor
  • Activities on campus: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, ARAC
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working in the library):
    Going to the gardens and relaxing
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Going out to try a new restaurant
  • Favorite campus eatery: Ginger and Soy
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: Juice Keys

Behind the Curtain at Lilly

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: Definitely the breakroom. The couch will automatically put me to sleep.

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie or music you’ve come across in the library?
A: I didn’t realize how many fashion books Lilly had. That was super cool. I got to look through some Chanel and Louis Vuitton books.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at the library? Least favorite?
A: Favorite part has definitely been learning about Duke history and hearing more about how things have changed over time from head librarians. Also, starting to recognize the people who come in often.
Least favorite: shelf-reading, OMG (it seems we’ve seen this response from more than one of our students)

Q: What is one memory from your time in the library that you will never forget?
A: When the little ponies (miniature therapy horses) were outside for finals week. They were so cute 🙂

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the library?
A: I stayed there for hours (to study) and watched tv the whole time.

Q: How will your time working in the library help you in your future pursuits?
A: I think it’s helped me a lot with getting into a routine, knowing how to answer the phone for a business, and interacting with different aged people (from little kids to seniors)

Q: What will you miss most about the library when you graduate?
A: Honestly, just sitting at the desk and watching who comes in.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: Currently, figuring out what my long-term career will be, but right now, I will be spending the summer working, traveling, and taking a bit of a break.

Q: What is your spirit animal? … Well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about working in the library, do you?
A: An emu. I can’t explain. It’s just energy if you will.

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Kari’s and our other graduates, treasured members of our East Campus Libraries “family”. We appreciate Kari’s stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish her all the best!






Defining and Measuring Research Impact in the Humanities

Post by Heidi Madden, Head, International and Area Studies & Librarian for Western European and Medieval Renaissance Studies.

Research impact is loosely defined as how broadly scholarly research is being read, discussed, and used both inside and outside of the academy. Metrics tools are firmly established in the sciences, but they are not designed to capture the impact of humanities research. That is why a recent blog post on “Duke’s Most-Cited — The Scholars Other Scientists Look To” did not even offer humanities data, a situation that left many researchers scratching their heads and wondering about alternative resources.

To address this hot-button issue, the International and Area Studies Department at Duke University Libraries co-sponsored a Franklin Humanities Institute roundtable on “Defining and Measuring Research Impact in the Humanities,” a recording of which is now available on YouTube (1:03:55).  The recorded talk reviews the evidence base for alternative research impact metrics for the humanities (HuMetricsHSS and Metrics Toolkit) and offers an opportunity to investigate and challenge the biases of Anglophone and science-based ranking systems.

The featured speaker at this event was Heather Coates, the Digital Scholarship and Data Management Librarian at the IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Data Steward for Research Data, and co-founder of the Metrics Toolkit.  During her presentation, Coates explained what is meant by metrics data, how such data are generated, and why the current application of metrics tools raises complex issues of equity, diversity, and accessibility.

The FHI roundtable on the responsible use of humanities metrics was moderated by Paolo Mangiafico, Scholarly Communications Strategist at Duke University, and Heidi Madden, Head, International and Area Studies & Librarian for Western European and Medieval Renaissance Studies.






What Is a Vital Library Resource?

Lilly’s Graduate Student Assistant

Brandon – definitely NOT in Lilly Library!

The Lilly and Music Libraries are at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke Undergraduates. To serve our community, during the semester, the East Campus Libraries remain open for 175 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 2023”. Get to know Brandon L., one of our graduating student assistants in this profile, and you’ll appreciate the importance of our student staff as much we do.

Graduate Student Brandon

Graduate Student assistant – Brandon

  • Hometown: Allentown
  • Family/siblings/pets: 1 younger sister, no pets 🙁
  • Academic major: Masters of Public Policy
  • Activities on campus:
    President of the Sanford Energy and Environment Club; Chair of the Partnerships Team of Oceans @ Duke; Tutor for economics and statistics; Mentor in Duke F1RSTS; and Member of the Energy Week Leadership Committee.
  • Favorite on-campus activity (besides working in the library): Duke basketball
  • Favorite off-campus activity: Biking or hiking
  • Favorite campus eatery: Tandoor
  • Favorite off-campus eatery: East Cut
Behind the Curtain: Lilly Library

Q: If you could have a sleepover anywhere in the libraries, where would you choose, and why?
A: Thomas Reading Room in Lilly because it’s spacious and comfortable.

Q: What’s the strangest/most interesting book or movie or music you’ve come across in the library?
A: Feline Philosophy, a book about cats.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at library? Least favorite?
A: Faculty delivery when it’s sunny. Least favorite has to be shelf reading.

Q: What is one memory from your time in the library that you will never forget?
A: A student accidentally printed out 100 color copies of Caleb Love (a UNC basketball player). She meant to print 10 for her friends to hold up at the UNC game.

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the library?
A: Worked two 6-hour shifts on back-to-back days.
Note: We agree – that was crazy!

Q: How will your time working in the library help you in your future pursuits?
A: Knowing all the resources and benefits that come with being a member of a library will be very helpful. There is so much people don’t know libraries offer.

Q: What will you miss most about the library when you graduate?
A: All the little treats we got during holidays or the reading period.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: Moving to Chicago for a job at the Federal Reserve.

Q: What is your spirit animal?
… well, you don’t expect all the questions to be about working in the library, do you?
A: An owl because that was my undergrad’s mascot and I love staying up late.

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to Brandon and our other graduates, treasured members of our East Campus Libraries’ “family”. We appreciate Brandon’s  stellar work and dedication to Lilly and wish him all the best!

 






Your End-of-Semester Library Toolkit, Spring 2023

You’re almost there! Here are some resources to power you through the end of the semester and beyond.

End-of-Semester Events

Academic Resource Center Consultations – The ARC is offering individual consultations at Perkins and Lilly for students to plan and prepare for final exams and projects. Schedule a consultation in advance or just drop-in! Consultants will be in Perkins near the front desk Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28 from 11 AM to 4 PM. ARC consultants will be in Lilly Library Monday, May 1st from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Lilly Relaxation Station – Friday, April 29th to Saturday, May 6th. Take a break and refresh during Reading and Exam Period! Open 24/7: Puzzles, games, Play-Doh, origami, coloring… just chill for a bit in Lilly’s 1st floor classroom! Light snacks will be provided in the evening May 1st through the 4th.

Crafternoon – Monday, May 1st from 2 to 4 PM. Stop by Perkins Library to relax and clear your mind with various crafting activities: coloring, origami, make-your-own bookmarks and zines, and more!

To Help You Study

Take a Break

Take Care of Yourself

The Library @ Home

The library is always here for you!  Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you.  We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices. Here are some of the resources we have to do this!

Streaming Video includes:

Kanopy: Watch thousands of award-winning documentaries and feature films including titles from the Criterion Collection.

SWANK Digital Campus: Feature films from major Hollywood studios.

See the full list: bit.ly/dukevideos.

Overdrive Books:

Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindles®.

Streaming Music includes:

Contemporary World Music: Listen to music from around the world, including reggae, Bollywood, fado, American folk music, and more.

Jazz Music Library:  Access a wide range of recordings from jazz classics to contemporary jazz.

Medici.tv: Browse an online collection of classical music, operas and ballets.

Metropolitan Opera on Demand:  For opera fans, a large selection of opera videos from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Naxos Music Library:  Huge selection of classical music recordings—over 1,925,000 tracks!

Smithsonian Global Sound: Find and listen to streaming folk and related music

See the full list: library.duke.edu/music/resources/listening-online






Get a Durham County Library Card in Perkins, Apr. 25

The new Main Library in downtown Durham is one of the Bull City’s newest architectural gems. All Duke students are eligible to use your local public library, even if you’re not a permanent NC resident.


It’s National Library Week, and we’ve got a quick and easy way you can celebrate!

Stop by Perkins Library on Tuesday, April 25, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., and sign up for a Durham County Library Card.

It’s free and easy. All you need is your Duke ID (if you’re a Duke student) or other photo ID and proof of Durham residency (everybody else).

That’s right! ALL DUKE STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE to get a free Durham County Library Card*. Even if you’re not a permanent North Carolina resident, you can still use your local public library, and you don’t even have to leave your dorm room once you sign up.

If you love the hundreds of popular e-books and audiobooks you can get online through Duke’s library system, consider the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS MORE you have access to through the Durham County Library!

Not to mention popular streaming services like Hoopla (Kids TV, popular movies, comics, e-books, and more) and IndieFlix (classic films, award-winning shorts, documentaries).

The Durham County Library consists of six branches spread throughout Durham County including the brand-new Main Library in downtown. It’s one of the Bull City’s newest architectural points of pride. If you need a break from studying in our campus libraries, check out their quiet study spots with inspiring views of downtown Durham. You can thank us later when you ace those exams.

If you have any questions about acceptable forms of ID or proof of address, visit the Library Cards page on the Durham County Library website. 


Pro-Tip Footnote

* If you only have a Duke ID when you sign up, you’ll get a Student Card, which lets you check out 10 items at a time, plus access all electronic resources. If you also can show some proof of NC address (can be electronic, photo of a utility bill, piece of mail, etc.), you’ll get a full Library Card, which lets you check out up to 50 items.






How to Use Interlibrary Loan


Post by Michael Edwards, Resource Sharing Librarian; Alex Konecky, Access and Library Services Assistant; and Sarah Park, Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is Duke University Libraries’ system for obtaining materials that are not available at Duke. This service is available to current Duke University faculty, staff, and students. Eligible users can submit an ILL request on the library homepage.

Go to the library homepage and click “Interlibrary Request” on the quick links menu. Then, click the “Request a Title” button to login, and fill out the form. If you haven’t used the service before, you may need to register for an account.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to fill out the form yourself, you can request an article through Google Scholar and avoid filling out the form. To do so, go to Scholar.Google.Com and search for the article you need.

Before you search, make sure that Google knows that you are affiliated with Duke. If you are on campus, Google already knows that you are affiliated with Duke. But if you are off campus, go to the settings under the three bars, clicking “Library Links,” and searching for Duke in the search box. Select Duke and press the “Save” button. A shortcut to the “Library Links” is https://scholar.google.com/scholar_settings?#2.

Once you have set up the library links, you will notice that search results show a “Get it at Duke” link next to the title whether you are on or off campus.

If you come across an article that doesn’t have the “Get it at Duke” link, like “Closed-loop insulin delivery: current status of diabetes technologies and future prospects,” don’t worry. You can still access it by clicking the double arrow at the bottom of the article. This will reveal the “Get it @ Duke” link. Click on it to proceed.

Next, click on “Request – University users” and make sure all the information is correctly filled out before submitting the request. You will receive a link via email, so you can access a PDF of the article.

If you have any questions about this or any other interlibrary loan services, please contact ILL department at Interlibraryrequests@duke.edu.






You Passed! Now Pass It On. Donate Your Textbooks to the Library.


For the last several years, the Duke University Libraries has purchased copies of the assigned texts for a wide range of Duke courses and made them available to check out for free. It’s one of our most popular services, and students regularly tell us how much they appreciate it. And no wonder, when the cost of a single textbook can often exceed $300.

Now there’s a way you can help us make the program even better and do something about the ridiculous cost of textbooks at the same time. At the end of this semester, donate your textbooks to the library. We’ll make them available for other students to check out for free.

Don’t you wish someone had done that for you? Be that someone.

Look for the textbook donation bins in Perkins, Bostock, Lilly, and Divinity libraries starting this week. When you’ve finished with your classes, simply drop your books in the bin and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made some future Duke student’s day.

So if you passed your classes, pass it on. Donate your textbooks to us and make a Duke education more affordable for all.

(And if you didn’t pass, we’ll understand if you need to hang on to those books a little longer.)

Find Out More

For more information about our textbook donation program, please contact Jeremy Martin, Reserves Coordinator in Perkins Library.






What to Read this Month: April

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


The Skin and Its Girl by Sarah Cypher. In a Pacific Northwest hospital far from the Rummani family’s ancestral home in Palestine, the heart of a stillborn baby begins to beat, and her skin turns vibrantly, permanently cobalt blue. On the same day, the Rummanis’ centuries-old soap factory in Nablus is destroyed in an air strike. The family matriarch and keeper of their lore, Aunt Nuha, believes that the blue girl embodies their sacred history, harkening back to when the Rummanis were among the wealthiest soap makers and their blue soap was a symbol of legendary love. Decades later, Betty returns to Aunt Nuha’s gravestone, faced with a difficult decision: Should she stay in the only country she’s ever known, or should she follow her heart and the woman she loves, perpetuating her family’s cycle of exile? Betty finds her answer in partially translated notebooks that reveal her aunt’s complex life and struggle with her sexuality, which Nuha hid to help the family immigrate to the United States. But, as Betty soon discovers, her aunt hid much more than that.


Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton. A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass on New Zealand’s South Island, cutting off the town of Thorndike and leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster presents an opportunity for Birnam Wood, an undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. For years, the group has struggled to break even. To occupy the farm at Thorndike would mean a shot at solvency at last. But the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine also has an interest in the place: he has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker, or so he tells Birnam’s founder, Mira, when he catches her on the property. A gripping psychological thriller from the Booker Prize–winning author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its drama, Austenian in its wit, and, like both influences, fascinated by what makes us who we are. Learn more about this novel in The New York Times Book Review.


The Trackers by Charles Frazier. Hurtling past the downtrodden communities of Depression-era America, painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming. Through a stroke of luck, he’s landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office. A wealthy art lover named John Long and his wife Eve have agreed to host Val at their sprawling ranch. Rumors and intrigue surround the couple: Eve left behind an itinerant life riding the rails and singing in a Western swing band. Long holds shady political aspirations but was once a WWI sniper—and his right hand is a mysterious elder cowboy, a vestige of the violent old west. Val quickly finds himself entranced by their lives. One day, Eve flees home with a valuable painting in tow, and Long recruits Val to hit the road to track her down. American writer Charles Frazier conjures up the lives of everyday people during an extraordinary period of history that bears an uncanny resemblance to our own. Read The Washington Post book review to learn more!


The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda. A decade ago, two vans filled with high school seniors on a school service trip crashed into a Tennessee ravine—a tragedy that claimed the lives of multiple classmates and teachers. The nine students who managed to escape the river that night were irrevocably changed. A year later, after one of the survivors dies by suicide on the anniversary of the crash, the rest make a pact: to come together each year to commemorate that terrible night. Their annual meeting place, a house on the Outer Banks, has long been a refuge. But by the tenth anniversary, Cassidy Bent has worked to distance herself from the tragedy and the other survivors. This year, she is determined to finally break ties once and for all. But on the reunion day, she receives a text with an obituary attached: another survivor is gone. Now they are seven—and Cassidy finds herself hurling back toward the group, wild with grief—and suspicion. A propulsive and chilling locked-box mystery filled with the dazzling hairpin twists that are the author’s signature.


A Living Remedy by Nicole Chung. Nicole couldn’t hightail it out of her overwhelmingly white Oregon hometown fast enough. As a scholarship student at a private university on the East Coast, no longer the only Korean she knew, she found community and a path to the life she’d long wanted. But the middle-class world she begins to raise a family in – where there are big homes, college funds, and nice vacations – looks very different from the middle-class world she thought she grew up in. When her father dies at only sixty-seven, killed by diabetes and kidney disease, Nicole feels deep grief and rage, knowing that years of precarity and lack of access to healthcare contributed to his early death. Exploring the enduring strength of family bonds in the face of hardship and tragedy, A Living Remedy examines what it takes to reconcile the distance between one life, one home, and another – and sheds needed light on some of the most persistent and grievous inequalities in American society. Listen to Nicole discuss her work in this Fresh Air NPR interview!


 






Students: We Need Your Input! Earn a $20 Gift Card!


The Duke University Libraries are undertaking a strategic planning process in order to define a clear sense of direction and identify priorities for the next five years. Griffin Reames and Ashley Garcia from Guideline Consulting are helping to support us in this important work.

We would very much appreciate your participation in a 1-hour focus group with Guideline Consulting to share your feedback and reflections on the biggest strategic issues impacting the library’s future. Focus groups will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

Please indicate your availability here no later than Friday, April 14 and someone from Guideline will reach out to confirm a final date and time. Discussion prompts will be shared by Guideline prior to the focus group, though no advance preparation is required.

Attendees will receive a $20 gift card via email. We hope to hear from you!






Conducting Research After You Graduate

After you graduate, you will lose some of your access to resources at Duke University Libraries. You can still conduct research, but it may require you to do more digging. Here are some tips to help you!

Options at Duke Libraries

Local Academic Libraries

If you are relocating to a community with a nearby university or college, you can often use some of their library resources. Check their website for exact details of services and policies. Here are common things to look for:

  • Do they have a Friends of the Library program?
  • Can you use some of their online databases if you visit their library?
  • Do they have a rare books and manuscripts collection?

Local Public Libraries

Though they will have less of an academic focus than our libraries, you may be pleasantly surprised by what your public library can provide!

  • Get a free library card at your local library. Sometimes for a small fee you can also get library cards to access resources at the libraries in surrounding towns. 
  • Find out what kinds of online databases they have. They may have access to newspapers, data sets, journal and magazine articles, streaming films, etc.
  • Find out how their interlibrary loan program works. 

Digital Collections

Many libraries and museums have digitized some of their collections. Examples:

Online Repositories

There are legitimate online scholarly repositories that may share scholarly articles (often preprints). Examples:






ONLINE: Low Maintenance Book Club reads “All Systems Red”

Need some escapism this time of the semester? Join Low Maintenance Book Club in sci-fi paradise with All Systems Red,  the first novella in Martha Wells’ beloved Murderbot Diaries series (it’s not as morbid as it sounds!). We’ll discuss the work in its entirety at our next meeting on Tuesday April 25th at noon.

As always, you’re welcome to attend regardless of how much (or whether) you’ve read. Copies of the book are available through Duke University Libraries and your local public library.

The meeting will be held over Zoom, so make sure to RSVP to receive an invitation link the morning of the 25th. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (aah39@duke.edu).






The Popularity of Korean graphic novels and Webtoons

Post by Miree Ku, Librarian for Korean Studies

In October 2022, during the annual meeting of the Korean Library Association (KLA) General Conference in Seoul, Korea, I attended a session on the digital archiving of Webtoon (웹툰), an online platform that hosts webcomics originating from South Korea. The term “Webtoon” is a compound word formed from “website” and “cartoon.” This new form of comic publication has become a global phenomenon, particularly among members of Gen Z and Gen Alpha, and has been embraced outside of Korea. Additionally, Korean graphic novels, comic books, and webtoons are frequently adapted into films and TV programs, thereby impacting various aspects of Korean culture.

One of the presenters at the conference panel on archiving Webtoons showed a PowerPoint slide with examples of academic libraries in America, such as that of Columbia University, the University of Washington, as well as Duke University, and expressed her admiration for the fact that they collect Korean comic books and graphic novels (만화; Eng. Manhwa), which is not common practice among academic libraries in Korea. Afterwards, I told the presenter and attendees that I am a Korean Studies librarian from one of the American university libraries mentioned in the PowerPoint slide and confirmed that the library at Duke University does, indeed, collect Manhwa for teaching and research purposes. This was the moment where I felt the significance and value of developing a Manhwa collection at Duke University.

The Korean Collection at Duke University Libraries has recently expanded its offerings of Manhwas to those that delve into significant events and issues in modern Korean history. These new graphic novels cover a range of subjects and time periods, including “comfort women” (1938-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and civil rights movements (the April 19 Revolution in 1960, the Gwangju Uprising in 1980, the June Democratic Struggle in 1987).

Comfort Women

Duke’s Korean collection now includes several graphic novels about “comfort women” – a euphemistic term for women and girls from Korea, China, the Philippines and other occupied territories, who were abducted from their homes and forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army.  For example, the graphic biographical novel called Grass (), available in both the original Korean and in English translation, documents the life story of Lee Ok-sun (1928-2022), one of the few remaining “comfort women” when the book was published.  Lee, who was born in Daegu, Korea, was forced to become a sex slave for the Japanese military at the age of 16, and served in a brothel based in Manchuria, China, until the end of Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

Figure 1: 풀 : 살아 있는 역사, 일본군 위안부 피해 할머니 의 증언 ” by 김 금숙 (2017)

Figure 2: Grass by Gendry-Kim, Keum Suk, translated by Janet Hong in 2019

The author of the graphic novel compares the comfort women victims to “grass,” stating that “it is a grass that rises up again even if it is blown down by the wind and stepped on.” These moving words pay tribute to all the victims of comfort women.

Lee passed away in 2022, leaving only 10 survivors out of 238 registered comfort women. Sadly, many individuals have not registered as comfort women victims due to their reluctance to disclose their past. The Song of A Butterfly or Butterfly’s Song (나비의 노래), a graphic novel by Kim Gwang-sung and Chung Ki-young, deals with one such case.  This Manhwa depicts the story of Ha Keum-soon, another sixteen-year-old Korean girl who was sexually enslaved as a comfort woman by the Japanese military. For 70 years, she lived with her pain in silence until she met Min Soon-ae, another survivor of the “hell” she endured, while passing by the Japanese embassy in Seoul. This encounter prompted her to confess her past to her family and participate in rallies to bring resolution to the issue of comfort women. Ha Keum-soon stated, “No one should be hurt like this. I will get rid of the nightmare. I will shake off everything and fly dazzlingly. I will sing a song of hope like a butterfly hatching.” The graphic novel was exhibited at the France’s Angouleme International Comics Festival in 2014, where it raised awareness of the issue across the world. It is one of several books about comfort women that have brought attention to this tragedy.

Figure 3:나비의 노래” by 정 기영, 김 광성 (2014)

 

Pro-democracy movements

Duke’s Korean collection now also includes graphic novels that focus on contemporary democratic movements in Korea. Among these is coverage of the Gwangju Uprising, which was a mass protest against the South Korean military government that occurred in the city of Gwangju from May 18 to May 27, 1980. This uprising was one of the most tragic and significant moments in modern Korean history.  The event is sometimes referred to as 5·18 (May 18), in reference to the date the movement began, and is also known as the Gwangju Democratization Struggle, the Gwangju Massacre, the May 18 Democratic Uprising, or the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement.

26 Years (26)” illustrates the military dictatorship’s brutal oppression of the 1980 popular uprising, shedding light on the families of the victims of the Gwangju Democratization Movement. The story follows five individuals—a sports shooter, a gangster, a policeman, a businessman, and a CEO of a big company—who consider themselves as some of the biggest victims of the massacre in Gwangju and who conspire to assassinate the person responsible for it. This work of fiction, published in 2006, reflects the times when discussing the uprising was taboo. However, it is significant that popular cartoonists have shown the possibility of addressing politically sensitive subjects. Originally published as a webtoon in 2006 and later adapted into a three-volume book in 2007 and a film in 2012, the story has helped people remember the Gwangju Democratization Movement.

Figure 4: 26년 (26 Years) by강풀 (2007)

Figure 5: Film version of 26년 (26 Years) (2013) produced by 조근현, based on a webtoon story

 

The graphic novel, Dobari (도바리), tells the story of a man who cannot escape the memories of May 18,1980. “Dobari” refers to college students who fled from the dictatorship and attempted to carry out democratization movements while being on the “wanted list.” The incidents of the ten days were recorded one by one, as if written in a journal. Ironically, the grandson of the late former President Chun Doo-hwan (1931-2021), who is the target of this novel as the dictator, recently alleged on Instagram that his family was living on illicit funds, committed crimes, and referred to his grandfather as a “slaughterer.”

Figure 6: 도바리 by 탁영호 (2016)

The graphic novel The Day of 1987 (1987 ) deals with another important milestone in the history Korean civil rights: the June Democratic Struggle (6월 민주항쟁), also known as the June Democracy Movement and June Democratic Uprising. The Day of 1987 depicts one year in the life of a group of young people who had to endure the harsh reality under the Chun Doo-hwan regime, struggling without a clear sense of direction or hope for the future.  This despair foreshadows the outbreak of the nationwide civil uprising that demanded democratization, including constitutional and government reform, with the goal of direct presidential election.

Figure 7: 1987 그 날 by 유승화 (2020)

Following this event, a wave of democratization and liberalization swept through Korea. The 9th Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, which was enacted as a result of this incident, has become the foundation of Korean politics and law. Unlike other democratic revolutions, this civil uprising is highly regarded around the world because it ousted a military dictatorship through relatively peaceful demonstrations.






Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead at Duke


On April 12, the Duke community will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Grateful Dead concert at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Widely regarded as a top show that year, the band delivered smoking renditions of “Jack Straw,” “Bertha,” “Good Lovin’,” and “Eyes of the World,” as you can hear for yourself in the video above.

To commemorate this historic show, join us for a special panel discussion, selections from the remastered video recording, live music, and refreshments on Wednesday, April 12, at 6:00 p.m. in the Ruby Lounge of the Rubenstein Arts Center.

The event is free and open to the public, but please register to help us estimate attendance.

A panel of Dead experts will share their interpretations of the show, including Professor Eric Mlyn; show volunteer and former Duke University Union coordinator Peter Coyle; and John Brackett, author of the forthcoming book Live Dead: The Grateful Dead, Live Recordings and the Ideology of Liveness, coming out next fall from Duke University Press. The book will be the first in a new Duke University Press series, Studies in the Grateful Dead, in the fall of 2023.

Bridget Booher, Director of Duke WIN, will moderate the panel. Footage featuring selected songs from the concert will be screened. After the program, local Dead cover band The Loose Lucies will perform for an hour. Refreshments will be served.

Professor Mlyn teaches a first-year seminar about the Grateful Dead. His students researched the band’s performances at Duke from 1971 to 1982 and curated an exhibit in Perkins Library. According to Mlyn, “4/12/78 was a raucous and animated performance and has been widely recognized by Deadheads as one of the best shows that year. The band was preparing for a trip to Egypt and it was the last full year of shows for keyboardist Keith Godchaux and his wife Donna whose unforgettable vocals punctuated shows during that era.”

See the Rubenstein Arts Center website for information about parking.

Co-sponsored by the Duke University Libraries, Duke Arts, and Duke University Press.






Nina Totenberg and Frank Bruni to Speak at Duke for National Library Week

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!

Catch the livestream on April 27 at 6 p.m. No ticket required. See below for details.


In celebration of National Library Week, the Duke University Libraries are pleased to present an evening with National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg in conversation with New York Times opinion writer Frank Bruni at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, in Duke University’s Page Auditorium 

Totenberg will discuss her bestselling new book, Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendship, about her nearly 50-year relationship with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entry. Tickets are available through the Duke University Box Office starting March 28. 

One of the country’s most respected journalists and a doyenne of the Supreme Court, Nina Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. With more than 40 years’ experience at NPR, she has won every major journalism award in broadcasting for her in-depth coverage of our nation’s highest court. Her nuanced reporting and seasoned reflections shine a light on important judicial cases, helping audiences understand their impact on America’s future like no one else can. 

Dinners with Ruth chronicles Totenberg’s longstanding friendship with “RBG,” which began 22 years before Ginsberg was appointed to the Supreme Court and 4 years before Totenberg started at NPR. As both women fought for and excelled in careers historically dominated by men, they paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. At the story’s heart is a special relationship: Ginsberg and Totenberg saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. During Ginsberg’s last year, they shared so many small dinners that Saturdays were “reserved for Ruth” in Totenberg’s house. 

Totenberg will be joined on stage in conversation with Frank Bruni, nationally renowned author and New York Times contributing opinion writer and the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University. Bruni is the author of five bestselling books, most recently The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found, a moving account of his diagnosis with a rare disorder that imperils his eyesight and left him blind in one eye. In 2021, he joined the Duke faculty and teaches media-oriented classes in the Sanford School of Public Policy.  

Totenberg will be joined on stage in conversation with Frank Bruni, nationally renowned author and New York Times contributing opinion writer and the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University.


The evening with Totenberg and Bruni will be presented as the Weaver Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Duke University Libraries in memory of William B. Weaver, a 1972 Duke graduate and former member of the Duke Library Advisory Board. Previous Weaver Lecture speakers have included Barbara Kingsolver, Oliver Sacks, Dave Eggers, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Colson Whitehead, among others. 

Copies of Dinners with Ruth will be available for sale at the event, and Totenberg will sign books after the talk. The book is also available in print, e-book, and audiobook format through the Duke University Libraries, and at your local public library. 

Reserve Your Ticket

Note: Ticket reservations made online or by phone carry a $1.50 per ticket service charge. Credit card payments only.

  • ONLINE: tickets.duke.edu
  • PHONE: (919) 684-4444
  • IN PERSON (FREE): Visit the Duke Box Office in the Bryan Center on Duke’s West Campus during their regular business hours, Tuesday-Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Parking Info

Visitors to campus without a Duke parking permit are strongly advised to pre-purchase a $5.00 visitor parking permit for this special event. The permit is valid for Parking Garage 4 (PG4), adjacent to the Bryan Center and a short walk from Page Auditorium.

Visit the My Parking at Duke website and select the Nina Totenberg and Frank Bruni event. You may be prompted to register with OneLink (it’s free and easy) in order to complete your transaction. Pre-purchased permits greatly reduce wait times on entering and exiting the parking garage.

Visitors without a pre-purchased permit will be charged $10 (CASH ONLY) to park. Cashiers will be available at the Parking Garage 4 entrance. If you wish to pay by credit card, you will be directed to other visitor parking locations on campus.

Watch the Livestream

The talk will also be streamed online for those who are unable to attend in person. No ticket needed. Visit the Duke Box Office website for the livestream link and tune in at the event start time.






Solarities 1: Asiya Wadud and Roberto Tejada

There’s a poetry reading happening on campus this Thursday, and if you are interested in reading some of the poets ahead of time, the library can help!  Here are some details about the two poets and links to their works in our library.

Asiya Wadud is the author of several poetry collections, most recently No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body and Mandible Wishbone Solvent (forthcoming in 2024). Her recent work appears in e-flux journal, BOMB Magazine, Triple Canopy, POETRY, Yale Review and elsewhere. Asiya’s work has been supported by the Foundation Jan Michalski, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Danspace Project, Finnish Cultural Institute of New York, Rosendal Theater Norway, and Kunstenfestivaldesarts among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York where she teaches poetry at Saint Ann’s School and Columbia University.

Other works include Syncope, Crosslight for youngbird, and A filament in gold leaf.

Roberto Tejada is an award-winning poet and author of art histories that include National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (Minnesota, 2009) and Celia Alvarez Muñoz (Minnesota, 2009); a Latinx poetics of the Americas, Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness (Noemi, 2019), and catalog essays in Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980 (Hammer Museum, 2011) and Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon (The Menil Collection; Yale, 2021), among others. His poetry appears in the collections Why the Assembly Disbanded (Fordham, 2022), Full Foreground (Arizona, 2012), Exposition Park (Wesleyan, 2010),