A Day in the Life: Adam Hudnut-Beumler

A man and woman stand in front of a pale green lake surrounded by rocks and trees.Hello! My name is Adam Hudnut-Beumler, and I am a Serials Management Associate in the Continuing Resource Acquisitions Department. When not at work, I love going to bar trivia, playing sports, binging podcasts and hiking. But how did I get to Duke?

In 2017, I came to Durham right after college to start a PhD in American Religions at Duke’s Graduate Program in Religion. During that time, I got a summer job as a student assistant working in the stacks and at the desk at Lilly Library. Somewhere along the line, I realized I liked contributing to the library more than studying critical theory, so after three years I pivoted my career aspirations to the library. Gratefully, in February 2021 I started as a Serials Management Assistant with CRAD. I am also thankful for the support of the department as I also attend the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science. My coursework allows me to acquire data science skills of use to academic libraries and our patrons.

I began my current responsibilities around the start of May 2022. Placing orders, paying invoices, and handling vendor communication make up the core of my job. I also copy catalog and manage the receipt and labeling of Duke’s Government Documents collection. Working constantly between DUL’s order, subscription, item, and holdings records in our current ILS Aleph, the job also requires a diligent eye to ensure our periodicals and serials data and metadata are correct and up to date for our users. As our department looks to the transition to FOLIO next summer, I attend weekly meetings with my Serials Management Team members to advocate for greater serials and periodicals acquisitions functionality.  Screencap of a spreadsheet describing claimable issues of periodical orders.

Recently, I brought my library school learning into my job for CRAD’s annual subscription renewals review project. Starting with the spreadsheets of our open orders provided by our major vendors, I added a column that lists all past-due issues aligned with each order row. I used the principles of database querying I learned in a course this summer to develop a working knowledge of the Aleph Reporting Center. I created a report of all periodicals with elapsed expected arrival dates, and then read that data as a .csv into a Python script which could combine multiple issues’ data into single lines for each order number. After transforming the data, I read the .csv back into Excel and used the VLOOKUP function to join my claimable issues table to our renewals spreadsheets on the order number. With this data readily available, we can identify our problematic subscriptions at a glance and achieve a thorough claiming of the materials DUL promises to provide its patrons.

I feel blessed to work with such a talented team. Our department head, Virginia, and our team leaders, Bethany and Abby, promote open collaboration and communication. We always have each other’s backs in CRAD. The other great thing about working in Technical Services broadly and CRAD in particular is the breadth of materials and areas of the library our work touches. Digital and print, humanities and sciences, East and West Campus,all corners of Duke University Libraries and its offerings intersect with CRAD. Getting to know colleagues across DUL divisions is an added bonus of that variety. With that variety comes a lot of complexity, and the job forces you to have a good memory for DUL’s many codes and abbreviations. SMT work takes you across Aleph modules—Acquisitions, Cataloging, and even Circulation regularly—and requires learning of multiple vendor websites, Caiasoft for LSC records, and external programs like WinSCP and OCLC Connexion. It is work that turns you into a jack of all trades (and master of some). Using those skills to work with colleagues in other TS departments is always a treat—Smith Solidarity! No one does it quite like TS.

 

TRLN Annual Meeting Report

This year the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) annual meeting was held on July 11th and 12th, and some of our very own staff presented.
Below, please find summaries and slides for two of the presentations we were proud to give and watch!

Integrating FOLIO into ERM workflows at Duke University Libraries (presentation slides)

Continuing Resource Acquisitions colleagues Bethany Blankemeyer, Virginia Martin, and Abby Wickes presented on integrating FOLIO into existing e-resource management (ERM) workflows at Duke University Libraries. The presentation kicked off with an overview of the FOLIO library management system and the workflow improvements the department has experienced after implementing the Licenses and Organizations apps in 2020. Because DUL did not have an ERM system before implementing these FOLIO apps, the department benefited right away from centralized places to manage this data. The department uses the Licenses app to store data about e-resource license agreements, and the Organizations app stores information about providers and vendors the library works with (which had previously been tracked in a variety of spreadsheets.) The structured records for Licenses and related documents make it much easier keep track of information about them, including related Organizations and Amendments, term start and end dates, and various coded terms such as inclusion of confidentiality or ADA language. The department has incorporated these apps into existing Trello workflows to ensure the FOLIO records are kept up to date. In the near future the CRA department also expects to implement the eUsage and Agreements apps, which will also provide workflow efficiencies. Currently the department supports routine and ad hoc cost per use analysis by manually gathering COUNTER reports for major content providers on a quarterly basis. When the eUsage app is implemented, the majority of the usage stats will be gathered automatically and more frequently via SUSHI, which will be much less work. The Agreements app has functionality unique to FOLIO; it’s a place to store information about deals that also acts as a connecting hub for many different components of provider and vendor relationship information, such as relationships between licenses, holdings, and Acquisitions apps. DUL is planning a full FOLIO implementation in July 2023, at which point apps including Orders, Receiving, Invoices, and Finance will replace the current Aleph ILS. This will be a big change, but some benefits include a cleaner, more modern user interface, templates for order creation, improvements exporting acquisitions data, and more robust options for moving POs between instances. Overall, the department is looking forward to having acquisitions and e-resource management data in one system.

Change Management – A Microcosm (presentation slides)

The Monograph Acquisitions Transition Team (Stephen Conrad, Bronwyn Cox, Sara Biondi and Fouzia El Gargouri in absentia) with Bill Verner and Natalie Sommerville reflected on the process of change in libraries, and how their experience ingesting and adapting to a new workflow might translate to a larger stage.
In January 2021, physical processing workflows from one department were relocated into Monograph Acquisitions. In order to facilitate this reorganization, planning was done by the heads of the original and destination departments, and a transition team convened to learn the workflows, describe them in documentation, and train their peers in executing them with a minimum of disruption or dissatisfaction.
This was a successful change for the department; it originated with a clear destination, grew out of a strong sense of established trust in Monograph Acquisitions, fundamentally empowered staff to guide the change on their own, and was fully supported beginning to end by management. These strategies, and others that were based in deep respect for the expertise and knowledge of staff were crucial, and shed a little light on how larger-scale challenges and changes might be managed successfully across the library.

Juneteenth Jamboree

We’ve been waiting for Juneteenth to roll around again, ever since it was made a federal holiday last year (An Act to Amend Title 5, United States Code, to Designate Juneteenth National Independence Day as a Legal Public Holiday). This weekend we hope for good weather, joyful celebration, and an opportunity to reflect on the work that still remains to be done in the US around racial equity. 

This weekend, why not give a listen to two versions of “Juneteenth Jamboree”, selected for us by our very own Stephen (of INSIST! fame).  

“Juneteenth Jamboree” – Fatso Bentley 

Our first version comes to us from Gladys Bentley (1907-1960), a gender-non-conforming lesbian who unapologetically sang in speakeasies in Harlem and made her own way in the world. 

For more on race and sexuality in Harlem, and on Gladys herself, check out Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance by James F. Wilson.  

If you’re more feeling a documentary, Duke Libraries offers “Unladylike2020: unsung women who changed America”, both streaming and on DVD. 

Juneteenth Jambouree   Louis Jordan 

Then we have this amazing recording of Louis Jordan (1908-1975), complete with some serious dance moves. Jordan cut across genres, and changed the face of music and R&B forever. Read more about Jordan in Louis Jordan: son of Arkansas father of R&B by Stephen Koch (find it in the library here), or explore more of his contributions to musical history with the Platinum Collection, streaming online through Duke Libraries. 

Happy Retirement, Debbie!

Debra (Debbie) Taylor is retiring from Duke University Libraries after over 45 years (!) of service to Duke University. Thank you, Debbie!

First, we hear from Debbie herself, reflecting on her time at Duke:

Debbie Taylor portrait on blueCelebrating retirement as a Library Assistant. A person who stops at nothing to achieve her goals. Known to be full of joy, full of energy, and an immense love for people.

I have had the honor of being at Duke University for 45 plus years working in various departments. As much as I have enjoyed my time working here at Duke, it is now time for me to embark on my next adventure. I am excited to be able to spend more time with my family and friends.

In all sincerity, I will miss seeing smiling faces of my colleagues and friends, and although I am retiring from Duke University, I find joy and solace in taking your friendships with me. It has been an incredible journey. As the saying goes, our professional lives are filled with people usually who come and go. Personally for me, I will always hold in my heart everyone that I have met along my Duke journey. I am so grateful for all the times my colleagues and I have worked together. My colleagues have always been such an inspiring and an admirable group; just like family from the very beginning.

Debbie office portrait

To all my lunch friends, your kindness and your friendships have been such a blessing to experience. All of my experiences, filled with lots of laughter and fun, I will take with me and treasure the years we have worked together. Time has passed us by so fast. It seems like only yesterday when we all met and became a family. There are times where I ask myself, “Where did all those years go at Perkins Library and Smith Warehouse?” As time continues to move, the memories that I have of my Duke family will remain steadfast in my heart. I am grateful. Thank you, Duke University, for an incredible journey. I would like to leave this special word with everyone,

 

 

And of course, her colleagues wanted to share a few words in congratulations:

Virginia Martin:

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know Debbie better over the past few years after she joined the CRA department. When I think about Debbie, what stands out to me the most is how much love and kindness she offers to others, whether it be her family, friends, or colleagues. She is generous with her time and energy, always willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. I will definitely miss the positive energy that Debbie brings to Smith every day. Earlier this year, when she returned to the office after a couple of months away, we all noticed the change in office vibe –

Party picture for Debbie

Debbie was back! And somehow Smith was more lively and fun. With 45 years of service, however, Debbie deserves a break. I hope that the next magazine she picks up is one that she is taking to the beach!

Bethany Blankemeyer:

Even though we only worked together for a short period of time, Debbie made such an impact on my time here at Duke. From day one she made me feel welcome and comfortable. I always enjoyed checking in and chatting with her about her family or her time here at Duke. Debbie is such a kind and thoughtful colleague and she will be greatly missed here at Smith! I wish her a happy and restful retirement filled with lots of family time!

Abby Wickes:

From the first time I met Debbie during my interview with the department, I remember her being incredibly friendly and welcoming. She’s a gracious colleague who checks in on teammates regularly. She was particularly thoughtful this past year when I was expecting, always asking “how y’all doing?” whenever I’d see her. I’ll really miss seeing Debbie around Smith, and I wish her lots of fun and relaxation during this exciting next chapter!

Antha Marshall: Party photo with Debbie and Antha

Debbie began working in the Acquisitions Department in Perkins Library in 1980.  It has been a pleasure to have worked with her all these years.  Getting to know Debbie’s family as well has been wonderful.  We recall how much fun we have had through the years attending DULSA parties for Halloween and Christmas and birthday parties for co-workers.  Debbie will be missed!  I wish her much happiness and joy as she retires!

Adam Hudnut-Beumler:

Working with Debbie has been a complete joy. Even though we only got to overlap in our department for a little over a year it feels like much longer because Debbie’s innate kindness made me feel so welcome right away. I have met few people in my life as reliable and resilient as Debbie Taylor. In truth, Debbie is a model colleague, friend, and person. We will all miss Debbie and the frequent loving stories of her tight-knit and talented family greatly, but I am happy Debbie will have even more time to spend with that very special family!

Debbie at field dayDebbie party 2

Thank you for everything, Debbie!

Catch Three Lobed Recordings at the Music Library

Logo for Three Lobed  Monographic Acquisitions recently undertook the pleasurable task of acquiring numerous LPs and CDs released by the North Carolina independent record label Three Lobed Recordings. Cory Rayborn (’98) is a Duke grad and corporate attorney based in Jamestown, NC, (just outside of Greensboro) who, for the past two decades, has also run one of the most esteemed underground record labels going. With a keen attention to design, and an ongoing impressive roster of artists, Three Lobed has set a standard that is bolstered by every new release. This has especially come into relief as the label turns 21 this year and is celebrating with a festival  on April 14-16, 2022,  by Duke Performances. Working directly with Rayborn, and sourcing elsewhere as needed, we were able to purchase a large chunk of the Three Lobed catalog in advance of the upcoming celebration and festival. Let’s take a closer look at just three of the releases in the Three Lobed catalog, which patrons can find at the Music Library or listen to immediately via Bandcamp links.

Sonic Youth:  In/Out/In (At the Music Library | On Bandcamp) Album cover for Sonic Youth In/Out/In
Perhaps no other band in the Three Lobed catalog is as known or esteemed as the mighty Sonic Youth. These 5 tracks are culled from studio outtakes during their last years of recording, 2000-2010. Call them “jams” if you like, but these mostly instrumental tracks find the group extending and exploring in the studio with always compelling results. ‘Social Static’, especially, recalls the series of more experimental recordings that the band released on their own Sonic Youth Records imprint.

Album cover for Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore Ghost ForestsMeg Baird and Mary Lattimore:  Ghost Forests (At the Music Library | On Bandcamp)
These two prolific stalwarts and friends collaborated for the first time on this 2018 release. Meg Baird has numerous recordings that can best be described as modern folk, whether solo or in the groups Espers and Heron Oblivion. Mary Lattimore is an experimental harpist who is continually pushing the boundaries and possibilities of her instrument, via loops and avant techniques. Together they created this beautiful, pastoral and engaging album, full of the best of their sounds and approaches.

Daniel Bachman:  River (At the Music Library | On Bandcamp) Album cover for Daniel Bachman River
Solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar that the former Durham resident refers to as “psychedelic Appalachia”. Bachman really came into his on with this 2015 release, evoking the classic sounds of the American Primitive style of playing and pushing his own sound and take further. He also covers a tune by the late Jack Rose (‘Levee’), another artist with several Three Lobed releases, who tragically passed away in 2009. You can find more Rose recordings here: https://jackrose.bandcamp.com/

For more information, and an interview with Rayborn, see this recent Duke Arts post: “Q&A with Cory Rayborn ’98, Founder & Manager, Three Lobed Recordings
Tickets are still on sale for some of the festival sessions. See the roster and learn more via Duke Performances: THREE LOBED RECORDINGS 21ST ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL
And for further reading, here’s a post from the Indy Week about the label and fest: “For Artists at Three Lobed Recordings, Its Durham Festival Is Another Family Reunion

Sharing: Resources on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

In Technical Services, our jobs revolve around obtaining and making available information and resources. Right now, we can’t think of more important information to share than this vital post by our esteemed colleague, Ernest Zitser, with reliable sources of news, scholarship and places to take action. Ernest, thank you for your hard work – with you, we wish to work towards a peaceful resolution to this conflict, as soon as possible.

Logo and title for IAS blog: Been All Around This World

Resources on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Happy Retirement, Jean!

Jean Hall and friends in 1994

Join us in wishing a hearty congratulations to Jean Hall on her retirement this month! Jean is nothing short of an institution at DUL and Technical Services, and is retiring after a career of 45 years. Take it away, Jean:

“I started on January 27, 1977. I had just graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration in December 1976.  I worked all of my 45 years in the Acquisitions department.

I started out as a clerk typist in Acquisitions. I typed up all of the purchase orders from the professors. Somewhere down the line my position was upgraded to a library assistant. I was in the accounting unit at one time. I even learned how to write computer programs for accounting.  I was upgraded to a library assistant senior at one point.  Over the years, I have processed approval book and firm order books.  I really enjoyed working with the Weinberg approval books. I couldn’t speak Hebrew, but I had fun matching up some of the Hebrew books to the Hebrew characters on the invoice.

I was one of the first group of library workers to organize the Ergonomic Committee in the library.Jean Hall and friends at a retirement party

I also bowled in the Duke Blue Devils Bowling League.  I was given the nickname Mean Jean the Bowling Machine.

As I start this new chapter in my life, the first thing that I will do on Monday morning, is to sleep past 5:00am. I will have to remember to turn off my alarm clock.”

An impressive list of roles and experiences for sure, Jean will be missed (though if there’s ever a bowling league again we are bringing her back as coach)!

 

One of Jean’s colleagues over these many years has been Antha Marshall, who shared a few words about Jean:

“Jean was born at Duke Hospital and continues to live in Durham.  She is a graduate of Durham High School and played in the band.  Jean remembers how downtown Durham was from the late 50’s through the early 70’s before there were many malls.  Most of the department stores were located in downtown. She and I frequently reminisce about Belks, Amos & Andy’s hotdogs, Five Points, and the sweet fragrance of cured tobacco in downtown.

Jean belonged to a bowling league that included her parents.  She and her family would often travel to bowling competitions in other states.  It was always interesting to hear her describe different parts of the United States that she had traveled to and also a variety of musical groups, such as Alabama, that she got to hear.  When Jean first heard the group Alabama, at Myrtle Beach, SC, they had not yet become famous.

Jean is an expert at processing Hebrew materials.  She would lend her expertise to anyone that had a question regarding an invoice, a vendor of Hebrew material, or a book.

I wish Jean much happiness in her retirement!”

We wish you all the best Jean, enjoy retirement and don’t forget to turn that alarm off!

INSIST! – Black activist voices in Music, pt.7

The links in this post may be considered indecent, obscene or offensive, listener discretion is advised.

Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap coverThanks Christina Manzella for the last Insist post all about Lizzo, that was great! For this latest post we turn our focus to the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a sprawling 9-CD and hardback book release that begins with the Fatback Band in 1979 and concludes with Drake in 2013. This massive set was being discussed and dissed extensively before it even became available. Everyone had canonical statements to make, omissions to argue, selections to challenge, and inclusions to debate, and the anthology serves as the jumping off point for this seventh post in the Insist series.

In the spirt of debate and alternate choices spurred by the box set itself, this post is about choosing representative artists from the anthology but presenting different songs to match with the theme of this blog series. There are myriad tracks and artists to choose from to fit this purpose, and I welcome any and all nit-picking about what could have been included. So, without further ado, here are three tracks not actually on the anthology but very much in the mode of Insist – Black Activist Voices in Music!

Public Enemy-Apocalypse 91 album coverNo strangers to controversy and militant political statements, Public Enemy ratcheted up their rage even higher with their fourth album ‘Apocalypse 91…the Enemy Strikes Black’. Almost any cut on the album could work for our purposes here but none hits quite as hard or mercilessly as ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona’.

Riffing on the name of the similarly titled Jimmy Webb tune (The definitive version of which was done by Isaac Hayes. Argue THAT!) and featuring a nasty and perfect sample of the Mandrill song ‘Two Sisters of Mystery’ by the Bomb Squad, the song pulls no punches in criticizing the decision of the Arizona (and New Hampshire) governor to rescind the Martin Luther King Jr holiday. And if the lyrics don’t get the point across then check out the video, in which Chuck D and the S1Ws are depicted murdering a senator and other white male politicians in Arizona. If you want more from these masters of political hip-hop then don’t miss both ‘Fear of a Black Planet’ and ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back’.

Mos Def-The Ecstatic album coverMos Def and Slick Rick are both hip hop legends, and well represented on the box, but this oddball (maybe not that odd, as Mos Def and Talib Kweli did a version of Slick Rick’s ‘Children’s Story’ on their Black Star album) pairing from 2009 is on another level, both politically and sonically. Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey) released ‘The Ecstatic’ as somewhat of a comeback album and Slick Rick…..well, Slick Rick is easily one of the most singular and beloved rappers of all time. ‘Auditorium’ features an Eastern-tinged backing track by producer extraordinaire Madlib and a superbly poetic and conscious first verse from Mos Def. But then Slick Rick appears, and anyone expecting some La-di-da-di party rap is in for a surprise as instead “The Ruler” drops an amazing Iraq-war themed verse in which he inhabits a persona of himself as a US solider on a 15-month tour of duty. Encountering a “young Iraqi kid” carrying laundry, the narrator asks what’s wrong and if he’s hungry and the reply is  “No, gimme my oil or get the [f*ck] out my country”. It is a disorienting, succinct and real-time commentary on the folly and destruction of the war and the effects on both Iraqis and the invading soldiers.

Dead Prez-Let's Get Free album coverNo other modern hip-hop group is so consistently and unrelentingly political as Dead Prez (okay, sure, The Coup takes that crown) and one of their toughest tracks is ‘Police State’ from their 2000 debut ‘Let’s Get Free’. There’s no shortage of police commentary content to choose from (for starters see the anthology-included ‘Fuk Tha Police’ by NWA or KRS-One’s ‘Sound of da Police’), and this indictment starts with the police but goes way beyond to advocate for socialism and revolution. With vocal sample bookends, by Omali Yeshitela (founder of the Uhuru movement) at the beginning and Fred Hampton and an unknown speaker at the end, the duo of Stic.man and M-1 leave no doubts about the injustices they see and where they stand: “I throw a Molotov cocktail at the precinct, You know how we think”.