Category Archives: Collections

– materials (not processing)
– fun new stuff

MonoACQ Mix-Tape

Like everyone reading this post (we assume), the Monograph Acquisitions staff returned from the holiday break ready to start the new year with a renewed sense of purpose, energy, and enthusiasm.

That said, it can be difficult to jump right back into the production line tasks that comprise a significant portion of the work we do in our department. To get back up to speed and keep ourselves churning away at these core workflows, most of us employ a reliable performance-enhancing substance. No, it’s not coffee. (Though that too, certainly – always and frequently.) It’s not drugs. (As we understand it, officially frowned upon by LHR.) No, it’s music that keeps us focused and on task.

MonoACQ contains a number of “heads” who pair distinct music with each workflow to motivate themselves day in and out. Below are some of our go-to soundtracks. We’ve included links to DUL’s holdings wherever possible:

Bill Verner:

Much of my work involves working with order and fund data pulled from Aleph. (And soon, ALMA!) Internally we report on orders and expenditures by category, invoicing and processing metrics, and copy cataloging productivity.

As anyone knows, staring at an Excel sheet can be dizzying at best, and soul deadening in moments of stark, macro-driven desperation. To stay engaged on these tasks, I like to blast Mariachi music straight into my ear holes. Aside from being music that I find lovely and for which I have nostalgic associations, it adds dramatic flair to running a comparison between column “B” in one report and column “S” in another. It’s like bringing a pivot table to a knife fight:

Valses Mexicanos by Mariachi Nuevo TecalitlanValses Mexicanos “Sobre las Olas”

Now, when I’m faced with a writing task (say, scrambling to get a blog post in by the promised deadline), nothing else will do but the propulsive groove of Booker T & the MGs. Funk and forward motion will get you there every time:

Stax Profiles: Booker T. and the MGsStax Profiles: Booker T. & The MGs “Chinese Checkers”

Imari Morehead: 

While I’m opening boxes I prefer to listen to music that will allow me to work at a certain speed to ensure maximum efficiency. In my experience, I am most efficient while listening to house music. House music is rooted in a variety of music including disco, funk, and European synth, thus I am constantly bopping as I work. House music utilizes strong bass lines, repetitive vocals, and elements of synth pop to ensure you have to fight the urge to dance while you work. 

House by Ron Hardy, Lisa Millett, Frankie Knuckles, Ralphi Rosario, Jonathan Key, Jungle Wonz, Farley Jackmaster Funk, DJ Source, The People, Farley Funkin' Keith, Robert Owen and Screamin' RachaelHouse “Liquid Love”

Daniel Maxwell: 

I have been working on reducing in size the large queue of Library of Congress shipments containing books from India which need copy-cataloging . While I am busy cataloging, I love to listen to an on-line streaming service from the Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust, which offers a large catalog of Classical Indian Music artists that have played at the yearly festival in London England that Darbar puts on every year.  The music is fantastic!  We have many of the artists that play at the Darbar festival in our music collection on cd or dvd, as well as streaming via Alexander Street Press: 

Eesha by Pandit Mukul Shivputra, Aneesha Pradhan, Mahesh Babu and Traditional Eesha “Raag Todi” – Teental Madhyalaya

Stephen Conrad: 

While there is a strong chance that on any given workday I’ve listened to at least 5 hours of Dub music, there is one task that all but demands the instrumental groove sublimity of Dub and that is paying invoices. The tediousness and precision of invoice payment requires nothing less than music full of echo, bass, space, effects, repetition and rhythm. YouTube is a great resource for endless Dub mixes but fortunately DUL holds some great examples too, including a top-notch compilation of Studio One dubs from the 70s courtesy of Dub Specialist. And perhaps my all-time #1 selection is Dub Landing Vol. 2, by the Roots Radics and mixed by Scientist and Prince Jammy, originally released in 1982, presented here in a 2-disc reissue complete with original tracks.

DUL offers a shockingly healthy amount of Dub to stream, including this release by the aforementioned Prince Jammy: 

Destroys The Invaders performed by Prince JammyDestroys The Invaders “Conspiracy On Neptune” 

Joanna Welborn: 

I find that I reach for different music based on of course, my mood, time of day, the weather, the state of the world as a whole… But also, that a lot depends on the task at hand. For instance, when I’m copy cataloging shipments of books coming from anywhere from Montevideo to Cape Town to Milan, I find I can really get into a flow state conducive to matching bibliographic records while listening to great ‘80s/90s hip hop like Eric B. & Rakim or KRS-One. Whereas when I’m say, really in my head processing invoices for the diverse materials coming into the Rubenstein Library collections, I may reach for something more ambient like the noisiness of The Dream Syndicate or the dreaminess of Alice Coltrane. And luckily the Music Library carries most of these artists if you want to see how they line up with your work day. 

(Sadly we cannot locate the Dream Syndicate’s blissful wall of feedback in DUL’s streaming databases, but below are cuts from Joanna’s other two picks. -BV) 

Paid In Full by Eric B. & RakimPaid In Full “I Ain’t No Joke”

A Monastic Trio performed by Alice ColtraneA Monastic Trio “Lord Help Me To Be”

Bronwyn Cox: 

I listen to a wide variety of musical genres, but when I need an extra boost of energy to crank out a cart full of copy cataloging, my go-to playlist is R.E.M., with particular favorites from Lifes Rich Pageant and Out of Time on repeat. A bulk of vexing e-book orders requires the somewhat disturbing and inappropriately funny tunes of The Smiths with Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now first up.  

(No streaming of these gems that we could find in DUL holdings, but we can’t deny everyone this hymn to directionless discontent! -BV) 

 Sara Biondi:

When I’m receiving boxes on boxes of Japanese-language materials, I sometimes find it helpful to remember that the books I handle today might become something else entirely tomorrow – it’s just a matter of putting them in the right hands at the right time. 

Take the story “Hashire, Meros” (“Run, Melos”) by Osamu Dazai from 1940 – it’s based on a German ballad (Friedrich Schiller’s Die Bürgschaft), which was based on a Greek legend (that of Damon and Pythias). And then a Japanese band called Wednesday Campanella grabbed it and made an amazing song with a video set in Mongolia. Friendship, and trust, and also traveling long distances are all things that we can understand across time and geography. Wednesday Campanella keeps me company while I cut open yet another shipment of books that has come a long way to be here. 

(We did not locate the track “Melos” in our streaming databases, but Wednesday Campanella is represented! Below, the cut in question. -BV)

Commercial Binding for Duke University Libraries

Stacks of commercially-bound books for the libraries with different cover colors.1.  How long has DUL been sending materials out to the Commercial Bindery (CB)?  Since everyone who knew the history of binding at Duke University Libraries (DUL) has retired, we had to do a little research to find this answer.  (Thanks to Rebecca Pattillo for finding this information in the University Archives files!)  According to the DUL Newsletter, v.5 no.2, published January 1958, DUL allotted a budget for binding as early as 1953.  The first mention of sending periodicals to the bindery was in 1957.  The Newsletter does not specify a binding company name but I have seen the stamp “Southern Bound” inside the back cover of books from the 1960s.  Evidently DUL sent some books to the Southern Library Bindery in Nashville, TN.  Some other materials were sent to Marking & Repair for in-house binding.  The Newsletter also cited sending monographs to the Joseph Ruzicka Bookbinding Company in 1985.  My former supervisor told me DUL sent books to Heckman in 1986 for a short period of time.  They returned to Ruzicka in 1987.  The company has changed names three times since then, with the current name being The HF Group.  We have trusted our books and other materials in their care since 1987.

2. Is the Bindery and Monograph Maintenance (BAMM) Section on a timeline for preparing materials for bindery?  The Commercial Binding Unit, now called Bindery & Monograph Maintenance (BAMM), is no stranger to meeting strict deadlines.  We used to send out materials every two weeks.  Since binding has decreased significantly in the last fifteen years, the CB set up a four-week turnaround time.  One student worker will be reviewing the returned shipment while the other two students are preparing materials for the next shipment.

3. How can you tell if a DUL resource needs to go to the bindery?  When covers are torn or pages are falling out, materials need to be commercially bound.  Occasionally materials are water damaged or new materials are accidentally sliced during the box opening process.  Sometimes accompanying materials such as posters or maps that are the same size or larger than the book, need a pocket.  These are all examples but not an exhaustive list of items that need to go to the CB.

4. What’s the size of an average bindery shipment, and what kinds of DUL materials are in each shipment? The size of a bindery shipment varies from 200 to 400 items. It depends on several factors: backlogs in Collections Services, special projects like renovations where materials are moving and being reviewed, how many physical books are being used by patrons and being returned, water damaged materials, and new materials that meet certain size criteria set up as guidelines within the Resource Description Department.

5. What happens to a book to get it ready for the bindery? What happens to that book at the bindery? Conservation Services staff pick up materials from Access & Delivery Services and refer them to BAMM at Smith Warehouse.  They get separated onto trucks according to types of material—paperbacks, hardbacks, sets, and serials, which are processed on different lots in ABLE.  Students or staff print new labels, assign new barcodes if needed, and add internal notes in Aleph, if needed. We also bind some new materials—monographs, periodicals, and music scores that are going to the stacks.

When our materials are received at the Commercial Bindery, they go to the check in department first where they create the shop work order according to our shipping record paper work.  They run duplicate code stickers which go on the binding tickets and in the back of the books to match the covers to the books.  They unpack and separate the books, periodicals, digicovers, music scores, etc.  They adhere the stickers and send the books down the assembly line.

A volume is being pressed.
The pressing process at the commercial bindery.

Then the collator checks for trim margins and decides if they should be adhesive bound or sewn. The books get measured and that information is sent to the lettering department.  They pull in our lots from ABLE, stamp the covers, and send them to page attachment.  After that the books are trimmed and the boards are cut.  The covers are matched with the books and they travel to the “casing in” department where the covers are glued to the boards.  The books are placed in the covers and sent to the press.  The final stop is inspection.  The shipping department counts the books and adds any extra charges as needed.  Then the books are boxed and returned to DUL.

6. How long does it take an item to go through the bindery process, from beginning to end? Depending on when we receive books and periodicals, some materials will be added to ABLE within one week, while others will be added up to 4 weeks ahead of time. Usually we unpack, review, and send the returned books out within a week

7. DUL materials come back from the bindery in different solid-colored covers. Is there a reason for each color? Do the cover colors ever change? Periodicals are assigned a cover color when they are set up in ABLE. Ideally that cover color will always be the same so they will match in the stacks.  Formerly we chose from a list of 24 colors.  Since library binding cover materials are in short supply, we now have 8 colors to choose from—black, brown, dark green, maroon, navy, red, royal blue, and tan.  Monograph cover colors are pulled randomly at the CB.  We only assign a cover color for sets—navy blue—so we don’t have to check the stacks for the previous color.  The Music Library also requested blue covers for the Miniature Scores collection and the pocketbooks which house scores and parts.

Cover image of a monograph sent through the bindery process
This monograph was sent through commercial bindery to protect the cover.

8. What’s the most interesting DUL resource that you’ve sent to the bindery? I have seen many interesting books come through for rebinding. Atlases amaze me just because of their size, and the world maps are very colorful and informative.  Some Government Documents are intriguing.  But the one book that stands out in my mind that came through recently for binding was “Afro-Atlantic Histories”.  I chose to send this book for a Digicover, where the original covers are digitized, mounted on boards, and bound with a clear cover.  You can see by the photo this book cover is stunning.  Also, the foredge was a rainbow of primary and secondary color plate sections surrounding the text and art work.  If you would like to see this book, it is displayed at Lilly’s Art Exhibition Catalog Collection.  You can also find more information on the National Gallery of Art webpage

9. Does Conservation play into the bindery workflow? If so, how? Most people don’t know that we also have a brittle books workflow. Conservation Services staff also refer books to BAMM for boxing.  These books are too brittle for rebinding.  We box them to extend their shelf life for patrons’ use for many more years.  We enter the title, author, call number, and measurements in Excel, and send the spread sheet to The HF Group Indiana office.  The books remain on the shelves at Smith.  It saves wear and tear on the books, and we don’t have to worry about them getting lost during shipping.    The HF Group staff member makes the KASEBoxes, acid free clam shell boxes (similar to pizza boxes) that protect materials, and ships them directly to Smith.  Student workers match up the books by the item number printed on the box with the corresponding book on the shelf.  They are double-checked by title and call number.  Then they glue a brittle book label inside each KASEBox to inform the patron how to handle the brittle materials.  The Item Process Status (IPS)  is changed if needed, and the boxes are sent out to the owning library or DUL’s offsite storage facility.




A Day in the Life: Alaina Economus

A person with short brown hair and glasses, wearing headphones, smiling while holding a cat
Alaina and Simon

Hello! My name is Alaina Economus, and I am the Slavic Language Resource  Description Intern in the Resource Description Department.

I came to Duke University Libraries in August of 2022, three months after graduating from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and simultaneous to beginning my MSLS at UNC-Chapel Hill. I majored in History and Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies as an undergraduate, and thought this position would be the perfect combination of my Russian language skills and my passion for library and information science. I interviewed for the internship in my dorm room at Smith (College) and thought how serendipitous it would be to begin a new chapter of my life also at Smith (Warehouse)!

When I first arrived at Duke, we had a significant backlog of Slavic language monographs that had been sent to us for original cataloging. Most of the items had not been looked over following their referral. With direction from my supervisors, Jessica Janecki and Natalie Sommerville, I spent the first couple of months looking up every item in OCLC Connexion and sorting them into different categories based on the language of the text and their “problem”; some had no record in OCLC, others had no call number assigned, and others had records with poor copy. Throughout this process, I was able to send many items to circulation, which cleared up a lot of much-needed space.

Now that the backlog has been sorted, I spend much of my time cataloging books from each specific category. This past spring, I decided to focus on Ukrainian-language materials with poor copy or no call number . It felt like something small I could do to support the promotion and accessibility of Ukrainian language and culture. I really value working with these materials, and hope that I am doing them justice.

This experience inspired me to conduct a collections analysis of the Ukrainian-language collection at Duke with Dr. Ernest (Erik) Zitser, Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies. While it was originally just for a field experience course for my degree, I’ve been able to present the analysis at the TRLN Annual Meeting this past summer, and I’ll be presenting the full analysis at the Ukrainian Studies Conference this month. It has been such an enriching experience to work with these materials both for this project and for my work at Smith Warehouse.

Growing my cataloging skills has been one of the best parts of my experience in Resource Description. A year ago, I knew almost nothing about call numbers, subject analysis, or authority records. Now, I spend most of my time determining if the monographs I work with have accurate description that will make them accessible to patrons. It’s a big responsibility, but I love it! I am hoping to pursue a career in cataloging once I have completed my MSLS degree.

When not at work or in class, I enjoy reading, cross-stitching, traveling, and spending time with my friends, my partner Abbie, and my cat Simon (pictured).

Sí, nosaltres tenim llibres en català! (Yes, we have books in Catalan!)

Photo of the cover of a book: "El Catala, la llengua efervescent: 77 vision sobre el terreny"What language is spoken in Spain? This isn’t a trick question—or maybe it is, depending on how you look at it. Sure, Spanish (a.k.a. Castilian) is the most widely spoken language by the 47 million people who call Spain home. But a whole host of other languages is also native to the country — not to mention the hundreds of languages brought to the Iberian peninsula by immigrants from around the world.

In various regions of Spain, these languages are co-official with Spanish: Catalan, Galician, Valencian, Basque, and Aranese. Aragonese, Asturian, and Leonese are also spoken in different parts of the country. All of these except Basque, which is also known as Euskera, are Romance languages, descended from Latin, although some resemble Spanish much more closely than others.

After Spanish, Catalan is the most commonly spoken language in Spain. Most linguists agree that Valencian, spoken in the Valencian Community, is the same language as Catalan. Between the two, there are estimated to be between 8 and 10 million Catalan speakers, though it’s difficult to pin down that number because so many people report that they understand Catalan but only sort of speak it, or that they can read it but can’t write it, or so on. A 2019 Pew Research survey found that Catalan or Valencian is the primary language spoken at home in 12% of Spanish households.

If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, you probably noticed that the street signs there aren’t in Spanish – they’re in Catalan. Beyond Catalunya (spelled Catalonia in English) and València, Catalan is the official language of the nation of Andorra and is also spoken in parts of France and Italy. (The map below shows areas where Catalan/Valencian is spoken, as an official language or not, in various shades of green; the darkest green represents the core area of speakers.)

“Catalan Language in Europe” by Martí8888 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

In the past couple of years, we have been purchasing more books in Catalan here at the Duke University Libraries. Not only is Catalan fascinating to speakers and scholars of other Romance languages, and a source of some of Spain’s most interesting contemporary literature and media, the Catalonian independence movement has been a major force in Spanish politics in recent years, and a significant amount of the scholarship on this topic is written and published only in Catalan.Photo of the cover of a book: "Cata-lana-ment"

For all these reasons, we’ve decided it’s important to add more titles in Catalan to our collection. As the cataloger for Iberian languages, I have been working with Diego Godoy, our Librarian for Latin American, Iberian, and Latino studies and the staff of Monograph Acquisitions, to select, order, and catalog many unique titles in and about the Catalan language and culture. These photos show just a few of the books we have acquired recently.

Photo of several books in Catalan

If you’re interested in perusing our Catalan collections, they are concentrated in the PC3810-PC3976 call number range of our stacks. Additionally, you’ll find many of our books on Catalunya, its history, and its culture in the range DP302.C56-69.

If you want to learn some Catalan, Duolingo offers a free online course, but it’s taught from Spanish, not from English. The Catalan government’s Secretaria de Política Lingüística also offers online courses at

Finally, thanks to the website of the TV channel TV3, you can watch Catalan-language TV online at There are also a handful of series and films in Catalan available on Netflix – my favorite is the dark comedy Welcome to the Family (Benvinguts a la Família), which offers subtitles in English, Spanish, and Catalan.


Gràcies per llegir aquest article (Thanks for reading this article), and, as we often say at the end of a conversation in Catalan, que vagi bé (literally, may you go well)!

(Please note that some of the materials above might not be ready for patrons yet. Never fear – while they’re in process, check out all the books in Catalan already available!)

Happy National Book Month!

Books on ShelfIn honor of National Book Month in October, DUL Technical Services was surveyed about our favorite books, as well as our favorite book formats. The survey was sent to staff who work across the Technical Services workflows, including collection development, ordering and receiving, cataloging,  bindery, conservation and preservation. Their work involves a variety of materials in a variety of formats. The list of favorite books (below) is a fascinating mix of fiction and non-fiction genres.  We bet you’ll add several to your to-read list!



 DULTS Staff Favorites

DULTS Format Preferences

Pie chart of format preferences noted below

  • Print–64.71%
  • eBook–23.53%
  • Audiobook–11.76%






Survey Notes

One colleague enjoys all three formats interchangeably, while another colleague doesn’t have just one favorite book. (So many to choose from, right?!) Yet another colleague listed a favorite book included in the list above, but added that their all-time favorite was the Cradle series by Will Wight.

Selected Links about Books

Selected Book-related Bibliography from the DUL Catalog


E-Resource Database Trial Accessibility Evaluations


Over the past few years, Duke University Libraries have been making efforts to consider additional ways to incorporate DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) principles into our daily work. In Technical Services, one example of this work is advocating for strong accessibility language in e-resource license negotiations. This is a high priority, because accessibility compliance is inherent to complying with civil rights law. Prioritizing accessibility language in DUL licenses lets providers know that the library’s willingness to acquire e-resources is compromised when accessibility needs are not met or prioritized. Inclusion of strong accessibility language also codifies content providers’ acknowledgment that the e-books, e-journals, and online databases they are selling for inclusion in the library’s collection should be accessible according to national and international standards. It also ensures that the library has the right to modify material as needed when resources do not comply with patrons’ accessibility needs.

To build on this existing accessibility work, the DUL E-Resources Management Team is piloting a database accessibility evaluation project to more closely assess e-resources under consideration for acquisition during trials. E-resource trials are a common way for subject selectors to review e-resources before committing to add the material to the collection, typically via a temporary gratis access period of around 30 days. By testing databases on trial for a few key accessibility elements, we hope to provide additional useful information for our colleagues’ consideration as they build the library’s collection.

Designing a Template

Barb Dietsch, ERM Specialist, and Abby Wickes, ERM Librarian, based the pilot on the Library Accessibility Alliance E-resource Reports (LAA) which are highlighted in detail in an incredibly informative ASERL webinar, “Accessibility of Research Library E-resources”. Using the LAA model, Dietsch and Wickes developed a local Accessibility Evaluation Template for testing with a variety of free tools and manual testing methods according to the POUR rubric, which is adroitly described in the 2020 NASIG session, “Designing for Accessibility”.

Perceivable (can be accessed with more than one sense)

Evaluate for captions, alternative image text, screen reader success

Operable (provides flexible navigation options and can be accessed with a variety of input methods)

Attempt to navigate website using only keyboard

Understandable (behaves in an intuitive, logical, and predictable way)

Attempt to intuitively navigate website, looking for usability issues (e.g., help or documentation, clearly labeled links)

Robust (works across browsers and devices, follows standards)

Attempt to navigate website in multiple browsers, devices; attempt to zoom in to resize text

Using POUR as a guide, the evaluation template also incorporates data from free tools including the NVDA Speech Viewer screen reader and the WAVE online web service and browser extensions.

Additionally, the template includes the option to link to existing accessibility language and/or a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, describing providers’ compliance with accessibility standards), if the library has already negotiated a license with the content provider. (These licensing additions to the Accessibility Evaluation Template were incorporated after learning more about a similar evaluation process at the University of Washington through another very helpful and informative Library Accessibility Alliance webinar, “Accessibility Committees: Cultivating Cultures of Accessibility at Your Library”.)

Sharing Findings

After testing the Accessibility Evaluation Template with multiple databases and soliciting feedback from colleagues, we will be launching the project for all database trials going forward. The findings from the evaluations will be shared with both DUL colleagues for incorporation into acquisition decisions, as well as content providers in the hopes that they will remedy any accessibility problems the evaluation uncovers. As part of our local evaluation process, we also plan to try to reproduce results from existing LAA E-Resource Reports whenever a database has already gone through their more detailed review process. If LAA reports are not yet available for the database in question, we will typically use the form on the LAA site to suggest the more extensive LAA review.

Helpful Resources

In addition to the resources linked throughout this post, we also found these tools, webinars, and websites incredibly helpful when learning more about this topic:

Future Plans

We expect to learn a lot more after launching the pilot evaluations, and we have a few ideas on how to potentially expand our efforts in the future.

  • We’ve learned a lot from other organizations undertaking similar efforts, and it would be beneficial to figure out a way to share our local evaluations more broadly so peer institutions can incorporate findings into their own acquisition decisions.
  • It could also be helpful to more quantitatively assess the resources to come up with a score or color-coded range for easier comparison with other databases under review. However, since online databases can differ greatly in content and format, we anticipate this would be a challenging metric to quantify.
  • Finally, we hope to continue incorporating additional and emerging accessibility tools and resources. In the future, incorporating content’s availability in the FRAME repository of adapted, accessible materials could also be helpful information.

Database Accessibility Evaluation Template

Download the template

Please take a look at our template, and thank you for any feedback on this pilot project! If you’d like to hear more, Barb Dietsch and Abby Wickes will be presenting on this project at the upcoming November DUL First Wednesday presentation.

Database Trials Accessibility Review:

[Provider: Title]


Access URL:
Test search term:
Example page used in testing:
DUL Tester:

Overview Summary

[Paragraph and quick bullet points providing general overview]

Library Accessibility Alliance (LAA) Evaluation

Manual Evaluation according to POUR Rubric

(Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust)

Perceivable (can be accessed with more than one sense)

Evaluate for captions, alternative image text, screen reader success:

Notes Screenshot(s)

Operable (provides flexible navigation options and can be accessed with a variety of input methods)

Attempt to navigate website using only keyboard (tab and shift tab to go forward and back):

Notes Screenshot(s)

 Understandable (behaves in an intuitive, logical, and predictable way)

Attempt to intuitively navigate website, looking for usability issues (e.g., help or documentation, clearly labeled links):

Notes Screenshot(s)

Robust (works across browsers and devices, follows standards)

Attempt to view website in multiple browsers, devices; attempt to zoom in to resize text:

Notes Screenshot(s)

High-level WAVE findings:

Notes Screenshot(s)

·   []


·   []


·   []

Communicating Findings

Stakeholders Item Status/Notes
DUL Colleagues BTAA Evaluation or,

High-level summary of CRA Accessibility Review

Content Providers BTAA Evaluation (or flag that we have submitted to BTAA for review) or,

High-level summary of CRA Accessibility Review


Link to License Accessibility Language Link to VPAT


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:

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

Climbing Your Family Tree: Genealogy Resources Available to the Duke Community

Genealogy word cloudInterested in researching your family history, but don’t know how to start? Wondering whether or not Duke University Libraries has any resources to help you find your ancestors? Jacquie Samples (Head, Metadata and Discovery Strategy) and Lesley Looper (Team Lead, Bindery & Monograph Maintenance) have been working collaboratively to update and maintain Duke University Libraries’ Family History & Genealogy Research Guide to help members of the Duke community navigate their genealogy journey!

Below are some highlights:

One of Duke Libraries’ genealogy resources is a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition, accessible with your Duke NetID and password. Resources within Ancestry Library Edition include U.S. Census records, vital records, military records, and immigration records. Additional resources include city directories, school yearbook photos, and some newspaper obituaries.

HeritageQuest Online is another online database available through the DUL online catalog, thanks to NCLive. (It is also available through other libraries across North Carolina.) Available resources include U.S. Indian Census Rolls, Agricultural and Industrial Schedules, and the U.S. Freedman’s Bank Schedule- 1861-1875.

In addition to these and other databases, like America’s Historical Newspapers, World Newspaper Archive, and others available with a Duke login, there are several online resources available to everyone, regardless of Duke affiliation. Favorites include FindaGrave, Cyndi’s List, and the National Archives Resources for Genealogists. Google and Google Translate are also helpful resources.

Duke University Libraries also has print and online books and serials, as well as videos, related to genealogy. One interesting collection is several seasons of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Other genealogy resources within DUL can be discovered by searching here.

Since Jacquie and Lesley began updating the Family History & Genealogy Guide, they have enjoyed presenting these resources and more to various groups within the Duke community, including a Duke Libraries Lunch & Learn, a DiversifyIT Brown Bag session, and most recently, an undergraduate Public Policy class. They also host a Microsoft Teams group, Genealogy@Duke, for genealogists of all experience levels within the Duke community.