Home » Get to Know your Colleagues » Get to Know Joanna Welborn! [August 2023]

Get to Know Joanna Welborn! [August 2023]

Title: Monographic Acquisitions and Processing Assistant

Library/Department: Perkins / Collections Services

Location: Smith Warehouse 

Years at Duke: 1 year in September 

In a nutshell, what do you do at Duke University Libraries?

I like to tell people I get to look through books all day. I do a lot of copy cataloging of monographs, scores, and AV materials but I also have hands on everything from receiving and unboxing new shipments of books to getting items “shelf ready” with stamps, barcodes, and security strips, to paying invoices and guiding books on their way to their home library.

If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far?

I love getting to see the diversity of materials we receive daily – from a small press short story collection to new and noteworthy nonfiction to books headed to Lilly, Music, and the Rubenstein rare books collection. I also really appreciate that everyone in our department works together as a team and is willing to jump in to answer all my newbie questions or to solve the latest book mystery which could be anything from a missing, duplicated, or oddly shaped book with no clear place to affix a call number label.

What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently?

I always like to have a good mix of things to read and listen to at once. In my current rotation is Why Did I Ever, a beautiful fragmented novel by Mary Robison that I’m really loving. I’m alternating that with reading through Henning Mankell crime novels set in the winters of Sweden as an escape from this summer heat. And finally, and most exciting, my sister just published her first book and even though I’m biased, it is a truly outstanding read that I can’t recommend enough, Strange Hours: Photography, Memory, and the Lives of Artists by Rebecca Bengal. Current listens include local band Object Hours’ LP “Piece Goods”, a mix of ‘80s hip hop which I find is a great accompaniment to copy cataloging for some reason, and I’m so glad to have just discovered Ethiopian pianist Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou.

What do you like most about living in The Triangle?

I feel lucky that we have such beautiful outdoor spaces to hike and explore in these parts as well as having independently-owned places to eat, shop, and see art, film, and live music. Shout out to a few favorites: hiking any and everywhere along the Eno River, Kings Red & White Grocery, Shadowbox Studio, and Super Taqueria. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Oh a lot of things! You can find me hiking in the woods behind my house, working on photography and writing projects, trying to learn the bass, puttering around the house and yard with my husband, and hanging out with my 12-year-old son as much as he’ll put up with it.