Title: Senior Library Exhibition Technician Library/Department: David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Exhibition Services Location: West Campus Years at Duke: 5.5 years In a nutshell, what do you do at Duke University Libraries? I work with Meg Brown to support curators (faculty members, librarians, students, members from Durham communities) from a wide variety of disciplines on campus through the libraries’ exhibition program. I support them in creating an exhibit from the beginning to the end including tracking all of the exhibit materials, creating cradles and mounts, and installing an exhibit that looks beautiful. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? I enjoy seeing various audiences enjoy the exhibits that we create. It is very rewarding for me to see how audiences are enjoying the exhibits and engaged viewers make the curators happy. Also, I get to see and handle interesting exhibit materials and always I learn something new from every exhibit. What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? I recently watched a movie called Decision to Leave by Park Chan-Wook. I always love the cinematography of this director. What do you like most about living in The Triangle? I definitely like the size of the area – not too crowded but not too small either. I’ve lived in various places from big cities to small college towns. Of all the places that I’ve been to, I like the Triangle so far. I love Chicken Bee at 9th street. If you would like to try Korean Fried Chicken, you should try there. What do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy trying new Asian restaurants, knitting (recently) and watching Korean dramas on Netflix.
Title: Ford Library Director Library/Department: Ford Library, The Fuqua School of Business Location: Breeden Hall, The Fuqua School of Business Years at Duke: 26 In a nutshell, what do you do at Duke University Libraries? I’m the Director of Ford Library, one of Duke’s four independent professional school libraries. I provide leadership and direction for the Ford Library, developing long- and short-range plans to design and implement library programs and services. I provide oversight and guidance as needed to a team of professional librarians and paraprofessional staff; and represent the Ford Library to the faculty, staff, and administrators of The Fuqua School of Business, other Duke Libraries, Duke University, the TRLN (Triangle Research Library Network) Library consortium, and professional associations such as the Academic Business Library Directors Group. I also lead and manage a specialized team that licenses and deploys data and online research resources requested by researchers; create access procedures, write documentation, and provide data extractions or conversions when requested. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? Working and collaborating with our Ford Library staff and the staff and leadership of Duke Libraries. I find it especially satisfying to work closely with researchers, vendors, and colleagues across Duke Libraries to connect researchers to the resources they need. What’s the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? Reading: David Downing’s “Station” historical fiction novels focused on an Anglo-American journalist living in Berlin prior to, during, and after WW2. Watching: “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon Prime Listening: “Honestly” – a podcast hosted by Bari Weiss What do you like most about living in The Triangle? Almost everything except the humidity in the summers! What do you like to do outside of work? Hiking and cycling, reading for pleasure, and singing sacred choral music
Title: Librarian for Research, Engagement, and Instruction Library/Department: Duke Divinity Library Location: West Campus, Divinity Library Years at Duke: Four In a nutshell, what do you do at Duke University Libraries? I manage Divinity reserves, meet with classes to teach research skills, meet with students and faculty one on one to assist their research, co-direct Duke Divinity Pride, and serve on a few Divinity and DUL committees. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? Hands down my favorite part of my job is working with students one-on-one or teaching research skills to classes. We joke that I’m the most extroverted librarian on our staff, and it’s true—the best part of my job is the constant interaction with students and faculty. That said, the Divinity library also has a bunny named Hildegard (check out her staff page here!), and it’s a constant joy to share an office/library space with a bunny! What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? I’ve been reading aloud A.S.Byatt’s Possession with a friend, and that’s been wonderful! And, I recently watched and loved the show Heartstopper on Netflix, which is a warm and delightful queer comedy. What do you like most about living in The Triangle? Guglhuph Bakery, Bahn’s vegetarian special, and all of the ways in which Durham folks take care of other Durham folks. What do you like to do outside of work? I go to a lot of live theater at PlayMaker’s in Chapel Hill, go hiking on the Eno, and I enjoy working with Durham’s community refrigerator projects.
Title: Lilly Library Media & Reserves Coordinator Library/Department: Research & Public Services Location: Lilly Library Years at Duke: I’ve been in my current position since October 4, 2021. This is my second stint as a Duke employee. I enjoyed three years (~2011-13) working at The Gothic Bookshop before pursuing a dream of working in the movie making business. In a nutshell, what do you do at Duke University Libraries? I work with Danette Pachtner here at Lilly on all things media and film related. Processing and fulfilling streaming video film reserve requests claims the bulk of my time along with class reserve book requests for Lilly use and requests for films which instructors want to show in class. I’m also responsible for readying new physical media (DVDs) to go to the shelves, shepherding film requests from our TRLN colleagues, and working the front desk at Lilly, along with acting sometimes as an early warning alert system for basement level water incursions as I’m the only Lilly staff with a basement office! If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? Getting to come to Lilly Library on Duke’s lovely East campus every day and work with the fine folks here! (My maternal grandmother was a student worker in this very building during her undergraduate years at Duke, so I’ve got a soft spot for Lilly.) What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? Book: Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death (O’Farrell, 2017) – A heartstoppingly (Sorry!) beautiful series of essays chronicling a lifetime’s worth of close calls. What do you like most about living in The Triangle? I’m a native of the NC Piedmont region, having been born and raised in Winston-Salem. I have been in Durham since 1995. Although Durham has changed a lot, I appreciate how it retains elements of small-town charm while also having more cosmopolitan aspects. What do you like to do outside of work? I’ve recently started taking a carpentry class and I’m enjoying it greatly, even though it meets on the same night as my bowling league, which I am missing. I enjoy reading, watching films and tv. I play a little tennis, rather poorly, now and then. I hang out with my wife Carrie and our two cats Archie and Nina and I enjoy cooking but am still trying to develop my grocery shopping skills!
Title: Metadata Architect Library/Department: Digital Collections and Curation Services Location: Bostock Library, West Campus Years at Duke: 7 in September In a nutshell, what do you do at the Duke University Libraries? I’m responsible for metadata governance and support for DUL’s repository platforms, including the Duke Digital Repository, DukeSpace, and the Research Data Repository. This involves determining how metadata should be structured and ensuring it conforms to best practices and standards. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? I have to pick two things! One, my colleagues – I’m so grateful to be able to work with people who are smart, generous, dedicated, and fun. Two, the content – our repositories are stuffed with interesting materials. What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? I recently read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, and really enjoyed it. My kids (8 & 11 years old) and I like to read together, and we just finished The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson – it was great. Also, the Throughline podcast is a regular favorite of mine. What do you like to do outside work? I like to hang out with my dog. I’d like to hang out with your dog, if you’ve got one. Really, any dogs. I also like non-dog activities, such as running with friends and spending too much money at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market.
Title: Staff Assistant Library/Department: David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Administration Location: Rubenstein Library, West Campus Years at Duke: 6 months In a nutshell, what do you do at the Duke University Libraries? My role at DUL is to support all the programming and services that arise from the lovely Rubenstein library crew, in both an administrative/planning role and as the go-to person for any financial transactions and needs. We have an array of diverse curatorial centers, and we serve students, faculty, and researchers both locally and internationally. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? I’m interested in a career in the library science field, and hope to enroll into an MLIS program in the near future. The best part of my job is learning all the different ways that librarians serve the community, and all the possibilities open to me in my future. Additionally, I love looking at collections in the University Archives and all the different exhibits. What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? I’ve been reading significantly more books recently, since I only semi-recently finished up my undergraduate career. I even discovered a series of mystery novels about a small-town Southern library assistant turned detective! But the best book I’ve read recently is This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub. It’s a different take on time-travel and I recommend it – even if you’re not normally into magical realism. What do you like to do outside work? In a past professional life, I was a sous chef and worked in restaurants, bakeries, and in food marketing. I love learning new recipes, especially the home cooking of my childhood. My family is South Asian and Southeast Asian, two cultures that aren’t prone to written recipes. But it’s so fun to experiment! I have an energetic dog that loves going on walks, and I like going on local hikes with her. The Confluence Natural Area off the Eno River in Hillsborough, NC is a favorite spot.
Title: Access Services Librarian Library/Department: Perkins – ADS Location: West Campus (Perkins) Years at Duke: 7 months In a nutshell, what do you do at your library and in your division? (DUL, Medical Center, Law, Divinity, Ford) At Perkins I’m responsible for aligning services at the Service Desk with the priorities of the larger department in support of connecting patrons with broader DUL resources, spaces and programs. We’re currently navigating what this looks like post-ish-pandemic and taking a deep look at how to better manage workflows and service expectations to balance patron demand and staff capacity. It’s a challenging – and rewarding – role. What is the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul”. Hands down. I’m obsessed. What do you like to do outside of work? Rest. It’s a sacred priority with an hour-long commute. Beyond that, hiking is a favorite and simple time with friends over a home-cooked meal. I am traveling out of the country to London for the first time in my 29 years next month; I hope to put a good number of stamps on my passport. This trip is for the anniversary of my 29th birthday. I’m not turning 30 yet. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? The best part of my job is how welcomed I have felt by DUL and every single person here. Even if my introversion made it hard to receive. In my Black colleagues, I feel professional belonging. I feel more and more each day that we are simply friends by virtue of sharing the same professional space for so much time out of our weeks. We see each other. We seek each other out to encourage one another and…share in things that are distinctly us. By my white colleagues, I do not feel tokenized – I feel heard. I feel like true connections happen. I feel there’s adequate space made for my humanity that’s balanced by challenges to grow. I truly feel that diversity and inclusion are the goals and there’s meaningful progress being made…even while equity is being refined. My role can be a bit challenging in the sheer amount of information that’s required of me and for public services. It’s highly dependent on relationships. It gets stressful. But I’m grateful that these relationships (the best part of my job) are so strong.
Title: LIbrarian for British Studies and General History Library/Department: Duke University Libraries - Research and Instructional Services Location: Lilly Library Years at Duke: 21 years in this position. I lived close by and visited as a child and I was an undergraduate here. In a nutshell, what do you do at your library and in your division? (DUL, Medical Center, Law, Divinity, Ford) I help users find materials relevant to their research especially about history. Sometimes this is providing specific resources that they can use, but often I make suggestions about how to frame search terms and strategies so that they can search again as their interests evolve. Much of my work involves finding sources that are not located in the Duke Libraries, especially since the internet and the ability to borrow from other libraries has become so powerful. I work with my library colleagues to enhance our collections and services, and I buy for our library in History of Science, Military History, and for Great Britain and much of the former Commonwealth. If you had to pick one thing, what is the most enjoyable part of your job? (25-50 words) I enjoy the process of working on questions with researchers and with my colleagues. Sometimes I offer advice and never see the patron again, but often these relationships have lasted for many years. What is the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? I am reading pretty widely for an upcoming blog post on Black/White relations at Duke and around Durham from about 1924 to roughly 1971 when I started college. I have been on a kick for Russian movies about World War Two (the Great Patriotic War). You have to love Netflix and Amazon! I’ve recently enjoyed a series called The Attackers which has great acting but laughable subtitles. Another recent favorite also beautifully photographed and acted is The Dawns Here Are Quiet. What do you like to do outside of work? I like to hang out and I am a long-struggling (thankfully, not long-suffering) amateur musician. My father and his siblings were especially musical and were trained from an early age. Aunts and uncles who would play and sing and dance and who supported my interest has been a blessing. I have played many genres of popular music and I participate in a fairly large community of musicians around the country. I am currently trying to understand and to interpret popular jazz songs from the 1920s-1950s, like “Darn That Dream.”
Title: Team-Lead Non-Roman Languages Unit Library/Department: Monograph Acquisitions, Technical Services Location: Smith Warehouse Years at Duke: 12 years and 11 months: I was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco until l moved to Durham, NC in 2008. (I speak Arabic, French, English, and a little bit of Spanish) In a nutshell, what do you do at the Duke University Libraries? As Team Lead of the Non-Roman Unit in the Monograph Acquisitions Department, TS, I manage the daily operations of the Non-Roman Languages Unit by assisting the team, answering questions regarding acquisitions procedures and policies, communicating with foreign vendors and subject librarians, and doing outreach and collaborating with other departments when language expertise is needed. Finally, I place orders for the Middle Eastern languages with a concentration in Arabic, pay invoices, and copy catalog materials to make them accessible to patrons. If you had to pick one thing, what’s the best part of your job so far? As an extravert, what I love most about my job is socializing and working with people, creating a team and an environment of happy and productive people. It keeps me motivated and engaged. What the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently? I am now reading Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges by Marvine Howe. I recommend it to those interested in knowing Moroccan customs and culture and also the evolution of its democracy. I enjoy watching Abbot Elementary, The Wonder Years, and Call the Midwife. I love listening to Adele and classical Arabic singers. What do you like to do outside work? I love cooking all different kind of food, especially Moroccan food. I also love walking, rowing, knitting, travelling and discovering other areas of the world, watching sports and shopping.