Welcome Class of 2020!

Duke Libraries - Here To Help You  photo of Lilly Library entrance

Why Use The Library?

We make your life easier! We can help you…

Get Involved:

Quick Facts:

Books and eBooks photo of carpenter reading room

  • You can check out as many books as you like! Really!
  • You can keep most books for 4 weeks, and you can renew online
  • To find books/DVD's, use our catalog. Click here to find an eBook.
  • Duke students can also check out books from UNC, NC State and NC Central

DVDs and CDs

  • Lilly Library has an impressive collection of popular DVD's that you can check out
  • Like Music? Check out the Music Library's CD collection
  • You may borrow most DVD's for 1 week and CD's for 4 weeks
  • You may only check out one new release/Devil DVD at a time, and up to 3 additional DVD's from our main collection

Articles

  • To find articles from journals/newspapers/magazines, use one of our many databases
  • You can access library databases even when you're off campus; you just need your NetID/password
  • If we don't have the book or article you need, don't worry! We can always get it for you

At the library

Where Do I...?

...Find the Library?

Duke has several libraries, on both East and West Campus!

...Study?

...Print & Scan?

photo of reading room in Lilly Library

What else goes on in the Libraries?

  • Writing consultants are available at our Writing Studio locations:
    • East Campus: Lilly Library, Second Floor
    • West Campus: Perkins Library, Room 112

Research & Technology Spaces

Coffee! Food!

  • In the libraries, but need to feed your brain?
    • Trinity Cafe: Coffee Shop (East Campus Union)
    • Lilly Library: Vending machines (Basement)
    • The Perk: Coffee Shop (Perkins/Bostock Libraries)

How Do I ... ?

  • To find a book go to our homepage and click on  the "Books & Media" tab, or go straight to our catalog. This search will bring up materials owned by Duke libraries, including books, CDs, movies, and more!
  • Found the item you want? Write down the call number (eg, PZ7.R79835 Har 1998 c.1 ) and look at the catalog record to see which library the item is located in (Lilly, Perkins, Music, etc) and check to see if it is available or checked out. Then go find the book in our stacks.
  • Having trouble finding your book? Just return to the circulation desk, and ask for assistance - we'll be happy to help!
  • Found the book? Great! Pull it from the shelf, and bring it with your DukeCard to the circulation desk. (Your DukeCard also functions as your library card) The librarian or student assistant will take care of the rest, and let you know when it's due back to the library. At Perkins and in a hurry? Try the convenient Self Check-Out Stations located by the Help Desk!
  • The Music Library has a large collection of CDs from all genres of music - not only classical! Do a keyword search in "Books & Media" for your favorite artist. You just might be surprised what we have!
  • CDs in the Music Library are stored in locked stacks, so they can only be retrieved by staff members. Just write down the CD call number (eg, CD 494 c.2 ) and bring it to the circulation desk. We'll grab it and bring it right back to you!
  • Lilly Library's vast Film and Video Collection includes feature films, documentaries, and shorts among its more than 20,000 DVDs. 
  • To search for Lilly films in the library catalog, do a keyword search in the "Books & Media" tab for the Title, Director, or even an Actor! You can also search on our Film & Video page.
  • The browseable "Devil DVD" collection in Lilly features popular films recently released! Just take the case from the display to the circulation desk, where they'll grab the disc and check it out to you!
  • From the library homepage click on the "Articles" tab. Need more help? Learn about searching for articles here .
  • Your professors may have put books, CDs, DVDs, or other material "on reserve" for your courses. Find these by asking at the circulation desks at Perkins, Lilly, or Music. Have the call number, and professor/course name ready when you do!
  • Not sure what's on Reserve for your classes? Check out our Reserves page.
  • Find the perfect book, but it says the location is "Library Service Center"? No problem! That means it's held in off-site storage, but the good news is that you can request it to be delivered right to a campus library for you to pick up - usually within 1 business day, sometimes quicker!
  • Just click the green "Request" button, enter your NetID and password, and choose your desired Pickup Location on campus. You'll get an email when it's ready to be picked up!
  • You can see everything you have checked out at "My Accounts" (enter your NetID and password to gain access). Select "Loans," and check the box next to each item you wish to renew, then click "Renew all selected titles."
  • For more, see our "Borrowing" page.
  • Many rooms in the Duke Libraries can be reserved for group study sessions, projects, viewing parties, tutoring, meetings, or even small social events! Available spaces can be reserved on our Room Reservations page.
  • You can return any book you have to any library on campus!
  • Check out our eReaders page for information on borrowing and reading eBooks.
photo of books on shelves

Who can help me?

...With my classroom assignment? photo of student talking to a librarian

Most first year classes will have a librarian to provide workshops and research consultations to students. For example, there is a librarian assigned to every WR101 class, every FOCUS program, and most First-year seminars. These librarians will be your first point of contact for any assignment or question you have in a particular class.

There is also a subject librarian for every academic department and degree program in the college. As your research becomes deeper and more sophisticated, you might need to work with a specialist. You can set up an appointment to meet with a subject librarian one-on-one by following this link .

… With general questions about the library?

More than likely you'll have all kinds of questions that may have nothing to do with a specific assignment. For example, the libraries contain many resources for your leisure time as well. Or, you need to find a quiet place to study.

You will also have a librarian assigned to your residence hall, to find his or her contact information, click here.

… With a research consultation?

Research consultations are one-on-one meetings scheduled with a librarian. You bring your assignment and questions to this meeting and you and the librarian then work out what strategies and research tools might best help you formulate the bibliography for your paper. This is an excellent way to learn about library research, saving you vast amounts of time and frustration.

Research 101

Getting started: Research Process

Research is an iterative, inquiry-based process that starts when you take a fledgling topic idea and develop it into a more specific research question - or set of research questions. This page will provide basic information about finding books & articles, using advanced search strategies, and evaluating your sources.

How do I get started?

You will want to read through the requirements of your research assignment carefully, brainstorm topic ideas that interest you, and begin gathering background information on your initial topic. As you begin gathering sources, your research question may evolve and go in a different direction.

Finding books

The library catalog (a.k.a. books & media search) is the best starting point for finding books in the Duke libraries. You can expand your search to books in the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) and use document delivery to request books for delivery. Use the Worldcat library catalog to discover and request books from libraries worldwide.

Finding articles

Start out with general databases (Duke search, Academic Search Complete, Google Scholar, JSTOR), to search across a wide range of scholarly publications on your topic. Switch to a subject-specific database to search across journals in a particular field (ex. Engineering, Art History). If you need help deciding what database to choose, ask a librarian for help.

Advanced search / filter

Every database has slightly different advanced search features - look for a ? or Help section in the database to read about their specific search tips. Start out with a keyword search in the catalog or database you're searching and then filter your search (if you get too much) or broaden (if you get too little). If you need help with advanced search tricks, ask a librarian for help.

Evaluating sources

Evaluating your sources is a critical step in the research process. To evaluate the quality of your source, you will want to consider several factors such as: relevance, authority, audience, currency, and accuracy. Some questions you might ask: is the source written by someone who has authority on the subject? Is the source intended for scholarly/academic research?

The more practice you get searching in library databases and catalogs, the more confident you'll be in determining the quality of the sources you find. If in doubt, ask a librarian for help!

Citation 101

Citing sources doesn't have to be a difficult process. Click here for guides to the most popular citation styles, with explanations and examples.

Save time by using citation managers, which help you gather citations as you conduct your research, and generate a bibliography using your chosen citation style when you finish your project. Click below to learn more about these popular citation managers supported by Duke:

link to citation tools

Why Cite?

Citing your sources is an important part of your research process because it enables you to:

  • Give credit to the sources you consulted
  • Substantiate the credibility of your research
  • Connect your work to that of other scholars
  • Provide your reader with sources for further exploration of the topic

Be a responsible researcher and avoid plagiarism by scrupulously following these rules:

  • Don't copy, quote, paraphrase or summarize any source without adequate documentation.
  • Don't purchase a paper by mail or email.
  • Never allow another person to write a paper for you.
  • Don't submit another person's unpublished work in your name.

Learn even more about citations by consulting our citation guide!

Top 12 Questions

Check out our Libraries Hours page for up-to-date schedules for all the Duke Libraries.

All you need to check out materials from the Duke University Libraries is your Duke ID. If the book is located in the stacks of one of our libraries, you can retrieve it yourself and bring it to the desk for check-out.

Use the Books & Media search to identify books held by the Duke University Libraries. Be sure to note library, call number and status. For many of our books, click on the map link under the location heading to find its location in the stacks.

You bet. The Lilly and Music Libraries have large collections of DVDs and CDs for check-out. The loan period for Lilly DVDs is 3 days with a one-time renewal of an additional 3 days; the loan period for CDs is 4 weeks.

Don't worry, we can get books and articles for you through our Document Delivery Department. Just create an account and request the items that that you need. You will be notified by email when your book arrives for pick-up; for articles, you should receive them as pdf attachments to an email message. There is no charge for document delivery.

There are reservable and first-come, first-serve spaces in the Lilly, Music, and Perkins and Bostock Libraries. For a listing of all study spaces, group and individual, check out our Places to Study.

Absolutely. All Duke Libraries are open to you. Just be sure to check out the library's operating hours before you head over.

There is no set time – librarians are available to assist with your research questions when you need help. At the Lilly and Perkins and Bostock Libraries, librarians are available until midnight from Sunday-Thursday. We can also answer your questions virtually through our chat service. If you want to set up appointment with a librarian, you may want to give a few days lead time just in case.

Check out our citing sources page to get started. We also support a number of citation management tools which can be very helpful in creating in-text citations, footnotes, and works cited pages. Librarians are also here to help. Ask us citation questions in-person or via email or chat.

Your residence hall librarian is your Duke University Libraries contact. Throughout your first year, s/he will contact you with information about events of interest, new services, research databases and information tools. You can also contact your residence librarian with your research and library questions.

There are eprint stations in Lilly, Music, and the Perkins and Bostock Libraries as well as locations throughout campus

No matter your scanning need, we have you covered with overhead, flatbed, and sheet-feed scanners located on the first floors of Lilly, Music, and the Perkins and Bostock Libraries.