If you are at least 70½ years of age, you are eligible to make a uniquely tax-advantaged gift to Duke Libraries by rolling over funds from your individual retirement account (“IRA”). In December 2010, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 which reinstated the charitable IRA rollover through 2011. When you use this giving method, you can transfer up to $100,000 each year from your IRA to qualified charitable organizations, like Duke University Libraries, without increasing your gross income for the year and without ever paying taxes on the money. To maintain these benefits, it is important that the funds from your IRA be directly transferred to Duke (rather than withdrawn and subsequently given to Duke). It is a simple, stream-lined way to make your gift. If you have questions about transferring funds to Duke from your IRA, contact the Office of Gift Planning by dialing 919-681-0467, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailing to 614 West Main Street, Durham, NC 27708.
Sometimes an idea planted at the right time, under the right circumstances, yields great dividends. Such is the case with a recent conversation between Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs, and Kevin White, Vice President and Director of Athletics. The idea of finding a way for the Libraries and Athletics to collaborate resulted in the creation of the Duke Athletics Library Fund. Starting this summer, the Athletics department will donate $1 for each ticket sold to home regular season athletic events to the Libraries. This newly created fund signifies an important partnership between athletics and academics, something for which Duke is renown. We are all proud of the accomplishments of Duke athletes, both in and out of the classroom, and realize a strong library system greatly enhances every student’s ability to excel academically. In the coming months, you will hear more about this mutually beneficial arrangement. Read the press release here.
On May 11, Friends of the Libraries and their guests gathered in the lobby of Perkins Library and enjoyed a reception in the Biddle Rare Book Room, followed by dinner in the von der Heyden Pavilion. This year, the after-dinner program featured the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History. Jacqueline Reid, director of the center, provided an overview of the collection and George Grody, Visiting Associate Professor, Markets & Management Studies, shared some of the ads he uses in class. In his discussion, he highlighted two Hardee’s ads, one from the 1970s, and a more recent one from 2009. It was eye-opening to watch these two ads and realize how much advertising has changed over the years.
We wish to thank SunTrust for generously serving as our presenting sponsor and DeHaven’s Moving and Storage, the Gothic Bookshop and Whole Foods for providing additional support.
Duke University Libraries are becoming a leader in the increasingly important arena of open-access publishing. In March 2010, Duke’s academic council unanimously adopted an open access policy, which aims to make the published research of faculty available to a much broader readership. The Libraries’ DukeSpace repository is a primary tool for implementing this policy.In a new project launched by the Libraries, two open-access journals based on a Libraries’ administered platform will begin to make published research freely available online. These services are tremendously valuable to researchers and scholars in all fields. They make research easier to access and help those who have material share their valuable work more widely. Kevin Smith, Duke’s Director of Scholarly Communications, housed in the Libraries, is coordinating these efforts.
There is no shortage of information these days, information about almost anything you can imagine. As you navigate electronic and print material, wouldn’t it be nice to have a source you can trust, one that provides timely, thought-provoking, reliable information? Enter Duke Libraries and a wonderful, little-known resource: Libraries blogs. Written by librarians and library staff members who are experts in their fields, these online blogs cover a range of topics, from preservation lab activities, to University Archives, to scholarly communication, just to name a few. Check out a few Duke Libraries blogs and find your next favorite!
This summer the Music Library and Media Center located in the Biddle Music Building on East Campus is closed in order to conduct renovations that will dramatically enhance the look and feel of the Library, as well as improve accessibility of library materials. The renovations will allow more of the Library’s collections to be housed on-site, which means more music at users’ fingertips. Perhaps the most noticeable changes will be increased natural light upstairs, new seating and tables and the addition of a seminar room. The Library will re-open in mid-August for fall semester. Next time you are on East Campus, stop in see the “new” Music Library. A similar, but somewhat more involved, renovation is currently being planned to take place next summer in Lilly Library.
Early one morning in March, a group of adventurous Friends boarded a bus and traveled to Washington, DC, to visit the National Archives at the invitation of National Archivist, and former Duke University Librarian, David Ferriero. This trip allowed participants to experience the Archives through the eyes of a curator. The group was guided through public spaces and had special access to the Archives vaults where they were treated to a private viewing of rare material, including Freedman’s Bureau records from Trinity College outlining donations of food given to slaves, a hand-written account of the approach of Japanese planes in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, designs for military uniforms, a draft of George Washington’s inaugural address, and documents associated with the Louisiana Purchase.
The trip was so popular we are considering offering it again. If you are interested, please let us know by contacting Lizzy Mottern.
Book reviews are written by Friends of the Duke University Libraries. They are published electronically through this newsletter and posted online at goodreads.com. You can find the Duke Libraries Friends listing under groups. We are always looking for new reviewers, so the next time you read a great book, take a minute to write a short review and share it.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
2010, Random House
David Mitchell’s widely praised novel has been on my “must-read” list for some time. Reading it was one of those delightful but frustrating, experiences—frustrating only because I resented having to put it down to go to bed or to work or into the kitchen to prepare a meal. Posted to Dejima, the island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, to which representatives of the Dutch East India Company were restricted in the late 18th and early 19th century, the perspicacious and ethical clerk, Jacob de Zoet, sets to work to earn enough money to return to Holland and win his beloved Anna’s hand in marriage. This simple goal becomes complicated when he becomes infatuated with Orito Aibagawa, the gifted midwife who, despite her gender, is allowed to study with the Dutch doctor on Dejima. Maintaining his honor in the face of the corruption of both the westerners and many of the Japanese adds to Jacob’s challenges. Mitchell’s extensive research makes reading this compelling and beautifully written tale educational as well as entertaining.
- Elizabeth Dunn, Research Services Librarian, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University Libraries
Elizabeth I, CEOAlan Axlerod
This quick, engaging, exciting, fast-paced read (261 pages) reveals 134 Elizabeth I precepts developed for her survival and used in today’s world of business. This brilliant lady devised these techniques entirely on her own despite: a philandering father, who executed her mother; a wicked, wretched half sister (Bloody Mary); a broken and bankrupt nation divided by Catholic versus Protestant interests; international and Papal intrigues; and daily threats to her life and well-being. In addition, she also managed to build an empire, to defeat foes, and to further these new concepts discussed in this book, and used in modern-day commerce. An extraordinary read depicting one of history’s most extraordinary leaders. Start reading early in the day because you will not want to stop. In fact, I continue to enjoy it with each subsequent reading.
- Jim Harper T’59, Friends Executive Committee member
A Slice of Pi: all the Maths you Forgot to Remember from SchoolLiz Strachan and Steven Appleby
My father, a math enthusiast who knew how to make any algebra homework take twice as long, ended every explanation to his decidedly non-mathematical son with the summation, “numbers are magic.” More like alchemy to my mind, but regardless, numbers are the only mysticism I trust. If you’re a mathematic pedestrian like myself—but still enjoy the walk—I recommend A Slice of Pi. It’s a stroll to the spooky side of numbers that the sorcerer successfully sees you through. Three hundred years ago a Russian version of my dad concluded that every even number has to be sum of two prime numbers: 3 + 19 = 22; 213 + 197 = 400, etc. But since numbers are infinite, that’s hard to prove. Might there be some google number out there so big—and so even—that no two primes go into it? Goldbach (the conjecturer) couldn’t prove in the eighteenth century and modern computers haven’t gotten any closer. A Slice of Pi is full of these, no discussion more than two and a half pages, every one guaranteed to restore your faith in magic.
- Lee Sorensen, Art and Dance Librarian, Duke University Libraries
James Thompson2011, Putnam
Nordic detective fiction has finally produced its version of Donna Leon, the New Jersey-born American expat who lives in Venice and writes novels in English about an Italian cop, novels that have never been published in Italian. Kentucky-native James Thompson has lived in Helsinki for a dozen years and this is his second novel featuring Inspector Kari Vaara and his American wife Kate.
The novel quickly immerses the reader in seven storylines: examination of the conduct of a Finnish World War II national hero (remember, Finland was a German ally for most of the conflict); the relationship of this man with Vaara’s own grandfarther; the torture murder of a Russian businessman’s wife; the upcoming birth of Vaara’s first child; the visit of Kate’s obnoxious younger brother and sister; the mystery of Vaara’s chronic headaches; and Vaara’s new partner Milo, a Mensa-level intellect with deficient interpersonal skills. In an ambiance of tightly written, classic hard-boiled prose, Thompson brings all these elements together into a can’t-put-it-down tale that makes you want to read the preceding Vaara work, Snow Angels, and leaves you anticipating publication of the next novel in the series.
- Mark Kearney G’69, Friends Executive Committee member
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson2010, Random House
Between 1915 and1970, a mass movement of over six million African Americans from the South to cities in the Northeast, Midwest and West dramatically changed our country. Called the “Great Migration,” it was and still is considered the largest demographic shift in the United States. While scholars have written extensively about the early phase of the migration during the World War I era, there has never been a comprehensive treatment of the story of black migration until now. Wilkerson’s remarkable book vividly captures the often heart-breaking story of the migration by following three main characters and how the migration shaped who they were and defined the course of their fortunes or misfortunes and lives of their descendents. Theirs are the untold stories of the Great Migration. Wilkerson also interviewed nearly 1,200 people who participated in the migration and interweaves their accounts with those of the three main characters. She skillfully describes how black people left the South, sometimes under the cover of darkness, sometimes by driving for days without rest, all for the desire to taste, as she puts it, the warmth of other suns. I have read my fair share of noteworthy historical non-fiction, but no other book has been more thought-provoking than this one. Beautifully written, it is one that deserves to be widely read.
- Mary Samouelian, Doris Duke Collection Archivist, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University Libraries
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