As a senior at Duke, I have spent many a late night over the past four years in my little nook of Perkins Library, writing papers. I would travel to the stacks to pick out the appropriate texts then return to my spot, process the research, and write a work of my own. This was my type of creation, and the library was part of it. It not only provided the necessary resources, but also served as the actual space where I could turn my thoughts into words.
This year, I was given the chance to participate in a completely different type of creation at the library. On February 25, 2011, the Duke Marketing Club and Duke Universities Libraries hosted the Mad Men & Mad Women Library Party for the enjoyment of the entire Duke community. This type of creation was something bigger and better than I initially imagined. It was not only a chance to show off all of the rich material in the Libraries’ Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, but also an opportunity to bring together Duke students, faculty, administrators, and the surrounding community in a place we all know and love but rarely enjoy outside of academic endeavors.
Our theme, based on the AMC hit TV series Mad Men, offered the perfect drawing board for the party committee’s creativity. The early 1960s was an exciting time in the fields of marketing and advertising. But it was also a tumultuous time in American politics, culture, and society. We wanted to transform the library into a space that would reflect all of this.
Looking back over the months leading up the party, I realize I spent many more hours in the library than ever before. But what I helped to create was drastically different from anything else I had worked on as a student at Duke. This time, my creative inspiration was the library itself. My resources were the Duke community, particularly the amazing party planning committee. And the result was an elegant and really fun evening for all of Duke to enjoy.
Emma Donaho, T’11Click here
to see a video about the Mad Men & Mad Women Library Party at Duke. You can also check out pictures of the event on the Duke University Libraries Flickr site