As a founding member of the Duke University Library Advisory Board, I look back over the Board's twenty-year history with enormous pride because during that time I have witnessed a phenomenal transformation, indeed, a rebirth of Duke's libraries.
In the 1990s Perkins Library, the main library on campus, was an important and integral research center that supported the intellectual life of a great university. However, physical limitations inhibited its use by students and scholars and made it inadequate for the storage of ever expanding collections of materials. And just as critical was the lack of any integrated technology systems at the moment the technology era was exploding.
As the Library Advisory Board studied the issues, it became obvious to everyone involved that we needed to develop new "spaces" as well as develop the "technologies" required to support the operations of the Libraries.
Fortunately, the University has risen to the challenges in unimaginable and glorious ways. New buildings have sprung up, old spaces have been entirely re-configured, storage facilities built, alumni online access to databases introduced, and incredible and diverse student services created.
Today, as a result of all these initiatives, the library system at Duke is truly world-class, still enriching the intellectual life of the University, but also enhancing its social life. Indeed, it is telling that librarians, architects and technology experts from around the country come to Duke to study our new library system.
Looking forward, I am confident that, as demands on the Duke University Libraries continue to increase, the Libraries will grow and change. I am thrilled to support this vibrant beating heart and soul of the University.
Merilee Bostock '62
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