Unlike other gathering places at Duke—the Gardens, the Blue + White, Cameron or the Quad, the library was the place that I could appreciate by myself. It was where I first discovered the periodicals of the world. I would sit in the basement of Perkins and read back issues of foreign newspapers (if I could decipher the language), quenching my curiosity for cities and cultures far removed from the familiar North Carolina. That curiosity lives on in me today. The library was a place for study and quiet reflection (though I doubt anyone would have described me as "quiet" in college) but for me it was also a place to meet friends, have fun and relax—research sometimes took a back seat!
While I often talk about the Duke Libraries (and indeed the Triangle Research Libraries Network) with potential students, their parents and others interested in our great university, I find I most often come back to the amazing knowledge and ability of the people that inhabit the place. We have done a remarkable job providing the space and resources to meet the needs of the entire Duke community, but what I never appreciated when I was a student 25 years ago was that the librarians were there to help me unlock the mysteries and gifts that libraries hold. Only after graduating from Duke and sitting on the Library Advisory Board has this "service" been revealed to me.....what is so amazing is all I had to do was ASK! Those remarkable people who staffed the Duke Libraries 25 years ago (and many still there) were there to help, encourage and nurture.....that is what I find most exceptional about the Duke Libraries.
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