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January 30, 2024 – March 5, 2024
Location: Hubbard Case

As Duke University celebrates its centennial, the Libraries also celebrate a major milestone with the 50th anniversary of Libraries Assembly, an organization for library staff across all the libraries at Duke. There have been a number of significant changes over the years. A consistent thread throughout the 50 years has been the organization’s commitment towards promoting excellence in library and information professions, as well as advocacy for library staff within the libraries and university affairs.

On December 4, 1973, a unanimous vote of librarians from Perkins Library and the Medical Library led to the formal establishment of the Librarians Assembly. Prior to this vote, librarians and committees worked to compile, synthesize, and present information regarding the salary, benefits, and status of professional librarians, most notably under the January 29, 1971, “Branson Committee Report.” The Branson Committee, led by librarian Barbara Branson, was formed in response to efforts to formalize the status of professional librarians by the University; efforts that would have categorized professional librarians without clear criteria or input from the University Librarian or library staff, as well as significantly different benefits across staff categories.

Since 1973, membership has grown from Perkins and Medical Library staff to include those working at the Goodson Law Library, the Ford Library (Fuqua School of Business), and the Divinity School Library. Standing committees and members-at-large provide representation from across the Libraries to continue advocacy and promotion of the work performed by all library staff.