The Rubenstein Library reading room is now open to visitors. Please book an appointment before visiting. Visitors are encouraged to contact staff before planning a visit. Access to the library is subject to change as local and campus protocols change. Please delay your visit if you are experiencing any Covid-like symptoms. Check the Rubenstein Library’s website before your visit for the most up-to-date information.

Before you arrive

We recommend a pre-appointment consultation with a reference librarian to help you get the most out of your time at the library.

Register as a researcher: This one-time researcher registration process is easy and also includes the creation of an online account. With this account, you'll be able to request material for use in our reading room or to be reproduced, and to track the status of your requests. 

Request the material you want to use: Submit your requests 2 full business days in advance of your visit. Most of our collections are stored at the Library Service Center, our off-site repository. You will receive an email once your materials arrive on-site and are ready to be viewed. 

Make an appointment to view materials in the Reading Room. Same day appointments (subject to availability) are available by calling the front desk (919-660-5822). Please note, your materials will need to be requested ahead of time. 

When you arrive

  • We will ask to see a Duke ID or other form of identification like a driver’s license or passport. 

  • All researchers will be asked a series of COVID symptom monitoring questions at the beginning of each visit. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, recently tested positive, or were recently exposed to a person who tested positive, please reschedule your visit. 

  • We will need to take a photograph of you to include in your researcher account. This is required and allows us to confirm your identity each time you visit our reading room. Your photo will be confidential, and we will not share it.

What can I bring into the reading room?

  • Camera
  • Cellphone (set to silent or vibrate)
  • Laptop (without its sleeve or bag)
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Pencils
  • USB drive

We have lockers and locks that you can use to store your other belongings that cannot come into the reading room with you, such as:

  • Bags, purses, and pouches
  • Notebooks, note pads, binders, and folders
  • Drinks (including water bottles)
  • Food
  • Pens
  • Scanners
  • Lighting equipment

Inside the reading room

  • Given the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in North Carolina related to a combination of the Delta variant and the number of people who remain unvaccinated, all individuals will be REQUIRED to wear face masks in all Duke-owned and leased buildings effective Friday, July 30, until further notice. This requirement applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status
  • Social distancing stickers are on the floor for your convenience.
  • Ensure your hands are clean before you handle materials.
  • You must use materials in the reading room, as they do not circulate. 
  • You will be given one item at a time. When finished with an item, you can return it to staff at the circulation desk and they will bring you another one.  
  • Security cameras monitor the reading room at all times.
  • Staff will ask to inspect anything you bring into the reading room, such as a laptop or loose papers, as you leave the room. 
  • Filming and video requires advance notice and permission, review our filming policy for more information

Making copies of library material 

  • Use one of our HoverCams, a high-resolution, standalone document camera. HoverCams attach to your Mac or Windows computer and allow you to save images directly to your laptop. 
  • Use the KIC Scanner located at the front of the reading room. This scanner allows you to email files to yourself or save the files to a USB drive. 
  • Use your camera or camera phone to snap digital photos of materials.
  • For high-resolution scans, audiovisual material, or material that requires special handling, place a reading room reproduction request. Your reproductions will be delivered electronically following your research visit.