Services for First-Year Students
Welcome Class of 2023!
Duke Libraries - Here To Help You
- Questions? Ask a Librarian
- Learn about doing research at Duke
- Explore our libraries (yes, we have more than one!)
Why Use The Library?
We make your life easier! We can help you…
- Find a book or an article for class
- Locate a " scholarly " source
- Use a library database
- Cite your work
Books and eBooks
- You can check out as many books as you like! Really!
- You can keep most books for 4 weeks, and you can renew online
- To find books (as well as DVDs and CDs) use our catalog . Click here to find an eBook .
DVDs and CDs
- Lilly Library has an impressive collection of DVDs that you can check out
- Like Music? Check out the Music Library's CD collection
- You may borrow most DVDs for 1 week and CDs for 4 weeks
- You may only check out one devilDVD (recently released popular film and TV series) at a time, and up to 3 additional DVDs from our
- To find articles from journals/newspapers/magazines, search here or use one of our many databases
- You can access library databases even when you're off campus ; you just need your NetID/password
- If we don't have the book or article you need, don't worry! We can always get it for you
At the library
Where Do I...?
...Find the Library?
- We have both drop-in and reservable rooms. Find the right study space , whether you're studying alone or with a group.
- On East Campus? Find places to study in Lilly or in the Music Library
...Print & Scan?
- There are printers in every library, as well as elsewhere on campus .
- Find scanners in Lilly , Music and Perkins/Bostock
...Get help with writing my paper?
- Writing consultants are available by appointment at two Writing Studio locations. On West Campus, find them in Perkins 112. On East, they're in Lilly Library on the Second Floor (evenings only).
...Find out what else happens in the Libraries?
- Keep up to date on News, Events and Exhibits in the libraries.
...Get help with technology?
- The Office of Information Technology (OIT) maintains a Lab in 115 Lilly Library
- The Multimedia Project Studio Lab (MPS Lab) is located in 006 Bostock, on West campus.
- The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration provides a collaborative space for interdisciplinary, data-driven, digitally reliant, or team-based research. Find it on the first floor of Bostock Library.
- The Link: Teaching and Learning Center , located on Lower Level 1 of Perkins, has both reservable spaces and equipment available for check-out from the Service Desk
...Find coffee or food?
How Do I ... ?
- To find a book go to our homepage and click on the "Books & Media" tab, or go straight to our online catalog . This search will bring up materials owned by Duke libraries, including books, CDs, movies, and more!
- Found the item you want? Write down the call number (eg, PZ7.R79835 Har 1998 c.1 ) and look at the catalog record to see which library the item is located in (Lilly, Perkins, Music, etc) and check to see if it is available or checked out. Then go find the book in our stacks .
- Having trouble finding your book? Just return to the circulation desk, and ask for assistance - we'll be happy to help!
- Found the book? Great! Pull it from the shelf, and bring it with your DukeCard to the circulation desk. ( Your DukeCard also functions as your library card ) The librarian or student assistant will take care of the rest, and let you know when it's due back to the library. At Perkins and in a hurry? Try the convenient Self Check-Out Stations located by the Help Desk!
- The Music Library has a large collection of CDs from all genres of music - not only classical! Do a keyword search in " Books & Media " for your favorite artist. You just might be surprised what we have!
- CDs in the Music Library are stored in locked stacks, so they can only be retrieved by staff members. Just write down the CD call number (eg, CD 494 c.2 ) and bring it to the circulation desk. We'll grab it and bring it right back to you!
- Lilly Library's vast Film and Video Collection includes feature films, documentaries, and shorts among its more than 30,000 DVDs.
- To search for Lilly films in the library catalog, do a keyword search in the " Books & Media " tab for the Title, Director, or even an Actor! You can also search on our Film & Video page.
- The browseable " Devil DVD " collection in Lilly features popular films recently released! Just take the case from the display to the circulation desk, where they'll grab the disc and check it out to you.
- Borrow an external drive to watch DVDs in our collection!
- Your professors may have put books, CDs, DVDs, or other material "on reserve" for you and other students in your courses. Find these by asking at the circulation desks at Perkins, Lilly, or Music. Have the title and professor/course name ready when you do!
- Not sure what's on Reserve for your classes? Check out Lilly and Music's Reserves pages.
- Find the perfect book, but it says the location is " Library Service Center "? No problem! That means it's held in off-site storage, but the good news is that you can request it to be delivered right to a campus library for you to pick up - usually within 1 business day, sometimes quicker!
- Just click the green "Request" button, enter your NetID and password, and choose your desired Pickup Location on campus. You'll get an email when it's ready to be picked up!
- Many rooms in the Duke Libraries can be reserved for group study sessions, projects, viewing parties, tutoring, meetings, or even small social events! Available spaces can be reserved on our Room Reservations page.
- You can return any book you have to any library on campus!
Who can help me?
...With my classroom assignment?
Most first year classes will have a librarian to provide workshops and research consultations to students. For example, there is a librarian assigned to every WR101 class, every FOCUS program, and most First-year seminars. These librarians will be your first point of contact for any assignment or question you have in a particular class.
There is also a subject librarian for every academic department and degree program in the college. As your research becomes deeper and more sophisticated, you might need to work with a specialist. You can set up an appointment to meet with a subject librarian one-on-one by following this link .
… With general questions about the library?
More than likely you'll have all kinds of questions that may have nothing to do with a specific assignment. For example, the libraries contain many resources for your leisure time as well. Or, you need to find a quiet place to study.
You will also have a librarian assigned to your residence hall, to find his or her contact information, click here.
… With a research consultation?
Research consultations are one-on-one meetings scheduled with a librarian. You bring your assignment and questions to this meeting and you and the librarian then work out what strategies and research tools might best help you formulate the bibliography for your paper. This is an excellent way to learn about library research, saving you vast amounts of time and frustration.
Getting started: Research Process
Research is an iterative, inquiry-based process that starts when you take a fledgling topic idea and develop it into a more specific research question - or set of research questions. This page will provide basic information about finding books & articles, using advanced search strategies, and evaluating your sources.
How do I get started?
You will want to read through the requirements of your research assignment carefully, brainstorm topic ideas that interest you, and begin gathering background information on your initial topic. As you begin gathering sources, your research question may evolve and go in a different direction.
Citing sources doesn't have to be a difficult process. Click here for guides to the most popular citation styles, with explanations and examples.
Save time by using citation managers , which help you gather citations as you conduct your research, and generate a bibliography using your chosen citation style when you finish your project. Click below to learn more about these popular citation managers supported by Duke:
Citing your sources is an important part of your research process because it enables you to:
- Give credit to the sources you consulted
- Substantiate the credibility of your research
- Connect your work to that of other scholars
- Provide your reader with sources for further exploration of the topic
Be a responsible researcher and avoid plagiarism by scrupulously following these rules:
- Don't copy, quote, paraphrase or summarize any source without adequate documentation.
- Don't purchase a paper by mail or email.
- Never allow another person to write a paper for you.
- Don't submit another person's unpublished work in your name.
Learn even more about citations by consulting our citation guide !