Even the most skilled librarians will not be able to find a party in Perkins this February.
Due to upcoming renovations to Perkins Library, the annual library party—typically held in February—will not occur this year, said Aaron Welborn, director of communications for Duke Libraries. Resources and time typically dedicated to planning the event will be redirected to preparing for renovations to the wing of the library constructed between 1928 and 1948, including the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Gothic Reading Room. Last year’s library party, themed Heroes and Villains, attracted about 3,500 members of the Duke community, including undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff.
“We decided with the scale of the renovation that’s happening and the number of our staff who are involved in making it happen, we just didn’t think we could do both this year,” Welborn said.
Staff members are not currently planning an event of the same scale to replace the library party, which was planned in collaboration with the Duke Marketing Club for the past two years, Welborn added. The wing of the library undergoing renovations is scheduled to be completely cleared out by the end of the Spring, Welborn said, noting that construction is expected to finish summer 2015.
The party may or may not happen in 2014, either, Welborn said. The main entrance of Perkins is also scheduled to undergo renovations, which may also prevent the library from hosting a party even after 2013, Welborn said.
Marketing club faculty adviser George Grody said the club members are disappointed that the party will not be happening.
“We’re all very bummed about it,” said Grody, visiting associate professor of markets and management studies. “We love the library party—it’s a great opportunity to give some real projects to members of the marketing club.”
Different student committees were responsible for aspects of the event including marketing, entertainment and decorations in previous years, Grody said. He noted that the club will still work with the library system to market other events, such as the library’s study breaks held during exam week.
Senior Becka Black, president of the Duke Marketing Club, said the party’s absence will not only be a loss to the club, but also to the larger Duke community.
“Our club looks forward to the event every year,” Black wrote in an email Monday. “It is always a memorable night for all.... However, we look forward to partnering with a new and refurbished library in the future.”
Grody noted that although alcohol is available to party-goers of age, there was a substantial amount of alcohol leftover after both of the last two parties.
“When everybody’s having a good time and there are things to do, you don’t have to drink,” Grody said.
President Richard Brodhead, who has attended the party in previous years, said the renovations necessitate the party’s hiatus.
“I fully expect [the party] to continue in the future, and you can be sure I’ll be there!” Brodhead wrote in an email Monday.