In Memoriam: Toni Morrison, 1931-2019

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

On Monday, August 5, 2019, author, editor, and teacher Toni Morrison passed away. 

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison. Author, editor, teacher. 

Morrison was nearly 40 when her first book, The Bluest Eye, was published. She went on to become the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature for her “novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, giv[ing] life to an essential aspect of American reality.” She earned the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award for her novel Beloved and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Song of Solomon. In 2012,  she was presented with Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Morrison’s writing brought consciousness of the Black experience in America with novels that were both popular and critically acclaimed– in addition to her literary accolades, she was an Oprah Book Club pick four times. As an editor, she helped develop and edit works by Angela Davis, Muhammad Ali, Toni Cade Bambara, Huey Newton, Henry Dumas, and Gayl Jones. 

If you’re interested in reading more of Toni Morrison or experiencing her for the first time, the library has many of her works in our Main and Orange County Campus collections

New DVDs!

We have some great new DVDs in our collection! These and others can be checked out for one week at a time.

Click on an image for more details, and ask a librarian if you’d like to take one of these titles home or if you want help finding other great videos.

Happy Election Day!

For a bit of background history on why elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, see this article on NPR.

Title against bright yellow backgroundDuring the 2008 elections Nate Silver began making a name for himself by using statistics to more accurately predict election results. The library has a copy of his book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail But Some Don’t, available under call number CB 158 .S54 2012. The book provides a fascinating look into why numbers used in elections, sports statistics, weather forecasting, and even big events like the financial crash aren’t always accurate or reflecting what we think they are.

In honor of Election Day, here are some ebooks from our collection, which you can read online or download to a device:

Blue and green artistic cover

 American Political Parties and Elections : A Very Short Introduction by Maisel, L. Sandy (ebook!)





A pink piggy bank in the middle of a green cover  Are Elections for Sale? by Joel Rogers





Photograph of someone votingThe Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding America’s Right to Vote by Tova Wang. (Available as an ebook through the link or as a physical book in our collection under call number JK 1976 .W36 2012)




Cover laid out like the front page of a newspaper The Myth of Voter Fraud by Lorraine Minnite (ebook!)





To find more ebooks, search the ebrary collection, which you can access from the library page noting it and other database collections.

For Science! Check Out Our Scientific Nonfiction display!

Lots of students know that we have the big textbooks to help support your classroom learning, but did you know that we have a wide variety of nonfiction selections to supplement your scientific knowledge outside a textbook?

Click on an image for more details (be sure to scroll down for a description!) and ask a librarian if you’d like to take one of the titles home with you to explore further.

Coding and Social Networking

The college experience isn’t just about taking classes. It can be about networking with other students, exploring different careers or industries, finding internships, and getting involved with organizations on campus and in the wider community.

Peach logo says, "Girl Develop It. don't be shy. develop it."If you are interested in developing your coding skills and networking with others, Girl Develop It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing, “affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn web and software development through mentorship and hands-on instruction.” They have a local chapter in the Raleigh-Durham area, which hosts free classes, including an upcoming class on WordPress, and coding events, which can be casual chances to meet with their group and do a bit of coding over coffee. See their Meetup page for more information.

If you’re interested in learning computer coding, we have library resources to help, including the items below. If you need help finding other items, please let us know. We have more than just what is noted here.

  • iOS 7 app development essentials (QA 76.8 .I64 S693 2014)
  • Microsoft Visual C# 2013 step by step (QA 76.73 .C154 S53 2013)
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2013 step by step (QA 76.73 .M53 H358 2013)
  • Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript (QA 76.73 .P224 N593 2009)
  • Learning Python (ebook)
  • Microsoft C# Programming for the Absolute Beginner (ebook)

If you’re interested in social networking, these books may help:

  • New rules for today’s workplace (HM 742 .L56 2011)
  • Job searching with social media for dummies (HF 5382.7 .W35 2011 – In the library collection at Orange County Campus. Books at one campus can be brought to another campus for you to check out.)
  • Get hired in a tough market : insider secrets to find and land the job you need now (HF 5382.7 .D4 2010 – Orange County Campus Library)

Library adds reading device to assist people with visual impairments!

A hand reaches towards a computer monitor. The text says, "MagniLink Vision TTS reads your text aloud. Listen to your magazine - on any printed text. MagniLink Vision TTS. Press to listen to text!"

With a touchscreen as well as textured buttons, the MagniLink Vision TTS assists readers who have visual impairments.

The library installed a modular video magnifier–the MagniLink Vision TTS reader–which enhances or enables reading of printed books for people with a range of visual impairments. Features of the MagniLink Vision TTS include text-to-speech, adjustable zoom and a variety of background and text contrast modes.

To use the reader, simply open the book or magazine to the desired page and place it on the moveable tray. Turn the reader on. By touching the screen, you can have the reader read the text aloud from the page, in one of three American English voices or two Spanish voices. (Note: this is not a translating device, but it can read Spanish- or English-language text.)

It is easy to learn how to use this tool. If you’d like to use it, please visit the circulation/reference desk at the main campus library in the ERC and ask a librarian for assistance.

Book A Librarian!

Image of an open book and the text, "Book a Librarian."

Announcing our library’s new reference service, Book A Librarian!

Do you need help doing research for an assignment for class? Want to learn more about searching for resources in general? Want someone to walk you through citing a paper in a new-to-you format? Have a busy schedule and want to make sure that a librarian is available to help you when you come into the library?

Now you can make an appointment with one of the Durham Tech librarians for some one-on-one help!

What we can do:
– Give you a library refresher, including a tour and overview of our resources
– Help you with your research, both using books and online resources
– Teach you how to use databases (and when they’re your best bet)
– Help you learn how to use Microsoft Office for formatting assignments
– Help you cite resources both in MLA and APA style
– Plan a collaborative instruction session (for instructors only)
– Go over resources that could be used for a specific course or assignment (instructors and students)

And much more!

We are unable to help proofread or edit the content of assignments or offer subject-area tutoring during these reservations. We are also unable to help you troubleshoot problems on your personal computer.

Appointments will be assigned to available librarians and must be made at least two days in advance. You will be emailed or telephoned back with confirmation of your appointment. If we are unable to help with your specific issue, we will let you know at this time. Please be prompt– while we understand that circumstances may make you late or need to cancel the appointment, if you are more than 15 minutes late, your reservation will be cancelled.

Please note that reservations are for the Main Campus library ONLY. Please contact if you would like to set up a meeting with a librarian at either the Orange County or Northern Durham campus.

We look forward to hearing from you!

2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winners

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 was awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their advocacy for children’s rights.

Photographs of Kailash Satyarthi on the left and of Malala Yousafzai on the right.

Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai were picked as winners for their struggle against the oppression of children and their right to education. Photograph: Reuters (Source

Here is background information about Mr. Satyarthi and Miss Yousafzai from the New York Times, “In India, Mr. Satyarthi, a former engineer, has long been associated with the struggle to free bonded laborers, some born into their condition and others lured into servitude. For decades, he has sought to rid India of child slavery and has liberated more than 75,000 bonded and child laborers in the country.  Mr. Satyarthi began working for children’s rights in 1980 as the general secretary of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front, an organization dedicated to freeing bonded laborers forced to work to pay off debts, real or imagined. He also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Children Mission, an organization dedicated to ending bonded labor and saving children from trafficking. ” (

“Ms. Yousafzai began campaigning for girls’ education at the age of 11, three years before she was shot by the Taliban. She was so young that some observers questioned how well equipped a child of that age could be to put her own safety on the line and commit to a life of activism. The prize she received on Friday validates what she has taken on, but also underscores the disproportionate expectations that trail her: Can she truly influence the culture of her home country of Pakistan, which she cannot even visit because of threats to her safety, and where many revile her as a tool of the West? Ms. Yousafzai may be an Anne Frank-like figure who defied terror, showed extraordinary courage and inspires hope, but how much can one teenager accomplish?” (

 The library has a copy of Malala Yousafzai’s inspiring memoir available for checkout:  LC 2330 .Y69 2013

Photograph of Malala Yousafzai

Book Cover photo:

For further reading, photos, and videos:

Nobel Announcement
Washington Post
The Guardian

NC LIVE Has E-Books!

You’ve certainly been to the library in the ERC to check out some of our 40,000-plus books, but be sure to check out the e-book offerings from NC LIVE as well!

On the Durham Tech Library home page, click on E-books and Digital Audio Books. From there, follow the link to NC LIVE e-books. In the search box on that page, you can type your search term(s) to get started. You can also click on one of the individual collections, such as

You can also visit NC LIVE’s Home Grown eBook Collection, which “offers a wide range of content, including novels by popular North Carolina authors, poetry, short stories, and non-fiction,” according to the August 2014 press release. This collection is on the BiblioBoard platform and is compatible with Safari and Chrome browsers.