Invest in Our Planet!: Earth Week 2023

Celebrate locally! Durham’s Earth Day Festival is on Sunday, April 23 from 12:00 to 5:00 PM at Durham Central Park. Raleigh’s community Earth Day event will be on Friday, April 21 from 5:00 to 10:00 PM at Dix Park. Orange County has several events planned, including Earth Day Celebration Carrboro, taking place on Saturday, April 22 from 3:30 to 6:00 PM in the Carrboro Town Commons.

Climate change is a huge issue and can make a lot of folks feel helpless.

So–What can you do?

While there’s no quick fix, you can always educate, advocate, and adapt (in addition to the traditional reduce, reuse, recycle).

Keep reading to find out more!

Continue Reading →

Are book clubs cool? Want to join one?

I think the real question is– do we care if book clubs are cool?

No. No, we do not care because we’re beyond doing what other people think is “cool” and are more interested in doing things that bring us joy and help us explore ideas with openness and curiosity.

Plus sometimes there be dragons.

an AI-generated dragon wearing glasses, reading a book, and drinking a mug with steam coming from the top, sitting in a large cozy library
A book club dragon. Credit goes to Kyle Minton and the Midjourney AI image generator.

The Durham Tech Library is gathering data for faculty and staff reading groups. Take our survey and let us know what types of books and reading groups you’d be interested in joining and if you’d be interested in facilitating a session. Keep an eye out for more information about upcoming reading circles, too.

We’re interested in student feedback, too, though we won’t start any student reading groups until Fall 2023, depending on interest and staffing (so plan ahead!). Are you part of a student group that would like to do a book club or reading circle? Let us know!

Hey! READ THIS BOOK! (At least, I’d really like you to…)

Have you read a book that changed your perspective and that you think would be valuable for your peers or colleagues to read?

Gif of Adele on stage speaking to her high school English teacher, a surprise guest at a performance, with the line: "Oh my god. No you really, you  really did change my life."

Let us know by filling out our form: You Should Read This Book! [the form]

Answers will be shared anonymously in a future blog post and will be used for consideration in an upcoming library group read initiative.

All We Can Save Reading Circle

Do you ever get down after reading the news?

Ever feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the climate crisis? 

Ever feel alone in worrying about the future?

Do you feel left out of conversations around sustainability and eco-consciousness? 

Join our reading circle!

In the spring 2022 semester, the Durham Tech Library will be hosting a reading circle for the book All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, an anthology edited by Dr. Ayana Johnson and Dr. Katherine Wilkinson about truth, courage, and climate solutions. The book tackles history, society, community, technology, intersectional feminism, climate change, climate solutions, and more. 

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson.

What is a reading circle?

It’s like a book club, but just for this book. We will be following guidance from the All We Can Save Project, a nonprofit working to build a feminist climate resistance. 

The All We Can Save Project logo

How long will it take?

10 weeks, with a meeting once a week. We will read essays and poems before each meeting and discuss them. The selections build on each other, so we highly suggest making it to at least 8-10 meetings. 

When does it start?

It will start at the end of January and run through March.

Why are you doing a reading circle for this book?

Because I think it’s an amazing book that can foster community, increase knowledge, and renew hope. Read more of my thoughts about the book on the Durham Tech Library Blog.

Does the Durham Tech Library have copies of the book?

Yes! We have print copies and an audiobook available. If we run out of copies, we can get more through interlibrary loan.

Who can participate?

Anyone! This is not limited to Durham Tech employees only. Students, family members, and members of the public are also invited. All ethnicities, gender identities, and ages are encouraged to attend. 

I’m interested! What next?

Fill out this interest form for more communication about the All We Can Save Circle. 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out to me at I hope to hear from you soon!


Looking for a way to challenge your reading self in 2018?

Have we got a plan for you!

Durham Tech Library's Read Great Things 2018 Challenge

What is the Read Great Things Challenge?

The Read Great Things Challenge is a reading challenge sponsored by the Durham Tech Library throughout 2018 that encourages folks to diversify or increase their reading goals by completing books that fit into at least 10 of the following 12 categories:

  • A book being turned into a movie or tv show in 2018
  • A biography, autobiography, memoir, or a fictionalized account of a real person’s life
  • A book about or that features sports
  • A book of poetry or a book written in verse
  • A book you previously started or were assigned and never finished
  • A book that takes place in a country or place you’d like to visit
  • A book you chose for the cover
  • A book that takes place during or is about a historical event 50 years or more in the past [1968 or before]
  • A popular science book [nonfiction books that talk about scientific topics from a non-textbook point-of-view]
  • A book with a supernatural creature, occurrence, or event
  • A book about cooking or food
  • A book suggested by a Durham Tech librarian either in-person or on the Durham Tech Library Blog

We’ll be highlighting a different category on this blog each month.  Your can always ask a librarian for recommendations if you can’t think of a book to read for a certain category (which conveniently fills that final awesome category).

How do I participate in the Read Great Things Challenge?

It’s pretty simple –just start reading! You don’t have to sign up and you can start at any point in the year. You’ll need to choose books that fit into at least 10 of the 12 categories by the end of Fall Semester (December 2018) to complete the challenge.

There’s also a joinable Sakai site (listed under Membership on your Sakai home page once you sign in) that we’ll be using if you want to discuss books you’re reading and recommend some of your own great reads. Email Meredith Lewis (OCC Librarian) or the library for more information. 

What kind of book counts as a “great thing”?

All books count–hardcover, paperback, ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, comic books, library books, books you own, books you’ve borrowed… If it fits into one (or two) of the categories and you’ve read it/want to read it, that counts. As long as it’s read in 2018, you’re good to go. 

Can I count a book for multiple categories?

One book can count for up to two categories.

How do I win the challenge? (What do I win?)

To win and complete the challenge, you should finish books in 2018 that fit into at least 10 of the 12 listed categories. In late November or early December, we’ll have bookish prizes available for those who bring their completed book list to the library or fill out the completion form.

You’ll also get a personal sense of satisfaction and bragging rights. (And who doesn’t love those?)

Do the books have to be from the Durham Tech Library?

Nope, but we’re glad to point you in the direction of one already in our collection. We have some great books just waiting to make it on your list.

Download a pdf of the checklist and challenge guidelines here: Read Great Things Challenge 2018

Library Book Club Meeting

Join us on February 23rd at 2 PM in the Verizon room for a lively discussion about the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Hidden Figures

Book description from GoodReads:

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space.

Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly these overlooked math whizzes had shots at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellects to change their own lives – and their country’s future.

The film based on this book has been nominated for three Academy Awards. Whether you’ve read the book or seen the movie, come discuss the good, the bad, and the award worthy aspects with the Durham Tech Library Book Club!

Book Club Meeting-Ms. Marvel

Hello, Durham Tech!

It’s time for the next Durham Tech Library Book Club pick! Make sure to stop by our libguide for information and a book club interest form!

The Library Book Club will be meeting on Thursday, December 1st, at 1 PM. The meeting will be held in the Schwartz room in the Educational Resources Center (Building 5).

This time we will be discussing Ms. Marvel, Volume One: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. The first volume in a ground-breaking series that won the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics.

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York!

We have extra copies at the library circulation desk so come check it out!

Book Club Meeting September 26th

The Durham Tech Library Book Club is having its first meeting for Fall 2016! It will be held in the Schwartz Room right outside the Main Campus Library at 1pm. Check out our libguide for more information.

We will be reading:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

Pick up a copy at the library, or find one on your own, and join us for discussion. Introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts are all welcome to attend!

Come Read With Us!

Thinking about coming to the book club? There’s still time!

Come read with us. DTCC Library Book Club

The Durham Tech Library Book Club meets on February 4th at 1:00 pm. The meeting will be held in the Schwartz Room in Building 5.

We’re reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and you can check out a copy from our library, or get your own copy elsewhere. Can’t finish the book in time? Come anyway! The more the merrier.

Not into non-fiction? Help us choose what fiction book to read next by voting in our online poll here. We have three great choices, let us know which one you want to read!

February Book Club Meeting

The next Library Book Club selection is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates which appeared on many best books lists of 2015. We will meet on Thurs. Feb. 4th at 1:00 pm in the ERC Schwartz room.

book coverHere’s a book description from the Goodreads website:

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son,

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Please join us for a discussion of this thought-provoking book.

You can also listen to this interview with the author on National Public Radio.