Archive for February, 2014

New Movies for February

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Here are the first of our new DVDs for the month:

Blue Jasmine
In a World
Bad Grandpa
Best Man Down
The Butler
Captain Phillips
Charlie Countryman
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Downton Abbey, season 3
Downton Abbey, Season 4
Enough Said

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.


Book Reviews: Spring Break Reading

Monday, February 24th, 2014

I took a Ford Library Kindle to California last month to read the book Scarcity (reviewed here).  When I was finished, I looked through the mini-library of 49 other Business Best Sellers and opened up This is How, an autobiographical self-help book by Augusten Burroughs. Even for the most serious topics, the author’s humor and breezy style were perfect for the Kindle.  When I got to the advice in the last 50 pages, I thought, “Wow, this is why he wrote this book.”  The next day, someone I love dearly received a devastating prognosis and I needed that information.

You never know when you will use a random idea gathered from an unlikely source.  For Fuqua students, spring break is an opportunity to discover something new, to broaden your self-knowledge, or to spark an insight that will be useful later.  These Ford Library books can help.  They are available both in print and on Kindles.

on-edgeOn the Edge by Alison Levine
Fuqua alumna Alison Levine uses her experiences in extreme adventure sports to demonstrate concrete lessons on leadership.  Writing candidly about her success in climbing Mount Everest and in skiing to the South Pole, Levine outlines the guiding principles she learned as a leader and as a team member and shows how to apply them to today’s competitive business environment. Also available in Kindle and Audiobook format. UPDATE – Read a full review here.

unwindingThe Unwinding by George Packer
Social journalist George Packer uses the stories of ordinary Americans over three decades to explain how the world is undergoing profound social and economic changes that are creating new winners and losers.  He shows that American institutions are no longer working and that cities are in decay.  Ordinary working people are drifting in a sea of change that they cannot control. Also available in Kindle format.

present-shockPresent Shock by Douglas Rushkoff
Media theorist Rushkoff explains that new technologies and lifestyles keep us focused on what is happening right now, which changes the way we experience culture, manage business, conduct politics and make sense of the world.  While this thoughtful book is well researched and contains many insights about our relationship with time, the writing requires concentration from the reader. Also available in Kindle format.

degenerationThe Great Degeneration by Niall Ferguson
The four key elements of the Western world – representative democracy, the free market, the rule of law and civil society – created unprecedented prosperity and security in Europe and North America.  Now Western economies are stagnant and society is becoming increasingly divided.  Niall Ferguson analyzes changing laws and institutions to explain what is behind our economic malaise and geopolitical decline. Also available in Kindle format.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

E-Resource Access Disruption

Friday, February 21st, 2014

computer_repairUPDATED – 5:08PM 02-21-14: Access restored !!

The Duke University Libraries Proxy server, which manages access to most Library online resources, is currently experiencing technical difficulties that are under investigation by Duke OIT.

As a result you may be unable to access some Library databases, e-journals, or articles linked in Sakai course sites.

Please check our Library Twitter feed ( for updates on when this issue will be resolved.

Our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Waiting for an Interlibrary Loan?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

missingIf you’ve placed an interlibrary loan request at the Ford Library web site for a book or article within the last 2 days, and your need is especially urgent; you may want to re-send that request to us via email at

The third party-provided “back end” of Duke Libraries Interlibrary Loan system is experiencing technical issues, so library staff cannot currently access any requests you may have placed in the last 2 days.

To view any requests you’ve placed, follow this link: . Once you’ve logged in with your Duke Net ID and password, you can copy and paste your outstanding requests, and send them to us at the email address above.

Our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you!

Book Reviews: Focus on You

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Congratulations, MBA and MMS students!  You are half way to spring break, two weeks when you can transition from process improvement to personal improvement. Here are five books that can help you get more out of life and work.

The Wisdom of Failure, by Laurence G. Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey
The best leaders learn from their own mistakes and those made by others. This book analyzes failures frequently caused by business managers, providing engaging stories and practical strategies to help you avoid the same mistakes.
creative-confidence Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Believing that all people are creative, founder and partner of IDEO team up to show ordinary people how to rediscover their full creative potential and to build their creative confidence.
The New Frugality, by Chris Farrell
This new release of a personal finance book originally published in 2010, at the height of the global recession, is a guide to making the transition from living on credit to embracing thrift and sustainability.
start-cover Start, by Jon Acuff
Motivational speaker recounts his own successes and (mostly) failures as he advises readers how to escape average and get on “the road to awesome.” Skimpy content, but could those 300+ five-star reviews on Amazon be wrong? Also available as a Kindle eBook.
Man vs. Markets, by Paddy Hirsch
Senior producer of APM’s Marketplace radio show on NPR writes an entertaining primer on equities and markets, money and banking, swaps and derivatives for students who slept through Economics.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Ford Library Weekend Hours – Feb.15-16

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Ford Library will be open from 7:30am to 8pm on Saturday, February 15.

We will also open early on Sunday, February 16.  Hours: (7:30am – midnight).

Thanks for your patience and understanding during these “snow days”; and remember to check our Twitter feed for any updates to our hours.


Ford Library Closed Thursday-Friday – 2/13-14/2014

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

icyroad-besafeUPDATED: Ford Library will be closed all day and evening, Thursday-Friday, 2/13-14/2014, due to severe weather and road conditions.

Please follow the Library’s Twitter feed for the most current updates on our Library hours.

Please visit the Duke ALERT site for the latest news on the Duke Severe Weather policy, and conditions campus-wide.


Library Closing at 1PM Wednesday

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

dukewinter1_smFord Library will be closing today, Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 1:00PM due to winter weather and potentially dangerous driving conditions.

The Library has tentative plans to re-open at 12 Noon on Thursday, February 13, 2014, depending on weather, road conditions, and staff availability.

Please check the Library’s Twitter feed for the latest updates to our hours before traveling to campus to visit the Library.

Please drive safely!


Book Review: Scarcity

Monday, February 10th, 2014

scarcityMullainathan, Sendhil and Eldar Shafir. Scarcity : why having too little means so much. Henry Holt and Company, 2013. also available as a Kindle eBook.

Anyone who has been an anorexic knows that food becomes the most important thing in life.  Heart and soul becomes about eating and not-eating.  It is all anorexics think about, talk about, even dream about at night.  The world becomes very small and boring.

Anorexia is about food deprivation — a self-imposed scarcity.  In their new book titled Scarcity, faculty members Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard, economics) and Eldar Shafir (Princeton, psychology) consider the psychological effects of scarcity on people.  Defining scarcity as having less of a resource than one needs, the authors consider the effects of the lack of money, but also the lack of time and social interaction.  Described in this way, scarcity effects everyone – because even the independently wealthy, who are not short of time or money, may be lonely.

The key point to Mullainathan and Shafir’s work is that scarcity is a mindset.  It captures our attention and drives what we notice.  It changes how we think and behave.  It affects our moods and influences our choices.  In times of scarcity, the brain focuses on alleviating shortages, which in turn neglects other needs and opportunities.  The authors call this effect tunneling, and this narrow focus changes the way we view choices.  Options with an immediate payoff are preferred to those with a higher benefit in the long run.  In addition, because we are preoccupied with resolving our scarcity, our mental capacity (bandwidth) is diminished.  Distracted and depleted, we are less insightful and less able to control our impulses. We make poorer decisions and become less effective in all areas of life. Among the poor, the lack of bandwidth caused by juggling loans and unpaid bills accounts for as many as 14 IQ points, enough to take someone from “normal” to “borderline deficient.”   When people are unable to make good decisions for themselves and their children, scarcity becomes entrenched.

Mullainathan and Shafir show how to use the science of scarcity to improve the lives of the poor.  They also show how to manage scarcity in organizations.  For individuals, the authors make recommendations to prepare for tunneling and to insulate against neglect.  Setting up automatic reminders brings other goals into our tunnel. Simple changes to the environment can eliminate bad options.  Awareness of the variation in our personal bandwidth can help us time our activities for more successful results.  This insightful book is repetitive in places, but the conversational style and many examples keep the pages turning.  Recommended.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Happy Money

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

happy-moneyDunn, Elizabeth & Michael Norton. Happy money : the science of smarter spending. Simon & Schuster, 2013. also available as a Kindle eBook.

In The Everything Store (reviewed here) author Brad Stone said that in 1994, Jeff Bezos used his “regret-minimization framework” to decide to walk away from his Wall Street bonus to start his own company.  Bezos knew that in his later years, he would not miss his bonus, but he would regret missing the opportunity to participate in the ramp up of the Internet, which he believed would be revolutionary.  Bezos left D. E. Shaw and started Amazon, which transformed the retail industry.

In their new book Happy Money, professors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton reveal that 80% of the time, people’s biggest regret is one of inaction – passing up an opportunity to participate in an experience when the opportunity comes along.  When it comes to material goods, the opposite is true.  Most people’s biggest regret is in buying something they wish they had not.

As faculty members at the U. British Columbia (Dunn) and Harvard (Norton), the authors research how adults spend their money, specifically whether there are ways to spend money that would make people happier.   Earning more is usually not the answer – earnings beyond $75,000 have no effect on happiness.  But using money in certain ways has an impact on satisfaction and Dunn and Norton outline 5 key principles that lead to more personal and professional satisfaction.  They explain that buying experiences such as travel or sports events makes people happy, whereas material goods lead to disappointment.  They also show that limiting access to luxury goods for a short time periods renews the capacity for pleasure.  And they describe how delaying consumption of both experiences and material goods allows spenders to enjoy the pleasures of anticipation.

Dunn and Norton recommend that people focus their attention on their time, choosing activities that promote satisfaction on a daily basis.  Wealthy individuals tend to spend their time working, commuting and shopping instead of pursuing their passions or spending their time with loved ones.  The stress of their activities leads to a lower level of satisfaction than the average American.  Spending time socializing or exercising lead to high levels of well-being, and both are unrelated to income.  Dunn and Norton’s research also shows that spending on others provides the largest happiness boost.

Short and engaging, this book is recommended to anyone wanting more satisfaction.  The content overlaps other books on the topic, including the best sellers written by Fuqua faculty member Dan Ariely.  But for this reviewer, after reading books about the bitter billionaires at Twitter and Amazon last month, Dunn and Norton’s book comes as a welcome experience.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.