New Movies for January: Part 1

January 15th, 2013

Here are the first of our newest DVD titles:

Breaking Bad, season 4
Killer Joe
Liberal Arts
Pitch Perfect
Sleepwalk with Me
Sons of Anarchy, season 1
Total Recall
Trouble with the Curve
The Words

Book Reviews: Pre-Term Recommendations

January 11th, 2013

Happy New Year and Welcome Back, students! Hope your winter holiday was full of peace and joy.  And best wishes for much success in 2013.

Classes begin next week, but before you get back to the grind, perhaps you can squeeze in some light and easy reading over the Martin Luther King holiday.  Here are three easy choices from the Ford Library’s bookshelf, but there are many other new books on display in the library.

Tap dancing to work by Carol J. Loomis
Business journalist and personal friend of Warren Buffet updates her articles about the great investor, which were originally published in Fortune between 1966 and 2012, and which illustrate Buffett’s ideas about management, public policy and philanthropy.
Occupy nation: the roots, the spirit and the promise of occupy Wall Street by Todd Gitlin
For those interested in grassroots organizations or social movements, this book is a sympathetic report on the earnest, leaderless, nonviolent and ultimately chaotic movement  that was ridiculed daily on Fox News Channel shows like Bill O’Reilly.
Car guys vs bean counters: the battle for the soul of American business by Bob Lutz
Former vice chairman of General Motors blames MBA’s for the automobile industry’s demise, explaining that bean counters sacrificed quality and reputation for easy profit.  In this amusing and frank account of his years as an executive at GM, Ford, BMW and Chrysler, Lutz illuminates the arrogance and short termism in American industry and advocates that analysis-driven management be replaced by a focus on product excellence. Also available as an audiobook.

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

New Movies for December

December 20th, 2012

Here is a list of the latest titles from our DVD collection:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Being Flynn
The Dark Knight Rises
Hope Springs
King of Devil’s Island
Last Call at the Oasis
Men in Black 3
My Week with Marilyn
The Odd life of Timothy Green
The Watch
2 Days in New York

Book Review: Abundance

December 12th, 2012

image courtesy

Diamandis, Peter H. and Steven Kotler. Abundance : the future is better than you think. Free Press, 2012.

In any large family, you see a variety of social attitudes, political opinions and perspectives about the future.  In my own family, some of the young men are buying guns and stockpiling food, so they will be ready in case of a terrorist attack or environmental collapse.  Fortunately, the man who shares my home is far more optimistic.  A new book, Abundance, is written for optimists like him.

Innovation pioneer Peter Diamandis and science journalist Steven Kotler begin their book by discussing scarce resources, those which are inaccessible with available technology.  Through radical breakthroughs in science and engineering, resources which were considered scarce just 30 years ago, including energy and food, are now readily available, and relatively cheaply too.  Access to communication and information is abundantly available thanks to cell phones and the internet; and they are available to much of the underdeveloped world at low cost. The world is being transformed, resulting in a rise in living standards for every person on the planet.  In the authors’ view, within a generation, “we will be able to provide goods and services once reserved for the wealthy few, to any and all who need them.  Or desire them.  Abundance for all is actually within our grasp.”

Diamandis and Kotler describe the forces that are driving positive changes in our world.  First is the exponential change of technological advancement. In addition, innovation has become democratized and DIY inventors are revolutionizing science fields from robotics to renewable energy. Also, billionaires turned philanthropists like Bill Gates are investing their fortunes and management skills in solutions to third world problems, improving access to health care and education.  And lastly, the market power of the developing world is itself bringing about positive change.

If the Mayans are wrong and we make it through next week, I recommend this book to end your year with hope.   As the academic year closes, this is my last book review of 2012.  Students, good luck on your final exams.  I wish a happy holiday and years of abundance for 2013 and beyond.

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

New Data Sets in WRDS

December 3rd, 2012

Ford Library is pleased to announce the addition of two new data set subscriptions to our Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) platform portfolio.

AuditAnalytics : Audit and Compliance provides detailed audit information on over 1,200 accounting firms and 15,000 publicly registered companies. Know auditing details and fees paid for specific services. Create reports by auditor, fees, location, and industry.

KLD Research and Analytics : Social Ratings (Full) from MSCI (formerly KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.) is a  provider of company and industry social research data. To meet the needs of social investors, KLD provides research, benchmarks, compliance, and consulting services analogous to those provided by financial research service firms. The historical Social Ratings (Full) on WRDS are a companion product to the Global Socrates web site which contains current text reports and data on company and industry social performance.

Duke users may access these new data sets via the WRDS platform by following the instructions on the following page:

If you have questions about access to WRDS and our subscribed data sets, please email us at

Book Review: How will you measure your life?

December 3rd, 2012

image courtesy

Christensen, Clayton M. , James Allworth, and Karen Dillon. How will you measure your life? Harper Business, 2012.

A family member was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given a grim prognosis. She and her husband (my brother) came to Durham for treatment at Duke’s Brain Cancer Center.  When my brother spoke to me about the medical options, I did not know how to advise him.  My sister, a physician, told me, ”That’s not your job. Your job is to host them while they are in Durham.”

Knowing your job in the family is one of the insights in Clayton Christensen’s best-selling new book, How Will You Measure Your Life? Christensen uses examples from some of the world’s best companies to provide life lessons to students.  He explains the theories from his course at the Harvard Business School, Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise, and he shows how to apply them to the careers and personal lives of graduates.  Readers are encouraged to consider what is likely to happen as a result of different decisions and actions, so they may improve their interpersonal relationships, personal integrity and opportunities for career success.

Early in the book, Christensen discusses the two factor theory of motivation, including hygiene factors and motivation factors.  People love their work when they are key members of a team that is doing meaningful work; they have an opportunity to learn new skills; and they receive increasingly more responsibility.  Yet graduating MBA’s routinely accept positions based on the highest salary offer.  In addition, graduates may form mental strategies for what they want in business and in life, but they fail to allocate resources to execute them.  High achieving people often unconsciously allocate resources that yield immediate results, such as a promotion or a bonus, but underinvest in activities with a long-term focus, such as raising children.  As a result, instead of being a source of immense satisfaction, their children are often strangers.

Through his research on innovation, Christensen developed a theory about marketing and product development, “the job to be done.”   What causes a consumer to buy a product or service can be thought of as a hiring decision – the consumer hires a product to do a certain job. Companies that develop products that help consumers do a job perfectly are rewarded with loyal customers.  Likewise, spouses or partners are hired to do a job in the family.  Partners who understand what their job is and who devote time and effort to doing the job reliably are rewarded with happiness at home.

This thought provoking book is recommended for all readers.

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

Visitors from Afar

November 14th, 2012

From time to time we welcome other librarians to Ford.  Usually our visitors include fellow business or university librarians from the States with an occasional visitor from Europe or East Asia.  However, last week we hosted three librarians from Nazarbayev University located in Kazakhstan’s capitol, Astana.

Their long trip began last year when the Fuqua School announced it would assist Nazarbayev in creating a business school, an essential institution for a country with a growing market economy.  So with that announcement, many Fuqua departments, including the Ford Library, began mapping out the resources needed by a top business school.  For our guests, however, it meant seeing how we operate at Ford as well as other Duke libraries including Perkins, Rubenstein, Lilly, and the Goodson Law Library.  In addition to Duke, they also visited UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus libraries and their School of Information and Library Science.  Between visits we made sure to take them to some of the area’s popular sites such as the Nasher Museum, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and even a shopping trip to a local mall.

During their visit, we showed them how we order from our vendors such as YBP, and how incoming books were processed.  They also had the chance to meet the Slavic acquisitions specialist at Perkins, plus see how librarianship is taught at UNC.

From our visitors, we learned the challenges of starting a new library in a post-Soviet economy.  For example, ordering books required knowing which books you planned to purchase over the next year, quite difficult when the books haven’t been published.  Plus the books had to be ordered from government approved vendors who may or may not be able to ship the titles when needed.  Even with these hurdles, they maintained their enthusiasm for their developing library, university, and country.  But throughout, they were excited to be involved, excited to learn new library workflows, and excited to meet the  staff.

As we move forward, we look forward to our continued mentoring relationship with our colleagues at Nazarbayev University.

New Movies for November

November 12th, 2012

Here are our newest DVD titles:

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
The Campaign
The Flaw
Madagascar 3 : Europe’s Most Wanted
Magic Mike
Money, Power and Wall Street
Moonrise Kingdom
Person of Interest, season 1
Ruby Sparks
Safety Not Guaranteed
Secret of the Wings
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Steve Jobs : the Lost Interview
Arthur Christmas
Black Orpheus
Sound of My Voice

Book Reviews: Nobel Laureates on The Economy

November 12th, 2012

nobel prize medal

Krugman, Paul R. End this depression now! W. W. Norton, 2012. (also in audiobook format)

Stiglitz, Joseph E. The price of inequality : how today’s divided society endangers our future. W. W. Norton, 2012. (also in audiobook format)

Shiller, Robert J. Finance and the good society. Princeton University Press, 2012.

It is hard to say whether the “Ivory Tower” has really ever existed, but this year serious academics are in the public eye, speaking out about the economy in the media and in books.  Princeton University professor Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2008) appears regularly on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.  A few weeks ago, I was taken aback to hear Mary Matalin call him “a liar” to his face.  Dr. Krugman seemed shocked and only blinked in reply — an uncomfortable moment.  Fortunately, in print he always has valuable things to say.  In his readable new book, End This Depression Now, Dr. Krugman uses clear and comprehensible language to explain that leaders in government and business have forgotten the lessons of economic history.  He argues that the road out of depression is wide open and that it is time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to drive the economy forward again.

Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001) recently appeared on the Jon Stewart Show, not the best venue to discuss thoughtful work.   In his new book, The Price Of Inequality, he argues that the level of inequality in the United States is excessive, greater than any other advanced industrial country.  This inequality is bad for economic growth and it erodes the equality of opportunity for young people.  Dr. Stiglitz explains the wealthiest Americans often pursue political policies in their own interest that make themselves wealthier but impair the future for everyone else.  Then the 1% convinces the other 99% that doing what is in their own best interest is also in the best interest of rank and file Americans.   Furthermore, those same political policies undermine the entire economy.  Dr. Stiglitz shows how Americans can construct a more dynamic and efficient economy, as well as a fairer society for everyone.

Yale University professor Robert Shiller is on everyone’s short list for a Nobel Prize in Economics, although he has not won one yet.  He is best known for his book Irrational Exuberance, which predicted the economic crisis of 2008.  His new book, Finance and the Good Society was originally written for his students at Yale, to explain the financial capitalist system.  More recently, Dr. Shiller adapted his book to help leaders and the public understand that finance is a powerful tool for solving common problems and how it can play a significant role in helping society achieve its goals.  He explains the roles of people within the financial sector, including investment bankers, mortgage lenders and securitizers, traders and market makers, insurers, market designers and financial engineers, derivatives providers etc.  He also calls on these players to build good moral behavior into the culture of Wall Street and to develop new financial innovations that will continue to improve society for everyone.

All three books are recommended.

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

Book Review: What Money Can’t Buy

October 29th, 2012

image courtesy

Sandel, Michael J. What money can’t buy : the moral limits of markets. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.

In January, I reviewed Scott Carney’s engaging book, The Red Market, about the business of organ procurement, a system where economic markets are used to supply bodies and their parts.  Carney showed that as a result, human organs have become commodities, bought and sold every day.  In the end, he concluded that the market is not the best way to allocate health.

In What Money Can’t Buy, Harvard’s Michael Sandel broadens the discussion of markets and morals to consider the ethics of allocating all sorts of social goods, including education, environmental protection, procreation and more, based on ability to pay.

A faculty member in Government at Harvard, Sandel begins his argument by stating that since the 1980’s economic markets and market values have expanded into broad areas of life.   MDs in large cities charge a retainer for premium access to a doctor.  Elite universities admit the children of donors, who otherwise would be denied.  Lobbyists in Washington pay homeless people to reserve their place in line for congressional hearings.  A North Carolina charity pays drug addicted women to be sterilized.   Inuit Canadians sell the right to shoot endangered walrus.  Children routinely are paid to get good grades. The market has become so pervasive that Americans do not notice it.

Sandel  argues that using the market to allocate social and civic goods is unhealthy.  Since the mid-90’s, the distribution of wealth in the U.S. has been widening, with the gap between the rich/poor growing ever larger.  In an economy where social goods are for sale, those with modest resources are disadvantaged in health, education and political representation, and children are denied equal opportunity.  In addition, commercial markets change values.  Common values such as citizenship and environmental protection are downgraded when turned into commodities.  For example, everyone should treat the environment responsibly, but using carbon offsets to reduce greenhouse gasses may evolve into a means of avoiding the changes in everyone’s behavior that are necessary to address the climate problem.    Sandel concludes that markets allocate goods, but they also express values toward the products exchanged.  Injecting the market into every transaction changes fundamental values worth caring about.

This thought-provoking book ends with a question “Do we want a society where everything is up for sale? Or are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honor and money cannot buy.”  Recommended.

Also available as an audiobook.

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