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Duke Staff, Faculty Honored For 50 Years Of Service
Durham, NC - When Donna Bergholz returned to work at Duke after the birth of her child, the president of Duke University was Julian Hart, the red brick Physics and Engineering buildings were the new buildings on Science Drive, and Perkins Library was still called "The General Library."
That was in April 1962.
"Back then, women library staff members, as well as women students, were not allowed to wear pants," Bergholz said. "If you saw a girl in the library in a trench coat on a warm day, it meant she had tennis shorts on underneath."
Bergholz, the head of the Serials Cataloging Section in the Electronic Resources and Serials Management Department of Perkins Library, was one of five staff and faculty given special recognition this month at the annual Night of Duke Stars, a special event during Duke Appreciation to celebrate staff and faculty with career service milestones. Bergholz; Gordon Klintworth, Wadsworth Research Professor of Ophthalmology; Joseph Greenfield Jr., James B. Duke Professor of Medicine; Craufurd Goodwin, James B. Duke Professor of Economics; and Naomi Wagner, a housekeeper in the Searle Center were all honored for having 50 years of continuous service at Duke University.
Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration at Duke, noted that all of the employees celebrating career milestones have made significant contributions to Duke. "But the dedication and commitment to selflessly serving Duke for over 50 years is something we all applaud and celebrate," he said.
Bergholz started at Duke in 1958 in the General Library (later renamed for William R. Perkins) as a cataloger after completing her master's in library science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She took a two-year hiatus from Duke to start a family but returned part-time in April 1962 and moved to full-time work about a decade later. She has held positions in the Monographic Cataloging Department and in the Serials Department (which became the Electronic Resources and Serials Management Department in 2007).
"I'm somewhat unusual in that I have spent my entire career in one institution," she said.
Bergholz was here during the introduction in the early 1960s of liquid paper for correcting typing mistakes on catalogue cards and the arrival in 1984 of the first computer in the cataloguing area. She's seen the demise of the card catalogue, the introduction of several online catalogs and the transition from the Dewey Decimal classification to the Library of Congress classification. She's attended countless in-house training sessions to master new procedures and witnessed the library's physical expansion from the original building on the corner of the West Campus Quad to the 1968 addition that created Perkins Library, and the more recent addition of the Bostock Library.
"I've seen so many changes they are hard to remember," she said. "But I don't think I'll ever forget the noise and dust when they broke through the walls of the original building for the expansion in 1968 and the excitement of moving into that bright new building."
Since that 1968 move, Bergholz has moved two more times - into the new Bostock Library in 2005, and then to the Smith Warehouse in 2008.
Throughout the changes and moves, Bergholz said she never imagined leaving Duke.
"I've always felt valued and appreciated at Duke, and that is a perk that means as much as money," she said.
Bergholz, now 78 years old, said she might have retired at age 65, but after her husband's death in 1994 she had no responsibilities at home and decided to keep working.
"People sometimes ask me why I am still working, and I always say it's because I'm still having fun," she said.
On June 30, Bergholz will celebrate her last day at Duke as she marks a new milestone, moving into retirement.
"I considered retiring last year, but I thought it would be fun to complete 50 years," she said. "And I was right."
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