Professor Durrance received her B.A. degree from the University of Florida in 1959, her M.S.L.S. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1964, and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1980. She joined the University of Michigan faculty as a lecturer and coordinator of continuing education at the School of Library Science in 1979. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1981, associate professor in 1987, and professor in 1996. She served as associate dean from 1987-89, and was appointed the Margaret Mann Collegiate Professor of Information in 2004.