In 1972 the East Tennessee Library Association inaugurated a series of annual lectures in librarianship. Named the Mary Utopia Rothrock Lectures in honor of Miss Rothrock, the purpose of the lectures is to “enable local librarians the benefit from ‘new information, direction, and philosophy’ within various areas of the profession.”
Mary Utopia Rothrock (1890-1976) was an important figure in libraries locally and nationally. She helped organize the first regional library system in the Southeast. From 1916 to 1934 she served as Director of the Knoxville Public Library, and later organized the Knoxville-Knox County Public Library System. Miss Rothrock was a Library Specialist with the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the author of two textbooks. In addition to other local and state offices, she served as President of the American Library Association in 1946-47.
45th Annual Mary Utopia Rothrock Lecture and Dinner
Author Sam Venable spoke on his Knoxville News Sentinel article series
“Fragments of Hate: Prejudice and Healing in East Tennessee” and the research behind it.
The series focused on the shooting of integration pioneer Charles Moulden in 1968.
Mr. Venable also offered a brief retrospective on his own career.
The 45th Annual Rothrock Lecture and Dinner was held on October 29th, 2015,
with a meet and greet at 5:30 pm and dinner at 6 pm at Bridgewater Place in Knoxville, TN.
The cost of the lecture and dinner was $25 ($15 for students). Download flyer here.
Past Rothrock Lectures
|1972||“Folklore and Fact”||Pauline Wilson|
|1973||No Lecture||Jesse Mills|
|1974||“Southeastern States Cooperative Library Survey”||Keith Cottam|
|1975||“Facts and Fallacies about Those Other Professionals in Libraries”||Lucile Deaderick and others|
|1976||Lecture honoring Miss Rothrock with personal recollections of her life||Sarah Kadec|
|1977||“Development of Library Systems and Relationships Among Libraries in Information Networks”||Glenn Estes|
|1978||“School Libraries–Fact, Fiction and Some Half-Truths”||Angie LeClerq|
|1979||“The Uses and Abuses of the Media”||Patricia Barkalow|
|1980||“The Role of Automation for Tennessee Libraries: A Practical Approach”||Fred O’Hara|
|1981||“Friends of the Library”||Joan Worley|
|1982||“Powdermilk Biscuits: Communication, Courage, and Clout for Librarians”||William MacArthur|
|1983||“The Future of the Past: Mary U. Rothrock and the Development of Historical Librarianship”||Nancy Norton|
|1984||“Tools of the Trade in an Electronic Society”||William Robinson|
|1985||“The Book Sciences Revisited: The Role of Books and Reading in Contemporary New York”||Tom Cannon, Jo Ann Garrett, Marjorie Pike|
|1986||Politics: Librarians Lobbying Legislators? What Have We Got to Lose?”||Nancy L. Gray|
|1987||“Optical Innovations: Laser-Based Storage Techniques”||Jean A. Major|
|1988||“Needed: Libraries for Local and Regional Development”||Carol Hewlett|
|1989||“40 Years of Service & Obscurity: A Story of One Special Library”||Joe C. Rader|
|1990||“Librarianship Whither? A Curmudgeon Looks at the Profession”||Anita Haller|
|1991||“The Importance of Ghost Stories to Modern American Cultures”||Sandra Ballard|
|1992||“Finding Harriette Arnow: The Writer As Researcher and Detective”||Paula Kaufman|
|1993||“Byting the Dust: Do Alex Haley’s Papers Mark the End of a Long Tradition?”||Gene M. Abel, Ed Best, Jr., Margaret Dickson, Barbara Dyer, Mildred Erwin, Elizabeth Hotchkiss, Helen Kuhns, Reese Ripatti|
|1994||“Voices of Experience”||Willa Reister|
|1996||“Are We Having Fun Yet? Changes in Resource Sharing in Tennessee”||Elizabeth Aversa|
|1999||“Preparing Future Information Professionals: Developments at UT and in LIS Education in General”||Edward Gleaves|
|2000||“Future of Reading and Libraries in an Age of Hyperlinks”||Sheila D. Creth|
|2001||“Staff Training and Learning: Essential Ingredients for Quality Library Service”||Angi Kelley,
Tactics Instructor at
Wackenhut Services, Inc.
|2002||“Personal Security”||Larry Frank,
Director, Knox County Public Library
|2003||“A Visionary’s Tale”||Jack Neely,
columnist and author
|2004||“Rogues, Scoundrels, Gunslingers, and Librarians: What Books and Libraries did for Boom-town Knoxville”||Dr. Edwin Cortez,
Director, UT School
of Information Sciences
|2005||What an Environmental Scan Tells Us about the Future of Libraries and Library Education||Ginna Mashburn,
President, Knox County Friends
of the Library
|2006||“What’s New Among Friends?”
(lecture given Spring 2007)
President, Knox County Friends
of the Library
|2008||“Freedom, Communication, and the Classical Roots of the American Librarian”||Stephen Bales|
|2009||“Revision of James Agee’s A Death in the Family“||Michael Lofaro|
|2010||Intellectual Freedom||Karyn Storts-Brinks &
|2011||Discussion of their early experiences with libraries, their education in the segregated schools of Knoxville, their careers, and the changes they have witnessed.
(view video of this lecture)
|Felicia Felder-Hoehne &
Dr. Barbara Lynne Ivey Yarn
|2012||“Old Friends and New Enemies (And Vice Versa): Challenges in Research Librarianship for the 21st Century”||Dr. Steve Smith,
Dean of UT Libraries
|2013||“Fierce Advocacy Through Public Service: Stories of Mary Utopia Rothrock and Effie Lee Morris”||Dr. Jinx Watson,
Professor of Information Sciences (retired), University of Tennessee
|2014 Spring||“Moving History: Our Audiovisual Heritage”||Bradley Reeves and Louisa Trott, Co-founders of Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS)|
|“Librarians and Genealogists: A Match Made in Purgatory”||Chuck Sherrill, State Librarian|
|2015||“Fragments of Hate: Prejudice and Healing in East Tennessee”||Sam Venable|
(Information for the Rockrock Lectures and the list of ETLA past presidents was compiled and written by Sally R. Polhemus, McClung Historical Collection.)
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