Skip to content

News & Events

Final Call for Papers: Publish Your Response to “A Lesson Before Dying”

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to contribute to a book to be published this fall by Newfound Press, the UT Libraries’ online imprint.

This year, The Big Read prompted hundreds of Knoxvillians to read and discuss A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest Gaines’ thought-provoking novel about a black man who is sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Book discussions, lectures, a community leaders forum, Clarence Brown Theatre performances — events across our community provoked discussions on the book’s themes of racism, injustice, hope, and redemption.

The UT Libraries plans to commemorate the community-wide program with a book that captures a range of responses, both scholarly and personal, to Gaines’ inspiring novel. We invite contributions of any length and in any genre appropriate for publication, from essays to poetry to artworks.

Please submit images with a brief description or abstracts/excerpts no longer than 500 words to

Deadline for submissions is June 1, 2016.


Robin Bedenbaugh, UT Libraries (865-974-0430,

Martha Rudolph, UT Libraries (865-974-4273,

“Librarians Being Awesome” Video Wins National Awards

A promotional video created by the UT Libraries has won two national awards.

Librarians Being Awesome won the award for Best Performance at the Association of Research Libraries Film Festival in Vancouver, Canada, on April 26. UT’s entry was selected for the top performance award out of 57 films submitted by 36 universities.

Librarians Being Awesome also was recognized by the Library Leadership and Management Association as an excellent example of electronic advocacy materials. The UT Libraries will be presented with a PR Xchange Award at the American Library Association’s annual conference in June.

Librarians Being Awesome is just what it sounds like—but in this instance the librarians were captured on film giving their best athletic performances.

The video was the capstone to the Libraries’ “Information Is Our Game” sports-themed marketing campaign. The campaign began with trading cards (like baseball cards) for each librarian. One side of each trading card pictures a librarian on the baseball field, the tennis court—even the Vols’ locker room. The verso is the librarian’s curriculum vitae.

The trading cards were followed by several whimsical videos depicting librarians pitted against top-notch athletes. The good humored librarians lost every contest. But, of course, the videos were really touting the librarians’ prowess as information professionals.

The entire marketing campaign was meant to convey a simple message: there is a designated librarian with subject expertise in your field of study.

Some of UT’s librarians are in fact accomplished athletes, so the capstone video features athletically gifted library faculty and staff just being awesome. The video even features clips of the dean of libraries juggling and an associate dean twirling a baton.

The award-winning video has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube and as a “bumper” (a brief ad that runs before the main feature) on the UT campus’ free movie streaming channel.

Faculty News

Seeking Candidates: Master’s in Information Science with Focus on Assessment and UX

The UT School of Information Sciences (SIS) has launched a unique master’s degree program, “Experience Assessment,” to create new leaders in assessment and user experience (UX). Information professionals are expected to test the user’s online experience in order to create user-friendly environments for a diverse range of users. However, few information science programs prepare their graduate students for this work. UT’s pilot program, funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will develop a prototype curriculum for training new experts in UX and assessment.

SIS is seeking twelve master’s candidates for the two-year pilot program, which runs from Fall Semester 2016 through May 2018. Each student will receive full tuition, medical benefits, an assistantship stipend, and travel funding. Students will complete hands-on, mentored research experiences at UT UX laboratories, UT Libraries, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, Information International Associates, and the Tombras Group.

SIS associate professor Carol Tenopir is principal investigator. Regina Mays, assistant professor and assessment librarian at the UT Libraries, is senior personnel. UT Libraries associate dean for learning, research and engagement, Teresa Walker, will serve as a mentor. Co-principal investigators are Dania Bilal, SIS professor, and Rachel Fleming-May, SIS associate professor.

More information at

UT Libraries Faculty Member Publishes Manual for New Library Managers

Corey Halaychik, assistant professor and electronic resources specialist at the UT Libraries, is the author of a manual for librarians who are new to management. Lessons in Library Leadership: A Primer for Library Managers and Unit Leaders (Chandos Publishing 2016) includes case studies, real world examples, tactics, and bibliographic information essential for developing management skills. New managers with no formalized training can experience added stress as they scramble to learn how to lead, to formulate departmental goals, to conduct effective assessment, to think and plan strategically, to counsel employees, and much more. Halaychik’s book serves as a primer for new supervisors, as well as a quick reference resource for seasoned managers.

Pendergrass Student Assistants Help with Suite of Services

pendergrass student assistants

Pendergrass Library Student Assistants (L-R) Laura, Mindi, Mitchell, Caroline, and Amelia post with our Leisure Reading collection.

We couldn’t offer the expanding suite of research services at Pendergrass Library without our Student Assistants.  At Pendergrass, Student Assistants answer questions at the front desk, assist with opening and closing the library, and digitize and process items from our collection to make them easily accessible.  Our Student Assistants are the smiling face of the library, showing excellent customer service to students, faculty, and staff.

But our Student Assistants go above and beyond traditional library responsibilities.  This year’s students (Mindi Anderson, Sinead Doherty, Amelia Fass, William Mitch Marino, Holly Mason, Caroline Norris, Lindsey Rasnake, and Halley Stamps) and graduate students (Kristina Dorsett, Laura Hood, and Taylor Hixson) have helped with several special projects:

Poster printing: Large format poster printing is one unique task that Student Assistants have been trained to handle.  In the run-up to the #EUReCA undergraduate research events of April 11-15, Pendergrass Student Assistants took the lead in printing over 90 posters between April 1-12.

Social media: Do you follow @pendergrasslib on Twitter?  You can thank Pendergrass Student Assistants for the tidbits of agriculture information in our #FunFactFriday series.  They scoured the library and the Internet to bring the most interesting nature trivia to your Twitter feed.

YouTube videos: Graduate Student Assistants Kristina Dorsett and Taylor Hixson are a whiz at creating fun library videos.  Watch videos on library resources, events, and more on the Pendergrass Library playlist on the UT Libraries YouTube page.

Want to show your appreciation for the Pendergrass Student Assistants?  Stop by the front desk and tell them how much you appreciate their hard work!

De-Stress for Success at Pendergrass Library

destress puppy

Feeling anxious about upcoming exams? Need to take a break, relax, and unwind? Stop by Pendergrass Library during finals week for our De-Stress for Success events! Activities are free, fun, and open to all UT students.

Check out our YouTube video and calendar of events below:

Ongoing activities (Tuesday, May 3-Monday, May 9)

  • Free snacks
  • Craft stations including coloring, orgami, and 3-D pens
  • Games stations including puzzles, board games, and robotics
  • Crosswords and word searches 
  • Free library giveaways

Tuesday, May 3

  • 9 a.m.—Free coffee and tea
  • 10 a.m.—Free wellness bag giveaway from the Center for Health Education and Wellness
  • 4-6 p.m.—Free massages
  • 12-5 p.m.—HABIT dogs
  • 5:15-6:15 p.m.—Free yoga class in the library
  • 10 p.m.—Free movie screening

Wednesday, May 4

  • 9 a.m.—Free coffee and tea
  • 12 p.m.—Meditation in the library
  • 12-5 p.m.—HABIT dogs
  • 4-6 p.m.—Free massages
  • 5:15-6:15 p.m.—Free yoga class in the Sequoyah Room (Vet Building 2nd floor)

Thursday, May 5

  • 9 a.m.—Free coffee and tea
  • 12-5 p.m.—HABIT dogs
  • 4-6 p.m.—Free massages
  • 10 p.m.—Free movie screening

Friday, May 6

  • 7:30-8 a.m.—Meditation in the library
  • 12-3 p.m.—HABIT dogs
  • 4-6 p.m.—Free massages

Monday, May 9

  • 9 a.m.—Free coffee and tea
  • 12-3 p.m.—HABIT dogs
  • 4-6 p.m.—Free massages

Digital Humanities: Tom Scheinfeldt to speak April 22

TomScheinfeldtDigital media and design expert Tom Scheinfeldt will offer a public lecture as part of the Illuminations Digital Humanities Series at 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 22, in the Hodges Library Auditorium. Scheinfeldt was managing director of the groundbreaking September 11 Digital Archive project and a staff member of the team that developed Omeka, the open source web-publishing platform.

Scheinfeldt is Associate Professor in the Departments of Digital Media & Design and History and Director of Digital Humanities in the Digital Media Center at the University of Connecticut. Formerly Managing Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Scheinfeldt brings more than a decade of leadership in digital humanities research and management.

The Illuminations Digital Humanities Series is sponsored by the Humanities Center, the University Libraries, and the ORE Scholarly Projects Fund. Each year, the series invites thinkers, scholars, and technologists in the digital humanities to share their work and wisdom with the greater DH and digital scholarship community. View upcoming speakers at

UT Librarians Among 100 Most Influential People in Smokies Park History

anne_ken_webUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville librarians Anne Bridges and Ken Wise are among the top 100 most influential people in the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to the Great Smoky Mountains Association. Bridges and Wise were named in a special edition of Smokies Life Magazine that commemorates the Centennial of the National Park Service.

Bridges and Wise are honored for “providing unmatched accessibility to Smokies-specific resources for researchers and writers.”

Continue reading

Call For Applications: Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence

The University of Tennessee seeks candidates to serve as the Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence for the UT Libraries. The residency program is intended to provide a positive and encouraging environment for one Knoxville area writer. Space and equipment are made available to enhance the literary productivity of the incumbent. The Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence hosts the Writers in the Library reading series and takes part in other literary events at the University. A one-year residency is offered (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017), with the possibility of renewal. This is not a University employment position. No state benefits, insurance, or compensation are provided.

• $8,000 stipend.
• Private office in the John C. Hodges Library, available for use during normal library hours.
• Library use privileges.

• Serve as the public face of the UT Libraries for various literary events.
• Consult with student writers as requested.
• Coordinate and host the Writers in the Library reading series, including recruiting authors to read from their works, with assistance from library staff and the UT Creative Writing Program. Library staff will provide support for clerical tasks, publicity, and venue arrangements for the series. Between the Creative Writing faculty and the Writer-in-Residence, the series arranges around 15 public readings per academic year.
• Prepare and distribute promotional materials.
• Introduce writers at each event.
• Manage the series’ social media accounts.

Interested writers should send:
• a letter of application describing how the candidate might curate the series
• a resume or CV highlighting publications and other writing accomplishments or honors
• one writing sample of no more than 10 pages

Margaret Lazarus Dean
Director, Creative Writing Program
301 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430

NO LATER THAN April 25, 2016. Applicants will be judged on quality of past work and prospects for future success. Candidates may be invited for a telephone or in-person interview. Preference will be given to published writers who are committed to a serious writing career.

Student Winners of Graduate Writing Awards to Read, April 18

The University of Tennessee’s final Writers in the Library event of the academic year will feature readings by student winners of the John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Awards. Readings from the winning works will take place in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library on Monday, April 18, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Awards are made possible by the English Department through the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, endowed by the long-time UT English professor and author of the Harbrace College Handbook, for whom the Hodges Library is named.

WILstudentWinners_web22016 winners of the John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Awards:

First Prize: Elizabeth Weld
Second Prize: Richard Hermes
Third Prize: Matt Brock

First Prize: Jeb Herrin
Second Prize: Katie Condon
Third Prize: Elysia Mann

This year’s judges were Allen Wier for fiction and Brad Tice for poetry.

The public is invited to join the university community for readings by these accomplished, up-and-coming writers.
Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For more information contact Christopher Hebert, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries (

Follow us at:

Poetry Spring Continues with Leslie LaChance and Adam Day

LaChanceDay_webWriters in the Library will host poetry readings by Leslie LaChance and Adam Day as part of UT’s Poetry Spring. The public is invited to this free reading at 7 p.m., Monday, April 11, in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration. She is an assistant editor with Sundress Publications, where she curates The Wardrobe and is developing a children’s literature list. LaChance’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals. Her chapbook collection, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. A UT alumnus, LaChance is currently an associate professor of English at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, where she teaches writing and literature courses.

Adam Day is the author of A Model of City in Civil War (Sarabande Books, 2015), and he is the recipient of a PSA Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Emerging Writers Award. His work has appeared in the Boston Review, Lana Turner, APR, Poetry London, AGNI, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He directs the Baltic Writing Residency, which nurtures talented writers by funding week-long residencies at secluded locations in Latvia, in Scotland, and at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For more information contact Christopher Hebert, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries (

Follow us at:

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.