Donor Spotlight: Alan Heilman

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Alan_HeilmanAlan S. Heilman, retired UT professor of botany, devoted 37 years to teaching generations of young biology students at UT. He devoted even more years to recording the miraculous structures of plants in his extraordinary photographs.

Heilman decided to partner with the UT Libraries to preserve and share his photographs of flowering plants, ferns, mosses, and lichens taken over more than sixty years. Several years ago Heilman began sorting through his slides, selecting what he considered his best shots, and bringing batches of color slides to Digital Library Production for scanning. The resulting collaboration is The Botanical Photography of Alan S. Heilman, one of the UT Libraries’ digital collections available for viewing by all on the Libraries’ website.

TrumpetVineVisitors to The Botanical Photography of Alan S. Heilman will immediately notice the photographer’s particular fascination with the intricate forms of plants: many of his photographs are close-ups — even microscopic enlargements — of their subjects. Heilman’s experimentation with extreme close-up views even preceded his decision to study botany; it dates from his chance discovery, as a young high school student, of a hometown chapter of the American Society of Amateur Microscopists. Photomicrographs became one of Heilman’s passions, and extreme close-ups of pistils, stamens, and other anatomical structures of plants have continued to be one of his photographic specialties.

Heilman joined the (now defunct) Botany Department at the University of Tennessee in 1960 and taught general botany and plant anatomy until his retirement in 1997. He continues to pursue his photographic artistry and often can be seen at the UT Gardens, carefully staging his next shot.

Perhaps Heilman’s framing is so exact and his execution so perfect because he risks actual film in making his shots. Heilman has never owned a digital camera. Scanning performed by library staff is the only digital process used in creation of The Botanical Photography of Alan S. Heilman.

Read more about Dr. Heilman’s artistry and technical process in the 2010-2011 Library Development Review.

Join Us to Celebrate the Gift of a Rare First Edition

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DeoOptimo_smallThe University of Tennessee Library Friends have begun a new tradition. Each year, gifts to the Library Friends, both large and small, will be pooled together to make a gift to the Libraries. This year’s gift is a rare 1725 first edition of Deo Optima Max, an important work on botany and medical properties of plants of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Libraries will celebrate and formalize the Friends’ gift with an event Thursday, March 14, at the John C. Hodges Library. Join us at 5:30 p.m. for a reception in the Jack E. Reese Galleria, followed by a lecture at 6:30 p.m. Botanist Ron Petersen will detail the significance of Deo Optimo Max. Petersen is an Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee. He has drawn international recognition for his research and knowledge of mushrooms, fungi and biology of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Deo Optima Max is the work of the renowned 18th century French naturalist Bernard de Jussieu. The unassuming little pamphlet (only four pages) is actually quite a rarity. One copy of the 1725 edition is located in the National Library of France, but there are no recorded copies of the first edition in America.

Deo Optima Max will reside in our Special Collections, where the showpiece will strengthen our existing collections related to Appalachia. Special Collections actively seeks material to support UT’s Great Smoky Mountains Regional Collection and the study of Appalachian history, culture, and natural history.

Future annual gifts from the Library Friends may be a rare book, funds to support a renovation to one of the libraries, or new technology that will move the library forward. Gifts will be celebrated each spring to show the Library Friends how their donations make a difference to the students, faculty, and UT community.

Thomas Lynch at Writers in the Library, Feb. 11

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thomas-lynch-2Thomas Lynch will read at UT’s Writers in the Library, Monday, February 11th at 7 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

Thomas Lynch is the author of five collections of poems and three books of essays, including Skating with Heather Grace, Still Life in Milford, and The Undertaking. He is also the author of the novella and story collection Apparition & Late Fictions. His most recent book is The Sin-Eater: A Breviary which has been called “powerful, unsettling, and full of grace.”

Lynch’s work has been the subject of two films, including PBS Frontline’s The Undertaking, which won a 2008 Emmy Award. The Undertaking is a chronicle of small-town life and death told through the eyes of a poet who is also an undertaker. It notably won the Heartland Prize for nonfiction, the American Book Award, and was a Finalist for the National Book Award. The Kirkus Review praises its “eloquent, meditative observations on the place of death in small-town life” and the New York Times Book Review says “Lynch shows himself to be a master of the essay form.”

Lynch’s essays, poems and stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Paris Review.

He lives in Milford, Michigan, where he has been the funeral director since 1974, and in Moveen, County Clare, Ireland, where he keeps an ancestral cottage.

The author will also hold a Q&A session for all interested students, 3-4 p.m., Monday, February 11, in 1210 McClung Tower.

Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (, or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (

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Celebrate the new “Commons” — music, games, prizes!

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Commons-blog-3Don’t you just love the new Commons? UT students do. Come find out what the buzz is all about: join us to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated Commons in the Hodges Library.

The campus community and the public are invited to a Street Fair — featuring music, games, and prizes — to be held from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, Thursday, February 7, in the Commons on the 2nd floor of the John C. Hodges Library (1015 Volunteer Blvd.). Remarks by the UT chancellor, provost, dean of libraries, and assistant vice chancellor/CIO will take place at 3:30 pm.

Prizes to be given away at the event include two 23-inch ultra-sharp monitors, a printer, cell phone accessories, a laptop backpack, VolPrint cards, and Starbucks gift baskets.

Our Library Friends are invited to join us at 4:30 p.m. in the Mary E. Greer Room, 258 Hodges Library, for a reception and guided tours of the Commons.

The Commons, a collaboration of the UT Libraries and Office of Information Technology, brings together all the tools students need to succeed: technology, research assistance, even tutoring and advising services. It’s where students go to collaborate on projects, consult a librarian, create a video, or just catch up with friends. The Commons is a lively social gathering place, open 24 hours a day and offering comfortable, inviting furnishings—even a coffee shop.

This year the Commons underwent extensive renovations under the direction of McCarty Holsaple McCarty, the original architects, 25 years ago, of the current John C. Hodges Library. They have adapted our stately legacy space to meet the unique needs of UT’s 21st century scholars.

Please join us on February 7 to see why UT students find the Commons so exciting.


Music Library Closed Today 1/25/13

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In accordance with the UT Inclement weather closing, the George F. DeVine Music Library will be closed today, Friday, January 25, 2013. We apoligize for any inconvience. We will be open on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 2:00pm for our regular operating hours.

Have a question? Now you can text us!

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There’s a new way to get research assistance at the UT Libraries: texting.

The library has added texting to the many ways that students and other researchers can reach a librarian. Now, library users can text as well as chat, email, phone, or get help in-person.

Text your brief library or research question to 865-383-1323. Add us to your contacts and you can have librarians at your service wherever you and your phone may travel during the following hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 am – midnight; Friday, 9 am – 6 pm; Closed Saturday; Sunday, noon – midnight.

The new texting service extends the UT Libraries’ customer interface to any location with cell phone service — no internet access required. So text us from anywhere, even if you’re just up in the stacks, studying.

Book Club to Discuss Author’s Transsexual Journey

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RealManA writer’s transsexual journey will be the topic of the next Common Ground Book Club. T Cooper’s Real Man Adventures will be the subject of discussion on Tuesday, February 19, at 4:30 p.m. in the Culture Corner, first floor of Hodges Library.

Real Man Adventures is a collage of letters, essays, interviews, artwork, and conversations exploring what it means to be a man. T Cooper maintains a sense of humor as he takes us through his transition into identifying as male — even publishing the letter he wrote to his parents to inform them that he “wasn’t their daughter anymore.” It’s a brash, wildly inventive, and comic exploration of the paradoxes and pleasures of masculinity.

The UT Libraries’ Common Ground Book Club reads and discusses books that treat international and intercultural themes. Read the book now and join the February 19 discussion led by dean of libraries Steve Smith.

Copies of Real Man Adventures are available at the UT Bookstore. Read selected chapters on

T Cooper will read from his works at Writers in the Library later this semester. Join us for his reading on March 11. More at

Adam Ross at UT’s Writers in the Library, Jan. 28

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AdamRossAdam Ross will read at UT’s Writers in the Library, Monday, January 28th, 7 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

Adam Ross’s debut novel, Mr. Peanut, a 2010 New York Times Notable Book, was also named one of the best books of the year by the New Yorker, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New Republic, and the Economist. Stephen King said of Mr. Peanut, “The most riveting look at the dark side of marriage since Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? . . . It induced nightmares, at least in this reader. No mean feat.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ross’s short story collection, was included in Kirkus Reviews and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of 2011. The book is described as “a darkly compelling collection of stories about brothers, loners, lovers, and lives full of good intentions, misunderstandings, and obscured motives.”

Adam Ross lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters. Ross was from 1999 to 2003 a feature writer and special projects editor for the Nashville Scene, the city’s alternative weekly. His column, Mondo Nashville, covered the city’s local oddballs and off-kilter luminaries. His cover stories ranged in subjects from the city’s porn king, Al Woods, to race relations, to interviews with homegrown movie star, Reese Witherspoon. He also wrote extensively on books and film. Ross’s nonfiction has been published in the New York Times Book Review, the Daily Beast, the Wall Street Journal, and the Nashville Scene. His fiction has appeared in the Carolina Quarterly and Five Chapters.

The author will also hold a Q&A session for all interested students, 2-3 p.m., Monday, January 28th, in 1210 McClung Tower.

Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (, or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (

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Puente to Speak on Diversity Recruitment in Libraries

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mark-puenteMark A. Puente, Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), will visit the University of Tennessee Libraries to discuss ARL’s diversity recruitment programs. The university community and library professionals are invited to his talk on Tuesday, February 5, at 2:30 pm in the John C. Hodges Library auditorium (1015 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN).

Puente directs ARL’s Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP) and Research Library Leadership Fellows program (RLLF). The LCDP is an 18-month program to prepare mid-career librarians from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups to take on increasingly demanding leadership roles in ARL libraries. Applications to LCDP have doubled in the four years that Puente has led the program.

Puente has presented at regional and national conferences on topics such as networking, minority recruitment strategies, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and residency programs in academic libraries.

Puente has been actively involved with diversity and leadership issues since the beginning of his library career. He was a 2003 ALA Spectrum Scholar and has been actively involved in the coordination of and programming for the Spectrum Scholar Leadership Institute since his scholarship year. He is also a graduate of the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians and the Knowledge River Program at the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona. The Arizona program seeks to recruit Latinos/Hispanics and Native Americans into the field of librarianship.

He also participated in the UT Libraries’ own diversity recruitment and career development program. He was a member of the 2005-2007 class of Diversity Librarian Residents. Members of the UT community may remember Puente from the Music Library. In addition to his master’s in information and library science, Puente holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice performance.

For further information, contact Megan Smith at or 865-974-6903.

Love Your Libraries 5K Race, March 2

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SponsorBar2013The UT Graduate Student Senate is proud to announce the 21st annual Love Your Libraries 5K Race to benefit the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries. We hope you will join other UT library supporters for this event.

The 5K race will take place Saturday, March 2, 2013. Registration is from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. in Circle Park on the UT campus. The run begins promptly at 9 a.m.

The Graduate Student Senate hosted its first race to benefit the UT Libraries on Valentine’s Day in 1992. Proceeds from the race assist the libraries in purchasing much-needed electronic resources, books, equipment, and other items critical for student success at the University of Tennessee.

The Knoxville Track Club will manage the finish line and compile race results. An awards ceremony will follow the race. Awards will be given to the Top Three runners overall, 1st Masters (40+) and 1st Grand Masters (50+), male and female — as well as in several age-group categories. The Best Team (organization with most registrants — must pre-register), Fastest Team, and Fastest UT Runner (UT student, faculty, or staff) also will be recognized. Race t-shirts are guaranteed for pre-registered runners, and shirts will be distributed as supplies last on race day.

Pre-registrations must be postmarked by February 22. Download the Registration Form here. Please be sure to make your check payable to the “Graduate Student Senate.”

Whether a serious competitor or jogger or just an enthusiastic bystander, we invite you to Circle Park on Saturday, March 2, to show your love for the UT Libraries.

For more information, contact the Graduate Student Senate ( or 865-974-2377).