Information Is Our Game: Meet Holly Mercer

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    BIG IDEAS demand reliable information. The University Libraries supports scholarship, research, and learning at UT by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and facilitating access to the world’s knowledge. The wide-ranging expertise of our librarians might surprise you.

    This semester we begin a series of profiles of UT Knoxville librarians. Watch for a new profile each week.

As Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Research Services, Holly Mercer directs the Libraries’ services to scholars. She oversees digital initiatives; research and grants; data curation; digital publishing and production; digital humanities; and the Libraries’ department of learning, research, and engagement.

Digital technologies have transformed academic libraries. New modes of inquiry and dissemination of scholarship engage librarians in the research process from creation to preservation. Under Holly’s leadership, librarians help researchers take advantage of emerging technologies to model, publish, and preserve their research.

Holly’s division offers support for open access publishing and helps scholars meet the data management requirements of granting agencies. Her group manages Trace, UT’s showcase and archive of creative and scholarly work, as well as a digital imprint, Newfound Press, that publishes peer-reviewed books and multimedia works.

Over the past year, Holly spearheaded UT’s membership in the Library Publishing Coalition and HathiTrust. The Library Publishing Coalition addresses changes in scholarly publishing that impact academic libraries. HathiTrust is a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in a digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form. Joining HathiTrust immediately secured online access for UT users to more than 3.4 million volumes in the public domain.

Holly holds a master’s in library and information science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in classical studies from Duke University. She currently serves on committees of several projects of national and international scope, including DataONE and the Library Publishing Coalition.

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