Posters starring UT students are free for the taking

collage2Sydney2Our latest READ posters — the ones starring UT students — are printed and ready for pick-up at Hodges (Melrose entrance), Pendergrass AgVetMed, and the Music libraries. Posters are free for the taking.

Our READ posters, modeled on the American Library Association’s longstanding national campaign, picture campus celebrities reading from a favorite book. After featuring Smokey, the Volunteer, professor William Bass, and the Black Lillies band, the Libraries held a contest to select a student to star in our next READ poster. More than 100 students dropped by the library to pose for our photographer. Then everyone was invited to “like” their favorite on our Facebook gallery of contestants.

Sydney McNeill, a pre-pharmacy major from Dyersburg, Tennessee, received the most votes and earned her own poster. We’ve also printed a collage of all the runners-up.

Get your copies before they disappear!

Teaching & Learning Panel Discussion, Feb. 19

The UT Libraries is partnering with the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center and OIT’s Instructional Support to present an ongoing series of informal presentations and discussions, in the Commons, focused on teaching and learning. The first discussion is a panel with the Humanities Pedagogy Discussion Group. Panelists will reflect on how the group has benefited them as teachers and provided support for adopting new pedagogies.

UnCommon Teaching and Learning: Conversations and Community

What: Panel with the Humanities Pedagogy Discussion Group (Amadou Sall and Samantha Murphy)
When: Wednesday, February 19th, Noon-1pm
Where: Hodges Library Commons North, Practice Presentation Room (220E)

Libraries will host STEM symposium for high school students, March 29

The University of Tennessee Libraries is hosting the second annual Big Orange STEM Symposium (B.O.S.S.): High School Outreach, Saturday, March 29, 2014, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.

The symposium is aimed at high school students who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. High school students at all levels are invited to participate.

The symposium brings together STEM-related departments and centers from across the UT Knoxville campus and the Knoxville community to provide high school students with a learning experience that includes guidance in career exploration and planning from a UT Career Services counselor. The symposium will allow students to explore STEM fields in a holistic way, giving them a taste of various disciplines so they will be more informed and better prepared to decide which area they would like to study.

Two panel discussions — one featuring current undergraduate students and another with STEM professors — will offer insights into the university experience and how to succeed in STEM studies. Students also will have the opportunity to meet researchers working in STEM fields. In breakout sessions, they will learn about strategies and techniques for doing undergraduate research through exposure to the scientific process, resources, and technologies. At a STEM Fair, they can learn about STEM organizations in our region and unique opportunities at UT Knoxville.

Representatives from the Knoxville community include Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Texas Instruments, Biology in a Box, and Dade Moeller. The UT departments of math, soil science, geography, chemistry, and medicine also will participate.

For more information about the symposium and registration, please visit the website at Free lunch and goody bags will be provided for attendees who register before March 21, 2014. On-site registration will be available.

Introducing The Library Society of UT Knoxville

After many years of people confusing the UT Libraries’ Friends group with the Friends of the Knox County Public Libraries, we are thrilled to announce that our own Friends group has a new name – The Library Society of UT Knoxville. The Library Society of UT Knoxville will offer our donors more opportunities for engagement with the library and greater recognition for their support – and some fun along the way. Check out The Library Society’s new logo and website and watch for opportunities to support The Library Society. Contact Erin Horeni-Ogle with any questions at 986-974-0055.

Ron Rash: A Unique Appalachian Voice

Ron Rash

View a recording of this event

The Library Society of UT Knoxville and the Friends of the Knox County Library are proud to sponsor Ron Rash on March 4th at 7:30 PM at the East Tennessee History Center. The talk is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  Visit the to register. This lecture is part of the Knox County Library’s Wilma Dykeman lecture series. Rash will be introduced by Jim Stokely, the son of Wilma Dykeman and the president of the Wilma Dykeman Legacy foundation.

The Appalachia of Ron Rash is the land we are familiar with: the beautiful mountains, the small hamlets, family farms and the legacies of the past.  But to Rash, it is also the land of methamphetamine addicts, environmental destruction, ignorance and sudden, violent death.  His second novel, Saints at the River, opens with a tourist family picnicking alongside a picturesque mountain creek, standard territory for regional novelists.  Within a few minutes, however, a young girl is pulled under by the current and drowned, her body trapped under the rushing water by hydraulic force.  Thus is ignited a showdown between the girl’s family, political friends, protectors of the tourist industry and fervent environmentalists.  In The World Made Straight, the young man at the center of the novel is caught, literally, in an animal trap as he attempts to raid a marijuana grower’s crop and, figuratively, between his inherent intelligence and potential and the downward tug of ambitionless friends, a doubting father and his own bad impulses.  Interwoven in the contemporary story line is the Civil War era journal kept by a doctor that recounts the tremendous struggles that existed in the mountain region during the conflict that not only divided families and communities at the time but created divisions that continue to resonate.

Rash’s first book, a collection of short stories entitled The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth was published in 1994.  In the twenty years since then he has written four collections of poetry, four more short story collections, five novels and a children’s book.  His work has earned him numerous awards including the prestigious Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for Burning Bright and the 2004 Fiction Book of the Year for Saints at the River (given by both the Southern Book Critics and the Southeastern Booksellers Association).  He has twice been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was awarded the James Still Award by the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Rash writes about the world he has always known.  His family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the mid-eighteen century.  A native of Boling Springs, North Carolina –about thirty miles west of Charlotte – Rash graduated from Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs and then from Clemson University.  He holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

Ron Rash’s life may be about to change.  A film version of his most ambitious novel, Serena, is set to be released in April of this year.  Directed by Danish film maker Susanne Bier and starring perennial Oscar nominees Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, the film was primarily filmed in the Czech Republic with some footage shot in the Cataloochee Valley in Haywood County, NC.   A second film based on a Rash novel is also in the works.  A smaller scale production, “The World Made Straight,” based on Rash’s novel of the same name, is being filmed in Buncombe and Madison counties, NC and features actors Jeremy Irvine (“War Horse”) and Noah Wyle (“E.R.”).

The novel Serena has received very positive reviews and was a New York Times Bestseller.   While Rash claims not to read reviews of his work if he can help it, his most recent short story collection, Nothing Gold Can Stay, has garnered reviews any author would be proud of.  USA Today stated, “A terrible beauty, to use Yeat’s poetic phrase, colors many of Ron Rash’s stories filled with violence, dark humor and surprise endings.  His prose is spare, clean and often haunting.”

Everybody’s a winner in our READ contest!

Sydney McNeill

Sydney McNeill

On Wednesday, the Libraries announced the winner of our READ poster contest. Sydney McNeill received the most “likes” on Facebook, so she will be featured on the next poster in our series of campus “celebrities” reading from a favorite book.

But what about the other 100+ students who turned out to pose for our photographer? There was such an outpouring of Volunteer spirit . . . we couldn’t let all that enthusiasm go to waste!

So, guess what? We’ve decided to print a second poster — a collage of all the runners-up. We loved all your photos, from the serious to the silly. Now, everybody will be a star!

Thanks for making our READ poster contest a stunning success.

Both posters will be in print soon. We’ll let you know when the free posters are available.

Click to enlarge.

And the winner is . . .

Congratulations to Sydney McNeill, who will be featured on the Libraries’ next poster.Sydney McNeill

Of more than a hundred students who posed for our photographer, Sydney McNeill got the most “likes” on Facebook. Now she joins that elite group — including Smokey, Smokey Jr., and the Volunteer — who have starred in our “READ” poster series featuring campus celebrities reading from a favorite book.

It’s too late to vote, but you can still see the gallery of contestants on our Facebook page. Thanks to all the students who dropped by the library to demonstrate their love of reading. What a great turnout!

The new poster will be in print soon. We’ll let you know when the free posters are available.

Congratulations, Sydney!

Weather Conditions and Library Services

At this time the university remains open and classes are scheduled for tomorrow. The Libraries will continue to monitor university communication channels (email, text, tv, radio, the webpage) for the latest information and encourage all of you to do the same. Travel conditions are challenging and will remain so through at least tomorrow morning.

Our goal is to ensure both the safety of Libraries’ staff and the integrity of our services.

Hodges remains open with possibly reduced staffing through the night and tomorrow morning. Beyond keeping Hodges open, we will provide the services that we have the staff to support. At the moment we are planning for only minimal staffing in Hodges into the morning, gradually opening various services as we have the staff to do so. Managers at the Ag and Music libraries will make the decisions they feel appropriate given conditions and staffing.

Please continue to monitor conditions and please regularly check university communication outlets for further information. If anything changes we will let you know as soon as we can.

Your artwork or photo mash-up can win cash

KoczoThe UT Libraries is holding two contests that offer cash awards.

The STUDENT ART IN THE LIBRARY juried exhibition seeks drawings, graphic design, prints, photography, paintings — any two-dimensional work — for display. Selected works will be on display in 135 Hodges Library throughout the spring semester. The top three works get cash prizes ($300, $150, $75). Submit your art at by Feb. 17.

PicSpinWin_CJ_smallAre you a creative spirit but not really an artist? Our PIC SPIN WIN contest lets you “repurpose” archival photos from the Libraries’ Special Collections — through collage, mash-up, or reproduction — to create an art piece that reflects the contest’s theme of “school spirit.” Winning works win cash prizes ($100, $75, $25) and will be showcased on digital screens at the libraries and the University Center. Submit your works at by April 9.

Both contests are open to currently enrolled students (undergrads and grads).