Information Is Our Game: Meet Allison Sharp

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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 a member of the Libraries’ Learning, Research, and Engagement team, Allison Sharp focuses much of her time on library instruction, programming activities, and services that contribute to student success.

Allison enjoys teaching research skills in the conventional classroom setting, but she is equally enthusiastic about programs, such as DeStress for Success, that chiefly aim to engage students in the college experience. She is motivated by the desire to help students feel comfortable and competent as library users and researchers at the University of Tennessee.

Allison connects well with students from diverse backgrounds. She has developed strong relationships with international programs at the university and has proven herself to be an invaluable instructor and mentor to international students.

As librarian for the Africana Studies Program and the School of Information Sciences, she provides research assistance, instruction, and collection development for those disciplines.

Allison holds a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She is pursuing a PhD in communication and information at UT.




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.




Top 10 Things You Should Know about the Libraries

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The end of the semester is approaching faster than you think. As finals hurtle toward you, here are the top ten things you should know about the libraries :

1. Ask Us Now. By chat, text, phone, email, walk-in, or by appointment — from finding an article to the most abstruse research problem — librarians are here to help. Check out all your options for research assistance here.

2. Every area of study has its own librarian. The university’s Subject Librarians are experts in their academic disciplines. They understand the research methods and know the specialized literature in their fields. Chemistry? There’s a librarian for that. Architecture? There’s a librarian for that. Find yours here.

3. There’s a study space in the library to accommodate every learning style. In the Hodges Library there are Quiet Study floors (floors 1, 4, 5) and Group Study floors (floors 2, 3, 6). There are quiet nooks for individual study. There are Study Rooms and Practice Presentation Rooms where you can rehearse for that big speech. There are even collaborative workspaces where your work group can plug in their own laptops to confer on group projects.
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4. From academic coaching to tutoring in math, there’s all kinds of help right there, in the library. The Student Success Center, Math Tutorial Center, Stat Lab, and Writing Center all have outposts in the Commons on the 2nd floor of Hodges Library.

5. In addition to books, the library lends laptops and video cameras. Through the library, you have access to all the latest technology (laptops, video cameras, lighting kits…you name it). Here is a full list of equipment available from the Commons.

6. The library will help you use media to enhance your project. Why be plain vanilla when you can be media-enhanced? The Studio in Hodges Library provides media workstations, audio and video recording studios, and instruction in their use. Amaze your friends. Amaze your instructors. (Amaze yourself.)
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7. Researching online? The library is still your best guide. The library has created online guides to the fundamentals of research and the most authoritative sources in the various academic disciplines. (Check out these LibGuides.) To get free access to the full features and complete content of many online databases and scholarly journals, you must link to those resources through the Libraries’ gateway. Even if you start with Google, you’ll put the best finish on your project if you end with the library. (Start here.)

8. There are special libraries for students in agriculture, veterinary medicine, and music. Two conveniently located branch libraries serve the specialized needs of those disciplines: the George F. DeVine Music Library (G4, Natalie L. Haslam Music Center) and the Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library (A113, UT Veterinary Medical Center).

9. The library is preserving bits of Tennessee history and other rare and unique items. Davy Crockett Almanacs. Civil War-era letters and diaries. Nineteenth-century photographs of the Great Smoky Mountains. The editorial cartoons of Charlie Daniel. All have been preserved by Special Collections. And a selection of those last three are available online as digital collections here. (By the way, check out the UT historical photo exhibit on Classroom Row on the 2nd floor of Hodges Library.) Other rare and unique research materials are made available to researchers — including student researchers — in the Special Collections reading room, 121 Hodges Library.
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10. You’re social. We’re social. We’d like to invite you to join us on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Join us, also, for contests (like our Student Art in the Library contest) and public programming (like our Writers in the Library series of readings by noted authors).