Information Is Our Game: Meet Steven Milewski

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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 Digital Media Technologies Librarian, Steven Milewski is our expert on streaming collections and technologies. With Steven’s guidance, the UT Libraries is building a collection of streamed media to support teaching and research. Steven is in charge of selecting video content, digitizing existing media holdings, and acquiring rights to streamed media, as well as maintaining the infrastructure that allows faculty and students to view streamed video from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

He can help library users extract video clips for use in presentations and help instructors embed videos in their class’s Blackboard site. Explore Steven’s online guide to finding and using streamed content relevant to your discipline at libguides.utk.edu/streaming.

Steven is the subject librarian for Social Work, providing information literacy instruction, research consultations, and collection development for that college. He also serves as the Libraries’ liaison to the UT Office of Disability Services. Over the past year, he has purchased new adaptive equipment and software for the library.

Steven holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in information science from UT.




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.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Sojourna Cunningham

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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 Diversity Resident Librarian in the UT Libraries’ two-year post-graduate internship program, Sojourna Cunningham participates in many library initiatives and projects. She provides research assistance at the reference desk and teaches classes in library research skills to the university’s international students. She helps to plan and host the Libraries’ annual exposition for first-year students and our meet-and-greet with graduate students. Sojourna also helps the Libraries extend its services to non-traditional constituencies, teaching information literacy to high school students in the Bridge Program and Project GRAD — two UT-sponsored initiatives that foster college preparedness.

Her desire to improve the user experience within the library led to a persistent interest in assessment. She has worked on studies of our learning commons as an effective bridge to library services and on usability tests of our recent website redesign. Working with the assessment librarian, Sojourna helped to administer and analyze the results of the LibQUAL survey, a multifaceted assessment of library performance.

Sojourna has a bachelor’s in history and English literature from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s in library science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Michelle Brannen

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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 Media Literacy Librarian, Michelle Brannen manages our media production lab (the Studio) and helps faculty integrate media into university coursework.

A growing number of disciplines now incorporate media projects in coursework. Michelle is committed to providing media instruction to meet the curricular needs of the campus and the career goals of students. She develops media training workshops and makes sure that the Studio offers state-of-the-art equipment and software for photography, video editing, sound recording, graphic design, and web design.

Michelle is also the Learning, Research, and Collections Librarian for the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, providing research consultations, information literacy instruction, and collection development for that discipline.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Florida State University and a master’s degree in information science from UT.

Contact Michelle (brannen@utk.edu, 974-6396) if you foresee the need for additional equipment, software, or services in the Studio. Michelle is knowledgeable about fair use issues and can answer questions about best media practices and standards.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Judy Li

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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 the business librarian, Judy Li serves the information needs of students and faculty in Advertising; Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management; and all programs in the College of Business Administration (CBA). As our business liaison, she provides research consultations, information literacy instruction, and collection development in those disciplines. Judy also works with MBA candidates pursuing their degrees remotely through the CBA’s Graduate and Executive Education program designed for working professionals.

Business information is packaged in a variety of ways. Judy’s “Business Research Center” — libguides.utk.edu/BIZ — is a good starting point for the researcher seeking company and industry information, economic and financial data, and other business tools. (Luckily, library subscriptions bring many valuable business sources out from behind the pay wall.)

Contact Judy (pli9@utk.edu, 974-0013) with your business reference questions or to schedule a research consultation. And watch for her upcoming financial literacy workshop.

Judy serves on the Executive/Advisory Board of the Special Library Association’s Business and Finance Division, and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Library and Information Science in Distance Learning.

In addition to her master’s in library and information science, Judy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship. She is also pursuing a PhD in information science. Judy was a research consultant in the telecommunications industry prior to receiving her MLIS. She has been a business librarian for over a decade and has worked in public, academic, and special libraries in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Thura Mack

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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 Coordinator of Community Learning Services and Diversity Programs, Thura Mack leads the Libraries’ outreach to schools in Knoxville and the surrounding community. Community Learning Services teaches information literacy and library research skills to university-bound students in programs such as UT’s Bridge Program and Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams). The Bridge Program helps first-year community college students make the transition to a four-year university. Participants live on the UT campus while taking freshman classes at Pellissippi State Community College then transfer to UT as sophomores. Project GRAD brings local inner-city high school students to campus for a week-long immersion in college life and coursework. Community Learning Services hosts an annual symposium for high schools students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career fields.

Thura also chairs the Libraries’ Diversity Committee, which encourages respect and appreciation for individual differences through programs and resources that enhance knowledge and understanding of diversity. The Committee strives to provide leadership for the Libraries in meeting the needs of all its constituencies and special populations.

Thura holds a bachelor’s degree from Knoxville College and a master’s in library science from UT.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Chris Eaker

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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 Data Curation Librarian, Chris Eaker supports UT researchers in the search for external funding. Chris helps faculty formulate the data management plans required by many grant-funding agencies. He can help researchers plan for data preservation, access, and sharing. He is knowledgeable about existing data repositories serving the various academic disciplines and can help faculty discover relevant existing data sets as well as making UT researchers’ own data more widely available for use by other researchers.

He is available to serve as a member of grant teams and invites researchers to contact him early in the proposal preparation process. He welcomes opportunities to help faculty include data stewardship in their teaching.

Chris is vice-chair of the DataONE Users Group. DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth) is a National Science Foundation-funded project to archive environmental data produced by scientists around the world.

Chris is also the Learning, Research, and Collections Librarian for Architecture and Design, providing research consultations, information literacy instruction, and collection development in those disciplines.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in information science from UT. Chris has almost ten years’ experience as a practicing civil engineer and specialized training in data curation.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Robin Bedenbaugh

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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 Coordinator of Library Marketing and Communication, Robin Bedenbaugh leads our efforts to publicize the libraries’ services and resources. She is also the librarian for Communication Studies and Public Relations, providing research consultations, information literacy instruction, and collection development in those disciplines.

Robin is the creative genius behind recent library marketing campaigns. Printed collateral with lots of eye-appeal and a nod to the Volunteer spirit — like our READ posters and Information Is Our Game trading cards — entertain while delivering a serious message. Our READ posters, modeled on the American Library Association’s longstanding national campaign, picture campus celebrities reading from a favorite book. After featuring the campus mascot, the iconic Volunteer, and a world-renowned professor, the Libraries held a contest to select a student to star in the 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. The contest drove an unprecedented volume of traffic to our social media.

Robin holds master’s degrees in library and information science and in communication studies and is pursuing her PhD in Communication from Texas A&M University. She is currently finishing a dissertation on changes in scholarly communication and publishing.




Information Is Our Game: Meet Peter Fernandez

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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 Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Librarian, Peter Fernandez provides instruction and research assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, and serves the research needs of faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). He and other staff at the Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library are available to help at any step in the research process.

Peter works closely with CASNR departments to develop collections that meet the curricular and research needs of faculty and students. He is also the Libraries’ liaison to UT Extension agencies and UT AgResearch centers throughout the state.

Peter’s research interests include the effect of technology on patrons’ interactions with libraries, particularly the ethical implications of such technologically mediated exchanges. He publishes widely on social networking and privacy, copyright and open access publishing, and open-source technology. Peter is a vocal proponent of open-source citation management tools: he’ll teach anyone within earshot to use Zotero!

Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the New College of Florida and the master’s in library and information science from the University of South Florida. Peter is an active member of the United States Agricultural Information Network, currently serving a two-year term as director.