Everybody’s a winner in our READ contest!

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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 . . .

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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!

Jamie Quatro to read at UT library, Jan. 27

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Jamie Quatro. Photo by Kristen Brock.

Jamie Quatro will read at UT’s Writers in the Library, Monday, January 27th at 7 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

In March 2013, Quatro’s debut story collection, I Want To Show You More (Grove Press), was released to critical acclaim: Dwight Garner of the New York Times calls it, “Subtle, sexy, and reflective.” The collection is a 2013 New York Times Notable Book, NPR Best Book of 2013, Indie Next pick, and New York Times Editors’ Choice. It was named a Top 10 Book of 2013 by Dwight Garner in the New York Times, and a Favorite Book of 2013 by James Wood in The New Yorker. The collection is currently a finalist for the Georgia Townsend Fiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize.

Quatro’s work has appeared in Tin House, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s, AGNI, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, she is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, as well as 2013 fellowships from both the Bread Loaf and the Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. Her stories are anthologized in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and in the forthcoming 9th edition of The Story and Its Writer (ed. Ann Charters).

Quatro holds graduate degrees from the College of William & Mary and the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and is a Contributing Editor at Oxford American magazine. She lives with her family in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
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 (mkallet@utk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@utk.edu).

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Who will star in the library’s poster? Get out the vote!

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YourFaceHere_smallWho will star in the library’s poster? It’s up to you. Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/utklibraries) and register your vote. The student with the most “likes” will star in the UT Libraries’ next “READ” poster.

Voting begins Tuesday, Jan. 21, and continues until midnight, Tuesday, Jan. 28. Watch our Facebook page for an announcement on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

blacklillies2More than a hundred students dropped by the Hodges, Music, and Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine libraries this week to pose for our photographer. (Were you one of them? Vote for yourself. Enlist your friends. Tell your momma.)

Copies of the new poster will be available, for free, in about a month. Want to see our latest awesome poster? Pick up a Black Lillies poster, now, at the main entrance of Hodges Library, the Music Library, or AgVetMed.

Your picture here: star in a library poster

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blacklillies2Did you pick up one of the library’s Black Lillies* posters? Well, we have another surprise for you.


We’re not suggesting you leave us to launch a career in Music City (at least not until you graduate). We’re only suggesting that the library’s next “READ” poster could feature your photo.

This past year the UT Libraries started its own series of READ posters based on the American Library Association’s longstanding national campaign featuring sports figures, actors, and other celebrities reading from a favorite book.

In addition to the Black Lillies, the library’s READ posters have featured local celebrities Smokey, Smokey Jr., the Volunteer, and professor William Bass (of Body Farm fame).

YourFaceHere_smallNow, we’re launching a contest to select a student to star in our next poster. We’ve scheduled photo sessions at each library branch during the week of January 13. Drop by, bring your friends, bring a favorite book (or borrow one of ours), and pose for our professional photographer. Then visit us on Faceboook (/utklibraries) to vote for your favorite student-star.

Drop-in photo sessions:

Wed., Jan. 15, 10:00-3:00, Hodges Library (Melrose entrance)
Thurs., Jan. 16, 12:00-2:00, AgVetMed Library
Fri., Jan. 17, 11:30-1:30, Music Library

*We caught up with the Knoxville-based band on the road in Nashville, and we’d like to thank the Grand Ol’ Opry and 650 WSM radio for letting us shoot on location. We’re proud to claim Black Lillies vocalist Trisha Brady as a former UT Libraries staff member. Look for free Black Lillies posters at the main entrance of Hodges Library, the Music Library, or the AgVetMed Library on the first day of classes.

During final exams: longer hours and “de-stress” activities

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During finals, campus libraries will be open additional hours and will offer activities to help students “de-stress.” De-Stress For Success activities are co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate, Student Assessment of Instruction System, and the Safety, Environment, and Education Center.


Hodges Library:
All floors of Hodges Library will be open continuously from noon, Sunday, December 1, until midnight on Thursday, December 12.

Watch for our super-fun photo booth!

Pendergrass Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine Library:
Wed., Dec. 4 – Thurs., Dec. 5 —7:30 am – midnight
Fri., Dec. 6 — 7:30 am – 8 pm
Sat., Dec. 7 — 9 am – 8 pm
Sun., Dec. 8 — noon – midnight
Mon., Dec. 9 – Wed., Dec. 11 — 7:30 am – midnight
Thurs., Dec. 12 — 7:30 am – 6 pm

George F. DeVine Music Library:
Wed., Dec. 4 – Thurs., Dec. 5 — 8 am – 11 pm
Fri., Dec. 6 — 8 am – 5 pm
Sat., Dec. 7 — 10 am – 7 pm
Sun., Dec. 8 — 2 pm – 11 pm
Mon., Dec. 9 – Wed., Dec. 11 — 8 am – 11 pm
Thurs., Dec. 12 — 8 am – 6 pm


Hodges Library will host a number of activities to help students who are feeling overwhelmed by final exams. HABIT (Human Animal Bond in Tennessee) therapy dogs and massage therapists will be on hand to help students unwind. Student Health Clinic staff will offer “Well-Being Tips” for healthful eating and managing stress. Staff from SAIS (Student Assessment of Instruction System) will hand out popsicles for an energy boost on Study Day. Ongoing activities include games, cartoons, and coloring books in Room 251. And watch for our free Photo Booth!

Pendergrass Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine Library also will host HABIT dogs and will offer snacks, board games, and origami. For an entertaining distraction, join the Pendergrass folks for a screening of the movie Red 2 at 3:30 pm on Monday, December 9.

Wed., Dec. 4 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
noon – 2 pm SAIS ice cream Commons
1-4 pm Free massages Commons
5-7 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
Thurs., Dec. 5 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs AgVetMed Library
Fri., Dec. 6 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
Mon., Dec. 9 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs AgVetMed Library
1-4 pm Free massages Commons
3:30 pm movie: Red 2 A118 CVM (Ag campus)
4-6 pm Photo Booth POD Market
5-7 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
Tues., Dec. 10 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs AgVetMed Library
1-4 pm Free massages Commons
4-6 pm Photo Booth POD Market
5-7 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
Wed., Dec. 11 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
1-4 pm Free massages Commons
5-7 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
Thurs., Dec. 12 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs AgVetMed Library
1-4 pm Free massages Commons
Fri., Dec. 13 10 am – noon Well-Being Tips Commons
noon – 2 pm HABIT dogs Melrose exit

Extended hours during finals!

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We here at the George F. DeVine Music Library hope you’re ready for some exciting news. The Music Library will be open for extended hours during finals week! The hours are:

Wednesday, December 4th: 8am-11pm

Thursday, December 5th: 8am-11pm

Friday, December 6th: 8am-5pm

Saturday, December 7th: 10am-7pm

Sunday, December 8th: 2pm-11pm

Monday, December 9th-Wed., December 11: 8am-11pm

Music Library in New Space this Fall

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MusicLibrary2Students and lovers of music are invited to visit the new home of the George F. DeVine Music Library. The music library occupies a small, but lovely space on the ground floor of the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center (1741 Volunteer Blvd.), the new home of the UT School of Music. Librarians Nathalie Hristov and Chris Durman — with the help of a few staff and student workers — offer specialized expertise to music students and faculty at our campus’ smallest branch library. Both librarians are also musicians: Nathalie a cellist who loves playing chamber music, and Chris a guitarist with a love of American folk and popular music. In counterpoint to the string section are the talents of staff supervisors Sarah Nelson (clarinetist) and Josh Aldorisio (percussionist).

MusicLibrary3The music library provides high quality music collections, information, and research assistance to all UT students, staff, and faculty, as well as to members of the local community and researchers in remote locations. The library’s website (lib.utk.edu/music) offers 24/7 access to electronic collections, databases, and catalogs. Onsite, books, scores, and other print resources are housed in new compact shelving.

The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center also houses eight technology-enhanced classrooms; fifty-six practice rooms; fifty-seven performance studios/academic offices; an organ studio; a 412-seat recital hall; a recording/mixing lab; computer, electronic music, and piano labs; and an academic tutoring center. The School of Music is now an All-Steinway School, a designation meaning that at least 90 percent of its pianos are Steinway-designed instruments. The DeVine Music Library is an excellent complement to this enhanced setting for music education.

“The Librarian and the Banjo”: film screening and discussion

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Librarian&Banjo2Music librarian Dena Epstein worked for 25 years to prove the African origin of the banjo and banjo music. The filmmaker who documented the librarian’s contribution to ethnomusicology will host a free screening and discussion of his film, The Librarian and the Banjo, in the Hodges Library auditorium, 2 p.m., Thursday, November 14. Filmmaker Jim Carrier will be in Knoxville for the 16th Annual Banjo Gathering.

The Librarian and the Banjo tells the story of music librarian Dena Epstein, whose trailblazing scholarship documented the musical contributions of African slaves to the New World and proved that the banjo was a slave instrument with West African roots. Her work shattered myths and sparked a remarkable revival of black string band music.

Dena Epstein worked at the Newark Public Library and the Library of Congress in the late 1940s before taking a hiatus to raise her children. As filmmaker Jim Carrier explains on the cover notes to The Librarian and the Banjo:

“On one of many weekend trips to the New York Public Library to find her next research topic, she discovered a citation of the Civil War diary of William Francis Allen, the first author of Slave Songs of the United States. At the time academic musicology dismissed slave music as unoriginal, derivative of white, European music, and not worth studying. Working on her own, Dena pored through 10,000 volumes — novels, slave narratives, diaries of slave owners in Jamaica and Barbados — to gather historical evidence of a rich slave culture.”

Epstein’s subsequent publication of her findings “revolutionized our understanding of American music… Today, we take for granted that African-American music is the tap root of popular American music. We owe much of that knowledge to this music librarian who set out to correct history.”

The Librarian and the Banjo also examines why the banjo, an instrument whose roots spring from Africa and African Americans, was eventually almost completely abandoned by African Americans.

The film’s soundtrack includes music on gourd akontings, minstrel instruments, and bluegrass banjos. Musicians interviewed in the film include the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, as well as local traditional music/banjo expert and park ranger, Bobby Fulcher.

The public is invited to the screening.