The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

University Libraries

Cats staff the research desk — purrfect! (Well, maybe…)

Room209_cat2We at the UT Libraries pride ourselves on being innovators. But, as it says in Proverbs, pride goeth before a fall . . . or, in this instance, before a face full of claws.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, cats are all over the Internet, playing pianos, doing everything humans do. We thought, why not? Why not staff the Research Assistance Desk entirely with cats?

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to those who have sustained injuries.

From the beginning, staffing at the service desk could only be described as, uh, “independent scheduling”: some cat-librarians didn’t deign to show up for desk hours.

Admittedly, we began getting complaints almost immediately. I received this note from a student early on:

“I was halfway through explaining my thesis on the Middle Kingdom of pharaonic Egypt. I thought the librarian (I believe her name was Miss Kitty) would at least be curious. But she interrupted to tell me how SHE used to be worshipped as a god in ancient Egypt. What a narcissistic diva!”

Library users have variously described our new librarians as “moody,” “haughty,” “inscrutable,” “grumpy.” In other words, the new librarians have not exactly cozied up to our service philosophy. Again, I apologize.

And, of course, things quickly escalated. Here’s another complaint:

“The incident in question took me totally by surprise. ‘Tom’ was conducting a database search for me. All of a sudden his eyes glazed over. He began twitching — then rhythmically thumping — his tail. He just went berserk! I hope these stitches don’t leave scars.”

I can only state . . . Bad kitty! (Regrettably, the rules of tenure preclude any further disciplinary action.) So, if you have a complaint about the level of service in the research assistance area, please fill out a suggestion form, roll it into a ball, and toss it into the room.

And have a HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!

Sincerely,
Steve Smith
Dean of Libraries

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.

Web of Science Meets Google Scholar

Web of Science now provides access to its resources through collaboration with Google Scholar. This collaboration allows Google Scholar users to connect to the Web of Science’s core collection using citation connections. Contact our staff or your subject librarian if you have additional questions.

The links from Google Scholar to Web of Science only appear for subscribers, so off-campus patrons should use our Google Scholar link, or take advantage of our proxy bookmarklet.

Learn more about off campus access here.
Learn more about Web of Science:
Video Tutorials>>
Quick Reference Card>>

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.

Surrealist Symposium, April 4-7

According to the painter Salvador Dalí, Surrealism sought to help us break free from the “shackles limiting our vision.” The spirit of this movement will be alive and well on the campus of the University of Tennessee this spring, through a Surrealist Symposium featuring world-class authors, scholars, translators, and poets, April 4–7.

The key day of the symposium is Monday, April 7, when a series of talks and readings on such topics as “Why Surrealism Matters” will be free and open to the public. Other events on Monday include a reception and book signing with authors and a Hodges Library display of rare surrealist works — along with a Dadaist field trip to UT’s well-loved Europa and the Bull fountain sculpture (that may or may not be a mock-academic hoax), and a surprise “reappearance” of the 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud. Note: Jackets and ties for men, hats for the women required for the field trip.

“Anyone with an interest in the wonderfully strange should attend,” said Marilyn Kallet, director of the Creative Writing Program at UT and organizer of the event. The event is sponsored by the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, the UT Office of Research and Engagement, and the University Libraries.

Highlights of the Symposium include:

  • Talks by some of the world’s foremost experts on Surrealist literature and art, including Mary Ann Caws and Mark Polizzotti, publications director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and author of Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton
  • SurrealistSymposium

  • A Surrealist poetry reading featuring Marilyn Kallet, director of the UT Creative Writing Program, and Bill Zavatsky, former Guggenheim Fellow and translator of French poetry
  • A special display of Surrealist art and rare books
  • A three-day Surrealist Film Fest featuring a wide range of films, from pioneering short films, animated and hard-to-find foreign films, and contemporary classics
  • For a full schedule of events and list of participants, visit tiny.utk.edu/surrealist.

    Patrick O’Keeffe at Writers in the Library, March 31

    Okeeffe_smallPatrick O’Keeffe will read from his new novel at UT’s Writers in the Library on Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library Auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

    The Visitors, O’Keeffe’s lyrical first novel, set in America and Ireland, moves back and forth in time and place to weave the story of two Irish families forever linked by love, secrets, and their heritage. Illuminating the precarious balance of family intimacies and how stories can carry over from one generation to the next, The Visitors further delivers on the elegant prose and plotting that earned O’Keeffe critical acclaim for The Hill Road, his collection of four, connected novellas set in a fictional Irish dairy farming village.

    O’Keeffe himself was born on an Irish dairy farm in County Limerick. He has lived in the US for over twenty years — at first as an undocumented immigrant, before gaining his Green Card. He received a BA in English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    He has taught at the University of Michigan, Colgate University, and the University of Cincinnati. He is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Ohio University.

    O’Keeffe’s work has appeared in the Irish Times, Doubletake, and the Michigan Quarterly Review.

    The Hill Road was a Barnes and Noble Discovery selection and received the Story Prize for 2005. O’Keeffe has also received a Whiting Award for fiction writing.

    Read a review of The Visitors at Chapter 16: a community of Tennessee writers, readers and passersby (brought to you by Humanities Tennessee).

    Patrick O’Keeffe’s reading was made possible by funding from UT’s Ready For The World international and intercultural initiative.
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    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).

    Follow us at:
    www.facebook.com/Writers.in.the.Library
    twitter.com/utklibwriters

    Information Is Our Game: Meet Holly Mercer

    MercerCard

      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.

    Zotero 4.0 Launches. Easy, free, citation management.

    What is Zotero?

    It’s easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work, and best of all it’s free and open source. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies. It can save you time and help keep you organized.

    Pendergrass library supports Zotero. To learn more visit our guide here.

    What’s new in Zotero 4.0?

    • Automatic Journal Abbreviations
    • Colored Tags
    • On-Demand File Syncing
    • Automatic Style Updating
    • Detailed Download Display

    To learn more visit the update page.

    Existing Feature Highlights:

    • Easy to learn Itunes-like interface
    • Automatically capture citations
    • Remotely back up and sync your library
    • Store PDFs, images, and web pages
    • Cite from within Word and OpenOffice
    • Take rich-text notes in any language
    • Wide variety of import/export options
    • Free, open source, and extensible
    • Collaborate with group libraries

    Information Is Our Game: Meet Sojourna Cunningham

    CunninghamCard

      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.

    Big Orange Adventure –@ Hodges — a scavenger hunt to benefit the libraries

    BigOadventureThe UT Graduate Student Senate will host a scavenger hunt, dubbed “The Big Orange Adventure,” to benefit the UT Libraries. The race will take place Saturday, April 5, 2014, on the UT campus. Check-in is at 9 a.m. at the outdoor amphitheater between Hodges Library and the Humanities Building, and the hunt begins promptly at 10 a.m. This event is open to the public.

    For several decades, the Graduate Student Senate has sponsored the Love Your Libraries 5K to benefit the libraries. Profits from the race are donated to the library to help provide De-Stress For Success activities during Finals Week. This year, the format of the race has changed to a scavenger hunt.

    Teams of 4 to 6 members will race around campus, searching for clues and completing tasks in order to figure out the location of the finish line. Whichever team completes the scavenger hunt first, wins. At the start of the race, participants will receive race packets, which will include a map, the rules of the race, and a list of items around campus that can be photographed and posted to social media for the #hashtag wars.

    Prizes and trophies will be awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers and to the team that posts the most #hashtag items. Costumes are encouraged, and there will be prizes awarded to the Best Theme Costume and Best UT Themed Costume.

    Registration is $10 until April 1 and $15 thereafter. T-shirts are guaranteed to participants who register by March 24. Register and read more at the Graduate Student Senate website.


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