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Meet our newest librarians

The University Libraries added five new faculty members last semester. Allow us to introduce our newest librarians . . .

As academic liaison librarian at Pendergrass Library, Isabella Baxter supports the teaching, research, and extension missions of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), AgResearch, and UT Extension. She develops collections, teaches library research skills, and provides research assistance to CASNR students and faculty. Baxter holds a bachelor’s degree in English and biology from Gettysburg College and a master’s in library and information science from Syracuse University.

As student success librarian for experiential learning, Holly Dean collaborates with the offices of Experience Learning and Service-Learning to align the libraries’ teaching and learning initiatives with those of the campus. She works closely with First-Year Studies to foster positive student connections to the libraries and a sense of community among first-year students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Portland State and a master’s in information science from Clarion University.

As metadata librarian, Meredith Hale creates metadata that enhance resource discovery and improve access to collections—particularly the libraries’ unique digital and special collections. She designs metadata strategies for digital projects, as well as supporting the Digital Public Library of America service hub for the state of Tennessee. She holds a bachelor’s in fine arts from Syracuse University, a master’s in English literature from the University of Sussex, and master’s degrees in art history and in information science from UNC Chapel Hill.

As student success librarian for information literacy, Charissa Powell works closely with course instructors and with other academic support units on campus to infuse library research and information literacy skills into the university’s general education curriculum. She is the libraries’ representative on the campus general education task force and liaison to the First-Year Composition program in the Department of English. She received her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and her master’s in library science from the University of Maryland.

The UT Libraries’ diversity resident program prepares new librarians for challenging and rewarding careers in academic librarianship while contributing to the diversity and intercultural goals of the university. During her three-year term as diversity librarian resident, Lizeth Zepeda will rotate through different areas of the library prior to selecting a focus for her research and scholarship. Zepeda holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and women’s, gender and sexuality studies from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Arizona.

Snow Days at the Libraries


-UPDATED JAN 17, 11:30 a.m.-

Hodges Library remains open and branch libraries, Pendergrass and DeVine, have reopened. All libraries will operate normal hours until further notice.

The Library Express will not make deliveries today, and the Storage Reading Room at Hoskins will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


-UPDATED JAN 16, 5 p.m.-

Despite other campus closings, Hodges Library will remain open regular hours during inclement weather except in the most extreme weather events. We want to provide a warm, safe place for study and collaboration during these weather events.

All services may not be available, so please check with the appropriate department if you’re looking for specific resources.

Branch libraries (DeVine Music Library and Pendergrass Ag & Vet Medicine Library) are closed for the evening and will re-open when the university resumes classes and activities.

Keep up with real-time updates on our Twitter page, and other updates on our Instagram and Facebook.

Enjoy the snow!

Now showing: Independent and foreign films

Are you tired of the same corporate blockbuster Hollywood movies? The endless onslaught of sequels, reboots, and remakes getting you down? Well you are not alone! Come join Hodges Library in its ongoing monthly screenings of independent and foreign films.

Starting Fall semester 2017, Hodges Library has revived its film series highlighting the enormous amount of independent and foreign films in its collection. The library holds a large physical collection of DVDs and — more recently — Blu-Rays that circulate amongst film loving students as well as scholars interested in the cinematic arts. Additionally, the library subscribes to a number of different video streaming services, such as Kanopy, hosting a large amount of classic, independent, and world cinema. These resources are open to anyone enrolled at UT, and this film series has been highlighting various movies across these collections.

Films in this series have been featured in a number of independent film festivals such as SXSW and the Sundance film festival, and many have won awards in their respective film festivals. These movies address a diverse array of topics. By their very nature, the films often employ styles and explore topics that are avoided in more traditional theater settings, and as such, many of the films are intended primarily for an adult audience.

Throughout the Spring semester of 2018, on the first Wednesday of every month, the library will be hosting a free viewing of one of these unique independent or foreign films from the library collection. The first film of this semester’s lineup is a French and Japanese film entitled Tokyo Fiancée. The film tells a unique romance story, just in time for Valentine’s Day, following a French woman’s quest to find happiness in Japanese culture. During this story, the woman finds that she may not have understood Japanese culture as well as she thought. It is a great film for students who wish to hone their French or Japanese skills, and any students who are looking to explore the complexities of romance clashing in different cultures would greatly appreciate this film.

We hope to see you there, as it is sure to be an entertaining experience! For more information concerning the event, its time, or location, feel free to contact Michael Deike , or just drop by the Public Services Desk on the second floor of Hodges Library and ask to talk to Michael about movies!


February 7, 7:30 p.m., Hodges Library Auditorium
Tokyo Fiancée
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Director: Stefan Liberski
Languages: French/Japanese
Genre Romance

March 7, 7:00 p.m., Hodges Library Auditorium
The Automatic Hate
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Director: Justin Lerner
Languages: English
Genre: Drama

April 4, 7:00 p.m., Hodges Library Auditorium
Patema Inverted
Runtime: 99 Minutes
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Language: Japanese
Genre: Sci-Fi Animation

Jill Bialosky at Writers in the Library, Feb. 26

*** This event has been rescheduled for February 26. ***

On Monday, February 26, poet and editor Jill Bialosky will read as part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series.

Jill Bialosky is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently The Players; three critically acclaimed novels, most recently, The Prize; and a New York Times bestselling memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, O Magazine, The Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and Paris Review, among others. She co-edited with Helen Schulman the anthology Wanting a Child.

Bialosky is an Executive Editor and Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company. In 2014 she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry.

Jill Bialosky’s newest memoir, Poetry Will Save Your Life, looks at poetry as a means of working through personal loss and tragedy. Of the book, The Washington Post states that it “demonstrates how poems can become an integral part of life. It also suggests, on every page, the wisdom and deep compassion that make Bialosky a longtime editor at W. W. Norton, a tremendous asset both to readers and other writers.”

The reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The event is free and open to the public; all are encouraged to attend. 

The mission of Writers in the Library is to “showcase the work of novelists, poets, and other literary craftsmen.” Some of the best voices in contemporary literature are invited to read. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. 

For more information, contact Erin Elizabeth Smith, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries, at or visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Twitter: utklibwriters

Faculty Chose Open Textbooks, Saved Students over $700,000

Students saving money — and thanking their professors for helping them do so. Instructors feeling more freedom in teaching not to the book but to the subject. Sound interesting? This is just a sample of the feedback received during a semester-long project gathering data on open textbook adoptions at UT. Here’s what we did:

  • Throughout the semester, instructors who adopted an open textbook were invited to report their open textbook adoptions so they could be added to the tally. Did you know that two graduate courses have adopted open textbooks? Find out who has adopted an open textbook, or request that your name be added to the list.

  • OIT’s Community of Practice featured a Geography instructor talking about the decision and experience of moving to an open textbook in Geography 101. Watch the recording.

  • At the same presentation, a librarian from the University Libraries Scholars’ Collaborative described the differences between open textbooks and inclusive access, which are both aimed at addressing textbook affordability. Check out the comparison chart.

  • And the University Libraries teamed up with the Student Government Association to measure estimated student savings and gather student feedback on free and openly licensed educational materials. You may have seen the large signs set up in Hodges Library this semester, or learned about them through a Tweet.

We now know there has been significant growth in open textbook (OT) adoptions on campus. In 2016-17, University Libraries knew of OT adoptions saving students approximately $300,000. After a workshop held at Hodges Library in April 2017, adoptions increased significantly. OT adoptions in 2017-18 now save students approximately $700,800.

On December 5th, SGA and University Libraries celebrated and thanked more than two dozen instructors for their commitment to open education.* An e-thank you note will be sent to instructors from students who signed it, with gratitude for the faculty, lecturers, and graduate assistants who contributed to students saving nearly three quarters of a million dollars.

Earlier this year, the Office of the Provost, Student Government Association, Teaching and Learning Center, and University Libraries announced an ambitious goal of reaching $1 Million in student savings from faculty adoptions of open textbooks. Though we did not make this goal, reaching 70% and doubling the number of UT’s open textbook adoptions are definitely reasons to celebrate.

Interested in learning more? Peruse the Open Ed Portal: Adopted and not on the list? Let us know:
* Courses/Sections Adopting Open Textbooks:

    BIOL 150: Dr. Guffey
    COSC 311: Dr. Berry & Dr. Day
    EDPY 577: Dr. Rocconi
    EF 15: Dr. Bennett & All Instructors
    EF 230: Dr. Schleter & All Instructors
    GEOG 101: Dr. Forresta, Dr. Sharma & All Instructors
    PHIL 235: Marlin Sommers
    PHYS 221/222: Dr. Cooper, Dr. Ross-Sheehy & All Instructors
    PSYC 110/117: Dr. Breinig, Dr. Guidry & All Instructors
    PSYC 360: Dr. Larsen
    VMD 888: Dr. Fry & All Instructors

Now showing: Australian comedy “The Rage in Placid Lake” Dec. 6

Join us at Hodges Library for free screenings of independent and foreign films. Feature films will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium on the first Wednesday of each month, throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Wednesday, Dec. 6,
at 7 p.m.

The Rage in Placid Lake

To the horror of his New Age parents, a quirky, bohemian teenager takes a job at an insurance agency and tries to embrace conformity. A comedy from Australian director Tony McNamara.

For more information, contact librarian Michael Deike at

Term Paper Due? Join Our “Writing Blitz” Nov. 30

Writing papers got you down? Not sure how or where to start your research? Join us for a “Writing Blitz” in Hodges Library on Thursday, November 30, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., in Room 213.

Work surrounded by others with the same goal in mind: FINISH THOSE PAPERS!

From pencils to laptops to citation guides — resources will be readily available to help you tackle those papers. Free-roaming librarians will be on hand to assist with reference questions. Refreshments and take-a-break activities will also be available to keep you energized and motivated.

Count This Penny Partners with UT Libraries, Will Perform Nov. 16

Boundless: Artists in the Archives is a newly launched program from the University of Tennessee Libraries. To highlight the unique materials available in UT’s Special Collections and Betsey B. Creekmore Archives, the Libraries will periodically commission a work of art or music inspired by an item or collection in the archives.

The Libraries’ first partners in the Boundless project are Knoxville musicians Amanda and Allen Rigell, who perform under the name Count This Penny. The singer-songwiter duo have composed and recorded a song inspired by materials in the Wilma Dykeman and James R. Stokely Jr. Papers.

The public is invited to a reception and performance by Count This Penny to celebrate the inauguration of Boundless: Artists in the Archives. The free performance will take place on Thursday, November 16, at 5:30 p.m., in the Special Collections Reading Room, 121 John C. Hodges Library.

A mini documentary and a vinyl recording of the new song will be available at a later date.

All the materials created as part of the Boundless series will be preserved in Special Collections, and the song will be made freely available for non-commercial use under the terms of a Creative Commons license.

Count This Penny has been featured on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special and American Public Media’s A Prairie Home Companion and has shared the stage with many performers, including opening for Melissa Etheridge at the Tennessee Theatre in 2016.

Husband and wife James Stokely and Wilma Dykeman, whose archives inspired the new song, collaborated on several books about civil rights and the south, including their award-winning Neither Black Nor White (1957). Dykeman was also a noted novelist, historian, and journalist. She taught creative writing at UT for more than twenty years. Dykeman’s best-known books include the novel The Tall Woman (1962) and The French Broad (1955), part of the Rivers of America Series.

Hear a preview of Count This Penny’s song:

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