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It’s Open Education Week. Instructors: Consider adopting an open textbook.

This week, March 5-9, is Open Education Week, and we’re celebrating open educational resources. Open educational resources (OERs) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. Open textbooks are one type of OER.

Open Textbooks

Just two years ago, we knew that one course had adopted an open textbook. An instructor of select sections of another course had adopted an open textbook, too. Students were saving an estimated $155,000 in the academic year.

Since joining the Open Textbook Network in 2016, seven courses (and eight instructors teaching individual sections of other courses) have open textbook adoptions. Because some of these new adoptions are in high-enrollment courses, we’ve almost quintupled the number of students impacted by open textbooks. Students are saving an estimated $740,000 this year!

Million Dollar Goal

The Office of the Provost and the Student Government Association have a goal to save students $1 Million with open textbooks over the 2017-18 academic year. The UT Libraries and the SGA have been keeping a tally of savings to students. This list includes all known open textbook adoptions. Now, we need your help — let us know if you are teaching with an open textbook: s.lib.utk.edu/opened.

SGA Open Education Award

Last year, the Student Government Association worked with the UT Libraries to launch an award recognizing instructors who use open educational resources, including free and openly licensed textbooks. Students, nominate your instructor for the SGA Open Education Award now.

Faculty Choices

You can listen to a Geography 101 instructor talk about his experience adopting and teaching with an open textbook at a recent OIT Community of Practice meeting. Learn more about the differences between open textbooks and books that are available in the Inclusive Access program.

Lunch & Learn: Gender and Politics 3/8; Consent 4/5

ll_smallThe UT Libraries Diversity Committee hosts a series of lunchtime discussions to facilitate comfortable dialog about diversity and inclusion. Lunch and Learn invites students and other members of the campus community to talk openly but respectfully about complex issues that impact their lives and their campus experience.

Join us for two workshops this spring:

Gender and Politics
Noon – 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8 (International Women’s Day)
Mary Greer Room (258 Hodges Library)

A facilitated panel discussion co-hosted by the Women’s Coordinating Council and the UT Libraries Diversity Committee. Our panel will feature political scientists, politicians, and activists discussing the interactions between identity and politics.


Having Difficult Conversations on Consent
Noon – 1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 5
Mary Greer Room (258 Hodges Library)

Consent means an active agreement to participate in sexual contact or sexual penetration. Fletcher Haverkamp and Bilqis Amatus-Salaam will facilitate a conversation on the words or conduct that communicate a person’s willingness to participate in sexual contact.

Fletcher Haverkamp serves as the Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Center for Health Education and Wellness. Fletcher was a co-author of the OVW Campus Grant and serves as the Project Coordinator for the grant. Prior to his current role, Fletcher worked at Catholic Charities Columbus Home Group Home for boys and as Graduate Assistant for the Center for Health Education and Wellness where he facilitated alcohol and other drug programs, sexual violence prevention programs, and conducted data assessment.

Bilqis Amatus-Salaam is the Wellness Coordinator for General Wellness Promotion at the Center for Health Education and Wellness. She completed her Master’s in Public Health in 2015 with a focus on sexual health and college student health. In her role at UT she focuses on cold and flu prevention, stress reduction, sleep promotion, nutrition, and sexual health.

Paper Due Soon? Join Our “Writing Blitz” March 8

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, March 8, from 5 p.m. to 11 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. The Writing Center will be in the house as well to help you through the writing process. Refreshments and take-a-break activities will also be available to keep you energized and motivated.

Jill Bialosky at Writers in the Library, Feb. 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 esmith83@nullutk.edu or visit http://library.utk.edu/writers for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.

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Writers in the Library: Meagan Cass, March 19

On Monday, March 19, fiction writer Meagan Cass will read as part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series. Meagan Cass’s first full-length collection, ActivAmerica, published by University of North Texas Press in 2017, won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. She is also author of the chapbook Range of Motion (Magic Helicopter Press, 2014), and her stories have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, DIAGRAM, PANK, Joyland, and Puerto del Sol, among many others. Dan Chaon selected her fiction for the Wigleaf Top 50 Short Fictions of 2012, and Smokelong Quarterly republished her story “Egg Toss, August 1989” in its Best of the First Ten Years anthology.

Cass is an Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications and has served as fiction coordinator for the Best of the Net Anthology and fiction editor for Rougarou and for Stirring. An associate professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, she teaches courses in creative writing, publishing, and 20th/21st-century American literature and curates the Shelterbelt Reading Series. Her degrees include an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and a doctorate in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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.

There will be a brown bag Q&A for students and faculty at noon in 1210 McClung Tower.

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 esmith83@nullutk.edu or visit http://library.utk.edu/writers for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.

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Twitter: utklibwriters

Writers in the Library: Erin Elizabeth Smith, March 5

On Monday, March 5, poet Erin Elizabeth Smith will read as part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series. Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the Managing Editor of Sundress Publications and The Wardrobe. She is the author of two full-length collections, The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake, 2011) and The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles, 2007). Her third collection, Down: The Alice Poems, will be released by Agape Editions in 2019.

Smith is the editor of two anthologies, Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity and Not Somewhere Else But Here: Contemporary Poems on Women and Place, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Ecotone, Mid-American, Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, and Willow Springs, among others. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and teaches in the English Department at the University of Tennessee, where she is also the UT Libraries’ Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence. In 2017, Erin Elizabeth Smith was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame.

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 esmith83@nullutk.edu or visit http://library.utk.edu/writers for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.

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Twitter: utklibwriters

Your Chance to Save Civilization – A Call for Creative Responses

This year, Knoxville’s Big Read and UT’s Life of the Mind freshman reading program prompted hundreds of Knoxvillians to read and discuss Station Eleven, a novel by Emily St. John Mandel.

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

A science fiction novel that takes place during a fictional swine flu pandemic, the book won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Toronto Book Award. It was nominated for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The UT Libraries will commemorate the community-wide discussion series with a book that captures a range of responses, both scholarly and personal, to this award-winning novel. Continue reading

Read Online: Knoxvillians React to the Novel “A Lesson Before Dying”

The University of Tennessee Libraries has published a collection of essays by participants in Knoxville’s Big Read of A Lesson Before Dying.

UT Libraries response to A Lesson Before DyingIn 2016, a community reading program brought Knoxvillians together to read and discuss A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines’s novel about a black man who is sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. The Knox County Public Library organized the Big Read with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Community partners hosted a series of programs that inspired community-wide discussion of the book’s themes of racism, injustice, hope, and redemption. Events included book discussions, lectures, a Community Leaders Forum, a screening of Say It Loud! (historic footage of Knoxville during the civil rights era) at the John C. Hodges Library on the UT campus, and performances of Romulus Linney’s dramatic adaptation of A Lesson Before Dying at UT’s Carousel Theatre. Continue reading

Writers in the Library: Allen Wier and David Madden, Feb. 19

On Monday, February 19, novelists Allen Wier and David Madden will read as part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series.

Allen Wier has published four novels, most recently Tejano, and a collection of short stories, Things About to Disappear. Late Night, Early Morning, a volume of new and selected stories, was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2017. Wier is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to stints at Longwood College, Carnegie-Mellon University, Hollins College, the University of Texas, Florida International University, and the University of Alabama, Wier taught at the University of Tennessee from 1994 to 2015 and is currently serving as the Watkins Endowed Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Murray State University.

David Madden is the author of eleven novels, two short story collections, and eight volumes of literary criticism and texts on the subject of creative writing. His most recent book, Marble Goddesses and Mortal Flesh, is a collection of four novellas published in 2017 by University of Tennessee Press. Madden began his teaching career in 1958 as an instructor in English at Appalachian State Teachers College. He spent time teaching at Centre College, the University of Louisville, Kenyon College, and Ohio University. In 1968, he joined the faculty at LSU as the university’s writer in residence, a position he held for 24 years. He retired in 2008 as Robert Penn Warren Professor of Creative Writing, Emeritus. Madden is the recipient of a Rockefeller Grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. His stories have appeared twice in Best American Short Stories.

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 esmith83@nullutk.edu or visit http://library.utk.edu/writers for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.

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Twitter: utklibwriters

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