LibrariesOutreachLibrary Outreach and Community Learning Services
Outreach and Community Learning Services


UT Libraries are committed to assisting schools and other non-university-affiliated groups by offering literacy instruction classes and facility tours. We are dedicated to providing a positive, interactive learning experience for all visitors. During these sessions, a librarian will provide an individualized service program to meet your specific needs.

Certificate in Cultural Competency and Inclusive Teaching

What is CRT

Largely studied in the 1990s due to the achievement gap between white and minority students, Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) was developed as a means to mitigate the long-term effects of segregation and discrimination in the U.S. South. According to researcher and educator Gloria Ladson-Billings, this approach to pedagogy is unique in that it “recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning” (1994). It involves checking for mastery of student learning outcomes in a way that takes into consideration learners’ cognitive, cultural, and interdisciplinary diversity.

How does the library fit in?

Given the above definition, it is not surprising that CRT has been a part of many discussions about teaching and learning in traditional higher education and K-12 classroom. However, what does this pedagogy look like in the context of the many ways that members of the libraries’ team work with, instruct, train or supervise students, whether at service points, in the stacks, or in the classroom? How can the principles of CRT be applied to serving and educating patrons on best practices in research and information seeking?

To explore these questions, for fall 2018, the UT Libraries, in collaboration with UTK Teaching & Learning Innovation will offer a certificate program in cultural competency and inclusive teaching. This pilot program is designed as a way to provide resources for implementing CRT; facilitate opportunities for reflection; assist in the development of strategies for modeling inclusion; guide members of the Libraries’ team in developing a strategy around inclusion; and create opportunities to foster greater collaboration between colleagues. As part of this program, participants will have the option of attending and reflecting upon sessions that address the following topics:

  • Implicit bias and microaggressions
  • Engaging in conversations around race, ethnicity and sexual orientation
  • Managing incivility and facilitating difficult dialogues
  • Incorporating inclusive teaching strategies, and
  • Examining Cultural competency and humility


Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.

For more information about this certificate program, please contact Anna Sandelli – Assistant Professor and Interim Head, Teaching & Learning Programs– at, Dr. Janelle Coleman – Executive Director for Diversity and Engagement – at, or Thura Mack – Coordinator for Community Learning Services and Diversity Programs – at

UT Libraries Learning Service Policy for Schools

Our sessions:

  • Introduce research skills and practices for the 21st century scholar
  • Teach students information and media literacy skills to prepare them for future education at the college level
  • Provide students with hands-on experience using state of the art information retrieval resources
  • Familiarize students with an academic library and university environment
  • Support students in successfully completing research assignments at their current education level
  • Create collaborations between school librarians, teachers, and academic librarians
  • Introduce and promote ethical creation and use of scholarship and information

Tennessee Volunteers Magazine

Published by the University of Tennessee Athletic Department to provide articles and statistics on a variety of sports.

Photographs of UT athletic players and coaches