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The Library Society

Funding Priorities

Great libraries attract students.

The Libraries’ mission is to serve the students and faculty of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At the heart of this mission sits the needs of the undergraduate and graduate student populations. In additional to the vast resources the libraries provide to students via our collections, the libraries serve a greater purpose for students as well. Our buildings provides spaces for students to study and connect, our faculty and staff provide services that support students as they learn and grow, and our technology expands their reach to beyond the University bounds. We are working to create great libraries for our students, and our focus on creating great libraries for current and future UTK students focus on three key areas:

Spaces for Study and Connection

Gifts to support the spaces in the Libraries will keep our infrastructure and furniture up-to-date, welcoming and functional for students of this generation and many to come.

Goal = $2,000,000

Student Services

Gifts to support student services help us maintain and grow our services for students, allowing us to meet the needs of more students and add additional services as they are needed to support undergraduate and graduate students.

Goal = $2,000,000

Technology Enhancements

Gifts to support a technology advancement fund will keep the University Libraries on the cutting edge of technology for the students of today and tomorrow.

Goal = $2,000,000

  • Specific Priorities:
  • Special Collections Reading Room Renovation ($250,000 – $500,000)
  • Hodges 1st Floor Reference Room ($500,000)


Great collections attract and retain faculty and staff.

Excellent faculty members are focused on their areas of research. The University Libraries having great collections makes a significant impact on faculty research. When the libraries have the materials and collections that can enhance the faculty members’ knowledge, their research is greatly improved; when the libraries do not have the materials researchers need, the faculty member has to take the time to find them or go without valuable information that can impact their work. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Libraries strives to have distinguished collections that support the research of the UTK faculty. Support for our distinguished collections can come through two avenues:

Distinguished Collections

Gifts to support our general and special collections are impactful as they allow the University Libraries to acquire valuable materials that are of use to researchers and students alike. The research these materials inform can change the world.

Goal = $8,000,000

Digital Initiatives

Gifts to support the University Libraries digitization efforts help make our collections available beyond the walls of our libraries, not only making it easier for our own researchers to use these materials on their own time and in their space, but making it possible for scholars across the country and world to access our collections.

Goal = $2,000,000

  • Specific Priorities – Excellence Endowments that allow flexibility into the future (endowments start at $25,000)


Great libraries have great leaders.

Leadership is key to a great library. At the UT Libraries, there are two positions essential to the Libraries’ success.

Endowed Dean of Libraries position

The Dean of Libraries oversees the Libraries’ collections, services, facilities, faculty and staff. Great leadership from the Dean’s position trickles down through the rest of the Libraries and makes all the difference as we work to serve the students and faculty of UTK. An endowed Dean’s Chair would help the University of Tennessee, Knoxville recruit and retain the best and brightest in Library Administration and ensure that the University Libraries are great and successful for years to come.

Goal = $3,000,000

Endowed Special Collections Chair position

The Head of Special Collections at the University Libraries oversees the acquisition, processing, and preservation of the University’s Special Collections, including the University Archives, Modern Political Archive and Rare Books Collection. The materials in these collections are some of the most valuable in the Libraries and range from rare manuscripts and one-of-a-kind materials to video and sound recordings in a variety of mediums. An endowed Head of Special Collections will ensure that the University Libraries has the ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest librarians in the field securing our Special Collections as one of the most valuable assets of the University and the state for now and the future.

Goal = $1,000,000

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