LibrariesThe Library SocietyMake an ImpactStatement of Purpose and Procedures
The Library Society of the University of Tennessee Statement of Purpose and Procedures

About the Library Society of the University of Tennessee

The Library Society of the University of Tennessee supports the University Libraries through engagement with library programs and monetary gifts. Sharing enthusiasm for print, digital, and other library resources, the Library Society promotes the mission of the University Libraries by advocating for freedom of access to information and the appreciation of research collections. Private funds enhance study and research at the university through improved library collections and services. In addition, the Library Society raises awareness of the value of the University Libraries to the community, state, and researchers around the world.


A primary focus of the Library Society of the University of Tennessee is to increase a sense of pride, loyalty, and connection with the UT Libraries among faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and others in the worldwide community (including donors and prospective donors). Society members identify and invite new members to join the organization. Membership in the Library Society recognizes financial support for University Libraries.  University Libraries supporters become members of the Library Society with any gift of $100 or more. Society members give to the Library in several ways:

Annual Giving

Any person, business, or organization interested in the objectives of the Library Society of UT Knoxville may become a member based upon the following annual gift levels:

Members’ Circle = $100 – $249

Scholars’ Circle = $250 – $499

Dean’s Circle = $500+

Most annual donors to the Libraries give unrestricted gifts. These gifts are pooled together to provide resources for the Library Society of the University of Tennessee. Society funds are used to support the group’s events, to sponsor Library events, and to purchase an annual gift for the Libraries. This annual gift may be a collection, support for a renovation, seed money for a new Library service, etc. The Library Society has an annual event to celebrate the gift purchased with the membership funds.

Major Gifts

The Libraries consider lifetime gifts of $25,000 or more to be major gifts. These gifts can be paid over a number of years and are typically used for a restricted purpose or to create or grow an endowment. Gifts of materials are also included in this type of giving. Donors giving at this level are recognized as members of the John C. Hodges Fellows group of the Society.

Legacy Gifts

The James D. Hoskins Legacy Circle honors members who have included the University Libraries in their estate plans or other deferred gift arrangement. These gifts help to sustain the library by establishing collection, service, and scholarship endowments to continue a legacy of support for the University Libraries.

 Advisory Board

The Library Society of the University of Tennessee is guided by an Advisory Board of fifteen to twenty members who serve as a chief volunteer and advocacy group providing leadership in consultation with the Dean of Libraries and the Libraries’ Director of Development.

The Advisory Board meets four times each year. Officers are the Chair and the Vice-Chair, selected by the Dean and Director of Development from among the members of the Board for two-year terms. The Vice-Chair automatically becomes Chair after serving a term as Vice-Chair.

The Director of Development and the Chair of the Advisory Board appoint members, in consultation with the Dean of Libraries, to serve three-year terms. The year begins with the fall term at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Approximately one-third of Board members are appointed each year.

Former Advisory Board members may be honored for their contributions by designation as an “Emeritus/Emerita Board Member.” Emeritus/emerita members are welcome at all meetings and encouraged to participate in Library Society activities.

Advisory Board members provide human and financial resources to support the mission and vision of the University of Tennessee Libraries by:

  • Promoting a sense of pride, loyalty and connection with UT Libraries among donors and prospective donors—faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and others in the worldwide community;
  • Disseminating information about the quality of UT Libraries programs and services, and ways they can be sustained and improved, especially by contact with those beyond the immediate university community;
  • Encouraging all, especially alumni and friends, to donate their time, talent, and fiscal and other resources (e.g. library and archival materials that meet collection criteria) to support programs and services provided by the UT Libraries; and,
  • Advising the dean on emerging issues, opportunities, and priorities for action.

Sustainability and growth of the Library Society of the University of Tennessee lie in supportive relationships borne and forged among members.  One of the most meaningful responsibilities of the Advisory Board is to find new members.

Advisory Board Member Responsibilities

  • Maintain annual membership in the Library Society of the University of Tennessee, preferably at the Dean’s Circle or above.
  • Participate in Board meetings.
  • Serve as an advocate for the UT Libraries.
  • Devise and support strategies to promote membership in the Library Society of the University of Tennessee.
  • Identify individuals, corporations, and foundations that might provide financial and other support for the UT Libraries.
  • Provide leadership in securing funds and other resources for the UT Libraries; help with the cultivation and solicitation of financial support.
  • Recommend possible programming opportunities; assist in planning and implementing UT Libraries events.
  • Serve as hosts during library events.
  • Attend events and celebrations sponsored by the UT Libraries; encourage members of the campus and wider community to be active participants in library programming and events.
  • Discuss the accomplishments of the UT Libraries with professional and personal acquaintances whenever possible.

Advisory Board Officer Responsibilities

  • The Chair leads planning activities, presides at board meetings, appoints new members in consultation with the Director of Development and Dean of Libraries, and represents the Library Society of the University of Tennessee at events.
  • The Vice-Chair leads programming activities, and assists the Chair in performing leadership duties.

Friends Reporting and Recognition

At least annually, the Director of Development provides reports to the Board about funds received, funds allocated to projects (paid and promised), and the balance available for other Library Society of the University of Tennessee’s projects. The Board hosts an annual celebration featuring the use of Library Society funds. The Library Development Review, in addition to ongoing publicity about Library Society support, provides a list of annual donors.

Library Development Review

Discover more about the unique happenings at UT Libraries.

image of library development review cover