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The Bottom Knoxville

Location Description

Named after the Black neighborhoods and business centers in East Knoxville that were demolished in the 1950s by urban renewal and institutionalized racism, The Bottom now stands as a place to reclaim community. The Bottom stands as a multi-use place to foster change and provide comfort. The Bottom is a hub to get plugged into the local black community, whether you're local or new to town. The Bottom is currently home to The Community Podcast Studio, Bookshop at The Bottom & a workshop for our Sew It Sell It youth program. This practicum will be focused on the newly created Elandria Williams Research and Reading Room, which will house community archives and a reference collection.

Practicum Work Mode

Flexible / Hybrid

Semesters or Time Period Available



2340 E Magnolia Ave
Knoxville, TN 37917


Ericka Patillo

Student Tasks

-Based on the mission of The Bottom and the Elandria Williams Research and Reading Room, create a collection development policy for the community archives and reference collection; include a gift policy and create a deed of gift form.
-Evaluate the current collection (less than 200 donated books; determine if they fall in the scope and mission. There is no use of the collection to evaluate yet).
-Complete a community analysis to help determine the scope and use of the collections.
-Determine a feasible cataloging system for the collections, and catalog the monographs currently held in the reference collection.

Requires a student who has completed 560 Development and Management of Collections and/or 564 Archives and Records Management. There is some flexibility in the specific tasks, for example, if you are more interested in archives, the practicum can focus on that aspect of the collection.

This practicum is relevant to MSIS Program Outcomes 3, 6, 8, and 9.

Type of Mentoring Provided to the Student

The work will be facilitated by Dr. Ericka Patillo, long-time academic librarian and instructor of INSC 560 Development and Management of Collections, who volunteers weekly at The Bottom. The student will be advised throughout the entire process but will also be able to work independently. The practicum deliverables are similar to many parts of the DYC from 560. Dr. Patillo will be available to the student up to 2 hours per week to discuss and review standards and deliverables.

Student Interaction With Others at the Location

The student will be able to and will be encouraged to interact with employees, volunteers, and community members at The Bottom. For example, many of these people will be available to interview as part of the community analysis. These are some of the folks who built The Bottom, and who will be using the collections.