Campus News

Dr. John Burch named Paul Meek Library director


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut

MARTIN, Tenn. — Dr. John Burch Jr. has been named director of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Paul Meek Library. Burch, formerly professor and dean of library services at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Ky., assumed his new duties May 15.

Burch began his career with Campbellsville University as director of library services and assistant professor in 2000 and worked his way up the ladder, handling such areas as library services, online programs and distance learning along the way. Before moving to Campbellsville, Burch served in the libraries of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark., and Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Berea College, and a Master of Science in Library Science, a Master of Arts degree and a doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky. He has been involved in the writing of nine books, numerous chapters and articles in scholarly journals, and a long list of book reviews, reference entries and professional papers.

“Dr. Burch is an experienced library professional and a welcome addition to the campus community. He is excited about joining the (Division of) Academic Affairs team, and I look forward to working with him to move the university forward,” said Dr. Jerald Ogg, UT Martin vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The library director is responsible for determining library outcomes to support the university’s strategic plan and curriculum goals, preparing and executing the library budget, supporting the university’s accreditation plan and coordinating the efforts of library staff to curate appropriate academic collections.

Burch begins his new position with accreditation and student assessment in mind. “One of my initial projects is to build upon the library’s existing assessment system to better inform the evaluation of the student learning outcomes embedded in the information literacy sessions taught by librarians,” he said. He also seeks to improve library services to meet the needs of the entire campus community, including online and distance-learning students as well as those attending classes at UT Martin’s five educational outreach centers.

Burch fills the position previously held by Dr. Charles Julian. Sam Richardson, chief archivist and curator, has filled the post in an interim capacity since Julian’s departure from the university.

A university search committee chaired by Dr. Jared Teague, associate professor of engineering, reviewed applications from a national pool before making final recommendations to Ogg.

For more information, contact Burch at


PHOTO ID: Dr. John Burch, director of the Paul Meek Library

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