Library Closed

The library will be temporarily closed starting Tuesday, March 17.  This was a decision that had to be made during these extraordinary circumstances.  The health and safety of our campus community and staff is our priority during this time.

You can continue to use the library without visiting by going to our library website.

Here you will find access to:

Databases with scholarly articles, popular articles, and academic eBooks

eBooks and eAudiobooks through our CloudLibrary app

Research assistance with librarians via chat or Zoom

Online research help including video tutorials and our Intro to Research Guide

Language Learning through Mango Languages

We will be waiving all overdue and lost item fees once we are able to reopen and materials are returned. You may renew items online if you’d like, but please do not worry about due dates.  Continue to enjoy the materials you have checked out.  We’ll provide information about returning materials at a later date when we are able to reopen.  

For questions about your library account or materials please email

Stay connected with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates.

We look forward to assisting you online and in person again when it is safe to do so.

Celebrate Women’s History Month

Sunday, March 8th was International Women’s Day. Perhaps you noticed articles in the news about women (and men!) in countries all over the world who staged marches, protests, celebration and, in the case of Mexico, a gender strike. In Springfield, the home of UIS, there was a rally at the state capitol accompanied by speeches from several women activists and political figures and recitations by local poets decrying global gender inequities. The turnout was impressive for a Sunday afternoon – around 300. Around the world, this scene was replicated in cultural and political specifics. 

International Women’s Day started in 1909 and was originally organized by the Socialist Party of America. In 1910, at the international Socialist Women’s Conference, it was proposed that it be organized annually.  Following on the heels of the women’s suffrage in Russia in 1917, March 8th became the officially designated date and, to this day, it is a national holiday in Russia. In 1967, the feminist movement adopted it and the United Nations began celebrating it in 1977. 

This year is particularly notable for U.S. women as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

Amendment XIX

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has curated an exhibit to commemorate this historic event called Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote, which will be running through September 2020.  If you cannot make it to D.C., you can explore aspects of the exhibit online.

In tandem with this, the National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.) has a extensive exhibit which includes hundreds of objects as well as manuscripts. It is entitled Votes for Women. The exhibit is impressive for its breadth and depth and would be well worth your time if you are in the nation’s capital. But if you are unable to see it in person you can explore aspects of it online, here at this link.

In addition to the exhibit, the National Portrait Gallery published a companion book – Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, which you can find in the new books section at Brookens Library (Call #: KF4895 .L46 2019). 

Notably, the Suffragettes pioneered picketing the White House for political causes as they were the first group of people ever to do so. 

Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house. The first picket line – College day in the picket line line, 1917

Brookens Library has many books and video resources for exploring this important historic event.  Here are a couple to get you started:

Select Books:

Votes for Women!: A Portrait of Persistence by Kate Lemay, Susan Goodier Clarke, Martha S. Jones, and Lisa Tetrault. Call # KF4895 .L46 2019 (located in New Books section).

Marking the centenary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Votes for Women celebrates past efforts while looking toward what actions we might take in the future to further support women’s equality. – Taken from the Introduction.

And Yet They Persisted: How American Women Won the Right to Vote by Johanna Neuman. Call # JK1896 .N48 2020 (located in New Books section)

And Yet They Persisted traces agitation for the vote over two centuries, from the revolutionary era to the civil rights era, excavating one of the greatest struggles for social change in this country and restoring African American women and other women of color to its telling. Author Johanna Neuman demonstrates that American women defeated the male patriarchy only after they convinced men that it was in their interests to share political power. Reintegrating the long struggle for women’s suffrage into the metanarrative of U.S. history, Dr. Neuman sheds new light on such questions as why it took so long to achieve equal voting rights for women, how victories in state suffrage campaigns pressured Congress to act, why African American women had to fight again for their rights in 1965, and how the struggle by eight generations of female activists finally succeeded. – Taken from book cover

Feature Film:

Iron Jawed Angels, starring Hilary Swank as Alice Paul. Located in the Feature Films Collection (Level 2).

This film is the dramatized story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, leaders of the suffragist women who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment. They broke from the mainstream women’s rights movement to create a more activist wing, daring to push the boundaries to secure women’s voting rights in 1920.

Online Primary Sources:

If you are a history buff and want to do more extensive research on your own using primary source materials, here are a couple of specialized database resources to get you rolling.

Gerritsen Collection: The Gerritsen Collection was begun by Aletta Jacobs Gerritsen in the late 1800s. By the time her successors finished their work in 1945, the Gerritsen Collection was the greatest single source for the study of women’s history in the world, with materials spanning four centuries and 15 languages. The primary source materials date from 1543 to 1945 focusing on the U.S., Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. 

Women and Social Movements in the United States: The focus of this resource is on women’s activism and spans four centuries from 1600-2000.  There are over 125 document projects and archives, approximately 4,700 publications, a chronology of women’s history, teaching tools, book and web site reviews, archival news regarding primary sources in U.S. Women’s History, a digital archive with a focus on federal, state, and local commissions on the Status of Women between 1961 and 2005. It also includes a dictionary of social movements and organization along with an online edition of the five-volume biographical dictionary, Notable American Women (1971-2004). 

Spring Break Reads

Whether you’re traveling over spring break, or staying put for some restorative time, our Cloudlibrary collection has got you covered.

Check out our feature shelves for reading inspiration:

Looking to set better habits and be more mindful about setting yourself up for success during the second half of the semester? Check out titles from our Be your best self shelf:

books covers from our Be your best self shelf.

The road trip shelf will keep you entertained on long drives or flights.

Book covers from the road trip book shelf.

If you haven’t downloaded the cloudLibrary app, get started at our cloudlibrary guide.

We hope you have a safe and relaxing spring break!

Meet the Team: Yun

student employee, Yun

Name: Yun

Hometown: Nantong, China

Major: Business Administration in Marketing

Status: Junior

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   My favorite thing about being a student at UIS is UIS provides us with a very good learning environment to achieve a higher level of education. In addition, diversity is also one of the things that attracts me. It’s really nice to meet people from different countries and get to know more about different cultures.

What are your goals for the semester? I have several goals for the semester. One of my goals is going through all classes with good grades, hopefully straight A’s. In addition, managing my time properly and avoiding late nights. Last but not least, working out!

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? It would be called “Journey”. Because I am an international student, and I’ve been in United States since I graduated from high school. I have experienced different lifestyles and have seen different scenery, which is more like a journey to me.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I am involved in two clubs on campus. I am a treasurer of the International Student Association, and I am also a president of the Asian Student Organization. I like reading novels, watching movies, and listening to music in my spare time. My favorite music type is Nu Jazz.

What have you learned since working at the library? I have learned a lot since working at the library. I learned how to manage time and how to balance work and life. I will list all to-do’s on my list and finish the daily tasks step by step, which is very clear and helps release a lot of stress for me. In addition, I also learned that communication is the most important key to work as a part of a team.

What are your post-graduation plans? I am planning to attempt a master’s degree program and go on to earn a graduate degree. I can accumulate working experience while taking graduate courses. After that, I want to find a job which is related to marketing.

What is your favorite item from the library collection? The Ice cream maker.

Undergraduate Research Award

Brookens Library and the Friends of Brookens Library are excited to announce our Sixth Annual Undergraduate Research Award!

We here at Brookens believe that undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activities are foundational components of a complete liberal arts education. The Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award was created by Brookens Library to recognize and reward UIS undergraduate students whose academic work incorporates the use of Brookens Library’s collections and services and demonstrates exceptional information literacy skills.

In addition to recognition at UIS, the award includes a monetary prize sponsored by the Friends of Brookens Library.  This year the award has been expanded and now $1500 is up for grabs for work you have already done!

  • $500 for first place
  • $400 for second place
  • $300 for third place
  • $200 for fourth place
  • $100 for fifth place

The winners will be presented at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium luncheon on April 17, 2020. 

Over the years, UIS students have submitted some truly amazing work to the Research Award. The breadth and depth of topics has been astounding and the quality of the research has been awe inspiring. As we open up submission forms for this year’s award, we look forward to seeing even more of our UIS students’ excellent work.

How to Apply

Application for the Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award is a two-step process:

Step 1) Fill out the online application form here:

Step 2) One of the Brookens Librarians will contact you to arrange for you to electronically submit your materials using Box.

Respectfully, we request that you do not send in your project materials until instructed to do so.

Judging will be conducted by a panel of diverse faculty from varying disciplines using a scoring rubric you can find on the research award site.

You can learn more about judging, the award criteria, and past winners here:   

The deadline to apply is April 6, 2020.