How Having a Hobby Can Improve Your Mental Health

One of the most important things about transitioning into college life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while in college is focusing on your mental health. I’ve found that setting aside time to enjoy things really helps me stay focused and positive.

Having a hobby is one of the best things you can do to support your mental health while in college. Not only does it give you the opportunity to do something fun and expand your horizons, but it also allows you to focus on a non-academic task and give your brain time to rest. If you don’t already have a hobby, but are eager to find one, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy and engaged, and the library can definitely help you with that!

One hobby I really enjoy is sewing, which helps me relax and gives me something to look forward to. If I have a project I’m working on, it can be helpful to turn off the part of my brain that’s focused on school or work, and instead get creative. If you’re interested in sewing, photography, or even cooking, you can borrow items from the library to support your hobby. We have tons of items, including a sewing machine, a pasta maker, a cake decorating kit, and cameras that you can check out from the collection. There are also plenty of cookbooks and even books about crafts and other hobbies that are available as ebooks or as hard copies.

If you’re a fan of reading or a film connoisseur, then Brookens can help you too! Whether you access books through our online cloudLibrary service or in-person collections, there are numerous new and old popular books to choose from. Each month, cloudLibrary has new featured shelves that are specially curated by student employees so you can discover new books to fall in love with. For movie-buffs, our feature film collection has hundreds of DVDs and our Library of Things even has DVD players. Later this month, we’ll also start offering “Binge Kits” that consist of three DVDs all relating to a specific theme or genre.

Taking time to relax and find a hobby is extremely important. Whether your chosen hobby is something creative or something simple that just allows you to unwind, you should check out Brookens Library the next time you need a well-deserved break!

Library of Things Highlight: Board Games

If you and your friends are bored this weekend or just looking for something fun to do after class, then look no further than the Library of Things collection! One of the best parts of the collection is our multitude of board games.

One great thing about the board game collection is the variety. We have board games that range from two players to ten, and and can be played for as little as ten minutes to as long as six hours. You can see a list of all the games here, and in the bottom right corner of each image, the duration and the recommended number of players is listed as well!

If any of these games interest you, you can either request them online and pick them up at the main desk, or you can just head to the library first without requesting the games and check them out.

Hopefully these games will entertain you next time you’re looking for something fun to do on campus! We have plenty of games for all interests, so be sure to check out the collection!

Find a Comfy Study Space

When you think of the library, do you picture boring tables and chairs? If memories of uncomfortable seats haunt you, then you’ll be happy to know that we have some of the most cozy and comfy seating imaginable here at Brookens.

If you’re looking for a space where you can talk freely and work with others, then you’re in luck! The main floor of the library is a loud, collaborative area where you can be as noisy as you need to be. If you don’t want to work with someone else, the main floor is also a great place to be alone because it has the most diverse seating options of all the library floors with a few beanbags and many different couches.

If you’re looking for a quiet space, then the third and fourth floors are for you. These floors have different types of desks, but they also have some very comfortable couches and chairs. One of the best spots in the library is on the fourth floor next to some windows that let in huge amounts of natural light. The space is so relaxing and perfect for quiet studying.

If you’re looking for a great place to study this semester, then come to the library! With seating options that vary from traditional tables and chairs to couches and beanbags, there’s definitely something for everyone’s studying style. Check out our hours, bring your study materials, and find your perfect spot!

Does the library have my textbook?

The Brookens Library staff is so excited to begin the semester and help UIS students be as successful as possible this year! While starting classes is exciting, a new semester can also bring up a lot of questions and confusion, especially when it comes to getting the textbooks you need. Today, we’re going to answer the most commonly asked textbook questions that come through the library.

How do I get textbooks from the library?

Unfortunately, the library doesn’t purchase textbooks because they can go out of date very quickly. Despite this, it can still be worth checking the library catalog to see if a copy is available. If the book you need isn’t in the Brookens Library collection, you can also check I-Share.

NOTE: The Library’s Interlibrary Loan (myILL) service will not request textbooks for students.

What is I-Share?

I-Share allows you to check out books from more than 70 different libraries in Illinois. If, after conducting your initial catalog search, you see that Brookens doesn’t have the book you need, you can broaden your search to all I-Share libraries on the results screen. From there, if your book is available, all you need to do is find the correct edition and request it.

Arrow pointing to All I-Share Libraries on the catalog search page

How do I request a book?

If your book is available through I-Share, you just need to click “Request through I-Share” and select UIS as your pickup location. If your book is available at Brookens, you select “Request from UIS.” When your item is ready, you’ll receive an email with instructions on picking up your book. Here’s an online tutorial that can take you through this step-by-step.

Arrow pointing to Request from I-Share on the item record page

How long can I check out a book?

For undergraduate students, most books from Brookens and I-Share can be checked out for 4 weeks, with 3 renewals. This adds up to a maximum of 16 weeks, which means you’ll be able to check out your books for the entirety of the semester.

Graduate/doctoral students, faculty, and staff can usually check out books from Brookens up to 16 weeks with the option to renew for longer. For more info about loan periods and renewals, check our borrowing guide.

What do I do if I can’t find the book I need?

If you can’t find your books for class at the library, you can order them from the UIS Bookstore – which is located on the lower level of PAC.

If you have any questions, contact us at the library main desk or via the library chat box on the library website.

We’re Hiring!

We are currently hiring student assistants for 3 of our departments at the library. All applications must be submitted to Career Connect. All of the jobs at the library will help you build career readiness skills, improve your searching and customer service skills, and provide leadership opportunities. 

To learn more about working at the library, visit us at the Foot in the Door Fair this Thursday (8/26) from 4-6pm in the Student Union Ballroom and read about each team below.

User Services Student Assistant
This team of student assistants supports the daily operations of the library. If you’ve visited the library, then you’ve seen a member of this team at our main desk.

Positions available: 8

Students in this department:

  • Staff the main desk
  • Process and shelve books

Apply for this team if you:

  • Enjoy helping people and want to improve your customer service skills
  • Are detail oriented and/or want to improve your organization skills
  • Have a busy schedule – this team provides a wide range of hours, including night and weekend shifts
  • Want to meet new people and word as a team. This is the largest team in the library.

Apply here for the User Services Student Assistant position.  (link to job in career connect)

Library Systems Student Assistant
This team of student assistants support the technology in the library along with our website and our other digital services. When you’re in the building, you might not see this team working, unless they happen to be out in the public areas fixing computers or diagnosing printer problems, but they’re often working hard behind the scenes.

Positions available: 2

Students in this department:

  • Provide first level technical support to faculty, staff and students using our services or equipment
  • Work on special projects that meet the needs of the library but also fit the student employee’s interests/skills
  • Gain a wide range of experience with technology from hardware/software support, programming, data analytics and more

Apply for this team if you:

  • Enjoy helping people and want to improve your customer service skills
  • Want to explore your interests or apply what you’ve learned in the classroom in a real-world setting
  • Are interested in gaining or improving your project management skills
  • Want to work in a small, collaborative team environment

Apply here for the Library Systems Position. (link to job in Career Connect)

Research and Outreach Student Assistant

This team-oriented outreach position promotes library collections, resources and services through social media and events. They also staff the library chat service and provide research assistance.

Positions available: 2

Students in this department:

  • Provide peer-to-peer research assistance through the library chat service
  • Promote and represent the library at outreach events
  • Create marketing materials and social media content

Apply for this team if you:

  • Enjoy working on creative projects like creating social media content, writing blog posts or creating videos
  • Are enthusiastic about libraries and research
  • Want to work with a small student team

Apply here for the Research and Outreach Position. (link to job in Career Connect)

Fall 2021 Library Workshops

Your librarians are hosting a series of workshops this fall to help you build up your research skills and get to know the library a bit better. Whether you need help getting started with your research or want to upgrade your search skills to the next level, we have a little something for everyone!

Workshops will be offered multiple times throughout the fall semester.

You can also view all workshops and register at this link.

Library Research 101
Aug. 31, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Sept. 2, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Sept. 9, 11:00 – 12:00 pm
Sept. 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Learn everything you need to know to get started with Brookens Library. This workshop will provide an introduction to the most highly used library resources and services, including the catalog, library databases, InterLibrary Loan, and research help services. We’ll discuss:

  • Searching for materials in the library catalog
  • Selecting the best databases to search
  • Requesting materials from other libraries

Searching the Library Catalog
Sept. 1, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Sept. 8, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Sept. 16, 11:00 – 12:00 pm
Oct. 13, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Nov. 2, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

This workshop will give you an overview of how to search the library catalog so you can find books, articles and other library materials. Topics include:

  • Searching the catalog for books, articles and media
  • Requesting books from I-Share libraries
  • Accessing your library account

Library Resources for Online Students
Sept. 7, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Sept. 14, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Sept. 29, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Oct. 28, 11:00 – 12:00pm
Nov. 11, 1:00 – 2:00pm

This workshop provides a review of the essential online tools available from Brookens Library to help students locate the sources they need from the comfort of their own home. We’ll discuss:

  • eBooks available through library collections
  • Databases which include articles, primary sources, data, images, media and more
  • Virtual help services

Getting the Most Out of Google Scholar
Sept. 21, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Sept. 28, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Oct. 27, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Nov. 3, 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Is Google Scholar a favorite in your research strategy? This workshop will teach you how to use advanced features such as search alerts, metrics, and more. Additional topics covered:

  • Overview of Google Scholar, what it searches, and how to access articles
  • Setting up a Google Scholar profile
  • Linking Google Scholar to Brookens Library
  • Overview of basic and advanced search strategies
  • Understanding the results list and how to manipulate it

Spotting Fake News
Sept. 22, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Oct. 5, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Oct. 20, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Nov. 4, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Evaluating online content is complex and incredibly important. This workshop will help you to be a savvier searcher. In this workshop you will:

  • Learn about fake news and why it exists
  • Learn about confirmation bias and filter bubbles
  • Learn about tools and criteria for evaluating information on the internet

Finding Articles in Library Databases
Sep. 30, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Oct. 6, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Oct. 14, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Nov. 10, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Learn how easy it is to get exactly what you need for your research when you use the library’s online databases. We’ll give you an overview of Academic Search Complete and share our best tips for locating scholarly articles and narrowing your search to get more relevant information –a must for anyone doing a research paper.

Managing Citations with Zotero
Oct. 19, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Nov. 9, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Nov. 17, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Learn the ins and outs of citation management with Zotero, a tool to make managing your citations, bibliographies, and reference lists easier, saving you valuable time.

Government Information and Statistics
Nov. 18, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Nov. 30, 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Sometimes statistics and official government information is precisely what you need. Find out how to get at these primary sources to support your argument. This workshop will include:

  • Government information in its myriad forms
  • Government statistics for every occasion
  • Statistical Universe database for nuanced research

Recipes for the Summer

We all know that we are still in the summer season, but it is nearly coming to an end. So we thought it’d be a great time to share some summer recipes so you can continue holding onto that summer season spirit!

Check out these ten cookbooks from cloudLibrary if you some need ideas for something to cook for yourself and your family!

  1. Egg Shop
  2. Eat Delicious
  3. Vegetarian Classics
  4. Summer: A Cookbook
  5. The Campout Cookbook
  6. The Chelsea Market Cookbook
  7. The Wild Food Cookbook
  8. The $7 Meals Cookbook
  9. The Short Stack Cookbook
  10. The Good-to-Go Cookbook

Our cloudLibrary app isn’t only for cookbooks, there’s plenty of other books for you to read and listen to! Feel free to check it out for yourself. Don’t worry, it’s FREE!!

Sports Movie Recommendations

With the Olympic Opening Ceremony taking place early tomorrow morning (6am CST), we thought it was the perfect time to recommend some sports movies to help get you in the mood for this momentous occasion. If you’re a fan of hockey, basketball, and everything in between, this list will definitely help you find a great movie to watch.

Miracle – This is one of my favorite sports movies, and, while it chronicles a tale of the Winter Olympics, it will still get you in the mood for Tokyo.

A League of Their Own – With baseball and softball making their much-awaited returns to the Olympic spotlight, A League of Their Own is a must-watch for fans. 

Space Jam – While it isn’t directly related to the Olympics, Space Jam is perfect for those who are excited to watch basketball this year, and for those who want to see some Olympic stars of the 90s in their prime.

Rocky – While Rocky, one of the most famous fictional boxers, never went to the Olympics, reality’s most famous boxer, Muhammad Ali, actually got his first taste of fame at the 1960 Summer Olympics, so make sure you have a chance to get in the mood for the iconic sport this summer.

The Karate Kid – With karate making its Olympic debut this year in Tokyo, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the sport before tuning in.

Rudy – Even though American football isn’t an Olympic sport, this tale of camaraderie shows that players and fans should focus on positivity and celebrating success during the games.

Bend It Like Beckham – Women’s soccer is extremely popular, with the US Women’s National Team winning four World Cup titles and four Olympic Gold medals. While the team is definitely one to watch this year, Bend it Like Beckham should also be on your watchlist if you’re in the mood for some feel-good sports.

Chariots of Fire – Focusing on two runners at the 1924 Olympics, Chariots of Fire is a must-watch for fans getting ready to watch any sport in Tokyo.

I, Tonya – Another winter-sport classic, I, Tonya has everything you need in a movie about the Olympics – drama, twists, and turns.

Celebrate National Moon Landing Day

With today being National Moon Landing Day, the anniversary of the first moon landing, we’ve decided to provide you with a few excellent ways to celebrate the occasion. Whether you’re looking for movies, books, or some other fun resources, Brookens Library has you covered.

If movies are what you desire, then you should definitely check out the library’s Feature Film collection. A few highlighted titles include Space Jam, First Man, Hidden Figures, Gravity, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Martian. While not all of these selections are directly about the moon landing, any good space movie will certainly get you in the mood to celebrate. If you want to check out one of these excellent movies, but unfortunately don’t have a DVD player, you can always borrow one from the Library of Things

We also have a few recommendations for books in all formats. For hard copy books, you can check out Lost moon: the perilous voyage of Apollo 13 and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you’re looking for an eBook, try Project Hail Mary and if an audiobook is what you’re after, then you should check out Failure is Not an Option.

For video game fans, our Library of Things collection has a Sega Genesis with many different games. A few of these games like Ristar and Phantasy Star have space-adjacent themes to help you celebrate this iconic event.

Whether you decide to watch a few movies, read a book, or play some video games this week, Brookens has everything available to meet your needs and help you celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Movies for the Summer

Summer is finally around the corner! If you’re looking for some movies to get you into the summer mood, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a selection of films from our library catalog. Enjoy!

The Sandlot
Girls Trip
Hotel Transylvania 3
The Angry Birds Movie
The Angry Movie Birds Movie 2
The Secret Life of Pets 
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Dora and The Lost City of Gold
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
Suicide Squad
Trolls: World Tour
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Next Friday
Furious 7
The Fate of The Furious
Hobbs & Shaw
Space Jam
Love & Basketball
Baggage Claim