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

Summer Classes and Library Resources

If you’re planning on taking summer classes at UIS, then you definitely need to check out some of the amazing resources offered by Brookens Library.  By utilizing the library to its full potential, you’ll be as successful as possible in your classes and have a great summer semester.

Librarians can help you find books, of course, but they are also great at doing research. Whether you need help deciding which databases to use or you need to identify specific search terms, the librarians at Brookens can assist you. To book an appointment with a librarian, head to the library’s website and click Research Guides. From there, you can select your subject, learn who that subject’s librarian is, and book an appointment with them.

If you just have a quick question, you can also use the Chat with a Librarian service, which is constantly monitored during the week from 10am-6pm Monday through Thursday and 10am-4pm on Friday. The chat service can be accessed from many pages on the library’ website, including the homepage.

If you’re on campus, the library is open from 10am-4pm Mondays through Fridays and 10am-6pm on Wednesdays. The library is the perfect place to study on a hot day while you’re working on your summer courses, so make sure you take advantage of it. If you’re just looking to check out some books, the library’s Grab-and-Go service operates during study hours as well. If you’re planning on coming to the library during the summer semester and you want to double check the hours, you can see them here

The library has everything you need to be successful this summer! Check out all of these awesome resources and reach out if you have any questions.

What to Do in Springfield This Summer

With the spring semester wrapped up, many students are looking forward to heading home and enjoying summer. If you’re stuck in Springfield, however, don’t worry! Even if you’ve already been to every Lincoln site, there are still plenty of amazing options to keep you busy and entertained!

Old Capitol Farmers Market
Whether you’re looking for fresh produce or baked goods, the downtown Springfield farmers market has you covered. Open on both Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8-12:30, the farmers market truly has something for everyone. I go to the farmers market nearly every week (sometimes twice a week), and I cannot recommend it enough. In my opinion, nothing is better than getting fresh and affordable fruits, vegetables, and herbs while supporting local farmers and businesses. Even if you don’t buy anything, the atmosphere is incredibly fun and vibrant.

If the outdoors appeal to you and the farmers market isn’t enough, then you definitely need to check out the trails in Springfield. If you’re a fan of either hiking or biking, then the trails are for you. Lewis Memorial is perfect for either activity, so I would definitely recommend checking it out! Even if you aren’t super active or an outdoor enthusiast, the trails in and around Springfield offer an excellent escape to nature along with great scenery.

Prairie Archives
If you’re like me, and the library kept you sane this year with their many options to access books, then you definitely need to head to Prairie Archives. Also located downtown (across from the Old State Capitol historic site), Prairie Archives is a bookstore that is completely packed with every type of book imaginable. The first time I went, I was in shock as I kept walking through the store finding more rooms that were equally as full as the ones before. With well-priced used books inside, and an even more affordable highly-discounted section outside, Prairie Archives has options for everyone. If eBooks are more your style, though, Brookens has you covered with the cloudLibrary service!

Lincoln Library
Another amazing place downtown, Springfield’s public library is, once again, a must-visit spot for readers. Those living in Springfield can get a free library card, and, even if you aren’t a Springfield resident, UIS students are eligible for a reciprocal account. I grew up going to the Lincoln Library every other week, and now, even though I have more books than I’ll ever read in a summer, I still go regularly. 

Illinois State Museum
This museum may seem simple when compared to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, but it is truly wonderful. As with the Lincoln Library, I’ve spent many hours here, so believe me when I tell you it’s definitely worth the visit. With some permanent exhibits, and some that are temporary, you’ll be able to learn something new every time you visit the ISM, even if you’ve been before. Admission is currently free, which makes this downtown spot (that’s close to the Capitol if you haven’t seen it yet) the perfect way to spend an afternoon. 

If you’re looking for something good to eat, and don’t want to cook yourself with one of Brookens cookbooks, then you should definitely check out some local spots. My favorite restaurant in Springfield is Mario’s, so if you’re in the mood for pizza or Italian, you should definitely head there. For sandwiches, Head West is always an excellent option, but Monty’s is  great too! ( Don’t worry – you’ll have amazing food at whichever sandwich shop you choose.) For breakfast, you have to go to Charlie Parker’s Diner for the best (and biggest) pancakes in town.

If you’ll be in Springfield this summer and are worried about how you’re going to stay busy, don’t panic! Springfield has plenty to offer all year long, so you’ll be able to enjoy the warm weather and your break from school without succumbing to boredom.

Post-Finals Book Recommendations

Trying to decide what to do with your free time after you finish finals? Lucky for you, Brookens has some amazing books available on cloudLibrary to keep you entertained and busy this summer.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Regarded by many as a hilarious account of the life of a World War II antihero, Catch 22 has been adapted on film and screen many times, giving you the perfect opportunity to stay busy.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Crazy Rich Asians has been showered with positive reviews, and, if you love it, there are two sequels to follow-up with!

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson
According to the New York Times, I Think I Love You “combines effervescence with earnestness, [and is] a finely tuned sense of absurdity with nostalgia, satiric wit with genuine warmth.”

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
After I read Last Night, I had only one thought: this book is truly incredible. Focused on two girls falling in love in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare, this book has it all – romance, history, and more.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This novel is kind of intense, but amazing nonetheless. If you’re looking for a book you can completely escape into, then Little Fires Everywhere is perfect for you.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
This book combines both wisdom and humor to create a truly engaging reading experience.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
My Sister, the Serial Killer is dark, but funny nevertheless. Filled with sarcasm and wit, this book will easily pique your interest and keep you entertained.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Red, White & Royal Blue is another truly wonderful book. Seriously. This novel had me laughing and crying, and left me desperately wanting more.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Yes it’s a teen novel, but Simon is really enjoyable! With well-thought-out characters who are easy to love, this book brought me so much joy.

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Described as “oddly compelling,” “morbidly fascinating,” and “shockingly hilarious,” Stiff fascinatingly accounts the world of human cadavers.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
Funny, intellectual, weird, and creative – The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is crafted perfectly and is an absolute joy to read.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Sweetly focusing on friendships and romance, this novel perfectly balances hilarious moments with ones that will definitely make you cry.

The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is one of my all-time favorite books. Expertly jumping between serious moments and humor, I desperately wish I could experience reading this for the first time again.

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal
With many amazing reviews, this book is a “charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences.”

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
The Wangs is a funny and charming family story that a reader can be easily immersed in. It’s a wonderful book that will leave you emotional.

As summer approaches, don’t forget about Brookens and our amazing resources. The cloudLibrary service has some of the best books that can keep you entertained for hours.

Intersession and Summer Services

Intersession Library Services

In-building services will be limited to Grab-and-Go during intersession. Service hours can be found on our library hours page.  

May 16 – May 22 – Grab-and-Go 
May 23 – May 29 – Building Closed (online services available)
May 30 – June 5 – Grab-and-Go

We will be closing the building during the second week of intersession, so that staff can conduct training with new student employees and facilities can deep clean some areas of the library.  Books can be returned during this time using the book drops outside of the building.  If you have any question about your library materials or your library account, please contact us.

Summer Semester Hours and Services

In-building services for the summer semester will begin on Monday, June 7th.  Hours of operation can be found on our library hours page.  During the summer semester, the library will be open for use of computers and study areas, printing, browsing the stacks and Grab-and-Go services.  

Online Services

Online services such as our chat service, research consultations, and library databases will be available during the intersession period and summer semester. To chat with us, please visit our website

An Evening with Leslé Honoré: Poet, Author, Artivist

In celebration of the UIS Diversity Center’s End-of-the-Year Black & Hispanic/LatinX and Lavender Graduation, the Friends of Brookens Library present An Evening with Leslé Honoré: Poet, Author, Artivist via Zoom Saturday, May 8th at 6:30PM. The event will be recorded.

About Leslé Honoré:  Leslé Honoré is a Blaxican Poet, artivist, and author of Fist & Fire, a collection of powerful, unflinching poems that confront issues of social justice through the lens of real human lives and voices, and dive into the flames of love within the context of a relationship. In her poetry and life she works to empower youth to find their voices through the arts, and inspire people to stand in the gaps that social, economic, and racial inequities create. Leslé challenges readers, inviting them to think, feel, and consider how to create spaces where everyone can thrive. She hopes that through her work she can help give voices to people who are often silenced, unheard, and feel invisible. Her pieces honoring Vice President Kamala Harris “Brown Girl, Brown Girl” and Doria Ragland went viral on social media and expanded the reach of her work to an international audience.

Born and raised in Gardena, California, she remains deeply rooted in the heritage and culture of her father, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana; and mother, who was born in Sinaloa, Culiacan, Mexico, and immigrated to the US when was 15.  Leslé lives in Chicago with her three phenomenal children: Sage, Solomon, and Scarlett. She believes in HBCU’s and that tacos and gumbo without kale can save the world.

An Evening with Leslé Honoré: Poet, Author, Artivist

Join with this Zoom link:

2021 Library Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Brookens Library and the Friends of Brookens Library are excited to announce the winners of our Seventh 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. The Friends of Brookens Library funds the $1500 in awards received by students.

The excellent projects submitted this year made the judging a challenge, but the selection committee of Ken Owen, Megan Styles and John Laubersheimer were able to decide upon the winners. 

This year we are honored to recognize the following students for their exceptional research:

1st Place: Alexandra Simpson Complexity in Nature and Humanity in Red Sorghum

2nd Place: Malavika Mujumdar Graphic Poetry as Historical Experience in Naoko Fujimoto’s “Thursdays” and “On A Black Hill”

3rd Place: Benjamin Garrett An Overview of the Life, Extinction, and Possible De-Extinction of Mammuthus Primigenius

4th Place: Rebecca Wheeler Decision Vision II: Investigating the Effects of Mental Simulation on Accuracy During Affect-Induced and Logic-Induced Decisions by Intuitive and Rational Decision Makers​

5th Place: Joshua Melnick Development of DNA Barcoding in Oak Species

A special mention of Rebecca Wheeler’s work is due. Rebecca Wheeler, is a returning Research Award winner. Her entry this year continued the excellent work she submitted in 2020 and for which she won 3rd place: Decision Vision: Utilizing Mental Simulation to Promote Accuracy During Intuitive Decision Making.

The competition was tough this year and all of our submissions were top quality research. A big congratulations for all our winners and all of our entrants! 

Movies for National Humor Month

If you’re looking for a good laugh and in need of a movie to watch, we’ve got you covered with a selection of films for National Humor Month. Who doesn’t like a good laugh to help brighten up their day? Remember laughter is the best medicine!

Highly recommended movies:

A Madea Family Funeral

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Central Intelligence

Ride Along

Night School

Other comedy movies:

Pitch Perfect


21 Jump Street

22 Jump Street

Legally Blonde


The School of Rock

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Mean Girls

Step Brothers

Girls Trip



Bad Boys for Life


Hobbs & Shaw

Life of the Party

Ghostbusters: Answer The Call

Fist Fight


Deadpool 2

Jumanji: The Next Level



Ride Along 2

To request one of the movies for pick up, click the movie link, request it from UIS, and wait for an email that says it’s ready to pick up during our Grab-and-Go hours!

Enjoy a Picnic on National Picnic Day

National Picnic Day is today, and the library has everything you will need to make it the best picnic ever.

How can you have a picnic without some great food? Checkout a cookbook to get some recipes ideas!

Try a Balsamic Strawberry Arugula Salad that will be light and delicious on a spring day that comes from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian:

Take some pictures to help commemorate the moment, so check out one of our cameras to capture the moment!

Even if it rains, don’t let the rain stop your fun, check out a Brookens umbrella!

an umbrella

But if the weather is nice, then check out one of our Ollie‘s! A fun little remote controlled robot that can do some cool tricks.

a black Ollie RC vehicle

If you don’t know of any good spots for a picnic, here are some suggestions for places on campus – the Main Quad, the quad between Lincoln Residence Hall and Founders Residence Hall, and the UIS Pond.

There are plenty of other scenic places around campus and around Springfield to have beautiful picnic. This Google Map has even more suggestions.

Come to the library to prepare for a great picnic (while respecting social distancing guidelines)!

Your Guide to Frequently Used Library Terms

Do you want to take advantage of the resources Brookens Library has for students? Does the confusing jargon used at the library confuse you? If so, then we have some help for you! We’ve outlined some terms below that will allow you to succeed at the library in everything you do!

Call number – a group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item and provides a way to locate physical books in the library

Database – a collection of information stored electronically

Peer review – a process where experts in a field review books or articles submitted for publication by the experts’ peers

I-share – a library system that provides participating libraries with a merged catalog of the holdings of all I-Share libraries and supports resource sharing among participating libraries

Catalog – a database listing and describing the materials held by a library

Interlibrary loan – a service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries through your own library

If the idea of entering a library freaks you out, don’t stress! The library was made for students, so you should never worry about feeling out of place. Please feel free to ask librarians about anything and everything that worries you! They know all the tricky terms that can come up and are more than happy to help with whatever you need. If you have any questions, you can use our “Chat with a Librarian” service or schedule an appointment with a librarian!