Spooks, Books & Candy Chutes on 10/27

With Halloween quickly approaching, Brookens Library has a fun way for you to get in the mood. On Wednesday, October 27th from 6:30-8:30pm, the library will have an interactive candy chute where students can gather some goodies. We’ll also have some spooky and seasonal books and movies for students to check out and enjoy.

And for students who want to stay a little longer, we’ll have a Halloween-themed craft station where you make your own pumpkin or ghost garland that’ll help you keep things festive. We’ll provide you with all the supplies you need, so if you’re interested in exploring your artsy side or just looking for something fun to do with your friends, feel free to enjoy this stress-free seasonal activity!

If you’re a fan of the spooky season, love getting free candy, or are looking forward to borrowing some Halloween-themed books or movies, you should definitely come out to Brookens on the 27th!

Spooks, Books and Candy Chutes
Wednesday, October 27 at 6:30-8:30pm
Brookens Library Main Floor

Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month is a month-long celebration each October that honors the history of the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of the gay rights movement. Created in 1994, the month gives people the opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ history and ways to help the community. Even for those who are not LGBTQ+, this celebratory month is important because it recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of a community that has been harmfully removed from history.

One way to honor LGBTQ+ history, is by celebrating and reading LGBTQ+ authors. Both historically and modernly, there are many amazing authors who are members of the community. At Brookens Library, we have some amazing options for diverse LGBTQ+ literature from a variety of different authors.

Even if you aren’t an avid reader, there are several LGBTQ+ movies you can borrow as well.

One reason why the creation and consumption of LGBTQ+ books and movies is so important is because of the significance of representation. Representation matters because people who come from different and diverse backgrounds often have unique perspectives that may not be seen otherwise. It is common for marginalized groups (the LGBTQ+ community in this case) to struggle to have their voices and opinions heard when society chooses to focus on what is considered to be standard or traditional. Oftentimes, when these diverse perspectives are hidden, others who have the same views worry that they are alone in having these thoughts or somehow wrong for thinking the way they do.

By celebrating and promoting LGBTQ+ authors and content, we’re elevating the voices of this marginalized community and providing representation for those who may not see themselves in traditional media. We are also actively showing our support for the LGBTQ+ community and creating a space where members of the community can feel welcomed and free to be themselves.

For LGBTQ+ students or allies looking for more information, Gender and Sexuality Student Services is an amazing resource!

Basics of Research

Research can be overwhelming, especially for students who don’t have a lot of experience with it. Luckily, the research process can be broken down into smaller, more manageable parts that make the experience easier and less stressful.

Understand your assignment.

Trying to start your research without understanding your assignment will lead nowhere – it’s like driving to a destination without a GPS or any sense of direction. Focus on the length of your assignment, the due date, and the types of sources you’ll need to use.

Choose a topic.

If possible, choose a topic that interests you. This will make the assignment more fun, and much easier to complete. If you don’t know very much about the potential topics, then you can do a little background research to help you decide.

Figure out what information you’ll need.

Information can come from many different source types – including books, journals, newspapers, and more. Sometimes professors will require you to use either scholarly or popular sources as well. Scholarly sources can typically be characterized as works where scholars wrote peer-reviewed academic research that explores a new discovery in their field. Popular sources are intended for general audiences and have the purpose of informing, entertaining, or persuading.

Identify a research question.

This step is really helpful in narrowing down what you’re going to be searching for. It will also help add focus to your project. Consider a variety of brainstorming strategies, such as concept mapping.

Explore sources.

Brookens has access to a lot of different databases, so knowing where to start can sometimes be confusing. For general research, Academic Search Complete and Google Scholar are great places to start. For more in-depth searches, our research guides have recommended databases for many different subjects.

Start searching

You should definitely pay careful attention to your search terms. Selecting important keywords from your research question will help you get better results than if you try to search your question.

Evaluate the information you’ve found.

There are a few things to focus on when deciding if you want to use a piece of research.

  • Is the information current? (Or, is it important for you to use up-to-date information for this project?)
  • Is the research relevant? Will this information help you complete your assignment?
  • Did this come from a credible author/source?
  • Is the information accurate? (You may need to check with other research to answer this.)
  • Is this research attempting to persuade you or give you an opinion? (You may need to reconsider how you’re going to use the information after you answer this.)

Cite your sources.

Citing your sources accurately is really important in order to avoid plagiarism. The Purdue OWL is a great source for information on citations – it has great tips and goes into detail on everything you need to know for different citation styles.

If you ever have any other questions about the research process, feel free to reach out to the library for help! You can either contact a librarian for subject-specific questions, use the library’s online chat service (which can be found on the library’s homepage) for the more general questions you may have, or check our FAQs!

Banned Books Week 2021

Banned Books Week promotional graphic

Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. This year the theme of the week is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” The purpose of Banned Books Week is to come together as a reading community and support everyone’s freedom to read what they want. The books that we feature this week have either been challenged or banned in libraries and schools because of their content.

You can head to cloudLibrary to check out some popular eBooks from our library that you may not have known were banned or challenged.

The American Library Association (ALA) has a great list that includes each year’s top ten most challenged books.

The ALA also provides support for anyone who’s fighting against a book’s challenge or ban, and encourages people to reach out and report censorship when they can.

Protecting the freedom to read is important for everyone – librarians, students, faculty, and the community. Censorship threatens this freedom and creates unnecessary and unwanted barriers between readers. Thanks to the hard work of many librarians, students, teachers, and members of the community, however, most books are still available for readers. This is definitely a cause for celebration, and another main reason why Banned Books Week is such a big deal every year.

Decorate Your Own Bookends at Brookens

To celebrate Banned Books Week, come out to Brookens Library on Wednesday, September 29th from 5:30-8:30pm to design and decorate your own bookend (or two)! While you’re welcome to stay the whole time, you can also just come for a little bit. You’ll also be able to see our collection of popular banned books and borrow some to read in your downtime!

Historically, books have been challenged and banned by schools and other officials in attempts to silence authors and stifle differing opinions. Because of this, Banned Books Week exists to celebrate the freedom to read, bring together the book community, and reclaim censored titles.

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!

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.