Drop-In Research Help!

Drop in and get help with your research! No appointment needed.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:00 – 6:00 PM.  Brookens Library Main Level

Brookens Library is now offering drop in research help every week. Academic research is a multi-step process that isn’t necessarily linear. While there’s no “right” way to do academic research, we realize that researching can be overwhelming and want you to know that we are here to assist you. Stop by the main level and get help with your research needs from one of our talented Librarians. 

We can assist with every step of the research process – from developing your research topic to helping you track down those hard to find citations.  Undergraduate, Graduate or UIS staff, we’ve got you covered. Put out skills to your use.

We’ll be offering this service through the remainder of the fall semester and then again in the spring once school resumes. 

We look forward to helping you succeed!

Fall Faculty Workshops

The Faculty Development Office is sponsoring a number of workshops this fall and the library in coordination with other units are presenting information on a broad number of topics throughout the fall semester. The full calendar can be found on their website, https://www.uis.edu/fdo/. If interested in any of the events listed below, Reservations are requested but not required (RSVP to: facultydevelopment@uis.edu)

For October there are workshops on Open Educational Resources and Bibliographic Management tools such as EndNote Web and related tools to help researchers and students organize information and manage citations. Interested graduate students are encouraged to attend the workshop on Bibliographic Management tools, so be sure to pass this along to them. In November the library is participating in workshops devoted to UIS’ Baccalaureate Information Literacy Requirement and strategies to ensuring students acquire these important skills and a workshop highlighting services and support available from the Library, COLRS, and ITS to ensure a successful spring semester. The dates and locations plus additional information are provided below. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 30, 12-1 pm, PAC H – “Scholarship Tools”

Common Bibliographic Management Tools such as EndNote/EndNote Web, Zotero, and Mendeley can greatly ease the process of organizing your research and creating bibliographies. This workshop will demonstrate how they work, discuss the benefits they can provide, and help you consider which tool might be best for you.

Presented by H. Stephen McMinn, Director of Collections and Scholarly Communication, Brookens Library

Tuesday, November 6, 12-1 pm, PAC G – “UIS’ Baccalaureate Information Literacy Requirement”

Information Literacy is one of the baccalaureate goals of UIS. The phrase itself is bandied about quite a bit by academics.  But what is it really and why should we care?   This conversation will focus on the newly established Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education developed by the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Presented by Pamela M. Salela, Associate Professor, Library Instructional Services; Nancy Weichert, Clinical Assistant Professor, Library Instructional Services; and Sally LaJoie, Clinical Assistant Professor, Library Instructional Services

Wednesday, November 7, 12-1 pm, PAC H – “Gearing Up for Spring”

As the pace of Fall semester escalates, it will be time to start thinking about spring courses.  Learn what resources the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS), the Accessibility Office, Brookens Library, and Information Technology Services (ITS) can provide to help you prepare. This workshop will cover the breadth of services at UIS to support your teaching.  Learn how to get help with making your materials accessible.  Get help with using course reserves in the library or online, linking to library sources, and using Intellus to find and use Open Educational Resources. Learn how to use copyrighted materials and stay on the right side of the law.  This is a one-stop workshop. Find out what these support teams can do to help ensure that you and your students are successful.

Presented by Vance Martin, Campus Accessibility Specialist, COLRS; H. Stephen McMinn, Director of Collections and Scholarly Communication, Brookens Library; and Kara McElwrath, Assistant Director, Client Services, ITS


Meet the Team: Ankit

Name: Ankit

Major: MIS

Status: Graduate

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?  UIS has a lot to offer to it’s students so it is difficult to pick a favorite. Having said that, I like to play games at the student union, I like to attend the expo’s and events that go on around campus. I also love playing Badminton and ping pong at TRAC. The library is my favorite place to watch a movie or to concentrate when I am studying.

What are your goals for the semester? This semester is going to be a tough one. I have taken 3 courses and all of these require investing a lot of time on them. So, i just want to concentrate & study as much as possible this semester and try to make sure that I maintain a good GPA. I am looking forward to learn a new programming language and a lot of other things. I would also love to visit Colorado during Thanksgiving break.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? If I had a reality TV show of my life, I would call it ‘ Chill Alone’ because I appreciate time spent alone. 

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? My course doesn’t give me a lot of free time to engage with clubs/activities/sports on campus, however I love listening to music & watching new movies and TV shows. I play sports occasionally. I also like to go out with my friend’s on weekends and meet new people and explore places around Springfield.

What have you learned since working at the library? I began working with the library since January 2018 & I have learned a lot. I have improved my communication skills and I get to meet and see new people everyday.

What are your post-graduation plans? I will be graduating in Fall of 2019. Once I graduate, I plan to move to Pittsburgh or New York and start looking for jobs and would love to explore my OPT period while working.

What is your favorite thing from the library of things collection?: I love Italian cuisine, so someday I would love to take the pasta maker, make some fresh pasta and enjoy feasting on it.

Meet the Team: Samantha

Name: Samantha

Major: Sociology/Anthropology

Status: Senior



What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS? As a student, I love that UIS have mostly small classes. The student to instructor ratio isn’t overwhelming which allows for more of a connection with the instructor and a better learning experience in my opinion. Being a transfer student, I definitely like the vibe of UIS much better overall.

What are your goals for the semester?  My goal for this semester is to keep my head in the game. It’s the last year of school for me and I know how easy it is to fall into the senioritis trap! But I just need to remember that if I want to play hard, I have to work hard too.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? My reality TV show of my life would be called “Fast & Furious”. Odd I know but it’s because life passes by fast and that makes me furious!

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I dedicate most my free time to the music program here at UIS. I play violin in the UIS Orchestra and sometimes perform around campus for official events as well. I recently started to become more involved in the International Student Services because that is a huge passion of mine. I want to make sure that we as a University welcome others with open arms!

What have you learned since working at the library? I have learned that a little goes a long way. I am only a small part of the big complex system that is the Library. In order for everything to run smoothly, it’s important to pay attention to even the smallest tasks.

What are your post-graduation plans? (at least 3 sentences): Oof this question is a hard one! As of right now, I’m postponing graduate school since I would like to gain some experience in the work industry first. I’m interested in becoming an academic advisor or program coordinator for higher education.

What is your favorite thing from the library of things collection?: My favorite thing from the library of things collection has to be the board games! I would love to have that big of a collection of board games when I have a home of my own. Life isn’t a game but maybe just for a few hours I don’t have to worry about bills but think about how I’m going to kick butt in chutes & ladders!

Library Student Managers: A Fond Farewell!

 As we complete another academic year, we are also marking the end of an era for our Student Management team: Andrew, Diamond, and Taylor.  What makes this year unique is that all three of our Student Managers are graduating. We want to take this moment to say an extra special congratulations and an extra special thank you to each of them.  

The library’s Student Managers are members of our User Services team, which means they are fully trained circulation supervisors.  They open and close the library, train new student employees, provide excellent service to our patrons, plan and run student employee staff meetings and our biannual semester retreats, and so much more.  Each of them comes to work every day ready to work hard, to make a positive impact, and they’re always ready for the weirdly unexpected and unpredictable issues that can arise with each day.  They are thoughtful and responsible, and provide a much needed student voice to every decision we make in the User Services department.  

As a team, they are both colleagues and friends who support each other inside and outside the library.  It has been an honor and a privilege to watch them grow as leaders, and a true joy to work alongside them.  We are better because of them, the library is better because of them, and for that, we will be forever grateful.  

Andrew, Diamond, and Taylor – Thank you for letting us be a part of your time at UIS, it has been unforgettable. We can’t wait to see what you do next!  

Diamond: Student Manager

Taylor: Student Manager


Andrew: Student Manager

Special Thanks and Congratulations from User Services, 

Erich, Student Assistant Program Coordinator  and Sarah, Director of Learning Commons and User Services

How-To-Tuesday: Research Guides

Research Guides

In this week’s installment of How-To Tuesday, Taylor struggles with negative feedback she received
from her professor regarding the sources she used for her research paper. What can she do? Where
should she start? Surely the library has something that can help her with this problem. It does! They’re
called Research Guides. Watch the video now to learn more, and don’t call me Shirley*.
*joke from the 1980 Leslie Nielson vehicle Airplane!


Meet the Team: Francesca

Name: Francesca

Major: Philosophy/ Environmental Studies

Status: Freshman

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS? My favorite thing about UIS is the fact that I can wake up 5 minutes before any class, and still make it to the room on time. I also like that we have a small community that can work together to leverage large scale change.

What are your goals for the semester? My goals are to spend more time reading for fun. It is easy to get overwhelmed with school work but it is important to take care of yourself and set aside time to reflect and read a new or favorite novel.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why?  My TV show would be called Francesca: Adventures of the Womansupial. In the alternate reality where I have a TV show, I am also a woman who is half person half marsupial (I would resemble a Kangaroo).

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I am currently involved in L4L as well as the Green Fee Committee. So please, please, please, email me with your sustainable project idea.

What have you learned since working at the library?  Since working at the library my research skills have really improved. Beyond helping students find resources, I have discovered all of the resources that are available to me as well.

What are your post-graduation plans?  My plan post graduation is to join the Peace Corps. I would also like to pursue a career in sustainable education in elementary schools.

Nachos for Norris Nation! Learn More


The library is launching a new student organization called Norris Nation. This group will give you a chance to engage with the library at special Norris Nation events. Here you can provide feedback on what you think the library does well, where you think we can improve, and what you would like to see the library do more of, or add to its services and/or resources.  Every time a member of Norris Nation participates at an event, they move along the Norris Nation pathway in the UIS Connection system, with various points along the pathway earning you special Norris Nation swag!

NACHO BAR! Our first event is this Friday (Sept. 8)!  It’s an after-hours event at the library, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and involves a free nacho bar. Who doesn’t love nachos!?!? The event is listed on UIS Connection. Feel free to RSVP in advance (not required.)


Oct. 20 – Haunted Library – Norris Nation Members will get a special goodie bag

Nov. 16 – Movie Night at the Library @ 9pm 

Dec. 12 – Cookie Decorating at the Library 2-5pm

Brookens Welcome Week

We are so happy to have students back on campus for the start of another great semester. The Library will be at several events this week! Be sure to see us at the following:

Chancellor’s Picnic:  Tuesday, August 29 from 4:00  – 6:00 pm. Librarian Sarah Sagmoen will be serving you!

Involvement Expo: Wednesday, August 30 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on the quad. We will have tables for the Library and the Haunted Library (where you can volunteer to be a part of the big production!)

MYO (Make Your Own) Bookends: Decorate your own bookends for your dorm or apartment on Thursday, August 31 from 11:00 am  – 1:00 pm in Lincoln Res. Hall. Librarian Nancy Weichert will be there to help you with all your crafting needs!

Labor Day Movie Special & Binge Kits: Check out any 3 DVDs from our Feature Film Collection September 1-3 and get free candy and popcorn at the front desk. We also have Binge Kits available near the front of the library. All Binge Kits come with 3 curated films that follow a theme and each kit comes with popcorn and candy!