Board Games for the Holidays

It’s November, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Many people think that Thanksgiving is about the history of the holiday, and some may think that it’s about the delicious food that is being prepared, but it’s actually about giving thanks and family. This national holiday is the perfect time to play board games with family or friends.

Board games are available to borrow from our Library of Things collection. You can check out a maximum of 3 items from the collection at a time, they can be checked out for 7 days at a time.

Our games cover a wide variety of game categories. Below are some recommended games to play from our collection.

Classic (Well-Known):

Family Friendly (Great for Family Game Night!):

Party (Play with a Group of Friends):

Strategic (Challenging Games):

If you enjoy these recommended games, feel free to check out our other Library of Things games!

Have a recommendation for a game we should add? Suggest a game via our suggestion form.

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!

Getting Started with Animal Crossing

Relaxing is important during a hectic school year. Some people like to take baths to unwind, while others prefer exercising or taking naps. Personally, I’m a big fan of playing Animal Crossing when I need to take a break from my stressful schedule. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of video games or someone like myself who’s new to them, Animal Crossing can provide not only fun, but relaxation as well. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) came out months ago in March 2020, but, it still provides endless entertainment. If you’ve recently acquired ACNH or you’re thinking about getting the game and you’re wondering where to start, I have some tips for you.

  1. Don’t be intimidated
    When I first started playing New Horizons, I would watch hour-long YouTube videos where people would give tours of their islands and I would feel very inadequate in comparison. For those who may not know, when you start the game, your island is, to put it simply, a mess. If you desire urbanization on your island, you’ll eventually need to clear away weeds and chop down extra trees, but that isn’t a necessity right away. What’s most important is to relax, and not compare your game experience to anyone else’s because, at the end of the day, Animal Crossing is still just a game. 
  1. Names last forever
    One important thing to note when you start playing is that the names you choose for yourself and your island cannot be changed unless you completely reset the game. If you’re tempted to pick something as a joke and you think you might regret it later, don’t choose it. Personally, I thought about my island name for a while before finally settling on something, so don’t be afraid to take your time and think about what you want to call your island.
  1. The game has longevity
    Some critics have said ACNH is fun at first, but eventually becomes boring, and I disagree greatly. If you get bored, you can redo the decor and design of your island as many times as you want, and if you want to go back to the beginning, you can reset your island and start again. The odds of you just getting bored, however, are slim because there is so much to do. Some people focus on upgrading their island as much as possible, some try to catch every fish and bug, and others focus their time on their villagers. If you discover a new bug or fish in the game and Blathers just can’t give you enough information, you could always use the library’s databases to learn more.
  1. Enjoy your villagers
    Speaking of villagers, don’t get too hung up on which ones you do or don’t have because eventually you’ll have the option for them to move off your island and you’ll be able to look for new ones to fill their spots. Some players only like the cutest villagers, but I’ve found that there’s something to love about all of them. The villagers that moved onto my island randomly became some of my favorites, so remember that it’s okay if you don’t start with your dream villagers.
  1. Have fun
    At the risk of sounding too cheesy, the most important part of playing any game is fun. New Horizons isn’t for everyone, but I think it has a lot to offer that could get most people excited. If you want to play with others, you can have multiple islanders on one console, and you can play together. If you have friends who have the game as well, you can send each other gifts and visit one another to truly take advantage of what ACNH has to offer. Animal Crossing is an incredible amount of fun, and if you’re considering playing, I would definitely recommend it.

If you find yourself in the mood to play video games, but you unfortunately don’t have a Nintendo Switch, you can always borrow the library’s Sega Genesis. While you won’t be able to enjoy ACNH, you’ll still be able to get your video game fix. If you love the creativity aspect of the game, you can borrow our drawing tablet to get in touch with your artsy side, and if you want to make clothes like the Able sisters you can borrow our sewing machine. Relaxation is key when it comes to New Horizons, so if you’re focused on mindfulness, you can check out our HappyLight as well. For students who are stuck on campus with nothing to do, Animal Crossing may be perfect for you, but if you can’t indulge in the game, however, the library still has you covered to have a great semester!

Library of Things

Welcome back to another How To Tuesday! This time we’re going to be looking at Brookens Library’s very own Library of Things. The Library of Things, if you do not know, is exactly what it sounds like! We have various items that we allow patrons to checkout similar to any book in the Library. We have various cooking supplies like cake pans or even a pasta maker. There is also technology like sewing machines and especially cameras! Now we’re going to help you navigate to the library homepage, so you too can explore just some of the things that Brookens has to offer.

Step 1

First, let’s navigate to the Brookens Library homepage, which you probably already know how to do since you’re reading this blog post. However, if you do not then all you have to do is type library.uis.edu into the search box of any browser of your choice.

Library Homepage

Step 2

Click on the ‘Find’ tab to bring down a small menu.

Select Find in the blue bar at the top of the library homepage.

Step 3

On this new menu, click on the ‘Library of Things’ tab.

Arrow pointing to Library of Things link

Step 4

Now at the Library of Things page, you can click on the search bar if you know what you’re looking for, or you can peruse the different pages looking at the many things that the Library of Things has to offer.

Arrow pointing to the search bar and Library of Things categories on the Library of Things page.

And this has been How To Find the Library of Things homepage! You can also go to the library’s main desk to look through and check out Library of Things items. Also it’s International Games Week so don’t be afraid to check out some of the Library of Things many games!

Photo of board games in Library of Things

This has been another How To Tuesday with the S.P.A.R.K. Team. We’ll see you next week for another one!

How to Tuesday: Whiteboards

We love getting feedback from our patrons! Every few weeks we write a question on one of our whiteboards asking for your suggestion for the library. 

Image of movie night advertisement indicating that Movie Night at the Library is on Wednesday march 27th at 9pm on the main level of the library.

Thanks to the responses on our whiteboard asking what types of events you would like to see, the library has a movie night planned for tomorrow – Wednesday March 27th at 9pm.

Come watch Jurassic Park with us and snack on some delicious popcorn!

One of our most popular collections is our Library of Things Collection. So this week, we’re asking you what items we should consider adding to the Library of Things. Some of the suggestions we’ve received so far are shown in the image below. If you’ve got a great idea, stop by and add to the list. There are many more questions to come, so be sure to check back in a few weeks to see how else you can help make Brookens Library even better. 

Photo of white board in the library asking patrons what they would like to see added to the library of things collection.

Welcome To UIS!

Welcome to the 2019 Spring Semester at the University of Illinois Springfield. At the Library, we offer both resources and services to help you make the most of your time at UIS. On our website you will find access to our wide variety of databases. Not sure how to get started? Here you will find research help by subject or you can book a Research Consultation with one of our friendly Librarians.

Did you know we have a free app where you can download eBooks and eAudiobooks? It’s true! Simply download the cloudLibrary app and enjoy easy access to thousands of free eBooks/eAudiobooks!

We also have a growing Collection of “Things” called the Library of Things!  We have home and kitchen items, board games, and lots of technology for you to check out for FREE! Interested in learning to use a DSLR camera? No problem, we have that. Have a sewing project but no machine? We’ve got you covered! Need a graphing calculator for class? We have several available for FREE checkout! See what all we have available here!

Last semester we refreshed the Main Level by renovating the space and adding comfortable furniture, collaborative workstations, and computer desks to give you plenty of options to suit your needs. We designed this floor to be flexible, so you’ll notice almost all the furniture is on wheels so you can move it when and where you need it.

We look forward to seeing you in the Library!

Happy Birthday Library of Things Collection!

This month our Library of Things collection turns one, and we’re so excited to celebrate.  Conceived of as a collection to provide patrons with access to equipment and tech that is either too specialized or expensive for personal ownership – like a GoPro camera kit, or items such as phone chargers for the days when you forget yours at home.  Our little collection of things has become one of our most popular services and has grown quite a bit during its first year. 

If you’re not yet familiar with the Library of Things collection, now is the perfect time to get acquainted.  The collection has three major categories, Home and Kitchen, Technology, and Board Games.  Whether you’re looking to spend time with friends over a game of Battle for Hogwarts, try out a new soup recipe with the immersion blender, or want to try your hand at podcasting with our Yeti Microphone, the Library of Things collection has you covered. 

Want to help us celebrate this important milestone?  Start by helping the collection continue to develop into the best collection it can be by suggesting a thing. You can also join us for the Library of Things Birthday Celebration on Tuesday, November 27th from 4-7pm.  Stop by and explore the collection and have some fun with robot races, board games, and more!  

National Library Week!

It’s National Library Week!

Each day this week we will be highlighting our contributions to the UIS campus, and featuring our newest collections, unique services, and upcoming projects. We also will be asking for your feedback this week on how we can enhance our collections, improve our services and reimagine our spaces.

Today we will be highlighting our popular collections! What are our popular collections? Think of it as things you want to read, watch, or listen to for fun! We also have a new collection of “Things” you can check out: home and kitchen items, technology, and a wide variety of games.

1.) Browsing: We have designed this collection to feel like you are at your favorite book store, where you can browse the aisles for something new to read. While much of our collection is academic in nature, the browsing collection is where you will find both fiction and nonfiction tiles, award-winning reads, cookbooks, graphic novels, YA favorites, and more. Stop by, take a look around and find something that speaks to you. This collection is located on the main floor of the Library.

Don’t see what your looking for? You can also SUGGEST A TITLE for purchase

2.) Popular Films:

We have greatly expanded our Popular Film Collection! Here you will find wide and diverse, browsable selection of both DVD & Blue-ray titles. We work hard to ensure our collection is up-to-date, purchasing new releases, box-office hits, and of course classic favorites, and cult classics. For many of the new releases we are able to get the film to the shelve BEFORE RED BOX!!!

If you don’t see your favorite film in our collection you can SUGGEST A TITLE for purchase.  This collection is located on the main floor of Brookens Library.

3.) Library of Things: 

This non-traditional collection is all about enhancing campus life through our library resources.  Currently, the collection has 3 major groupings – Home and Kitchen, Technology, and Games.  Here is a list of some of the individual items you can find in each area:

  • Home and Kitchen: cake pans, a blender, hand mixers, pasta maker, sewing machine, umbrellas, and more.
  • Technology: Raspberry Pi, Shero Ollie, device charging cords, portable chargers, and more.
  • Games: Chess, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Sushi Go Party!, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, and more.

Check out our Library of Things page for all of our offerings in each area.  

Items are available for check-out at the main desk of the library.  You may borrow up to 3 items at one time with borrowing periods ranging from 6 hours to 7 days.

Don’t see what you need? You can SUGGEST AN ITEM for purchase!

Cookbooks & Kitchen Items Are Here!!!!

It’s Thanksgiving time, and that means lots and lots of cooking.  Whether you’re traveling home or staying on campus, this is a great time to check out our new cookbook collection and try one of our kitchen items from the Library of Things.  The cookbooks are a part of our new Popular Books collection on the main level of the library.  To provide extra inspiration, we’ve created a special cookbook display at our display shelves near the main desk, be sure to check it out. 

Our Library of Things items are great for both traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving feast items.  Our waffle maker is perfect for making mashed potato cakes, make some whipped cream for pie with one of our hand mixers,  and the immersion blender is all you need for silky smooth butternut squash soup. Check out the whole kitchen collection of the Library of Things here

Don’t know how to cook?  That’s OK, our cookbook collection is designed for beginner cooks and contains title such as:

Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook

How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food

The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything you Need to Know to Become a Great Cook

And many more!

We’re wishing you a relaxing and tasty Thanksgiving break!

Introducing the Library of Things!

We are incredibly excited to announce our newest collection, The Library of Things.  This non-traditional collection is all about enhancing campus life through our library resources.  Currently, the collection has 3 major groupings – Home and Kitchen, Technology, and Games.  Here is a list of some of the individual items you can find in each area:

  • Home and Kitchen: cake pans, a blender, hand mixers, pasta maker, sewing machine, umbrellas, and more.
  • Technology: Raspberry Pi, Shero Ollie, device charging cords, portable chargers, and more.
  • Games: Chess, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Sushi Go Party!, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, and more.

Check out our Library of Things page for all of our offerings in each area.  

Items are available for check-out at the main desk of the library.  You may borrow up to 3 items at one time with borrowing periods ranging from 6 hours to 7 days.