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!

How-To Tuesday: Charging Stations

What happens if you are engrossed in a deep study session at the library and you notice your phone is on the brink of losing all power? You’re expecting an important call from your uncle in an hour, and you can’t go all the way home to charge your phone. What happens if you have a paper to write but your laptop battery is at 1%? No need to fear, in this installment of How-to Tuesdays, Megan and Taylor show you all about the Charging Stations we have at the library. Check it out and never be left with a dead device again.

Workshop Series for International Students

If you’re an international student at UIS, you’ve probably noticed that the excitement of being away from home is not without its drawbacks.  There’s a lot to experience and a lot of cultural differences to contend with.  Whether you knew it or not, that sentiment extends to the library as well.  There’s a lot to experience at Brookens Library and things may be different from what you are used to.

At the library, we want to make sure you have access to information, resources, and services that will help you succeed during your time at UIS.  We have created a workshop series for all international students that will cover topics specifically chosen to help you navigate the services and resources the library provides to all students on campus.  

Introduction to the Library – Tuesday, September 19, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm 

BRK 232 – Brookens Classroom (Main Level)


Introduction to Library Databases – Monday, October 9, 10:30 am – 11:30 am 

BRK 232 – Brookens Classroom (Main Level)


Introduction to Library Databases – Monday, October 16, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm 

BRK 232 – Brookens Classroom (Main Level)


Citation Styles and Plagiarism – Thursday, November 9, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

BRK 232 – Brookens Classroom (Main Level)


Citation Styles and Plagiarism – Friday, November 17, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

BRK 232 – Brookens Classroom (Main Level)


Each session will cover a variety of topics we hope you find helpful! For more information about the content covered in each session, contact John Laubersheimer at:

De-Stress Stations

Finals Week can be a stressful time of the year. With that in mind, we set up two de-stress stations located near the back of the library on the main floor: A Lego Station and a Kinetic Sand Station. Take a quick break and use your hands to help reduce your stress! Good luck as you close out the semester.

Kinetic Sand Station

Extended Hours – Dec 8-12.

It’s that time of the semester again – the week before finals! We know you have more to do than time to do it so we are keeping our doors open even longer to help better serve your needs! We will be open late all week long:

Monday – Thursday  (Dec 8-11th) 8:30 am – 3:00 am!

Friday (December 12th): 8:30 am – 9:00 pm!

We will provide snacks and beverages to keep you going strong into the wee hours of the night the next morning. Good luck studying!

CarpeNoctem_Fall 14

Writing Help in Brookens Every Thursday

Need writing help but don’t want to schedule an appointment? Every Thursday The Learning Hub provides writing help from one of their writing tutors in Brookens Library. Simply stop by our research consultation rooms on the main level of Brookens Library between 6:00-8:30 pm to get help.

No Appointment Needed!
No Appointment Needed!

Extended Hours at Brookens (May 5-9th)

It’s that time of the semester again – the week before finals! We know you have more to do than time to do it so we are keeping our doors open even longer to help better serve your needs! We will be open late all week long:

Monday – Thursday  (May 5-8th) 8:30 am – 3:00 am!

Friday (May 9th): 8:30 am – 9:00 pm

We will provide stress relievers, snacks and beverages to keep you going strong into the wee hours of the night the next morning. Good luck studying!

Extended Hours Spring 2014



Founders Hall – Reference Help Every Tuesday

It’s official, we are taking our show on the road! We will have a professional librarian leaving the library and coming to you in Founders Hall every Tuesday evening for the remainder of the Spring 2014 semester from 7-9pm. Drop by our table to get research help – no appointment is ever needed.

TTYL Founders Hall

Chancellor Koch on change at Brookens Library

Over the past several years Brookens Library has been working hard to make our resources, services and space more lively and digitally sophisticated. At Brookens, we continue to draw inspiration from the words of founding president, Dr Robert Spencer:
“In our concern for literacy we are placing the library in the center of things – as a resource for the entire curriculum – for all students – and for a wide variety of learning experiences and modes . . . If our library also serves the quite traditional function of providing a site for an inexpensive date or social occasion or serves as a book-lined study hall for those who must get away from more distracted settings, so much the better.”

— May 16, 1976, Dedication of Brookens Library

A big shift in our service model has been adopting the idea of “Embedded Librarianship” , or going where the people already are to serve them. Partially in responsive to the digital shift, the idea of embedded librarianship takes the librarian out of what we know to be the traditional library and inserts him/her in the spaces (both physical and online) the patrons occupy.

UIS Chancellor, Susan Koch recently wrote an article that appeared in the State Journal Register that sheds light on our efforts to be more accessible for users of all types. The articles goes on to profile one of our Library Faculty, Sarah Sagmoen, who was recently named on of Library Journal’s 2014 Movers & Shakers. Read the full article here:

Susan Koch: UIS’ library is lively, digitally sophisticated

The original article appeared in the State Journal Register, Posted Apr. 12, 2014 @ 10:40 pm:

One of my favorite locations on the University of Illinois Springfield campus is the Norris L. Brookens Library.

Dedicated in 1976, the library was the first permanent building on the campus. During the nearly four decades since its construction, the Brookens Library, like many other academic libraries, has been transformed to become much more that a repository and circulator of books.

Thanks in part to the strong leadership of Library Dean Jane Treadwell, the legendary hushed atmosphere is long gone and in its place is a lively, digitally sophisticated and entrepreneurial “learning commons” where professional librarians and peer support staff provide all manner of resources and services and make possible—for students, faculty, staff and visitors—the vibrant circulation of ideas.

And when you think of a librarian, what words come to mind? Quiet, stuffy, drab, timid, puritanical, strict, fastidious? Well, that’s another thing about libraries that has changed. Sarah Sagmoen, whose official title is director of Learning Commons and User Services, is a perfect example.

Sarah has just been named a 2014 “Mover and Shaker” by the American Library Association. This prestigious national recognition is given each year to 50 emerging leaders in the library profession who are innovative and creative and who are moving libraries ahead to be more relevant and to better serve library users.

Sarah acquired her “customer service skills” at a young age. Growing up in Kewanee, her parents both ran local businesses, and while in high school, Sarah worked at Heartfelt Gifts, her mother’s gift shop. As a graduate student in Library and Information Science at Chicago’s Dominican University, she managed a Lebanese restaurant.

Those early experiences have served Sarah — and UIS — exceedingly well. She now leads a team of 16 tech-savvy student employees who provide “roving reference” customer service throughout the library and who use computers and iPads to assist library patrons to select and access resources, including over 40,000 e-journals, 200,000 e-books and 120 full-text multidisciplinary databases as well as over a half million print volumes.

“Students come to the library for many reasons,” says Sarah, “to participate in an information literacy class, to meet with a study group, to access electronic resources, to study on their own, to watch a video, to work on projects together, to meet for individual consultation with a librarian, and yes, even to check out books.”

“One of the biggest challenges for academic libraries today,” says Treadwell, “is teaching students how to navigate the masses of information now available electronically. An essential part of information literacy,” she says, “is learning how to wade through, filter, evaluate and select the best resources.”

Whatever their needs, Brookens Library patrons learn quickly that library staff are energetic, knowledgeable and creative and are there to help them. The old stereotypes of the librarian have disappeared, and according to Sarah, she gets shushed more often than she ever shushes someone else.

Like all of her colleagues in the library, Sarah is passionate about working with students.

“Some days that means I’m in the classroom teaching,” she notes. “Other days I’m supervising the library’s student book club, working with student support staff, creating new ideas for the annual Haunted Library or locating resources for a faculty member who is designing a new course.”

Next week, *(4/14-19) Sarah will be standing knee-deep in mud. She volunteers each year to serve as a judge during the annual UIS Springfest tug-of-war—a popular campus event. We would expect nothing less from UIS’s own “Mover and Shaker.”

Susan Koch is chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield. Look for her columns each month in Our Towns.

Library Tours: Virtual & On Campus

On-Campus Tours
Are you new to UIS? Come tour the library to learn about our resources and services.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12pm – 1pm

Thursday, February 13, 2014 5pm – 6pm

On-campus tours meet in the library classroom – BRK 232


Virtual Tours
Are you a new or returning online student? Join us for a virtual tour of online library resources and services. By the end you’ll know how to find and request books and articles, how to access resources from off campus, where to get research help, and more!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12pm – 1pm

Thursday, February 6, 2014 5pm – 6pm

Virtual tours meet online via MS Lync

Register now!


Questions? Please contact:

Dorothy Ryan Hemmo

Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian

(217) 206-8458