April Student and Staff Picks

Check out April’s Book Picks complied by student employee Mac and Faculty Librarian John Laubersheimer.  We have pulled the books from this list and set up a display near the front of the Library on the Level 2 (Main Floor). Stop by and check one out today!

Mac, a Student Worker

Mac’s Picks

  1. Mindfulness by Ellen Langer
  2. The Basic Works of Aristotle by Aristotle
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning: an Introduction to Logotherapy by Viktor E. Frankl
  4. Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. by Luis J. Rodriguez
  5. The Little Brown Handbook by H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron
  6. The Plague by Stuart Gilbert
  7. The Martian by Andy Weir
  8. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. Lord of the Flies: a Novel by William Golding
  11. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  13. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  14. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
  15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  16. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  17. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  18. Under the Blood-red Sun by Graham Salisbury
  19. The Lord of the Rings Collection by J.R.R. Tolkien
  20. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  21. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  22. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

 

John, a librarianJohn’s Picks

  1. Byzantium: the Apogee by John Julius Norwich
  2. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
  3. Everything Bad is Good for You: How’s Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making us Smarter by Steven Johnson
  4. Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
  5. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: a Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran
  6. The Absolute Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  7. Twenty Thousand League Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. 2001: a Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
  10. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  11. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales by Joseph Conrad
  12. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  13. The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy by Douglas Adams
  14. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  15. Grendel by John Gardner
  16. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  17. The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss
  18. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  19. The Way Things Work by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley
  20. The Truth About Chernobyl by Grigori Medvedev
  21. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  22. Car Talk Classics: No Factory Recalls. So Far. by Tom Magliozzi
  23. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Library Bill of Rights, Article ll

It’s National Library Week, April 9-15!

People often don’t know much about the work that libraries do, or that there is a Library Bill of Rights. That’s right, we have our own guiding principles that help determine how we serve our patrons and communities. We hope you learn a little big more of our library, our librarians and the Library Bill of Rights during National Library Week.

Throughout National Library Week, the Faculty at Brookens Library will be sharing a blog series expounding on each article of the Library Bill of Rights. Each of the 6 principles in the Library Bill of Rights broadly outlines an ideal that librarians support and upon which they model behavior, practice, and services. As with most ideals, pursuit of the tenets of the Library Bill of Rights is not an effortless task. Each of the points we’ll be discussing come with their own special challenges and obstacles. Today we are featuring Article ll.

Library Bill or Rights, Article ll

Written by: Stephen McMinn, Director of Collections & Scholarly Communications

ll: Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

The Library Bill of Rights consists of six statements deigned to help define the role of the library and serve as guiding principles for the services they provide. The preamble so to speak, plainly states “that all libraries are forums for information and ideas.”  The second of the six articles in the Library Bill of Rights is most closely aligned to the First Amendment to the US Constitution which protects the rights of free speech and that of a free press. This article is written in two parts, the first statement covering the acquisition of all types or viewpoints of information, and the second part opposing removal of information due to the objection of others. This article states, “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues, and materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” Essentially, it states that all types of information should be included or made available such that people can explore all sides of an issue, topic, or area of study.

Many of the articles in the Library Bill of Rights are similar or related to the overall goal of providing access to information and ideas with subtle differences. One could question how this statement is different than the first article or the next article dealing with censorship. The subtle difference from the first article is this article is centered on content of the information collected whereas the 1st article is more focused on who created the content. In terms of censorship, this statement is more specific as it opposes removing items from the library because they do not fit their individual beliefs or world view as opposed to taking a stand against censorship which is the government trying to keep out ideas or information. In my view, these guiding principles are important to a healthy and vibrant society as understanding other people’s beliefs, cultures, and views leads to better understanding and empathy. However, taking these positions just like free speech is difficult and can lead to misunderstandings of the library’s role in providing a forum for information and ideas.

One of my favorite lines that describes the issues with holding these beliefs is from the movie, An American President, where the president states “America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” It’s easy when everyone agrees with you, it’s difficult when peoples’ strongly held beliefs go against yours, but hopefully the role of the library in presenting all types of information with all types of ideas and viewpoints, can foster understanding which will ultimately bring people together, not pull them apart.

Stephen McMinn, Director of Collections & Scholarly Communications

Meet the Team: Sarat

Sarat, a student workerName: Sarat

Year in school: Freshman

Major/Minor:  Communication major/ Visual Arts minor

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Hobbies: Reading, drawing, shopping, sleeping, eating

Post-college plans/What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

I would like to go into advertising/marketing for international business.

Who is the person that influences you or inspires you the most? Why?

My mother. She is a strong, intelligent woman who has been through a lot and still smiles and makes those around her laugh.

What has working at Brookens Library taught you?

After helping so many people out with research questions, I feel like I have a better grasp on the issues presented.

What is a memorable experience you have had at the library/UIS?

I went to Louisiana with some members of Leadership for Life. We got to hear the stories of flood victims and were able to help them start to get back what they lost.

Library Bill of Rights: Article l

It’s National Library Week, April 9-15!

People often don’t know much about the work that libraries do, or that there is a Library Bill of Rights. That’s right, we have our own guiding principles that help determine how we serve our patrons and communities. We hope you learn a little big more of our library, our librarians and the Library Bill of Rights during National Library Week.

Over the next 7 days, the Faculty at Brookens Library will be sharing a blog series expounding on each article of the Library Bill of Rights. Each of the 6 principles in the Library Bill of Rights broadly outlines an ideal that librarians support and upon which they model behavior, practice, and services. As with most ideals, pursuit of the tenets of the Library Bill of Rights is not an effortless task. Each of the points we’ll be discussing come with their own special challenges and obstacles. Point 1 is no exception:

The Library Bill of Rights (LBR), or as it was originally named, Library’s Bill of Rights, of the American Library Association “serves as the library profession’s interpretation of how the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applies to libraries” (Office for Intellectual Freedom, 2010, p. xix). Specifically related to the First Amendment, the LBR interprets how “the freedom of speech, or of the press” applies to library practices. The ALA interprets these freedoms broadly to include intellectual freedom, “a freedom of the mind, a personal liberty and a prerequisite for all freedoms [End Page 42] leading to action.” Intellectual freedom is “the bulwark of our constitutional republic . . . [and] . . . the rallying cry of those who struggle for democracy worldwide,” according to the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual, the official interpretive document and guide on implementing the LBR within the context of US libraries (Office for Intellectual Freedom, 2010, pp. xvii–xviii). (Reexamining the Origins of the Adoption of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, p. 1)

The Library Bill of Rights:

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

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WEEK 1

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

The Library Bill of Rights can be thought of as a sort of Hippocratic Oath for librarians. Obviously, the circumstances surrounding a typical librarian’s day to day activity limit our chances to do actual, physical harm – sudden shelf collapses and the adventures medical librarians get up to being notable exceptions. However, as drivers of collections and stewards of information, librarians can have quite an impact on the populations we serve on other ways. Most notably, in terms of access to information.

Our patrons are largely dependent on librarians to create and maintain the collections they use. Though many libraries give their patrons the option of requesting things to be added to the collections, the bulk of the collecting is done by professional librarians. Point one of the Library Bill of Rights places this part of the patron/librarian relationship front and center. It is a commitment to intellectual freedom on our patrons’ behalf. It is also a reminder to librarians to not let our own ideas about ‘proper’ reading material warp our collection.

While this point doesn’t meant that librarians are morally or ethically obligated to include hate speech (for example) in our collections, it does mean that we need to be mindful of our own biases in a general sense. In the past, librarians have had some practices that could be, generously, called shortsighted – even if they were well-intentioned. Specifically, I’m talking about the long history librarians have of self-righteous readers advisory and collections activities.

Briefly speaking, at various points in the history of libraries, certain types of information have been privileged over others. The idea being that librarians were the ideal group of people to determine the relative intellectual value of the items in the library’s collection. In the 20’s and 30’s this meant that nonfiction was overwhelmingly given center stage. It also led to some fairly embarrassing ideas about matching patron types to books in other eras. I have vivid memories of an old library text book on readers advisory that advised librarians to suggest Crime and Punishment as ideal reading material for their patrons that looked like they might be sort who needed the reminder.

At the end of the day, it’s not the place of the librarian to make these sort of deep cutting judgement calls. Librarians have a great amount of potential to influence our patrons, but our collections are just not the right way to exert that power. In the face of the sheer amount of information available today, it is also not an effective strategy. It artificially holds librarians into a very narrow collection focus and, arguably, reduces the effectiveness and usefulness of our collections. It’s much more efficient to teach out patrons how to do that for their own individual needs.

John Laubersheimer, Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian

Meet the Team: Laura

Laura, a student workerName: Laura

Year in School: Graduate

Major/Minor:  Business Administration

Hometown: Ketchikan, Alaska

Hobbies: Cooking, baking, traveling

Post-college plans/What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

After completing my MBA I plan to return to my hometown in Alaska and work in the tourism industry. I have grown up working for many different tour companies that work with cruise ships that come in the summer and I love the industry.

Who is the person that influences you or inspires you the most? Why?

My parents are the two people in my life that have influenced me the most. They have always taught me to dream big and showed me that anything is possible when you’re willing to put in the work. They are the reason I am today and I appreciate everything they have done for me.

What has working at Brookens Library taught you?

Working at Brookens Library has taught me how important good communication skills and attention to detail are. Working with so many different people you have to be able to explain things in a different way to different people and working at Brookens Library has helped me with that. Also paying attention to small details can make a bigger task much easier and certain tasks at Brookens has helped me with this too.

What is a memorable experience you have had at the library/UIS?

My most memorable experience at the library has been working with all the different people that come to the library. Everyone is always very appreciative when we help them, even with the simplest of tasks. It is nice when you feel that you have made someone’s day a little better.

Meet the Team: Scott

Scott, a Student WorkerName: Scott

Year in School: Senior

Major/Minor: Business Administration Marketing Major, Accountancy Minor

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, reading, watching television, walking, and gardening

Post-college plans/What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

I’d like to get a job with my bachelor’s degree, then go on to graduate school and work toward obtaining a master’s degree. I’m not quite sure exactly what I want to pursue in graduate school, but have narrowed my fields of study down to obtaining either a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics or a Master’s of Science in Marketing. I have always been interested in working for an organization with an admirable agenda and a difference-making, world-changing outlook. I enjoy working with data, so a profession dealing with working with data would be great.

Who is the person that influences you or inspires you the most? Why?

I’ve got to give it up to two people for being the biggest inspirations in my life; these people are my mom and dad. My parents are some of the hardest working people I know and have instilled in me the importance of working hard for what I want in life. They also encourage me to continuously learn, acquire new knowledge, and grow as a person. My parents are also immensely considerate and selfless, always willing to lend a helping hand to others. I will forever be grateful for having them in my life to look up to and have by my side.

What has working at Brookens Library taught you?

Working at Brookens has been such a great learning experience for me. I am so appreciative to have worked here during some of my college career. Working at Brookens has furthered taught me the importance of promptness, being tactful, courtesy, and good communication skills.

What is a memorable experience you have had at the library/UIS?

My most memorable experience at Brookens Library would have to be the small, daily exchanges with the patrons and my coworkers while I worked my shifts. Though small, they were significant nonetheless; it truly is the little things. I have enjoyed my time at Brookens helping people.

Meet the Team: Connie

Student Worker ConnieName: Connie

Year in school: Sophomore

Major/Minor: Psychology/Theatre

Hometown: Chicago/Peoria, IL

Hobbies: Writing, crafting, hanging out with friends and family, and shopping

Post-college plans/What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

I would like to go to grad school to earn my psychology doctorate and become a child and adolescent psychologist. I also hope to one day start a non-profit organization to advocate for mental health of minorities. I also hope to one day create a few scholarships.

Who is the person that influences you or inspires you the most?

I would have to say my mom. She has always been my greatest support system and always pushed me to do my best. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without her.

What has working at Brookens Library taught you?

Being part of the team really helped me not only in my academics, but also in preparation for future employment opportunities. I’ve learned to balance work with my academics as well as enrich my research skills.

What is a memorable experience you have had at the library/UIS?

My favorite library experience would be helping set up for Haunted Library.