Hidden Gem: Black Panther Newspaper

With so many resources at the library, it’s impossible to know about all the awesome and unique collections available. So, we’re highlighting some of our favorite lesser known collections in our Hidden Gems series.  These are collections that are tucked away in larger library resources that you may not know exist.

The Black Thought and Culture database – a hidden gem on its own FULL of hidden gems – is an invaluable tool for African American studies and History alike.  Within it is a run of the Black Panther Newspaper (also known as The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service) from 1967 to 1980.  To get to this resource, mouse-over ‘Browse’ from the top menu and select ‘Black Panther Newspaper’ from the drop-down menu.

The Black Panther was the official newspaper of the Black Panther Party for over a decade. It started out as a four-page newsletter in Oakland, California in 1967 and was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. It’s a tremendously valuable resource for understanding the issues of the day from the perspective of the Black Panther Party. The newspaper distributed information about the party’s activities and expressed the ideology of the Black Panther Party.  The paper focused on international revolutions as inspiration and contemporary racial struggles of African Americans across the United States.

Crucially, each issue present is a high-quality scan of the original document – not just a simple text transcription (though some of those are included as well).  This preserves much of the context the articles existed in and provides an amazing look at the time period these papers were originally published in.

If you need assistance in accessing or searching library resources, please contact alibrarian.

Choose Privacy Week 2019: Passwords

Chances are, your standard 8 character password isn’t going to be sufficient if you really want to be sure that your password won’t be cracked. How Secure Is My Password is a great tool to tell you how long it would take a computer to find out your password, and consequently how secure your password is. The length of your password is much more important than the variation of characters used, though that isn’t to say character variation doesn’t help, and the difference made by adding just a few characters to your standard password can add years onto the time it’ll take to crack, so keep this in mind!

8 – Character Password

How secure is my password

Same password with 3 extra characters:

How secure is my password

If you struggle with keeping track of all of your passwords, take a look at some apps/utilities like LastPass or DashLane, which can generate, store, and secure all of your passwords in one place.


See all of our posts for Choose Privacy Week 2019.

Up next: Smartphone & Webcam Security for Privacy

Choose Privacy Week 2019: Credit/Debit Card Security Online

When making purchases online, we often forget that once our credit card information is online it may not be as safe as we think.  There are plenty instances of data breaches where card/ bank information has been breached which happened just last year with T-Mobile. That’s why to properly protect yourself, a virtual card is a must.

To help you protect your debit and credit card information, there is a free service you can use on your computer or smartphone called Privacy. Privacy.com creates virtual debit cards connected to your checking account but, with a temporary card number to protect your information. The virtual card acts as a safety measure so that if the site was ever compromised the only information tied to you would be the virtual card. The best thing about it is that you would have complete control over spending and payments. If you wanted to cancel Netflix’s recurring payment, then all you need to do is press stop on its virtual card.  This causes any future transactions from the streaming service to stop. The other good thing about Privacy.com is the spending limits you can set.  Limits can be set to a specific virtual card like Netflix or on the account level for all purchases made through any virtual card.

You have a multitude of other ways to protect your card information such as avoiding deals that seem too good to be true. These deals are set up to take your personal information or to sell you a fake or poorly made product of what you are looking for. Be sure to double, no triple check that the company is reputable to ensure the merchant is not made up or has a good reputation.


See all of our posts for Choose Privacy Week 2019
Up next: Passwords

Choose Privacy Week 2019: Introduction

Choose Privacy Week May 1 - 7, Person juggling a shield, credit cards, phone, lock, laptop and an eye

In honor of the American Library Association’s Choose Privacy Week, Brookens Library will be releasing a series of Choose Privacy posts that will include useful tips and tricks for maintaining your privacy online. In a world where digital surveillance and information suppression is only becoming more of an issue, the need for protecting your privacy is only growing.

See all of our posts for Choose Privacy Week 2019.

Up next: Credit/Debit Card Security Online

Summer Reading On the Go

Returning home for the summer? Sad you’ll no longer have the Brookens Library collection to peruse? Have no fear, cloudLibrary is here! Even if you are not on campus, you still have access to thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks. Get all of your fun reading done this summer using the cloudLibrary app, available for download on all of your devices. It has tons of popular books like Game of Thrones, some new publications, and lots of hidden gems. Don’t miss out on some wild literary adventures this summer! 

To login to the app, all you need to have is a library barcode number. This number is located on your library card and begins with 214.  

screenshot of login page of Cloudlibrary demonstrating that you use the 2141 number on your i-card to log into the app

For any assistance with the app, please stop by the main desk or call us at 217-206-6605.  

Have a relaxing summer and happy reading! 

Hidden Gem: Slavery in America Collection

With so many resources at the library, it’s impossible to know about all the awesome and unique collections available. So, we’re highlighting some of our favorite lesser known collections in our Hidden Gems series.  These are collections that are tucked away in larger library resources that you may not know exist.   

This week we are featuring another hidden gem within the HeinOnline legal database, the “Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law” collection.  This collection would be of interest to researchers in the areas of history, African American studies, anthropology, sociology, etc.  To access these works, go to the HeinOnline database, and choose “Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law” under the Browse Database by Name menu.   

Screenshot of HeinOnline database indicating the Slavery in America and the World collection under the Browse Database by Name category.

This collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials totaling over 2,000 primary and secondary source titles on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery.  

Beyond statutes and cases, the collection also includes novels, newspapers, poems, songs, speeches, sermons, and slave narratives.  One of the unique items included is the the original copy of the book – “Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, from a Cotton Plantation near the Red River, in Louisiana” that was the foundation of the recent motion picture.   

If you need assistance in accessing or searching library resources, please contact a librarian

Extended Hours

To help you prepare for finals and finish up those final papers and projects, we will be open extra hours Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3.

  • Monday, April 29 – Thursday, May 2: 8:30am – 3:00am
  • Friday, May 3: 8:30am – 9:00pm

To keep you fueled for your studying, we’ll be providing coffee, tea, hot cocoa and snacks starting at 10pm Monday – Thursday.

Best of luck finishing up your semester!