Want to Learn How to Draw?

Drawing has been present in our lives ever since we first knew how to hold a pencil. Remember when you were younger and you were in school drawing whatever you wanted to? Everyone knows that as kids we weren’t an expert in drawing and all we could draw were stick figures. Something similar to this:

Hopefully this brought back memories!

While beginner artists can draw simple and small pictures like stick figures, those at the intermediate level can take it up a notch – and anyone can get to the advanced level, all it takes is a little practice. After all, “practice makes perfect.” Today, you’ll be shown the simple steps in basic drawing.

Step 1: Getting ready 

When getting ready to draw, you need to have all of your materials, be patient, and be open to accept criticism. For the materials, it’s your choice! You can use any color/type of paper, any pencil, any marker, any crayon, and etc. It’s your artwork! Any artist knows that drawing takes a lot of time and patience especially if you want it to look good. Accepting criticism is important because it will help you improve and become a better artist. Yes, it may hurt a bit but it will also help you a. 

Step 2: Finding the artwork you want to draw 

Before you start drawing, you have to know specifically what you want to draw. The best places to find inspiration are Pinterest and Google. On Pinterest, you can find things to draw like buildings, objects, fictional characters or even a curated mood board to inspire you to draw something new. Browse through at their website or download the app (don’t worry it’s free!).

Step 3: Print out the picture you want

Print out the picture? Yes, print out the picture. By doing this, you can put a blank sheet of paper over the printout so you can get used to the feel of drawing. Try to keep the papers together and still so you can trace the picture perfectly. Can’t see the printed paper? Use a light source such as a lamp or your phone to see the lines on the printed paper through the paper that you are drawing on.

Step 4: Leave it how it is, color it, or draw the picture without the printed paper

BOOM! You drew your first picture! You can decide what you want to do with your first drawing. As a next step, it’s recommended to try to draw that same exact picture but without tracing the printed paper. Why? To see how well you can draw without tracing.

Here is a list of eBooks that can teach you some drawing techniques:

Search our library catalog to find more books on drawing!

How To Check Your Library Account and Renew Materials

Welcome back to the Spring Semester! You might have checked out some books for the Winter Break and need to renew them. The SPARK Team is here to explain how to check your library account and renew books with this step-by-step guide.

To Check Your Library Account:

  1. Pull up the library website. Select “My Accounts” and choose “My Library Account” from the dropdown menu. Log in with your NetID/password when prompted.
My Account dropdown menu on the Brookens Library website

2. And this is your library account! Here you can see items that you have checked out and any late fees associated with your account. To see what books you have checked out from another I-Share libraries, select a library from the left side of the screen under “All Institutions” to see loans from that particular library.

Listing of All Institutions in Library Account sreen

To Renew Library Materials:

3. Now to renew your library materials, click on “Renew All,” and this will renew all your items from that particular library if items are renewable.

Library account screen

4. And finally, you will get a popup saying that your books have been successfully renewed.

Message that loans have been renewed on library account

Now you know how to access your library account and renew your checked out books! To learn more about how to search the library catalog, check out our online tutorials.

Stay tuned next week for another SPARK Team How To Tuesday!

Suggest eBooks & eAudiobooks in cloudLibrary

Have you been looking forward to reading your favorite author’s newest book? Or are you in the mood to listen to one of your childhood favorites on audiobook and can’t find it in our collection? Well, you’re in luck! You can suggest that Brookens Library purchase an eBook or eAudiobook that we don’t own in cloudLibrary.

Check out how to suggest an eBook or eAudiobook directly from our mobile app.

If you don’t already have the cloudLibrary app you can download it for free from your preferred app store! Once it’s downloaded on your device, you are ready to let us know what title(s) you’d like us to add to our cloudLibrary collection! 

  1. In the cloudLibrary app, click ‘Search’ at the bottom of the screen. Type the title of the book you want to find in the search bar.

  1. If we do not have the book, click on the filter icon at the top right hand corner. Make sure ‘Suggestions for library’ is selected, and hit ‘Save.’

  1. Now, your book should show up in the results if its available to suggest for purchase. Click ‘Suggest.’ And that’s it! Your suggestion will be considered for purchase.

How To Start the Semester Off Right

It’s a brand new semester so make sure to check out our list of useful tips from Brookens Library to help you start the semester off right!

  1. Get to know your librarians and the SPARK Team.
    Acquaint yourself with our online chat box (found on the library homepage) and know that our librarians are here to help with your library questions! You’ll also see a lot of the SPARK Team – our peer research student squad – with weekly How To Tuesday videos (see below), research tips and other fun stuff on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
  1. Bookmark our What to Expect at the Library Guide.
    Find up-to-date info about library services this semester – hours, research help, requesting materials for pick up, etc. You’ll want to check our guide frequently as our services and hours may change throughout the semester.
  1. Learn how to search our new library catalog.
    We launched a new library catalog this summer, so take some time to play around with finding a book or learning how to request an item from I-Share. Check our tutorials to learn more.
  1. Explore new places on campus.
    While the library building is currently closed at the moment, check out our interactive Google Map of outside study spaces (with photos!) on campus.
  1. Relax and have fun with an eBook or eAudiobook.
    Download the free cloudLibrary app to your mobile device and browse through our collection of popular and fun reads with cloudLibrary!

How to Charge Your Device

Are you tired of coming to campus only to realize that you have forgotten your phone charger at home? No worries, Brookens has got you covered.

Located on the main floor of Brookens, we have lockers with outlets and chargers inside them so you can lock your device and leave it while you work. If you need to charge your device and have it with you, we have a variety of chargers for laptops and phones available for checkout at the front desk.

If you are sitting down and need an outlet to plug your charger into, we have portable outlets located on the main floor that can be used on a first come, first serve basis.

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s How To Tuesday from the SPARK Team.

Browsing Brookens: New and Popular Books

Hello friends and users of Brookens! This is the third week of our Browsing Brookens Collections Series for our How To Tuesday feature. Last week we broke down the Library of Congress call number system and explored the General Collection on the fourth floor. This week the SPARK Team is excited to be showing you our New and Popular Book Collections and how to browse them.

The New Book Collection can be found directly across from the circulation desk on the main floor. These are academic books that are new to the library. A circular blue sticker with the word “New” is placed on the binding just above the call number. Similar to the General Collection, they are organized by call number.

The Popular Book Collection is comprised of fiction and nonfiction books that are especially popular right now. Many of these titles will be on display at your local book store as well. These are also organized by call number. All of the books in the popular collection can be distinguished by a small white sticker directly above the call number that says “popular”.

You can look for specific titles in these collections by searching the main search bar on the Brookens Library homepage. If you can’t find the book you want at Brookens, you can search for the book via I-Share and request it from another library. If you have questions regarding these collections, the availability of a book, or anything else library related, please don’t hesitate to ask the circulation desk.

Browsing Brookens: Finding Books by Call Number

Looking for a book or two for your assignment? Not sure how to find them on the 4th floor of our library? Last week, we talked about how to read a call number, so this week we have a new short video tutorial on how to locate any book you are searching for by call number.

Browsing Brookens: Understanding Call Numbers

Have you ever wondered how our library books are organized on the shelves? Books in our library are organized by Library of Congress call numbers – the numbers on the spine of the book – which is why you always need the call number when looking for a book in our General Collection up on the 4th floor of Brookens. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subject so knowing how our books are organized will help you find your books a bit more easier.

Here’s a quick video to introduce you to understanding how our books are organized and using library call numbers to find a book you are looking for.

How to Check Your Library Account

Welcome back! We hope that your winter break was wonderful and you were able to enjoy the break from your studies. This week, the SPARK Team is bringing you some information on how to check your library account during the semester.

  1. Go to the Brookens Library homepage.

2. Next, locate the purple circle below the main search box that says “My Accounts,” and click on it. Select the “My Library Account” option from the drop down box.

Shows when to find My Library Account on Brookens Library webpage

3. Clicking on this link will take you to a new page that will prompt you to log in with either your NetID, or library card barcode if you do not have a NetID.

Shows when to Login with your NetID

4. Once you log in, the webpage will have several options on the right side.

Image of main webpage of Your Account
  • Saved Items. The first one that you will see is “Saved Items.” This tab is where you can save items when searching on the main page to come back to later.
  • Checked Out Items. By clicking on this link, it will show the current materials you have checked out under your account. This is where you can renew the due dates of your materials without having to come into Brookens.
  • Requested Items. If you have requested any library materials from Brookens Library or I-Share, you can see the status of those requests or have the option to cancel the requests.
  • Fines. This will show any fines that are currently on your account.
  • Profile. This tab simply shows your personal account such as your address, contact information, name, and which library you prefer to pick your books up at when you request books.

If you ever have difficulty with something on your account, or are unsure about what something means, you can always contact the Circulation Desk located on the main floor of Brookens, and they will be happy to help you! We hope that you have a great semester and are looking forward to bringing you some helpful tips and tricks each Tuesday this semester!

HTT: Resources for Coping with Finals Week Stress

Thank you for tuning in to the last How To Tuesday of the semester.  At Brookens Library, we know how stressful finals week can be, and we want to offer up some helpful information for coping with stress and anxiety.

With final papers and projects due soon, we know that having adequate sources and citations are imperative to having a successful finals week. Located in front of the librarian suites on the main floor we have a stand with pamphlets and flyers regarding different citation styles including MLA, APA and Chicago. 

Flyer stand in the library with flyers on citation styles, library resources, and coping with stress.

If you look below the citation flyers we have pamphlets from the American College Health Association and the UIS Counseling Center regarding stress, anxiety, and some tips for managing them.  Not only is there information for managing stress, but there is also information about recognizing the symptoms of stress and anxiety in yourself.  Stop by and pick one up to get you through these trying times.

Vending machines in the tunnel between Brookens Library and PAC.

Finally, if you are up late studying in the library and need a snack or energy boost, don’t forget about the vending machines located in the tunnel between Brookens and PAC.  You can access this tunnel from the first floor of the library or the stairway just inside the main library entrance to the right.     

Thank you for tuning in and we’ll see you next semester!