Snapshot Day!

Today, Wednesday April 19, 2017 is Snapshot Day: A Day in the Life of Brookens Library.

What we hope to achieve on this “Day in the Life”, is a picture of what people are coming to Brookens Library for through photographs and a brief survey. We also have an online survey to capture why people are coming to our website.

If you visit us, on-ground or online, we hope you take a moment to let us know what you came here for so we can provide you with the best experience possible in the future. Check back here to see photos from Snapshot Day!

Snapshot Day

It’s Snapshot Day in the library! On April 15th, we are trying to capture what a day in the life of Brookens Library looks like by collecting information about your visit through a very brief survey. We also photograph a variety of scenes to get a sense of how people are using our facility.

Anyone who completes a survey in person will receive a Brookens bag so be sure to do so if you are in the building. You can also take the survey online to be entered into a raffle to win a copy of the book Divergent.

Snapshot Day Promo Poster 2015 P-1 copy

Snapshot Day: A Day at Brookens Library

Wednesday April 16th is Snapshot Day – A Day In The Life of Brookens Library. On this day we collect data using a survey & everyone who fills out a survey will receive a FREE Brookens Library re-usable bag. What we learn  helps us better serve you!

You can also enter a raffle to win one of our brand new tumblers…3 winners will be drawn!

Snapshot Day 2014 at Brookens Library

“Friending” Brookens Library

We’re wrapping up our Learn About Your Library Series with a very important post about how you can continue to learn about your library.

Are you a lover of libraries?  If so, consider joining the Friends of Brookens Library!  Membership is a way that you can both learn more about the fabulous resources available to you at Brookens and support the library in our quest to develop our collections and bring even more services your way.

Friends memberships are available to students, staff, and faculty members at discounted rates.  Many of our Friends are alumni who, through their membership, can enjoy local borrowing privileges, invitations to lectures and programs, and newsletters on library-related developments.  In other words, just because you graduate doesn’t mean we still can’t be your library!

Discounted Rates:

UIS Students ($5)

UIS Faculty & Staff  ($25)

Levels of Giving: 

Carl Sandburg /Chancellor’s Circle ($2500+)

Gwendolyn Brooks Circle ($1000)

James Jones Circle ($500)

William Maxwell Circle ($250)

Lorraine Hansberry Circle ($150)

Vachel Lindsay Circle ($50)

Becoming a Friend is import and easy!  To learn more, please visit:

What a Library Dean Does

Today our “Learn About Your Library” post features one person – our Dean!  But let’s start with some context…There are a lot of types of libraries in the world.  There are public libraries, school libraries, corporate libraries, special libraries and libraries at colleges and universities just like here at UIS.  These libraries, like Brookens Library, are called academic libraries.  Academic Libraries have directors or deans who are in charge.

Here at Brookens Library we have a Dean and University Librarian.  Maybe you know her, her name is Jane Treadwell.  But what does the dean of a library do exactly?  Well, a lot things for sure, and definitely too many to list here in this blog post.  Here are a few of the important tasks Dean Treadwell is responsible for at Brookens Library.

  1. Creating a vision for Brookens Library by working with Library faculty and staff, the Committee on the Library and others to plan for future library services and initiatives
  2. Advocating for the resources that the Library needs to serve the students, faculty and staff of UIS
  3. Attending/leading meetings on and off-campus to stay informed of and present university and library issues and initiatives
  4. Fundraising by working with the UIS Development Office and the Friends of Brookens Library to raise money for the Library
  5. Representing the UIS Brookens Library and/or the library profession on local, state, national and international groups -for example, she currently is serving on the board of CARLI (the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois—the group behind I-Share) and on the OCLC Global Council
  6. Working with Friends of Brookens Library and Library Publicity Committee to plan and offer educational events for the campus and community

Like we said, that’s just a short list of the many things that Dean Treadwell does here at the library.  We could go on, but then we’d be writing a book instead of a blog post 🙂

How Databases Work

We continue on Learning About Your Library with some information about Databases, These days, the databases are one of the most important aspects of the Brookens Library collection.  If for no other reason than our collection of databases is where the overwhelming majority of our journal content lives.  Here’s the thing though:  while our electronic journal collection is frequently presented as one lump sum (through quick search), it’s actually a bunch of individual pieces from all over the place.  Roughly 120 of them, as it so happens.

Each one of these pieces is called a database and each is a different collection of articles with their own internal search interfaces.  The articles can be grouped together by a publisher or what we call an aggregator (a middleman, if you will).  The reasons the articles are grouped together are varied but typically a database will be organized around a specific publisher, subject and/or type of information.  However, we have some databases that are just a single journal!

But what about Quick Search?  Well… that’s another idea entirely.  It’s certainly not a database in the same sense of what was described above.  Our Quick Search acts like a database, but is a very different animal.  Quick Search is, essentially, shooting your search out to the various databases and then collecting all the results in one place. This infographic should help explain things:


Holy ERMS Batman!

It’s that time again, time to Learn About Your Library.  The library has a lot of electronic content like ebooks and electronic journals and it is quite the task to manage it all.  In fact, to manage this many resources you need a tool with superhero strength.  So here’s a superhero comic that explains the Super Library Tool we call the ERMS…

ERM comic

The Importance of Student Workers

Continuing our Learn About Your Library series, today we are highlighting our Student Workers.  The slogan for National Library Workers Day is “Libraries Work Because We Do” and student workers are definitely a key part of that work.  So today on National Library Workers Day we want to give a special THANKS to our student workers.

So what exactly to student workers do here at the library?  Almost every department in the library has at least one student worker whether they are undergrad, grad or interns so it’s a long list, but here are some of the highlights…

  • Shelve books/magazines/journals/DVDs/audiobooks and more
  • Shelf Read to help keep the books in order so you can find what you’re looking for
  • Bring up the daily newspapers for your perusing pleasure
  • Help with computer issues and keep our many technologies running smoothly
  • Staff the front desk to answer your questions and check out books
  • Prepare the gift book room for our annual Book Sale during Homecoming Week
  • Help patrons with genealogy research in the archives

This list could be a mile long, so we’ll stop there. So to our student workers, thanks for EVERYTHING that  you do!

How a librarian becomes a librarian

Continuing our Learn About Your Library series is a guest post by our very own librarian, Nancy Weichert!

As a freshman in college, I got a job in the library working at the circulation desk and shelving books. During one of the first conversations I had with my boss, she mentioned that she went to library school and earned a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS). Upon hearing this, the first thought I had was…library school, that’s ridiculous! Even though, I had been going to libraries my entire life, I had no that idea all of the librarians I had met along the way held advanced degrees in library science. I was shocked! I recall blurting out “library school is that a real thing?” The irony of this is not lost on me today. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked that very question.

So, let’s talk about the path to librarianship. Librarianship can be, but isn’t inherently discipline specific.  Librarians can choose many different types of librarianship, have a variety of educational backgrounds, from English to Computer Science, and work in many types of libraries.  All librarians take core courses such as library management, organization of knowledge, and reference and services. Beyond the core, there are numerous course offerings and paths to take depending on the type of library a person chooses to work in and the type of librarian he/she choose to become.  The common library types include academic, public, school, and special. Some of the more specialized coursework may include readers advisory, advance database searching, preservation methods, digital publishing, children’s literature, and the list just goes on and on. For example, Dominican University has created a resource highlighting career pathways to help future librarians choose their courses.

We are in the midst of great social and technological change and the sky is truly the limit when it comes to the field of librarianship. So if you’re interesting in becoming a librarian first you’ll need to find a graduate school in Library and Information Science.  Our sister school UIUC is a great example, but there are many others.  And don’t limit yourself to the above mentioned “types” of libraries or librarianship. Once you’ve figured out your groove in the field through coursework try to find a complimentary internship, part-time position, or practicum opportunity. It would also be a good idea to join a professional organization such as the American Library Association (ALA) they offer very affordable student rates as well as scholarship opportunities and job listings. Once you earn your degree (or even a few months prior to) hit the pavement and start applying for positions all over the country or the world.


If you’re interested in learning more, here are some further research/reference materials:

Brookens Librarians! We love to talk to people interested in becoming librarians and will happily answer questions!

Directory of ALA-Accredited Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies.

Librarians: Occupational Outlook Handbook  by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Open Access (free) eBook, So You Want to be a Librarian.

I-Share vs. ILL: It’s not the same?

In our second post in the Learn About Your Library series, we’re going beyond Brookens Library and talking about the I-Share and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services.  When Brookens doesn’t own the book that you need you can request it, but how do you know which one to choose?  The general rule for books is request it through I-Share first then ILL if needed.  For articles, you always use ILL.  And if you’re an online student it’s a bit different and you should check out this page.  Yep, it can be confusing so here’s a breakdown:


The I-Share system is a consortium of over 70 Illinois libraries that are directly linked within an online I-Share catalog.

To find out how to set up an account to request a book through I-Share, view this tutorial.


If the book is not available through I-share, or has been requested and cannot be filled by an I-Share library, then you may request it through Interlibrary loan (ILL). The ILL department will then request the book from libraries outside of the I-Share system.

View this tutorial to find out how to request a book through ILL.

What if I need a journal article that cannot be found at the Brookens Library? Which one should I choose?

All article requests must go through ILL.  The I-Share system is only for book requests.  Even if the I-Share catalog shows that an I-Share library owns the journal you need, you cannot make a request for articles through that system.

This tutorial shows you how to request an article through ILL:

Visit our website for more information about ILL services such as how long it takes, and what other types of items can and cannot be requested.