Meet the Team: Jake

Photos of student employee Jake.
Meet Jake!

Name: Jake

Major: Finance

Status: Sophomore

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   My favorite thing about being a student at UIS is the class size. It is very nice to get to know your professors on a personal level. I find it very helpful being able to receive one-on-one help with projects if needed.

What are your goals for the semester? This semester my goals are to perform to the best of my ability on the track. Also, I am planning on receiving my highest GPA yet. My last goal is to actively become the person I want to be and not just think about it.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? If there was a reality show of my life, it would be filled with lots of hours on the roads or at TRAC! The show would feature loads of silly conversations being had with my teammates. However, it would also showcase hanging out with my friends and a fair amount of making sure books are in the correct order at the library.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? Yes! My biggest commitment on campus is cross country and track. Running helps me excel in class as well as make many new friends. Another hobby that I love to do is collect coins.

What have you learned since working at the library? Since starting at the library, I have learned how to work better with others. The library has taught me to appreciate the amount of knowledge that resides at UIS. Working at the library has also taught me how to read call numbers!

What are your post-graduation plans? As of now, I am thinking about staying a 5th year and starting grad school. This would also allow me to use my redshirt year for track. However, things can change in a short amount of time so nothing is set in stone.

What is your favorite item from the library of things collection? My favorite thing from the library of things are the cameras.

Still Time to Submit Undergrad Research Award

This past February, the Library opened submissions for our fifth annual Undergraduate Research Award.  Materials are due on April 1, but there’s still plenty of time to submit your materials to us.

Every semester, we see firsthand the outstanding work UIS students generate.  Whether it’s the work we directly help with through our research consultations or the amazing presentations we see at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium, the Library knows firsthand what UIS students are capable of. 

That’s why every year since 2015, we’ve offered the Undergraduate Research Award. It’s an opportunity for UIS students to show off what we know they can do, an opportunity to recognize the work of UIS students for their excellence, and an opportunity to preserve that work in the long term.

As a reminder, the award includes a monetary prize of $250 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.  The winners will be presented at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium luncheon on April 19, 2019. 

How to Apply

Application for the Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award is a two-step process:

Step 1) Fill out the online application form 

Step 2) One of the Brookens Librarians will contact you to arrange for you to electronically submit your materials using Box.

You can learn more about the award criteria and past winners here:   

Meet the Team: Diana

Photo of student of the week diana.
Meet Diana

Name: Diana

Major: Political Science and Legal Studies

Status: Freshman

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   My favorite thing about coming to UIS is the small community the school offers. It’s cool to get to know most people on the campus by name and have great relationships. Also getting to have one-on-one interaction is something this small environment offers.

What are your goals for the semester? One of my goals for this semester is to not to procrastinate as much as I do. I’m the type of person that pushes everything to the side and decides last minute to start the assignment. Another goal would be to do better this semester academically. My grades weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. So I want to give myself more time to study and actually get things done.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? If I had a TV show I would probably call it Diana’s Diary. The TV show would be based on following me around and seeing what I do on a day-to-day basis since I’m a mess, but also get to see what goes through my head at all times. The audience will literally become my best friends.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I spend a lot of time in the library, but when I’m not there I like to do one of my favorite hobbies which is to take naps. Sometimes you just need some beauty sleep. I also like to hang out with friends and just do face masks or do our makeup. Let’s not forget that I like to watch Netflix. I would totally recommend Criminal Minds, Dexter, and the Haunting of Hill House.

What have you learned since working at the library? A major thing that I learned at the library is to enhance my communications skills. We get to do one-on-one interactions with the patrons which helps with feeling more comfortable talking to people. Also getting to work as a team has played a role in communicating since we have to work together to get the job done.

What are your post-graduation plans? My post-graduation plans are to go to law school. Hopefully, I can get myself into Loyola or Depaul and pass the Bar Exam in order to become a lawyer. However, I’m still young and things could change.

What is your favorite item from the library of things collection? I think one of my favorite things from the library of things is the variety of board games they have. Some of them I haven’t even heard of, but I’m excited to try them out.

How to Tuesday: Destress

It’s week 7 of the semester, and things have definitely been kicked into high gear. So this week for our How to Tuesday, we’re focusing on de-stressing.

Our displays have a new look for March! This month’s themes are de-stressing through laughter and preparing for Spring Break with our audiobook collection. The space looks a little something like this:

And don’t forget our Lego table if you need to take a study break.

Photo of students at lego table.

Stop by our display on the second floor, check-out some resources, stop by the lego table, and start relaxing today.

Celebrate Women’s History Month

This past year has been the advent of so many milestones for women in the U.S.  There are currently 131 women in both chambers of the 116th Congress, up by 130 from the sole congresswoman elected to federal office in 1917 in Montana.  And for women of color, the outcome is unprecedented. In “the 116th U.S. Congress 47 of the 127 women serving or 37.0%, are women of color; in addition, a Black woman, a Latina, an Asian Pacific Islander, and a Caribbean American woman serve as Delegates to the House from Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands, respectively. Women of color constitute 8.8% of the total 535 members of Congress,” (CAWP).  Surely this is the year of the woman.   

As we celebrate the current victories of women making political waves, let us remember some of the pioneers who paved the way for the successes of today.  The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University provides fact sheets and timelines highlighting historic firsts for women: who have run for the Presidency (the first was Victoria Woodhull who ran on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872), elected to Senate (the first woman elected to the Senate was Hattie Wyatt Caraway (AR) in 1931), elected to the House (Jeannette Rankin was the first elected in 1917 and the only lawmaker to vote against U.S. entry into both world wars!), and of color (Soledad Chacon was elected Secretary of State in New Mexico in 1923.  She was the first Latina and woman of color to hold a statewide elected executive office, Cora Belle Reynolds Anderson was the first Native American elected to a state legislature in 1924 (Michigan) and Minnie Buckingham Harper was the first Black woman in a state legislature).  Illinois can boast Carole Mosely Braun as the first female African-American Senator (1993-1999) and Michelle Obama as the first African-American first lady of the U.S.  But we still have a long way to go.  Visit the CAWP website to see a historic timeline highlighting other significant firsts and the progression of successes leading up to recent achievements and statistics at all levels of government. 

For access to more resources on women and the law visit Brookens’ LibGuide Women & Gender Studies – Law as well as the Legal Studies LibGuide.    

A couple of specialized databases for accessing historic primary source material on or by women are the following:   

Gerritsen Collection: The Gerritsen Collection was begun by Aletta Jacobs Gerritsen in the late 1800s. By the time their successors finished their work in 1945, the Gerritsen Collection was the greatest single source for the study of women’s history in the world, with materials spanning four centuries and 15 languages.  The primary source materials date from 1543 to 1945 focusing on Europe, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.   

Women and Social Movements in the United States:  The focus of this resource is on women’s activism and spans four centuries from 1600-2000.  There are over 125 document projects and archives, approximately 4,700 publications, a chronology of women’s history, teaching tools, book and web site reviews, archival news regarding primary sources in U.S. Women’s History, a digital archive with a focus on federal, state, and local commissions on the Status of Women between 1961 and 2005.   It also includes a dictionary of social movements and organization along with an online edition of the five-volume biographical dictionary, Notable American Women (1971-2004).   

Meet the Team: Daniel

Meet Daniel!

Name: Daniel

Major: Environmental Studies

Status: Junior

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   The great resources available, the UIS community, and being able to play sports and get my degree.

What are your goals for the semester? Have a good spring semester in soccer, get a good GPA, and continue to develop my skills at work.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? Train sleep work study. As that’s all I really do.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I am on the Men’s Soccer team.

What have you learned since working at the library? To be kind and respectful to everyone I meet.

What are your post-graduation plans? I’m not sure yet.

What is your favorite item from the library of things collection? I like that there is a variety of items.

Undergraduate Research Award

Brookens Library is excited to announce our fifth annual Undergraduate Research Award! 

We believe that undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activities are foundational components of a complete liberal arts education. The Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award was created by Brookens Library to recognize and reward UIS undergraduate students whose academic work incorporates the use of Brookens Library’s collections and services and demonstrates exceptional information literacy skills.  

In addition to recognition at UIS, the award includes a monetary prize of $250 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.  The winners will be presented at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium luncheon on April 19, 2019.   

For the previous four years, UIS students have submitted some truly amazing work to the Research Award.  As we open up submission forms for this year’s award, we look forward to seeing even more of our UIS students’ excellent work. 

How to Apply 

Application for the Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award is a two-step process: 

Step 1) Fill out the online application form here:  

Step 2) One of the Brookens Librarians will contact you to arrange for you to electronically submit your materials using Box. 

Respectfully, we request that you do not send in your project materials until instructed to do so. 

You can learn more about the award criteria and past winners here:     

The deadline to apply is April 1, 2019.

Meet the Team: Andrew

Photo of student employee Andrew.
Meet Andrew!

Name: Andrew

Major: Political Science

Status: Sophomore

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   My favorite thing about UIS is its proximity to the Capital and its focus on public relations. As a political science major I value the opportunities that I have living in Springfield. Also, I believe that UIS is very active in both the campus and Springfield communities because of its focus on engaging with people and their needs. I appreciate that about the school.

What are your goals for the semester? My goal this semester is to actually make a difference on campus through some of my involvements, while not becoming overwhelmed. I currently serve in a few different on campus leadership roles and I hope to really help-out the student body. Of course, I also want to maintain good academic standing while not becoming too stressed out.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? If my life was a reality TV show it would be called The Three Day Challenge. It would be called this because I am currently taking 7 on-campus classes that I fit into a three-day schedule. Viewers would follow the adventures of a student wondering if he just went to the wrong building at the wrong time. Or perhaps an episode will feature the student when he forgot about that 4 PM Thursday class that meets once every third week. Riveting.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I am currently involved in a few different clubs and activities. I am the Internal Vice President for the Student Government Association I am also the President of the UIS College Republicans. Besides those roles, I am also a member of the Student Advocacy Coalition, CAP Mentor Program, and Campus Senate.

What have you learned since working at the library? While I work for the Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center in the Library I have learned quite a bit. It has been interesting to learn about the world of nonprofit organizations, their funding opportunities, and what motivates them. I have also learned about digital marketing and the various U of I computer systems like webtools. I’ve really enjoyed my time working here in this office environment where I’m always doing something different every day.

What are your post-graduation plans? I plan to work in legislation after graduating from my bachelors program. After that, I hope to go to Graduate school and pursue a degree in Communications. Once completing all of my schooling I hope to work in political public relations.

What is your favorite item from the library of things collection? I find the board game options to be pretty sweet. I mean you can literally bring home a different game every week. With over 25 different options you could never be bored.

Data, Data, Everywhere

But How Do I Find What I Need?

Brookens Library provides access to a number of resources that contain data and statistics to aid researchers and students.  A vast amount of statistical data is produced by government agencies and freely available. These resources are not highlighted in this post which is focused on those resources to which the library subscribes.  Many of these resources draw upon government information, but provide additional support by summarizing the data, providing additional indexing, or enhanced search functionality. 

The library has six major statistical resources. We’ve highlighted them below with information that will help you determine which source will best meet your needs.  If you need statistics or data, check out these resources, and for assistance with your research, set-up an appointment with a librarian. 

Statistical Abstract of the United States 

Statistical Abstract of the United States provides a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States, providing a snapshot of America and its people. These summaries also serve to lead users to other sources for more complete data related to their topic. This database has been updated annually by the federal government since 1878.  The Statistical Abstract of the United States is one of the best-known statistical reference publications and serves as both an answer book and a guide to statistical sources. This database Includes 1400+ individually indexed tables (with attached spreadsheets) that are searchable and browsable. 

Historical Statistics of the United States

Historical Statistics of the United States includes statistics about the United States from the colonial times up to the start of the 21st century. It provides U.S. population, economic, employment, governance and international relations data. You can even create and save custom tables.  It has long been the standard source for quantitative indicators of American history. Some of the additional topics include data on American Indians, slavery, outlying areas, poverty, nonprofit organizations, and the Confederate States of America. 

Statistical Insight

This database is designed to find and retrieve statistical content.  It provides access to tables and citations to statistics produced by the U.S. federal, state and local governments, international governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. It spans millions of full-text reports and more than 1 million published tables on thousands of different topics. It also offers broad perspectives and insight on long-term national trends and implications paired with the ability to narrow results. Whether you are looking for tables, statistical reports, publication abstracts, or datasets, results are ranked by relevance. Faceted search results can then be filtered by document type, source, date published, geographic area, and more.

Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is an excellent source for international statistical data especially related to economics, politics, and governmental information.  It provides full-text access to quantitative and qualitative data and forecasts political, economic, and business climates for various regions and up to 200 countries, as well as related news, analysis, and risk factor assessments. This database, produced by the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, was created in 1946 with the purposes of helping businesses, financial firms, and governments to understand how the world is changing and how that creates opportunities to be seized and risks to be managed. 

Sage Business Stats

SAGE Business Stats offers historic, current, and projected demographic and industry data points down to the zip-code level. Users can compare data within one variable or across variables using tables and line graphs; access interactive maps with timelines at the state, county, zip-code, city, and metropolitan statistical area levels; and export charts, graphs, and tables as well as the data itself.

ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research

UIS is an institutional member of the ICPSR which serves as the largest archive and repository of digital social science data. An integral part of the infrastructure of social science research, ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction (over 8,000 discrete studies/surveys with more than 65,000 datasets).  ICPSR supports students, instructors, researchers, and policy makers who: conduct secondary research to support primary research findings or generate new findings; preserve and disseminate primary research data; study or teach statistical methods in quantitative analysis; and develop funding proposals for grants or contracts that require a data management plan.  ICPSR also encourages deposits of digital data. Deposits are made using a secure data deposit workspace to describe the data collection and upload content.  More information on the depositing of digital data can be found at  ICPSR accepts replication datasets for researchers who need to publish their raw data in relation to a journal article, so that other researchers can replicate the findings. Because ICPSR does not approve or alter datasets in any way, studies archived as replication datasets tend to appear on their website more quickly.

Meet the Team: Campbell

Photo of Student Employee Campbell
Meet Campbell!

Name: Campbell

Major: History

Status: Sophomore

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   My favorite thing about being a student here at UIS is the closeness of the faculty and staff to the students. Because it is a smaller campus, you can build relationships with your professors and advisors easily, and they want to see all of their students succeed. This is not something that everyone in college experiences, and so I am thankful to have professors that care!

What are your goals for the semester? This semester, one of my goals is to read more books. Growing up I was an avid reader, but when I started college I found it harder to find time to read leisurely in my schedule. I also am hoping to be accepted into the Disney College Program for next semester. I have been spending a lot of time working toward that goal, and doing anything I can to make it a reality!

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? Oh goodness! If I had a reality show, it wouldn’t last very long because my life has more or less the same routine every day. My week consists of me working, going to class, doing chores, and Netflix when I get a free moment. So my show would be called “Busy and Boring” most likely.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? I am currently involved with Christian Student Fellowship here at UIS, and serve as member on the CSF Welcome Team! As for hobbies, I am currently on a kick of playing card and board games all the time with my little brother. I also have a hobby of writing about different things that come to my mind sporadically. Most recent post I am working on is about the names that my fellow Southerners and I have for items compared to other regions of the US.

What have you learned since working at the library? Since I have been working at the library, I have learned how to be organized on a whole new level. I value the importance of maintaining a system to keep everything easier when you have to look for something!

What are your post-graduation plans? After I graduate, I plan to teach for a few years before I start my Master’s degree in order to gain experience in the classroom. I can see myself moving back to Kentucky, or another state down south to start my career. I also see a dog most definitely post-graduation as a present to myself!

What is your favorite item from the library of things collection?Board games are currently my favorite Library of Things item right now! There are so many options, which make for a fun time with friends. I hope they expand the collection of games!