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!

Library Bill of Rights, Article V

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 V.

WEEK 5

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

In many ways, libraries are the great equalizer. No matter your educational background, your age, your beliefs, or any other aspect of your identity, libraries are open to all, so that all may obtain the resources they need. Creating and maintaining diverse collections, providing unfiltered access to the Internet, and making costly subscription-based online resources available is our foundation. But these collections and services would be meaningless if we limited access to select groups of people. For that reason, I find article 5 of the Library Bill of Rights to be the most impactful.

As an academic library serving a campus community, our primary focus is the university’s student, staff, and faculty. But our resources and services are not limited to those populations. Our doors are open to all. Research is not exclusively done by those with access to a college education. Using computers and the internet are more increasingly the only way to participate in certain basic functions of daily life, and information literacy is not a skill just for the classroom, but for life. Serving Springfield and beyond is an important part of our job.

This openness extends beyond serving patrons who are not affiliated with our university, but has a much broader scope. Brookens, like all libraries adhering to the Library Bill of Rights, places no limitations on patrons based on their origin, age, background, or views. Just like we make both sides of the issue available in our collections, we make that collection available to those with beliefs on either side of the issue, as well as those in-between and undecided. Additionally, we make no assumptions about what people of particular groups will want or need when providing resources. Instead, deciding what resources are appropriate or of interest is entirely up to each individual to decide, and they will be able to do so without censorship or judgment.

It is our honor to serve our UIS community as well as the community at-large and our responsibility to continue to advocate for their right to access the information all of our patrons need or desire.

Written By: Sarah Sagmoen, Director of Learning Commons and User Services

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

Now Accepting Submissions for Undergraduate Research Award

Brookens Library is very pleased to announce that we are now accepting submissions for our third annual Undergraduate Research Award.

Brookens Library firmly supports the idea that undergraduate research, scholarly and creative activities are foundational components a complete education at UIS. 3 years ago, we created this award as a way for the Library to recognize and reward UIS undergraduate students who had produced exemplary work in pursuit of their interests and degree.

Brookens Library Undergraduate Research AwardThe judging for the Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award is one of our favorite parts of the academic year. Usually, we librarians are involved at the beginning stages of a research project – helping our patrons find the information that they need to get started on a project. We get to sit down with students from a variety of disciplines with some truly fascinating information needs. Unfortunately, it’s a rare day when one of us actually gets to see some of the finished products. This research award is a unique and treasured window onto the excellent work that the UIS students have created.

About the only downside of the endeavor is that the Library only gets to recognize one student’s excellent. We’ve always had a competitive grouping of papers, with one just edging out a victory in our rubrics. But this year, we are very excited to say that we are awarding a second and a third place! Now, even more great work will be acknowledged and preserved. Apply today with a paper of project you have completed in the past year!

First Place: $250

Second Place: $100

Third Place: $50

You can see the winning papers from the previous years here: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/74820

Details of the award, the submission process, the timeline and the judging rubric can be found here: http://libguides.uis.edu/research_award

 

Winter Break Special Hours & Closures

Finals Week marks the end of another semester at UIS.  We will reduce our hours and have special holiday closures over the winter break from Saturday, December 10, 2016 through Monday, January 16, 2017. A complete list of our hours is always available on our website for your convenience.

Reduced Hours of Operation (Saturday, December 10 – Thursday, December 22):

Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Monday – Friday: OPEN 9AM – 5 PM

Holiday CLOSURE:

Friday, December 23 – Monday,  January 2

We re-open with reduced hours on Tuesday, January 3

Spring Semester Reduced Hours: (Tuesday, January 3 – Sunday, January 15)

Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Monday – Friday: OPEN 9AM – 5PM

Special Closure: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 16): CLOSED

We re-open with regular Spring Semester hours Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Calendar view of hours December 2016

Calendar View of Library Hours January 2017

Check Out Our Winter Read Recommendations!

Let it Snow Brookens Library Chalkboard Art

We hope your semester has been successful and that you are looking forward a peaceful winter break.  To help you relax and refresh, we’ve compiled a list of winter read recommendations in our Cloud Library collection.  These downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks are accessible from wherever you are spending your break with the free app.  Unfamiliar with the downloadable eBooks or eAudiobooks in our Cloud Library collection?  Learn more here, and, as always, we’ll be happy to help you download the free app and set up your account at the library main desk. Enjoy your break!

Brookens Holiday Hours and Closures

We know you’re busy studying for finals so we wanted to remind you that our hours change during Winter Break.

Holiday / Winter Break Recess (12/10- 1/2)

Sat-Sun (12/10 – 12/18): Closed
Mon-Friday (12/12 – 12/22): 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fri-Tue (12/23 – 12/27): Holiday Closure
Wed-Fri (12/28 – 12/30): BUILDING CLOSED/E-mail services available 10 AM – 2 PM
Sat-Mon (12/31 – 1/2): Holiday Closure

Brookens Library will re-open with regular hours on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.