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 https://deposit.icpsr.umich.edu/deposit/home.  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.

Using Library Databases on the Job Hunt

You’ve used library databases for research papers before, but they can also help you as you search for jobs and internships – whether you are trying to find information on potential employers for the Career Connections Expo or want some extra talking points for a scheduled interview.  

If you want to know more about potential employers, and you want to go beyond what you can find on the company’s website and some quick Google searching, here are some suggestions for library resources that can help you get to better know a company. 

Research the companyBusiness Source Complete is a great place to start if looking for a basic overview of a public company (think large companies like Target, Boeing or Accenture). You can usually find a description of the company, financial information and executive biographies. Many profiles include SWOT reports, which summarize the strengths and weaknesses of a business and the opportunities and threats it faces.  

To find a company profile or SWOT analysis, type in the company name in the main search bar and see what pops up in the results. Alternatively, click on “Company Information” in the blue banner at the top and search for your company there. 

Know the industry. If you are planning to work in a specific industry, it can be useful to get to know what trends are driving progress within that sector. Business Source Complete provides free industry reports to help you get to know the top companies, see the market forecast and become familiar with the terminology being used within the industry.  

To find an industry profile, search for the industry and limit your search to the source type of “Industry Profiles.” For example, if you are going to work for a hospital or pharmaceutical company, run a search for “healthcare industry” and find a current industry report among the results for your chosen country.  

Read the news. While you can easily find recent company news on Google, you can also find both national and regional newspapers in the library’s databases. Not all newspapers can be accessed for free on the web so it can be useful to search Brookens Library’s newspaper databases, which include the New York Times and Newspaper Source

If you have any questions about using any of the library’s databases, ask one of our librarians

Meet the Team: Abriana

Photo of student employee Abriana.
Meet Abriana!

Name: Abriana

Major: Sociology and Anthropology

Status: Freshman

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?   As a UIS student, I enjoy the small community feeling which allows for a smaller class size where I can have that one-on-one communication with my professors as well as my classmates. There are many opportunities that give students a chance to succeed whether it be internships, jobs, community service, and learning programs. UIS enables students to gain leadership experiences given the amount of activities for one to step out of their comfort zone.

What are your goals for the semester? My goals for the semester include improving my work ethic because last semester I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked when it came to dedicating my time efficiently and hope to excel this semester. In addition, I want to spend more time diving into stippling art during my leisure time because I don’t want this hobby to take the back burner over the school year. In terms of class setting, I strive to be more of an active participant by voluntarily raising my hands to express my observations and opinions.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why? My reality TV show would be called, “Abriana and Her Antics” because I tend to do weird dances throughout the day. If I’m reading an enthralling fantasy book, I can’t help but react to the story line at times. At times, I blurt out the most random things and I also love impersonating Jim Carrey because he’s such a funny guy.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies? Reading is a big hobby of mine that I do about every single day. Reading a book is similar to stepping into a world full of dreams by allowing me to live in a thousand different realms, expand my imagination, and live a thousand different adventures. My favorite genres are fantasy, fiction, and thriller. If the weather permits, I like to go mountain biking with my dad at nearby trails because it’s a tradition that’s been established at a young age.

What have you learned since working at the library? Working at the library has given me the chance to strengthen my communication skills. Whenever I am unsure about a task, I can go straight to one of the staff/faculty members with ease because they are more than willing to give a helping hand. My attention to detail has increased immensely since I started working here due to the responsibilities that I have to take on which will help me later in life.

What are your post-graduation plans? I plan on going to graduate school to get my master’s in Sociology/Anthropology. By then, I will be secure in what career path I want to take. Right now I am just focusing on my interests and values that will lead me to finding the right answer for my potential career.

What is your favorite item from the library of things collection?My favorite thing from the library of things is their technology section which encompasses a variety of equipment that will help students whenever they are in need.

Welcome To UIS!

Welcome to the 2019 Spring Semester at the University of Illinois Springfield. At the Library, we offer both resources and services to help you make the most of your time at UIS. On our website you will find access to our wide variety of databases. Not sure how to get started? Here you will find research help by subject or you can book a Research Consultation with one of our friendly Librarians.

Did you know we have a free app where you can download eBooks and eAudiobooks? It’s true! Simply download the cloudLibrary app and enjoy easy access to thousands of free eBooks/eAudiobooks!

We also have a growing Collection of “Things” called the Library of Things!  We have home and kitchen items, board games, and lots of technology for you to check out for FREE! Interested in learning to use a DSLR camera? No problem, we have that. Have a sewing project but no machine? We’ve got you covered! Need a graphing calculator for class? We have several available for FREE checkout! See what all we have available here!

Last semester we refreshed the Main Level by renovating the space and adding comfortable furniture, collaborative workstations, and computer desks to give you plenty of options to suit your needs. We designed this floor to be flexible, so you’ll notice almost all the furniture is on wheels so you can move it when and where you need it.

We look forward to seeing you in the Library!

HTT: Beat Finals Week Stress with Cookies and Crafts!

This week’s installment of How-To Tuesdays focuses on how the stress of Finals Week can cause even the closest of friends to argue. Megan and Taylor have never gotten into an argument, but there is a first time for everything. Read on to see what happens!!

Phew! Thankfully Megan and Taylor will remain friends. We encourage all of you to take care of yourselves this week. Take breaks. Take breaths. Stop by the Library’s Lower Level to make crafts and decorate cookies. We hope to see you all there!

Universal Human Rights Month

December is Universal Human Rights Month and December 10th is Human Rights Day.  70 years ago in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  A direct result of the aftermath of the human rights catastrophes of the 2nd World War.  But it addresses far more than catastrophic abuses.  It created a framework for human rights principles embodied in its 30 articles.  These spell out an individual’s political, social, economic, and cultural rights and encompass fundamental freedoms for all regardless of gender, race, religion or language.   

Explore this beautifully illustrated version of the UDHR which produced in partnership between the artist Yacine Alt Kac, the U.N. Regional Information Centre and the Office of the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights – Regional Office for Europe. Each page displays a separate article along with delightful drawings to reflect the spirit of their intention.

Brookens Library has a wide variety of books and documents with a focus on human rights including:  TheHuman Rights Paradox: Universality and its Discontents by Steve J. Stern& Scott Straus (2014) and TheInternational Human Rights movement: A History by Aryeh Neier (2012).  There are numerous publications with foci on specific countries as well as publications of historic prominence such as the Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945-1 October 1946.

Learn More about Human Rights Day

Trail Mix Bar!

The end of the Fall 2018 Semester is upon us and you may need a quick break to fuel up for the final push! Out team of Librarians are offering a free Trail Mix Bar on Wednesday, December 5th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on the Main Level of Brookens Library. 

Have a research question? Librarians are on hand to help you every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:00 – 6:00 PM for drop-in Research Help

Cookies Decorating & Crafts!

The end of the year can be stressful! Take a quick break from your studies to decorate cookies & make some easy crafts! 

Tuesday, December 11

2:00  – 4:00 pm

Library Lower Level

Meet the Team: Michael

Name: Michael

Major: Communications

Status: Junior

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UIS?

 I like being part of a small community where I can know a lot of the people around me more closely. This campus has always felt welcoming and like home to me. I always appreciate good company!

What are your goals for the semester?  

My goals for the semester are just to continue doing as well as I can in classes while enjoying my time here at UIS. I would also just like to spend more time binging TV shows and films when I have free time. I like to always make some time for good content.

If there were a reality TV show of your life, what would it be called? Why?

The reality TV show of my life would be called Keeping Up With Michael Bates. People would get to see the wild things I do all day like roll out of bed at noon and turn on Netflix. Suffice to say it would be quality.

Are you involved in any clubs/activities/sports on campus? Or what are your hobbies?

I am not really involved in much besides class and work. However, I have played guitar for several years. I also always make time to listen to at least one new album a day and I’m trying to get more into getting films fit in as often as possible to.

What have you learned since working at the library?

The library has taught me many things. I’ve learned many useful customer service skills working here. I’ve also just learned to have fun and not take anything too seriously as long as we’re getting done the work that we need to be.

What are your post-graduation plans?

 After graduation I’m planning on pursuing a career in journalism in one way or another. Preferably I’ll move to a bigger city and just enjoy the life there. We’ll see what happens!

What is your favorite thing from the library of things collection?:

I like a lot of the board games we have, particularly Catan and Machi Koro.