Award Recognition: Employees with 30 Years of Service

This morning the University recognized employees who have worked for UIS for 10 or more years for their service. The Library is proud to have two employees celebrated this year: Joanne, Senior Library Specialist (Serials), and Tom, University Archivist, have both worked at Brookens Library for 30 years. Today we honor and thank them for their commitment to the UIS (or SSU) ideals and in their service to our campus community. Here are brief tributes read at the ceremony this morning:

Joanne

On Joanne’s first day, December 1st, 1986, she recalls that campus consisted of the Brookens Building, the PAC, as well as a few temporary buildings that made up Sangamon State University.  She began at the Brookens Library in the Technical Services Department and with a few job shifts along the way, it is still where she currently works. When she started, there was a card catalog for searching and the Brookens library collection consisted of mostly print journals and books with a small collection of a few other media types.

Today, she now works at the University of Illinois Springfield, and there has been a few more buildings added to the campus. The card catalog in the Brookens library is just a memory. The print journals have drastically been replaced with their online versions, as well as electronic books and streaming video have become more prevalent as well. Joanne has been a vital part of the Technical Services team throughout the years. She has seen a lot of changes here at the Brookens library and when asked about her time here she will say, “I love libraries, and I’ve met some really terrific people along the way.” Thank you Joanne, for your many years of dedicated service.

Tom

“There’s a really great variety of material to work with here, from 200 year old records to new digital records, and everything in between.” Thomas J. Woods, 2017

Tom was born and spent his formative years in Mount Carmel, Illinois, about 3 ½ hours SE of Springfield. He earned two Masters degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; one in History, the other in Library and Information Science. In his thirty years here on campus, he has been at the forefront of collecting the history of the institution as it has progressed. When Tom started work in 1986 at what was then Sangamon State University, founding president Dr. Robert Spencer was still teaching here, as were many of the charter faculty who had been hired in the early 1970s. He has also documented the physical changes on campus; he remembers when the corn fields started just south of where the colonnade is now.  The UIS Archives holds administration files that have long term value, but it also preserves photographs, student newspapers, audio files, and video of commencements, special events, and visiting speakers. The Archives has a collection of over 5000 student Master projects and theses. Tom handles historical documents such as records of birth, death, and marriage certificates, and Lincoln-era court cases. He has overseen major digitization projects, including a multi-year project preserving and digitizing more than 20 years of oral history interviews with people from all walks of life, such as former prisoners of war, farmers, coal miners, Illinois politicians, and others.  

He has adapted to changing collection and archival standards, as well as innovations in information technology. Focusing not just on collecting and preserving, Tom also works with researchers, students, families seeking genealogy assistance, and more. In the Archives alongside Tom, you’ll also find an archival library assistant, a graduate assistant, and two Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) interns. Working with, and training students and interns has been very rewarding and over 30 years, Tom has seen a rotating cast of talented people. While he is sad to see them go, he does enjoy seeing them succeed in professional jobs in archives, libraries, museums, and teaching positions.

When not working in the archives, it’s no surprise that Tom would enjoy the opposite – the great outdoors – and exploring natural and historical sites around central Illinois and beyond. He also enjoys reading and listening to music, and playing in trivia tournaments. If you want to know more about any of the previously mentioned items, stop by the Archives, located on the lower level of Brookens Library, and chat with Tom, or visit the archives website. Congratulations to Tom on his 30 years on our campus and for his dedication to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of our university.

 

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!

Meet the Team: Marisha

Marisha, a student workerName: Marisha

Year in school: Graduate

Major/Minor:  Computer Science

Hometown/Country: India

Hobbies: Reading crime fiction and thrillers

Post-college plans/What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

I am a Computer Science graduate student with an interest in towards data analytics so I plan to get a job related to my area of interest.

Who is the person that influences you or inspires you the most? Why

I believe people with liberal thoughts and a strong approach to life are really thought provoking and influential people.

What has working at Brookens Library taught you?

I am fairly new to the team but within this short term I have learned to work within this diverse team, with people from different parts of the world. It has also helped me in honing my communication skills.

What is a memorable experience you have had at the library/UIS?

For being a relatively new employee, I didn’t get the chance to have an experience that becomes an outstanding memory but since my first day at Brookens I have loved working here with other students and my supervisors. I am looking forward to make some memorable ones during this journey.

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 IV

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 IV.

Library Bill of Rights, Article IV

Written by: Sally LaJoie, Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian

Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

Historically, libraries have supported free and equitable access to ideas. Librarians enable access to information by providing free access to resources, as well as the technology to use those resources, with the belief that it is against the fundamentals of the Library Bill of Rights for any group to impose its views on others through efforts to limit access to views they oppose. Nevertheless, since information is created and disseminated by different governmental bodies, businesses, and individuals, those in power often have the ability to limit access to ideas.

The fourth of six articles in the Library Bill of Rights recognizes the importance of free access to information and advises libraries to “cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.” Free access to ideas is constantly being challenged from numerous fronts: government agencies debating policies on net neutrality and internet privacy, school boards voting to ban books, and law enforcement pressuring libraries to turn over data on patron activities. With these kinds of restrictions happening, the Library Bill of Rights acknowledges the fact that libraries are strategically positioned to provide support to groups and individuals who are resisting this type of censorship.

Within academia, libraries are expected to encourage the free flow of information and ideas within the scope of their roles and responsibilities. Academic libraries support this freedom in a variety of ways, including maintaining policies that support unfiltered access to the internet and respecting patron privacy. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are at odds with an academic library’s mission to further learning through the broadest possible range of ideas and resources. Such restrictions can be a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom. Libraries also promote the free access of ideas through supporting library users’ rights to privacy by engaging in limited tracking of user activities so people can feel comfortable accessing resources on confidential, controversial, or unpopular topics.

Censorship and the restriction of access to information can be harmful to society and individuals. When people don’t have access to information they need, they make decisions based on the information that is freely available to them, sometimes regardless of whether that information is factual or telling the whole story. When information is withheld, our basic democratic rights are threatened as people can no longer make informed decisions.

Libraries stand for free access to ideas, even those that might make us feel uncomfortable. Library users are the curators of the ideas that inform their own beliefs, and libraries continue to be a place where people have unfettered access to put difficult ideas in context, learn about them more deeply, and formulate their own opinions.

Written by: Sally LaJoie, Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian

April Student and Staff Picks

Check out April’s Book Picks complied by student employee Mac and Faculty Librarian John Laubersheimer.  We have pulled the books from this list and set up a display near the front of the Library on the Level 2 (Main Floor). Stop by and check one out today!

Mac, a Student Worker

Mac’s Picks

  1. Mindfulness by Ellen Langer
  2. The Basic Works of Aristotle by Aristotle
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning: an Introduction to Logotherapy by Viktor E. Frankl
  4. Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. by Luis J. Rodriguez
  5. The Little Brown Handbook by H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron
  6. The Plague by Stuart Gilbert
  7. The Martian by Andy Weir
  8. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. Lord of the Flies: a Novel by William Golding
  11. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  13. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  14. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
  15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  16. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  17. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  18. Under the Blood-red Sun by Graham Salisbury
  19. The Lord of the Rings Collection by J.R.R. Tolkien
  20. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  21. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  22. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

 

John, a librarianJohn’s Picks

  1. Byzantium: the Apogee by John Julius Norwich
  2. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
  3. Everything Bad is Good for You: How’s Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making us Smarter by Steven Johnson
  4. Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
  5. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: a Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran
  6. The Absolute Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  7. Twenty Thousand League Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. 2001: a Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
  10. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  11. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales by Joseph Conrad
  12. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  13. The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy by Douglas Adams
  14. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  15. Grendel by John Gardner
  16. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  17. The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss
  18. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  19. The Way Things Work by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley
  20. The Truth About Chernobyl by Grigori Medvedev
  21. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  22. Car Talk Classics: No Factory Recalls. So Far. by Tom Magliozzi
  23. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Library Bill of Rights, Article ll

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 ll.

Library Bill or Rights, Article ll

Written by: Stephen McMinn, Director of Collections & Scholarly Communications

ll: 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.

The Library Bill of Rights consists of six statements deigned to help define the role of the library and serve as guiding principles for the services they provide. The preamble so to speak, plainly states “that all libraries are forums for information and ideas.”  The second of the six articles in the Library Bill of Rights is most closely aligned to the First Amendment to the US Constitution which protects the rights of free speech and that of a free press. This article is written in two parts, the first statement covering the acquisition of all types or viewpoints of information, and the second part opposing removal of information due to the objection of others. This article states, “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues, and materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” Essentially, it states that all types of information should be included or made available such that people can explore all sides of an issue, topic, or area of study.

Many of the articles in the Library Bill of Rights are similar or related to the overall goal of providing access to information and ideas with subtle differences. One could question how this statement is different than the first article or the next article dealing with censorship. The subtle difference from the first article is this article is centered on content of the information collected whereas the 1st article is more focused on who created the content. In terms of censorship, this statement is more specific as it opposes removing items from the library because they do not fit their individual beliefs or world view as opposed to taking a stand against censorship which is the government trying to keep out ideas or information. In my view, these guiding principles are important to a healthy and vibrant society as understanding other people’s beliefs, cultures, and views leads to better understanding and empathy. However, taking these positions just like free speech is difficult and can lead to misunderstandings of the library’s role in providing a forum for information and ideas.

One of my favorite lines that describes the issues with holding these beliefs is from the movie, An American President, where the president states “America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” It’s easy when everyone agrees with you, it’s difficult when peoples’ strongly held beliefs go against yours, but hopefully the role of the library in presenting all types of information with all types of ideas and viewpoints, can foster understanding which will ultimately bring people together, not pull them apart.

Stephen McMinn, Director of Collections & Scholarly Communications