UIS a Senate Designated Federal Documents Depository

Did you know that UIS is a Senate designated federal documents depository? Yes, that’s right, we are a selective depository collecting primary source material produced by the U.S. Congress, Legislature and the executive branch as well as other agencies and federal bodies.   Since the advent of digital archiving, which really began to proliferate in the 21st century, most information provided through the Government Printing Office (the folks we work with in obtain government documents) is available online.

Recently, the Library of Congress, likely spurred on by the enormous popularity of the hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” has digitized many of the papers of Alexander Hamilton, first treasury secretary of the United States. The collection includes over 12,000 items dating from 1708 to 1917 (although not the Federalist essays). Learn more about and gain access to the collection at: https://www.loc.gov/collections/alexander-hamilton-papers/about-this-collection/

The GPO has begun a retrospective digitization of the bound volumes of the Congressional Record, most recently releasing the 1950s, 1940s & 1930s in digital format. The Congressional Record is the official organ of Congress which is a verbatim transcript of everything that occurs on the House & Senate floors (and has existed in some form since the advent of the first Congressional Congress in 1789). Needless to say, this provides for a vitally rich historical record. Here is some of what you can find at your fingertips at: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/collection/crecb

1951-1960 (82nd thru 86th Congresses):

  • The final two years of President Harry Truman’s Administration
  • President Dwight Eisenhower’s Administration
  • The Korean War
  • The Cold War
  • The creation of NASA
  • Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956

1941-1950 (77th thru 81st Congresses):

  • World War II, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “day that will live in infamy” address to Congress requesting a declaration of war against Japan
  • VE and VJ Days
  • Demobilization
  • The Franklin Roosevelt Presidency through April 1945 and the Presidency of Harry Truman through 1950
  • The Marshall Plan
  • The beginning of the Cold War

1931-1940 (72nd thru 76th Congresses):

  • The Great Depression.
  • The last two years of the Herbert Hoover Administration and the elections of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, 1936, and 1940.
  • The 21st Amendment (ending Prohibition).
  • The New Deal (Emergency Banking Act, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority Act, Glass-Steagall Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, Wagner Act, Social Security Act, Rural Electrification Act, etc.).
  • Senator Huey Long.
  • FDR’s court-packing plan.
  • The various Neutrality Acts, Lend Lease, and the beginning of World War II.

NOTE: to make the best use of the Congressional Record you will need the dates that discussions occurred on the floor:

If you would like to further explore government documents and information and how they might be of value to your teaching or scholarship, please contact Pamela M. Salela, the UIS liaison to Government Information. You can find her contact info on the government Information research guide at: https://libguides.uis.edu/docs


The Library Bill of Rights: Article ll

Over the next 7 weeks, 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. This week we are featuring Article ll.

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.


Library Bill or Rights, Article II.

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





Warm Wishes from the Library

Let it Snow Brookens Library Chalkboard Art

We hope that this semester has been a successful one for you and your students.  As you wrap up grading and head out for winter break, we’re sure you’re already starting to ponder your spring classes.  As you begin to prepare, we just wanted to remind you that we’re here to help.  Whether you want to create a new research assignment, update an existing one, or embed information literacy instruction into your coursed (both on-ground or online) your library liaison is available to collaborate with you.  For more information about our resources and services, visit our Faculty Resources guide. We hope you have a pleasant and refreshing winter break, and we look forward to working with you in the new year!

New Look for Research Guides

Our Research Guides have a new look this semester. We’ve made some changes based on a DePaul University user study[PDF] and best practices that say, among other things, that online research guides should be more subject focused (fewer “general purpose” resources), and should not overwhelm users with too many choices.

Lib Guides The subject-specific content on the new Guides is (nearly) identical to the old Research Guides. We hope that it is presented in a way is clear and concise for you and your students. Please feel free to offer feedback on your guide(s). Your library liaison can create a course-specific guide if the subject guide does not meet your needs.

Did you know that your Blackboard course site has a link to your subject focused research guide? Clicking on “Library Research Help” will bring your students to a page with links to your subject’s Research Guide and your library liaison’s contact information.

Blackboard link to Library Research Guides

Picking Your Topic IS Research

There is an important step in the research process that is often overlooked: selecting a topic. Too often students let their passion for a topic run away with them and forget to consider if it is appropriate for the assignment. And in some cases even when they start to struggle with their topic, they are hesitant to change it after getting started. We’re sure you see this in class, we certainly see it in the library. Today, we’re highlighting an excellent resource that you can use to introduce the idea that selecting a topic is part of the research process, not something you do before you begin to research. It’s a go-to resource for us, and hope it will be for you too. This short, and fun, video from North Carolina State University Libraries is a great way to start a dialogue about how best to go about selecting a topic.


Of course, this can lead to discussions about how to dissect assignments and begin researching once a topic has been selected. Our librarians are equipped with activities and more than happy to provide instruction to your students on any of these topics. Be sure to contact your library liaison with any questions or to set up an instruction session.

Locating Private Foundation Funding Workshop: 3/12

Pamela M. Salela, Associate Professor, Coordinator, Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center, will be offering the Locating Private Foundation Funding Workshop Thursday, March 12 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm in Brookens 141-B.

Locating Private Foundation Funding: Pamela M. Salela, Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center

Free community workshop on locating private foundation money & the use of the Center’s resources.

Thursday, March 12; 1-3PM; UIS Brookens Library: This workshop will include:

• Demonstration of the specialized database, Foundation Directory Online Professional.
• Introduction on what to consider when seeking private foundation monies
• Interpreting the information found about a foundation and its funding areas.
• Information regarding locating the Foundation Center’s online tutorials and webstreams
• Instruction on the use of CINRC reference materials to supplement your grant search.
• Discussion of tips about proposal writing and communicating with the foundations.

Due to limited seating and resources, REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Registration: https://uofi.uis.edu/fb/sec/7937717

Pamela M. Salela
Phone 217-206-6783

Event: Using EndNote Web 11/19 at Noon

Using EndNote Web to Create Bibliographies and Organize Your Research

November 19th at noon in room 141B – Brookens Library

EndNote Web the web version of the popular but expensive bibliographic management application, EndNote, is freely available to all UIS faculty and students due to the library’s subscription to Thomson databases.  This session will provide an overview of the features of this application as well as how to use it to organize your literature and create bibliographies.

Event: Bibliographic Management Tools 11/19 at 11am

Bibliographic Management Tools – What They Are, What They Do, and Finding the Right One for You.

November 19th at 11 am in Room 141B – Brookens Library.

Bibliographic Management Tools such as EndNote and Zotero can help you organize your research and help save time in your writing by easing the burden of citing references and building bibliographies.  Come learn how these applications work, what they can do, and find the one that best fits your specific need.   Are they worth the cost  or will one of the several free applications meet your needs.

Open Access & Libraries

We invite you to join us for a free webinar on Open Access, “Open Access & Libraries”, this Thursday, November 6 at 1:00 p.m. in the Brookens Library Classroom (BRK 232). Here you will learn about what Open Access is (and isn’t) and more.

Open Access in Libraries

Scholarly journals are increasingly becoming digital, experimenting with new publishing models such as Open Access (OA) and incorporating multimedia into their formats. In addition, the process of research continues to evolve because of mandates from funding agencies to publicly share research findings and data. For a candid discussion of what OA is (and isn’t), tune in Thursday, November 6 at 1:00 p.m. (Central) for the next free, streaming video broadcast of American Libraries Live.

The panel of experts will give their unique perspective on what OA means now and how it will shape the future and will answer your questions.

Alexander Street Press Currently Down

Alexander Street Press is currently experiencing an unexpected downtime for online products. Their IT team is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Brookens Library subscribes to select video packages. We will provide additional information as we receive it.