The Library Bill of Rights, Article V

Over a 7 week period, 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. 

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.



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


Tree Dedication for Jane Treadwell 11/10

Please join us in recognizing the leadership of Jane Treadwell, Dean Emeritus.  The Friends of Brookens Library, along with the library staff, are dedicating a Magnolia tree in appreciation of Treadwell’s nearly 14 years of service to Brookens Library at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

4:00 pm – North East Entrance of Brookens Library


Meet the Dean – Faculty Open House

Please join us for the annual Brookens Library Faculty Open House.

Thursday, September 15, 2016
2:00 – 4:00 pm  –   Brookens Library – Lower Level

This year we are welcoming Pattie Piotrowski to Brookens Library
as the new University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services.

Come meet the Dean, learn about your library, and network with your UIS colleagues.
Your library liaison will be available to answer any questions you might have about instruction, our website, materials requests, and more. We hope to see you there!



Sagmoen Selected to Synergy

Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative Announces Participants

Thirty Illinois librarians have been selected to participate in the tenth year of “Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative,” a unique yearlong program designed to develop future leaders in the library profession and in the Illinois community. One of the participants selected is Brookens Librarian, Sarah Sagmoen. Sagmoen is the Director of Learning Commons and User Services.
The group of 30 librarians will attend three sessions over a six-month period and will work in a leadership environment with other emerging leaders, experienced Illinois library leaders and nationally recognized speakers. The goal of the program is for each individual to develop leadership skills that can be applied in local, state and global arenas.

The 30 librarians selected to participate are:

Deborah Althoff Will, Zion-Benton Township High School
Barbara Alvarez, Barrington Area Library
Becca Boland, Hinsdale Public Library
Sarah McHone-Chase, Northern Illinois University Libraries
Heather Colby, Homer Township Public Library
Joe Collier, Mount Prospect Public Library
David Ehrenhart, Illinois Fire Service Institute Library
Gwen Gregory, University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Yi Han, Paul V. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology
Keisha Hester, Calumet City Public Library
Amy Ihnen, Chatham Area Public Library
Sonya Johnson, Decatur Public Schools District 61
Emily Klonicki, Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library
Amy Koester, Skokie Public Library
Emily Kofoid, St. Charles Public Library
Taran Ley, Illinois State Library
Joanna Marek, Spring Avenue Elementary School
Vanessa Morrison, Franklin Park Public Library District
Ariel Orlov, Dominican University, Rebecca Crown Library
Sia Paganis, Spring Wood Middle School
Young Park, Chicago Public Library – Albany Park Branch
Bobbi M. Perryman, Vespasian Warner Public Library
Lauren Rosenthal, Fox River Valley Public Library District
Dana Russell, New Lenox Public Library
Sarah Sagmoen, Brookens Library, University of Illinois Springfield
Leander Spearman, Belleville Public Library
Soon Har Tan, Itasca Community Library
Anne Thompson, Evergreen Park School District #124
Leah L. White, Ela Area Public Library
Carrie A. Zamorano, Woodstock Public Library

Faculty Library Associate Program – Amy Spies

During this past summer, we piloted our first Faculty Associate program.  This program provided an opportunity for faculty members to work with a librarian in order to embed information literacy concepts and skills into new or existing course work.  Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting each of these three faculty/librarian collaborations.

Librarian Nancy Weichert discusses her work with CAP Coordinator of Composition Amy Spies:

This summer, through the Faculty Library Associate Program, I was able to work closely with Amy Spies the CAP Coordinator of Composition & Academic Student Support. Our goal was to rework the information literacy components of CAP 111 – Honors Composition and CAP 115 – Interdisciplinary Writing. Amy and I updated the information literacy components of the courses with an eye on the proposed Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education In 2013 ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force determined that in our ever evolving information ecosystem a move from the traditional standards model to a threshold concepts based framework is needed. The assignments Amy and I reworked integrated the use of tools such as Google, Yelp and UrbanSpoon in tandem with more traditional library research resources. Amy and I continue to meet regularly and view this as an ongoing partnership.

Be on the lookout for our next two spotlights coming soon.  For more information about this summer’s Faculty Associate position, see the Faculty Resources Guide or contact your librarian.



FDO: “Getting Better Research from Your Students”

Brookens Faculty Development Workshop

“Getting Better Research from Your Students”

Are you tired of your students turning in papers and projects having cited sub-par resources?  Have no fear, the librarians are here!  This session will begin with discussion about the expectations and realities of student research skills in higher education.  We will then give you ideas to create or revise assignments that teach both search and source evaluation skills, improving the quality of student research.

Cookies and beverages will be provided!  Feel free to bring your lunch.

Presenters:    Dorothy Ryan, Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian; Sarah Sagmoen, Director of Learning Commons and User Services; Nancy Weichert, Clinical Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian.

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Nov. 11, 11 – 12:00 p.m., PAC Conference Rm G

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.

Open Access Week at Brookens

Brookens Library is celebrating Open Access Week (October 20th  – 26th) with two events on Thursday, October 23rd  in Brookens 141A.
The first is an “Update on Open Access at UIS” presented by Stephen McMinn, Director of Scholarly Communications at 11:00 am followed by a Webinar at Noon presented by Ebsco entitled “The Feedback Loop Between Open Access & Altmetrics.”

The session, “Update on Open Access at UIS” will provide an introduction to open access and why it is important. It will also include an update on the universities response to the Open Access to Research Articles Act.

A brief description of the webinar, “The Feedback Loop Between Open Access & Altmetrics”, starting at Noon is as follows:

In recent years mandates for researchers to publish their research – both articles and data – openly are growing. Yet, mandates do not always work; researchers still do not do this. Altmetrics, and the information about how people are interacting with research, can provide the feedback loop needed to help motivate people to publish openly. In this one-hour webinar, Mike Showalter of Plum Analytics will describe and demonstrate altmetrics and open access and you will learn about the capabilities of using altmetrics as your own open access feedback loop.

Please join us for either event celebrating Open Access Week!


The annual Brookens Library Faculty Open House is just one week away on Thursday, September 5th from 4-6 pm. Get to know your librarian, meet and mingle with representatives from the media lab, COLORs and more. This casual event is a great opportunity to engage and network with your fellow faculty members and with the staff from other departments in the Brookens Library building. We look forward to seeing you there.

Faculty Open House


“Behind the Beautiful Forevers” featured as “one book” at UIS

UIS is sponsoring its first “ONE BOOK, ONE UIS” initiative this fall with Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo as the book that the campus community is invited to read.  The initiative is being coordinated by Brookens Library and is supported by funds from Friends of Brookens Library, the Chancellor’s Office, the Diversity Center, and the ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) Speakers Series. ONE BOOK, ONE UIS will culminate with a lecture by Katherine Boo on Monday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Sangamon Auditorium.  The program will be free and open to the public, although tickets will be required and can be obtained through the UIS Sangamon Auditorium ticket office by calling 217-206-6160. A book signing will immediately follow the lecture.

The kick-off event for ONE BOOK, ONE UIS will be the screening of the film Salaam Bombay by acclaimed Indian director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake). The film, which chronicles the day to day lives of children living on the streets of Bombay, will be shown on September 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium as the first offering in the UIS Foreign & Independent Film Series.

In addition to Boo’s lecture, a panel of UIS faculty members will look at the issues raised by the book from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including women’s studies, communication, politics, and the global economy.  The panel discussion will occur on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. in  Brookens Auditorium.  Students, faculty, staff and Friends of Brookens Library are invited to participate in one of three book discussions leading up to Boo’s lecture. Finally, some faculty members have adopted the book for their courses during fall semester.  Details of all ONE BOOK, ONE UIS events may be found at

Behind the Beautiful Forevers won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2012, was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, and appeared on a host of “best book” lists for 2012.  The book is an account of the lives of the inhabitants of Annawadi, a Mumbai slum in the shadows of luxury hotels and the international airport.  Katherine Boo followed the lives of several key residents of Annawadi as the global economic downturn in 2008 and 2009 added to the tensions that already existed over issues of religion, caste, and gender.  Her portraits are compelling, sometimes heartbreaking, and offer insight into globalization at the personal level in one of the 21st century’s great, unequal cities.

Katherine Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. She learned to report at the alternative weekly, Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. Boo has said about her work: “Very little journalism is world changing.  But if change is to happen, it will be because people with power have a better sense of what’s happening to people who have none.”

Visit BrookensOneBook for more information.

Join us Monday, October 7, 7:00 p.m. at The Sangamon Auditorium

Join us Monday, October 7, 7:00 p.m. at The Sangamon Auditorium