RSVP for the Annual Friends Dinner Today!

Hello Friends,
Time is running out to make you reservation to the Friends of Brookens Library Annual Dinner on Tuesday, June 23rd. This year’s featured speaker is SSU/UIS Alumni Nina Burleigh. The dinner will be held in the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby (PAC Building).

Cash Bar: 5:00 pm  –  Meeting: 5:15 pm  –  Dinner: 5:30 pm
Lecture by Newsweek Correspondent Nina Burleigh: 7:00 pm

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in the UIS Studio Theatre.

The dinner costs $30 per person and guests welcome. Please R.S.V.P. to Bethany Burbridge at (217) 206-6597 or by email at

220px-Nina_Burleigh_photoNina Burleigh is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of five books. Her last book, The Fatal Gift of Beauty, was a New York Times bestseller. In the last several years, she has covered a wide array of subjects, from American politics to the Arab Spring. She is National Politics Correspondent at Newsweek and has written for numerous publications including Rolling Stone, Businessweek, The New Yorker, Time, New York and The New York Times. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, The Today Show, 48 Hours, MSNBC, CNN and C-Span, on NPR and numerous radio programs.

Nina was born and educated in the Midwest, has traveled extensively in the Middle East and lived in Italy and France. She is a graduate of the UIS Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) Program and was inducted into the PAR Hall of Fame in 2013.

She is a an adjunct professor at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and has lectured around the United States, in Italy, and in Mexico. Her book, Mirage, published in 2008 by Harper Collins, was selected by The New York Times as an editors’ choice and won the Society of Women Educators’ Award in 2008.

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2015 Holtz Memorial Lecture: Mourning Father Abraham

The University of Illinois Springfield will host a scholarly symposium on April 30, 2015, in collaboration with the Lincoln Funeral Coalition and support from The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, and cosponsored by Brookens Library as this year’s Holtz Memorial Lecture.  “Mourning Father Abraham:  Lincoln’s Assassination and the Public’s Response” will feature three Lincoln scholars who will describe the way the public viewed Abraham Lincoln in life and death, including the variation in personal responses to his assassination. Lincoln’s call for black suffrage and the challenges of reunion will also be discussed.

Speakers will include Dr. Michael Burlingame, Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies, UIS, Dr. Martha Hodes, Professor of History, New York University, and Dr. Louis Masur, Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History, Rutgers University.
The event, at 7:00 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, is free and open to the public.  No reservation is required.  Doors open at 6:00 pm. Seating is first come, first seated, with overflow seating provided.  A reception and book signing will follow.  The live webcast can be viewed at

The symposium is being organized by the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership.  For more information: or (217) 206-7094.

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CINRC Workshop: Community Health & Socioeconomic Data at Your Fingertips 4/9

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The Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center is hosting the final workshop for the Spring 2015 semester Thursday, April 9th. Make your reservation today.

Community Health & Socioeconomic Data at Your Fingertips: Paula Gramley, Community Benefits Coordinator, Memorial Health System

Thursday, April 9; 1-3PM; UIS Brookens Library:  The workshop will provide an introduction to a free online database at This site provides community demographics and rankings of more than 100 health and socioeconomic indicators for Sangamon, Logan, Morgan and Christian counties.  Information is updated regularly so that the data is the latest available. Community data is available in seven categories: health, economy, education, environment, public safety, social environment and transportation. This data may help organizations with goal setting, need assessments, grant writing and other work. Workshop includes hands on component at computer. See the full calendar description HERE.


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“March” Selected As 2015/2016 One Book

MARCH Chosen “One Book, One UIS” for 2015/2016

March Book One  - One Book, One UIS 2015      MARCH, a graphic memoir about the life of civil rights icon John Lewis, has been chosen by the One Book, One UIS Planning Committee as the campus community read for the 2015/2016 academic year.   Congressman Lewis, co-author Andrew Aydin and Illustrator Nate Powell have agreed to speak at UIS. Their presentation will be on Monday, October 19 at 7:00 in Sangamon Auditorium.
John Lewis has been a member of the United States House of Representatives since 1986, representing the Georgia 5th District.  Born the son of sharecroppers in Pike County, Alabama, Lewis became a civil rights activist while a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, organizing sit-ins and participating in freedom rides.  From 1963-1966, Lewis chaired the Student Nonviolent Organizing Committee (SNCC) of which he was a founder.

The title of the book MARCH comes from the many marches that Lewis organized or participated in, including one of the most well-remembered moments in civil rights history—the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965.  Lewis was one of the organizers of the march, which drew nationwide attention when the non-violent marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers.  Many historians believe that the images of cruelty from the Selma march were a factor in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Over the years, Lewis has received many prestigious awards, including the Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian honor) and the only John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award ever granted by the John F. Kennedy Foundation.  He has recently been named as the recipient of the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government given each year by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois.  A ceremony to present the award to Congressman Lewis, hosted by Senator Dick Durbin, will be held on April 29 in Washington, DC.

March Book One - One Book One UIS 2015   MARCH is planned as a three-volume trilogy.  At UIS, we will be reading volumes one and two.  MARCH: Book One has received numerous awards, including a 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award and an ALA Notable Children’s Book designation.  It was also named a “Top Ten Graphic Novel for Teens” by the Young Adults Library Services Association (YALSA) of ALA and made the “best books of 2013” lists of USA Today, The Washington Post, Slate and others.  MARCH: Book Two has just been published and has already garnered a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Should you wish to include MARCH in a course during the 2015/2016 academic year, please contact Karen Moranski at or 217-206-7440; or Kimberly Craig at or 217-206-6245.  For any other information about the 2015/2016 choice please contact Janelle Gurnsey in the Brookens Library: or 217-206-8451.  We will release information about additional programming as it is planned.  For more information about the One Book, One UIS program, including selection criteria, please see:

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Academic Movers 2014: In Depth with Sarah Sagmoen

Movers2014webBigSagmoenb Academic Movers 2014: In Depth with Sarah Sagmoen

In the latest of our In-Depth Interviews with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Sarah Sagmoen, learning commons and user services librarian at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Brookens Library. Hired as a visiting instructional librarian in 2009, Sagmoen was managing the reference desk and public computers by the end of her first year. In her third year at Brookens, her work inspired the library to create the position she now occupies. Between her academic duties and a lively student outreach program, she is busy building a strong community both inside the library and out. Photo by Janelle Gurnsey.

LJ: How did you jump into a job at an academic library straight out of library school?

Sarah Sagmoen: This was my first full-time librarian position. I was hired for a ten-month visiting position only. I looked at it as an opportunity to get my foot in the door, so mostly my focus was on getting as much experience as I could. And then I never left! We ended up being put into a hiring freeze, so the few of us who were hired on in visiting positions were allowed to get a second, and in my case a third, visiting contract.

In this interview series, sponsored by SAGELJ goes in depth with this year’s Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, delving into just how and why they pulled off the projects that brought them recognition as innovators, change agents, and more.

You wear a lot of different hats within the library and on campus, and you manage it all well. How do you prioritize everything so successfully?

I’m glad it looks that way! For me, it’s about just knowing that if I come to work and I’m productive all day, some days that’s the best I can do. It might not be what I intended to be productive on, but so long as I’ve taken advantage of the day to the best of my abilities, I just have to be happy with that.

Before I leave at the end of the day I make a to-do list for myself for the next day that has a variety of short, quick things I can do. That way if I find myself with ten to 15 minutes here and there I have a couple of little tasks I can knock out, whereas otherwise those little gaps can get wasted because you look at them and think ”that’s not enough time to get anything done.”

Also, it’s so important to take lunch. Get out of your office and don’t eat at your desk!

What projects do you have going on right now?

Right now we’re in the midst of a large project we started in summer [2013], where we completely revamped our student employment model. Previously we looked at student employees as a benefit for the library—they help us keep our doors open, they staff our major desks—and we turned it around to make it an opportunity for us to really teach them some things. We created two student manager positions, and we created a three-tiered circulation training module to train them to do basic reference. We’ve empowered them quite a bit and we expect more out of them. It’s exciting to see students taking on much more responsibility than they previously had, and the skills we’re teaching them are making them better students. They’re learning how to do research better to help other students at the desk, but they also take it back into the classroom.

You participated in the most recent Knight News Challenge for libraries—how was that experience?

I enjoyed it a lot. We’re in desperate need of a larger, more sophisticated classroom in our library. Our classroom only seats 20-25 comfortably and it’s not a lab—there are no computers, other than the computer and projector in the front, and it’s just not working for us. It seemed like a good opportunity for me to really work through how we would go about acquiring a classroom of the size we would need, and think about what technology we would need, what the process would be—because I work for the state we have to work with state contracts, and I can’t just work with any company I want to. I spent a day in my office and hung Post-it notes all over the walls and brainstormed.

Even [though my proposal wasn’t] selected, it was a good activity for me because we’re actually going to put some of those plans in place, at least the initial stages of allocating the funding. It was fun, and I feel that any time you’re forced to do something like that it’s useful. It’s like conference proposals—even if your proposal doesn’t get submitted it’s a nice activity to work through what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and whether or not it’s working. We don’t often reflect enough critically about what we do because we’re all just so busy.

How do you feel about the literacy skills in the students you teach?

That’s an interesting question because yesterday I and two of my colleagues did a faculty development session entitled “Getting Better Research from Your Students.” It was geared to the idea that the expectations college professors have aren’t matching what our freshmen are coming in with—due to a lot of factors, but mostly because school libraries are getting cut across the nation. There’s this expectation that college freshmen understand the difference, for example, between a scholarly and a popular journal. But they just don’t. It’s not any fault of the students’, it’s that the system has failed them in this way. We were presenting yesterday about creating better research assignment handouts to help students bridge that gap.

Who are the mentors who made a difference for you?

I have a really supportive group here, but most importantly, I work for a boss, Jane Treadwell, who’s very supportive of me—just having that person I know I can ask for quick advice on little things or big things, and also the knowledge that I don’t have to check everything with her. She trusts what I do, she trusts my decisions. I’ve been empowered from day one as very young, new librarian. She’s been more than instrumental in my career at this point.

What changes would you like to see at your library?

A chunk of my job is redesigning and managing the spaces within the library, and I would like to see better funding so we can get this [renovation] that we so desperately need—from little things like not enough outlets to bringing in technology and collaborative spaces, being prepared to serve our ever-growing population. I’d like to see us build that classroom so that we can really show what we do on a much larger scale—I think it would have a big impact on our campus. It would certainly have a big impact on us here within the building. It would be a good way to refresh and get excited about little things again. When you’re doing instruction in a new, cool space, it helps you imagine larger, cooler, more meaningful activities.

What would you tell someone starting out who wants to be a library leader?

I would say follow your passion. It’s more likely that you’re going to find something awesome to do if you’re passionate about it. Too often people think that those things have to be flashy or outside of the box. But they don’t have to be—they just have to be something you feel very strongly about, whether it’s helping incoming freshmen bridge that gap through information literacy, or creating collaborations outside your library building. That’s the thing that I’ve found I’m really passionate about, and that I just kind of fell into. I had a teaching background and I came in thinking that instruction was going to be my thing, and it wasn’t. I still love being in the classroom and doing instruction but I don’t do tons of it, or at least not as much as I used to, because I’ve moved into the outreach/partnership area. This opportunity fell in my lap and I took advantage of it.

As young librarians, so often we’re told we have to have these five-year plans, but the reality is you just don’t know what’s coming down the pipeline. Keep your eyes and ears open, and if something that you think is cool—or that you’re excited about—happens in front of you, take advantage of it, just roll with it and see where it goes. (This article was taken from Library Journal – online).

This article was featured in Library Journal‘s Academic Newswire enewsletter.  See the original article.

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Annual Dinner Reservations

There is still time to make your reservation to the Friends of Brookens Library Annual Dinner & Book Exchange scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Please contact Bethany Burbridge by email at: or by calling 217-206-6597.

Friends Annual Dinner_2014 Invitation


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Annual Dinner, Book Exchange and Film Screening – June 4th

Friends Annual Dinner_2014 InvitationDear Friends,

We have a different but very special annual dinner planned for this year—instead of a speaker we will have a film screening of a new documentary about Jens Jensen, Living Green.  Because Jensen designed Lincoln Memorial Garden and some of the film was shot at the garden, Lincoln Memorial Garden is a co-sponsor of the film screening and we have invited interested LMG members to join us for dinner as well.  Since the film screening is at 7:00, the business meeting will be held before dinner.  Cocktail hour begins at 5:00 in the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.

I should also mention that the filmmaker, Carey Lundin, will be here for dinner and the screening and will be discussing the film and taking questions after the screening.  I hope that you can join us for what should be a very interesting evening!

Jane Treadwell
University Librarian & Dean, Library Instructional Services
Chair, OCLC Americas Regional Council, 2013/2014



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