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EIU Booth Library

Library News

Programs planned for NEA Big Read!

Posted on June 16th, 2020

Several programs are planned as part of The Big Read program in East Central Illinois. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts that is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University received a $14,000 Big Read grant to support a community reading program during the 2020-2021 academic year.

The local NEA Big Read program will focus on the book “An American Sunrise,” by Joy Harjo, the first Native American to hold the position of U.S. Poet Laureate.

Local programs sponsored by many community organizations will take place between September 2020 and April 2021. The schedule of public programming this fall is as follows:

  • Big Read kickoff and keynote address, Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., virtual presentation, “From Wilder’s ‘Little House on the Prairie’ to Harjo’s ‘An American Sunrise’: Words Matter,” presented by Dr. Debbie Reese, a former schoolteacher and assistant professor who is widely known for her blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature. Reese will look at the story of Joy Harjo, who writes that in 1830 with “the American soldiers at our backs,” her people left their homelands for Indian Territory. Thirty-nine years later, Charles Ingalls took his family — including his 2-year-old daughter, Laura — from their cabin in Wisconsin to Indian Territory. Reese will talk about the works of Harjo and Wilder and ask that we consider how their words shape what readers know about the place called America and the people that call it home. This program is sponsored by Booth Library. To participate, click on this link in your Internet browser.
  • Tarble Reads virtual book discussion, Sept. 16, 5-7 p.m., via Zoom: “An American Sunrise” will be discussed. Free copies of the book are available. Please contact the Tarble Arts Center at or 217-581-2787 for information on how to participate online.
  • “A Peek Into the American Indian Way of Life Through Their History and Oral Traditions,” Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m., presented by Kim McIver Sigafus: This presentation will invite people into the world of the American Indian to discover what it once was to be Native, and what it means to be Native now. An Ojibwa, Sigafus will be dressed in her traditional Native regalia, and will present on Native culture through oral traditions, language, and history. She will discuss Native encampment life and will drum and sing an Ojibwa lullaby. This program is sponsored by Booth Library and funded through a grant from the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau.
  • Book discussion, Dec. 1, 4-5:30 p.m.: EIU Buzzard Hall Room 1180: The Academy of Lifelong Learning’s Literary Divas book club will discuss “An American Sunrise.” For more information, contact the Academy at 217-581-5114 or email This program is limited to 10 people; pre-registration is required.

Anyone who would like a free paperback copy of “An American Sunrise” may contact Booth Library. The book will be provided to students in EIU English classes, as well as to high schools in the region through the Eastern Illinois Writing Project and Eastern Illinois University Teaching with Primary Sources initiatives.

Additional programs will be added to the schedule and will be updated on The Big Read website at For more information, contact Janice Derr, Big Read project director at Booth Library, at or 217-581-7555.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Library catalog search updated

Posted on June 11th, 2020

In collaboration with the 90+ Illinois academic libraries in the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), Booth Library’s catalog search, I-Share request system and user account system was updated to the Ex Libris company’s Alma/Primo VE Integrated Library System on June 24, 2020.

The change came after more than 18 months of planning and preparation.

Booth library’s homepage remained largely screengrabthe same, with only the “Books and Movies” tab searching the new catalog system. The Booth Library catalog includes searching for books, videos, CDs, and more in our local collection, as well as the option to expand your search to request items from our I-Share network of 90+ academic and research libraries throughout the state.
Library users will find all their current circulation information up to date and current in the new system, so you don’t need to worry about materials you have checked out. Booth Library’s Research Engagement and Scholarship group will be releasing additional information about how to use the system and about changes you might not have anticipated. You may always contact us with questions.

One of the improvements is a streamlined login process that allows you to manage your library loans, make new requests, save searches and create lists and favorites. Another advantage of the new search interface is one you will discover quickly once you perform a search. Whereas the library catalog search previously was limited to searching for books and other materials held in Booth Library, now have the option to search for articles and books in a single search box.
Booth’s Articles tab will remain the same this summer, searching selected EBSCO databases as screengrab imagewell as the option to search JSTOR or Google Scholar, but the new catalog search will provide an additional point to search across many of the library’s databases and subscription content. More information on that expanded search capability will be forthcoming.
Access to Booth Library’s research databases remain accessible and unchanged. As always, the librarians at Booth are working hard to provide EIU with the best and most convenient access to information. You may get help right away, make an appointment, request instruction for yourself or for your class, or collaborate with a librarian on delivering specialized content and instruction.

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