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EIU Booth Library

Library News

What’s Your Problem? Enter the CSI pitch competition

Posted on January 28th, 2021

The Center for Student Innovation (CSI) at Booth Library invites underrepresented, undergraduate student teams to share ideas and technologies that will solve a specific problem. Each team will pitch its idea of how to solve the problem that they identify and describe using the resources that are currently available in or could be purchased for the library’s CSI. Winning proposals will generate funds to purchase technology for the CSI Booth. In addition, winning team members will be awarded a scholarship toward their tuition.


Application opens – November 16, 2020

Application deadline – Midnight CST on March 15, 2021 – deadline extended!

Winners announced – March 24, 2021

½ tuition stipend awarded – April 2021

½ tuition stipend awarded – September 2021


The competition is open to full-time freshmen, sophomores and juniors who will be enrolled at Eastern Illinois University during the spring and fall semesters of 2021. Teams are composed of a minimum of two students (no individual submissions allowed). The What’s your Problem? Pitch Competition is supported through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund, which is aimed at retaining students who are part of an under-represented population. Therefore, all members of your team must be BIPOC (Black, indigenous, or people of color), OR first-generation students, OR low-income (Pell-eligible) students. Cross-disciplinary teams are welcome.


Each team must identify a specific problem that can be solved using the resources that are currently available in or that could be purchased for the library’s CSI. A list of technology and resources available in the CSI is available here. Team members must identify the problem, describe the scope of the problem, explain how to solve the problem creatively and innovatively, and provide a list of equipment (hardware/software) or spaces that would be needed to successfully solve the problem. Examples of suggested projects are available here.

Teams may create their presentation using any software, apps or formats. All submissions must be readable on freely accessible EIU software or platforms. Proposals must be submitted by midnight CST on March 15, 2021.

For more information about the pitch competition, see the website here. Student may also email Catherine Polydore, professor of Counseling and Student Development, at cpolydore@eiu; Zach Newell, dean of Library Services, at; or Newton Key, director of the Faculty Development and Innovation Center, at Or call Booth Library at 217-581-6061.

Digital Library of Illinois now includes magazines!

Posted on January 27th, 2021

Booth Library now offers access to a large collection of digital magazines through the Digital Library of Illinois. You can borrow and read the magazines using Libby or any other method you currently use to access OverDrive titles. Magazines don’t count toward your checkout limits.

The collection has over 3200 magazines of current and popular interest on a wide variety of subjects. All are available for simultaneous use, with no waiting or restrictions.

Happy browsing! For any questions, please Ask a Librarian.

Awards for Excellence competition offers cash prizes

Posted on January 26th, 2021

Eastern Illinois University students who have used Booth Library resources to enhance their research are encouraged to enter the library’s Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creativity program.

The program is open to all Eastern Illinois University students who are/were enrolled during the current academic year. Cash prizes of up to $300 will be awarded, in addition to certificates of recognition.

The student entry may be a written work, art piece, exhibit, musical work, documentary, performance or another format.

The 2021 guidelines can be found on Booth Library’s website at All entries must be submitted electronically through EIU’s scholarship portal,

The deadline to enter is March 22. Recipients will be selected by April 1, and the winners will be honored during the Virtual Student Research and Creativity Discovery Conference on April 9. Works submitted for competition must have been completed within the last 12 months.

Selected entries will become a part of Booth Library’s Student Research and Creativity Collection.

For more information on the library, visit the website,; call 581-6072; or find the library on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Librarian Whisler retires after 39 years at Booth

Posted on January 25th, 2021

John Whisler

Librarian John Whisler retired from Booth Library on Dec. 31, 2020, after 39 years of service.

Professor Whisler served as head of the Cataloging Services department for many years. He previously served as the head of the Periodicals department and as a subject bibliographer for art, music and theater.

“John was tireless in his work to keep the Booth catalog accurate and up to date. If you ever wondered how you can find what you need here at Booth — either on the bookshelves or on the computer — that’s because of the hard work of John and his team in Cataloging,” said Zach Newell, dean of Library Services.

Whisler helped to re-catalog the library’s collection many times over the years, from the physical card catalog to the robust Alma library software system that came online in June 2020.

Whisler served for many years on the Technical Services Committee of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. He held memberships in the American Library Association, Illinois Library Association, Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization and the Music Library Association, in addition to other professional organizations.

He received the Technical Services Award from the ILA and the Distinguished Contributor Award from ILCSO, both in 2002, and was named Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year by the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries/ILA in 1997.

Whisler earned a master of arts in library science in 1977 from the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in music in 1975 from the University of Memphis, and a bachelor of science degree in music in 1973 from Manchester College.

Whisler previously served as a librarian at the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center and began work at Booth Library on July 1, 1981.

Study rooms, meditation room open for individual use

Posted on January 8th, 2021

Booth has reopened its fourth-floor study rooms and meditation room for reservations. The rooms had been closed for safety reasons during the pandemic.

“We’ve received several requests from students to reopen the study rooms,” said Zach Newell, dean of Library Services. “Students with online classes need private spaces to work, and after discussing protocols with local health officials, we have agreed on a way to open the study rooms safely.”

Typically Booth study rooms are for group work. However, they are now for individual use only. Rooms are available by reservation only and can be reserved for up to two hours. These same regulations apply to the meditation room, as well.

Masks are required, just as they are throughout the library. Sanitizers are provided for individuals to clean surfaces. There will be a required break between reservations to allow for air filtration.

Only current EIU students with a valid Panther Card may reserve a room. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance.

To reserve a study room, visit To reserve the meditation room, visit

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Booth Library

600 Lincoln Avenue,
Charleston, IL 61920
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