My Library Is...Presenting an Amazing Exhibit of Mexican Art

27 May 2024

On January 29, 2024 Northern Illinois University Libraries opened a new exhibit displaying large Mexican sculpture pieces known as alebrijes. The exhibit, which will remain open until November 8, presents a collection of 23 pieces created by six artists from Mexico City. The DuPage Mexican Cultural Center in West Chicago selected the pieces and provided them to the library. Several of the pieces are quite large, over twelve feet in height. Others are smaller, about the size of a library table.

My Library Is...Giving Away Books

27 November 2023

Like many libraries, the Paul V. Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology receives more donated books than can possibly be added to the collection. Many of the donated titles are fiction and while we do have a leisure reading collection, only a small fraction of the books are of interest to the library. As a matter of policy books that are not selected for the library’s collections are sold to dealers, offered to other libraries, or donated to charities. Even with those options available, the backlog of donated materials continued to grow 

My Library is...GLaMorous

7 August 2023

In 2022 Illinois Institute of Technology established the Galvin Library Media Studio (GLaMS) with funds received from the On the Road to Recovery: Transforming Library Spaces grant offered through the Illinois State Library. The new studio provides the space and tools necessary for patrons to explore their creativity and curiosity when creating podcasts, videos or music for academic purposes or just for fun.

My Library is...Collaborative

12 December 2022

It’s not unusual for college students to struggle with college life during the course of an academic year, but the stress experienced at the end of the semester is in a category of its own. The extra pressure associated with wrapping up a semester makes it a particularly high-stress time for many students: assignments and papers need to be completed, finals studied for and preparations made for heading home. Or, for some, it means facing the reality that they cannot travel home due to lack of time or funds.

My Library Is...Offering A First Year Experience Mystery Game

22 August 2022

In the summer of 2021, the Head of Reference and Instruction Services (RIS) at the Paul V. Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology reached out to the university’s First Year Experience Program (FYE) coordinator about a potential collaboration. One of the goals of the FYE program is to introduce incoming students to campus resources, services, and support so an introduction to the library seemed like a good fit.

My Library Is…Celebrating Juneteenth

17 June 2022

2022 marks the first year that Juneteenth will be recognized as a federal holiday.

As an academic health science library, I wondered how we could provide an appropriate context for our diverse university community.

The inspiration came from an unexpected as well as controversial source: J. Marion Sims, “father of gynecology,” whose innovations resulted from experimentation on enslaved women.

Interview with Hao Phan, Curator of the Southeast Asia Collection at Northern Illinois University Library

9 May 2022

Northern Illinois University is a Carnegie 2 research institution tucked away in DeKalb. It has the distinction of being home to Illinois' only Center for Southeast Asia Studies.  The Founders Memorial Library holds a distinctive collection of materials to support the work of the Center. In addition to his responsibilities as the collection's curator, Hao Phan, has made significant contributions to preserving and providing access to primary research materials in Southeast Asia. I talked with Hao about his work with the Southeast Asia Collection at NIU.

My Library Is...Finals Week Activities in the Library: Helping Our Students De-Stress

2 May 2022

Study Week and Finals Week can be a hectic time for everyone on college and university campuses. At Illinois Institute of Technology’s Paul V. Galvin Library we remain open 24 hours a day for 12 days straight during this period. It’s become a rite of passage for some of our students, individually or in groups, to study all night in the library at least once during their time with the university. In addition to providing our regular library services the last two weeks of the semester, we also offer de-stress activities for students using the space.


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