Bring Your Own Book Club+

The Undergraduate and the Residence Halls Libraries are putting together a book club this semester!

Gif of Emperor Penguins marching

Work Before

Gif of a child in sunglasses dancing with text "Workin' from home"

Now…

With the inability to hang out in-person because of the current environment, we wanted to provide an opportunity for members of the University of Illinois to connect via books and other forms of media such as movies and video games. We hope to provide this program throughout the semester. There will be prizes for individuals who can attend (or participate by writing a blurb, if they cannot make the scheduled meeting).

You might be asking yourself, why a book club?  

Book clubs are great because they provide an opportunity for socialization! Additionally, a book club is a chance to explore and discover new things, particularly while we are limited in our ability to travel and socialize like usual. For instance, campus book clubs held this summer were a great way to get to meet new people over Zoom while everything was shut down. It was also a wonderful way to build reading lists as each attendee shared some great new recommendations. Additionally, these groups provided suggestions of shows and movies, like Great Teacher Onizuka 

Most importantly, reading books, watching television, or playing games is fun! And by extension, so are book clubs. Perhaps the strongest reason to join this book club is that you will meet fellow media and book enthusiasts who are as invested in learning about your likes as we are about you. Maybe we can bond over a show like Lovecraft Country? 

Our first meeting is Wednesday, September 23rd at 6 p.m. RSVP at this sign-up form.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Gif of Aladdin and Jasmine with text "A whole new world"

Written by: Simone

Edited by: Maurissa & Nicole

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UGL Fall Services

Welcome back students!  This Fall has brought many changes to student life, but the UGL is still here to help you be successful.  Libraries across campus have updated their services and facilities to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide resources to help on- and off-campus students access our collections and instructional services.  In this blog post, we’ll provide details on some of our physical building access updates, as well as ways to connect with us for students who will not be able to visit in person.

Most library services and resources will be offered primarily online.  Research help and many of our collections can be accessed through our website, for both on- and off-campus students (see below).  The Undergraduate Library will also be offering select in-person services on a limited basis in Fall 2020, including individual study space (starting September 14th), media production studios, and loanable technology access. All services are for single individuals; we will have no spaces in the building which can be accessed by groups.

Health and safety for students and staff are prioritized in the delivery of all of our services.  Please see the Library COVID-19 FAQ for information on mandated face coverings, space usage, social distancing, cleaning, and other requirements for access to any UGL spaces and services. 

All in person services require prior booking; there will be no same-day or walk-up services available.

Building Hours:

The UGL begin opening for services August 24th.  The library will be open Sunday thru Friday, and closed on Saturdays.  Building hours are:

  • Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm 
  • Friday 11am-5pm 
  • Saturday – Closed 
  • Sunday 3pm-9pm 

Building Guidelines:

  • No one will be admitted without face coverings which meet campus requirements.
  • An Approved status on the Safer Illinois App is required for building entry
  • There will be no same-day services offered.  All services must be booked in advance.  Entrance doors will be locked at all times, and there will be no access to the building without a prior appointment.
  • All appointments require adherence to campus health and safety protocols for face coverings and social distancing.  Please see the Library COVID-19 FAQ for information on requirements. 
  • Please contact us at undergrad@library.illinois.edu or call (217)333-3477 with any questions about access to UGL resources. 

Services available: 

Collections 

  • Books, Journals, and Media Items – The Library is pursuing a digital-first access strategy for most collections, particularly books and journal articles.  The Media collection of DVDs and Video Games can be requested through the library catalog. Students can start with the Easy Search tool on our homepage to identify materials which are in our collections., and then place a request to get a digital copy.   Please see the Library COVID-19 FAQ for more details on access to books and the media collection. 
  • Loanable Technology  This collection can be reserved online for pick-up in the lobby entrance of the UGL.  We have extended the loan time for all items to help patrons meet their media creation needs.  Details on what is available, and how to make a booking, are available on the Media Commons Website.

Audio and Video Studios 

  • The Media Commons is providing individuals with media creation studio access, with limited booking times available.  Details on what is available, and how to make a booking, are available on the Media Commons Website. 

Study Spaces 

  • The UGL will provide access to individual study spaces beginning September 14th.  Following campus health and safety guidelines, 36 study spaces are available. 
  • Study spaces must be booked online There is no walk-up access to study spaces; all study spaces must be booked at least one day in advance. 
  • There is no group study space available in any Library space, including the UGL. 

Research and Writing Consultations 

  • Ask-a-Librarian online chat is available online for most research questions. 
  • Beginning September 20th, Research and Writing consultations conducted with the Writers Workshop will be available for either chat or Zoom appointments.  See our Research and Writing Consultations page for more details and to sign up for a consultation. 

We wish you all the best with your semester, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to the UGL if you have questions about services this semester.  Email us at undergrad@library.illinois.edu

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Be Well: The Art of Self-Care

The student art gallery in the UGL is inaccessible to all of us for the time being. But we didn’t want to let that stop us from showcasing artwork by some of the talented students at our University. After a call for submissions this summer, we have selected a couple of pieces to exhibit here. Both works beautifully align with our theme Be Well: The Art of Self-Care. They go beyond the idea of self-care as something you can buy, like an expensive facial or a fancy candle. Don’t get me wrong, expensive facials and fancy candles are great. But truly caring for ourselves and our communities, especially during a pandemic, requires digging a little deeper into the meanings and possibilities of self-care. These artists show us that engaging in self-care can mean asking yourself difficult questions and responding with compassion and remembering that all our well-beings are interconnected.

Samuel Feathers

Red flower with branching vines on a speckled grey/black background. Paint drips down from vines, the flower, and the top of the painting.

“everything’s greener when you’re colorblind” Simulated watercolor. 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“Done during the initial weeks of COVID-19 before I could go home. During that time, I was isolated alone on campus. I already was having respiratory issues from unrelated causes, so paranoia was starting to set in about getting infected, and it got me into a bad head space. For me, it’s super important to go out and make the best of a bad situation, but stopping to smell the roses in this case felt dangerous. As I got to a better place mentally, I started viewing the piece differently. Starting out, I could only really focus on the grime and imperfections, the flower and green vines were secondary. Now, the petals and gold of the flower are what I look to first. There’s pleasant and rough parts to it, but they are all mixed together. Like the quarantine, what you focus on determines how you interact with it. Do you make a choice to focus on the positives, or do the negatives grab your attention? Keeping that question in mind is how I make sure I’m taking care of myself.

It fits the theme not in a depiction of self-care, but as a question. How are you choosing to interact with the world right now? Are you choosing to focus on the bad? Or are you treating yourself with love and compassion and focusing on the good in the world, even though it is scary and confusing right now? It’s so easy to get down, so treat yourself with care and make a conscious effort to stay positive!”


Tiffany Teng

A person wearing blue with their head tilted back receives a massage from their mother, seated above them, wearing green and a cross necklace.

“Her Healing Hands” Watercolor. 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“Remember the healing and provisions that your friends and family have restored you with throughout your years together, and use it to look after one another as sheltering in place threatens to wear us down.

I recently had a migraine due to various factors including a lack of self-care. So, I gave myself a day of rest but didn’t feel well until my mother responded to my discomfort with an incredible head massage. As independent and self-reliant as we may want to be, we’re relational beings. We can’t uphold our well-being on our own. Part of self-care is not only knowing our own limits but also knowing that our well-being is made up of relationships. The relationships we have with family and friends are the passages that bring us love and care from others to build up our health.

Part of being well is knowing how to practice self-care with others. This piece illustrates one of the moments I relaxed with my mom, just chatting and massaging one another. In those moments, I often feel comfortable and at peace.”


Thank you to the artists for sharing their work. If you’d like to keep viewing, making, and learning about art from a safe distance, check out these resources:

 

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Nicole

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Digital Book Display: Black Lives Matter

There are countless lists of books addressing issues of systemic racism, internal bias, police brutality, and the prison-industrial complex, but the books themselves might not be as easy to find. Many of these books are on backorder or have overwhelmingly long waitlists, as bookstores and libraries around the country are facing a demand larger than their supply. Having an abundance of people wanting to educate themselves is an excellent problem to have! Following is a list of books (in no particular order) that are available online for free, so you don’t have to wait to start exploring these important topics.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Written as a letter to his teenage son, Coates explores his own experiences confronting American history and ideals. Intensely personal, this book focuses on lived experience and finding one’s place in a world while carrying generations of pain. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password.

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa

This collection is a feminist anthology on the intersectionality of gender, race, sexuality, immigration status, and other identities. A mix of personal essays, poetry, interviews, and stories, this book brings to focus the importance of a feminism that liberates all. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password. 

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Looking at the history and evolution of our prison system, Davis breaks down complex issues in an easy-to-understand way. She examines the interactions of politics, economics, race, gender, and incarceration, and offers new ways to think about crime and punishment. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (audiobook)

This critique of the criminal justice system challenges the belief of a post-racial society. Well-researched and thoughtful, Alexander discusses many issues faced by Black Americans and examines the intention behind our systems. This audiobook is available in our catalog through RB Digital, requiring you to create an account.

Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America by George Yancy

After writing an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Dear White America,” Yancy faced backlash beyond his expectations. This book asks white Americans to face the ways they have benefited from racism, and it looks to understand why his article was met with so much controversy. This book is available in our catalog through ProQuest Ebook Central and can be read online, or downloaded using a third-party software.

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States Edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price

From specific stories to policies and research, this book looks at how the recent police killings of Black individuals fit into a larger context of policing. It has contributions from many writers and offers solutions to the institutional treatment of Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, mental illness, pregnancy, queerness, and more. This book is temporarily available for free through the publisher.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (audiobook)

Covering the long history of racist ideas in America, this book displays how racism was purposefully created for power and economic gain. Kendi offers an understanding of how we got here, and gives us tools for how we can move forward. This audiobook is temporarily available for free on Spotify. 

Let us know what you think!

 

Written and edited by Nicole

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Men’s Health Week: COVID-19 Edition

June is home to National Men’s Health Week. This was created to remind us that men’s health is extremely important. As former congressmanformer New Mexico governor, and co-sponsor of Men’s Health Week, Bill Richardson said, “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” 1 This is even more pressing in these days of COVID-19. Men are more likely to die from COVID. The CDC recommends quitting smoking, getting 2 ½ hours of physical activity weekly, and minimizing stress and seeking help to maintain mental health as ways to stay healthy 

Here are some recommendations to have a healthy Men’s Health Week: 

1) For dads who are anglophones and fans of history, Absolute History and Timeline provides informative videos on English history, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 1950s. I recommend Tony Robinsons’ Worst Jobs in History. Tony tries jobs ranging from tanner to water barrel deliveryman. However, if that is not your cup of tea, there are videos on how and why individuals died early prior to this century like The Hidden Killers of a Tudor Home by Susannah Lipscomb.  

2) Cardio helps with minimizing stress. I recommend Les Mill’s Body Combat, but it requires a monthly subscription. For those who do not want to spend money, PopSugar on YouTube has some great boxing workouts

A man dances like nobody is watching.

I also recommend Undersun Fitness on YouTube for people who like to lift weights and get stronger muscles by working them to failure. This channel provides simple exercises with resistance bands, but these exercises can be done with no equipment, only bodyweight. This workout brings results (my thighs were sore for several days and I do squats regularly.).  

A man cooks the perfect steak.

3) As for food, because physical health is often derived by what we eat, my favorite food personality is Alton Brown. During the pandemic, he has been posting videos of simple, healthy snacks like Chocolate Date(fruit) Shake, which has protein and fiber and is lightly sweetened with the chocolate and the fruit. If you have Hulu, I also recommend his Good Eats Reloaded, where he updates older recipes to include healthier aspects like substituting flour for gluten free options, for instance. 

4) Additionally, I also want to take the opportunity to highlight that the UGL will be offering a book club starting in the fall. Like cardio, reading is a great stress reliever and book clubs are an opportunity to connect with others, which, as we have found out during the pandemic, is something that societally, we take for granted.2 Furthermore, many companies have instituted company-wide book clubs as this have been proven to strengthen team-member engagement and minimize burn-out on the job. The UGL book club will be available online as a blog with discussion posts, but will include monthly Zoom meetings. This is designed to make it easier for people to commit at a level that works for their schedule. We hope to have you join us in the fall.  

But most importantly, I hope wherever you are that you and yours have a safe and healthy Father’s Day in these trying and stressful times as we attempt to return to some type of normalcy. 

References 

Brown, A (2020, May 16). Pantry Raid: Date Shake Edition. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEE4oq_NAck 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019, June 10). National Men’s Health Week. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Features. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthymen/index.html 

Grage, J – Undersun Fitness (2019, August 26). Build a Big Chest Without the Gym. YouTube.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J1EN5oVIFQ 

Hulu (2016, September 14). Sexy, The Mindy Project GifGiphyhttps://media.giphy.com/media/l3vQWT60zQb2DDwnS/giphy.gif 

Jin, JM et al (2020, April 29). Gender Differences in Patients with COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality. Frontiers in Public Health, 8 (152). doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00152  

Lerner, M. (2020, May 26). Keep Turning the Pages with Your Book Club. The Hartford Extra Mile. https://extramile.thehartford.com/lifestyle/hobbies/book-club/ 

Public Health Maps (2020). Men’s Health Week 2020. PublicHealthMaps.org. https://publichealthmaps.org/calendar/2020/6/15/mens-health-week  

South Park (2016, August). Alton Brown Cooking GifGiphyhttps://media.giphy.com/media/3o6Ztdb3Pv8Dn3Paqk/giphy.gif 

Timeline-World History Documentaries (2018, April). Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgbEVDi8Zdc 

Timeline- World History Documentaries (2018, February 17). The Worst Jobs in History-Dark Ages. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jgu7EJ9A8A&list=PL72jhKwankOjHQKPOlD3VP-raNOPMmAbD&index=1 

Bio:

Simone is a returning graduate assistant for the Undergraduate library. She enjoys reading vociferously and getting dragged down the YouTube rabbit hole. 

Written by: Simone
Edited by: Ryan

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Quarantine Diary 9: The Small Joys

Hear ye, hear ye, to all the inhabitants of the world, especially the readers of the UGL ‘Quarantine Diaries’. It’s me, Tath, another Graduate Assistant at the UGL. I’m writing from my apartment in Urbana with my windows open, even though it’s cold. Someone told me “being present with the temperature is being present with yourself” and I have developed a small crush on that thought. I do not know how many weeks shelter-in-place has been in effect.

I wanted to be finished with my large assignments several weeks ago, but have instead been spending time biking around Urbana. Although living in Chicago for five years before moving here, I am just now beginning to understand what flatland means as a kind of psychological condition. It’s not actually flat, you can see some rolling hills on the country roads just northeast of Urbana but they’re always a little out of reach, or actually in the middle of an early-season cornfield. 

My eyes are in legitimate pain from Zoom meetings but I like FaceTiming with my sister’s cat, Dusty Butt.

The cat, Dusty Butt, climbing on top of hanging clothes.

Other small joys?

Peppermint Tea:
It just rules. There is no tea I like better. Even Vanilla Rooibos doesn’t compare.

Rewatching the Sopranos:
Anthony Jr. is sick and there’s nothing I want more than to see him wearing the same Marilyn Manson shirt I wore all through middle school through college – the album cover to Family Portrait. Also high-key love Carmella and really really wish she and my mom were friends. In the mid-2000’s at the height of the Martha Stewart, Barefoot Contessa cultural phase, themed homemaking books and cookbooks were published kind of often (as opposed to today’s regional/cultural fusion trend). The Sopranos has not one, but two, whereas something as epistemically massive as Napoleon Dynamite only has a scattering of recipes across the internet. I’m vegan but I’d probably step to Carmella’s ziti.

A tweet that reads: "season 01, episode 4: AJ wears his first band shirt and it's a Marilyn Manson one. Plus, he rocks his room with several posters of Ulver, Moonspell, Nevermore and Stuck Mojo. What a start. #numetal #thesopranos" and has photos of the shirt and room

Reconnecting with an ex who is an actual rockstar.
I won’t tell you who they are but when I saw their picture in December’s Art Forum Top Ten my heart skipped a beat. They are also a rockstar at phone calls, and have good critiques of seltzer. Of seltzer, I highly recommend the Instagram page @seltzerflex.

Geoguessr
This is a Google Maps oriented game where you guess where you are based on your street view. I have guessed within 30 meters of where I have been dropped. You always know when you are in Australia, but inland regions of Mediterranean countries look eerily like Mongolia.

Skyrim
I’ve been homesick for my native Western Massachusetts since like 2013. Skyrim helps fill the void a little bit because culturally it’s the same place (for better or worse, although without the paranoia), and geographically even closer to a replica of home. My hometown looks like the outskirts of Whiterun.

A water-wheel turning in Skyrim

Falcon Cam
Sometimes I wake up and check on these falcons on top of UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Dubois Library.

 

Written by: Tath

Edited by: Nicole

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Quarantine Diary 8: Memes in the time of quarantine

Hey everyone! My name is Amy and I’m writing to you from my parents’ house in southeast Michigan (AKA “the Metro-Detroit area”)! After briefly considering moving back to my apartment in Urbana post-spring-break, I decided that even as an introvert I would likely go a bit nuts if living by myself with no human contact for longer than a week.Due to recent events, morning screaming hours have been extended indefinitely [photo of baby opossum]
So here we are: 6 weeks later, re-wearing the same 5 pairs of leggings I brought home while completely ignoring the “hard pants” (more commonly known as “jeans”) I brought with me, and trying to juggle my new work-from-home, school-from-home, job-hunting-during-hiring-freezes, and Anxiety™ schedule.

"Has anyone come up with a good answer to 'how are you?' I have not." "Oh, you know, same panic different disco."

When every conversation now starts with a slightly-more-sincere-than-usual “how are you?” you have to start getting creative!

But that’s not fun to talk about, so instead I’m going to be sharing some of my (questionable) coping methods (spoiler alert: this includes memes) along with strategies actually backed by doctors and therapists!

Small Joys I’ve been indulging in:

  • Snuggling my kitty, Lucy – but also lots of playtime to counteract the excessive treats my parents give her.

    Photo of cat

    Lucy, my 6 year old rescue cat

  • Virtual happy hours, coffee hours, and game nights with friends and family! Zoom calls can be exhausting, but it is so nice to hear about the antics of my friend’s new puppy and have my 8-month-old niece hang up our video call because she wants to grab my face through the phone screen.
  • Shamelessly binge-watching TV shows/movies:
    • Brooklyn 99: This show has been on my watch list for literally years, with at least 70% of people who know me at all recommending it, but I have only started watching it recently due to who I am as a person. If you’re looking for some fun, light-hearted, and wholesome comedy, this show is a fantastic distraction full of quirky characters and ridiculous shenanigans. Bonus points: there’s a corgi!
    • Wynonna Earp: Canadian sci-fi featuring quips, demons, true love, cowboys, a fantastic portrayal of sister relationships, and a magic gun.
    • Bob’s Burgers: I stan Louise Belcher.
      Louise from Bob's Burgers saying "Let's be clear. I did absolutely nothing wrong."
    • Jane Austen adaptations: more timely than you’d think!
      Jane Austen movies invented social distancing [four stills from Jane Austen movies with characters standing far apart]

      See also: “I went outside and caught a cold. Now I am ill and must be on bed rest for two weeks without seeing any of my family!”

  • Memes: THE MEMES. I would like to thank God and also Jesus for the high quality quarantine memes that have been helping a lot of us to laugh and find amusement in our current predicament. Some favorites:
"crap this virus is turning all the people into pigeons #coronavirus" [images of a plaza: 'before" photo shows large crowd of people, 'after' photo shows only pigeons]

“Nature is healing.”

Photo of a sign from Toronto, Canada that reads "Do your part. Stay apart. Keep a distance of 6 ftt (2 m) (the length of three geese) from others."

6 ft is also an appropriate amount of distance to keep between yourself and a goose.

[image of a tweet] No.. one... cleans like Gaston, quarantines like Gaston, no one stops spreading COVID-19 like Gaston

Image of Gru from "Despicable Me" movie with a blank poster and a speech bubble saying "we can't see the slides"

First two weeks of classes after moving to Zoom, Spring 2020 (colorized)

Photo of a decorative sign that says 'gather', with comment: "Take it down, Karen. It's illegal."

Karen, I want to speak to your manager…

When someone in your house comes back from getting groceries: [image from Lord of the Rings movie with Frodo: "What news of the ouside world? Tell me everything."]

“Was there any toilet paper this week?!”

And now, some actual advice on staying mentally healthy during “these unprecedented times.” The UIUC Psychology Department put together a COVID-19 Mental Health Resources list with tips for self-care, connecting with others, getting help, staying productive, ideas for how to unwind, and more. Here are a few of my favorites I’ve been trying:

  • Keep track of time by planning a schedule for your day with time blocking and other strategies to increase focus and finish out the semester strong.
  • Find natural light! Warmer weather means we no longer have the excuse of “too cold” when deciding whether to stay in bed or go for a walk.
  • Healthy sleep habits can make a huge difference. I’ve been completely thrown off my old schedule and have already forgotten what “mid-day” is supposed to mean (pretty sure it isn’t supposed to be 8 pm), but I’m working on limiting my screentime and caffeine intake before bed to help me sleep during the actual nighttime.

We’re almost done with this semester – hang in there, and keep an eye out for some stress relief activities on the UGL’s social media later this week!

written and edited by Amy

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(Virtual) Book Display: ft. Student Assistants!

Back in the good old days when we were still able to go inside the Undergraduate Library, you may have noticed some friendly faces sitting at the Circulation and Loanable Technology desks, ready to help you with your library needs. These student assistants (SAs) work hard to keep the library running; we couldn’t do it without them!(!!!!!!!) To celebrate the fabulous student assistants who work at the UGL, we’ve asked a few of them to share a bit about themselves and their favorite books. As the end of finals approach (!), the SAs have some great recommendations for things to read for fun. For some we’ve added links to free electronic versions online. Otherwise, check with your local library to see if they have e-book or audiobook copies of these great titles! 

Kerime 

  • Year: 4th year 
  • Major: Latina/Latino Studies
  • Hometown: Chicago 
  • Favorite book: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez 
  • When you first read this book: Summer 2019 
  • Why it’s your fave: It’s my favorite book at the moment because 1) it’s the most recent I’ve read, and 2) because it’s a great fictional story that I resonated with and enjoyed since the fiction held a lot of truth. 
  • Fun fact: I know ASL. 

    book cover of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchezbook cover of Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Selena

  • Year: Senior
  • Major: Business Marketing
  • Hometown: Chicago
  • Favorite Book: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • When you first read this book: 2012
  • Fun Fact: I’m born on Christmas.

Morad

  • Year: Senior
  • Major: Psychology
  • Hometown: Cicero, IL
  • Favorite book: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • When you first read this book: I was 10
  • Why it’s your fave: Of Mice and Men is my favorite book because it is a simple yet well-developed story about love between friends. When reading it the first time, I felt as though the story was overhyped, but upon rereading and understanding the themes of the novel, I began to appreciate some of the acts committed within. Additionally, I enjoy novels centered in wartimes or slightly before them, and this one follows suit as it takes place during the Great Depression.
  • Fun fact: My celebrity crush is Zendaya.

book cover of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

book cover of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Sam

  • Year: Junior
  • Major: Advertising
  • Hometown: Cicero, IL
  • Favorite book: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Why it’s your fave: I just fell in love with the characters and their stories. The main characters were so different but they fit each other so perfectly. It was definitely a hard book to put down. I have read it at least 5 times.
  • Fun fact: I have at least 15 pairs of Harry Potter themed socks.

Charley

  • Year: Senior
  • Major: Urban Studies and Planning
  • Hometown: Niles, IL
  • Favorite book: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • When you first read this book: 6th Grade
  • Why it’s your fave: It’s my favorite book because of Alexie’s masterful ability to meld the heartbreaking with the hilarious and present it in a format that even a 6th grader can understand.
  • Fun fact: I like backpacking in the wilderness.

book cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

book cover of Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Elysse

  • Year: Sophomore
  • Major: Speech and Hearing Science
  • Hometown: Naperville, IL
  • Favorite book: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
  • When you first read this book: Freshmen year of high school
  • Why it’s your fave: I love paranormal romance.
  • Fun fact: My eyes change color.

Thanks to the SA’s for contributing! Happy reading 🙂

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Lauren

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Quarantine Diary 7: TV and Tutorials

Hi, I’m Simone! As the semester wraps up, I have attempted to get into Westworld, at the suggestion of a friend. I have finally arrived on the current season, season three. I have binged watched every weekend for the last three weeks. While I do not think it will ever be a favorite show of mine, it is interesting. I now understand all the memes and references on YouTube about Ford (Anthony Hopkins’ character), so that’s a plus. However, my favorite way to relax and destress has been YouTube. I am a devoted watcher of Desus and MeroCinemaWins, and CinemaSins and I am lucky that they are still posting (I am a movie nerd, sue me 😉). 

Kind Of Wink GIF by Desus & Mero - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am ever hopeful that soon the shelter in place order will be lifted. I signed up on the TRX website for a teacher training course and unfortunately, I do not have TRX cables or the ability to hoist TRX cables in my building. Thus, I am hoping that I will be able to take the course at a gym facility in May, if the order is lifted.  

However, when I am not trying to destress by watching television or exercising (I am quite fond of the Les Mills BodyCombat series), I found a great library resource created by Scholarly CommonsMallory Untch has put together a series of resources that are downloadable. One I have been exploring in depth is Python Anywhere. It’s a free website where you can code in the python language. If you have never coded before (I am a novice, as well), there are many helpful sites like W3 Schools, which has a tutorial on Python that you can test out on the Python Anywhere console.  Right now, I am trying the tutorials on tuples. There’s also a hands-on tutorial hosted by Matt Harrison through PyCon 2020. 

Hack Coding GIF by Matthew Butler - Find & Share on GIPHY

I hope wherever you are that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

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Quarantine Diary 6: Parents & Zoom

Hello world!! My name is Lauren (also known as Coolest Graduate Assistant at the UGL, I respond to either) and I’m writing to you from warm, sunny, Dallas, Texas! Let me just take this moment to brag; please see the weather forecast for today below……..*chef’s kiss*Screenshot of weather forecast for Monday, April 27, reads a high of 82 and low of 69. The perfect day. As I’m sure many of you did, I ended up quarantining at home after Spring Break aaaanndd……never left. I am currently with my family (M56, F49, F17, F15), which has been /an experience/. There was definitely a period of adjustment and there were many times I wanted to pause my Zoom calls to enjoy food made by my mom;

Screenshot of tweet reads: sorry professor can we pause the zoom lecture my immigrant mother has cut me some fruitwe are finally starting to eat the 20lbs of bulk dried pinto beans that my dad bought when our local grocery store had a half price sale;

Screenshot of tweet reads: My mom was prescient when she bought 2 years worth of TP after a Walgreens closed. The best way to save money is to invest in commodities. Sometimes the survivalist immigrant mentality pays off in times of crisis. I am also constantly finding MY things in my sisters’ room that I have been looking for since the semester began.

Screenshot of tweet reads: #GrowingUpWithSiblings going into their room to steal stuff and seeing stuff stolen from your roomAll in all, there are no other people that I’d rather be doing this with than them!! I have also been spending this time searching for the best Zoom backgrounds to use. My favorite so far is the This Is Fine meme (see image below), but you can decide for yourself and reference this Mary Sue list for more options.

Screenshot of cartoon room on fire, with a dark cloud covering the ceiling and a cup of coffee casually sitting on a tableI’ve also loved scrolling through the memes about Zoom meetings in general

 

Screenshot of a man in an office saying “if you could just mute yourself during the zoom meeting that’d be great” but he looks very sarcasticScreenshot of two dogs: one is captioned with “Audio only” with a dog with scraggly hair, and the other is captioned with “With video” and the dog is neatly groomed and wearing clothes

 

It hasn’t been too bad (yet)!!! I only have one last final research project (20 pages — excuse me while I cry) to do before GRADUATION!! If you’re finding yourself in the same position and have no idea what to do about your research assignment, feel free to ‘drop in’ or schedule a Research and Writing Consultation with me, or other Graduate Assistants at the UGL!! You can schedule an appointment though the UGL website, or ‘drop in’ by saying “I would like a research consultation” in the Ask a Librarian chat.

Still of Laurence Fishburne from The Matrix movie saying “What if I told you there are research methods besides your favorite one”

Finally, I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you who are graduating this semester. You are about to embark on a new journey – ready or not – and this final semester has not been an ideal end. Thank you for choosing to attend the University of Illinois; the UGL, at least, has been better for your interaction with our collections, staff, and faculty, in any capacity – large or small. Best of luck, now and always.

Screenshot of tweet reads: First-gen Latinx PhD candidtate here. Was chatting with Mom about possible cancellation of commencement ceremony. Me (in Spanish): I’m bummed cuz I wanted to share that moment with you. Mom: Mijo, I was with you every step of the way. One day doesn’t define the journey. Crying emoji.

Written and Edited by: Lauren

 

 

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