End of the semester survival guide

You might have missed it, but Chambana saw it’s first snowfall of the season this week. And that means that the end of the semester looms ever closer. Please, don’t panic. Follow our survival tips to make to the end of the semester with [most of] your sanity in tact.

Student surrounded by piles of books

Don’t worry. This doesn’t have to be you.

1. Have a plan. Maybe you’re an incessant list maker. Maybe you like to draw flow charts. Maybe highlighting and littering the margins of your class syllabi with notes is your way of organizing. Do you have a planner that Mom gave you when you left, and now is hidden under a pile of unwashed clothes in your room? Now would be a good time to bust it out. Whatever works for you, do it. Figure out what you have to get done and when each item is due. Write it down. Put it somewhere you’ll see it. This will help ensure you don’t forget about anything important.

2. Plan a study sesh. You’re probably not the only person in your class stressing about that comprehensive final in three (Really? Just three?!) weeks. Join forces to divide and conquer. If you want to get really ambitious, create yourself a Jeopardy game board and challenge each other. Losing team buys the pizza.

3. Stay healthy. With all the things you have to do, sometimes you feel like you don’t have time to eat or sleep. But nothing is more important to your brain health than keeping yourself well-nourished and getting a good night’s sleep.

4. Take a break. Sometimes, your mind just needs to kick back and play frisbee. So schedule yourself some downtime in between the madness. Indulge in your favorite movie (don’t forget the popcorn), play a video game (we’ve got a lot in the UGL you can check out), or get some facetime with your BFF you haven’t seen in days. You want to work hard, but don’t forget to play, too.

Stay strong, Club UGL. You’ll make it.

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Stress Busters

Fall break is over and semester crunch time is here. With only a little more than two weeks until finals, we know things can get pretty crazy-stressful. Here at the UGL, we hope to help make the weeks leading up to finals as stress-free as possible.

book cover: small logo of yellow flower

The UGL will be extending hours during finals (more details to come—watch this space) and reminds you that we have group study rooms on the upper level, private reading rooms and editing rooms on the lower level, a ton of loanable tech items to help with final projects, and helpful librarians who can point you in the right direction when you’re looking for sources and articles for your end-of-semester research papers. But we know that’s not always enough to keep the stress levels down. McKinley Health Center has links to pamphlets on how to handle different types of stress; Campus Recreation has plenty of activities to help blow off some steam; and many of the residence halls host stress-relief events leading up to finals, so make sure you check the University Housing schedule, too.

Finally, If you start to feel overwhelmed, check out a few of these books full of stress-busting tips, available in the UGL:

book cover: the Superstress SolutionThe Superstress Solution
By Roberta Lee

 

 

 

book cover: 1001 ways to relax1,001 Ways to Relax: An Illustrated Guide to Reducing Stress
By Mike George

 

 

book cover: managing stress with qigongManaging Stress with Qigong
By Gordon Faulkner

 

 

 

book cover: the end of stress as we know itThe End of Stress as We Know It
By Bruce McEwan

 

 

 

book cover: 365 ways to relax mind body and soul365 Ways to Relax Mind, Body & Soul
By Barbara L. Heller

 

 

 

book cover: stress management and preventionStress Management and Prevention: Applications to Everyday Life
By Jeffrey A. Kottler & David D. Chen

 

 

 

book cover: managing stressManaging Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being
By Brian Luke Seaward

 

 

 

book cover: complete idiot's guide to beating stressThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beating Stress
By Arlene Matthews Uhl

 

 

 

 

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Gobble Up Some Fall Break Reads!

Eat TONS and take a nap.

Image from jelene on Flickr.

Fall Break is nearly upon us! For many of us, this means heading home to enjoy massive quantities of food in the company of our family and loved ones. For all of us, hopefully, the break represents a chance to relax and have some personal time before gearing up for the  last stretch of the semester. If you’re looking for ways to spend all that free time you’re going to have next week, why not pick up a book or three at your old pal the UGL? If you’re in charge of the dinner table at your celebration, we’ve got loads of cookbooks for you to choose from—but we’ve also handpicked some other books that we feel are appropriate to the season.

 

book cover: cornucopia full of knowledge about Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving Book
by Laurie C. Hillstrom
Are you really really into Thanksgiving? Are you just aching for more knowledge about Turkey Day and its many mysteries? This book will give you an overview of the holiday through history, its celebration in contemporary times, recipes, and even poems. There’s an extensive bibliography, too, if you want even more! Go crazy!

 

 

book cover: football team running down field away from viewerMust Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team
by Drew Jubera
Maybe football is the most exciting part of fall break for you. If that’s the case, why not take a break between games and pick up a book about football to supplement your viewing? A successful high school football team, fallen from glory and struggling through adversity to make a comeback—it’s got everything you expect from an inspiring sports story.

 

 

 

book cover: a family sits in a well-arranged living roomHappy Home
by Rebecca Winward
Many of you will be headed home for the break. Are you excited? No matter where home is for you, it’s important for it to be an environment you enjoy being in. If your space has felt a little lackluster lately, or doesn’t feel like it’s working for you, check out this book to find some ideas for sprucing it up and rearranging it to better suit your needs.

 

 

book cover: a young person balances a tray of food on their headTurkey: More Than 100 Recipes With Tales From the Road
by Leanne Kitchen
Okay, so this probably isn’t the turkey you’re expecting to think about at Thanksgiving time. But maybe you should! If you have tired of the taste of turkey, the bird, pick up this book to explore the diverse tastes of Turkey, the country. The recipes are accompanied by photographs and anecdotes exploring the people and culture of the country, too, to whet your appetite for travelogues as well as exciting cuisine.

 

book cover: cupcakes with lots of frostingSweet & Easy Vegan: Treats Made with Wholegrains and Natural Sweeteners
by Robin Asbell
Let’s be honest: a Thanksgiving meal is not the same without dessert. Pies, tarts, puddings and cookies all contribute to making this holiday the beautiful celebration of gluttony that it is. This book will enable you to enjoy a wide-range of your favorite sweet meal-enders, in versions without animal products or artificial sweeteners. Here’s to your health!

 

 

book cover: Art Nouveau inspired image of silhouetted womanBeautiful Lies
by Clare Clark
Sometimes a little escapist fiction is the best way to unwind and spend your free time. Take a break from worrying about your classes and instead contemplate the fate of Maribel Campbell Lowe, wife of a maverick member of Parliament whose double life and secret past may soon be exposed. Victorian suspense should help take your mind off those paper deadlines.

 

 

 

One or two of those should help entertain you through your long stretches of lying prone on the couch after Too Much Pie. If none of these suits your fancy—or if you just want more!—you can always check out our other Pinterest boards for more ideas, or browse through our ‘recommendations’ tag here on the blog for a glimpse of suggestions past.

 

FALL BREAK HOURS
We’ll be open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the break, from 8:30am to 5pm, so come visit us and grab something if you’re still in town (the UGL will close at 7pm on Friday, Nov. 17. All libraries are closed Nov. 18-19 and Nov. 22-24. The UGL will reopen Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1pm).

Have a good holiday, and we’ll see you when we get back!

 

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Loanable Tech, At Your Service

Cats and students all want to know: can I has this shiny device?
As active and informed members of Club UGL, you obviously know all about our loanable technology options, right? “Of course!” you say. “We check out laptops and chargers and headphones to help us study, all the time!” We know you do, you studious, busy little bees, and we’re glad you get so much use out of them—but don’t forget about all the other tech options that are available to you! For use on assignments or just for funsies and personal projects, we also have cameras, voice recorders, handheld gaming consoles (different kinds!), and tablets—most available for checkout for up to a week at a time. There’s a great big world of shiny technology here for you to explore. Isn’t that exciting?

Not only is our pool of technology large and diverse, but we’re constantly striving to expand it and include more useful gadgets for you. Lately, we’ve been adding lots of video cameras and related equipment for all your amateur and academic videography needs; here are a few we’d like to spotlight and make you more aware of.

The camcorder has a screen that folds out for easier viewing while filming.

It’s a camera! Whee!

HC-V700M HD Camera
If you’re making a video, whether for class or yourself, your primary need is, of course, a camera—and voila, we have just added 10 of these cameras into circulation! They have handy touch-screens to make them more intuitive to work with, and they can capture still images simultaneously with video, at pretty impressive frame rates. These cameras have 16GB of internal memory, but if you need to store even more video, they also accept SD cards. Go ahead, shoot video to your heart’s content!

The tripod is highly adjustable.

Keep it steady.

Tripods
If horror-movie-style shaky cams aren’t what you’re going for in your video project, why not check out a handy tripod to use with your camera? We’ve got itty-bitty 5-inch tripods, and quite tall 72-inch tripods, and some sizes in-between. Keep your camera still, rotate it smoothly, adjust the angle easily—tripods make it possible, and we just added several more. Snap one up!

Flash with mount for different cameras.

She blinded me with science, and LED lights.

Digital Juice Miniburst 128 Light
If you’re trying to film in less than optimum lighting—and it sure is getting dark early nowadays—you can check out one of these LED lights. They will mount onto any of the Panasonic cameras we offer (though you can use them with any camera), and will brighten that scene right up!

The backpack makes it convenient to carry the video camera kits.

It may look plain, but its contents grant untold powers.

Panasonic Video Camera Backpack
If you’re a Serious Videographer with Serious Videographer Needs, we’ve got some goodies for you, too. We just added some unassuming but pretty awesome backpacks that contain not only our Panasonic HC-V700M camcorder (see description above), but also a lavalier mic and a condenser shotgun mic, just to make things extra fancy. If those terms make sense to you and get you going, this is the rig for you. Combine it with the tripods and LED lights, or even a 3D conversion lens (we have those, too!) if you want a really comprehensive setup. Not for the faint of heart, or those with only basic needs.

That’s what we’ve added most recently in terms of video equipment—we also have brand spankin’ new Apple Lightning to USB converters, so that those of you with the newest iPhone can charge ‘em up while you’re visiting us. We have loads and loads of things that we’re just itching to loan out to you—why don’t you glance over our list and see what we can help you with? If you want a more visual interface, you can also browse our Loanable Tech Pinterest board, which is also shiny and new.

You live in the future and have all these gadgets at your disposal to make your life easier (and more fun)—come and get ‘em!

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Pinned It!

Pinterest logo

Do you read our blog, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, come visit us every day, and still can’t get enough of the UGL? Well, neither can we. So now we’ve added a new level to our social media: You can now follow the UGL on Pinterest!

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, where users can “pin” things to different boards to share with friends. We’ll be using Pinterest to highlight our collections, events, services, tech items, and awesome things happening in your fave library. You can see new items that have been added, get recommendations for some great movies and books, and access visual guides to many UGL resources. (Watch for a board highlighting the therapy dogs that visited us last week to come soon!)

With our pinboards, you don’t just have to take our word that we have great resources for you (like our loanable tech)—you can also see pictures of those items, and then link directly to the catalog to see where those materials are and if they’re available. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

And as always, we want to hear from you about what you want to see. Want a pinboard showing off a particular resource or genre? Let us know!

 

 

 

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UGL Mobile App Student Competition

Student Mobile App Competition
Are you as addicted to your smartphone as we are? Do you have apps you couldn’t live without? Or, if you’re like us, is there some app you really wish existed, but doesn’t? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be interested in the UGL’s Library Mobile App Student Competition.

Unlike other app competitions, this one doesn’t require any previous programming or app-building experience. We just want your ideas! Students are welcome to work individually or in teams to investigate library-related needs and/or problems that an app might solve, and then develop a design outline and formal proposal. The first round of deadlines is November 17, so if you’re interested, definitely check out all of the competition details. Did we mention there are cash prizes (up to $750!!) and a chance that your app will get developed by library staff? Pretty sweet.

Areas we’re really interested in include:

  • Services (research, circulation/renewal, course reserves, loanable tech, library website, etc.)
  • Collections (books, videos, archival materials, e-books, digital media, etc.)
  • Facilities (physical library building, group spaces, building navigation, locating specific items, etc.)

The UGL already has a few apps ready for you to use. Check out a list of iPhone apps available (for FREE) in the iTunes store. Our popular Minrva app was originally only available on the Android platform, but it’s now ready to go for iOS, too!

If you’ve got a great idea for a new app to add to the mix, check out the competition guidelines and then submit your application! Not only may you come up with a killer new app that helps yourself and your fellow students, but you could end up with some cash-money and a great entry on your resume, too. That’s a competition we can get behind.

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Spotlight on: Academic OneFile

screenshot: Academic OneFile page with search box and limiters

If you’re not already knee-deep in papers and projects, you probably will be soon. Library databases are one of the best resources to find credible, reliable information. But we know sometimes getting started can be tough, especially if you’ve never used a database before. So we’re here to help.

One database you might consider to get started is Academic OneFile. This is a general-subject database, meaning it has information from a lot of fields. You can access it easily through the UGL’s Find Articles Guide. (If you’re off campus, don’t worry! You can still use the databases. All you need is your NetID and password.)

When you first get in to the database, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

screenshot: searchbox above limiters, with search tips on right-hand side

The homepage for Academic OneFile

You’ll have a search box and a few ways to limit the results you’ll see. Sometimes it’s best not to select any of the things below the search box until you’ve seen results first. To optimize your database search, use keywords. Most of the time you’ll have more than one keyword you need to use, too. To get more search boxes, all you have to do is click on “Advanced Search” in the yellow bar above the search box.

screenshot: Advanced search is last option on main menu

 

screenshot: Advanced search has multiple fields for multiple keywords, and Boolean operators as well.

 

 

 

The advanced search page will give you some more options. Once you’ve entered your keywords, click search.

 

 

 

On your results screen, you’ll see ways to help you narrow down the results you have. On the left side of the screen, you have options to select the type of source, subjects, and/or publication dates.

screenshot: limiters are in a sidebar on the left-hand side of the results page

Once you find an article you like, you can click on the title to see more information. On this page, you’ll also have options to help you save the results you want to use. On the right side, there are tools you can use to save, email, print, or cite that article.

screenshot: when viewing an article record, options for saving, printing, and citing are on the right-hand side

This is just a brief look at what you might see using Academic OneFile. If you have questions or problems, come talk to a librarian! You can use our Ask-a-Librarian chat, visit us in person at the Research Desk, or come to Office Hours @ the UGL.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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