QB Gets a Facelift!

You may’ve noticed something different about the UGL. No, it’s not the rearranging of furniture to make way for the awesome Media Commons (more on that later, though). No, it’s not the new super-sweet online group reservation system. If you make your way to the lower level, tip your hat at the 41-year-old Question Board and QB’s fabulous new makeover!

The  board has forms and folders for you to submit your question old school style.

For the first time in about 10 years, the beloved QB has a great new look.

Old QB questions were hard to read and enjoy.

Old QB, looking a bit staid…


New questions are now presented in a colorful, eye-catching way.

And now, it’s all shiny and bright!
QB now features neat new graphics with such enticing questions as:

Fun images also accompany new questions.

  • What’s involved in requesting the services of an exorcist?
  • Do milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard?
  • What, exactly, is the story of pub food?
  • Are mushrooms healthy?

Want to know the answers? Check out QB’s website! But fear not—full questions and answers live on QB’s board, too, so you’ll have something to read in person, too! If extra reading isn’t your thing–but you’re still curious about these questions–you can also listen to the QB podcasts, available on the QB site or iTunes. Boom.

QB is re-energized and is waiting to answer your most pressing and random questions, so if you’ve ever wondered something but were too embarrassed to ask or too busy to look it up, QB will do it for you! QB knows no bounds. Stop by the lower level and check out the new digs!

Got a research question? QB is a busy board answering all your trivia questions. Try the Undergraduate Library Research Desk on the upper level or use our Ask-A-Librarian service online!

Special thanks to guest bloggers Chris Diaz and Zoe Weinstein.

No really, the new board is very pretty.

Go ahead. Ask QB!

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UGL 101: I-Share

Even though the University library has millions of books (at least 13 million, to be exact), occasionally, you might need a book we don’t have. Especially if you’re looking for books for class at the beginning of the semester. If you find your catalog searches coming up short, the next step is to check out I-Share.

UGL 101: an introduction

I-Share is a group of libraries in the state of Illinois that swap books with one another. If you find a book in the catalog from an I-Share library, you can request it to be sent to the library of your choice (like the Undergrad Desk, for example). The books usually arrive within a week, and you’ll get an email when it’s ready to be picked up. Then, you just need your I-Card and you can check out the books like normal.

Here are a few steps to follow to search for books in I-Share if you don’t find an item in the Local Catalog:

Start at the Online Catalog (there’s a link right from the UGL homepage, too):

The drop-down menu is to the right of the search box and 'keyword' dropbox.

Then change the drop-down menu from “Local Catalog” to “All I-Share Libraries.”

There are only two options.

Then, go ahead and search the catalog like normal by keyword, author, title or subject. Once you’ve found an item you’d like to request, check to see its availability by clicking on the title of the book in the results list. Once you’ve clicked on the book title, there will be a screen that shows the locations/availability of the book. You can then click on “Request This Item” (if there’s only one copy available) or “Request 1st Available” if there is more than one copy available.

The 'Request 1st available' tab is the last tab in the menu on the book's page.

Once you’ve clicked “Request,” you will be taken to a screen to log in with your MyAccount. Haven’t set up a MyAccount yet? No prob! It’s super easy—check out our blog on MyAccount for more info on setting up yours.

After you’ve logged in, you will see a drop-down menu that allows you to pick which library on campus you’d like to have the book sent. Select the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the pick-up library, and then whichever specific library you’d like as the pick-up location (Undergrad, Main Stacks, ACES, your residence hall library—whatever makes the most sense for you).

The 'Choose Item' will be automatically filled in. You can then select your pick-up library and pick-up location.

Last, click “Request” and you are all done. Viola! For more detailed instructions (including a demo video!), check out the Library’s page on requesting items that are not at Illinois.

As a note, some items may not be requested through I-Share. If a library won’t send the item, you will get a message before you try to log in. There can be several reasons, including: the item is on reserve at the home library for a class; it’s a media item (DVD, VHS, etc); the item already has a request placed on it by another patron; it’s a text book that the home library wants to keep on campus, etc.

If you run into a problem with requesting books through I-Share or can’t seem to find the item you really need, please stop by the Research Desk in the UGL or Ask A Librarian via chat! We’re always happy to help you track down the items you need!

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Easy E-Reading

In the flurry of wrapping paper and obstinate sellotape that often represents Christmas, did you, dear reader, perhaps suddenly find yourself to be the proud new owner of an e-reader? Or have you long been the possessor of a Kindle, Nook, or iPad, acquired by some other means?

In any case, congratulations. In order to help you get the most out of your device and your library experience, we’re excited to enlighten (or remind) you of the wonders of using library e-books. The library has over 280,000 electronic books available for your use; putting them on your e-reader instead of reading them on a computer could save you a lot of frustration. Think about it: you could read that important article or book chapter on the bus. Or in the bathtub. The options are infinite.

The idea of our patrons using their e-readers to access library content happens to make us so excited that we went and made you a LibGuide for it. The LibGuide is the place to go for in-depth information about how to plunder the e-book treasure troves, including how to make sure they’ll work with your device, but we’ll go ahead and brief you on it here, because that’s what we do for fun.

Finding E-Books

You can find e-books at the library through Easy Search (that friendly-looking search bar at the top of the UGL page), or through the Catalog. In Easy Search, just type in your keywords and press the ‘Search’ button. When you get to the results screen, look for these links to appear in the list of results:

Catalog results are listed under theading "Books, Ebooks, Media in UIUC and Illinois Libraries"

It’s the mother lode!

If you’re going through the catalog, click on the ‘advanced search’ button below the search bar, and on the advanced search screen make sure that the ‘electronic resource’ and ‘book’ limiters are selected, like so:

Choose 'electronic' as your version, and 'book' as your format.

E-books can neither run nor hide from you, because you are a master searcher, and they are inanimate.

Then press the ‘find’ button, and tada! You should have plenty of results to choose from. (Note: Due to licensing issues, e-books are currently not available over I-Share. This means if an e-book is in our catalog but listed as belonging to another library, you won’t be able to access it online. It’s a bummer, but if you’re having trouble finding a copy of a book that you can access, you can always Ask a Librarian about it!)

Getting E-Books onto Your Device

Once you’ve found the e-book that you want, the first step is to download the file to your computer. When you’re actually viewing the e-book online, look around for a button or link that says ‘download’ or ‘PDF.’ The location on the screen will vary depending on who provides the e-book, but it should be around there somewhere. You can always use CTRL+F to do a “find” search for it. Once you click it, the file should be downloaded to your computer.

Most of the electronic resources available from UIUC are available as DRM-free PDFs. Most e-readers should let you open these PDFs with no problems; if you’re using a tablet or smartphone, you may have to download an app for reading PDFs, but there are free ones available!

To figure out how to get the files onto your e-reader from your computer, check out that LibGuide we told you about earlier—there should be tabs at the top for different kinds of devices. Hover over the tab that matches your device, and from the drop-down menu that appears, select the type of e-reader you have. You should then be given step-by-step instructions for how to move the files onto your gadget. Most of them use a simple drag-and-drop procedure, so you should be ready to go in no time.

That should cover the basics! If you find yourself getting really into e-books, here is a list of other sources you can peruse. And as always, if you find yourself confused or stuck or just eager to know more at any point in your searching, just ask us for help!

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Group study rooms get overhauled

We know you love using our Collab Rooms, and we’ve recently updated a couple of the rooms with brand new, totally awesome gear. Plus, you can now book the rooms online.

UGL 101: an introduction

For starters, rooms one and two now have new equipment. They’re tricked out with a table that has an attached TV monitor and VGA cables that allow you to connect up to 6 laptops/tablets at one time. You bring up your laptop’s display on the monitor, and click between which connected computer’s screen is displayed on the TV. Pretty sweet, huh?

(There are also three tables with the same laptop hookup/TV screen set up on the north side of the upper level—near the CITES help desk. They’re currently available on a first-come, first-serve basis.)

The other big piece of news is that you can now reserve collaboration rooms online. You’ve always been able to book rooms in advance, by coming in to the UGL or calling us. Now, using a handy online form, you can book your reservation from anywhere you can access the internet.

The process is pretty simple, too, as long as you have your I-card nearby. Start at the UGL homepage. There is a new link for “Group Rooms” in the gray bar across the middle of the screen. Clicking on that link will take you to a page with more information about room equipment and use. Then click on the orange link at the top of the page to get to the reservation form.

On the left hand side of the reservation page is the list of rooms to choose from, and hovering over each room number will show you what equipment is available in each room and the recommended capacity. Clicking on the room title will show the availability for that room. Use the calendar in the top left corner to make sure you’ve selected the correct date.

Next you select your time slots (no more than 2 hour blocks at a time), and click “Continue.” Then the form will ask for your information, including your Library number, which is on the bottom right-hand side of your I-card (the number that starts will “2011”). You also have the ability to put in a “Group Name.” This is what will appear publicly online for others to see. Once you’ve filled it all in (and be sure to use your @illinois.edu email address), you simply click “Verify Request.” You’ll get a reservation confirmation sent to the email address you provided and bam! You’re done. In that confirmation email should also be a link for you to cancel a reservation, should you need to do so. We can’t change or cancel reservations for you, so make sure to keep that email handy.

If you like to book the media editing and reading rooms on the lower level, you can also now reserve those online. However, you will also need to swing by the Circulation Desk on the upper level and pick up a key for those rooms.

Before you start booking rooms left and right, make sure you review our policies on the use of them. And if you still have problems or questions, let us know. We want to offer you the best resources out there, and your feedback is essential to us knowing exactly what you need. We’ve been hard at work updating and renovating, so keep us bookmarked to learn about all the exciting changes happening in the near future.

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Spring Hours

Well, the trees in the UGL courtyard might not be blooming quite yet, but it is officially spring semester, and that means we’re heading back to our normal hours.

Sunny spring courtyard will return soon.

Starting today, we’re back to our 24/5 schedule, meaning we’re open 24 hours Sunday through Thursday, and then close at 2am on both Friday and Saturday nights (re-opening at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings). We do have a few exceptions, though:

  • This first weekend, Friday, Jan. 18 and Saturday, Jan. 19, we will close at 10pm instead of 2am.
  • We will also close at 10pm on Sunday, Jan. 20.
  • All libraries will be closed on Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day.
  • The UGL will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 8am.

Then, we promise we’ll be back to our good, ol’ 24/5, late-night weekend schedule. Pinky-swear! In the mean time, make sure you stop by the UGL if you haven’t been in for a while. We’ve added some new furniture, rearranged some old furniture, and implemented some new technology. We’ll have lots more details about these and other exciting developments soon. Double pinky-swear!

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