Eat This Blog

Candied Voltaire Cake made of various confections.

Sweet, sweet literature. (cake by Glen C. Davies)

If you’ve been looking for the perfect way to feed your mind and your belly at the same time, why not participate in this year’s Edible Book Festival?

The International Edible Book Festival is a world-wide event, begun in 2000, that allows participants to celebrate both their literary and culinary culture—to ‘eat their words’ and let others eat them, too. The Urbana-Champaign community has been taking part in the festivities since 2006, and this year’s local festival is just around the corner. If it sounds like your cup of tea, register your entry now and get ready to celebrate!

Here are the basics of what’s going on:

What: Bascially, take a book, and make an edible version of it—it can be a direct visual representation, or a clever play on words, or something in between. A panel of judges will award prizes in different categories, and then everyone gets to chow down!

When and Where: Monday, April 1st, at the University YMCA (1001 S. Wright S.)

2013 Festival - Monday, April 1st, 1001 S. Wright Street, and a cake in the shape of the Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein

Nom nom nom nom nom

Who: Anyone from the Urbana-Champaign community can participate! This year’s panel of judges includes Jennifer Bechtel, a local filmmaker; Cleda Wang, the Resident Director of the University’s Residence Halls, and Edie Stotler, a retired business professional, community volunteer, and lifetime “foodie.”

Why: Because food and books are fun things to share!

All the information you could ever need about this year’s festival can be found at the official  festival webpage, so head on over there if you have questions, need more information, or just want to browse the galleries of previous years for inspiration! If you want to check out the literary origins of your favorite entry, we’ve assembled a Pinterest board for just that purpose. You can also visit the festival’s Facebook page to find out more, or just share your enthusiasm. We hope to see you there!


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Race to the Finish

We know coming back after spring break isn’t always the easiest. However, the end of spring break also means that the end of the spring semester is right around the corner. In the race to the end, we know you’ll potentially be working on research papers, projects and preparing for tests, job interviews and graduate school applications. This is your friendly reminder that the UGL’s got your back.

The infamous hard-to-open doors at the UGL.

Don’t let the awkward doors stop you… Greatness awaits inside!

  • For starters, regular library hours resumed on Sunday, March 24 at 1pm. This means the UGL is back to being open 24 hours Sunday-Thursday, and closes at 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Woohoo, late-night cram seshes!
  • If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with classwork, check out the library’s Savvy Researcher free workshop series. Topics covering citation management, finding international statistics and using the library after graduation might come in handy, among others.
  • Are you graduating this May and officially on the job market? Stop by the Partners Desk to meet with a rep from the Career Center for a personal resume or cover letter critique. Check the Events Calendar for all dates/times.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to Ask A Librarian (in person or online!) if you have questions about, well, just about anything.

Let’s make the rest of the semester the best yet, #ClubUGL!

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Spring Break Hours

Spring break! It’s the most wonderful time of the (academic) year! Whether you’re planning a road trip to the beach, napping for a week on your family’s couch, or sticking around C-U, catching up on projects, we hope you find a little bit of time to relax. We certainly will be doing the same at the UGL, with shorter hours during the week.

Vintage illustration of seaside town.

We want to go to there. Cannes. Boulevard de la Croisette. Photo courtesy of Cornell University Library via Flickr Commons

Below are the Spring Break hours for the UGL. Check out the schedule for other campus libraries, too.

  • Friday, March 15: UGL closes at 7pm
  • Saturday, March 16: ALL campus libraries are closed
  • Sunday, March 17: ALL campus libraries are closed
  • Monday, March 18 thru Friday, March 22: The UGL will be open daily from 8:30am to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.
  • Saturday, March 23: ALL campus librares are closed
  • Sunday, March 24: UGL opens at 1pm, then resumes regular semester hours.

Enjoy yourselves, #ClubUGL. We’ll be here, ready and waiting, to tackle the rest of the semester with you as soon as you’re back!


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Relax, refresh, recharge

You may not be traveling somewhere exotic for Spring Break, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your week off from class to relax and refresh. If you find yourself wanting to live vicariously through some summer-loving films, the UGL has you covered.

If you want to laugh . . .

National Lampoon's European Vacation movie in library catalogAdventureland movie in library catalog

The Big Bounce movie in library catalogHeavyweights movie in library catalog

Also try: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Old School

If you want to party . . .

The Hangover movie in library catalogAmerican Pie 2 movie in library catalog


Also try: Project X, House Party, Dazed and Confused

If you’re in the mood for romance . . .

Where the Boys Are movie in library catalogGirl Happy movie in library catalog

Blue Crush movie in library catalog Grease movie in library catalog


Also try: Dirty Dancing, Dear John, (500) Days of Summer

You need time to recharge, and UGL’s media collection has some great picks to help you escape (if only for a few hours). If you are planning on hitting up a warmer and sandier locale over break, stay safe and stay smart (and consider checking out a new book for your trip)!

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Everything you ever wanted to know about…

How many movies has Samuel L. Jackson starred in? Aside from the telephone, what else did Alexander Graham Bell invent? How accurate was The Social Network in portraying Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? With the Library’s biographical resources, you can find out just about anything about anyone.

The world's most interesting man says: I don't always look up my own life story, but when I do, I use the online reference collection.

Finding bios of people online can be super easy. Especially with websites like Wikipedia or IMDB, it may be more difficult to not find information about people online. As helpful as the world wide web can be, it’s often not the most credible of places to find information. Using the Library’s online reference collection, you have access to millions of biographies, still right at your fingertips. And you know it’s coming from Library-recommended, credible sources.

(You can use the link above, or if you start at the UGL homepage, click on Find in the upper right corner, and then select Biographies.)

There are a lot of resources to sift through, depending on your interests. These are some of our favorite multi-subject resources:

Biography Resource Center: This database covers people from all over the world, in all subject areas, from all points in history. You can search in a variety of ways, too: by name, occupation, birth or death years, and many others. Bonus: a lot of times, entries will include links to news articles, magazine articles or other references materials about the person in question.

American National Biography: If you need information about a famous American, this is a great place to get started. In addition to having bios of over 17,000 people, it also links you to other resources if you find yourself needing more info.

Credo Reference Biographies: While it may not contain its own full-text bios, it can link you out to other great resources, all by searching in one place.

In addition to the broad-coverage resources, there are also great places to start like American Men and Women of Science, Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, and Distinguished Asian Americans, all of which cover more specific subject areas.

If you get stuck trying to find information about a specific person, come talk to us at the Research Desk, stop in during Office Hours @ the UGL, or chat us up on IM. Stay curious, #ClubUGL.

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Spotlight On…

You learn a lot of stuff in your classes, but sometimes there’s still more stuff you just gotta know. Maybe your professor gives an assignment that involves making a video, but you’ve never worked with video before–and the editing software wasn’t discussed in class. Or maybe you really need to know how to use a certain program for the jobs you’ll hopefully be getting, but you don’t have room in your schedule to take the class that would teach it to you. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re an insatiable learner with a hungry brain constantly on the lookout for new things to explore and master.

Learn. Grow. Do. - photography, audio, 3D, design, business and more.

If any of these is the case for you, you’re in luck. As a student at the University of Illinois, you have access to the complete online training library at Lynda provides helpful video tutorials for just about any program or application you could ever need–there are 1,642 topics and growing! Popular technology suites like the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office are well covered, as well as several programming languages, video and audio editing tools, and even a subsection for useful business skills. If you need to learn how to use a program as part of one of your courses, chances are you can find a tutorial for it on Lynda.

Accessing it is easy–just navigate to and put in your NetID and password as prompted. You should be directed to the main page, all signed in a ready to start learning! You can browse by subject area or the name of the products, or you can use the search bar in the upper right-hand corner to find topics related to your interests; whichever works best for your situation.

Navigation options include browsing by subject, software, or author, or searching.

Finding your way to what you need.

Once you’ve found something you want to learn about, click on the title of the tutorial, and you’ll be taken to a listing of all the videos within that tutorial. Large topics are broken up into shorter videos, meaning you can start and stop more easily without losing track of where you are in the tutorial overall. It’ll keep track of which ones you’ve already watched by displaying a little eye icon next to them:

Video tutorials are organized by chapter, and each chapter is either watched or unwatched, with a duration listed as well.

Keeping track of what you’ve watched

While you’re watching each video, there are some controls other than the basic start, stop and volume that can make your viewing experience more useful. To the right of the play button is the ‘autoplay’ feature–click on this to automatically load the next section as each section ends, saving yourself the trouble of clicking on a new link every time. To the left of the play button is a speech bubble with ‘CC’ in it–click this to turn on captioning, and read what is being said in the tutorial in addition to having sound. If you use certain programs to display the videos (which you can choose by adjusting the ‘player prefs’ in the right-hand corner), you’ll be given the option to speed up the video to twice its normal speed. This will cut down on the amount of time you have to spend watching videos, with the added benefit of making the narrators sound ever so slightly like chipmunks. I think we can all agree that this is the most valuable feature of Lynda overall.

Video Player controls let you adjust playback speed, captions, autoplay, and media player preference.

Getting the most out of playback.

If you need more details on how to navigate the site, Lynda actually provides a tutorial for using their tutorials! You can find it in the upper right-hand ‘support’ menu above the search bar; it’s listed as ‘how to use’. If you’re having trouble signing in, CITES has a FAQto help you figure out what’s going on (you can also contact them with any questions or feedback). Good luck, and happy learning!

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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