Dog Days

Hey, #ClubUGL! Therapy dogs are coming back to the library for finals week!

Sam is a cutie and would love to see you.

Cuddle up with a book and a pup!

We know how stressful finishing classes can be—especially at the end of the school year. So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, need a study break, or just simply love dogs, make sure you stop by to visit.

Sam the Alaskan Malamute and Raven the standard Poodle will be back (Read more about them here!), courtesy of the Champaign-Urbana Canine Connection.

So just where is all this fuzzy, puppy goodness happening? We’ve got three locations this time, to best suit your needs:
Friday, May 3rd: ARC (11am-2pm)
Monday, May 6th: UGL (2pm-5pm)
Tuesday, May 7th: Grainger (2pm-5pm)
Hope to see you next Monday at the UGL—make sure you pick up a custom-made bookmark featuring one of our Dog Stars, too!
Happy studying!
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Spotlight on…American Fact Finder

In these final frantic weeks of the school year, you may find yourself needing some stats for final projects and papers. If you’re not sure where to get started, we have a lot of resources to help, but if you know you need stats about American people, businesses, industries, or markets, then try American Fact Finder’s Guided Search tool to get exactly what you need.

Screen shot of American Fact Finder homepage shows many options for finding informaiton.
American Fact Finder is hosted by the U.S. Census and is a good source for data about agriculture, education, employment, health, law, etc. Their website features valuable links to other official statistical resources, both domestic and international. Using the Guided Search tool enables you to tell the database exactly what you’re looking for, in an easy, step-by-step format.

To get to American Fact Finder, you simply start at the UGL homepage, and click on “How do I?” in the top right corner:

screenshot: How Do I link is in top-most navigational menu on UGL homepage

From there, you’ll look for the heading for “Find Sources” and then click on “Statistics”:

screenshot: Statistics are listed under 'find other types of sources'

Finally, you’ll see a selection of databases designed for statistics, and you’ll click on “American Fact Finder”:

screenshot: on statistics page, American FactFinder is listed under 'starting points'

Once you’re in the database, you’ll see an option on the left side of your screen for “Guided Search.” Just select that option, and follow the link to get started.

screenshot: Guided Search is a good search option to start with if you're unfamiliar with the resource.

The guided search tool will now walk you through several steps to help you narrow  the information you can access. You start with selecting what kind of information you want (like people, industries, housing, or a specific table or dataset). Next you’ll choose topic areas (like age, education, race, etc.), then location (or geography), and on until you can see results that match your criteria. You can add as many topics, geographies, etc., as you like.

screenshot: the guided search gives you many options to refine your search.

Then the database will give you tables and stats based on your criteria, and you can also easily see what census the information has pulled from, so you know how recent it is. Pretty nifty, huh? This is only one librarian-approved source for statistics. If you find yourself needing other types of stats, check out the UGL’s statistics guide for more great sources of information.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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Crowdsource Your Reading

A bulletin board was entirely covered front and back with students' favorite books.

This does not come close to representing how many books you all posted.

Usually when reading recommendations get posted on our blog, it means a librarian sat down and thought about books for a while (as librarians tend to do) before making a list and posting it for your perusal. It’s fun for us and hopefully for you, too! That’s not how this post got made, however – this week, we thought we’d turn it over to you.

if you visited the UGL in person last week, you may have noticed a whiteboard just inside the doors of the upper level. The whiteboard wanted to know what books had influenced you the most, and as you can see the picture above, lots of you responded! The board stayed up for a few more days after this picture was taken, so even more people wrote down and posted their most influential reads as time went on. Book titles filled up both sides and even started creeping around the edges.

Since you were all so eager to share your recommendations with each other (and showed a lot of variety in your choices) we’ve made today’s readers’ advisory based on the books you posted to the board. If you saw an interesting title on the board, maybe you’ll find it linked below and check it out – and if it’s one of the many we missed, you can look it up in the catalog or ask a librarian to help you find it.

What book has influenced you the most, Club UGL?

How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed book in library catalogEveryone Poops book in library catalogThe Things They Carried book in library catalog1984 book in library catalogCrime and Punishment book in library catalogOne Hundred Years of Solitude book in library catalog

November Blues book in library catalogConfessions of a Video Vixen book in library catalog

Where the Wild Things Are book in library catalog

Fast Food nation book in library catalogWitness book in library catalog

Whew! That’s a load of good books right there, and it doesn’t even begin to cover it. If you contributed to the board (and therefore today’s post) thanks for you contributions. If you missed out, feel free to share your recommendations now in the comments, and keep an eye out for future whiteboard questions in the UGL!

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Remembering Roger Ebert

If there’s one thing we think esteemed alum Roger Ebert might’ve appreciated about the updates to the UGL, it’s the expansive film collection on the lower level. This weekend marks the 15th Annual Ebertfest Film Festival in Champaign, and it’s the first without its namesake, following Ebert’s passing on April 4.

Aside from his renowned writing style and deep love for the movies, Ebert was also dedicated to his hometown of Urbana and his alma mater, the University of Illinois. Check out the moving blog brought to you by our friends at the other end of the tunnel, the University Archives. Not only do they have a great collection of Ebert’s papers and correspondence, they also have interesting info on his life and time as a student at Illinois, including his tenure as editor of the DI.

If you’re looking for more information about this ground-breaking (and oft-controversial) film critic, devotee of the motion picture, and proud U of I journalism student, the library has plenty of his books:

Awake in the Dark book cover links to book in catalog Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert, Forty Years of Reviews, Essays, and Interviews

Scorsese By Ebert

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie

Life Itself: A Memoir

Roger Ebert’s Four-Star Reviews: 1967-2007

An Illini Century: 100 Years of Campus Life

image of flaming film reels links to "A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length" book in library catalogThe Perfect London Walk

A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies that Suck

For other books by Ebert, head to the online catalog. Type Ebert, Roger (the best format when searching for authors) in the search box, and change the drop-down menu from “Keyword” to “Author.” Happy reading and hats off to an admirable man and friend of the University, library and the fields of journalism and film.





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Celebrate National Library Week

It’s time to show your UGL love, dear readers. This week is National Library Week–a time to highlight the value libraries contribute to their communities. The theme for this year’s week-long library love fest is “Communities matter @ your library.”

I love the Library graphic

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It asks us to take a week out of our crazy-busy year and consider how much libraries contribute to our lives as students and as community members. Here at the UGL, we work hard to offer you the space, materials, and helpful staff you need to be successful as students and in the future.

If you want to bask in the library love this week, there are a lot of things you can do to explore different libraries on campus. Start with our library bucket list. Other things to consider?

Also consider saying thanks to the library workers you encounter on Tuesday, April 16, which is National Library Workers Day. And on Thursday, April 18, it’s Support Teen Literature Day, so stop in to the Center for Children’s Books or the Education library’s Children & Young Adult Lit Collection.

There are so many ways libraries impact our lives every day, so this week, take some time to say thanks. Let us know your favorite things about #ClubUGL in the comments or share your UGL love with us on Facebook or Twitter (#libraryweek) or visit our Library Love board on Pinterest.

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Listful Thinking

April showers bring not only May flowers, but also May caps, gowns, degrees and graduation ceremonies. Many of you will be leaving us forever soon, and we wish you the best! Before you go, though, you should make sure that you’ve gotten the most out of the library during your stay.

We’ve made a handy library ‘bucket list’ to help you explore all the secret levels and unlock all the achievements in your beloved UIUC library system. Be forewarned – the more things you do on this list, the more you’ll understand how awesome the library is, and you may never want to leave.

Giant Orange Illinois Bucket

Image courtesy of

If you’ve got a few semesters to go before you graduate, you can of course still do the things on this list – you can just do them at a more leisurely pace! If you enjoy completing this list (or if you think of any important library attractions that we forgot) make sure to tell us about it in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter. Good luck!

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Poetry is Slammin’

April is National Poetry Month! Poetry can be a great way to express yourself, and some of the world’s greatest literary works take the form of poems. Celebrate this month of poets, rhythm, meter, metrical patterns, stanzas, alliteration, diction and form by learning about one of the library’s many poetry resources.

National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets.

Online Resources

  • MLA International Bibliography
    This database is your first stop for literary criticism and analysis of novels, short stories, poems, etc.
  • Literature Resource Center
    This database is a bio-bibliographical guide to writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields. It’s searchable by name, title of work, subject/genre, nationality, date and place of birth, honors, awards and more.
  • Contemporary American Ethnic Poets: Lives, Works, Sources
    This one-stop guide to 75 contemporary American poets from 12 different ethnicities includes biographical sketches, thematic discussions, and more.
  • Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare Vol. 4: The Romances & Poetry
    This nifty tool has prose interpretations of Shakespeare’s sonnets!
  • Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets & Poetry
    Separated into 5 volumes, this handy encyclopedia lists both author and poem topics alphabetically, making it easy to locate info on a specific writer, or find sweet poetry about everything from the Black Arts Movement to Visual Poetry.
  • Thematic Guide to British Poetry
    This guide offers interpretations of 415 poems, representing the work of over 110 poets spanning seven centuries of British poetry.
  • Poetry Tool
    Online archive of full text poetry with a robust search engine. It also includes numerous articles, podcasts, and audio on poets and poetry, brought to you by the Poetry Foundation.

Books & More
You can also search the library catalog by poem title, author or genre for books of poetry and books about poetry and poets. If you’re looking for some recommendations, check out our Poetry! Pinterest Board. And if you’re really feeling inspired, sign up to receive a Poem-A-Day via email, courtesy of

Still not finding that perfect poetry source? Ask a Librarian for help, and poetic justice shall surely be yours!

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Write it, shoot it, create it

There are lot of changes happening right now. (Spring! Is it finally here to stay?) In the UGL, we’ve launched our Media Commons. As part of our mission to support collaborative research and learning through technology, the Media Commons features a brand new video production studio. (You may have already heard all about it in the Daily Illini.)

The video production studio has lots of equipment, including a green screen.

The new video production studio in the UGL

In this former classroom space, together with CITES, we’ve been hard at work acquiring professional equipment and setting up a space for all your video production needs. Take a gander at some of the equipment available to you in the awesome new space:

  • Green screen
  • Pro-level lights, like the Lowel Fluo-Tec Studio 450 Phase-Dimmable Fluorescent Fixture, a professional fluorescent light fixture (We’ve included all the bells and whistles, so you can up the intensity or trim the spill. If that sounds fancy, it’s because it is.)
  • Cameras & tripods
  • Mics, including wireless mics, desktop mics, shotgun mics, and voice-over mics
  • Speakers, like the AV 40 Active 2-Way Desktop Monitor Speakers, which are ideal for smaller spaces (like our production studio) and are shielded for use near video monitors
  • The Mackie 1202-VLZ3 12-Channel Compact Mixer, which has 12 line inputs and 4 mic preamps

This all sounds great, you say? Well, then all you need to know is how to get access to this sweet setup. It is available for anyone who wants to use it. (Yes—that means you!) You have to reserve the space ahead of time and complete an orientation on the space and all its goodies. Email the Media Commons team at to get started. Check our website or the Media Commons Facebook page for updates, and we’ll also bring you updates about the Media Commons here at your friendly neighborhood UGL blog.

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Important Service Updates!

Hey, #ClubUGL! Some exciting changes are happening in your favorite library!

A suspiciously happy model wears an Illini snuggie.

Photo courtesy of

  • The Doors
    First, we know how much everyone struggles with the doors coming in to the UGL. So, this spring, we’ll be replacing the glass doors with fancy beaded curtains. Not only will they be easier to get through, we think they’ll really class up the joint.
  • Snuggies
    With the weather never making up its mind (is it in the 50s? is it gonna snow 11 inches?), we know the temperature can get a little nuts. So, next time you’re working on a paper and get a little chilly, stop by the Circulation Desk to check out an Illini Snuggie! Mmmm, nothing cozier than a blanket with sleeves…
  • The Courtyard
    We decided that the courtyard wasn’t getting enough use, so we’re working on a plan to seal up the windows and then turn it into a giant salt-water aquarium. Now, instead of gazing out the windows at a few trees, you’ll be able to study with the sharks. We know. You can thank us later.

What do you think about these changes? Read more about our reasons for these service updates, then let us know what you think!

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