Spotlight on…Pop Culture Universe

Can you believe we’re already six weeks into the semester? It’s almost time for midterms, and with those come papers and projects that require research. You know the UGL is here for all your research needs. And if you need research pop culture, we’ve got just the thing for you: Pop Culture Universe.

Many different aspects and eras of pop culture are covered.

More than you ever wanted to know about Madonna (and other pop culture icons!)

Pop Culture Universe is a database containing articles about fads and trends in pop culture throughout history. Starting largely with the 1900s, it allows you to find articles and resources in a variety of ways. To get to Pop Culture Universe, start at the UGL homepage, and click on that handy “Find Articles” link under the Easy Search box. Once you’re on our Find Articles guide, you’ll find Pop Culture Universe under “Starting Points,” with other general subject databases recommended for your research.

You can get started searching using the Quick Search function, located in the top right corner of the database’s homepage. Just type in your keyword or phrase, click the search icon, and you’re well on your way delving into the depths of popular culture.

The database also has ways you can browse for information. One of those is to see major trends by decade. You can see a basic introduction of each decade from the 1900s to the 2000s, as well as articles that highlight popular movements, like baseball in the 1920s or MTV in the 1980s.

Each decade has a dedicated section.

Find quick, easy resources to learn about the Roaring 20s or the dotcom era.

Another way to find information in Pop Culture Universe is to use the “Idea Exchange” where the database poses a question, and offers articles featuring divergent opinions and responses. This is great for understanding how pop culture fits into the larger context of history.

Articles are presented as possible resources for answering common questions.

See multiple perspectives on a topic, all in one convenient place.

One final way Pop Culture Universe makes it way too easy to expand your knowledge is to use their Advanced Search option, which allows you input multiple pieces of information in one search. Selecting the Advance Search option lets you input keywords, select a decade, and narrow to a particular topic area, all at the same time. For example, a search for “grunge” in the decade of the 1990s, and the topic area of “fashion” nets article relating to how grunge music influenced fashions in the 90s.

See? We want to make it easy for you to find everything you need. If you have problems using Pop Culture Universe (or any library resource!) come visit us during Office Hours @ the UGL or chat us up online. We’re waiting.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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Exercise your FREADom!

This year’s Banned Books Week is almost over – but there’s still time to learn about it, and to get your hands on a dangerous book. Here’s the low-down on what the week is all about, where you can find more information, and what you can do to get involved.

discover what you've been missing.

Artwork courtesy of American Library Association.

Banned Books Week is a 7-day event organized every year by the American Library Association to promote wider awareness of censorship and intellectual freedom. Basically, you have the right to read books of all kinds, and librarians, teachers, journalists, and other folks across the country want you to have access to those books. When schools, communities, or individuals attempt to  restrict access to books by banning or censoring them, that makes us very unhappy. You might think book banning is a thing of the past, or something that only happens in dystopian novels, but people attempt to take books off shelves even now. For instance, just this month a school board in Ohio tried to remove Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from curriculums, claiming that its content was pornographic and unsuitable for school-aged children. According to the ALA, between the years 2000 and 2009, there were a reported 5,099 challenges to books in the United States. Banning books is a very real phenomenon.

If the idea of being denied the right to choose what you read riles you up, what can you do about it? For starters, you can read our blog post from last year on the subject, or visit the official Banned Books Week website to get broader information about book challenges in the United States. If you want to know whether there have ever been book burnings at UIUC – your friendly neighborhood QB has the answer to that. You can find an event to attend, or stage your own virtual read-out where you record yourself reading aloud from a challenged book.

Possibly the most enjoyable way to celebrate Banned Books Week is to check out a banned book from the library and be happy that in most cases, attempts to remove books from shelves are unsuccessful. The ALA released a list of the 10 most challenged books of 2012 – and wouldn’t you know,  all of them are available to you from your own UIUC library. Click on a link below to be taken to a book’s page in the catalog, where you can request it and then take it home with you.

  1. The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  4. 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  5. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
  9. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

If those top 10 books don’t float your boat (or if you’ve read them all already!), you can also peruse the UGL’s banned book suggested reading list or our banned book Pinterest board. Have a favorite banned book that you don’t see on any of these lists? Mention it in the comments so others can share in the enjoyment of the free exchanged of ideas.

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Inclusive Illinois: Events around campus

Inclusive Illinois Day is just around the corner. By now, you might have heard about this event – but what exactly is it? Inclusive Illinois Day is about providing a climate of inclusiveness not only on for the students, but the staff and faculty. Its goal is to “heighten awareness and engagement about issues of identity and importance of examining and respecting differences,” since “diversity is the foundation upon which we live and learn.”

image of Foellinger auditorium from top of quad

Imagine the quad filled with every kind of person imaginable all being friends. That’s inclusive.

We are lucky to be in diverse campus surrounded by people from different parts of the world and from various backgrounds. Every single one of us has had different life experiences and it is important to not dismiss those who have experiences things we have not.

Everyone brings something to the table, so what does being inclusive mean to you? Getting to know people who have a different background can be eye-opening and life-changing. You can always learn from being surrounding by a diverse group of people with different experiences.

So, what kinds of events are available on campus? Well, starting this week there will be various lectures, events, and activities. The main ones being the Chancellor’s lecture, where Dr. Alan Goodman will speak on the topic of “Race is a myth: Racism is real.”

There will also be education stations at various libraries.

  • The Main Library, at the small service desk in the north south hallway
  • The Undergraduate Library, on the upper level near the entrance
  • The Funk ACES Library, on the second floor near the elevator entrance
  • Grainger Library, on the first floor near the circulation desk

Stop by these education stations to learn more about Inclusive Illinois and the Library Diversity Committee, and to share your own stories and thoughts about inclusiveness!

There are many events for all interests. For more information, go to the Inclusive Illinois website and take a look at their calendar of events going on around campus. You can also sign the online pledge to make your commitment to an Inclusive Illinois. Remember, we all have the power to make a difference and to learn from others.

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Celebrating Inclusive Illinois: Latin America and the Caribbean

Next Wednesday may be Inclusive Illinois Day (which you can read more about here), but no matter what day it is, it’s always enriching to learn about people, especially all the different cultures and histories that they can represent. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about Latin American and Caribbean cultures, you’re in luck – there are tons of events and resources available from the library and elsewhere in the CU that can expose you to new knowledge.

If you’ve never been to Champaign’s  Art Theater Co-op, you’re missing out. They show great movies, and you can get a student discount for most movies if you show your I-Card. Starting this Friday, in collaboration with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, they’re holding the annual Latin American Film Festival. There are seven different Latin American documentaries and films to choose from, playing over the entire weekend – or you can go see them all! Check out the trailers on the Art’s website.

You can also tune in on the small screen (a television, if you have access to one) to watch ‘Latino Americans,’ PBS’s original miniseries celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs September 15th through October 15th. A new segment airs every Tuesday night.

Too busy with homework to go see a movie or watch TV? If you’re studying in the library, you can always take a short study break to check out the Unity in Diversity exhibit on the first floor of the main library, curated by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library. It features just a few of the wide-ranging resources that the library contains on Latin American studies. Or, if you have an afternoon free, mosey over to the Spurlock Museum to check out their Folk Art of Latin America exhibit.

And if you still can’t get enough, you can grab one of these movies or books by and about Latin American or Caribbean people on your way home from the library. Opportunities abound!

A Tree Within by Octavio Paz

A Tree Within by Octavio Paz (translated by Eliot Weinberger)

fruit of the lemon by andrea levyFruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy

At the Bottom of the River by jamaica kinkaidAt the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid

Vivir para contarla by Gabriel Garcia MarquezViva para Contarla (Living to Tell the Tale) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Country Under My Skin by gioconda belliThe Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli

Collected Fictions by jorge luis borgesCollected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Andrew Hurley)

La Sirga cover

La Sirga directed by William Vega

The Devil's Backbone coverThe Devil’s Backbone directed by Guillermo del Toro

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Be a game changer: register to vote

It may not be a major election year, but if you’re new to Champaign County, or have never registered to vote, consider stopping by the UGL this week where the Champaign County Clerk’s office will be set up all week from 2 PM-8 PM, answering your voting questions and helping you register.

If you’ve just moved to Champaign or Urbana, you should consider registering to vote. While there may not be a presidential bid on the line, you can still make your voice heard in local elections. Registering is quick and simple, as long as you have a few necessary things: your driver’s license as well as basic information: address, phone number, previous voting address, and any prior name(s). Look for the table set up next to our research desk (that little cafe table on the first floor where you can find the friendly librarians in the vests).

If you don’t want to register in Champaign County–maybe there’s something big happening back home–you can stop in anyway and find out information about absentee voting. They can also answer general questions about voting like requirements to register, what to do if your address has changed since you last registered, and elections coming up in the next year. More information is also available on the County Clerk’s website.

If you miss the registration drive at the UGL, don’t worry! We’ve still got you covered. Set up in the lobby of the lower level (next to the soda machine) is a computer where you can register to vote any time. Get involved in creating change in the world. Start by registering to vote.

Friendly voting computer

Register to vote at the drive this week, or use our convenient registration station!

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UGL 101: Printing from a Laptop

As you find yourself immersed in your studies at the UGL, you realize that you have to print out something. Wait, does this mean that you have to actually find an open public computer to print your things out? No! You can print out your work from the convenience of your own laptop. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a printing wizard!

UGL 101: an introduction

UGL 101

The first step is saving your file on your hard drive. Protip: make sure that the name of a file is something you can easily recognize without having to scroll down a list of documents. Remember, if your document is anything other than Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or PDF, you will need to convert it to a PDF before you send it to the printer.

The next step is logging into IllinoisNet. This is the only wireless network that will work for laptop printing. Once you’ve connected to IllinoisNet, go to this website:

This page should appear and ask you for your NetID and password.

Login box for laptop printing

Your NetID is the same username you use for your Illinois email account.

Once you have logged in, click on the “Web Print” tab on the left side of the window.

Page for Laptop printing

Click on “web printing.”

Once you are on this page, you can select black&white or color. Once you have selected your printer, click on “Print Options and Account Selection.” You have the choice of selecting which printer you would like to print from. Black and white printing is 10 cents per page and color printing is 30 cents per page.

Printing from a laptop

Select which printer you would like to use.

Once you have selected your printer, proceed to step 2, which is to select the number of copies you would like to print of the selected document. Selecting “Charge to my personal account” will make the charge payable from your student account. Next, you will want to select “Upload Documents.”

The third step will be to upload your document. Click on “Choose File” and select the file you want to print from wherever you saved it on your computer. Then click “Upload and Complete.”

Once you have uploaded your document, it may take a couple of seconds for it to fully upload, so be patient! When the status is “Held in Queue”, that’s when you are able to go to a printing station and print out your document. If you have questions regarding the printing stations, see our helpful guide to printing at the UGL.

Make sure your file is in an acceptable format.

When the status is “Held in a queue”, you are ready to go to the printing station.

See? Easy as pie! It’s one less thing to worry about, and you can go back to sipping on your pumpkin spiced latte (or energy drink, if that’s your poison).

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Extra, Extra!: News Sources

Are you in need of information about current events? Or are you searching for news reports and newspaper articles about things that happened in the past? Well, have we got news for you. There are plenty of ways to find out what’s going on in the world and what led up to it, all using resources on the library website.

If you’re looking for information about current events, your first stop should be the UGL’s very own How Do I…? page. Look for the link in the top right-hand corner of the UGL’s main page, in the main menu bar. Once you’re on the How Do I…? page, you’ll find a lot of links for how to find and evaluate various sources.. If you scroll down to the section labeled “Find Other Types of Sources,” you should see a link for “Current News/Events Information.”

List of guides to finding resources

The page also helps you find books, reserves, and articles, if you need those.

This link will take you directly to our guide for keeping up with news sources. It includes library resources, links to several major news sites, and tips for keeping up with the news cycle and getting the information you need.

Screencap of current events guide

This page also has news site and a few print materials listed.

If you’d like to watch your news but had to cancel the cable service, you can head over to the Communications Library News Lounge to keep up with international news from 8 different regions.

To find news sources for historical events, find your way to the webpage of the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library (which you can do by using the “Find a Library” link on the main library page). On the left-hand menu of the HPNL page, there’s a link that says “Newspapers.” Clicking on that will take you to the UIUC Library Newspaper Database. This database keeps track of all the newspapers that we currently have at the library, whether in print, microform, or online.

You’ll see four tabs at the top of the screen – these will help you find the newspapers you’re looking for. The first will let you search for the title of any newspaper to see if we own it. The second will let you browse a list of historical newspapers that are available, while the third will give you a browseable list of current newspapers.

screencap: tabs for navigating different newspaper collections along top of page

This is the main search page for newspapers. The tabs lead to more specific lists and searches.

These three tabs are for finding the newspaper themselves, not articles – once you’ve selected a newspaper to search, then you can put in your keywords for your topic. For example, if you wanted to find out if there have been any flag burnings on the UIUC campus, you could select the Daily Illini from the list of historical newspapers, and then on the following screen search for “flag burning.”

This post is just to get you started on the road to finding news sources – so if you still have questions, check out the fourth tab on the newspaper database screen, which contains research guides created by the History, Philosophy and Newspaper librarians to give you more in-depth help. If you’re still stumped even after perusing the guide to finding newspapers, don’t worry – you can always ask a librarian for help. Good luck, newsies!

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UGL 101: Learning about the new course reserves

If you’re a new student on campus or even a returning student, you’ve probably been a bit confused by the e-reserves. You might find yourself saying “What the heck?!,” but have no fear, the UGL is here to help. If you find yourself overwhelmed, here are a few steps to ease your anxiety.

UGL 101: an introduction
To access the reserves, you can go to the Undergrad library webpage .

Course Reserves Link is underneath the search box on the UGL page.

Course Reserves link

Click on the “Course Reserves” button under the easy search box.

This will take you to the reserves page. The course reserves are print or media reserves that are located throughout the libraries on campus. The e-reserves are scanned articles or books. The change this year is regarding the e-reserves.  However, a lot of you are new and might be a bit confused as to how things work around here, so here’s how you do it!

Course Reserves Page has two section: all reserves, and electronic reserves only.

Course Reserves Page

One way to get to your e-reserves is by clicking on the “Search All Course Reserves” link on the page. This will take you to another page where you are able to select the instructor or course. Either one is fine. Click “search” and it should take you to the one required for the class or instructor. You will see both physical and electronic reserves for your class on this page. Look for links that include words like “electronic access” and follow those to get to your course reserves. Make sure you know your NetID and password, because you will have to log in to access any e-reserves.

If you know you only need e-reserves, click on the “Search Electronic Reserves Only” on the “Course Reserves” page and it will ask you to login. Use your NetID and password. After logging in, it will take you to the main menu, where it will tell you your classes and how many reserve items there are.

Course Reserves Login screen

Course Reserves Login

You are able to click a class and it takes you to a list of all the e-reserves you may need to use.

One important thing to remember is that your e-reserves might not immediately be there. Why? There is a new system this year, and it has to update after you log in for the first time.  One you log in, if the e-reserves for your class are not there, then you must wait for next cycle of the system update. It updates at the following times: 2:30 AM, 6:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 10:30 PM. So, if you log in and don’t see anything, check again after one of these update times, and it should be there!

If you have any more questions or aren’t getting the hang of it just quite yet, there is a link on the left under the “Student Help” tab. If you want a quick tutorial on it, see our subject guides that explains more. See? It’s not that hard, you just have to have a little patience. Don’t be surprised if you become an expert and have your friends asking you for help. Remember, it’s a new school year and the Undergrad Library will be here to help with any questions or concerns you might have.

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Old school gaming

If you’ve visited the Gaming Center of the UGL since returning for the fall semester, you may have noticed a new display and some new decor. (And if you haven’t, you should drop by and check it out, along with all the other summer updates). You may already be aware that the UGL has a pretty extensive collection of games and equipment you can check out and take home or play in the library. But you may not know that we also have a large collection of vintage games and consoles, from Atari to Sega.

Mario was originally meant to be a carpenter, not a plumber. Now, before you get too excited, you can’t actually check out any of the vintage consoles or games. Some of them are simply too old or fragile, and too much use could cause them to degrade and become unusable. It’s important for us that the games kept in the best condition possible, as not many libraries have these types of collections. Faculty and researchers doing research into vintage games are able to examine and use the games and consoles, though they will not be available for general use. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got the inside scoop on the collection and you can reminisce with us about those long-lost childhood days. The collection includes games for the Atari, Nintendo, SNES, Sega Genesis, and many more. (Mario! Zelda! Sonic! Donkey Kong! We’ve got them all.) In order to preserve these games for as long as possible, the UGL staff has been hard at work this summer archiving the games and transferring them to storage. This can be a long process, as each game has to have a storage box built around it in order to ensure the best fit and, consequently, the best protection for the cartridge.

Game cartridge in opened box

A game box opened all the way…

Image of game box closed

…and a game box closed up tight to protect the cartridge from light and dust.

Once all the games are boxed and stored, the next phase of the project begins, which includes digitizing the games and eventually, adding them to the library’s catalog so people (like you!) can see what we have. If this has got you itching to play some of your old favorites, you may consider stopping by the UGL to check out updates to the classics, like Mariokart Wii, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, or Final Fantasy. You need a break from all that studying, anyway.

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