Halloween Books and Movies

Fellow UGLers, Halloween is here! Are you ready to dress up and stuff your face with candy? If you’ve decided to stay in, the graduate assistants of the UGL have provided a list of their favorite movies and books for the season. We’ve compiled the list here and hope that it serves as a guide for your Halloween night festivities.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Zoe recommends The Nightmare before Christmas. An animated movie directed by Tim Burton, this has been a popular one since its release in 1993. It is the story of the quirky and lovable pumpkin king who decides to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town. A great movie for those who want to combine Halloween and the upcoming holidays. Grab your friends and some popcorn and spend the evening with the pumpkin king.

The Exorcist Movie

The Exorcist. Sure to give you a chill down your spine

If you want a good dose of fear this Halloween, Quetzalli recommends The Exorcist. This classic 1973 movie scared audiences all over the world. For those of who have not yet seen this classic film, based on a true story, it is the chilling story of a girl who becomes possessed and causes several gruesome deaths during her exorcism. Beware Club UGL, this movie is not for the faint-hearted.

 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Are you in the mood for some rock opera, awesome costumes, and a good ole horror movie? Holly’s favorite is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After a couple of kids have car trouble, they are left stranded at the door of a Gothic mansion. They meet a host of strange characters, including Dr. Fran-N-Furter from the planet Transsexual. Whether it’s your first time watching this movie or you’ve already seen it a million times, this movie is a good excuse to sign along at the top of your lungs.

The Haunting of Hill House Book

Looking for a good read this Halloween? The Haunting of Hill House is just the book for you

For those who want a quiet Halloween, but still feel the urge for a scary evening, Tad recommends The Haunting of Hill House written by Shirley Jackson. Hill House receives four visitors who are curious about the unexplained phenomena happening at the house. Some are there seeking knowledge and others want an adventure. Little do they know that Hill House has other plans for them.

For a quick, but fun read, Tad also recommends Halloween ABC. For each letter of the alphabet, a poem about Halloween and its festivities.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Movie

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Some of us are not fans of this scary holiday, but don’t worry, Lily has a recommendation for you! The Disney movie, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is the choice for you. This movie recalls two famous stories, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.

From the Dust Returned Book

From the Dust Returned

For those who want to enjoy a good book by the fireplace (or in college students’ case, the heater) while sipping on some hot chocolate, Christina recommends From the Dust Returned written by Ray Bradbury. It’s a story about the Eternal Family, who live in a legendary and mysterious house in upper Illinois. They are rarely seen during the daylight hours and are not like the other Midwesterners in the area. The house is being prepared for a family reunion that will bring together a mix of extraordinary and odd members.

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween

For those who will be drowning in homework on Halloween, you can take a quick break and grab a comic book. Angeline recommends Batman: The Long Halloween. A serial killer nicknamed Holiday is on the loose. He’s killing once a month, but only on the holidays; Batman tries to stop this maniac.

Whatever your plans on Halloween or your interests, you have a variety of choices in front of you. In the mood for a movie? Grab a friend and make a night of it! Feeling like a night in? A good book and some candy corn just might be what you need this Halloween. Either way, have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Happenings at the Library

You’ve been to office hours and gotten research help. You’ve gotten your cover letter critiqued. Maybe you’ve even attended one of the Indian cinema screenings. But do you really know about everything the library has going on? There may be more than you think. Here’s a selection of library events coming up soon that you may find interesting.

The steps to UGL and a beautiful blue sky.

Most of these events aren’t at the UGL, so you don’t have to worry about going through those pesky doors.

For those of you taking challenging science classes, the Funk ACES library is hosting a series of workshops to help you get to know databases that may be useful to you. Web of Science, Agricola, PubMed and Sociological Abstracts will all be explained to you, and you’ll be ready to tackle that research head-on. They will be held in room 509 of the ACES library on various days at various times – for the dates and times of specific workshops , check out this poster or the library calendar of events.

If you missed getting your flu shot at the UGL week before last, fear not! There are more free flu shot clinics in libraries coming up. Here are a few for the next two weeks:

  • Grainger Library – Wednesday, October 30th, 3:30-6:30 PM
  • Undergraduate Library – Tuesday, November 5th, 1:30-4:30 PM
  • Grainger Library – Thursday, November 7th, 3:30-6:30 PM

More information about locations and costs can be found on McKinley’s flu vaccine information page.

Have you been to the Music and Performing Arts Library? If you haven’t yet, you can take a tour today, October 28th, starting at 5 PM. The music library has lots of resources for dance, theater, and music – but you don’t have to be studying those things to make use of them! Take the tour and find out what they can offer you.

Visit the Rare Book and Manuscript Library before December 13th to check out their exhibit on the idea of ‘life on the moon’ in science and in literature. They have examples of writing about the moon dating back to ancient Rome, as well as artifacts from the Apollo 16 mission. They have a moon rock. It’s encased in a translucent pyramid. It is the coolest thing you will see in your life. You should check it out, and learn some stuff while you’re there! There are also a series of moon-themed events throughout November in connection with the exhibit, including a storytelling event and moon viewing. Find a complete list of the events and details about them on the See You On the Moon website.

Finally, if you go to the main library to get some quiet studying done, make sure to check out the Audubon Folio display near the main info desk. Starting on Halloween we’ll have a spooky raven on display to help set the Halloween mood.

We hope to see you there!

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Spotlight on…Gale Virtual Reference Library

Long gone are the days when you have to sift through a heavy encyclopedia to find background information (not to mention figuring out which one is best for your topic). Using the Gale Virtual Reference Library, you can find information about almost any topic, searching multiple resources at once, all from the comfort of your own computer.

Home page of Gale Virtual reference library with a search box at the top, subjects listed down the left column, and images of resources in the center

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is like librarian-approved Wikipedia. It has encyclopedias and other online reference books that cover a wide variety of subject areas, all in one place, so you can do one-stop-searching. You can also select to search in a specific subject area, choosing from subjects like art, biography, history, law, science, and many more.

To get there, start from the UGL’s homepage. In the dark blue bar that goes across the top of your screen, there will be a link for “Find.” Clicking on that link will take you to a page with tips and resources for finding all types of information. To get to GVRL, you’ll need to select “Background Information,” which will take you to the Library’s Online Reference Collection. You should see GVRL listed under the heading for “Starting Points” on this page.

Once you’re in GVRL, you’ll be able to see how many resources are available in this one place. (Hint: lots). To do a simple search, all you have to do is type your keyword(s) into the search box at the top of the screen. This will search all the resources available to you in GVRL.

image of easy search box on the top of the home page

Find this box at the top of your screen. It’s your gateway to thousands of resources!

You also have the option to search in a specific subject area. All you have to do is select the subject you want from the menu on the left on the homepage. You’ll be taken to a screen that lists the resources available in that subject area. There will be a box near the right-hand corner where you can search across all the sources for your chosen subject area.

image of the history subject page, highlighting the box to search within history in the right-hand corner

Once you’ve searched for your topic, whether you did a simple search or chose a specific subject area, you’ll see a screen listing the different resources you can access. If your search found too many resources, you can narrow what you’re seeing by using the options on the left on your results screen. You can choose a subject area, a type of resource (like a biography or topic overview), or a specific encyclopedia.

image of a search results screen, highlighting the options to limit results available in the left column

Don’t need 1800 results about yoga? Narrow it down using the options on your left.

GVRL is a great place to get started if your topic is related to multiple subject areas. With hundreds of encyclopedias at your fingertips, we’ll be surprised if you can’t find what you’re looking for. If that happens, though, you can always try another resource in the Online Reference Collection, or Ask a Librarian for help. That’s why we’re here.

Need ideas for other great library resources? Find more in our Spotlight on… series here.

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Indian Cinema at 100: Film Festival

As you’ve probably noticed, the glass display case at the entrance of the UGL has changed (if you haven’t noticed, go take a look!). Hopefully it’s caught your eye and if you’ve taken a closer look, you’ll see it’s for the Indian Film Festival.

Film Festival Display

Film Festival Display Photo attribution: Courtesy of Quetzalli Barrientos

So, what exactly is the Indian Film Festival? The Indian Film Festival is about observing 100 years of Indian cinema. The purpose is to “examine the origins, evolution, growth, and productivity”. With a showing of eight films, there is a variety for everyone. This is not your typical “Bollywood” movie. They are films that explore social issues through cinema. Issues such as arranged marriages, homosexuality, war, and other culturally dominant beliefs are shown in these films.

For a complete list of films and showing times and other information, visit the official website, Past.Present.Future: Indian Cinema at 100.

All of the films will be screening in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum. Since we are all poor and struggling college students, you should know that all the showings are free! Aside from movie showings, there will also be a few other events going on through December 1st.

The symposium will be on October 31st from 1 to 5 PM at the Coordinated Science Laboratory, which is located right on the engineering quad. This symposium will consist of distinguished professors from all over the country, and the guest of honor is Onir, the director of “I am” and “My Brother…Nikhil”. For those who are unfamiliar with Onir, he is a director, editor, producer, and philanthropist. His film, “My Brother…Nikhil” became the first mainstream Indian film to deal with the issue of AIDS and same-sex relationships.

Onir smiling on a staircase

Director Onir. Photo Courtesy of “Bollywood Hungama”

For those who cannot make the symposium, the next night, November 1st at 6:00 PM, there will be a reception with director Onir as the guest of honor. After the reception, there will be showing of his movie, “I Am.”

We encourage you to go to any movie that interests you and if you enjoy them, you might also want to attend the Corey Creekmur talk which will take place on December 9th at 8:00 PM. This talk will take place at the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center. The speaker, Corey Creekmur from the University of Iowa, will be speaking about historical Hindi colonial  films.

This film festival is a great opportunity to go out and see new films, learn more about another culture, or find out more about the issues portrayed in these films. So, grab a friend and make it a movie night!

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A taste of fall

With the rapidly changing weather come holidays that boast sweets and treats to make your mouth water. (Not to mention the desire to snuggle under a blanket with some hot cider and something freshly baked.) If you need to impress your friends with your stellar baking skills, check out these recipes from the UGL staff guaranteed to be easy and tiny-college-kitchen-approved.

Picture of cake

This cake is crazy (good).

Even if you’re Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen, you may find yourself stymied by your tiny apartment or res hall kitchen, with no room for fancy cooking gadgets and nonexistent counter space. These college-friendly recipes are quick, easy, and tasty. And we’ve got something for everyone.

Love that it’s apple season? Try Zoe’s Apple Right Side Up Cake, or Lauren’s Apple Crisp. Need something other than apples to satisfy your sweet tooth? Jessica makes a Crazy Cake that’s crazy easy. Or consider whipping up some super Simple Shortbread Cookies, a favorite of David’s, or Holly’s Lemon Poppyseed Bread. If you’re craving sweet and salty, Susan puts bacon in her Rice Krispie Treats (and we promise you’ll love it).

microwave breakfast bars recipe

Kick start your day with Quetzalli’s Microwave Breakfast Bars

Want something a little more hearty to share at your party? Lori has served up some Congri that’ll please the crowd. Or try Madeline’s Taco Salad Dip, which never seems to last very long. Have too many chips and not enough dip? Bernita makes a mean BLT dip and Gregg loves Gert’s Egg Paste that will dress up your crackers nicely.

snack wraps recipe

Pam’s Snack Wraps will have you looking like a pro.

If none of these get you drooling (Are you sure?), check out our Fall Recipes Pinterest board to really stretch your cooking and baking muscles. We’ve also recommended cookbooks that you can find in UIUC libraries. And while you’re there, explore our other boards, especially the one pointing you to even more cookbooks to suit every diet and palate.

You can find all the recipes below if you don’t want to go to Pinterest…but we have lots of cool stuff on our Pinterest, so maybe you should. Just a suggestion.

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Tell Us What You Think!

Hey, Club UGL. You know we love to hear from you. Whether it’s answering your questions via Ask a Librarian or the research desk, getting your feedback via our suggestions box, or hearing your purchase recommendations, we’re all ears for what you have to say. This week, we’ve got a special survey to solicit your opinions about our loanable technology program.

The tech desk is on the upper level of the UGL near the circ desk.

This is where the magic happens. The magic that you will influence, via this survey.

We are constantly seeking to expand and improve what’s available in our loanable technology pool, and we want to hear from you about how we can best do that. That’s why we’ve created this survey to ask what you think about various topics – iPads and iPad apps, Chromebooks, potential new items, and any other ideas or thoughts you want to share with us. The survey opens today (Monday, October 14th) and runs all the way through next Sunday, October 20th. That’s almost a whole week, so you’ve got plenty of time to mull it over and be thoughtful – but don’t forget! If you’d rather take the survey on paper, that’s an option, too – there will be paper forms attached to the whiteboard near the entrance on the upper level. You can turn completed paper surveys in at the circulation desk (and you might get something nice if you do…).

This week we’re asking for you opinions, but coming up in the next week we’ll have some suggestions for *you* – about events on campus, resources you can use, and a project we’ve been working on. We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and we hope you’ll stick around to hear from us.

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What’s Up With Chromebooks?

You may remember one of our posts from the start of the semester where we mentioned that we’ve replaced our Macbooks and PC laptops with Chromebooks. You may even have checked one out from the loanable technology desk and taken it for a spin. But just what are these strange devices, and how can you make them work for your needs?

Very clever image of Chromebook with question marks

Those question marks will disappear in a puff of learning – just keep reading.

Chromebooks are actually pretty capable and convenient machines, but if you’re unfamiliar with them, they may raise a few questions when you first use them. Here are the answers to some common queries about Chromebooks – read on to get the hang of ‘em and start using them to be productive (or for watching Youtube videos – we don’t judge).

Why is it called a Chromebook?
Chromebooks are laptops that run on Google’s Chrome operating system (OS). Macbooks run on a Macintosh OS, and PCs usually run on a Microsoft Windows OS. The major difference between computer running a Chrome OS and a computer using Windows or Macintosh is that Chrome computers are designed to be used while connected to the Internet, and make use of online applications and programs, rather than applications and programs that are downloaded onto the computer directly.

How do I log in?
When you first open up the Chromebook, it’ll ask you you to log in to a wireless network. To log in to IllinoisNet, use your NetID and password. Then it’ll ask you to log into a Google account to use the Chromebook itself; you can use your NetID and password again, or any another Google account you may have. If you don’t have a Google account that you would like to use, you can log in as a guest. There should be a sticker on the Chromebook that tells you the guest username and password.

How can I open/edit/save my Microsoft Office files?
Chromebooks don’t have Microsoft Office applications like Word or Excel installed. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them to work on your files, though! If you have a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file that you’ve already started, you can upload them to Google Drive, and them open them with Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, respectively, and make changes to them as you need. Once you’ve made your changes (or if you make a new document and need to save it), you can save it to your Drive as a Google document, or choose to “Save As” in the appropriate file format, to open in Microsoft Office later. If you need help navigating the various Google apps, there are tutorials on the Google Apps site.

What else can I do on a Chromebook?
Anything you can do with a Google account you can do with a Chromebook – general Internet surfing, use of all the Google docs services, and all that good stuff. In addition to the document apps above, there are lots of free apps in the Chrome webstore that can help you work on other kinds of projects, play games, or use various kinds of media. You’ll notice there’s a webcam on the Chromebook we have – if you want to use it, search for the ‘Camera’ app and make your best duck face. Other apps that use the webcam, like Google Hangouts, should automatically detect it.

If you choose to log in as a guest, some options won’t be available, since you won’t be connected to a full personal account. To be able to use all the apps and services of the Chromebook, use a Google account!

What happens to my files and information after I return the Chromebook?
Just like on our old Macs and PCs, all your files and information will be removed from the Chromebook after you return it, using an option called powerwashing. This means that the next person to use the Chromebook won’t see anything you’ve done or be able to access any of your information. Your secrets are safe! This also means that if you forgot to save your work on a file, we won’t be able to recover it, so double-check to make sure all your changes are saved before you log out and return it. Google Drive is a good tool to use for this.

That’s the lowdown on our new Chromebooks. If you still have questions, come to the loanable technology desk on the upper level of the UGL (where you checked it out from!) or Ask a Librarian for help. Good luck and happy app-ing!

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Office Hours @ the UGL: Deep Space 291

Don’t let your research and writing questions run rings around you – come to Office Hours @ the UGL, and get help reaching that final frontier – before you reach the deadlines for your assignments!

Office Hours Tuesday 7-9 Wednesday 2-4 in room 291

Space puns also available upon request, while supplies last.

No matter what your mission – to explore strange databases, to seek out new articles and new peer-reviewed journals, to boldly cite what none of your classmates have cited before – you can get help at Office Hours. Simply come to room 291 of the UGL on Tuesdays from 7-9 PM, and on Wednesdays from 2-4 PM, and get help with any step of the research process. Whether you just have a quick question or need in-depth, one-on-one research help, we’re here for you. Tutors from the Writer’s Workshop are also available during Office Hours, their phasers set to ‘stunningly helpful,’ ready to aid you with your quick writing questions.

You don’t need an appointment for any of these services – just mosey on in, space cowboy, and we’ll get you the help you need. There are a few steps you can take to make sure the launch goes smoothly:

  • Bring the details of your assignment with you, if you’re working on something specific. Knowing what you’re working on helps us help you better!
  • Let us know if you’ve already gotten started on your own, so we can start in an appropriate place in the process.

If you’re looking for help with all this space-age media that surrounds you, you can also visit the UGL for a Media Commons consultation. We’ve got all your needs covered – so why don’t you pop into our orbit and get some help? It’s only logical.

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Study Tips for the Midterm Craziness

Fellow UGLers, midterms are here, and let me guess: you are all scrambling to finish those projects (which you left at the last minute because you’re the king/queen of procrastination) and cramming for those midterm exams. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one.  In a time of craziness, how does one handle such work and stress? Have no fear, the UGL is here to help and guide you through it.

Cluttered desk with sandwich

A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, so organize that desk and mind!

Keep calm and write a list

What do you have to do? Write down all the assignments and projects and when they are due and what exams you have to study for. Prioritize these on your list and as you complete each one, you’ll feel the satisfaction of getting work done and crossing it off!

Begin studying

Everyone has a different way of studying. What is your way? Is it flashcards or working in a group? Some people work best individually; if this is the case for you, the UGL has a quiet area in the lower level with many areas and tables available to you. If you do better with your classmates around, book a collaboration room to make sure you have a spot to meet in! Rewriting your notes can be a huge help when trying to remember the material, and going over any past tests can refresh your memory.  Remember that everyone is different, so go with the strategy best for you.

If you need help, ask for it!

Sometimes, we’re too proud to ask for help, but these are your classes and grades we’re talking about here, so keeping it to yourself might not pay off. Know the office hours for your professor and go to them if you don’t understand something.  If you need help with a writing piece, check out the writer’s workshop at the UGL. Make an appointment to make sure someone can see you.

Need help with research? Look for the reference desk at the UGL, located on the upper level, in front of the entrance. When unsure about a certain source, ask for help from the blue-vested librarians there. We are more than happy to help! If you can’t find us at the desk, there are other ways to ask a librarian that may be more convenient – Twitter or SMS, for example.

You can also get research help and quick writing help during Office Hours @ the UGL, in room 291 from 7-9 PM on Tuesdays and 2-4 PM on Wednesdays. We’ll tell you more about that next week, so stay tuned.

Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically

Classes can be stressful, but midterms can cause even more anxiety. It is important to take care of your health and mental well-being. Take a study break and do some exercise, or go home and make a healthy meal (cut fruit with yogurt and granola is delicious). When you’re ready for a longer break, go to the lower level of the UGL and check out the movies available. After a productive study session, reward yourself with a movie or a video game!

Remember, find what study strategies are good for you and go with it! You’ll make it. We’ll all make it.

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