Winter Break: See you later!

As much as we’d love for you to stay with us at the UGL forever and ever for the rest of time, you need a break, and we need a break. The UGL will be closing at 7 PM on Friday, December 20th, and remain closed until next year – specifically, until Thursday, January 2nd. Limited hours will go into effect after that; read on to get the details for the UGL and other campus libraries.

The snowy UGL

Here’s a timeline of library hours over the break.

  • Saturday, December 21st – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Sunday, December 22nd – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Monday, December 23rd – the Main Circulation and Info Desks are open 8:30 AM – 5 PM; all other libraries are closed.
  • Tuesday, December 24th (Christmas Eve) – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Wednesday, December 25th (Christmas Day) – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Thursday, December 26th – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Friday, December 27th – the Main Circulation and Info Desks are open 8:30 AM – 5 PM; all other libraries are closed.
  • Saturday, December 28th – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Sunday, December 29th – all campus libraries are closed.
  • Monday, December 30th – the Main Circulation and Info Desks are open 8:30 AM – 5 PM; all other libraries are closed.
  • Tuesday, December 31st (New Year’s Eve) – the Main Circulation and Info Desks are open 8:30 AM – 5 PM; all other libraries are closed.
  • Wednesday, January 1st (New Year’s Day) – all campus libraries are closed.

Limited hours begin Thursday Januray 2nd – the Undergraduate Library will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5 PM, starting on that day. For a complete list of holiday hours for all libraries, check the library hours page. If you need us on a day we’re open, please do stop by! We’ll be happy to see you once we’re all rested up. Happy holidays!

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Holiday Books for Holiday Breaks

Did you happen to notice all the snow on the ground? Of course you did. We can no longer deny that it is winter. Our noses and toes may be frozen, and our socks may be soggy, but let’s take the freezing temperatures and huge white drifts as a cheerful sign that soon, the semester will be over, and the winter break will be upon us. Before you jet off to distant lands – or, if you’re staying in town for the break, before you get too cozy on your couch – why not pick up a little something from the library to help you pass the time?

If you’re looking for a holiday-themed read, the UGL’s Holiday Reads Pinterest board should be your first stop. You can find Christmas classics there, such as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; books about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and other winter celebrations; and holiday-themed romance and mystery. If you find a book you like on one of our Pinterest boards, clicking on the pin should take you straight to the catalog where you can request it and check it out. Give it a shot!

Those on the hunt for a seasonally appropriate movie can also check out our holiday viewer’s advisory blog post from this time last year – it’s got a lot of snowy favorites for you to watch while you’re all snuggled up with your warm beverage of choice.

Those should give you plenty to work from, but just in case you need more, here are a few more winter break options for you to choose from.

History of the Snowman coverThe History of the Snowman: From the Ice Age to Flea Market by Bob Eckstein

Twelve Clues of Christmas CoverThe Twelve Clues of Christmas: a Royal Spyness Mystery by Rhys Bowen

A Gift From Tiffany's coverA Gift From Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

Spending the holidays with people I want to punch in the throat book coverSpending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen (of “People I Want to Punch in the Throat”)

When Elves Attack book coverWhen Elves Attack: a Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State by Tim Dorsey

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome coverThe Book of (Holiday) Awesome by Neil Pasricha

These should get you started. You can find more in the library catalog by searching for whatever aspect of the holiday season is your favorite! For instance, try doing a subject search for “Christmas – Humor” if you want to have a Christmas-themed laugh.

We hope you have a great finals week and a great break – stay tuned for updates about library hours over the break, and stay warm!

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Preparing for the Finals Week Saga

Hey fellow UGLers. Finals are here and we’re all scrambling to get everything done at the last minute. Some of you may feel completely prepared, but some are still procrastinating. If you have hours of work to do and need a place to hunker down and do it, you’re in luck: the UGL is staying open 24 hours through finals week. This means that we won’t close all weekend – you can stay as long as you need (the media enclosure will close at midnight Friday and Saturday, though, so grab your study break movies before then).

If the amount of work you have left to do feels overwhelming, have no fear: the UGL is also here to offer some study tips and ways to de-stress while you make it through. After all, you want to be in good shape to kick butt down to the last final.

image of dorm room with belongings scattered all over desk and floor

Finals can sometimes make us a little disorganized. Photo Courtesy of Sterling Coffey via Flickr

1. First things first, make a list of all your projects, when they are due, and what exams you have to prepare for. It’s best to have all the tasks you must do in front of you. This way, you can prioritize which assignments and which projects are the most important.

whimsical sepia image of list

Be sure to organize your assignments by making a list! Photo courtesy of Hey Paul Studios via Flickr

2. Once you have all the due dates figured out, write them down in a calendar and be sure to write reminders to yourself. Prefer a paper-less reminder? Make a task list or set reminders in your phone. A good way to deal with the stress of many projects is divide them up and work on them in increments of time.

image of weekly planner with events satisfyingly checked off

Using a calendar to keep track of everything is the way to go! Photo courtesy of Jenni Konrad via Flickr

3. Choose your study space. Some people like to study at libraries, others at coffee shops, and some in the comfort of their own apartment. Wherever you choose to study, make sure it’s good for you and your needs. The University of Illinois has many libraries around campus with a variety of study spaces – find out which one suits your needs best and when each library is open!

image of computers in scholarly commons

There are many great places to study on campus!

4.  If you need help with something, ask for it! Professors, teaching assistants, and even librarians are here to help you, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel like you’re struggling.

Librarians help students during office hours, too.

If you have any questions or need help, look up your professor’s office hours

5. If you feel anxious, calm down! This can sometimes be easier said than done, but there are a couple of healthy methods to keep your stress low.

  • Exercise! Go for a run or go to one of the two exercise complexes on campus. For information about their hours, see their website.
  • Go to the library and check out a book or a good movie! The UGL has a great selection of movies and they are free to rent! Res Hall libraries also have great movie collections. Look up books or movies in our catalog.
  • If there is a hobby that you enjoy, take a quick study break and do that activity!
  • You can also de-stress with help from some fuzzy friends: the UGL and Grainger will be having therapy dogs the weeks of finals. Get the details on those delightful dogs and drop by if you can.

For more study tips and ways of de-stressing, be sure to check out our  Pinterest board! Good luck with finals, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Get Some Doggone Hugs!

The UGL has gone to the dogs – therapy dogs, that is. Two therapy dog events are scheduled in the library during finals week to help you de-stress and finish this semester strong. Read on to find out the details and to meet the hard-working pups who make it all happen!

Malamute being petted by many hands

Sam will accept your adoration.

Sam the Alaskan Malamute has been to events at the UIUC libraries before, but he keeps coming back to see all his favorite people, and to please his loyal fans. Sam is a master of chilling out and napping, and will be pleased to teach you his stress-free ways, which he has been working on quite diligently for all of his 8 years.

Poodle licking lips in a silly way

Raven thinks the UGL is delicious!

Raven the Standard Poodle is also a library event veteran. Though her schedule is very busy with catching Frisbees and chasing tennis balls, she’s always happy to make time and come to the libraries for some petting. She’s 7 and a half, and prefers the company of adults like herself, since they are the best at the aforementioned petting.

Black Labrador retriever with soulful eyes

Neo looks expectant because he hears you give belly rubs, which are his favorite.

Neo the Labrador Retriever is 7 years old, and he hasn’t been to the UIUC libraries before, but he spends a lot of time at Carle Hospital and helping children in schools through the R.E.A.D. program. He’s also been given the Helping Hand award by the Champaign Fire Department for his help with crisis response. We’re sure he’ll be a big hit with all our students as well.

Boxer dog looking friendly on a couch

You don’t need a telescope to see how cute Tycho is.

Tycho the Boxer is a 9-year-old lover of cat food and new friends. He spends his days encouraging violin students by singing along, and playing with two Cornish Rex cats (from whom he steals the cat food). He also accompanies the violin students to performances at nursing homes, other libraries, and fundraisers.

These wonderful canine companions will be available on the following days:

  • Thursday, December 12th, from 2-4 PM in Grainger Engineering Library (Raven, Sam, and Neo)
  • Monday, December 16th, from 2-4 PM in the Undergraduate Library (Raven, Sam, Neo, and Tycho)

While you wait for the big dog days to arrive, you can follow the UGL’s  Therapy Dog Pinterest board to read up on therapy animals and how they help various people. The dogs (and the library!) look forward to seeing you there!


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Know Your Tech: Camera Round-Up

Flip video cameras and Sony Bloggies – they’re the most popular cameras in the UGL’s loanable technology collection, so you’ve probably used them at least once. Our Lumix digital cameras also get a lot of love. If you’re really adventurous, or in need of slightly more profesh video work, you may have even checked out one of our camcorders. But have you truly, fully explored the UGL’s camera offerings? Here’s a roundup of our more specialized cameras that you may not be aware of.

image of webcam

The tiny webcam sees all.

Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam

Sure, a lot of laptops come with their own webcams these days. The UGL’s Chromebooks certainly do. They’re not always of the greatest quality, however. When you Skype with your family, do they complain that you look pixelated? Do they have trouble distinguishing your hair from your wall? This webcam might be able to fix that for you. It’s got high-quality video as well as high-fidelity sound, and adjusts for low light situations, such as your dorm room late at night. The fact that it’s not built into your computer means you have more flexibility in the way you use it – why not try these alternative webcam uses? You can keep an eye on your pets from wherever you are!

image of go pro camera

It wants to know if you’re going somewhere exciting!

GoPro Hero 3 Video Camera

Other cameras are fine for home or classroom use, but what if you’re an adventurer? What if you want to have a pet cam, but your pet likes to go rock climbing? The GoPro Hero is here for you. It’s very small – and therefore portable! – and comes with a rugged plastic case that will protect it from all the hard knocks of travel. It’s also waterproof, and has wind-cancelling filters on its audio, and you can attach it to stuff. Seriously, you can take it anywhere. Grab a GPS unit as well, go somewhere crazy, and record all of it.

glorious image of nikon DSLR camera

Who’s the boss? This camera is the shiny, red boss.

Nikon D5200 Digital Camera (DSLR)

Here it is. The big one. The fanciest camera we have. A digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera gives you the convenience and in-camera editing capabilities of a digital camera, with all the manual control of focus, shutter speed, and other photography concerns that you’d get from a film camera. It does video as well! It’s also without a doubt the shiniest camera we have. If you’re just starting out on the DSLR path, the library has plenty of books to help you figure out fancy digital photography.

With all this wonderful equipment at your fingertips, what are YOU going to capture?

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Start your research right with Subject Guides

Now that we’re back, relaxed and refreshed, from Fall Break, it’s time to buckle down and get to work on final papers and projects. If you’ve got some serious researching to do, the UGL has the perfect place to start: our collection of Subject Research Guides.

Image of the home tab of a research guide on the topic adoption

Sample Subject Research Guide on Adoption

Getting started with research can be a tricky task. With hundreds of databases and millions of books at your fingertips, it can be hard to know where to begin. To make it easier for you, the UGL has a collection of subject research guides you can use to know where and how to look for information you need.

A subject research guide contains resources for finding information related to a specific topic. Each guide contains links for background information and databases, as well as suggestions for keywords to help you search. We also throw in helpful websites and links to professional organizations. They’re a one-stop shop for getting started with research. Writing a paper about social media? We have you covered. Doing a presentation on artificial intelligence? We’ve got that too.

And just how can you find these amazing, librarian-approved sources of information? It’s so simple, you’ll wonder how you haven’t stumbled across them before. Starting from the UGL homepage, just look for the link to “Subject Guides” in the light gray bar that goes across the center of the screen. Click and boom! Research resources are just waiting for you. We have guides for over 100 topics, with new ones being made all the time.

If you don’t see your topic on our list, you can also search the complete collection of guides made by all University libraries. If you still can’t find your topic, give us a shout in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you want to see. And of course, you can always stop by Office Hours @ the UGL or hit us up on chat for any research or library questions you have. Let’s show this semester who’s boss.

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