It’s Almost Game Day!

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or haven’t watched a game all season, Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to get together with friends, take a break from homework, and, let’s be honest, eat. A lot. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, here are some tips and fun facts from the UGL to get you ready for this year’s game.

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face off this Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. If you follow the NFL, you may have strong feelings on the match-up, as the league’s best teams go head to head. What you may not know is our own Big Ten Conference will be well-represented on Super Bowl Sunday. Thirteen former Big Ten student-athletes and nine coaches with conference ties will vie for the title, including Bronco’s running back Montee Ball and Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, both former Wisconsin Badgers.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks QB and former Wisconsin Badger. Photo courtesy of Football Schedule via Flickr

For many, the football game simply interrupts the true entertainment featured on Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials. Between mouthfuls of nacho dip, watch out for Illini alumnus Jim Coates (AM ’73), who is featured in “Time Machine”, one of the top 5 commercials competing in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” Contest.

Mmm…nachos. Photo courtesy of jeffreyw via Flickr

If Super Bowl Sunday is simply an excuse to hang out and eat, join the club. The UGL has your back with tons of cookbooks to help you prep the perfect appetizer, like Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. Are you vegan, gluten-free, or just on a budget? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Pinterest page for more staff suggestions and get cooking!

Whip up a delicious app with the Cheesy Vegan!

Now that the football season almost over, check out more gridiron greats in the UGL collection to keep you entertained until kick-off next season.

We already can’t wait until next season.


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Keeping Warm and beating the Polar Vortex

Fellow UGLers, it seems like the polar vortex is bringing us down. Do you find yourself at home, wrapped in a blanket, and looking out the window thinking, “There is nothing to do?” Have no fear; the UGL is here to give a couple of suggestions to keep warm on campus this winter.

The UIUC greenhouse is full of tropical plants.

The plant Biology Greenhouse. Courtesy of the UIUC Plant Biology Greenhouse Center

Make sure to check out the plant biology greenhouses right here on campus! The extreme weather is no reason why you should not enjoy some nature. Be sure to check out what events and open hours they have.

We’re all counting down the days until summer, but in the mean time, check out what the recreational centers have to offer. The ARC offers a climbing wall, swimming pools, and -wait for it – the best part, a 35-person sauna. That ought to warm you right up.

The 35-foot indoor climbing wall at the ARC. Photo courtesy of the UIUC Recreational Center

CRCE also offers a hot tub, an indoor swimming pool, and a 12-person spa. This sounds like the perfect way to relax on the cold days up ahead.

CRCE Pool  has a waterslide and a weird volcano fountain thing

CRCE Swimming Pool. Photo Courtesy of the UIUC Recreational Center

If swimming or rock climbing isn’t your cup of tea, there are always exercise machines and you are sure to build up a sweat.

The Illini Union holds many events throughout the school year. Past events have been trivia nights, ballroom dancing events, and much more. Also, the Union has a recreational room in the basement. The UGL always supports a good underground attraction. Grab a friend and go bowling for the night! Check out the Union calendar here.

Sometimes, you can bowl with everything lit by blacklights.

Bowling at the Illini Union Rec Room. Photo Courtesy of the Illini Union

The campus observatory holds open house hours. It is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a clear night sky, while observing from indoors. Be sure to bring a friend and a thermos of hot chocolate.  For more information, visit the observatory webpage.

The Campus Observatory holds open house hours. Photo Courtesy of the UIUC Campus Observatory

So there you have it, Club UGL, just a couple of things around campus where you can keep warm while having some fun. Also, don’t forget that the UGL and other campus libraries are (usually) warm, so come see us to stay toasty while studying.

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UGL 101: New Collab Room System

Have you studied in one of our incredibly useful group rooms yet this semester? If you have, you may have noticed that the system you used to snag your reservation is a little different than it was before. Read on for a tour of the new system and how to get collaboration rooms when you need them.

To get to the room reservation system, follow the same route you’ve taken before: start on the UGL homepage, then click on the button in the middle menu that says “Group Rooms.” From the group rooms page, look for the heading that says “How Do I Reserve a Room (Call D1bs?)” – underneath that heading is where you’ll find a link to the new reservation system.

When you first click in, you’ll be asked for information about what kind of room you need. How many people are in your group, how long do you need it, and when do you need it? Think generally – “morning,” “afternoon,” or “now” rather than “9 AM.” There’s time to get sepcific later.

Three drop-down menus let you specify your room needs.

For information about how many people can fit in a room, check the group rooms page or the subject guide linked below.

Next, it’ll show you which libraries have rooms available that fit all your needs. Click on the library you’d like to get a room in. If the library is grayed out and you can’t click on it, that means that library doesn’t have rooms that meet your time and space needs.

Information about the location of the rooms within the library is also provided on the second screen.

The “available times” number lets you know how many options are available at each library.

Next, pick a more specific time. The reservations that you see available should be for the same length of time that you specified in the first screen. Remember that rules about how many reservations you can make still stand – 2 hours at a time, twice a week, for a total of 4 hours a week. Click the time period that works best for you.

A list of reservation by time range is visible after selecting your library.

The number to the right shows you how many rooms are available for each specific time slot.

Finally, it’s time to actually reserve your room! On the final screen, put in your name and your email address – and your phone number, if you’d like text updates – and click the button that says “Call D!bs!” See how clever we are? An email will be sent to your Illinois email address with the details about your room reservation. If you end up needing to cancel your reservation, the email will also contain a link that you can follow to cancel it.

So…tada! That’s the ins and outs of our new group room system. If you need further help with the system or if you have questions about room policies, we have a handy group room subject guide for you. You can also Ask a Librarian, as always. Happy collaborating!

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Springing into Action!

Even in the darkness of winter nights…we’re here.

Well…it’s actually still winter here in Illinois, and there’s still snow everywhere, but the UGL is still ready to spring forward into a new spring semester, helping you with all your reference, research, and information needs. Read on to find out when you can come see us during Spring 2014.

We’re super pumped to resume our usual 24-hours-during-the-week non-stop library party, but this first week will be a little different. Here’s how it’ll go:

  • Tuesday, January 21st – open at 8 AM and stay open until…
  • Friday, January 24th – close at 10 PM
  • Saturday, January 25th – open from 10 AM to 2 AM
  • Sunday, January 26th – open at 10 am and resume standard hours

Standard hours means we’re open 24 hours Sunday through Thursday, and then close at 2am on both Friday and Saturday nights (re-opening at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings). That’s what we mean by ‘non-stop party.’

Our hours will be different over spring break – we’ll update you about that when the time comes, but in the mean time you can always check hours for any library on the appropriately named library hours page.

Stay tuned later this week for a round-up of helpful start-of-semester info. Happy spring! If you study hard, summer will come sooner.

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