More than a Building: Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of the Undergraduate Library Experience

In 1949, The University of Illinois opened the first Undergraduate Library on campus in the Main Library. In 1969, the Undergraduate Library moved to its current home, an underground building affectionately known by students as “The UGL.” This year, the UGL will begin its transformation into the new Archives and Special Collections Facility and undergraduate library services will return home to the Main Library and other locations on campus where exciting updates are underway for the 2022-23 academic year.

Aerial View of Undergraduate Library

So join us on Reading Day, Thursday, May 5th from 3-8 pm as we celebrate the rich history of the undergraduate library experience, and look toward its future. Explore an exhibit, enjoy cake and punch, craft mementos, take Polaroids, play video games from our vintage gaming collection, and more!

Schedule of Events:

3pm-8pm: Undergraduate Library Exhibit
-Celebrate the over 75 years of an Undergraduate Library and over 50 years in its current building with archival photos and stories. 

3pm-8pm: Coloring Pages
-Get creative and unwind with coloring pages on the Upper Level. Coloring pages and supplies will be provided!

4pm-5pm: Cake and Punch
-It’s not a party without a little cake and punch! Join us for a treat on the Upper Level.

hamster eats cake

5pm-8pm: Message Mural
-Brushes and paint will be provided, join us and leave your mark!

5pm-8pm: Buttons
-Make a button! Create a UGL memento button, or design your own.

5pm-8pm: Polaroids
-Grab a photo with the original selfie machine, the Polaroid. You get to keep your picture and with it a memory of the UGL!

hand holding a camera takes a photo, photo prints out

5pm-8pm: Vintage Gaming: RetroN
-See if you remember how to “pown” your friends in MarioKart with RetroN, a gaming console that lets you play Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis games! It’s on like Donkey Kong.

We hope to see you at our party and can’t wait to share the next steps of the Undergraduate Library experience with you in the years to come!

Written and Posted by: Maurissa

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