St. Patty’s is here!

Hello UGLers, as you can tell by the seas of green today, it is St. Patrick’s Day! Are we all wearing our green today? You bet we are! There are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, so here at the UGL we decided to find all things Irish for your celebration.

The Green River in Chicago

The Green River in Chicago. Photo courtesy of bhenak via Flickr

You can start off your day by heading over to Crane Alley for some Irish-inspired food. They are having that especially for today! Located in downtown Urbana, Crane Alley is a great restaurant to share a meal with your friends.

If you’re feeling like staying in tonight, why not make a night of it with a movie (or movie marathon) and some friends. The UGL has their media collection in the lower level and we have found some titles that will be sure to give you different perspectives on Ireland without having to leave your comfy couch.

First, we have “Angela’s Ashes.” A movie that was based off the memoirs of Irish writer, Frank McCourt. It is the story of his family’s struggles with poverty and his childhood in Ireland and New York.

Angela’s Ashes

If this is not your style, fear not! we have other suggestions. Such as “P.S I Love You.” OK, we admit, this is not related to St. Patrick’s day, but you cannot beat the Irish scenery in this movie. Also, Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler are in it, so you pretty much have to watch it.

P.S I love you movie

P.S I love You

Other movies that you might find interesting are “Leap Year” and “The Commitments.”

Sometimes, you just want to stay in with a good book, so of course, the UGL has recommendations for those as well! Our first recommendation is a cookbook! because there is no better way to spend the holiday than to cook up some great Irish food with some friends. How about “The Irish Heritage Cookbook” or “Rachel’s Irish Family Food: 120 classic recipes from my home to yours.” Gather your friends, turn on some Celtic music, and try your hand at these recipes.

Rachel's Irish Family Food cooking book

Rachel’s Irish Family Food

Want to travel to Ireland without having to pay all that airfare? Try “Travelers’ Trails in Ireland.” Read about 20 trails that will guide you on a tour of all the culture and beautiful scenery that Ireland has to offer! Other titles to check out might be “Silver Linings: Travels around Northern Ireland“, and “Memory Ireland.”

Travellers' Travels in Ireland  book

Travellers’ Travels in Ireland

The UGL and the other libraries on campus have tons of more books for you, so, what are you waiting for? Check it out and have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

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Celebrating Women’s History Month!

March is here and midterms are almost over, but March is also Women’s History month! Be prepared to learn about some amazing and inspirational women and some resources available from the library.

Sally Ride

Sally Ride. The First American woman in space

First, we have Sally Ride. Sally was a former astronaut and a physicist. She became the first American woman in space. Her accomplishments have paved the way for women in NASA and have inspired people around the world. Sally died in 2012 at the age of 61, but her legacy will forever live on. To find out more about her life and accomplishments, check out some books about her life available in our catalog.

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun is former representative of the Illinois senate. She was the first African-American woman to be elected to the United States Senate. Ms. Braun was also nominated by former President Bill Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. She currently resides in Chicago. For more information on Ms. Braun, be sure to check out her page on the congress website.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is a Mexican artist from the surrealist movement in the 1930’s. She had a difficult but  exciting life, and most importantly, she was a creative person and painter who celebrated her Mexican culture and heritage. If you would like to know more about Frida and her life, Credo reference has more information.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul. American Suffragist

Alice Paul was an American suffragist who fought for a woman’s right to vote. Along with the help of other suffragists, Alice Paul’s activism led to the passage of the 19th amendment. Because of the 19th amendment, women were finally able to have the right to vote in this country.  To learn more about Alice Paul, be sure to check out the  Women and Social Movements in the United States database available through the UIUC catalog!

These are just a few of the many incredible women out there. For more information be sure to check out some subject guides on the topic such as women in politics or the official government website for Women’s History Month.

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Office Hours are here!

And the award for best student goes to……you! Yes, you! For going to office hours and getting the help offered to you by the librarians and writing center. Hopefully, you have seem the awesome new flyers promoting office hours. We’re all aware that midterms are coming up and we’re scrambling to get projects done and papers turned in. Why not let the librarians and the writing center give you a hand with all that coursework?

Flyer for Office Hours

Check out our awesome new flyers!

In case you haven’t see the flyers promoting office hours, here is the run-down. Office hours for the 2014 spring semester will be Tuesdays 7:00-9:00 P.M. and Wednesdays2:00-4:00 P.M. These will take place in the Undergraduate Library in room 291. You will be able to get in-depth research help from librarians, but wait, that’s not all! A representative from the Writer’s Workshop will also be there to help students with any help they might need.

So there you have it folks, if you need any help with research or finding a certain article, or help with revising an essay, come find us at the UGL! We are more than happy to help! After all, it’s why we’re there.

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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.

UIUC greenhouse 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.

35 foot climbing wall at the ARC

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  with waterslide and 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.

Illini Union Bowling Room lit by blacklights and glowing

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.

UIUC Campus Observatory

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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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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Famous Alumni of UIUC

School spirit: this campus has got it. We love our friends, our campus, and our school. Let’s be honest, we sometimes like to brag about the famous alumni who have walked these halls. There are the usual suspects, like Hugh Hefner (yes, that one), Betsy Brandt (who played Marie on Breaking Bad), Alan Ruck (from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and Scott Altman (NASA Astronaut). You might be pleased to know about some other famous alumni – here’s a short list, with library resources to help you learn more.

Robert L. Johnson
A graduate from the class of 1964 with a degree in history, Johnson went on to become a businessman, philanthropist, and founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnson also founded The RLJ Companies, which includes hotel real estate investments, financial services, and other financial deals. If you want to learn more about Mr. Johnson, the library has a book available here!

Robert L. Johnson

Robert L. Johnson (on the left), sitting next to former President George W. Bush

Suze Orman
Does the name sound familiar? You might know Ms. Orman from her television appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Ms. Orman is an alum from the class of 1976. Having graduated with a degree in social work, Ms. Orman went on to form the Suze Orman Financial Group in California. Known as a “financial guru”, Ms. Orman is the author of several finance-related books. Curious to see what she has written? The library catalog has some of her books available here!

Suze Orman

Suze Orman Attribution: Photo courtesy of David Shankbone

Ed Boon
This famous alumnus graduated with a degree in math and computer science in 1986. For the gamers in the UGL, you might know who he is. For those who are not familiar, he is the co-creator of the video game Mortal Kombat. Lucky for you, the UGL has the game available for checkout!

Ed Boon

Ed Boon. Photo Courtesy of VideoGameVisionary.com

Tatyana McFadden

A recent winner of this year’s New York City Marathon women’s wheelchair race – but wait, that’s not all! Ms. McFadden has also won titles in Boston, London, and Chicago. Although not an alum just yet, Ms. McFadden is currently a senior here at UIUC. She is also a member of the U.S Paralympic Track & Field Team. With medals and victories in various parts of the country, Ms. McFadden continues to make us proud to call ourselves students of the University of Illinois. You can find out Ms. McFadden’s stats and more info here.

Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden. Photo courtesy of Team USA

Kelvin Hayden
A former member of the Fighting Illini football team, Mr. Hayden is currently the cornerback for the Chicago Bears. A member of the class of 2004, he led the Fighting Illini as a cornerback. To find out more about Mr. Hayden’s time with the Fighting Illini, visit this page for statistics and career highs!

Kelvin Hayden

Kelvin Hayden. Photo courtesy of Julio Cortez

Rafael Correa

Mr. Correa has two degrees from this fine institution. In 1999, he earned a Master’s in Economics, and in 2001, a Ph.D. in the same field. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Mr. Correa became the President of Ecuador in December of 2006. Since then, he has been appointed for a third term. He was recently in the news in connection with the Edward Snowden controversy; Mr. Correa first offered Mr. Snowden a temporary travel document, but later said it had been “a mistake” to have offered it in the first place. To learn more about Ecuador, click here for materials about the country and its culture.

Rafael Correa

President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. Photo courtesy of Agência Brasil

Erika Harold
Born right here in Urbana, Ms. Harold is a former Ms. America from 2003. A graduate of University High School, she also attended UIUC and graduated with a degree in Political Science in 2001. Ms. Harold has been active in the community for the past couple of years and has spent time working with various organizations in regards to bullying prevention efforts and other issues. Ms. Harold works for a law firm in Champaign. Here’s a news piece about her Ms. America win.

Erika Harold

Erika Harold. Photo Courtesy of Sean Powers/WILL

Now you have seven more names to add to your list of famous alumni! Interested in finding more? The Office of Admissions has a list of celebrity UIUC graduates for you to peruse. If there are other alumni you’re proud to share your alma mater with, tell us about them in the comments!

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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Happy November Club UGL! Fall break is just around the corner, but did you also know that November is Native American Heritage month? And what exactly is Native American Heritage Month? It’s a month that provides a platform for Native Americans to share various aspects of their culture, including dances, foods, crafts, and other facets of their way of life.

Portrait of Mah-to-toh-pa-Mandan

Portrait of Mah-to-toh-pa–Mandan, Attribution by Paul Mellon Collection. Image © 2006 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

In 1990, Former President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution to make November Native American Heritage Month. Many museums and organizations have contributed their efforts and formed exhibitions related to this month. The Library of Congress, National Archives, The National Gallery of Art, and many more institutes have gathered materials and exhibitions commemorating Native American history and future in this country. For more information about these exhibitions or archives, visit the official website for Native American Heritage Month.

It is a nationwide holiday, but celebrations for this month are closer to home than you might think. The University of Illinois takes pride in having a diverse student body, and also a diversity of student organizations and houses. The Native American House on campus opened on Nevada Street in 2002. Its purpose is to increase knowledge and understanding for Native American culture in the past, present and future by providing students and staff with various resources. Such resources include the Native American House Library, help finding information regarding American Indian Studies, and much more.

The Native American House here on campus will be doing various activities and celebrations throughout the month. The first one, “Maori Approaches to Research and Methodology Workshop” features Dr. Nepia Mahuika, who is the current chair of New Zealand Māori History Collective. Among the other events will be dance and singing performances and film screenings. For a complete calendar of events visit their events page.

Learning about Native American history isn’t just for this month! if you’re interested in learning about Native American history or are doing a school project and just don’t know where to begin, the subject guide for American Indian Studies is very helpful. It provides many resources to point you in the right direction. The UGL also has a Pinterest board with suggestions for works by Native American authors.

Anasazi Pottery

Anasazi Pottery. Attribution: Photograph by P. Hollembeak. ©American Museum of Natural History, New York

We encourage you to participate in the events going on on campus and learn more about Native American peoples and their heritage, no matter what month it is.

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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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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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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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