An Ocean of Good Reads

Central Illinois is a wonderful place. It is home to our wonderful Alma Mater, the charming cities of Urbana and Champaign, and enough cornfields to support even the most voracious grilled corn habit. There is, however, a distinct lack of salt air, of booming waves, and of billowing sails. If you find yourself pining for the sea life, take home one of these ocean-themed books from the UGL. You can read them in a hammock and pretend you’re below-decks!

Silver : My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder
by Edward Chupack

An Ocean + A Boat = Pirates, obviously. You’re probably familiar with Treasure Island, perhaps the most well-known pirate story of Western literature. But have you ever wondered about how the infamous pirate Long John Silver became who he is? This is his life story, recounted by Silver himself, as he sails imprisoned towards his execution in England. Many murders and treasure troves are recounted, in highly stylized pirate lingo, but the biggest and most mysterious treasure is only hinted at…

The Seas: a Novel
By Samantha Hunt

“Long walks on the beach” are often heralded as being the height of romance. What if, however,  you’re a young woman in a desolate seaside town, grieving the loss of your father, convinced you’re a mermaid, and in love with a older, damaged veteran? Time spent on the beach together might have a different feel to it, then. That’s the premise behind this novel, which draws from ethereal fairy tales but is set in cold, hard reality.

8 Men and a Duck : an Improbable Voyage by Reed Boat to Easter Island
by Nick Thorpe

Translating the art of the road trip to the southern Pacific, this is the tale of 8 dudes (mostly non-sailors) who attempt to travel from the coast of Chile to Easter Island in a boat made out of reeds. Their motivation? Living to tell the tale, mostly. There are sharks, storms, and rival sailing teams who attempt to sabotage the mission; there is also, as promised, a duck. The duck’s name is Pedro.

The Sea is My Brother
by Jack Kerouac

Before he became a famous figure in Beat literature, Jack Kerouac was a merchant marine. That means he worked as a sailor on ships carrying passengers and cargo, and that is the setting of this, his first, incomplete novel. Young men at sea grappling with loneliness, identity, and drinking in the modern world – if that sounds like your cup of grog, pick this one up.

 

The Sea Wolf
by Jack London, adapted by Riff Reb’s

Originally a novel by Jack London, of White Fang and Call of the Wild fame, this graphic novel adaptation adds dramatic, high-contrast illustrations to a classic adventure tale. Instead of furry beasts in snowy Yukon climes, the ‘wolf’ in this story is a hardened sailor in the South Pacific. He and his crew of seal hunters pick up a shipwreck victim, Humphrey, who is initially glad for their help…but Humphrey soon realizes that this ain’t no pleasure cruise, and he will have to fight to survive.

 

That’s it for our fleet of ocean-centered stories. We hope you got to see more of the ocean this summer that the UGL ever does, from it’s vantage point underground. Do you have a favorite book or movie set on the high seas? Tell us about it in the comments!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Got Pride? LGBT Pride Month at the UGL

The Stonewall Inn Riots, a series of protests following police raids on a queer bar in New York City that are widely considered the igniting spark for the modern LGBT rights movement, took place on June 28-29, 1969. Ever since then, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer folks in the United States have taken the month of June as a symbolic time to demonstrate pride in their sexual and gender minority identities.

A rainbow-colored robot invites you to LGBT pride month.

Original image by Quinn Dombrowski.

This year, 45 years later, President Barack Obama has again declared June LGBT Pride Month, recognizing the importance for LGBTQ people to celebrate themselves and the political struggles their communities have been involved in. In order to show off our own pride, the UGL would like to recommend some items from our collection that display some LGBTQ pride and history.

Stonewall

by Martin Duberman

If you’re interested in going back to the beginning, Martin Duberman’s Stonewall is an important look—even 20 years on—at the watershed nature of the events at Stonewall through the eyes of six very different people. His history captures the conflicting and varied responses to the Stonewall events and draws a messy picture of the events leading up to Stonewall that made the riots such a historic event.

Smash the Church, Smash the State book cover with vintage photos of activists

Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation

edited by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Smash the Church, Smash the State takes a look at the political climate immediately following Stonewall by investigating the early years of the Gay Liberation Front, a anti-assimilationist activist group—the first to use the word “gay” in its name—that worked alongside (and sometimes against) other radical movements of the 1970s. Written by former GLF members, this book provides insight into a turbulent and fabulous movement whose work laid the foundation for contemporary LGBTQ politics.

Body Counts boko cover with image of couple kissing

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

by Sean Strub

Moving forward in time, another historically significant event in the history of queer people in the United States was the AIDS crisis of the late 80s and early 90s. Sean Strub’s memoir, Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival, documents one slice of that time and what it meant for the gay community. As the founder of POZ magazine and the first openly HIV-positive candidate for the US legislature, Strub’s insight into the critical need for AIDS-related protections and research and his work with ACT UP paints an important picture of this era.

Redefining Realness book cover with image of Janet Mock looking incredibly regal

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More

by Janet Mock

For a contemporary look at one aspect of LGBTQ pride, check out Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More. Mock was born to Black and Native Hawaiian parents in a working class neighborhood of Honolulu, and is now a respected writer and advocate for trans rights, creating #girlslikeus, an online movement for transwomen living visibly. Mock’s memoir traces her life from a childhood in Hawai‘i through her career in New York City, and it highlights the need for mainstream LGBTQ movements to center the experiences of trans women of color to continue to fight oppression both within and outside of LGBTQ communities.

There’s lots more Pride to be found in the stacks of the UGL and in Champaign-Urbana more widely. If you’re looking to celebrate this month, check out the UP Center’s Reel It UP! LGBT film festival, with showings every Tuesday in June at the Champaign Art Theater. Or, if you won’t be back on campus until school starts, Champaign-Urbana Pride  will be on Saturday, September 6 in downtown Champaign. We encourage you to celebrate along with us by checking out some of these resources and events…Happy Pride!

Special thanks to guest blogger Tad Andracki!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Things to Do: June

Maybe you’re taking summer classes and need to destress in the evening. Maybe you’re working your summer job and need some social time. Maybe you don’t have anything to do this summer and have a lot of time to fill up. Don’t worry – there’s plenty to do in CU over the summer.

Sunny photo of UGL from outside

It’s very sunny out. Don’t let that deter you.

We promise that none of the suggestion on this list are “stay with in the UGL all day every day,” though of course you’re always welcome here during our summer hours and we’re always happy to see you.

On the Big Screen

Summer is the perfect time to sit in a cool, dark room and watch a fine film. If you get tired of doing that in your apartment (with DVDs from the media collection, obviously), you can always take a trip over to Champaign’s very own Art Theater Co-op and watch something there. Every Tuesday in June, the Art Theater is screening films for the 5th Annual Reel It Up Festival, presented by the UP Center of Champaign County. All films in the festival are in the spirit of LGBTQ Pride Month. If you miss the festival, you can always catch one of their regular movies – show your student ID to get a discount!

Arts and Performances

If you’re looking for entertainment that’s a little more immediate, there’s also plenty of live entertainment. You can visit the Krannert Center for Performing Arts to catch some theater – for June both a musical drama and a short play festival are lined up. For live music, Smile Politely has a weekly column called The Overture that highlights upcoming shows in downtown Champaign and Urbana.

Go Outside!

Remember that thing called outside? The one you used to explore when you weren’t in a classroom all day every day? Well, it’s still there and ready for you to explore. You can learn how to fish in Urbana parks, if you’d like, or take that fondness for live music outside with outdoor concerts in Champaign parks. You’re also free to do your own thing and run around with your friends, of course – just be care and make sure you know how to cope with the heat.

In the Library

We said you don’t have to stay in the UGL all day…but if you happen to be in the library this month, we have some pretty neat exhibits up. You can learn about the history of Western witchcraft, or what CU’s music scene was like in the 1980s.

These are just a few suggestions – there are tons of other ways to entertain yourself this summer. What are you doing in the name of fun?

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Return of the Dogs

They’re back! Rejoice! Therapy Dogs will be returning to UIUC libraries during finals week to soothe all your exam woes (or help you celebrate any impending graduations). We’ve also got a guest star this semester. Who’s excited about…therapy cats?

Library Therapy Dog Program, May 8th, 12th, and 13th

If you haven’t attended a therapy dog event before, allow us to inform you about what they are. Many studies have shown that interacting with animals can reduce stress levels (and, in turn, improve academic performance). Based on this, the UIUC libraries work with CU Canine Connection, a local therapy dog group, to bring animals to you in places where you are often stressed (ie the library – sorry about the stress).

Sam, Tycho, and Raven, friendly doggies from past semesters, will all be returning to various libraries during finals week so you can reconnect and get your snuggles. Neo regretfullly cannot make it this semester, but sends his love from afar and will catch you next time. To refresh your memory on who’s who (or to get a primer before you meet them for this first time) you can revisit our previous blog posts about therapy dogs. We also have three new visitors this semester: Darby the English Springer Spaniel, and Wyatt and Herbie the Therapy Cats. Learn more about them below!

A Springer Spaniel reclines on a sofa.

Darby!

Darby

Darby is a 6-year-old English Springer Spaniel. She lives with her people-mom and -dad in a 36-foot motor home. Traveling is a way of life for her, and she has become very adaptable to long trips on the road and different campgrounds. Darby is also a service dog, helping her hearing-impaired dad at home.  She enjoys flying at her humans’ feet on frequent flights between Illinois and Florida.She likes people of all ages as long as they will provide lots of loving and affection (so she’ll fit right in at the UGL!) This will be her first appearance in the library, but her second  at the U of I: the first was the Smoke Out event last year.
A relaxed orange cat lays on a mat.

Herbie!

Herbie

Herbie is a 15-year-old British short hair mix. Adopted from the Champaign County Humane Society, he is a laid back orange tabby that loves attention, string toys, catnip, and wrestling andplaying with his 3 cat brothers. He visits Clark-Lindsey retirement village every week, where he visits with residents and staff. He is registered as a therapy cat with Love on Leash, and his “mom” is involved in I-CAT, International Cat-Assisted Therapy.

A soft-looking cat, also on a mat.

Wyatt!

Wyatt

Wyatt is a five year old Ragdoll. He has long silver and white fur. He loves for his friends to give attention to him, and will purr and flex his paws if you pet him. Wyatt is very laid back and loves his people to visit, and he works every week at a nursing home in Champaign County. He is registered with Love on a Leash.

Here’s the schedule for spring semester 2014, showing which dogs (and cats) will be at which libraries on which days:

  • Grainger Engineering Library on Thursday, May 8th, from 2-4 PM: Sam and Darby
  • UGL on Monday, May 12th, from 2-4 PM: Tycho, Wyatt and Herbie
  • Funk ACES Library on Tuesday, May 13th, from 2-4 PM : Raven

We hope to see you there!

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

A message from QB

Dear Inquisitive UGLers: Last week you may have noticed a whiteboard near the UGL’s entrance. This was Question Board’s more mobile cousin, Whiteboard, sent as a scout to ask you one simple question. The question was: Can you stump QB? Many riddles were posed, and QB has answers for some of them – but for others, your help is needed. Read on to help QB conquer these confounding queries.

Can you stump QB?

Well, can you?

First is this riddle, which QB feels quite confident about:

When I was young, I wear white
When I was a teen, I wear green
Now that I’m hot, I wear red
Who am I? Please address!

One intrepid member of Club UGL already put forth an answer on dear cousin Whiteboard, saying that the answer was ‘Strawberry…’ but then the original riddler responded with this:

This came quite close, but I am not.
For strawberry’s sweet, but I am hot.
You have given quite a close try
So I reward you with a smile

The written question is accompanied by a charming smiley face.

Look at that smile.

QB, driven by the idea of smiling rewards, would like to put forth that the answer to this riddle is perhaps….a pepper? Yes, that sounds right. QB is pretty sure of the answer for this one, as well:

What falls but never breaks?
What breaks but never falls?
Answers are connected.

QB doesn’t even need any incredibly useful library resources to pull off this one. The answer is as clear as night and day, because it is night and day. Night falls, and day breaks. QB is clearly on a roll here. QB can roll, too! Are you listening, Whiteboard?!

This riddle was also answered by an intrepid student…what do you think of their answer? QB thinks they’re close…if you have input, let QB know in the comments.

Three men are abducted and held hostage. The captor tells them he will set them free if they can solve this puzzle. He blindfolds the men, and each is wearing a hat, and stations them along a staircase – one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom. On the captor’s cue, they remove the blindfolds. There are two kinds of hats: red & white. The goal is for one of the prisoners to correctly identify which color hat they are wearing. They maynot remove the hats. The hats have been randomized so that there is either 1 red + 2 white or vice-versa. The prisoners must remain facing forward or else they will be executed. How will they survive? They also may not speak for any reason except to guess.

The student provided answer was:

If they can walk, then they can switch positions. The one that sees two red/white hats know they must be wearing the other hat.

That make sense to QB..do you have any other possible solutions? Very intriguing. Also intriguing is this final riddle, which QB has thought and thought on, but still has no answer for…

I am black as night
Then I am red and bright
Then I am grey and bright
Who am I?
Can you get it right?

If you can figure it out, please share your wisdom with QB in the comment section. And if you can come up with further riddles and ridiculous (though very interesting) questions, remember to get them to QB via the QB online form. From the QB page you can also browse other questions and QB’s lovingly researched answers. Another option is to visit QB in the lower level of the UGL and read answers there. …Please. Follow cousin Whiteboard down here. QB is so lonely.

Thanks to special guest blogger Question Board!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

SAAM at UIUC

April is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States. The Women’s Resource Center on campus has been having events all month, with more still to come in the next week. Read on to find out how to participate, and how the library can help you learn more about understanding and preventing sexual violence.

A teal ribbon is one symbol of the campaign against sexual assault.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia user MesserWoland

The official Women’s Resource Center SAAM site has a listing of all the events that have happened so far, and the ones still to come. Upcoming events for this week include a Take Back the Night march and a Denim Day display on the quad. You can find a full listing of events on the WRC page.Both Take Back the Night and Denim Day are nation-wide events with their own websites, where you can learn about their history and (if you’re off-campus) possibly find an event near to you.

Whether your on-campus or off, many of the events and campaigns held during Sexual Assault Awareness Month have as their end goal of educating people about the problems of sexual assault. If you’ve been educated about an issue, such as sexual assault, you’re better prepared to put an end to it, or improve it. If you’re unable to attend any of these events, the library, as a place concerned with the sharing of knowledge, can help you educate yourself and become a better ally to those who need your help. There’s a subject guide on rape and sexual assault that can help you find books and articles on those subjects and further your knowledge. Here’s another guide about sexual harassment, which is a related topic you can educate yourself about and help prevent. Searching in the catalog for subjects like “Rape Prevention” can also bring up informative and helpful books, such as Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.

If you want help researching sexual assault, you can ask a librarian for help. If you need personal help coping with sexual assault, the Women’s Resource Center has lists of campus and community resources that you can look to for assistance. No matter what you need, somone can help you find it.

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Ideas for Improvement

You may have noticed that there’s a survey going on in the library – there are table tents, flyers, and images on the digital displays (those TVs that hang from the walls everywhere) telling you to take the survey and share your opinions with us. Why should you?

A puppy implores you to win a $50 gift card.

The puppy wants you to share, and the puppy wants you to win.

Improving Library Services

One reason you should take the library survey is so that we know what’s working for you and what isn’t. If the answers we receive on the survey tell us that something we’re doing is helpful to most people, we can make sure we keep providing that service successfully. If the answers we receive tell us that something needs to be fixed or improved, we can work on making it better based on what you tell us. There are lots of other ways you can share your opinions with us – like this feedback form, or messaging us on Twitter – but if you use this survey, we can have everyone’s answers to standardized questions in one place, and that makes it easier to make decisions!

Union Bookstore Gift Card

The other reason you should take the survey is that your participation puts you in the running for a $50 Union Bookstore gift card. Fifty whole dollars! What can you buy with $50? That will get you:

Or anything else you can think of that’s available in the Union Bookstore (maybe a textbook for next semester?).

All your library and sweatpants dreams can come true, but you have to take the survey to get there. We appreciate everyone who takes the time to share their opinions and we look forward to seeing what you have to say.

 

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Mom Movies

This weekend (April 4-6) is Mom’s Weekend! Are you ready for all moms, all the time? Here’s a round-up of official Mom’s Weekend resources, as well as some mom-themed movies you can watch in your downtime, whether your mom is visiting this weekend or not.

Keep calm and have fun with mom.

The UGL can help!

Your first stop in Mom’s Weekend planning should be consulting the official Mom’s Weekend site. It’ll give you an overview of what’s happening, so you can get an idea of what kind of events you want to attend. When it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and plan your agenda, the Mom’s Weekend calendar will provide you with more details about times, locations, and prices. It has every single campus event you and your mom could possibly dream of.

Those will give you all the basic information you need. For extra credit, you can dig into the Daily Illini’s Mom’s Weekend Guide, for interviews and background on the scheduled events (as well as potential alternative plans). You can also find more information about the U of I Mom’s Association, who help plan and coordinate Mom’s Weekend, on their new official site.

The events that are lined up will be a lot of fun, but your mom (and you!) will probably want to rest at some point. For when you’re just hanging out, here are some movies and shows about moms that you can watch together. And if you don’t have a mom visiting you this weekend, grab a friend’s mom. They like to watch movies, too.

Gilmore Girls Seasons 1-7 starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel
Brave starring Emma Thompson and Kelly MacDonald
The Namesake starring Tabu and Kal Penn
Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacClaine and Debra Winger
Mommy Dearest starring Faye Dunaway
Stepmom starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts
The Waterboy starring Adam Sandler and Kathy Bates
Freaky Friday starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan

What’s your favorite mom movie to watch? By that we mean your favorite movie to watch with mom, or your favorite movie with a mom in it. Let us know in the comments, and have a good weekend!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

An Excuse to Play with Your Food

It’s no joke – the annual Edible Book Festival is happening again on April 1st. This is your chance to show your creativity in culinary codex* crafting – read on to find out how.

A huge brownie decorated to resemble a book cover.

A tasty rendition of an Encyclopedia Brown(ie) book by Christine Jenkins

The Edible Book Festival is a worldwide celebration that brings food and books together. It’s observed every year on or around the April 1st birthday of famed French food philosopher/ writer Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. He made books out of food by writing about food, and the Edible Book Festival puts a twist on this: participants make books out of real, actual food. That’s why they’re called “edible!” Books made for the festival can be inspired by books, or resemble a book physically by having text or pages.

If you’re wondering what kind of creations people make for this festival, you can look at the UIUC Library’s gallery of festival entries from past years. The UIUC Library has held an Edible Book Festival event every year since 2006, and their galleries are full of artfully created reproductions, re-imaginings, and puns on popular books. After the galleries inspire you to participate in this year’s festival (which they undoubtedly will), use this online form to register and bring your skills to the table. A panel of judges will determine winners in many different categories, and you might win a prize!

If you don’t have time to register for the festival, you can still bring an entry; preregistration just helps the library plan the event. And if you don’t have time to make an edible book this year, all Champaign-Urbana folks are welcome to participate by admiring and eating the books that do get made!

The details of this year’s events:

Schedule for the Edible Book Festival on Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • 8-10 am - Participants drop off edible entries at the University YMCA (located at 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign)
  • 10-11:30 am – Judging and photography
  • 11:30 am – Public viewing begins
  • 12:15 pm – Welcome and judges’ commentary
  • 12:45 pm – Eating of books!
Cookies shaped and decorated to resemble illustrations from a children's book

Mary Dubb’s ‘Extra Yarn’ illustration cookies

More details of the UIUC festival can be found on the official UIUC festival website.  There’s also a Facebook page, for more inspiration and updates. We can’t wait to see what you make!

*A codex is a specific form that a book can take. Librarians use a lot of different words for books. It’s kind of our thing.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit

Spotlight On…CQ Researcher

You’ve got a paper coming up, and you don’t have a topic yet. The paper has to be about a current issue that’s controversial, or maybe you have to debate the pros and cons of something – but there are so many issues in the world! How do you know what to choose and where to start? If you come to the UGL’s website, we have a resource that can help you solve all these problems. It’s called CQ Researcher.

What and where is CQ Researcher?

CQ Researcher is one of the many databases that the library provides for you to use. It’s a little different from other databases you may have used, because it’s designed to make it easy for you to browse articles by topic. The topics that articles in CQ Researcher cover range from education issues (like homeschooling) to disputes over international law (like the ethics of war), but all have been topics of intense discussion and debate in the recent past or present.

To get to CQ Researcher, start at the UGL homepage and click the Find Articles button that you see under the Easy Search box. That will take you to the Find Articles guide, where we list some of our databases by type. CQ Researcher is a general database, so you can find a link to it in the first section that’s labelled “Starting Points (Multi-Subject Databases).”

CQ Researcher should be the third database listed under Starting Points.

What can I find in CQ Researcher?

Every topic covered in CQ Researcher will be explained in a report – a long article that provides an overview of the topic,  including background information, current controversies or problems, and potential outcomes. An editorial piece from each side of the argument – a “pro” and a “con” position – are also provided by an expert on the topic. Other helpful features include timelines of major events, and lists of suggested sources for further research. This information could be used to help you figure out what specific aspects of a general topic you’re most interested in, where you should look for more information, or how a specific issue fits into a larger issue or trend.

You can navigate through the different kinds of information provided using the menu on the left side, or explore related issues using the Issue Tracker menu on the right.

How can I use CQ Researcher?

If you already have an idea of what you’re interested in, the main page of CQ Researcher has a search feature in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. If you don’t have an idea yet, don’t worry – it also has options to browse through information by what’s been added most recently, or by general area of interest (like the ‘education’ and ‘international law’ areas we mentioned above). As you browse or search, CQ Researcher will offer suggestions for related topic in a menu on the right-hand side of the screen.

The search box is in the top-right corner, and the Browse options are in the main navigation menu under the heading.

So, if you’re trying to find an interesting, contemporary debate to explore for an assignment, or you’ve already got one and need ideas for how to approach it, find your way to the UGL homepage and try CQ Researcher. There’s also that helpful Ask-A-Librarian chat box on the UGL page, so if you should get stuck, a librarian is only a click away! We’ll be happy to help you use this or any other library resource.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit