UGL Gaming Expo 2015

Welcome back from Spring Break. We’re nearing the end of the semester and finals are just around the corner. To ease the pain, we will be hosting the Gaming Expo, right here at the UGL. On April 9th, from 6-9 PM (upper level, near the video gaming area), you will be able to play our vintage games from our vault, compete with your buddies with games from our collection, check out our Loanable Technology items, and enjoy a study break!

UGL Gaming Expo 2015.

UGL Gaming Expo 2015.

For those of you who are surprised, yes, we have a video game center and some great games from our collection. For all you Maria Kart fans out there, the UGL Media Collection has Double Dash, Super Circuit, Super Mario and much more. To those who are wondering, we do indeed have FIFA (2010, 2011, and so on).

Mario Kart. Photo courtesy of Mikey Lemoi via Flickr

Mario Kart. Photo courtesy of Mikey Lemoi via Flickr

Some of us aren’t daily gamers, but no worries, the UGL has something for everyone. Minecraft allows players to build and construct their own world. Final Fantasy for those of us who like role-playing games. Football season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing. Treat yourself to some Madden NFL.

Madden 09. Photo courtesy of Gamerscore Blog via Flickr

Madden 09. Photo courtesy of Gamerscore Blog via Flickr

We will also have some of our loanable technology out for display. If you have your own consoles and would like to play them in the comfort of your own dorm or apartment, we have what you’re looking for. Available for checkout at the UGL are the Nintendo 3DS XL handheld gaming consoles and the Wii U and PS4. The UGL isn’t all books, come by the expo to check out the items.

Nintendo 3DS XL. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Nintendo 3DS XL. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Last but not least, we will have our Nintendo 64, straight from our vault of vintage games and gaming consoles. Challenge your friends to an exciting game of Super Mario Kart. What are some of your favorite video games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Read.Watch.Play: The winners

Don’t let the cold weather get you down – February is an awesome time to curl up with a nice warm book, watch a movie with friends, or play a fun video game from the UGL collection.  And who better to recommend one than the winners of our READ.WATCH.PLAY contest from last Fall.

We promised to make then library-famous, and now we have. Please join us in congratulating the first three of our six winners – Grant Wilson, Liz Armstrong, and Maggie Wolfe, who can’t wait to share some of their favorites with you.  Check out their amazing choices below, photographed in our highly literary video production studio, and look for their posters on the upper level of the UGL.

First up, we have Liz Armstrong, who chose Pride and Prejudice, the movie (the Keira Knightley version).  With Valentine’s Day coming up, take a break to remind yourself how love can overcome any obstacle

Watch! with Liz Armstrong. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

Watch! with Liz Armstrong. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

Next, we have Grant Wilson who recommends “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman.  Set in a dystopian future, this science fiction novel brings you action, excitement, and plot twists framing a thoughtful discussion of a hugely-relevant social issue.

 

Read! with Grant Wilson. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

Read! with Grant Wilson. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library

 

And third, we have Ms. Maggie Wolfe, who shares a favorite of hers, “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare. Find inspiration in the words of the immortal bard, which still feel connect to the lives of college students today.  When things feel out of your hands, Maggie encourages us to think of Prospero, entreating “let your indulgences set me free.”

Read! with Maggie Wolfe. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library.

Read! with Maggie Wolfe. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library.

A photo shoot and your very own poster sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Be on the lookout for our next Read.Watch.Play contest, and start planning your own poster now.

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Welcome back UGL’ers!

It’s great to be back at UIUC, is it not? We’ve all missed our friends and our study sessions at the UGL. It’s a new year, and of course, a new semester. Most of you are familiar with the Undergraduate Library (spending those late nights working on a paper due the next day), but for those of you who are new, our library has a lot to offer you.

Undergraduate Library. Photo Courtesy of Kosheahan via Flickr Commons.

Undergraduate Library. Photo Courtesy of Kosheahan via Flickr Commons.

For research help, check out the Consultation Corner on the upper level. Here you will find a desk with librarians who will help you with your research needs. You will also find the Writers Workshop, if you need help with writing an essay and the Partners Desk.

We have a loanable technology desk, right around the corner of the circulation desk (located on the upper level). Loanable technology such as laptops, iPhone chargers, cameras, sound recorders, and much more, are available for checkout. So, if you need some equipment for a class project, or want to work on your photography skills, come to the loanable technology desk!

The Undergraduate Library has two levels, the upper level and the lower level. The upper level is where the circulation desk is located, as well as computers and the printing stations. This is also the level that has study group rooms. If you have a group project and need a space, be sure to make your reservation on DIBS.

The lower level is the quiet level, so if you need a space where you need silence, the lower level is where it’s at. This level also has our media collection. Be sure to check out our DVD selection, music, and books on CD.

We have a lot to offer, so if you have any questions, ask! We’re here to help you succeed. What are you looking forward to the most this semester? Leave a comment below.

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Winter Break Hours

They’re done, finals are done. This, of course, means you’re free to relax and spend your winter break as you see fit. We would like to remind you that the UGL is open for some of winter break. Come on in and get some DVD’s to keep you entertained or check out a book to keep you busy.

Have a great winter! Photo courtesy of Rachel Kramer via Flickr Media Commons

Have a great winter! Photo courtesy of Rachel Kramer via Flickr Media Commons

The hours from December 20th-January 18th are:

-From Monday to Friday, we are open 8:30AM-5PM.

-We are closed December 24th-January 4th (2015!)

-From then, the hours are as above, 8:30AM-5PM.

From the UGL, we wish you the best holiday wishes for you and your family and a great New Years.

 

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It’s that time of year again, Therapy Dogs!

Studying for finals is in full swing and we’re all stressed out about having all of our projects due at the same time. Have no fear, the UGL (and a couple of other libraries) are here for you. That’s right folks, it’s time for our famous therapy dogs. Therapy dogs will be at the UGL, Grainger and ACES. The schedule is below:

Thursday, December 11th at the UGL: 2-4 PM. Lilly, Atlas, and Dot will be ready for all your cuddling needs.

Friday, December 12th at Grainger: 2-4 PM. Lilly and Atlas will be there to have their tummies rubbed.

Tuesday, December 16th at ACES: 2-4 PM. Raven, Jeannie, Fitz, Hercules, and Dot will be  ready to have everyone pet them.

Now, let’s meet some of the cuties who will be at the libraries.

First, we have Jeannie.  She is a Bichon Frise who is only 3 years old. Jeannie is a great companion dog and her cottony hair is perfect for petting. Her likes include looking for squirrels, napping under the bed, and visiting nursing homes, libraries, and hospital patients.

Jeannie

 

Next, we have Lilly. She’s an adorable 5 year old Goldendoodle. Her many talents include being a registered therapy dog and a certified Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ). Her likes include caring for people of all ages, snuggling, and listening to a good book.

Lilly

We also have 3 and a half year old Hercules and  4 year old Fitz. Fitz is a visla/chocolate lab mix, while Hercules is a boxer/Boston terrier/American Staffordshire terrier (try saying that 5 times). Their hobbies include wrestling, chasing each other, and taking naps on the couch. They are here to help you get through finals week, so come say hi!

Hercules and Fitz

Last, but certainly not least, we have Dot. She is a 6 year old Brittany. Like most dogs, she enjoys doing agility obstacles and watching the birds, while relaxing in the backyard. Dot is gentle and her tail is always wagging. Here’s a tip, when you see Dot, ask about her favorite tricks, she’ll show you.

Dot

We’ll have more therapy dogs at the different libraries, so be sure to get there early! Do you have a pet? Share with us in the comments below!

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The UGL Presents: Holiday Recipes

UGL’ers, Fall break is almost here, which means finals are almost here…which means Winter break is almost here! It’s that time of year where our families make an obscene amount of food that is sure to last them a whole month. Well, to add to your food choices, the UGL has asked their staff members to share their own favorite holiday recipes, complete with photos of their yummy treats.

Jen’s recipe is for some low-fat pumpkin muffins. All you need is 1 15 oz can of pumpkin and 1 box of cake mix, which can be any flavor, but of course, spice and carrot are great for the fall.

Then, mix the ingredients together and bake in papers or a greased muffin tin for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees. To add some more flavor, be sure to add dark chocolate chips to the mix or sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the muffins when they ready.

Pumpkin Muffins. Photo courtesy of Amy Gizienski via Flickr Commons

Pumpkin Muffins. Photo courtesy of Amy Gizienski via Flickr Commons

Thomas’ favorite recipe are mince pies. It’s a Christmas classic that is sure to please all your guests at the party. You need 12oz of mincemeat, 7 oz of plain flour (sifted), 1.5 oz of golden caster sugar, 2¾oz ground almonds, 4.5 oz of unsalted butter (diced), 1 egg, and milk (to glaze). For a preparation method, go to the recipe here.

Mince Pies. Photo courtesy of Vratsagirl via Flickr Commons

Mince Pies. Photo courtesy of Vratsagirl via Flickr Commons

Madeline had a great recipe for a Filipino Noodle Dish, called Pancit. The following ingredients will make 6 servings. All you need is 1 (12ox.) package of dried rice noodles (thin spaghetti noodles will also work). Follow the directions on the package to cook, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 1 onion (finely diced), 3 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 cups of diced cooked chicken breast meat, 4 carrots (thinly sliced), 1/4 cup of soy sauce, and 2 lemons (cut into wedges for garnish).

After you collect the ingredients, place the rice noodles in a large bowl, and cover with warm water. When soft, drain, and set aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in chicken, cabbage, carrots, and soy sauce. Cook until cabbage begins to soften. Toss in noodles, and cook until heated through, stirring constantly. Transfer the Pancit to a serving dish and garnish with quartered lemons. Enjoy!
Pancit. Photo courtesy of aJ Gazmen via Flickr Commons

Pancit. Photo courtesy of aJ Gazmen via Flickr Commons

 Ready for the ultimate dessert? How about Espresso Oreo Balls? With just a couple of ingredients and no baking time, they can be yours. You will need the following ingredients: 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 pkg. original Oreos, 1/3 c. espresso ground coffee beans (very finely ground coffee beans), and 1 pkg. White Almond bark. The directions are very simple, crush the Oreos, mix them together with cream cheese and ground coffee until combined well. Melt the Almond bark (you may need to add coconut oil or Crisco to get it thin enough to coat). Form Oreo mixture into balls, coat with Almond bark, and let set for 1 hr on wax paper or saran wrap. Enjoy this delicious treat.
Espresso Oreo Balls. Photo courtesy of Mark via Flickr Commons

Espresso Oreo Balls. Photo courtesy of Mark via Flickr Commons

Quetzalli’s favorite treat (but, might as well be a meal) is her turkey stuffing (well, her mom’s recipe). All you need is 1 bag of 1-inch cubed sourdough bread, 2 Italian sausages, carrots that have been cut into 1 inch pieces, 6 stalks of celery that have been sliced into 1 inch pieces, 2 apples that have been cut into small pieces, pecans (amount is up to you), salt, 1 onion that has been cut and sliced into small cubes, 8 cups of chicken stock, margarine, and any condiments that you might want to add.

Place the Italian sausage in a pan and keep the stove on medium until the sausage is golden and cooked. With a tiny bit of margarine, add all the vegetables, but one at a time. When added with the sausage, make to sure to mix for a couple of minutes, and then add more. The, add the fruit and the nuts. At the very end, add the bread and the chicken stock. Add whatever seasonings you would like. You can eat it like that or add it to the turkey.

Turkey Stuffing. Photo courtesy of betty rocker via Flickr Commons

Turkey Stuffing. Photo courtesy of betty rocker via Flickr Commons

For other great ideas, be sure to checkout the holiday recipe cookbooks that the library has to offer. Be sure to also check out our Pinterest board for some new food treats for the holidays. What are your favorite holiday recipes? Share them with us in the comments below.

 

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ACM GameBuilders Event at UGL

The University of Illinois has a wide range of organizations and clubs that allow students to nurture their talents and explore their interests. One of these groups, Gamebuilders from the University of Illinois chapter of the Association of Computer Machinery, will be showcasing their work Tuesday November 11th, from 7 to 9 PM in the UGL. The event will take place in the gaming area of the Media Commons. Students from ACM Gamebuilders will be on hand at the event to demonstrate over 25 games that they have created. It should be an informative and a fun look into the art and craftsmanship that went into producing these games. If you’re not able to make it to the event, you can still check out the groups work, as the UGL will have a computer running the games until the end of the semester.

GameBuilders focuses on creating and developing computer video games. This involves a wide range of activities and processes, including programming, visual asset creation, sound and music authoring, as well as game design. The group also provides education on game development and mentoring for interested students who are new to game development. If you’re interested, GameBuilders meets every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8 in Room 3403 of the Siebel Center.

 

The following are some of the games that students from GameBuilders have created.

 Flagfight

 

Flagfight is a capture the flag game created by Luke Puchner-Hardman and Ryan Norby for the 2013 Global Student Game Developer Competition.

 

Cat-astrophe

 

A turn-based tower defense game created by Luke Puchner-Hardman for the Fall 2013 Gamebuild-a-Thon.

 

Dystheism 

 

This game is a 3D block-based puzzle game that features a number of abilities used to solve puzzles (ex: breaking blocks, throwing fireballs). Created by Jack LaSota.

 

Mineralz

 

Mineralz is a 3D tower defense game where you control a robotic dragon that is tasked with defending a crater against a horde of robotic enemies. Created by Ryan Norby, Luke Puchner-Hardman, Eric Christianson, Danny Sapato, and Rafael Rego Drumond.

 

If reading about these student-created games whetted your appetite for gaming, you’re in luck! The UGL has a large collection of modern videogames (including Xbox One and Playstation 4 titles), which can be either used in the UGL at the gaming center or checked out to play at home.The UGL also has a vintage gaming collection that is being preserved for classroom instruction and research use. We’re always adding new titles to our collection, so be sure to keep an eye out for new releases and old favorites.

What are your favorite independently developed games? Any favorite games of 2014 so far? Let us know in the comments.

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It’s On Us

The leaves are orange, and like typical Illinois, the weather is all over the place. We are halfway through the semester and we are all busy with tests and projects. Take a small break and find out what’s going on around campus. What is the It’s On Us campaign? It is a national campaign to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. President Obama and the White House have launched the campaign that will encourage people from all over the national to put a stop to sexual assault on college campuses.

Photo courtesy of Paul S. Via Flickr Commons

Photo courtesy of Paul S. Via Flickr Commons

While it may have started as a nation wide campaign, the University of Illinois Student Senate has launched the campaign right here in our college campus. In partnership with other University group and the Women’s Resource Center.

Kickoff for the campaign begins November 3th. The Student Senate has already gathered about 275 signatures from students.

So, what is the pledge?

-To recognize that non-consentual sex is sexual assault
-To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur
-To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given
-To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported

If you would like to sign the pledge, be sure to check out the official page of It’s On Us.

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Classic Horror Stories Readers’ Advisory

Halloween season is here! Although there are many things to enjoy about the holiday (dressing up in silly costumes, eating tons of candy, the return of the NBA, etc.),a favorite part of Halloween is the tradition of reading scary stories. You can be scared witless by a story at any time of the year, but around this time feels just right to curl up with a scary book as the leaves are beginning to turn.

 

Horror fiction has a long, rich history. Many modern horror novels and films are influenced by the classic horror stories of yesteryear. The following reader’s advisory are horror stories and novels whose frights have withstood the test of time.

 

The Raven: Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

 Arguably the father of the horror short story, Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most notable writers in the horror/suspense genre. Poe is perhaps best known for his poem, “The Raven,” but his short stories are where the true scares can be found. This collection includes the titular poem, as well as nail-biters like “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Masque of the Red Death.” Recommended if you like Gothic literature, detective stories, and mystery.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

 This 1895 collection of weird, supernatural short stories has experienced something of a renaissance this year. The cause behind this spike in interest is the HBO series “True Detective”, which heavily referenced Chambers’ work in its suspenseful first season (ex: The Yellow King, Carcosa, etc.). American horror master H.P. Lovecraft was also heavily influenced by this collection. Recommended if you like supernatural stories and/or if you’re a “True Detective” fan waiting for Season 2.

 

“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

 Published in 1898, this novella is a literary tale of psychology and the supernatural. Given its short length, this is a good choice if you’re looking for an evening of mystery. Like many of the best horror stories, this novella is still inspiring a debate over whether the ghosts in the tale are real or merely imagined. Recommended if you like psychological literature, ghost stories, and New Criticism.

Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft

 Despite not being widely recognized during his lifetime, H.P. Lovecraft is now one of the most celebrated authors of Horror and Weird Fiction. Although not all of his work falls into the horror genre, Lovecraft’s short stories and novellas have plenty of terrifying and eerie moments. This collection contains all of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu stories, including his most famous story, “The Call of Cthulhu,” as well as his legendary novella, “At the Mountains of Madness.” Recommended if you like terrifying creatures, complex mythologies, and artist H.R. Giger’s work on the Alien films.

 

The Shining by Stephen King

 One of Stephen King’s best works, The Shining is a quintessential haunted house (or hotel) story. Although Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation is excellent and quite scary at times, the book is way more terrifying. Set at a luxurious mountain hotel in Colorado, The Shining explores what happens when the Overlook Hotel closes for the winter and aspiring novelist Jack Torrance and his family stay on as caretakers. Recommended if you like supernatural terror, haunted houses, and being scared of bathtubs.

 

These five works merely scratch the surface of the scares that horror literature has to offer. What are your favorite scary stories or films? Tell us in the comments below. Happy haunting!

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READ WATCH PLAY: Get your face on a poster!

Ever look at your dorm room or apartment walls and wonder, “My decorations are alright, but a poster of myself would really spice this place up”? Well, it’s your lucky day! The UGL is excited to announce the READ, WATCH, PLAY Poster Contest. Yes, it is your golden opportunity to get YOUR FACE on a poster. You can hang it on the wall and show it off to friends, or you can hang it somewhere dark and scare your friends. It’s totally up to you because it will be all yours! So, here’s how it’s going down.

General Poster 1

1. You must be a current undergraduate student at the University of Illinois.

2. You must like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

3. You will then pick a book, movie, or video game that you want to pose with. Explain to us (just 2 or 3 sentences) why you chose that book, movie, or video game and why you think other undergrads would be interested in it.

4. What is your favorite service or space at the Undergraduate Library and why?

A print application will be available at the Circulation desk on the upper level of the UGL. An online application is available at here.

Once a winner is chosen, a “photo shoot” will take place at the video production studio in the UGL. Be ready to reveal your inner supermodel. Once the photos are done, the poster will be printed out and displayed at our wonderful library through spring. An extra poster will be printed out for you to keep!

 

 

 

 

 

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