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!

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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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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.

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Warm up for Spring Break at the UGL

Hey UGL-ers! Here in Chambana, it’s finally starting to warm up. Which means there’s only one thing on our minds—spring break! Whether you’re staying in town to catch up on sleep or packing for an exotic adventure, the UGL has all the resources you need to make this spring break the best yet.

Cover of Foder's Los Cabos guidebook

Where can you snorkel in Los Cabos? Find out here!

If you’re heading out of town for spring break this year, check out the UGL’s collection of travel guides to read up on your favorite destination. Where is the best place to hike in Wisconsin? Which towns in Spain are must-sees? Where can you snorkel in Los Cabos? All your travel questions can be answered in these handy guidebooks.

Traveling out of the country? Learn a few phrases or brush up on your conversation skills in hundreds of languages for FREE using our Tell Me More language software. Take a look at our previous blog post to learn how to use this great resource.

Cover of The Globetrotter Diaries

Get inspired for an adventure of your own.

If your spring break plans look a lot like your pillow, the UGL can bring out your inner hitchhiker while you catch some Z’s right here at home. Check out our Pinterest board that highlights a few of our favorite books about travel writing and photography, as well as the guidebooks we mentioned above.

The Hobbit DVD cover

“Not all who wander are lost.”

As always, the UGL’s collection of movies, TV shows, and audio books are ready to cure your travel bug from the comfort of your couch. Need a European adventure? Live vicariously through every James Bond film. Feeling wanderlust? Trek through Middle-earth with a Lord of the Rings marathon. Or, get pumped for the release of the next Captain America film with your Avenger pals. Stock up on all your favorites before break!

If you’re looking for a thrilling page-turner to pass some time over break, be on the lookout for our up-coming display “Road Trip with a Book.” We’ll surprise you with a great new read!

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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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Spotlight On…Film Resources

The 2014 Oscars have now been awarded, and whether you agree with the winners or not, the library has resources you can use to learn more about film history and theory, as well as find more movies to watch.

Researching Film History and Theory

  • Film Study Reference Guide – This research guide, put together by the Literature and Languages Library, is a one-stop shop for all film theory research needs. It has resources for finding film reviews, if you want to find out what critics said about those Oscar winners before they were winners, as well as lists of books that can serve as your introduction to the history and study of film.
  • Finding Article about Film in Databases – The Communications Library has put together a list of databases that contain articles pertaining to film history and criticism. Once you gotten a good introduction using the reference guide above, you can use these databases to find more specific articles about whatever film topic interests you.

Findings Movies to Watch

  • Finding Movies in the Library – Reading about movies is great, but reading reviews and articles won’t be helpful if you haven’t seen the movies themselves! The Undergraduate Library has a guide to help you find the movies you need in the library catalog.
  • Ideas for What to Watch – If you don’t know where to start, the UGL has Pinterest boards that collect our favorite horror movies, science fiction features, summer films, and movies based on books. Browsing the entire media collection by genre is tough, because it’s just not arranged that way, but here’s a tip: on the catalog search screen, change the first dropdown menu from “Keyword” to “Subject,” then try typing in what you’re looking for. You could try a genre, like “Horror films,” or a topic followed by the kind of  movie you want, like “High school students – Comedy.” It takes some practice, but soon you’ll be a master at finding great new movies.

What do you think about when you decide whether a movie is good or not? Let us know in the comments!

Need ideas for other great library resources? Find more in our Spotlight on… series here.

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Black History Month Resources

February, as you may know, is Black History Month. It’s a month-long celebration of African-American history in the United States. The UIUC libraries have lots of resources to help you learn about African-American history during this national observance, as well as the other 11 months of the year.

John Sharper, African-American soldier in the Union Army. Image courtesy of National Archives.

A good place to start for all things Black History Month is the official government site for the holiday. There you can find online exhibits and collections from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, and other national institutions. If you’d like to keep things closer to home, the University Archives also have research guides about African-American history on campus. The archives blog also has a post about Black Power movements at UIUC in the 1960s, and the Student Life and Culture Program has guides to integration and civil rights.

Research on African-American history in the library at large can be accomplished with help from the African American Research Center, an extensive collection of books and other sources about “ the Black experience in the Americas and worldwide outside of Africa.” There are also lots of research guides about Black history topics, including African-American literature and political activism.

The UGL has a Pinterest board featuring biographies of African-Americans from A-Z, if you’re looking for books about inspiring individuals. The National Archives also have a Pinterest board for Black History Month, so if you’re on Pinterest all day anyway, you can stay there and still learn about African-American History.

How have you celebrated Black history? Are there great book, movies, or online resources you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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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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Arch-I’ve Got Some Sources for You

Hey, do you know about the University Archives? Well, you should, because they can help you meet all your campus-related primary source needs, as well as give you a fascinating glimpse into what life as a student at UIUC has been like over the years.

black and white vintage image of students walking down main quad

The quad in ye olden days. (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

An archive is a collection of historical documents that documents the life or developments of a person or organization. The University Archives, as the name suggests, collects documents that contain information about the history and functions of UIUC, and people who have been associated with it in some way. A lot of them are primary sources – interviews, letters, and things like that. If you’re working on an assignment that requires primary sources, why not visit the archives website or contact an archivist to see what they can help you with? The archives also have a guide to primary sources in general, if you need to start with the basics.

A lot of the things kept in the archives relate to the running of the University and its general history, but a lot of it is also about students just like you! The Student Life and Culture Program is one part of the University Archives that highlights the student experience at UIUC (and the United States in general), and how it has changed over time (and how it’s stayed the same). Some of your assignments might require you to investigate an issue on campus; the SLC has research guides that can help you find information about the history of hot-button topics on campus. Maybe you’re interested in Greek life on campus, or the experiences of African-American students. Those are just a few things you can learn about using archival materials!

If this brief introduction has you curious about archives, feel free to search their website for things that you’re interested in. You can get a sampling of their collection on the UGL’s Facebook and Twitter pages – we’re highlighting fun and interesting things we find in the archives in weekly Throwback Thursday posts.

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UGL 101: New Sound Booth

Hey UGL-ers, it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room. And by elephant, we mean the huge metal structure that has taken over a corner of the lower level this past year. We would like to officially introduce you to the newest member of the Media Commons collection–the sound booth!

Sound booth on the lower level of the UGL

Large metal structure = professional quality sound booth.

Like the video production room on the upper level, the sound booth is a space for students, faculty, and staff to create high-quality digital media projects. Need an interview to complete a class project? Want to record your latest podcast? As a UIUC student, the sound booth is available to you! (QB looks forward to using the sound booth to record the answers to all your questions.)

In order to use the sound booth, you will need to contact the Media Commons at mediacommons@illinois.edu in advance to book a reservation. Whether you want to reserve time in the sound booth, ask advice on recording equipment, or just find out more information, the Media Commons staff is here to help! Don’t forget to check out our loanable technology page for any additional equipment you might need, from cameras to microphones or voice recorders.

Now, to answer one final question. We know all too well how difficult the doors at the UGL can be to open, not to mention fitting large pieces of unbending metal through. So, just how did the UGL manage to construct the sound booth in the lower lever?

Crane lowering a section of the sound booth into the UGL courtyard

The things we do for you!

That’s how.

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