UGL 101: Welcome Back!

Welcome back to campus! Whether it’s your first time visiting the Undergraduate Library or you consider the UGL your second home, we’re glad to have you here. We know this is a busy time for students, so to help ease the stress of a new school year, we’re putting together some helpful UGL information to get you started on the right foot.

Photo courtesy of UGL Flickr

Photo courtesy of UGL Flickr

The UGL will have some abbreviated hours during the first two weeks of school before returning to the normal hours. Here is a breakdown of the following two weeks:

Monday 8/23 through Thursday 8/27: 8:00am to 12:00am
Friday 8/28: 8:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday 8/29: 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 8/30: 10:00am to 12:00am
Monday 8/31 through Thursday 9/3: 8:00am to 12:00am
Friday 9/1: 10:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday 9/2: 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 9/3: 10:00am to 12:00am
Monday 9/4 (Labor Day): Closed

The library will open back up at 8:00am on Tuesday, September 5, and the UGL’s regular 24 hour (Monday through Friday) schedule will resume.

For more information on library hours, check out the library homepage: http://www.library.illinois.edu/

Upper Level of the UGL. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Upper Level of the UGL. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

The UGL has a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for a place to meet for a group project, need some help getting started with research, a space to play video games, or want to check out a GoPro to document your bike ride through campus, our Upper Level is the place to go. The Lower Level of the UGL is perfect for studying quietly, discovering a new graphic novel, or finding a video game or television series to check out.

Media Commons. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Media Commons. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

The Media Commons, located on the north and east side of the upper level of the Undergraduate Library, provides students with the opportunity to experiment with emerging technologies. The Media Commons offers students a chance to create and use digital media. With an audio booth, green screen room, editing software, and loanable technology at your fingertips, you’ll be able to create nearly anything.

Learn more about the Media Commons here: http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/mc/index.html

What’s your favorite part of the UGL? Tweet at us at @askundergrad and let us know!

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New Science Fiction Books at the UGL

Are you a fan of space travel? Do you crave futuristic storylines? Are you interested in reading about science, technology, and parallel universes? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, you’re in luck. The UGL has recently added several new science fiction works to its collection. Whether you’re looking for a standalone cyberpunk novel, or a space opera series, the UGL has you covered.

Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun

 

Olukotun’s debut novel is equal parts action and history. Nigerians in Space, which is primarily set in Cape Town, combines African politics, culture, and thrilling adventure. This afrofuturist science fiction novel is a great choice for readers that want a little bit of everything.

 

The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle

The Atlantis Gene is the first novel in the Origin Mystery Trilogy. Riddle’s novel takes place at the start of the next human evolution. This novel takes both the past and future of humans into consideration with great detail. The Atlantis Gene is a great choice for anyone who is looking to be immersed in incredible detail and a fast-paced plot.

 

The Bohr Maker by Linda Nagata

Nagata’s Locus award winning novel blends cyberpunk and hard science fiction to tell a story about nanotechnology, privilege, and strong female characters. The Bohr Maker is the first book in the Nanotech Succession, a collection of standalone novels. Readers looking to think deeply about what it means to be human should consider checking this book out.

 

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

Trading in Danger is the first of five novels in the Vatta’s War space opera series. Kylara Vatta, the novel’s heroine, forgoes tradition and chooses to join the military rather than pursue a career in her family’s business. Things don’t quite go as planned and soon Ky’s easy journey as a ship captain turns into an adventure filled with interplanetary rebellion and exciting space battles. This book is great for readers that are looking to become immersed in an action-packed series about military strategy and brilliant characters.

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

Tau Zero is a hard science fiction novel that fuses emotion with technology. Anderson’s novel follows the crew of a starship as they embark on a journey to reach a distant star system. With in-depth scientific explanations of how time, relativity, and the cosmos work, this novel is a great read for hardcore science enthusiasts.

What are your favorite science fiction novels? Let us know in the comments!

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Summer in the UGL

You did it! Finals are over and summertime (well, almost)  in the UGL has started. For those of you who in town or who are taking classes, the UGL will be open. Come on in and check out some DVD’s or video games. If you need a space to study, you’re in luck, the UGL has various spots where you can relax or do homework.

Summertime in the UGL. Photo courtesy of Alain via Flickr Media Commons

Summertime in the UGL. Photo courtesy of Alain via Flickr Media Commons

The hours will be the following:

Monday-Thursday: 8:30 AM- 6:00 PM

Friday: 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM

Saturday: 1-5 PM

Sunday: Closed

We will be closed May 24th and 25th. There are a couple of days where the UGL is closed, so if you have any questions, feel free to check the hours on the library gateway page. Have a great summer and be on the lookout for our summertime reader’s advisory blogs and other fun stuff!

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De-Stress Fest! Therapy Dogs, Chair Yoga, and a special guest

The Spring semester is almost to an end and finals are near. Take a break and refresh with therapy dogs at the UGL, Grainger, and Funk ACES libraries. And check out the UGL’s first-ever De-Stress Fest, featuring yoga, coloring books, McKinley Stress Management Peers, and the UIUC Counseling Center. For the grand finale, Uggles the UGL Cat (weather permitting) will be outside of the UGL for a meet-and-greet!

Join us for the de-stress fest!

Join us for the de-stress fest!

The Therapy Dog Schedule is:

May 7th ACES:

Jeannie 2-4 PM
Fitz 2-4 PM
Wyatt the Cat 2-4pm

May 11th Grainger:
Sam 2-4 PM
Lilly 2-4 PM
Atlas 2-3 PM

May 12th UGL:
Raven 2-4 PM
Twiggy 3-4 PM
Atlas 2-3 PM

The De-Stress Fest will include Chair Yoga sessions provided by Christine Janak (http://www.christinejanak.com/). Two sessions will take place at 2:15 to 2:45 and 3:00-3:30. The UIUC Counseling Center will also be at the UGL providing information on campus de-stress resources, as well as the McKinley Stress Management Peers.

There will also be a scheduled meet and greet with Uggles the UGL Cat on Tuesday May 12th on the plaza level outside the UGL (weather permitting). Take this opportunity to take a selfie with #Uggles.

Now – let’s meet some of our certified therapy animals, provided courtesy of the CU Canine Connection and CU Registered Therapy Animals (https://cucanineconnection.wordpress.com/).

 Lilly

Rub Lilly's tummy!

Rub Lilly’s tummy!

This cutie will be at Grainger on May 11th. She is a Goldendoodle with many talents. They include being a registered therapy dog and a certified Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ). Like many dogs, her likes include snuggling, playing with humans, and listening to a good book.

 Hercules and Fitz

Hercules and Fitz

Hercules and Fitz

We also have Hercules and sibling, Fitz. Fitz is a visla/chocolate lab mix, while Hercules is a boxer/Boston terrier/American Staffordshire terrier.They both enjoy chasing each other and squirrels, taking naps, and being cuddled. They will be at ACES on May 7th, so come say hi!

 Raven

Raven, on the left

Raven, on the left

Raven is a Standard Poodle.She does most of her therapy work at libraries  and loves people from all ages. In order to relax, Raven likes to play fetch with Frisbees and tennis balls. She will be at the UGL on May 12th.

Sam

Sam. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Sam in all his glory. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Sam is an adorable and fuzzy Alaskan Malamute. He is great company and enjoys when people pet him. Like everyone, he is not a fan of finals but is very happy to be at UIUC to relieve peoples stress. Sam will be at Grainger on May 11th. Come on by and take a picture with him!

Wyatt

Wyatt the Cat. Photo courtesy of Lori Kistler

Wyatt the Cat. Photo courtesy of Lori Kistler

Wyatt is a “puppy cat.” What does this mean? He loves people petting him and how good of a boy he is, He is 6 years old and has been a certified therapy cat for 2 years, His likes includes getting petted by humans and eating junk food. Wyatt will be at ACES on May 7th.

Remember, these are just a couple of dogs (and cats) that will be here during finals week. Mark them on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you all there.

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Treebeard: Origins

It was the dawn of the Fourth Age of Middle Earth. In the long and horrific war for the Ring, the forests of Middle Earth suffered great losses at the hands of Saruman and the orcs of Sauron. Treebeard and his fellow Ents slowly rebuilt the forests, though their work was long and arduous. Under the blessing of Aragorn, the forests regained their strength and the tower of Saruman was overrun with new forests: the Watchwood. Treebeard was proud of his kinsmen and was pleased to see peace being restored to Middle Earth. The other Ents were quite pleased as well, and most buried their roots to return to life as it was before the war.

 

Courtyard Tree, now also known by its nickname, Treebeard. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Courtyard Tree, now also known by its nickname, Treebeard. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Treebeard, however, found that he was not ready to plant his roots in one place. He knew that the gift of wisdom would be wasted if he stayed. Although he regretted parting from his fellow Ents, Treebeard set out on an adventure of his own, in search of people to aid and forests to rebuild. He traveled long and far from the Watchwood and with each day he encountered fewer of his kin. He grew lonely in these strange lands, and at times he considered returning to Watchwood. But he traveled on towards the northern most parts of Arnor, into a land that, to his knowledge, had not yet been traveled or mapped. He was utterly alone. Accompanied only by his desires to spread his wisdom.

 

For many years, Treebeard wandered through and beyond the Northern Waste. The beard on his face grew long and unkempt. The limbs of his branches began to bow as he grew weary. Just as he began to worry he would never find what he was seeking, he came upon a vast forest at the end of Middle Earth. He was overcome with happiness as the forest resembled the old home he left long ago. As he entered the forest, he was entranced by the familiar smells and sights of it. The soil beneath his roots felt rich and healthy. He saw tall, strong trees with vibrant colors and thick bark. The creatures of the forest lived happily within the dense branches and leaves. He was reminded of days long ago, when he had watched over the forests of Middle Earth. He was reminded, too, of the many travelers who sought wisdom and guidance among the Ents. Here, in this forest, although it was rich and healthy, he would find no travelers and his wisdom was not needed. The forest reminded him of his purpose and lifted his spirits. Although it is hard to say exactly what route he traveled along, for even he cannot recall, Treebeard found his way from Middle Earth to a strange land that natives called Illinois.

There in Illinois, he happened upon a building that was constructed underground like a hobbit hole. He saw a sign with strange letters which read “Undergraduate Library.” He was told that an Undergraduate Library was a place where knowledge was sought and gained. He was overjoyed to have discovered a place whose whole purpose was to store and dispense wisdom. Treebeard knew he had arrived at his destination, and so he planted his roots right in the middle of the courtyard. Here, the natives, which called themselves “undergrads”, could come to him for advice and guidance.

For more information on Treebeard, the Ents, or the rest of Tolkein’s Middle Earth look no further than the UGL. For Tolkein’s books about Middle Earth follow the link here. Don’t forget the resources in the UGL’s media collection. For the movies inspired by the books, check out our catalog.
Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings

Come visit Treebeard in all his glory. He is located in the courtyard on the lower level of the UGL.
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Name the UGL Courtyard Tree

It’s National Poetry Month! We were originally going to talk about the incredible selection of poetry we have available at the UGL, but another event has stolen our attention: April Absurdity! Although it is a shame that we can’t point readers to great works such as current Poet Laureate Charles Wright’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner Black Zodiac, your chance to give the UGL courtyard tree a nickname is too important.

UGL April Absurdity 2015

April is an exciting month at the University of Illinois, as temperatures rise and students are able to enjoy time outside. We won’t suggest reading Wendell Berry’s The Broken Ground, even though it would be a great way to celebrate nature and the good weather we have been getting, so instead we hope that you will participate in naming the tree that gives students a glimpse of life while studying underground at the UGL. Names for the tree will be accepted between April 6 and April 13 and they can be suggested by online survey, on the whiteboard near the UGL Circulation Desk located on the Upper Level, and through Facebook and Twitter.

Student studying in UGL courtyard in 1969, photo taken from University Archives (http://ow.ly/LefGX)

During the week of April 13 through April 20, students will be able to vote for their favorite name at the UGL Circulation Desk and through the UGL’s social media. The whiteboard next to the Circulation Desk will be updated with brackets to show the progress of the names. If we didn’t have to tell you that the final name would be announced on Arbor Day (which is April 24) we could highlight some of our other books of poetry, such as Sharon Olds’s Stag’s Leap, or even a classic work like Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Collected Poems and Translations.

UGL Courtyard Tree, courtesy of Media Commons

National Poetry Month is such an exciting time at the UGL, which is why it is so upsetting that we can’t mention our books like Lucille Clifton’s Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, or Adrienne Rich’s The School Among the Ruins. (See what we did there?) If you need inspiration to come up with tree names, be sure to check out Americans’ Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology.

Americans’ Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology

Stay up to date with April Absurdity and do your part in helping name the UGL courtyard tree!

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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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UGL Spring Break Hours

Happy Spring Break! We hope that you have a fun, productive, and safe break. For those of you who will be in Champaign-Urbana, the UGL will have different hours this week. Also, sometime during spring break, part of the plaza level stairs will be closed. There will be signage direction patrons to use the elevators.

Bell Tower from the Plaza. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Bell Tower from the Plaza. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Friday, March 20th: The UGL will close early, at 7 PM.

Saturday, March 21st and March 22nd: The UGL will be closed

March 23th-March 27th: The UGL will open at 8:30 AM and close at 5 PM

Saturday, March 28th: The UGL will be closed

Sunday, March 29th: The UGL will open at 1 PM and resume their regular hours.

Have a great break!

 

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Spring Break: Your Reader’s Advisory

In just one week, you will be able to enjoy the time known as Spring Break. Most of us are going home, traveling to exciting places, volunteering, or staying around Champaign-Urbana. We will use this time to catch up on projects, papers, and homework. Remember that it is a break and it’s important to take a couple of hours to do fun activities or take the time to learn new recipes or hobbies. Prepare yourself for our Spring Break Advisory!

If you’re thinking of taking up a new hobby, gardening might be the hobby for you. The weather is nice and it is almost time to plant new flowers or vegetables.

The Mix and Match Guide to Companion Planting

The Mix and Match Guide to Companion Planting by Josie Jeffery

If you are interested in planting vegetables, this is a helpful resource. You will be able to plant a healthy and happy garden. For those who are unfamiliar with gardening, “The Mix and Match Guide to Companion Planting” is a great book that will guide you step-by-step!

Fresh From the Farm by Susie Middleton

Fresh From the Farm by Susie Middleton

Take Spring Break as an opportunity to learn new recipes. “Fresh from the Farm” by Susie Middleton provides great opportunities for new cooking skills. It includes 125 seasonal recipes, so for this Spring, bring your cooking tools and get ready to learn some skills that will impress your friends and family members.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

With the season premiere of Game of Thrones coming soon, it is only obvious what should be done over spring break. Binge watch the whole series. You heard it right, it may be possible for you to watch all 4 seasons, before the 5th season premieres in April. In order to take full charge of this task, you will need to get that studying done within the first 3 days of Spring Break. After you are all done, you will be ready to watch the series in peace. For those of you who want to read the book series before starting the television series, don’t worry, we got you covered. For the television series, click here. For the books, check out what is available.

The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann

The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann

“The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing” by James Hoffmann is a great way to pick up a new hobby–coffee brewing. While it may seem like a simple process, there are various ways that coffee is brewed and prepared around the world. From ground coffee to espresso, immerse yourself in the world of coffee.

Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties by Kevin Gascoyne

Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties by Kevin Gascoyne

For those of you who do not like coffee, the art of preparing tea is an interesting one. It is the world’s second most popular beverage, so what are you waiting for? With “Tea: History, terroirs, varieties” by Kevin Gascoyne will give you information on tea history, tea families, tea ceremonies, and much more.

What are you doing for Spring Break? Any fun plans? 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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