Independence Weekend Events

Independence Day is this weekend and, so long as aliens don’t invade the planet like in the ’96 classic film, CU and Champaign County is going to be the place to be for the holiday weekend. Whether you like to bright lights of fireworks or you want to indulge in some great local eats, we think we’ve found the perfect options for your July 4th weekend.

Photo courtesy of Alice via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Alice via Flickr Media Commons

Local Flavors Dinner at Milo’s Restaurant– July 2
Presented by the Illinois Steward Alliance, the Local Flavors series gives you the chance to try some of Central Illinois’ finest restaurants as they serve seasonal items using strictly local ingredients from local farmers. Milo’s is a self-described “Nuevo American” restaurant that will prepare an amazing dinner to kick off your weekend.
http://www.ilstewards.org/local-flavors-2015/

Photo courtesy of Chloe via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Chloe via Flickr Media Commons

Folk and Roots Friday Concert – July 3 from 12-1 pm
After having dinner at Milo’s, pack a healthy lunch and head over to the Lake House in Crystal Lake Park for a lunchtime concert, presented by Urbana Parks District. The concert is free and there’s a raffle as well as specials on boating if you have the day off and can bring the family!
http://www.urbanaparks.org/events/folk-and-roots-friday-concert-Jul/

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of USAG- Humphreys via Flickr Media Commons

Rantoul Freedom Celebration– July 3 from 5:30 – 11 pm
After you enjoy the music and lunch, the Rantoul National Aviation Center will be the place to be for an early celebration of our country’s independence. There’s a little bit of everything going on, including a 5K, a museum open house, paintball, and many other exciting events. A lot of fun to be had for only a half an hour drive north.
http://www.chambanamoms.com/events/rantoul-freedom-celebration/

Photo courtesy of Matthew via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of Matthew via Flickr Media Commons

Champaign County Freedom Celebration Parade – July 4 at 11:05 am
After sleeping in to celebrate your own independence and after a fun night in Rantoul, head down to Lincoln or Florida Ave to catch the most American of celebrations: the parade. Expect many of the traditional parade fare such as marching bands, performers of various kinds, and veterans and firemen. Slap on some sunblock and spend your 4th outside in the sun.
http://www.july4th.net/parade

Photo courtesy of bayasaa via Flickr Media Commons

Photo courtesy of bayasaa via Flickr Media Commons

Champaign County Freedom Celebration Evening Program – July 4 at 7 pm
After the parade, head over to Kirby Ave between First and Oak Streets for the entertainment and fireworks display. Bounce houses and inflatables will be set up for the kids, music for everyone, and the grand fireworks presentation from Melrose Pyrotechnics. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
http://www.july4th.net/evening-program

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Summer Music Festivals

Knebworth_Fair_1976_-_The_Rolling_Stones_-_Geograph-3536179-by-Richard-Humphrey

The Rolling Stones at the 1976 Knebworth Festival. Photo by Richard Humphrey.

The music festival season is once again in full swing! Every summer brings seemingly more and more options for concert fans to choose from. Festivals can be a great way to experience a wide variety of musical acts from the superstar headliners to lesser-known local groups. Many music festivals have been expanding their offerings to include literature readings, art displays, and massive record and merchandise tents. Recent years have also seen festivals focus further on partnering with innovative local food and beverage companies. The UGL is here to highlight some of the festivals that will be going down in Illinois as well as a couple in locales a little further away.

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Sleater-Kinney. Photo by SLEATER92.

Pitchfork, arguably the most prominent music website in recent years, puts on an excellent festival in Chicago in Union Park. This year’s festival takes place from July 17-19, and will feature Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and hometown hero Chance the Rapper as headliners. Other performers of interest include Future Islands, Run the Jewels, Courtney Barnett, and Vince Staples, among many others. I’ve been to the Pitchfork Music Festival a couple times, and it’s always a good time. Pitchfork does a good job splitting the difference between the super huge festivals (Coachella, Bonnaroo, etc.) and the smaller more niche festivals, while still offering a varied lineup.

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Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Photo by Moses.

If you’re looking to travel a little further afield for a festival experience, you should consider checking out the inaugural Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Founded by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner, this festival seeks to “encourage music-genre-walls to melt away.” The lineup includes Bon Iver, The National, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, and Low. It also includes some artists that don’t fall under the indie rock umbrella, such as hip-hop collective Doomtree, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Sturgill Simpson (for my money the best contemporary Country artist), and Japanese noise rock all-stars Melt Banana. First-year music festivals can sometimes be dicey propositions, but this one should be well worth visiting, especially if you are a fan of Bon Iver or The National.

Frank_Ocean_Lollapalooza_2012

Frank Ocean performing at Lollapalooza in 2012. Photo by Shane Hirschman

One of the monsters of the summer music festival circuit, Lollapalooza is taking place in Chicago’s Grant Park from July 31st to August 2nd this year. Lollapalooza always draws massive headliners, and this year is no exception with Paul McCartney, Metallica, and Florence + the Machine taking the top three slots on the bill. Lolla features a ton of acts, but here’s a brief sample of some of the non-headliners: Sam Smith, Tame Impala, A$AP Rocky, Bassnectar, and TV on the Radio. On the culinary side of things, the festival’s Chow Town food section is curated by Graham Elliot of MasterChef fame. If you can swing the high ticket prices and large crowds, Lollapalooza is a treasure trove of musical entertainment.

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Photo by Suzette.

If you’re looking for something a little more local, I’d recommend checking out the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival. Set in downtown Urbana, this year’s festival takes place on August 28th and 29th. British post-punk/new wave rockers The Psychedelic Furs will be headlining the festival this year. Eddie Money and Kansas were the last two headliners to give you an idea of the festival’s target demographic. Although the musical acts skew a little older than some of the other aforementioned festivals, it’s still a great time, particularly if you’re interested in eating delicious locally grown sweet corn.

Tune_Yards_2012

Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards

Although the Pygmalion Festival technically starts on the first day of Fall, I can’t avoid mentioning the biggest Champaign-Urbana festival. This year’s fest takes place from September 23rd to the 27th, and features musical acts Ride, Purity Ring, Tune-Yards, and Strand of Oaks among others. The festival takes place at various venues around Champaign-Urbana, and includes a number of tech speakers and literature readings, including Stephen Wolfram, Will Leitch, and Brandon Stosuy. One cool thing about this festival is you can buy individual tickets for shows or speakers if you don’t have the time or money to get the full festival pass. Pygmalion is going to be announcing more musical acts and speakers in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements.

Are there any summer music festivals in the area that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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June Events

The Illini may not be flying down the field or storming up the court, but CU is still a great place to be during the summer months. Here are just a few events happening in the area for the month of June that will keep you full, festive, and having fun.

Hot Rod Power TourJune 7
Sponsored by Hot Rod Magazine, the 21st Annual Hot Rod Power Tour is rolling into Parkland College on June 7 and will feature some of the nicest vehicles this country has to offer. If cruisin’ down the highway and putting the top down is your idea of a good time, this is the event for you.
www.visitchampaigncounty.org/hotrod

Photo Courtesy of Follow the Farmstead

Follow the FarmsteadJune 12-13 from 8am-2pm
Have you ever wondered how Champaign County farmers get it all done? Then you can join Visit Champaign County the Champaign County Farm Bureau on the first ever Follow the Farmstead to get an in-depth look into the agricultural industry in and around Champaign County. This event is family-oriented and will give participants the opportunity to do a range of things including learning about the newest farming technology or meeting farm animals!
www.visitchampaigncounty.org/followthefarmstead

Photo Courtesy of Uncork Urbana Wine Festival

Uncork Urbana Wine FestivalJune 13 from 1pm-9pm
For those of you of drinking age, Uncork Urbana Wine Festival looks to showcase some of the incredible wines the state of Illinois has to offer in the serenity of downtown Urbana. Admission is $10 for individuals 21 & over and includes a souvenir wine glass and five tasting tickets. There will also be live music from local favorites such as Emily Otnes (Tara Terra), Ryan Groff (Elsinore), and The Diva & The Dude as well as food trucks to balance out some of the delicious wine.

www.urbanabusiness.com/uncork-urbana-wine-festival/

Photo Courtesy of urbanalove

urbanalove Summer Movie NightsJune 13 at sunset
urbanalove is a local group dedicated to showcasing the wonders of downtown Urbana. One of their premier events is a monthly film screening shown outside for free. The June movie is The Royal Tenenbaums, a modern classic by the extremely talented and focused Wes Anderson. The movies screen at sunset and give viewers the opportunity to see classic films while also connecting with their local community and neighbors.
www.urbanalove.org

Photo Courtesy of Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival

Blues, Brews, and BBQ FestivalJune 26 & 27
This festival brings together some essential summer staples: music, drink, and food. Though a $5 donation is suggested, the event is free and open to the public and will feature performances by blues players from across the country, BBQ from the finest local establishments, and various forms of drinks. Also happening during the festival is a motorcycle show so you can check out some fancy rides. All this is going down in downtown Champaign behind the News Gazette Office.
www.bluesbrewsandbbqfest.com/

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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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It has begun: Finals week is here

As most of you already know, finals week has arrived. It’s that time of the year where everyone is pulling all nighters and frantically searching for those notes they took back in January.  Remember that the UGL will be open 24 hours, 7 days a week until Friday, May 15th at 7 PM. In order to ease your stress, the UGL also has some study tips for productivity and success.

Tip 1: Make a list

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do! Photo courtesy of John. Schultz via Flickr Media Commons

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do! Photo courtesy of John. Schultz via Flickr Media Commons

Create a list of everything that has to be done this week. This includes school and non-school work. It works best if you make a list, but separate the two. Then, prioritize and organize. Finals week is a time of great stress and sometimes you forget that the electric bill is due because you were too busy concentrating on a paper.

Tip 2: Review, review, review

Review the concepts. Photo courtesy of wudzt via Flickr Commons

Review the concepts. Photo courtesy of wudzt via Flickr Commons

Review your notes everyday. Looking over class notes for about 10 or 15 minutes per day can be helpful in retaining information. Don’t wait until the day before the exam to study all the material.

Tip 3: Study aids

Study Aids. Photo courtesy of Yin Tung Ho via Flickr Media Commons

Study Aids. Photo courtesy of Yin Tung Ho via Flickr Media Commons

Study aids can be a great resource for not only finals week, but for tests or quizzes. Check out the subject guides that the Undergraduate Library has to offer. You’ll find a variety of different topics. If you want a little study break mixed with productivity, check out the UGL’s Pinterest board on study tips. On our study tips board, there are some cool infographics you can check out. See? You can still have fun while doing something productive.

Tip 4: Communication with your Professor or TA

Go to office hours. Photo courtesy of Nathan Wagoner

Go to office hours. Photo courtesy of Nathan Wagoner via Flickr Media Commons

Is there something you just don’t understand? Talk to your TA or Professor. Find out if they have office hours, if not, email. Communicating to your teacher about difficulties is key. Forming study groups is also a good idea. Learning concepts with a group of people can be beneficial. You never know, they might have the same questions as you.

Tip 5: Summary sheet

Make a summary sheet so that you cover all the concepts in class. Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Make a summary sheet so that you cover all the concepts in class. Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley via Flickr Media Commons

In order to go over everything that was taught in the class, develop a summary sheet for yourself. This way, you will have no surprises and it will also refresh your memory. Summary sheets can be done for each class.

Tip 6: Quiz yourself

Quiz yourself. Photo courtesy of Matt Cornock via Flickr Media Commons

Quiz yourself. Photo courtesy of Matt Cornock via Flickr Media Commons

Make a mini-quiz for yourself in order to see if you are retaining all that information. It doesn’t have to be long, maybe 5 or 7 questions. These quizzes will also allow you to gauge your knowledge and what you might need to work on.

Tip 7: Take a break every once in a while! All of this studying can be stressful and you need to take some time to your self. Did you know that the UGL has a gaming center? Come take a study place with your friends. The UGL also has a great media selection. Watching a comedy or horror movie will ease your study time from finals.

Tired of studying? Take a nap! Photo courtesy of The LEAF Project via Flickr Media Commons

Tired of studying? Take a nap! Photo courtesy of The LEAF Project via Flickr Media Commons

If you need help with research or anything else, come to the UGL and ask us! or, if you’re at home and need immediate help, go to Ask a Librarian. Good luck with finals, you’re almost there.

 

 

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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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Research and Writing Cram Night

The countdown until finals is T-minus 19 days until the first day of finals. We can do this and you can do it. As we are working hard to get our projects going and our papers finished, there are 2 places on campus that can help. The Undergraduate Library and the Writers Workshop. On Tuesday, April 21st from 7-10 PM (Room 291), the Writer’s Workshop and the UGL will have a research/writing cram night. Do you have a paper that you need someone to look over? Are you having trouble with finding scholarly articles? Then this cram night is the place for you!

Come to our research/writing cram session! Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Come to our research/writing cram session! Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Our friends, Michael and McCall at the Writers Workshop, were kind enough to grant us a small interview to talk more about this event.

How long will the appointments be?

Michael: 15 minutes, which is the same as our drop-in hours

Location?

Michael: Room 291 (which is a computer lab)

What can students bring?

McCall: Any type of writing that they want to have looked at (yes, that includes cover letters and resumes)

Michael: Typically what we’re looking for when we do our cram sessions or midnight madness, are people who are coming in with papers. Undergraduate course papers are what we see the most. These hours are more for last minute citation issues and last minute questions about content or organization.

What’s your favorite library resource?

Michael: I usually use the Purdue OWL, because it’s such an incredible compendium of resources and also teaching people how to do a nuance search of a database is really helpful.

McCall: I have to agree, freshman year, I had no idea how to use the library and I really wasn’t that familiar. From my high school experience on how to do research on this scale and using a university library, being able to help people with that is really useful.

What can students do to get the most out of this appointment?

Michael: Come prepared with specific questions. It’s 15 minutes and those 15 minutes will go fast. They know their writing, so when they’re coming to this, have an idea of what their major concerns are and what other specific anxieties about this specific question for this particular assignment.

McCall: If it’s a longer paper just come in for getting help on one or two things.15 minutes goes fast! Maybe help on working on a thesis statement, introduction, or specific paragraph.

What are you waiting for? Come join us on Tuesday night (April 21st) from 7-10 PM in room 291 on the upper level of the UGL! Remember, librarians will also be there to help with your research needs. We hope to see you there.

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Women’s History Month 2015

March is the official month for celebrating Women’s History Month. Like Black History Month, Women’s History Month was originally a week long. In 1987, congress gave the President authorization to proclaim March as the month to celebrate women’s history. For more information, visit the official government website for Women’s History Month. You will find exhibits and collections, videos of women who have shaped our country, and other information. For resources on campus, be sure to check out the Women’s Resource Center. This center has information on programs and events going on around campus.

The UGL has compiled a mix of a reader’s advisory. While this month is celebrated in the United States, March 8th is International Women’s Day. The following books or mini-biographies will showcase the writings and contributions of women, near or far. We hope you enjoy it!

“Dorothy Parker” by Dorothy Parker

http://secure.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&isbn=0679601325/LC.JPG&client=uillurch

“Dorothy Parker”

Dorothy Parker was a writer of short stories, poems, plays, and film screens. She was known for her wit and provocative humor. While she had many great writings, her stories expressed the discomfort that some women felt on their dependency on men. With her poems and stories, Ms. Parker was able to transform the role of the woman in society. In 1967, Ms. Parker died and left her estate to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Princess Kasune Zulu

Princess Kasune Zulu. Photo courtesy of A and U Magazine

Princess Kasune Zulu. Photo courtesy of A and U Magazine

Princess Kasune Zulu is an AIDS activist from Zambia. While she has “Princess” in her name, she is not a member of Zambian royalty, but her roots can be traced to the royal lineage. Her family was also affected by this disease and she was left orphaned. Having first hand experience and having HIV herself, Ms. Zulu became an activist. She became a spokesperson for the Hope Initiative and has met several world leaders, including George W. Bush. For more information, be sure to check out the reference and biography resources offered through the UIUC library.

“What I Know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey

“What I know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey

Arguably one of the most influential women in the United States, Oprah Winfrey is the former host of the show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” In this book, Winfrey shares the journey of being host of her own show, being the nation’s only black billionaire, and having her own television network. She has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor and has received an honorary degree from Harvard. Her influence, struggles, and accomplishments have made her an amazing woman. For more works on Oprah Winfrey, be sure to check out the books in our catalog.

“The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt” by Eleanor Roosevelt

“The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt” by Eleanor Roosevelt

Mrs. Roosevelt was the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the First Lady of the United States. Before becoming the First Lady, she joined her husband on the campaign trail and began working with the Women’s Trade Union League. As First Lady, she gave her vocal support to the African-American Civil Rights Movement. After her husband died, she continued as a delegate for the United Nations. This autobiography entails the good and the bad of being a First Lady.

Judy Baar Topinka

Judy Baar Topinka. Former State Comptroller

Judy Baar Topinka. Former State Comptroller. Photo courtesy of Illinois News Network

Ms. Baar Topinka, a native of Illinois, was born to immigrant parents. She graduated from the school of journalism at Northwestern University. She became a journalist for the Cook County suburbs and was elected State Treasurer in 1994. Ms. Baar Topinka became the first woman to hold such position and was nominated for Illinois Governor by the Grand Old Party (GOP). Being the first woman as State Treasurer of Illinois, she has paved the way for other women and their role in Illinois politics. She died December of 2014 and she is remembered for her political style and her ability to poke fun at herself. For more information about Ms. Baar Topinka, be sure to check out her website

For more, check out our Pinterest board for Women’s History Month! Who are the influential women in your life? Share with us in the comments!

 

 

 

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The UGL Celebrates Black History Month

“I feel safe in the midst of my enemies, for the truth is all powerful and will prevail.” —Sojourner Truth

In 1976, Former President Gerald Ford made February the official month to celebrate Black history. President Ford urged American citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Here at the UGL, we have compiled some books and movies that celebrate Black Americans and their struggles and accomplishments. For more information on Black History Month, be sure to visit the official government website.

“Staring at Zero” by Jimi Hendrix

“Starting at Zero” by Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix became an international icon after 4 years. He is known as one of the greatest guitars players there ever was. Hendrix was also known as a private person, but in this book, he is able to tell his own story.

“12 Years a Slave”

12 years a Slave. Directed by Steve McQueen

12 years a Slave. Directed by Steve McQueen

Based on true accounts, this film recalls the story of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. He is invited to a violin performance in Washington D.C, where he is kidnapped and sold as a slave. Northup suffers years of violence, abuse, and injustice. He was held captive for nearly 12 years and was soon reunited with his family. For the complete account by Solomon Northup, be sure to check out his book.

“Army of God: Joseph Kony’s War in Central Africa” by David Axe and Tim Hamilton

“Army of God” by David Axe and Tim Hamilton

The Kony2012 campaign was one that got a lot of national attention. This raised awareness, but also controversy. War correspondent, David Axe teamed up with Tim Hamilton to publish a graphic novel that explains who Kony is and the conflict that caught the attention of people all over the country.

“Song of Soloman” by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison, writer and winner of multiple awards brings us “Song of Solomon.” This story is about 4 generations of of black life in the United States. This story begins with Macon “Milkman” Dead III. The reader follows him from birth to adulthood. “Song of Soloman” raises questions on African-American identity and relationships with black and white members of the community.

“Zami, a new spelling of my name” by Audre Lorde

"Zami: A New Spelling of My Name" by Audre Lorde. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” by Audre Lorde. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

This is the 1982 autobiography of writer and poet, Audre Lorde. She is the daughter of Black West Indian parents. Growing up in Harlem, she is legally blind, but learns to read before starting school. This book details Lorde’s experiences with racism, lesbianism, and political issues.

“Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” by Barack Obama

“Dreams from my Father” written by current President, Barack Obama.

In 2009, Barack Obama made history by becoming the first black President of the United States. Before the presidency, Obama was a civil rights lawyer, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a community organizer. This book was published in 1995, right before Barack Obama was preparing for his campaign for the Illinois Senate. This book details his life in Hawaii, Indonesia, and his time at Harvard Law School.

Be sure to also check out our “A-Z Black Biography” on the UGL’s Pinterest Page.

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