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 9AM-5PM.

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

-From then, the hours are as above, 9AM-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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Your tools for finals

Finals week is officially here. Yes, it’s a stressful time, but here at the UGL, we like to make your life easier. The UGL has a lot of resources to offer. These tools can make your life so much easier. So, sit back while we share all of the cool things at the UGL.

Are you in need of a calculator or flashdrive? Forgot them at home? No worries, come by the Loanable Technology desk at the UGL. This desk is located around the corner of the circulation desk on the upper level of the UGL. We have macbook chargers, iPhone charges, Chromebook laptops, and much for students to check out.

Loanable Technology at the UGL. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Loanable Technology at the UGL. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

If you have any group projects to finish, be sure to reserve a group room, available on the upper level of the UGL. Looking to book for one person or five? Doesn’t matter, our group room reservation system, DIBS, is here to help.

Students working in a group room. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library.

Students working in a group room. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Library.

If you need a bit of information on a certain topic, but don’t know where to start, subject guides are your friends. Browse the subject guides available on hundreds of topics like computer crime and hacking, student loan debt, women in the media, and much more.

If you don’t know how to…don’t worry, the UGL has the How Do I? pages. Inside this fabulous resource, we have pages on how to get started on your research, finding sources, evaluating sources, citing sources, and class pages. (CMN 101/111, ESL 112/115, and LAS 100).

Do you have a paper that’s due soon? Need someone to take a look over it? The Writers Workshop is here to help. They are located in the consultation corner on the upper level of the UGL. Be sure to go to them with all your writing needs.

The Media Commons gaming center. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

The Media Commons gaming center. Photo courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Finals are stressful and take a lot out of you. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself. That can be by eating healthy, exercising, or taking breaks in between studying. The UGL Media Commons has a gaming center. Come on over and play some video games with your friends. If video games aren’t your thing, go downstairs and check out the media collection. Treat yourself after finals by binge watching Dexter or Gilmore Girls, whatever floats your boat.

Good luck with finals and as always, the UGL is rooting for you.

 

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Your UGL guide to Surviving Finals

To quote the popular “Poltergeist” movie, “They’re here….” Yes, finals have arrived. This is the time of year where stress levels are at an all time high and it’s a struggle to get a hold of your emotions. Have no fear, grab your laptop and textbooks and sit down, because the UGL is here to help.

Before we get to the study tips, here are a couple of things to keep in mind. Starting on December 11th (this Thursday), the UGL will be open 24 hours, until December 19th (we’ll close at 7 PM on this day). Take advantage of this time to come on over and get all your studying done in a quiet environment.

Finals Week. We've all been there. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Fairchild via Flickr Commons

Finals Week. We’ve all been there. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Fairchild via Flickr Commons

Be on the lookout for Midnight Madness. What is Midnight Madness you might ask? The Writer’s Workshop (located on the upper level of the UGL) will have people to help you with all your citations needs, essay revisions, graduate school statements, and tidying up that resume. This will take place on December 11th, from 8 PM to midnight. All consultations will take place in room 251 of the UGL.

Now, here are your tips for surviving finals 2014:

1. Create a study guide. This study guide should have an outline of all the projects that need to get done, all the papers that you need to finish, and all the classes you need to study for. Outline all the important points that you need to focus on and anything that might be helpful.

2. Ask for help! Remember, if you need help understanding a concept or have questions, ask your professor or TA. It’s better to ask than to wonder if something is correct. Be sure to go to office hours and any review sessions.

3. Create a schedule. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so be sure to manage your time. Write down a schedule and what classes you’ll study for those dates.

4. Practice by quizzing yourself. Are you learning the material? Is there anything you need work on? Doing your own mini quizzes will help you find out.

5. Get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated. What good is all this studying if you’re not taking care of yourself? If you’re tired, take a study break, drink some water, or go do an activity you enjoy. This will help you keep focused on your goals and the exams.

Are there any tips you use during finals? Let us know in the comments below. Finally, the folks here at the UGL wish you the best of luck. Remember, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions, be sure to ask.

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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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Fall Break Hours for the UGL

It’s finally Fall Break! Here at the UGL, we know that you all are going to take this time to catch up on work and eat more than you can handle. The following are the hours that the UGL will be open and closed.

Have an excellent Fall Break. Photo courtesy of StarMama via Flickr Commons

Have an excellent Fall Break. Photo courtesy of StarMama via Flickr Commons

-We close early on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.
-The UGL will be closed on November 22 and 23th.
-The following week, we are open Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.
-We will re-open on November 20th at 1 PM. As usual, the lower level will close 30 minutes before closing time.

Be sure to get all your books and movies before you leave for break! Or if you’re staying in town, be sure to visit us.

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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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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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Spotlight on: The Green Screen Room at the UGL

There are many cool services and resources offered here at the UGL. You have the writer’s workshop, the research desk (which operates Monday-Thursday from 1-5) and the cool DVD’s and books located on the lower level of the UGL. As you can tell, you have a lot of options, but did you also that the UGL has a video studio room? (a.k.a “green screen room”) The room is part of the UGL’s media commons and offers students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to use professional equipment in a video production studio.

Video Production Room. Photo Courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Video Production Room. Photo Courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

For those who are curious and who want to know more about this room, we will take you inside this high tech room. The video studio has much of the professional equipment needed for hi-tech projects. Among the equipment includes:

Six Lowell Fluorescent Lights, 2 Nikon DSLR cameras (D7100 and  D600) with several lenses, Wireless Lavalier Microphones, a green screen, iMac, other equipment, and coming soon, a Global Truss Lighting Grid.

How does one get to use this room?  The room is only available by appointment, so the student, staff, or faculty must fill out a reservation form. This form can be found at the Media Commons’ website, here.

Once you make a reservation, you will come into the UGL and go to the circulation desk and let them know you have a reservation.

video production studio

There is a limit of 4 people, but the new coming lighting grid will allow for 8-10 people total.

A staff member from the Media Commons will explain the basics on how to use the camera and lights. If you need more assistance on editing, you can make an appointment with the Media Commons staff member.

The only thing that students are asked to bring is an external hard drive and a their own SD cards. Not bad, right? Everything else is provided for you.

Be sure to be on the lookout for more blogs featuring the great resources that the UGL has to offer. What projects could you do using the Video Production room? Comment below!

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