Tell Us What You Think!

Hey, Club UGL. You know we love to hear from you. Whether it’s answering your questions via Ask a Librarian or the research desk, getting your feedback via our suggestions box, or hearing your purchase recommendations, we’re all ears for what you have to say. This week, we’ve got a special survey to solicit your opinions about our loanable technology program.

The tech desk is on the upper level of the UGL near the circ desk.

This is where the magic happens. The magic that you will influence, via this survey.

We are constantly seeking to expand and improve what’s available in our loanable technology pool, and we want to hear from you about how we can best do that. That’s why we’ve created this survey to ask what you think about various topics – iPads and iPad apps, Chromebooks, potential new items, and any other ideas or thoughts you want to share with us. The survey opens today (Monday, October 14th) and runs all the way through next Sunday, October 20th. That’s almost a whole week, so you’ve got plenty of time to mull it over and be thoughtful – but don’t forget! If you’d rather take the survey on paper, that’s an option, too – there will be paper forms attached to the whiteboard near the entrance on the upper level. You can turn completed paper surveys in at the circulation desk (and you might get something nice if you do…).

This week we’re asking for you opinions, but coming up in the next week we’ll have some suggestions for *you* – about events on campus, resources you can use, and a project we’ve been working on. We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and we hope you’ll stick around to hear from us.

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UGL Mobile App Student Competition

Student Mobile App Competition
Are you as addicted to your smartphone as we are? Do you have apps you couldn’t live without? Or, if you’re like us, is there some app you really wish existed, but doesn’t? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be interested in the UGL’s Library Mobile App Student Competition.

Unlike other app competitions, this one doesn’t require any previous programming or app-building experience. We just want your ideas! Students are welcome to work individually or in teams to investigate library-related needs and/or problems that an app might solve, and then develop a design outline and formal proposal. The first round of deadlines is November 17, so if you’re interested, definitely check out all of the competition details. Did we mention there are cash prizes (up to $750!!) and a chance that your app will get developed by library staff? Pretty sweet.

Areas we’re really interested in include:

  • Services (research, circulation/renewal, course reserves, loanable tech, library website, etc.)
  • Collections (books, videos, archival materials, e-books, digital media, etc.)
  • Facilities (physical library building, group spaces, building navigation, locating specific items, etc.)

The UGL already has a few apps ready for you to use. Check out a list of iPhone apps available (for FREE) in the iTunes store. Our popular Minrva app was originally only available on the Android platform, but it’s now ready to go for iOS, too!

If you’ve got a great idea for a new app to add to the mix, check out the competition guidelines and then submit your application! Not only may you come up with a killer new app that helps yourself and your fellow students, but you could end up with some cash-money and a great entry on your resume, too. That’s a competition we can get behind.

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How app-licable!

Here at the UGL we’re always busy creating new and better ways for you to use the library’s resources and services. In fact, we’re pretty much devoted to it. So we’re super excited to announce a shiny new app that helps you find what you’re looking for more quickly and more easily than ever before.

Well-lit and lookin' knowledgeable.

Bronze bust of the goddess Minerva in Bath, UK. (CC license from Flickr user john.purvis)

The app, called Minrva, is the result of several months of research and development undertaken by UGL librarian Jim “Laser” Hahn and superstar student programmer Nate Ryckman. Minrva – named for Minerva, the Greek goddess of wisdom - features several interactive modules that let you look for UGL resources quickly and easily using your Android mobile phone (iPhone/Pad app forthcoming!).

With Minrva you can…

1. Check for available loanable tech items: If you wake up in the middle of the night dreaming of completing a project for class using a Flip camera, check in with Minrva to see if one’s available. The idea for this feature of the app came directly out of a focus group with students just like you that expressed their desire to look at the loanable tech availability while on the go. Don’t you just love when your dreams get turned into app-reality?

2. Locate stuff in the UGL: Minrva’s locate module lets you look up books in the catalog, and then guides you to their locations on the lower level. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert navigator of the stacks (that’s library lingo for bookshelves…).

3. Scan books using your phone: Find yourself browsing in the UGL stacks and want to know more about a great book you stumble upon? Simply use Minrva on your mobile device to scan the book’s barcode and read a summary to see if it’s worth your time before you take it home.

Minrva is now up and running with more modules planned to roll out before Fall semester begins. Check it out!

 

 

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Learn to create iPhone / iPad apps!

Ever had a great idea for an iPhone app and the only thing keeping you from making it was your lack of app-making knowledge?  Well, now you can turn your app dreams into “re-app-lities” (OK, that doesn’t really make sense… but you get what we’re saying, right? You can learn to make iPhone apps!). Come to the UGL (Room 289) next Friday, April 27th from 6:30-8:00PM for an app-making workshop specifically designed for beginners.  No programming experience required! In fact, we encourage those with little or no experience to attend!

This is the second session we’re offering this month.  The first session filled up quickly, so we expect this one will, too! Register now to secure your spot.  More details below:

Learn to make iPhone apps!

The Undergrad Library is pleased to announce a free workshop for developing iPhone and iPad applications.  While these workshops are primarily aimed at undergraduate students, all interested campus affiliates are welcome to participate. Advanced registration is requested due to limited seating. All materials will be provided.  We will be using templates from Apple’s Dashcode development environment, which takes a web-based approach for application design.

Where: Room 289, Undergraduate Library

When: Friday, April 27th, 6:30PM – 8:00PM

Register: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/7656395

 

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