Finals week is here!

It’s that time of the semester again. Yup, finals week is here. Here at the UGL, we know you’re scrambling to finish last minute papers and projects. People are starting to get a bit anxious, but no worries. The UGL is here to help, always. And by always we mean we’re not closing until finals are over.

The UGL is open at night. All night.

We’re open forever. Never leave us.

Beginning today, May 8th, the UGL will be open 24 hours – no closing between 2 AM and 10 AM like usual, so you can do that last-minute cramming. We’ll be open all the way through May 17th, when we will close early at 7 P.M. and start our summer hours. That’s right folks. We’re open that whole time. Take advantage of it and come in and be productive.

This, too, shall pass. Finals will come to an end. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Return of the Dogs

They’re back! Rejoice! Therapy Dogs will be returning to UIUC libraries during finals week to soothe all your exam woes (or help you celebrate any impending graduations). We’ve also got a guest star this semester. Who’s excited about…therapy cats?

Library Therapy Dog Program, May 8th, 12th, and 13th

If you haven’t attended a therapy dog event before, allow us to inform you about what they are. Many studies have shown that interacting with animals can reduce stress levels (and, in turn, improve academic performance). Based on this, the UIUC libraries work with CU Canine Connection, a local therapy dog group, to bring animals to you in places where you are often stressed (ie the library – sorry about the stress).

Sam, Tycho, and Raven, friendly doggies from past semesters, will all be returning to various libraries during finals week so you can reconnect and get your snuggles. Neo regretfullly cannot make it this semester, but sends his love from afar and will catch you next time. To refresh your memory on who’s who (or to get a primer before you meet them for this first time) you can revisit our previous blog posts about therapy dogs. We also have three new visitors this semester: Darby the English Springer Spaniel, and Wyatt and Herbie the Therapy Cats. Learn more about them below!

A Springer Spaniel reclines on a sofa.

Darby!

Darby

Darby is a 6-year-old English Springer Spaniel. She lives with her people-mom and -dad in a 36-foot motor home. Traveling is a way of life for her, and she has become very adaptable to long trips on the road and different campgrounds. Darby is also a service dog, helping her hearing-impaired dad at home.  She enjoys flying at her humans’ feet on frequent flights between Illinois and Florida.She likes people of all ages as long as they will provide lots of loving and affection (so she’ll fit right in at the UGL!) This will be her first appearance in the library, but her second  at the U of I: the first was the Smoke Out event last year.
A relaxed orange cat lays on a mat.

Herbie!

Herbie

Herbie is a 15-year-old British short hair mix. Adopted from the Champaign County Humane Society, he is a laid back orange tabby that loves attention, string toys, catnip, and wrestling andplaying with his 3 cat brothers. He visits Clark-Lindsey retirement village every week, where he visits with residents and staff. He is registered as a therapy cat with Love on Leash, and his “mom” is involved in I-CAT, International Cat-Assisted Therapy.

A soft-looking cat, also on a mat.

Wyatt!

Wyatt

Wyatt is a five year old Ragdoll. He has long silver and white fur. He loves for his friends to give attention to him, and will purr and flex his paws if you pet him. Wyatt is very laid back and loves his people to visit, and he works every week at a nursing home in Champaign County. He is registered with Love on a Leash.

Here’s the schedule for spring semester 2014, showing which dogs (and cats) will be at which libraries on which days:

  • Grainger Engineering Library on Thursday, May 8th, from 2-4 PM: Sam and Darby
  • UGL on Monday, May 12th, from 2-4 PM: Tycho, Wyatt and Herbie
  • Funk ACES Library on Tuesday, May 13th, from 2-4 PM : Raven

We hope to see you there!

 

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UGL Study Spaces

Hooray, it’s May! The end of the semester is soooo close, we can almost taste the incredible amount of Custard Cup we’re going to eat this summer. But, before we can order a celebratory sundae, we have a whole lot of studying to do, papers to write, and projects to complete. Here at the UGL, we try to provide different spaces to fit a whole range of study needs.

How to Choose Your UGL Study Spot

Whether you’re doing a group project, studying with a friend, or need some serious concentration space, we want to help you be successful during these important final weeks of the semester. We created this infographic in order to help you find the perfect study spot here at the Undergraduate Library! Click on the image to view it full-size.

UGL Study Spaces

For more helpful tips, check out our Study Smarts Pinterest board. Happy studying!

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Spring Break Hours!

Now that it’s officially spring, we can’t wait to say goodbye to any mention of a polar vortex and say hello to spring break! Whether you’re heading south for some sunshine or sticking around C-U, you’ve earned a well-deserved week off. The UGL will be taking some time off, too, with shorter hours over spring break.

Photo of vacationers on Semaphore Beach, South Australia circa 1950

Well, this looks like fun! Semaphore Beach, South Australia. Photo courtesy of State Library of South Australia via Flickr

Here are the UGL’s hours over spring break. You can also check out when other campus libraries are open over break:

  • Friday, March 21: The UGL closes at 7pm
  • Saturday, March 22: All campus libraries are closed.
  • Sunday, March 23: All campus libraries are closed.
  • Monday, March 24-Friday, March 28: The UGL will be open daily from 8:30am to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.
  • Saturday, March 29: All campus libraries are closed
  • Sunday, March 30: The UGL opens at 1pm, then resumes regular semester hours.

From all of us here at the UGL, we hope you have a safe and relaxing break!

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Springing into Action!

Even in the darkness of winter nights…we’re here.

Well…it’s actually still winter here in Illinois, and there’s still snow everywhere, but the UGL is still ready to spring forward into a new spring semester, helping you with all your reference, research, and information needs. Read on to find out when you can come see us during Spring 2014.

We’re super pumped to resume our usual 24-hours-during-the-week non-stop library party, but this first week will be a little different. Here’s how it’ll go:

  • Tuesday, January 21st – open at 8 AM and stay open until…
  • Friday, January 24th – close at 10 PM
  • Saturday, January 25th – open from 10 AM to 2 AM
  • Sunday, January 26th – open at 10 am and resume standard hours

Standard hours means we’re open 24 hours Sunday through Thursday, and then close at 2am on both Friday and Saturday nights (re-opening at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings). That’s what we mean by ‘non-stop party.’

Our hours will be different over spring break – we’ll update you about that when the time comes, but in the mean time you can always check hours for any library on the appropriately named library hours page.

Stay tuned later this week for a round-up of helpful start-of-semester info. Happy spring! If you study hard, summer will come sooner.

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Preparing for the Finals Week Saga

Hey fellow UGLers. Finals are here and we’re all scrambling to get everything done at the last minute. Some of you may feel completely prepared, but some are still procrastinating. If you have hours of work to do and need a place to hunker down and do it, you’re in luck: the UGL is staying open 24 hours through finals week. This means that we won’t close all weekend – you can stay as long as you need (the media enclosure will close at midnight Friday and Saturday, though, so grab your study break movies before then).

If the amount of work you have left to do feels overwhelming, have no fear: the UGL is also here to offer some study tips and ways to de-stress while you make it through. After all, you want to be in good shape to kick butt down to the last final.

image of dorm room with belongings scattered all over desk and floor

Finals can sometimes make us a little disorganized. Photo Courtesy of Sterling Coffey via Flickr

1. First things first, make a list of all your projects, when they are due, and what exams you have to prepare for. It’s best to have all the tasks you must do in front of you. This way, you can prioritize which assignments and which projects are the most important.

whimsical sepia image of list

Be sure to organize your assignments by making a list! Photo courtesy of Hey Paul Studios via Flickr

2. Once you have all the due dates figured out, write them down in a calendar and be sure to write reminders to yourself. Prefer a paper-less reminder? Make a task list or set reminders in your phone. A good way to deal with the stress of many projects is divide them up and work on them in increments of time.

image of weekly planner with events satisfyingly checked off

Using a calendar to keep track of everything is the way to go! Photo courtesy of Jenni Konrad via Flickr

3. Choose your study space. Some people like to study at libraries, others at coffee shops, and some in the comfort of their own apartment. Wherever you choose to study, make sure it’s good for you and your needs. The University of Illinois has many libraries around campus with a variety of study spaces – find out which one suits your needs best and when each library is open!

image of computers in scholarly commons

There are many great places to study on campus!

4.  If you need help with something, ask for it! Professors, teaching assistants, and even librarians are here to help you, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel like you’re struggling.

Librarians help students during office hours, too.

If you have any questions or need help, look up your professor’s office hours

5. If you feel anxious, calm down! This can sometimes be easier said than done, but there are a couple of healthy methods to keep your stress low.

  • Exercise! Go for a run or go to one of the two exercise complexes on campus. For information about their hours, see their website.
  • Go to the library and check out a book or a good movie! The UGL has a great selection of movies and they are free to rent! Res Hall libraries also have great movie collections. Look up books or movies in our catalog.
  • If there is a hobby that you enjoy, take a quick study break and do that activity!
  • You can also de-stress with help from some fuzzy friends: the UGL and Grainger will be having therapy dogs the weeks of finals. Get the details on those delightful dogs and drop by if you can.

For more study tips and ways of de-stressing, be sure to check out our  Pinterest board! Good luck with finals, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Get Some Doggone Hugs!

The UGL has gone to the dogs – therapy dogs, that is. Two therapy dog events are scheduled in the library during finals week to help you de-stress and finish this semester strong. Read on to find out the details and to meet the hard-working pups who make it all happen!

Malamute being petted by many hands

Sam will accept your adoration.

Sam the Alaskan Malamute has been to events at the UIUC libraries before, but he keeps coming back to see all his favorite people, and to please his loyal fans. Sam is a master of chilling out and napping, and will be pleased to teach you his stress-free ways, which he has been working on quite diligently for all of his 8 years.

Poodle licking lips in a silly way

Raven thinks the UGL is delicious!

Raven the Standard Poodle is also a library event veteran. Though her schedule is very busy with catching Frisbees and chasing tennis balls, she’s always happy to make time and come to the libraries for some petting. She’s 7 and a half, and prefers the company of adults like herself, since they are the best at the aforementioned petting.

Black Labrador retriever with soulful eyes

Neo looks expectant because he hears you give belly rubs, which are his favorite.

Neo the Labrador Retriever is 7 years old, and he hasn’t been to the UIUC libraries before, but he spends a lot of time at Carle Hospital and helping children in schools through the R.E.A.D. program. He’s also been given the Helping Hand award by the Champaign Fire Department for his help with crisis response. We’re sure he’ll be a big hit with all our students as well.

Boxer dog looking friendly on a couch

You don’t need a telescope to see how cute Tycho is.

Tycho the Boxer is a 9-year-old lover of cat food and new friends. He spends his days encouraging violin students by singing along, and playing with two Cornish Rex cats (from whom he steals the cat food). He also accompanies the violin students to performances at nursing homes, other libraries, and fundraisers.

These wonderful canine companions will be available on the following days:

  • Thursday, December 12th, from 2-4 PM in Grainger Engineering Library (Raven, Sam, and Neo)
  • Monday, December 16th, from 2-4 PM in the Undergraduate Library (Raven, Sam, Neo, and Tycho)

While you wait for the big dog days to arrive, you can follow the UGL’s  Therapy Dog Pinterest board to read up on therapy animals and how they help various people. The dogs (and the library!) look forward to seeing you there!

 

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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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Study Tips for the Midterm Craziness

Fellow UGLers, midterms are here, and let me guess: you are all scrambling to finish those projects (which you left at the last minute because you’re the king/queen of procrastination) and cramming for those midterm exams. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one.  In a time of craziness, how does one handle such work and stress? Have no fear, the UGL is here to help and guide you through it.

Cluttered desk with sandwich

A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, so organize that desk and mind!

Keep calm and write a list

What do you have to do? Write down all the assignments and projects and when they are due and what exams you have to study for. Prioritize these on your list and as you complete each one, you’ll feel the satisfaction of getting work done and crossing it off!

Begin studying

Everyone has a different way of studying. What is your way? Is it flashcards or working in a group? Some people work best individually; if this is the case for you, the UGL has a quiet area in the lower level with many areas and tables available to you. If you do better with your classmates around, book a collaboration room to make sure you have a spot to meet in! Rewriting your notes can be a huge help when trying to remember the material, and going over any past tests can refresh your memory.  Remember that everyone is different, so go with the strategy best for you.

If you need help, ask for it!

Sometimes, we’re too proud to ask for help, but these are your classes and grades we’re talking about here, so keeping it to yourself might not pay off. Know the office hours for your professor and go to them if you don’t understand something.  If you need help with a writing piece, check out the writer’s workshop at the UGL. Make an appointment to make sure someone can see you.

Need help with research? Look for the reference desk at the UGL, located on the upper level, in front of the entrance. When unsure about a certain source, ask for help from the blue-vested librarians there. We are more than happy to help! If you can’t find us at the desk, there are other ways to ask a librarian that may be more convenient – Twitter or SMS, for example.

You can also get research help and quick writing help during Office Hours @ the UGL, in room 291 from 7-9 PM on Tuesdays and 2-4 PM on Wednesdays. We’ll tell you more about that next week, so stay tuned.

Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically

Classes can be stressful, but midterms can cause even more anxiety. It is important to take care of your health and mental well-being. Take a study break and do some exercise, or go home and make a healthy meal (cut fruit with yogurt and granola is delicious). When you’re ready for a longer break, go to the lower level of the UGL and check out the movies available. After a productive study session, reward yourself with a movie or a video game!

Remember, find what study strategies are good for you and go with it! You’ll make it. We’ll all make it.

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Congrats, Grads!

Whether you finished in four years, are celebrating as a super-senior, or transferred in from another school, the UGL extends a big Illini Congrats to all the graduating seniors this weekend! We truly hope #ClubUGL was a positive part of your time here at Illinois, and we’re sure gonna miss seeing your smiling faces (studying is fun, right?) in our underground hangout!

The Alma Mater is all dressed up for graduation.

Alma photo courtesy of illinois.edu/blog

If you are graduating, you don’t have to entirely say goodbye to the library, though! We’ve got great resources for graduates! Check out the guide to Using the Library After Graduation and more info on Services for Alumni.

You can also keep up with the latest in UGL happenings by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, or following our boards on Pinterest. (We know you’re gonna be nostalgic for the all-nighters you pulled here. It’s okay to admit it. We get it.)

If you’re not graduating yet, don’t fret! We have plenty of awesome stuff in store for the summer and next school year, too. Keep in touch, come say hello, and stake out your prime study space for next fall! Remember, we’ll be closed this Saturday and Sunday for graduation weekend, but we’ll be back up and running on Monday, May 13 for Summer I hours.

Thank you, seniors, for helping make our work at the library special and important. After all, the library is here to support YOU! Good luck to all the graduates as you embark on your next adventure. And remember, you’ve always got a friend in the UGL!

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