Ideas for Improvement

You may have noticed that there’s a survey going on in the library – there are table tents, flyers, and images on the digital displays (those TVs that hang from the walls everywhere) telling you to take the survey and share your opinions with us. Why should you?

A puppy implores you to win a $50 gift card.

The puppy wants you to share, and the puppy wants you to win.

Improving Library Services

One reason you should take the library survey is so that we know what’s working for you and what isn’t. If the answers we receive on the survey tell us that something we’re doing is helpful to most people, we can make sure we keep providing that service successfully. If the answers we receive tell us that something needs to be fixed or improved, we can work on making it better based on what you tell us. There are lots of other ways you can share your opinions with us – like this feedback form, or messaging us on Twitter – but if you use this survey, we can have everyone’s answers to standardized questions in one place, and that makes it easier to make decisions!

Union Bookstore Gift Card

The other reason you should take the survey is that your participation puts you in the running for a $50 Union Bookstore gift card. Fifty whole dollars! What can you buy with $50? That will get you:

Or anything else you can think of that’s available in the Union Bookstore (maybe a textbook for next semester?).

All your library and sweatpants dreams can come true, but you have to take the survey to get there. We appreciate everyone who takes the time to share their opinions and we look forward to seeing what you have to say.

 

 

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UGL 101: New Collab Room System

Have you studied in one of our incredibly useful group rooms yet this semester? If you have, you may have noticed that the system you used to snag your reservation is a little different than it was before. Read on for a tour of the new system and how to get collaboration rooms when you need them.

The logo for the new system says

To get to the room reservation system, follow the same route you’ve taken before: start on the UGL homepage, then click on the button in the middle menu that says “Group Rooms.” From the group rooms page, look for the heading that says “How Do I Reserve a Room (Call D1bs?)” – underneath that heading is where you’ll find a link to the new reservation system.

When you first click in, you’ll be asked for information about what kind of room you need. How many people are in your group, how long do you need it, and when do you need it? Think generally – “morning,” “afternoon,” or “now” rather than “9 AM.” There’s time to get sepcific later.

Three drop-down menus let you specify your room needs.

For information about how many people can fit in a room, check the group rooms page or the subject guide linked below.

Next, it’ll show you which libraries have rooms available that fit all your needs. Click on the library you’d like to get a room in. If the library is grayed out and you can’t click on it, that means that library doesn’t have rooms that meet your time and space needs.

Information about the location of the rooms within the library is also provided on the second screen.

The “available times” number lets you know how many options are available at each library.

Next, pick a more specific time. The reservations that you see available should be for the same length of time that you specified in the first screen. Remember that rules about how many reservations you can make still stand – 2 hours at a time, twice a week, for a total of 4 hours a week. Click the time period that works best for you.

A list of reservation by time range is visible after selecting your library.

The number to the right shows you how many rooms are available for each specific time slot.

Finally, it’s time to actually reserve your room! On the final screen, put in your name and your @illinois.edu email address – and your phone number, if you’d like text updates – and click the button that says “Call D!bs!” See how clever we are? An email will be sent to your Illinois email address with the details about your room reservation. If you end up needing to cancel your reservation, the email will also contain a link that you can follow to cancel it.

So…tada! That’s the ins and outs of our new group room system. If you need further help with the system or if you have questions about room policies, we have a handy group room subject guide for you. You can also Ask a Librarian, as always. Happy collaborating!

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Group study rooms get overhauled

We know you love using our Collab Rooms, and we’ve recently updated a couple of the rooms with brand new, totally awesome gear. Plus, you can now book the rooms online.

UGL 101: an introduction

For starters, rooms one and two now have new equipment. They’re tricked out with a table that has an attached TV monitor and VGA cables that allow you to connect up to 6 laptops/tablets at one time. You bring up your laptop’s display on the monitor, and click between which connected computer’s screen is displayed on the TV. Pretty sweet, huh?

(There are also three tables with the same laptop hookup/TV screen set up on the north side of the upper level—near the CITES help desk. They’re currently available on a first-come, first-serve basis.)

The other big piece of news is that you can now reserve collaboration rooms online. You’ve always been able to book rooms in advance, by coming in to the UGL or calling us. Now, using a handy online form, you can book your reservation from anywhere you can access the internet.

The process is pretty simple, too, as long as you have your I-card nearby. Start at the UGL homepage. There is a new link for “Group Rooms” in the gray bar across the middle of the screen. Clicking on that link will take you to a page with more information about room equipment and use. Then click on the orange link at the top of the page to get to the reservation form.

On the left hand side of the reservation page is the list of rooms to choose from, and hovering over each room number will show you what equipment is available in each room and the recommended capacity. Clicking on the room title will show the availability for that room. Use the calendar in the top left corner to make sure you’ve selected the correct date.

Next you select your time slots (no more than 2 hour blocks at a time), and click “Continue.” Then the form will ask for your information, including your Library number, which is on the bottom right-hand side of your I-card (the number that starts will “2011″). You also have the ability to put in a “Group Name.” This is what will appear publicly online for others to see. Once you’ve filled it all in (and be sure to use your @illinois.edu email address), you simply click “Verify Request.” You’ll get a reservation confirmation sent to the email address you provided and bam! You’re done. In that confirmation email should also be a link for you to cancel a reservation, should you need to do so. We can’t change or cancel reservations for you, so make sure to keep that email handy.

If you like to book the media editing and reading rooms on the lower level, you can also now reserve those online. However, you will also need to swing by the Circulation Desk on the upper level and pick up a key for those rooms.

Before you start booking rooms left and right, make sure you review our policies on the use of them. And if you still have problems or questions, let us know. We want to offer you the best resources out there, and your feedback is essential to us knowing exactly what you need. We’ve been hard at work updating and renovating, so keep us bookmarked to learn about all the exciting changes happening in the near future.

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24 Hour Study People

It’s official. The UGL will not close between now and Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7pm. Adding to our already study-friendly 24/5 schedule (open 24 hours a day, Sunday thru Thursday), in honor of finals week, the UGL will remain open 24 hours this weekend, too.

Su nup to sun down and back to sun up, the UGL will be here for you.

What does this mean for you? You’ve got one more place to add to your study location list. For the most part, all services will be available. Group rooms? Check. Loanable technology? Check. Friendly, capable employees that can help with any of your research questions or library needs? Check, check, check.

The lower level will also remain open 24-hours for quiet study (during the week, it usually closes at 2am) and the media collection (DVDs, etc.) will close at midnight both Friday and Saturday nights (DVD retrieval will still be available by request). Per usual, group study is more than welcome on the upper level. A few other things to remember:

  • If you’re planning to be in the library late, make sure you’ve got a friend to walk you home! (You can also use MTD’s SafeRides between 5pm and 6:30am, and check out other campus safety tips.)
  • Stay hydrated! Beverages (with lids) are welcome in the library, and there are drinking fountains located in the upper level lobby and near rest rooms.
  • No food is allowed in the library. We know this kinda stinks, but dems da rules. We encourage you to bring snacks to eat in the Espresso area (those tables remain available even if Espresso is closed). It’s good to get up and stretch, anyway! And if you don’t want to move all of your stuff, we have laptop locks & lockers to keep your stuff safe while you take a snack break.
  • Printing out a bunch of stuff? Here’s a reminder on how to do it.
  • The Lower Level is for quiet study. Please be respectful of this rule—everyone’s a bit stressed and working under deadlines, so a quiet environment is important. If you need to chat with your group members, talk on your phone or LOL at something funny on the interwebs, please go into one of the lobbies, the courtyard or the Upper Level.
  • Congratulations! You totally knocked out that final paper or studied so hard for your exam your eyeballs almost fell out. Now, you get to leave the UGL. Hooray! Make sure you take all of your stuff and throw away any of your trash. Lots of people will be using this space this weekend, so please help us keep it as tidy as possible.

Good luck on finals, Club UGL. We know you’ve got this!

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UGL 101: Collaboration Rooms

UGL 101: an introduction

Started a study group for that Chem class? Have a group project you need to get done? Just need a space to work with your buds? The UGL has your back.

One of our most popular features is our 11 collaboration rooms. These rooms are available for student use anytime the UGL is open. We’ve even tricked them out for you: in addition to a table and chairs, each room has a TV, a DVD player (some also have VCRs), jacks for your headphones, and most have a hookup for your laptop. Some of the rooms also have whiteboards, and dry erase markers are available for checkout at the Circulation Desk.

So how can you get into one of these primo study spots? Simple. If you’ve used these in years past, you’ll be stoked to know you no longer need to check out a key! Yeah! But we still recommend you reserve your spot. Just call or come to the UGL to reserve the room you want (and make sure at least one person in your group has their I-Card handy, as you’ll still need to show you’re a student). Make sure when you reserve the room, you know how many people will be in your group and if you’ll need any specific equipment—that way we can set you up in the best one for your group.

A couple things to remember: We’re still booking these in two-hour time slots (they’re in demand, so we’ve gotta share with everyone), and we ask that you don’t sign up for more than two 2-hour blocks a week. Cool? Cool. If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them at the Circulation or Research desks. And remember they fill up fast, so don’t wait until the last minute to make your reservation, or we may be booked.

Coming soon: an online reservation system. Check back with us soon for all the deets about how to reserve your room online.

Picture of a collaboration room

One of our collaboration rooms, just waiting for you!

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Super in the Summer

UGL basking in the summer sun

UGL basking in the summer sun

In case you’re currently cursing your summer-class-taking fate, let us reassure you that the UGL (and maybe even the whole campus) stays pretty awesome during the summer. We found at least five reasons the UGL rocks in the off-season. Can you think of more? Let us know!

1) You can always sit in your favorite spot: Okay, we can’t guarantee this because there is a small chance that someone else who is here for a summer class also likes your UGL study spot. But in general, it’s pretty quiet around the UGL and you can snag an entire table all for yourself. A little different than finals week, huh?

2) The line at Espresso is short: So short, they’ve taken down their line-forming barriers. It’s so easy to get a latte these days, maybe too easy. And you’re guaranteed a fresh sandwich.

3) The bathrooms are…well…cleaner: We realize this is an ongoing issue for you guys. We’re working on it as hard as we can! But it’s a fact that since it’s quieter in here during the summer, the bathrooms aren’t used as much and thus stay cleaner.

4) No wait time for group collaboration rooms: So, like No. 1, this isn’t a complete guarantee. There might be some massive run on group projects all of a sudden when pretty much every instructor assigns a group project the same week. But, let’s be real–that’s not too likely. So you should be able to waltz into the UGL and pick up a key for a collaboration room anytime we’re open–no lines, no waiting.

5) Finally check out a Flip camera and an iPad (and a Nook, and a Macbook Pro, and an external hard drive…): The UGL’s unique collection of rockin’ technology is here for you to use all year long, but it’s insanely popular and we can’t even keep some items in stock! This summer, get your hands on one of our new iPads, Nook Colors, and more. Plus when you’re in the UGL doing work (or just soaking up the A/C while catching up on Netflix), we can pretty much guarantee you’ll get your pick of laptops.

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And we don’t stop

UGL from above, brightly lit at night.

Now that it’s almost finals week, the UGL is once again keeping its (admittedly very heavy) doors open all the time.  So!  No need to worry if you need a quiet place to pull an all-nighter (or a bustling place to keep you from snoozing when you should be studying)… we’ll be here.

Here’s the deal:  From now until Friday, May 11th at 7PM, the UGL is ALWAYS OPEN.

And in honor of all the hard work you’re doing, we’d like to share some sweet tips on how to make the most of your library experience during these trying times…

  • Do you need a collaboration room for a group project?  No problem!  Just remember that they tend to book up pretty quickly during finals week, so you’re best bet is to reserve one in advance.  Just call (or visit) the UGL circulation desk @ 333-3477 to make your reservation.
  • The lower level of the UGL is the quiet floor.  Especially during finals, people take the quiet mandate pretty seriously. To avoid scowls, scorn, and potential scandal, keep the talking to the upper level only. Seriously… it’s for your own good!
  • All-nighters are basically not doable without coffee and snacks.  That’s why the Espresso Royale location at the UGL will also be keeping it’s doors open 24/7 until Friday May 11th.  (OK… they’ll actually be closing each night for one hour from 12AM-1AM, and closed during the night on Saturday and Sunday).  Remember! Drinks (with lids) are OK in the library, but if you need to eat, please do so in the cafe area in front of Espresso.
  • You’re probably going to be clocking in some serious hours at the UGL, and you’re definitely going to need a break or two.  Don’t leave your stuff unattended! Remember, you can always check out a laptop lock at the circulation desk to ensure you’re computer is safe while you take a stroll or grab a bite to eat.
  • The UGL isn’t just for studying…we’re also here to help you unwind.  If you need to take your mind off finals, you can pick up a DVD, grab a good book, or take a gaming break.

We’re pulling for you! Try not to stress too much, and let us know if/how we can help make things easier! 

 

 

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