An Ocean of Good Reads

Central Illinois is a wonderful place. It is home to our wonderful Alma Mater, the charming cities of Urbana and Champaign, and enough cornfields to support even the most voracious grilled corn habit. There is, however, a distinct lack of salt air, of booming waves, and of billowing sails. If you find yourself pining for the sea life, take home one of these ocean-themed books from the UGL. You can read them in a hammock and pretend you’re below-decks!

Silver : My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder
by Edward Chupack

An Ocean + A Boat = Pirates, obviously. You’re probably familiar with Treasure Island, perhaps the most well-known pirate story of Western literature. But have you ever wondered about how the infamous pirate Long John Silver became who he is? This is his life story, recounted by Silver himself, as he sails imprisoned towards his execution in England. Many murders and treasure troves are recounted, in highly stylized pirate lingo, but the biggest and most mysterious treasure is only hinted at…

The Seas: a Novel
By Samantha Hunt

“Long walks on the beach” are often heralded as being the height of romance. What if, however,  you’re a young woman in a desolate seaside town, grieving the loss of your father, convinced you’re a mermaid, and in love with a older, damaged veteran? Time spent on the beach together might have a different feel to it, then. That’s the premise behind this novel, which draws from ethereal fairy tales but is set in cold, hard reality.

8 Men and a Duck : an Improbable Voyage by Reed Boat to Easter Island
by Nick Thorpe

Translating the art of the road trip to the southern Pacific, this is the tale of 8 dudes (mostly non-sailors) who attempt to travel from the coast of Chile to Easter Island in a boat made out of reeds. Their motivation? Living to tell the tale, mostly. There are sharks, storms, and rival sailing teams who attempt to sabotage the mission; there is also, as promised, a duck. The duck’s name is Pedro.

The Sea is My Brother
by Jack Kerouac

Before he became a famous figure in Beat literature, Jack Kerouac was a merchant marine. That means he worked as a sailor on ships carrying passengers and cargo, and that is the setting of this, his first, incomplete novel. Young men at sea grappling with loneliness, identity, and drinking in the modern world – if that sounds like your cup of grog, pick this one up.

 

The Sea Wolf
by Jack London, adapted by Riff Reb’s

Originally a novel by Jack London, of White Fang and Call of the Wild fame, this graphic novel adaptation adds dramatic, high-contrast illustrations to a classic adventure tale. Instead of furry beasts in snowy Yukon climes, the ‘wolf’ in this story is a hardened sailor in the South Pacific. He and his crew of seal hunters pick up a shipwreck victim, Humphrey, who is initially glad for their help…but Humphrey soon realizes that this ain’t no pleasure cruise, and he will have to fight to survive.

 

That’s it for our fleet of ocean-centered stories. We hope you got to see more of the ocean this summer that the UGL ever does, from it’s vantage point underground. Do you have a favorite book or movie set on the high seas? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Got Pride? LGBT Pride Month at the UGL

The Stonewall Inn Riots, a series of protests following police raids on a queer bar in New York City that are widely considered the igniting spark for the modern LGBT rights movement, took place on June 28-29, 1969. Ever since then, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer folks in the United States have taken the month of June as a symbolic time to demonstrate pride in their sexual and gender minority identities.

A rainbow-colored robot invites you to LGBT pride month.

Original image by Quinn Dombrowski.

This year, 45 years later, President Barack Obama has again declared June LGBT Pride Month, recognizing the importance for LGBTQ people to celebrate themselves and the political struggles their communities have been involved in. In order to show off our own pride, the UGL would like to recommend some items from our collection that display some LGBTQ pride and history.

Stonewall

by Martin Duberman

If you’re interested in going back to the beginning, Martin Duberman’s Stonewall is an important look—even 20 years on—at the watershed nature of the events at Stonewall through the eyes of six very different people. His history captures the conflicting and varied responses to the Stonewall events and draws a messy picture of the events leading up to Stonewall that made the riots such a historic event.

Smash the Church, Smash the State book cover with vintage photos of activists

Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation

edited by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Smash the Church, Smash the State takes a look at the political climate immediately following Stonewall by investigating the early years of the Gay Liberation Front, a anti-assimilationist activist group—the first to use the word “gay” in its name—that worked alongside (and sometimes against) other radical movements of the 1970s. Written by former GLF members, this book provides insight into a turbulent and fabulous movement whose work laid the foundation for contemporary LGBTQ politics.

Body Counts boko cover with image of couple kissing

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

by Sean Strub

Moving forward in time, another historically significant event in the history of queer people in the United States was the AIDS crisis of the late 80s and early 90s. Sean Strub’s memoir, Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival, documents one slice of that time and what it meant for the gay community. As the founder of POZ magazine and the first openly HIV-positive candidate for the US legislature, Strub’s insight into the critical need for AIDS-related protections and research and his work with ACT UP paints an important picture of this era.

Redefining Realness book cover with image of Janet Mock looking incredibly regal

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More

by Janet Mock

For a contemporary look at one aspect of LGBTQ pride, check out Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More. Mock was born to Black and Native Hawaiian parents in a working class neighborhood of Honolulu, and is now a respected writer and advocate for trans rights, creating #girlslikeus, an online movement for transwomen living visibly. Mock’s memoir traces her life from a childhood in Hawai‘i through her career in New York City, and it highlights the need for mainstream LGBTQ movements to center the experiences of trans women of color to continue to fight oppression both within and outside of LGBTQ communities.

There’s lots more Pride to be found in the stacks of the UGL and in Champaign-Urbana more widely. If you’re looking to celebrate this month, check out the UP Center’s Reel It UP! LGBT film festival, with showings every Tuesday in June at the Champaign Art Theater. Or, if you won’t be back on campus until school starts, Champaign-Urbana Pride  will be on Saturday, September 6 in downtown Champaign. We encourage you to celebrate along with us by checking out some of these resources and events…Happy Pride!

Special thanks to guest blogger Tad Andracki!

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SAAM at UIUC

April is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States. The Women’s Resource Center on campus has been having events all month, with more still to come in the next week. Read on to find out how to participate, and how the library can help you learn more about understanding and preventing sexual violence.

A teal ribbon is one symbol of the campaign against sexual assault.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia user MesserWoland

The official Women’s Resource Center SAAM site has a listing of all the events that have happened so far, and the ones still to come. Upcoming events for this week include a Take Back the Night march and a Denim Day display on the quad. You can find a full listing of events on the WRC page.Both Take Back the Night and Denim Day are nation-wide events with their own websites, where you can learn about their history and (if you’re off-campus) possibly find an event near to you.

Whether your on-campus or off, many of the events and campaigns held during Sexual Assault Awareness Month have as their end goal of educating people about the problems of sexual assault. If you’ve been educated about an issue, such as sexual assault, you’re better prepared to put an end to it, or improve it. If you’re unable to attend any of these events, the library, as a place concerned with the sharing of knowledge, can help you educate yourself and become a better ally to those who need your help. There’s a subject guide on rape and sexual assault that can help you find books and articles on those subjects and further your knowledge. Here’s another guide about sexual harassment, which is a related topic you can educate yourself about and help prevent. Searching in the catalog for subjects like “Rape Prevention” can also bring up informative and helpful books, such as Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.

If you want help researching sexual assault, you can ask a librarian for help. If you need personal help coping with sexual assault, the Women’s Resource Center has lists of campus and community resources that you can look to for assistance. No matter what you need, somone can help you find it.

 

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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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Spotlight On…CQ Researcher

You’ve got a paper coming up, and you don’t have a topic yet. The paper has to be about a current issue that’s controversial, or maybe you have to debate the pros and cons of something – but there are so many issues in the world! How do you know what to choose and where to start? If you come to the UGL’s website, we have a resource that can help you solve all these problems. It’s called CQ Researcher.

What and where is CQ Researcher?

CQ Researcher is one of the many databases that the library provides for you to use. It’s a little different from other databases you may have used, because it’s designed to make it easy for you to browse articles by topic. The topics that articles in CQ Researcher cover range from education issues (like homeschooling) to disputes over international law (like the ethics of war), but all have been topics of intense discussion and debate in the recent past or present.

To get to CQ Researcher, start at the UGL homepage and click the Find Articles button that you see under the Easy Search box. That will take you to the Find Articles guide, where we list some of our databases by type. CQ Researcher is a general database, so you can find a link to it in the first section that’s labelled “Starting Points (Multi-Subject Databases).”

CQ Researcher should be the third database listed under Starting Points.

What can I find in CQ Researcher?

Every topic covered in CQ Researcher will be explained in a report – a long article that provides an overview of the topic,  including background information, current controversies or problems, and potential outcomes. An editorial piece from each side of the argument – a “pro” and a “con” position – are also provided by an expert on the topic. Other helpful features include timelines of major events, and lists of suggested sources for further research. This information could be used to help you figure out what specific aspects of a general topic you’re most interested in, where you should look for more information, or how a specific issue fits into a larger issue or trend.

You can navigate through the different kinds of information provided using the menu on the left side, or explore related issues using the Issue Tracker menu on the right.

How can I use CQ Researcher?

If you already have an idea of what you’re interested in, the main page of CQ Researcher has a search feature in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. If you don’t have an idea yet, don’t worry – it also has options to browse through information by what’s been added most recently, or by general area of interest (like the ‘education’ and ‘international law’ areas we mentioned above). As you browse or search, CQ Researcher will offer suggestions for related topic in a menu on the right-hand side of the screen.

The search box is in the top-right corner, and the Browse options are in the main navigation menu under the heading.

So, if you’re trying to find an interesting, contemporary debate to explore for an assignment, or you’ve already got one and need ideas for how to approach it, find your way to the UGL homepage and try CQ Researcher. There’s also that helpful Ask-A-Librarian chat box on the UGL page, so if you should get stuck, a librarian is only a click away! We’ll be happy to help you use this or any other library resource.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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Warm up for Spring Break at the UGL

Hey UGL-ers! Here in Chambana, it’s finally starting to warm up. Which means there’s only one thing on our minds—spring break! Whether you’re staying in town to catch up on sleep or packing for an exotic adventure, the UGL has all the resources you need to make this spring break the best yet.

Cover of Foder's Los Cabos guidebook

Where can you snorkel in Los Cabos? Find out here!

If you’re heading out of town for spring break this year, check out the UGL’s collection of travel guides to read up on your favorite destination. Where is the best place to hike in Wisconsin? Which towns in Spain are must-sees? Where can you snorkel in Los Cabos? All your travel questions can be answered in these handy guidebooks.

Traveling out of the country? Learn a few phrases or brush up on your conversation skills in hundreds of languages for FREE using our Tell Me More language software. Take a look at our previous blog post to learn how to use this great resource.

Cover of The Globetrotter Diaries

Get inspired for an adventure of your own.

If your spring break plans look a lot like your pillow, the UGL can bring out your inner hitchhiker while you catch some Z’s right here at home. Check out our Pinterest board that highlights a few of our favorite books about travel writing and photography, as well as the guidebooks we mentioned above.

The Hobbit DVD cover

“Not all who wander are lost.”

As always, the UGL’s collection of movies, TV shows, and audio books are ready to cure your travel bug from the comfort of your couch. Need a European adventure? Live vicariously through every James Bond film. Feeling wanderlust? Trek through Middle-earth with a Lord of the Rings marathon. Or, get pumped for the release of the next Captain America film with your Avenger pals. Stock up on all your favorites before break!

If you’re looking for a thrilling page-turner to pass some time over break, be on the lookout for our up-coming display “Road Trip with a Book.” We’ll surprise you with a great new read!

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Spotlight On…Film Resources

The 2014 Oscars have now been awarded, and whether you agree with the winners or not, the library has resources you can use to learn more about film history and theory, as well as find more movies to watch.

Researching Film History and Theory

  • Film Study Reference Guide – This research guide, put together by the Literature and Languages Library, is a one-stop shop for all film theory research needs. It has resources for finding film reviews, if you want to find out what critics said about those Oscar winners before they were winners, as well as lists of books that can serve as your introduction to the history and study of film.
  • Finding Article about Film in Databases – The Communications Library has put together a list of databases that contain articles pertaining to film history and criticism. Once you gotten a good introduction using the reference guide above, you can use these databases to find more specific articles about whatever film topic interests you.

Findings Movies to Watch

  • Finding Movies in the Library – Reading about movies is great, but reading reviews and articles won’t be helpful if you haven’t seen the movies themselves! The Undergraduate Library has a guide to help you find the movies you need in the library catalog.
  • Ideas for What to Watch – If you don’t know where to start, the UGL has Pinterest boards that collect our favorite horror movies, science fiction features, summer films, and movies based on books. Browsing the entire media collection by genre is tough, because it’s just not arranged that way, but here’s a tip: on the catalog search screen, change the first dropdown menu from “Keyword” to “Subject,” then try typing in what you’re looking for. You could try a genre, like “Horror films,” or a topic followed by the kind of  movie you want, like “High school students – Comedy.” It takes some practice, but soon you’ll be a master at finding great new movies.

What do you think about when you decide whether a movie is good or not? Let us know in the comments!

Need ideas for other great library resources? Find more in our Spotlight on… series here.

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Reader’s Advisory: Spring Reads!

Happy Spring UGL’ers! (let’s ignore the fact that it is still freezing). Spring time is not only time for blooming flowers, but also a time for a new reader’s advisory post. We have gathered the favorite books from the UGL graduate assistants just for you.

 

The Secret Garden

Christina recommends…
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Tiny British orphans living in a dreary manor discover a secret garden on the premises and bring its plants and animals (and themselves) back to life. Perfect for reading as the world theoretically thaws and things start growing again. There’s also a movie ver??

 

 

 

How to live safely in a science fictional universe

Zoe recommends...

How to Safely live in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

Want to escape into a new world but never leave your couch? Meet a fellow lazy man in Charles Yu’s fantastic novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe. Bringing the love of machines before Her became famous, this novel follows the story of a young man who loves his operating system, fixes time machines, and lives in a very small universe indeed. Travel the universe, begin to understand paradoxes, and never leave your bed.

 

 

 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Lily recommends…Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of food and life by Barbara Kingsolver.

A newer work by a beloved writer, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle details the author’s journey with her family into a lifestyle of gardening, local produce, and organic ingredients. Far more than a how-to book, this work combines journalism, food culture insight, narrative, humor, and recipes into an extremely readable exploration, written collaboratively by several members of the Kingsolver clan. It’s liable to make you want to spend some time outside, assuming things warm up around here (or inside cooking if they don’t). Check out “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” for an instant taste!

 

The Art of Fielding Book

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Ira recommends…The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Spring means the return of baseball. Get ready for the season with this fantastic debut novel about a slick-fielding college shortstop named Henry Skrimshander, as he strives for perfection on the field. Littered with allusions to Melville, this novel is doubly recommended for those who like both Moby Dick and the national pastime.

 

 

 

Claude Monet; Springs in the Field

Claude Monet: Springs in the Field

Quetzalli recommends…Claude Monet: Springs in the Field by, Claude Monet

Spring is almost nearing (well, at least, it’s supposed to). Although there might be snow and ice on the ground, that doesn’t mean that we can’t prepare for the spring. Let this book take you into the world of impressionist painter, Clause Monet. With paintings of beautiful spring scenery, this book is sure to leave you wanting for Spring!

 

Watership down Book

Watership Down

Linsy recommmends….Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down is a tale of an epic adventure undertaken by rabbits.  After surviving a mass genocide of their warren, rabbits Fiver, Hazel and Bigwig must set out on their own to establish a new home.  Their adventure contains many near-death experiences as this band of survivors tries to “make it” in this unknown world (South-central England).  Richard Adams has anthropomorphized these animals, giving them their own language, proverbs, poetry and mythology.  Reading about these rabbits adventures will transport you to warmer weather until Illinois is able to catch up.

Chasign Spring book

Chasing Spring

Other recommendations:Chasing Spring: An American Journey Through a Changing Season by Bruce Stutz

Join author Bruce Stutz as he journeys through the United States in the changing season of Spring. A good read for those wanting to have a good book and some black coffee. The author will journey through the dry desert, Alaskan Arctic, and other places throughout the country. In this book, you will find a wonderful story that will eagerly leave you waiting for Spring.

 

 

Well, there you have it folks! All of these books are available through the library catalog. Happy book hunting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arch-I’ve Got Some Sources for You

Hey, do you know about the University Archives? Well, you should, because they can help you meet all your campus-related primary source needs, as well as give you a fascinating glimpse into what life as a student at UIUC has been like over the years.

black and white vintage image of students walking down main quad

The quad in ye olden days. (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

An archive is a collection of historical documents that documents the life or developments of a person or organization. The University Archives, as the name suggests, collects documents that contain information about the history and functions of UIUC, and people who have been associated with it in some way. A lot of them are primary sources – interviews, letters, and things like that. If you’re working on an assignment that requires primary sources, why not visit the archives website or contact an archivist to see what they can help you with? The archives also have a guide to primary sources in general, if you need to start with the basics.

A lot of the things kept in the archives relate to the running of the University and its general history, but a lot of it is also about students just like you! The Student Life and Culture Program is one part of the University Archives that highlights the student experience at UIUC (and the United States in general), and how it has changed over time (and how it’s stayed the same). Some of your assignments might require you to investigate an issue on campus; the SLC has research guides that can help you find information about the history of hot-button topics on campus. Maybe you’re interested in Greek life on campus, or the experiences of African-American students. Those are just a few things you can learn about using archival materials!

If this brief introduction has you curious about archives, feel free to search their website for things that you’re interested in. You can get a sampling of their collection on the UGL’s Facebook and Twitter pages – we’re highlighting fun and interesting things we find in the archives in weekly Throwback Thursday posts.

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On Being Inclusive

We’re guessing that you’re just as sick of the snow this season as we are. One of the nicest things that can happen when it’s cold, wet, and windy, though, is the possibility of a snow day. A week or so ago, when Chancellor Phyllis Wise announced that inclement weather wouldn’t mean the University was closing, some members of our community turned to Twitter to announce their displeasure with unfortunate racist and sexist remarks.

In response, many units of our campus, including our very own University Library, have planned an event, #ONECAMPUS: Moving Beyond Digital Hate, in order to promote an open dialogue about maintaining an inclusive atmosphere on campus. It takes place this evening, Thursday, February 6, at 7:30 pm in the Krannert Great Hall.

As Club UGL-ers, we hope that you’re interested in keeping our hoppin’ underground spot as safe and welcoming for all kinds of people as we possibly can. In addition to letting you know about that event, we’d like to feature some resources, available right here at the UGL, that will help you extend your knowledge beyond this one-time conversation, and which we hope help make the UGL an inclusive place to be.

Book cover: Static TVs to represent the media

Race/Gender/Class/Media 3.0 by Rebecca Ann Lind

Lind’s newly updated anthology is jam-packed with all kinds of fascinating essays about race, gender, class, and sexuality in the media. She looks at an enormous array of media, from TV to magazines and from radio to social media, digging into important issues to help us understand how racism and sexism can play out in media spaces, especially those online.

book cover: hand-made signs in windows of houses advertising parties

 House Signs and Collegiate Fun: Sex, Race, and Faith in a College Town by Chaise LaDousa

Club UGL-ers know how to have a good time, right? In this book, LaDousa looks at the experience of “just havin’ fun” in universities and analyzes the cultural meanings put into signage produced by partying college students . LaDousa shows how the ways that we understand race, gender, sexuality, and religion show up in things that we often don’t even think twice about, making this an especially timely book on this topic.

book cover: plain white text on blue background, very academic

 Why Aren’t We There Yet?: Taking Personal Responsibility for Creating an Inclusive Campus edited by Jan Arminio, Vasti Torres, and Raechele L. Pope

In Why Aren’t We There Yet?, the editors ask why, despite years of talk about increasing diversity and making campuses inclusive, events of racism and sexism like SnowDayTweetGate still happen. Their answers aren’t easy, but the book is a guide to helping us continue to have difficult conversations about power and justice and asks us to step up in ending discrimination on our campus.

The UGL thinks this is an important conversation and wants to make sure that you know that we’ve got the resources to help you with all kinds of problems, from the big ones like our campus climate, to the little ones. We hope that you’ll join us as we try to make sure that the library—and the university—are safer spaces for people of all races, genders, orientations, and abilities. The Media Collection will still be waiting when you get back.

Special thanks to guest blogger Tad Andracki.

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