It has begun: Finals week is here

As most of you already know, finals week has arrived. It’s that time of the year where everyone is pulling all nighters and frantically searching for those notes they took back in January.  Remember that the UGL will be open 24 hours, 7 days a week until Friday, May 15th at 7 PM. In order to ease your stress, the UGL also has some study tips for productivity and success.

Tip 1: Make a list

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do! Photo courtesy of John. Schultz via Flickr Media Commons

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do! Photo courtesy of John. Schultz via Flickr Media Commons

Create a list of everything that has to be done this week. This includes school and non-school work. It works best if you make a list, but separate the two. Then, prioritize and organize. Finals week is a time of great stress and sometimes you forget that the electric bill is due because you were too busy concentrating on a paper.

Tip 2: Review, review, review

Review the concepts. Photo courtesy of wudzt via Flickr Commons

Review the concepts. Photo courtesy of wudzt via Flickr Commons

Review your notes everyday. Looking over class notes for about 10 or 15 minutes per day can be helpful in retaining information. Don’t wait until the day before the exam to study all the material.

Tip 3: Study aids

Study Aids. Photo courtesy of Yin Tung Ho via Flickr Media Commons

Study Aids. Photo courtesy of Yin Tung Ho via Flickr Media Commons

Study aids can be a great resource for not only finals week, but for tests or quizzes. Check out the subject guides that the Undergraduate Library has to offer. You’ll find a variety of different topics. If you want a little study break mixed with productivity, check out the UGL’s Pinterest board on study tips. On our study tips board, there are some cool infographics you can check out. See? You can still have fun while doing something productive.

Tip 4: Communication with your Professor or TA

Go to office hours. Photo courtesy of Nathan Wagoner

Go to office hours. Photo courtesy of Nathan Wagoner via Flickr Media Commons

Is there something you just don’t understand? Talk to your TA or Professor. Find out if they have office hours, if not, email. Communicating to your teacher about difficulties is key. Forming study groups is also a good idea. Learning concepts with a group of people can be beneficial. You never know, they might have the same questions as you.

Tip 5: Summary sheet

Make a summary sheet so that you cover all the concepts in class. Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Make a summary sheet so that you cover all the concepts in class. Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley via Flickr Media Commons

In order to go over everything that was taught in the class, develop a summary sheet for yourself. This way, you will have no surprises and it will also refresh your memory. Summary sheets can be done for each class.

Tip 6: Quiz yourself

Quiz yourself. Photo courtesy of Matt Cornock via Flickr Media Commons

Quiz yourself. Photo courtesy of Matt Cornock via Flickr Media Commons

Make a mini-quiz for yourself in order to see if you are retaining all that information. It doesn’t have to be long, maybe 5 or 7 questions. These quizzes will also allow you to gauge your knowledge and what you might need to work on.

Tip 7: Take a break every once in a while! All of this studying can be stressful and you need to take some time to your self. Did you know that the UGL has a gaming center? Come take a study place with your friends. The UGL also has a great media selection. Watching a comedy or horror movie will ease your study time from finals.

Tired of studying? Take a nap! Photo courtesy of The LEAF Project via Flickr Media Commons

Tired of studying? Take a nap! Photo courtesy of The LEAF Project via Flickr Media Commons

If you need help with research or anything else, come to the UGL and ask us! or, if you’re at home and need immediate help, go to Ask a Librarian. Good luck with finals, you’re almost there.

 

 

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De-Stress Fest! Therapy Dogs, Chair Yoga, and a special guest

The Spring semester is almost to an end and finals are near. Take a break and refresh with therapy dogs at the UGL, Grainger, and Funk ACES libraries. And check out the UGL’s first-ever De-Stress Fest, featuring yoga, coloring books, McKinley Stress Management Peers, and the UIUC Counseling Center. For the grand finale, Uggles the UGL Cat (weather permitting) will be outside of the UGL for a meet-and-greet!

Join us for the de-stress fest!

Join us for the de-stress fest!

The Therapy Dog Schedule is:

May 7th ACES:

Jeannie 2-4 PM
Fitz 2-4 PM
Wyatt the Cat 2-4pm

May 11th Grainger:
Sam 2-4 PM
Lilly 2-4 PM
Atlas 2-3 PM

May 12th UGL:
Raven 2-4 PM
Twiggy 3-4 PM
Atlas 2-3 PM

The De-Stress Fest will include Chair Yoga sessions provided by Christine Janak (http://www.christinejanak.com/). Two sessions will take place at 2:15 to 2:45 and 3:00-3:30. The UIUC Counseling Center will also be at the UGL providing information on campus de-stress resources, as well as the McKinley Stress Management Peers.

There will also be a scheduled meet and greet with Uggles the UGL Cat on Tuesday May 12th on the plaza level outside the UGL (weather permitting). Take this opportunity to take a selfie with #Uggles.

Now – let’s meet some of our certified therapy animals, provided courtesy of the CU Canine Connection and CU Registered Therapy Animals (https://cucanineconnection.wordpress.com/).

 Lilly

Rub Lilly's tummy!

Rub Lilly’s tummy!

This cutie will be at Grainger on May 11th. She is a Goldendoodle with many talents. They include being a registered therapy dog and a certified Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ). Like many dogs, her likes include snuggling, playing with humans, and listening to a good book.

 Hercules and Fitz

Hercules and Fitz

Hercules and Fitz

We also have Hercules and sibling, Fitz. Fitz is a visla/chocolate lab mix, while Hercules is a boxer/Boston terrier/American Staffordshire terrier.They both enjoy chasing each other and squirrels, taking naps, and being cuddled. They will be at ACES on May 7th, so come say hi!

 Raven

Raven, on the left

Raven, on the left

Raven is a Standard Poodle.She does most of her therapy work at libraries  and loves people from all ages. In order to relax, Raven likes to play fetch with Frisbees and tennis balls. She will be at the UGL on May 12th.

Sam

Sam. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Sam in all his glory. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Sam is an adorable and fuzzy Alaskan Malamute. He is great company and enjoys when people pet him. Like everyone, he is not a fan of finals but is very happy to be at UIUC to relieve peoples stress. Sam will be at Grainger on May 11th. Come on by and take a picture with him!

Wyatt

Wyatt the Cat. Photo courtesy of Lori Kistler

Wyatt the Cat. Photo courtesy of Lori Kistler

Wyatt is a “puppy cat.” What does this mean? He loves people petting him and how good of a boy he is, He is 6 years old and has been a certified therapy cat for 2 years, His likes includes getting petted by humans and eating junk food. Wyatt will be at ACES on May 7th.

Remember, these are just a couple of dogs (and cats) that will be here during finals week. Mark them on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you all there.

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Research and Writing Cram Night

The countdown until finals is T-minus 19 days until the first day of finals. We can do this and you can do it. As we are working hard to get our projects going and our papers finished, there are 2 places on campus that can help. The Undergraduate Library and the Writers Workshop. On Tuesday, April 21st from 7-10 PM (Room 291), the Writer’s Workshop and the UGL will have a research/writing cram night. Do you have a paper that you need someone to look over? Are you having trouble with finding scholarly articles? Then this cram night is the place for you!

Come to our research/writing cram session! Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Come to our research/writing cram session! Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Our friends, Michael and McCall at the Writers Workshop, were kind enough to grant us a small interview to talk more about this event.

How long will the appointments be?

Michael: 15 minutes, which is the same as our drop-in hours

Location?

Michael: Room 291 (which is a computer lab)

What can students bring?

McCall: Any type of writing that they want to have looked at (yes, that includes cover letters and resumes)

Michael: Typically what we’re looking for when we do our cram sessions or midnight madness, are people who are coming in with papers. Undergraduate course papers are what we see the most. These hours are more for last minute citation issues and last minute questions about content or organization.

What’s your favorite library resource?

Michael: I usually use the Purdue OWL, because it’s such an incredible compendium of resources and also teaching people how to do a nuance search of a database is really helpful.

McCall: I have to agree, freshman year, I had no idea how to use the library and I really wasn’t that familiar. From my high school experience on how to do research on this scale and using a university library, being able to help people with that is really useful.

What can students do to get the most out of this appointment?

Michael: Come prepared with specific questions. It’s 15 minutes and those 15 minutes will go fast. They know their writing, so when they’re coming to this, have an idea of what their major concerns are and what other specific anxieties about this specific question for this particular assignment.

McCall: If it’s a longer paper just come in for getting help on one or two things.15 minutes goes fast! Maybe help on working on a thesis statement, introduction, or specific paragraph.

What are you waiting for? Come join us on Tuesday night (April 21st) from 7-10 PM in room 291 on the upper level of the UGL! Remember, librarians will also be there to help with your research needs. We hope to see you there.

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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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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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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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