The Autobiography of Uggles

Uggles the UGL cat here! Due to my popularity and positive qualities that some describe as “being impossibly cute,” the Undergraduate Library has asked me to take over social media this week and I am starting with the blog! People know me as the UGL librarian with the best hair, but there’s more to my story than great fur. Let’s take a look into how I became the research superstar that I am today.

Me as an angsty teenager. It was just a phase.

Me as an angsty teenager. It was a phase.

A long time ago a beautiful baby kitten was born in a barn, a barn unsuitable for the cat’s beauty. This little kitten was full of energy, incredibly cute, and was a strong, independent kitty. If you haven’t figured it out by now, that kitten was me – Uggles. For a while I played around the barn, chased mice and all of that fun stuff, but I soon realized that I was different than my brothers and sisters. While my siblings didn’t even think to question their boring, dry cat food, I was busy researching the medical benefits of a wet food diet. I knew that I was a different cat with real goals and aspirations, so I decided to head to the good state of Illinois where my cat ambitions could lead me to bigger and better things.

I was a procatstinator as an undergrad.

I was quite the procatstinator as an undergrad.

I arrived in Illinois and decided to attend the best school for cats in the entire country – Mewniversity of Illinois. There I double majored in history and Meowconomics. I graduated early and decided to take my talents to the number one library school in the nation – The University of Illinois. I have always loved researching and helping people so I dec- SQUIRREL! Ahem, excuse me. I always loved helping people so I decided to study librarianship. My primary focus was Kitten Services Librarianship, but I also researched the effects of prolonged purring on the study habits of undergraduate students.

Luckily the UGL saw my skills and offered me a very attractive package of health insurance and toy mice. What else could I need?! I started working at the UGL this past spring and I am currently the head of Feline and Snuggling services, where I wow students with my cuteness while helping them find information. I love interacting with students and will hopefully be around in the spr – MAGIC RED DOT! Excuse me…. In the spring.I really enjoy helping students find what they need, mostly because I am a very nice cat and also because I feel bad. Most of the students I see are seriously lacking in fur. How will they ever survive these cold Champaign winters? Currently I am the head of Feline and Snuggling Services where I wow students with my cuteness. Did you see my debut video? That is just a sample of what I bring to the table… that I am mostly likely on top of without your permission.



In my spare time I like to peruse the UGL media collection for sophisticated TV shows. My favorite is a show about aristocratic cats in turn of the century England. Have you heard of Downton Catty before? I also thoroughly enjoy photoshopping myself into random images from the internet using the Macs in the Media Commons. Do you see that photo of me on the Iron Throne? I look purrrrfect! If I was a Cat-leesi my rule would, of course, be benevolent and just. I would shower you all with jingly ball t – BIRDS!!!!

To witness more of my social media takeover, follow the UGL Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for the rest of the week!

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UGL 101: The Unexpected Joys of the Undergraduate Library

Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Have you ever wanted to learn about all of the unique services the UGL has to offer in one video? Lucky for you, the UGL has created a new tour video! Group rooms, video production studio, loanable technology – we’ve got it all. Check it out below to learn more!

For more information on UGL services, check out some of the following links:

Reserve a Group Study Room

Office Hours

Video Studio Reservation

Audio Studio Reservation

Loanable Technology

Like the video? Let us know by tweeting at us (@askundergrad) or writing on our Facebook wall (Undergraduate Library @ UIUC).

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UGL Study Spaces

We are halfway though the semester and midterms are here! Yes, not many people are excited about having to turn in papers, projects, and study for midterm exams. It can be very overwhelming and sometimes your dorm room or apartment is not the best place to study and get work done. Don’t you worry, the UGL has a couple of suggestions for some great study places. Not only are there a variety of spaces, but there is something for everyone’s project needs.

The group rooms on the upper level of the UGL

The group rooms on the upper level of the UGL

First, we have the study group rooms, located on the upper level of the UGL. For group projects the group rooms are a great fit. There is an enclosed space, large table, and a TV screen where you can hook up your own laptop. Here you will be able to work and interact with your classmates.

Edit video or sound on these computers!  Photo Courtesy of the Media Commons

Edit video or sound on these computers! Photo Courtesy of the Media Commons

Also on the upper level, we have the computer spaces in the Media Commons. If you need specific software, the UGL has iMacs on the upper level. These computers have a lot of programs for all your project needs. For video editing, sound editing, building databases, the Media Commons has got you covered. Visit this page of the Media Commons for a detailed list of the software and programs. All your work can be done here!

Computers on the lower level of the UGL

Computers on the lower level of the UGL

Some of us need complete silence to do our work in peace. Lucky for you, the lower level of the UGL is the quiet level of the library. You can have the convenience of a computer in a quiet zone and in a semi-private space. As you arrive in the lower level, the computers are located near the entrance, close to the Media Collection.

Lower Level Tables and Carrels. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

Lower Level Tables and Carrels. Photo courtesy of the Media Commons

For those who do not need a computer or already have a laptop, the lower level tables and carrels are perfect. The tables are perfect for laying out your notebooks, textbooks, gel pens, and other study necessities. You can find these tables all around the lower level of the UGL.

For more privacy, the carrels are a great place to study, They are just the perfect size for a textbook, notebooks, or laptop. This perfect space for one person allows you to fully concentrate on your work and projects. Like the tables mentioned above, the carrels are located all around the UGL on the lower level.

For study tips, be sure to check out our Pinterest board!  Where is your favorite study space? Tell us below in the comments.



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UGL 101: New Loanable Technology

We’re one week into the new semester and you’re probably surprised that your professor has assigned projects (or not, if you’re lucky). The UGL’s Loanable Technology desk has all kinds of items to help you out. Yes, at your disposable, you have digital cameras, sound recorders, tripods, and other exciting things. This semester, we have a couple of new items.

Logitech Speakers. Courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Logitech Speakers. Courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Logitech Speakers are a great tool for a presentation or for your own personal use. You now have the convenience to carry around these speakers in your backpack.

Portable Canon Scanner. Photo Courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Portable Canon Scanner. Photo Courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Be sure to check out our portable, yes, portable Canon scanners. Now you have the convenience of a scanner at your fingertips. Guess what is also great? These scanners are compatible with both Mac and PC.

Nintendo 3DS. Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

Nintendo 3DS XL. Photo courtesy of UGL Media Commons

The Nintendo 3DS XL handheld gaming consoles are another treat that we have. Everyone needs a little study break, so why not have fun with this cool new item?

Wii U. Photo Courtesy of The Conmunity via Flirckr Commons

Wii U. Photo Courtesy of The Conmunity via Flickr Commons

Last, but certainly not least, we have the new Wii U and PS4 for our gaming center. When you imaged libraries, this isn’t what you had in mind, was it? These consoles are great for when you’re on the go. These consoles will be located in the gaming area of the UGL (right next to the Media Commons).

If you are curious about the loanable technology available, drop by the Loanable Technology desk to ask more questions. What’s your favorite technology item and why? Tell us in the comments below!

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Welcome back UGL’ers!

It’s great to be back at UIUC, is it not? We’ve all missed our friends and our study sessions at the UGL. It’s a new year, and of course, a new semester. Most of you are familiar with the Undergraduate Library (spending those late nights working on a paper due the next day), but for those of you who are new, our library has a lot to offer you.

Undergraduate Library. Photo Courtesy of Kosheahan via Flickr Commons.

Undergraduate Library. Photo Courtesy of Kosheahan via Flickr Commons.

For research help, check out the Consultation Corner on the upper level. Here you will find a desk with librarians who will help you with your research needs. You will also find the Writers Workshop, if you need help with writing an essay and the Partners Desk.

We have a loanable technology desk, right around the corner of the circulation desk (located on the upper level). Loanable technology such as laptops, iPhone chargers, cameras, sound recorders, and much more, are available for checkout. So, if you need some equipment for a class project, or want to work on your photography skills, come to the loanable technology desk!

The Undergraduate Library has two levels, the upper level and the lower level. The upper level is where the circulation desk is located, as well as computers and the printing stations. This is also the level that has study group rooms. If you have a group project and need a space, be sure to make your reservation on DIBS.

The lower level is the quiet level, so if you need a space where you need silence, the lower level is where it’s at. This level also has our media collection. Be sure to check out our DVD selection, music, and books on CD.

We have a lot to offer, so if you have any questions, ask! We’re here to help you succeed. What are you looking forward to the most this semester? Leave a comment below.

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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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ACM GameBuilders Event at UGL

The University of Illinois has a wide range of organizations and clubs that allow students to nurture their talents and explore their interests. One of these groups, Gamebuilders from the University of Illinois chapter of the Association of Computer Machinery, will be showcasing their work Tuesday November 11th, from 7 to 9 PM in the UGL. The event will take place in the gaming area of the Media Commons. Students from ACM Gamebuilders will be on hand at the event to demonstrate over 25 games that they have created. It should be an informative and a fun look into the art and craftsmanship that went into producing these games. If you’re not able to make it to the event, you can still check out the groups work, as the UGL will have a computer running the games until the end of the semester.

GameBuilders focuses on creating and developing computer video games. This involves a wide range of activities and processes, including programming, visual asset creation, sound and music authoring, as well as game design. The group also provides education on game development and mentoring for interested students who are new to game development. If you’re interested, GameBuilders meets every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8 in Room 3403 of the Siebel Center.


The following are some of the games that students from GameBuilders have created.



Flagfight is a capture the flag game created by Luke Puchner-Hardman and Ryan Norby for the 2013 Global Student Game Developer Competition.




A turn-based tower defense game created by Luke Puchner-Hardman for the Fall 2013 Gamebuild-a-Thon.




This game is a 3D block-based puzzle game that features a number of abilities used to solve puzzles (ex: breaking blocks, throwing fireballs). Created by Jack LaSota.




Mineralz is a 3D tower defense game where you control a robotic dragon that is tasked with defending a crater against a horde of robotic enemies. Created by Ryan Norby, Luke Puchner-Hardman, Eric Christianson, Danny Sapato, and Rafael Rego Drumond.


If reading about these student-created games whetted your appetite for gaming, you’re in luck! The UGL has a large collection of modern videogames (including Xbox One and Playstation 4 titles), which can be either used in the UGL at the gaming center or checked out to play at home.The UGL also has a vintage gaming collection that is being preserved for classroom instruction and research use. We’re always adding new titles to our collection, so be sure to keep an eye out for new releases and old favorites.

What are your favorite independently developed games? Any favorite games of 2014 so far? Let us know in the comments.

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Spotlight on: The Green Screen Room at the UGL

There are many cool services and resources offered here at the UGL. You have the writer’s workshop, the research desk (which operates Monday-Thursday from 1-5) and the cool DVD’s and books located on the lower level of the UGL. As you can tell, you have a lot of options, but did you also that the UGL has a video studio room? (a.k.a “green screen room”) The room is part of the UGL’s media commons and offers students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to use professional equipment in a video production studio.

Video Production Room. Photo Courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

Video Production Room. Photo Courtesy of the UGL Media Commons

For those who are curious and who want to know more about this room, we will take you inside this high tech room. The video studio has much of the professional equipment needed for hi-tech projects. Among the equipment includes:

Six Lowell Fluorescent Lights, 2 Nikon DSLR cameras (D7100 and  D600) with several lenses, Wireless Lavalier Microphones, a green screen, iMac, other equipment, and coming soon, a Global Truss Lighting Grid.

How does one get to use this room?  The room is only available by appointment, so the student, staff, or faculty must fill out a reservation form. This form can be found at the Media Commons’ website, here.

Once you make a reservation, you will come into the UGL and go to the circulation desk and let them know you have a reservation.

video production studio

There is a limit of 4 people, but the new coming lighting grid will allow for 8-10 people total.

A staff member from the Media Commons will explain the basics on how to use the camera and lights. If you need more assistance on editing, you can make an appointment with the Media Commons staff member.

The only thing that students are asked to bring is an external hard drive and a their own SD cards. Not bad, right? Everything else is provided for you.

Be sure to be on the lookout for more blogs featuring the great resources that the UGL has to offer. What projects could you do using the Video Production room? Comment below!

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A Day in the Life: Jake

Have you ever wondered what a librarian’s job looks like?  Or what exactly the faculty and staff members at the Undergraduate Library do during the day? We’d like to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the UGL in our new blog series “A Day in the Life.”

Due to high student use of the Media Commons and the recent media attention of the sound booth, we thought we would introduce you to Jake, our Media Commons Technology Support Specialist.


Jake is responsible for connecting students, staff, and faculty at UIUC to all the technology the Media Commons has to offer. When he isn’t working at his desk, you can find him all over the UGL, teaching students how to effectively use technology to create, edit, and produce quality digital media. Whether you want to use high end media editing software, need help shooting a video project in front of the green screen in the video production studio, or want to record a podcast in the sound booth, Jake is your guy.
Jake has a fancy-ass computer.

Need help? Ask Jake.

The best part about working in the Media Commons, Jake says, is that it offers everyone–undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff– the opportunity to create their own digital media on professional-quality technology.
Recently, Jake has been working hard to move, test, and set up the equipment in the sound booth to get it up and running for you. When asked about his favorite technology in the Media Commons, Jake replied that he is pretty pumped about the sound booth set- up and is excited to collaborate with students to take their audio projects to a higher level.
Jake’s passion for audio recording carries over into his work outside of the Undergraduate Library. Check out what Jake does on the weekends by visiting, a web series highlighting the live music scene in the Champaign-Urbana area.


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UGL 101: New Sound Booth

Hey UGL-ers, it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room. And by elephant, we mean the huge metal structure that has taken over a corner of the lower level this past year. We would like to officially introduce you to the newest member of the Media Commons collection–the sound booth!

Large metal structure = professional quality sound booth.

Like the video production room on the upper level, the sound booth is a space for students, faculty, and staff to create high-quality digital media projects. Need an interview to complete a class project? Want to record your latest podcast? As a UIUC student, the sound booth is available to you! (QB looks forward to using the sound booth to record the answers to all your questions.)

In order to use the sound booth, you will need to contact the Media Commons at in advance to book a reservation. Whether you want to reserve time in the sound booth, ask advice on recording equipment, or just find out more information, the Media Commons staff is here to help! Don’t forget to check out our loanable technology page for any additional equipment you might need, from cameras to microphones or voice recorders.

Now, to answer one final question. We know all too well how difficult the doors at the UGL can be to open, not to mention fitting large pieces of unbending metal through. So, just how did the UGL manage to construct the sound booth in the lower lever?

Huge crane lowering a section of the sound booth into the UGL courtyard

The things we do for you!

That’s how.

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