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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Summer in the UGL

You did it! Finals are over and summertime (well, almost)  in the UGL has started. For those of you who in town or who are taking classes, the UGL will be open. Come on in and check out some DVD’s or video games. If you need a space to study, you’re in luck, the UGL has various spots where you can relax or do homework.

Summertime in the UGL. Photo courtesy of Alain via Flickr Media Commons

Summertime in the UGL. Photo courtesy of Alain via Flickr Media Commons

The hours will be the following:

Monday-Thursday: 8:30 AM- 6:00 PM

Friday: 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM

Saturday: 1-5 PM

Sunday: Closed

We will be closed May 24th and 25th. There are a couple of days where the UGL is closed, so if you have any questions, feel free to check the hours on the library gateway page. Have a great summer and be on the lookout for our summertime reader’s advisory blogs and other fun stuff!

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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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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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The UGL Guide to The Pygmalion Festival 2014

The UGL may not have its own collection of CD’s for you to check out (but you can certainly head over to the Music and Performing Arts Library if new tunes is what you seek), but that doesn’t mean we don’t love music. Champaign and Urbana have been the birthplace of many great bands in many genres over the years, and many of their recordings can be found using the online catalog. The prolific 70’s and 80’s rockers REO Speedwagon once called Champaign home, as did folk great Dan Fogelberg and the 90’s saw the emergence of hardcore band Braid. The Sousa Archives & Center for American Music is featuring “Live From the Crossroads”, an exhibit dedicated to the colorful Champaign scene between 1981 and 1986.

Brad Elvis at Panama Reds 9/11/1982. Be sure to check out the Sousa Archives & Center exhibition,

Brad Elvis at Panama Reds 9/11/1982. Be sure to check out the Sousa Archives & Center exhibition, “Live from the Crossroads.” Photo by Della Perrone

Check out our guide to the upcoming Pygmalion Festival, going on from September 25 through the 28th all over Champaign and Urbana. This short list will highlight some of the bands that have ties to the University.

Bones Jugs ‘N Harmony

This 4 person folk band is made of U of I graduates, two of whom are products of the music department. Bones Jugs ‘N Harmony play upbeat music that will have you scratching your head while dancing like a fool. The band’s Facebook biography cites them as “NDM” or “novelty dance music”, and their unique spin on traditional folk music is something to be marveled at. Rarely do you see a band that features the jug, and even more rarely do you see a band featuring a jug that makes your body move with such reckless abandon. Check them out at Cowboy Monkey for the late night show at 1 AM on Sunday.

Bones Jugs. Photo credit goes to Bones Jugs

Bones Jugs. Photo credit goes to Bones Jugs


Motes. Photo Courtesy: Motes

Motes. Photo Courtesy: Motes

It’s a slow burn for indie trio Motes, a band made up of two U of I graduates and current teachers. Elizabeth Majerus and Matt Mitchell form two thirds of this guitar driven outfit, and one can tell that they’ve studied literature simply by reading along with their winding and poetically strong lyrics. Each member contributes equally to the overall sonic output of the band, featuring textured guitar playing and a consistent and tempered rhythm section. These literati’s will be at Memphis on Main on Sunday at 10:15PM.

Single Player

Single Player. Photo Courtesy of Single Player

Single Player. Photo Courtesy of Single Player

Sometimes, you just want a song to rock or roll or be quiet or just go. Single Player, the project of student Sean Neumann, knows this and delivers tenfold with all of his music; his longest song to date under the moniker clocks in at a smooth 3 minutes and 49 seconds. This brevity is not due to lack of school or songwriting prowess. Single Player has the unique ability to play exactly what needs to be played. Catch Single Player opening for Speedy Ortiz on Friday at Red Herring at midnight.

The 92s

The 92s. Photo Courtesy of The 92s

The 92s. Photo Courtesy of The 92s

Most bands have a specific thing they do really well. Either they have an amazing guitarist or their lyrics are to die for or their drummer can really just wail.The 92s is different because they simply know how to rock. Dan Durley is both recent alum and an extremely powerful lead singer, and his band’s punching alternative rock will certainly not disappoint live. Krannert Art Museum hosts The 92s on Thursday at 7 o’clock PM sharp.

What bands are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below. There are plenty of other U of I notables playing Pygmalion this weekend, so head out and let us know which notables we may have missed on Facebook or Twitter.

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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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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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Holiday Books for Holiday Breaks

Did you happen to notice all the snow on the ground? Of course you did. We can no longer deny that it is winter. Our noses and toes may be frozen, and our socks may be soggy, but let’s take the freezing temperatures and huge white drifts as a cheerful sign that soon, the semester will be over, and the winter break will be upon us. Before you jet off to distant lands – or, if you’re staying in town for the break, before you get too cozy on your couch – why not pick up a little something from the library to help you pass the time?

If you’re looking for a holiday-themed read, the UGL’s Holiday Reads Pinterest board should be your first stop. You can find Christmas classics there, such as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; books about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and other winter celebrations; and holiday-themed romance and mystery. If you find a book you like on one of our Pinterest boards, clicking on the pin should take you straight to the catalog where you can request it and check it out. Give it a shot!

Those on the hunt for a seasonally appropriate movie can also check out our holiday viewer’s advisory blog post from this time last year – it’s got a lot of snowy favorites for you to watch while you’re all snuggled up with your warm beverage of choice.

Those should give you plenty to work from, but just in case you need more, here are a few more winter break options for you to choose from.

History of the Snowman coverThe History of the Snowman: From the Ice Age to Flea Market by Bob Eckstein

Twelve Clues of Christmas CoverThe Twelve Clues of Christmas: a Royal Spyness Mystery by Rhys Bowen

A Gift From Tiffany's coverA Gift From Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

Spending the holidays with people I want to punch in the throat book coverSpending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen (of “People I Want to Punch in the Throat”)

When Elves Attack book coverWhen Elves Attack: a Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State by Tim Dorsey

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome coverThe Book of (Holiday) Awesome by Neil Pasricha

These should get you started. You can find more in the library catalog by searching for whatever aspect of the holiday season is your favorite! For instance, try doing a subject search for “Christmas – Humor” if you want to have a Christmas-themed laugh.

We hope you have a great finals week and a great break – stay tuned for updates about library hours over the break, and stay warm!

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