A message from QB

Dear Inquisitive UGLers: Last week you may have noticed a whiteboard near the UGL’s entrance. This was Question Board’s more mobile cousin, Whiteboard, sent as a scout to ask you one simple question. The question was: Can you stump QB? Many riddles were posed, and QB has answers for some of them – but for others, your help is needed. Read on to help QB conquer these confounding queries.

Can you stump QB?

Well, can you?

First is this riddle, which QB feels quite confident about:

When I was young, I wear white
When I was a teen, I wear green
Now that I’m hot, I wear red
Who am I? Please address!

One intrepid member of Club UGL already put forth an answer on dear cousin Whiteboard, saying that the answer was ‘Strawberry…’ but then the original riddler responded with this:

This came quite close, but I am not.
For strawberry’s sweet, but I am hot.
You have given quite a close try
So I reward you with a smile

The written question is accompanied by a charming smiley face.

Look at that smile.

QB, driven by the idea of smiling rewards, would like to put forth that the answer to this riddle is perhaps….a pepper? Yes, that sounds right. QB is pretty sure of the answer for this one, as well:

What falls but never breaks?
What breaks but never falls?
Answers are connected.

QB doesn’t even need any incredibly useful library resources to pull off this one. The answer is as clear as night and day, because it is night and day. Night falls, and day breaks. QB is clearly on a roll here. QB can roll, too! Are you listening, Whiteboard?!

This riddle was also answered by an intrepid student…what do you think of their answer? QB thinks they’re close…if you have input, let QB know in the comments.

Three men are abducted and held hostage. The captor tells them he will set them free if they can solve this puzzle. He blindfolds the men, and each is wearing a hat, and stations them along a staircase – one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom. On the captor’s cue, they remove the blindfolds. There are two kinds of hats: red & white. The goal is for one of the prisoners to correctly identify which color hat they are wearing. They maynot remove the hats. The hats have been randomized so that there is either 1 red + 2 white or vice-versa. The prisoners must remain facing forward or else they will be executed. How will they survive? They also may not speak for any reason except to guess.

The student provided answer was:

If they can walk, then they can switch positions. The one that sees two red/white hats know they must be wearing the other hat.

That make sense to QB..do you have any other possible solutions? Very intriguing. Also intriguing is this final riddle, which QB has thought and thought on, but still has no answer for…

I am black as night
Then I am red and bright
Then I am grey and bright
Who am I?
Can you get it right?

If you can figure it out, please share your wisdom with QB in the comment section. And if you can come up with further riddles and ridiculous (though very interesting) questions, remember to get them to QB via the QB online form. From the QB page you can also browse other questions and QB’s lovingly researched answers. Another option is to visit QB in the lower level of the UGL and read answers there. …Please. Follow cousin Whiteboard down here. QB is so lonely.

Thanks to special guest blogger Question Board!

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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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Office Hours are here!

And the award for best student goes to……you! Yes, you! For going to office hours and getting the help offered to you by the librarians and writing center. Hopefully, you have seem the awesome new flyers promoting office hours. We’re all aware that midterms are coming up and we’re scrambling to get projects done and papers turned in. Why not let the librarians and the writing center give you a hand with all that coursework?

Flyer for Office Hours

Check out our awesome new flyers!

In case you haven’t see the flyers promoting office hours, here is the run-down. Office hours for the 2014 spring semester will be Tuesdays 7:00-9:00 P.M. and Wednesdays2:00-4:00 P.M. These will take place in the Undergraduate Library in room 291. You will be able to get in-depth research help from librarians, but wait, that’s not all! A representative from the Writer’s Workshop will also be there to help students with any help they might need.

So there you have it folks, if you need any help with research or finding a certain article, or help with revising an essay, come find us at the UGL! We are more than happy to help! After all, it’s why we’re there.

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UGL 101: Reach Out and Touch (Some Scanner’s Screen)

At the Undergraduate Library, you can reach out and touch our new scanner’s screen, to give your PDFs a better face, if you scan.

You could also scan to a JPEG or other image file, and then immediately send it via email to whoever needs it, or just save it to your smartphone for later. What is it that enables you to do all these things? What has us referencing Diana Ross? It’s the new touchscreen scanners we have on the upper level of the UGL!

You can find these scanners on the north side of the upper level, near where our book scanners and flatbed scanners are. They’re different from our other scanners in a few ways, which is what this blog post will outline for you.

Firstly, when you want to use one, you’ll have to log in with your NetID and password (the same combo you use to get into your illinois.edu email address). After you sign in, it’ll ask you how you want to receive your file – you can scan directly to a USB drive just like our other touchscreen scanners, but you can also choose from several other options.

Options for sending include sending to a smart device, email, USB drives, Google Drive, or the UGL printers.

Files can go anywhere.

You can also save to a variety of different formats. Each format will have different options for you to choose from to get the best quality image for your needs. After scanning (which works the same way as on our other scanners), you’ll be able to edit your file as well, and give it a name  so you can find it again.

Options include black and white, grayscale, or color images; JPEG, PNG, or TIFF files; or PDF, searchable PDF, or Word documents.

Choose wisely.

So many options! That’s the main difference between these new scanners and our others – they give you many options in one place, so you have to think less about which scanner to use. If you need help figuring out which of the options is best for what you need to scan, just ask a librarian at the reference desk or online, and we’ll be happy to get you started. Happy scanning!

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UGL 101: New Collab Room System

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

The logo for the new system says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fall Break Hours

At last! Fall break is nearly here. If you’re travelling over the holiday to see loved ones or just for vacation, we hope you have a safe and happy time of it. If you’re sticking around for all or most of the week, we hope you get as much working or relaxing done as you hope to. And you know…if you happen to need somewhere to hang out…the UGL will still be here. Here are our hours for fall break, in case you need or want to stop in.

Vintage Turkey lookin' fly

Photo courtesy of Evan Traveler on Flickr

Friday, November 22nd: Close at 7 PM
Saturday, November 23rd: Closed
Sunday, November 24th: Closed
Monday, November 25th: Open 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Tuesday, November 26th: Open 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Wednesday, November 27th: Open 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Thursday, November 28th: Closed – Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 29th: Closed
Saturday, November 30th: Closed
Sunday, December 1st: Open at 1 PM; resume regular semester hours

If you want to grab something to read, check out the UGL’s Pinterest boards for tons of reading recommendations. Remember that if your books or movies are due while you’re out of town for the holiday, you can renew them using your online account to avoid overdue notices! Have a great break, and we’ll be here for you when you come back refreshed and ready to finish your semester strong!

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The Best of QB

You’ve all walked past the famous (and recently restyled) Question Board, affectionately known as QB, at some point. You may have marveled at QB’s magical powers of research and punnery. Now, as the leaves turn, the weather gets colder, and movie critic fingers tap out best-of lists, we’ve got a list of our own: the three best answers from Question Board, plus a surprise!

(Looking for the full text of these QB winners? Visit the QB archive!)

Let’s start with what QB is best known for. No, it’s not hilarious references. It’s using library resources! There are a few contenders for the best use of library resources, but last year, QB answered a question about the wide, weird world of jean shorts, and came out the other side with more knowledge than you can shake a sewing needle at. QB personally told the bloggers here at the UGL that this research is a particular point of pride for QB. Let’s take a look at the question, shall we?

Vintage photo of young women harvesting cabbage

These ladies are looking pretty suave in their jean shorts.

“Dear QB: Why do most women consider denim shorts (or ‘jorts’) on males to be unfashionable? Is this a psychological or neurological phenomenon? Also, are there any known health effects associated with wearing denim shorts?”

QB was able to answer this question with style galore, although without wearing a pair of jorts:

“Dear Fashion Forward:

QB was quite pleased to get your question. Not having legs, QB has never worn a pair of jorts, although QB suspects they may be quite comfortable. To start with, QB thought it might be wise to get some background information on denim in general…”

The fully-covered answer can be found here on the QB website. But QB isn’t just known for looking good while doing research; QB is also a pun machine. Let’s take a look at the answer to this burning question:

“Dear QB: There are so many squirrels on this campus – but where is all their poop?!”

QB’s answer began as such:

“Dear Scatman,
While squirrels may be ubiquitous on the UIUC campus, credible, scholarly information about their defecation habits is most definitely not. QB searched long and hard through the resources available in the University of Illinois library system and was unable to come up with even the faintest whiff of research on the subject…”

You can find the entire punfully entertaining answer revealed here. And if you’re looking for more squirrel info, QB has sent this squirrel to the reference librarians pretty often, and seems to find it funny.

In the land of the library there live many very proud nerds of all kinds. We here at the blog would like to give QB a shout-out for musically nerding it up while answering this question:

“Dear QB: Did the Obama’s political allies assassinate Tupac in order to prevent Tupac’s presidency?”

Sad cartoon character in headphones

We miss you, Tupac. (Image courtesy of kreezzalee on Flickr)

QB responds thusly:

“Dear Conspiracy Theorist,
QB applauds your keen eye in looking back at 1996… the year that saw the death of Tupac Shakur on September 13th…work your way through biographies of all the major players (the libraries here on campus have books on Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and Suge Knight…”

Such research (found in its complete form here)! And presented in such beautiful style!

This brings us to our surprise: the podcast. Didn’t you know we have podcasts? You’ve been missing out! Hear all the voices of QB on iTunes here and subscribe to listen to QB’s magnificent answers. Don’t have iTunes? No problem—QB makes sure that there is always a podcast up and ready online, right above the text of QB’s answer. Our favorite (and one of QB’s as well) answers the age old question:

“Dear QB: How come you can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze? Is your body protecting your eyes from popping out?”

Find the podcast here and listen to your heart’s content.

So there you have it: QB’s top three answers—and a magnificent podcast to boot. Visit QB on the lower level of the UGL anytime for more thoughtful answers, or check out QB on the UGL website.  If you’ve got your own questions, don’t be shy—ask QB! QB is ready and raring to answer your most pressing and random questions. Anything you’ve ever wondered about but were too confused or embarrassed to look up yourself – QB can handle it for you.

Got a research question? QB is a busy board answering all your trivia questions. Try the Undergraduate Library Research Desk on the upper level or use our Ask-A-Librarian service online!

Special thanks to guest blogger Zoe Weinstein.

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UGL 101: Printing from a Laptop

It’s week three of classes and by now you are probably settling into the swing of things. Hopefully you find yourself studying at the UGL, absorbing all that knowledge, and sipping on your pumpkin spiced latte (or energy drink, whichever). As you find yourself immersed in a reading on your laptop, you realize that you have to print out something. Wait, does this mean that you have to actually find an open public computer to print your things out? No! You can print out your work from the convenience of your own laptop. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a printing wizard!

UGL 101: an introduction

UGL 101

The first step is saving your file on your hard drive. Protip: make sure that the name of a file is something you can easily recognize without having to scroll down a list of documents.

The next step is logging into IllinoisNet. This is the only wireless network that will work for laptop printing. Once you’ve connected to IllinoisNet, go to this website: http://go.library.illinois.edu/webprinting

This page should appear and ask you for your NetID and password.

Login box for laptop printing

Your NetID is the same username you use for your Illinois email account.

Once you have logged in, click on the “Web Print” tab on the left side of the window.

Page for Laptop printing

Click on “web printing”

Once you are on this page, you can upload your document. Remember, if your document is anything other than Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or PDF, you will need to convert it to a PDF. Once your file is in an accepted format, click on “submit a job.”

It will then take you to a page that looks like this:

Printing from a laptop

Select which printer you would like to use

You have the choice of selecting which printer you would like to print from. Black and white printing is 10 cents per page and color printing is 30 cents per page. Once you have selected your printer, proceed to step 2, which is to select the number of copies you would like to print of the selected document.

The third step will be to upload your document. Click on “Choose File” and select the file you want to print from wherever you saved it on your computer. Then click “Upload and Complete.”

Once you have uploaded your document, it may take a couple of seconds for it to fully upload, so be patient! When the status is “Held in Queue”, that’s when you are able to go to a printing station and print out your document. If you have questions regarding the printing stations, see our helpful guide to printing at the UGL.

The file must be in an acceptable format.

When the status is “held in Queue”, you are ready to go to the printing station

See? Easy as pie! It’s one less thing to worry about, and you can go back to sipping on your pumpkin spiced latte (or energy drink, if that’s your poison).

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Interim Hours

The summer term is coming to an end, and if you’re reading this, you probably survived. Congratulations! There’s a few weeks before the fall semester kicks into gear, and like you, the UGL needs time to recharge for the new school year. Our hours are changing slightly for the next few weeks, and your friendly UGL blog has all the deets.

UGL Sign welcomes you.
Here’s a breakdown of our hours during the summer interim, which begins Monday, August 5th.

  • Sunday, August 4th: Closed
  • Monday, August 5th thru Friday, August 9th: The UGL will be open daily from 8:30am to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.
  • Saturday, August 10th and Sunday, August 11th: Closed
  • Monday, August 12th thru Thursday, August 15th: The UGL will be open daily from 8:30am to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.
  • Friday, August 16th: The UGL will be open from 1pm to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.
  • Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, August 18th: Closed
  • Monday, August 19th thru Friday, August 23rd: The UGL will be open daily from 8:30am to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.
  • Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25th: The UGL will be open daily from 1pm to 5pm. Please note that the media collection closes at 4:30pm.

Monday, August 26th starts the new school year, when the UGL will return to its normal 24/5 semester hours. Keep an eye on the blog once classes start again, because we’ll be bringing all sorts of goodies and tips to make this year a success. See you then!

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Volunteer!

Hands holding jellybeans

Pretend that these are your hands, and the jellybeans are all the good things you can share with your community by volunteering. Just try it. (photo courtesy of Andrew Gray)

Even with all your summer class homework, and with all the movies that Netflix and the UGL Media Collection can provide you with, you may still find yourself with extra time on your hands this summer. Instead of watching reruns of Portlandia for the second day straight, why not give that extra time to someone in need by becoming a volunteer?

Volunteering has many benefits, not only for the person or organization you give your time to, but for you yourself. It can connect you with people you might have never met otherwise, teach you new skills (or new ways to apply skills you already have), and can help buff up that resume you’ve been working on with help from the Career Center (who are open for regular hours this summer, by the way!). The downtime that summer provides may be a good window in which to seek out a new volunteer opportunity, but don’t treat it as just a summer fling – your help is needed all year long, and the best volunteer experiences come when you really invest your time and effort. Consider picking a project or location where you can continue to lend your aid when the school year starts again.

Once you’ve decided you want to volunteer, where should you go to actually start? One great place to find a lot of different opportunities is the CU Volunteer page. Many different organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area use this site to list their volunteer opportunities, and you can sign up to help through the site as well. You can see a list of current opportunities, or you can browse by organization to see if a specific group has volunteer opportunities.

For campus-specific volunteering, you can visit the Office of Volunteer Programs inside the Illini Union. If you have a specific area of interest that you’d like to volunteer in, you can also search around for websites of organizations in that area that might need help – for instance, for those interested in sustainability and agriculture, the Sustainable Student Farm has need of student volunteers all year round. The University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System also has volunteer opportunities for those wanting to become more familiar with hospital settings.

Give your time and energy, and in return get new experiences, new contacts, and the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from helping someone out.
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