Exciting Changes Coming Soon!

The Undergraduate Library (UGL) will close at the end of the spring 2022 semester. You might be wondering where to go for your library needs next year. We’ve got you covered!

Most of the services currently provided in the UGL, including the Writers Workshop, will move primarily to the Main Library. The Funk ACES Library, Music and Performing Arts Library, and the Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center will also be expanding existing support for studying and technology needs.

Undergraduate Study Spaces and Services

Undergraduates will still have many options across campus libraries to study, meet up with friends, and access popular library services.

Main Library

There are large, dedicated study spaces in the Main Library, including Room 200 for quiet study and Room 220 (the new Scholarly Commons) meant for collaboration, and loanable technology and new Media Commons studios added to Room 306. In addition, a new study space in Room 100 will open before the start of the fall 2022 semester; it is located just steps from the current Undergraduate Library building next to the Marshall Gallery inside the Main Library entrance facing the UGL. This first-floor space will include popular features from the upper level of the UGL—the Writers Workshop, group study rooms, printing services, loanable laptops, and research consultations, as well as new and expanded programming, support for Zoom classes, direct access to collections, and research consultations and subject expertise from other units in the Main Library.

Funk ACES Library

The Funk ACES Library has extensive study spaces for individuals and groups. In addition, the Funk Library has six study rooms, located on the 3rd and 4th floors. To reserve rooms, you can use the online room reservation system

Study rooms contain a table, whiteboard, and several chairs.  Dry-erase markers are available you just need to present your i-card at the Circulation Desk at the time of your reservation to borrow them.  Room 309 includes a large display monitor with a remote and wireless laptop connection using Solstice.

Next year, the Funk ACES library will expand their study space and have later hours.

The Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL)

The Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL) has 6 rooms available with a variety of listening and viewing equipment. Rooms can include dry erase boards, CD players, Cassette players, LED screens, DVD/Blu-ray players, and keyboards. The MPAL also has a reading room on the first floor, and two floors of study space in addition to the bookable study rooms.  You can learn more about the rooms and reserve them here. The MPAL also holds our board games collection!

Grainger Engineering Library 

The Grainger Engineering Library offers students a multitude of study spaces for individuals and groups. In addition to those spaces, the Grainger Engineering Library has various reservable Open Group Study Rooms located on the west end of the Fourth Floor of the Grainger Engineering Library. Five additional rooms  are located in the Lower Level. These rooms can be reserved on a first come, first serve basis up to 14 days in advance by any faculty, staff or student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, using their @illinois.edu email account. In the coming semester, the Grainger Library will also implement later hours and add an immersive VR/AR/green screen studio on the basement level!

Check out a full list of library spaces here!

For the latest on integrating core student services into other campus library locations and how the Library is addressing user needs and service models during the time period when the archives and special collections building is being constructed, check out the Main/Undergraduate Library Integration Project.

Written by: Loida

Posted by: Loida

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Calling All Birds Lovers!

Do you drop what you’re doing to catch a glimpse of a majestic hawk? Do you find yourself following a flash of feathers for hours? Do you have bird cams bookmarked on your laptop? Are you constantly on the lookout for more quality bird content? You’ve come to the right place! The University Library ha a ton of resources to help you learn more about our feathered friends. As a fellow bird lover, I’ve put together a list of some great bird inspired books and a few resources to further fuel your bird obsession!

green parrot dancing


For The Local Birdwatching Fan

American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Illinois

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the birds around campus? This field guide to the birds of Illinois lets you identify and learn about more than 315 bird species. It includes tips on when and where to see birds and it includes clear identification information. It also includes more than 500 color images!

For the Science Buff 

The Genius of Birds

Maybe being a birdbrain isn’t so bad?

Birds are remarkably beautiful, but did you know that they are also intelligent? New research suggests that birds are capable of abstract thinking, problem solving, and can even communicate with humans. In The Genius of Birds, author Jennifer Ackerman presents us with new discoveries about bird intelligence and their astonishing accomplishments.

For the Documentary Lover

The Life of Birds

Fans of nature documentaries know that David Attenborough has spent his life learning and sharing his discoveries with viewers around the world. In The Life of Birds, Sir David introduces readers to birds from around the world. He follows them as they learn to fly, find food, communicate with each other, find mates, and start families of their own. After reading his book, make sure to check out the accompanying video documentary !

For the Serious Birder

Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World

In 2015, Noah Strycker became the first person to see half of the world’s birds in one year. He traveled across 41 countries and all seven continents. He successfully spotted 6,042 species, setting the record for the biggest birding year on record. Follow Noah on his trip as he pursues the most common finch to the most elusive birds on the planet.

For the Not So Serious Birder

Birding Is My Favorite Video Game: Cartoons about the Natural World From “Bird and Moon

Birding is My Favorite Video Game collects fun, colorful, sort of educational bird comics that combine science facts, super cute visuals, and a lot of wit. Based on the popular webcomic Bird and Moon, this collection helps bird lovers learn about their favorite birds.

 For the Literary Birder 

H is for Hawk


Helen Macdonald’s father’s sudden death left her devastated.  Helen turns to her fascination with hawks as a way to cope with her grief. She sees herself in the fierce temperament of the goshawk and she resolves to purchase and raise this majestic creature.
Part nature writing and part memoir this heart-wrenching and humorous book navigates the intricacies of bereavement, obsession, madness, and memory.

For the Bird Lover Who Likes a Little Bit of Everything

The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany

With both a passion for birds and words, novelist Graeme Gibson spent 15 years creating a stunning collection of our admiration for birds. Birds appear over and over in our poems, art, and works from some of our most celebrated authors. This gorgeously illustrated book offers birders a glimpse into just how much birds have inspired and continue to intrigue us.

For Music Lovers

Mozart’s Starling

Did you know that Mozart had a pet starling? On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a starling and instantly knew they were kindred spirits.  He took the bird home and for three years Mozart and his starling enjoyed music together. In Mozart’s Starling, author Lyanda Lynn Haupt explores this unlikely bond as well as her own friendship with a rescued starling.

For the History Buff

Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization


We often forget about one of the most important birds in our own history — the chicken. Chickens have played a pivotal role in civilizations from the beginning of ancient empires to our modern economic system. Throughout our history chickens have worn several hats, as messengers of the gods, gambling aids, medicine, inspiration for bravery and the harbingers of evil. Journalist Andrew Lawler follows the chicken’s history and its impact on all our lives as well as an exploration on the chicken’s humble beginnings.

After taking a look at some of our recommendations, check out other bird happenings around the library!

Did You Know?

In June 1987 the Library Friends purchased two copies of the limited edition 1985 Abbeville Press facsimile of the double elephant folio. Each week the plates on display are changed in order to show as much of the collection as possible! Go up to the second floor of the Main Library or look at them or browse the plates through The University of Pittsburgh’s digitized collection!

Bird Bonanza

 Vote for your favorite Audubon Bird! Starting March 13, The Audubon Birds will be going up against each other for #BirdBonanza. Go to the University Library Facebook page to vote!

Man with birds perched on his shoulders

Written by: Loida

Posted by: Loida

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Maus, Book Bans, and What You Can Do About It

It is a ban of sorts to use authority to keep people from things. Yes, it’s a ban.
Art Spiegelman, author of Maus: A Survivor’s Tale

It’s painful to me because what I know is that when these books are banned, there are going to be thousands and thousands of young people who will not get these books.
Jason Reynolds, author of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, and All American Boys

 I get a lot of uproariously innocent “how dare they?”s and “but why would anyones?” They clearly do dare. And we know exactly why.
Alex Gino, author of George (Melissa’s Story)

Maus and Current Book Banning Controversies

You may have heard about the recent banning of a book called Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by a school board in Tennessee’s McMinn County. The renowned graphic novel, which depicts the atrocities of the Holocaust using mice and cats, was authored by Art Spiegelman, himself the son of Holocaust survivors. Banned for “profanity and nudity,” the loss of the book in McMinn’s eighth-grade school curriculum caused outrage, as many defended the book for its powerful depiction of the reality of the Holocaust and accessibility for students. Spiegelman himself expressed disbelief over the censure, telling one interviewer, “This is disturbing imagery. But you know what? It’s disturbing history.”


Maus is most certainly not the only book that has come under fire in recent months. Many of the most challenged books of today are written for children and young adults, or included in their school curriculum. Conversations around book banning often intersect with other educational movements, including critical race theory, antiracist education, and LGBTQ+ community activism. Emily Knox, a professor at the University of Illinois who studies how and why books get challenged, explained to NPR Illinois, “people [are] unsure if their values are being transmitted to the next generation, and perhaps we can make sure that they are transmitted if we don’t have students read these books.” While these conversations will always be woven into the fabric of education, we know that banning books removes diversity, history (including disturbing history), and valuable life experiences from school curriculums, libraries, and classrooms. Kids need books that will be contextualized, helping expand their imaginations and knowledge.

Book Banning Isn’t New

The banning of Maus, and the backlash around it, is part of a long, long, long history. Challenging and banning books has been around… well, for about as long as there have been books. Throughout history, the powerful have often used book bans to symbolize their own strength, preserve “traditional values,” and exert control over the majority. Books have been burnt, shredded, ripped apart, defaced, challenged, and yes, banned, all in the name of censoring information.

You can find out more about the history of book banning from Lindsay Ellis and Princess Weekes at PBS’ Storied: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpKqRC-9Avc

 What Can You Do?

Here are five ways you can protect freedom of expression and advocate against book bans:

  1. Contact your local school board. Let those in power know that you are in favor of keeping challenged books available to all students. You can contact the Champaign or Urbana Board of Education via email.
  2. Support librarians and teachers. Librarians and teachers are on the front lines of the debates around challenging and banning books. Let them know that you support them!
  3. Support challenged authors. Have you read a banned book that inspired you? Let the author know! The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has more information at Dear Banned Author.
  4. Use #BannedBooksWeek. Share your favorite #BannedBooks on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and spread the word on the importance of the freedom to read!
  5. Read widely and read wildly. Read books that challenge you, ignite you, and infuriate you. The best defense is to keep reading.

Written by: Aine

Posted by: Loida

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