Bring Your Own Book Club+

The Undergraduate and the Residence Halls Libraries are putting together a book club this semester!

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Work Before

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With the inability to hang out in-person because of the current environment, we wanted to provide an opportunity for members of the University of Illinois to connect via books and other forms of media such as movies and video games. We hope to provide this program throughout the semester. There will be prizes for individuals who can attend (or participate by writing a blurb, if they cannot make the scheduled meeting).

You might be asking yourself, why a book club?  

Book clubs are great because they provide an opportunity for socialization! Additionally, a book club is a chance to explore and discover new things, particularly while we are limited in our ability to travel and socialize like usual. For instance, campus book clubs held this summer were a great way to get to meet new people over Zoom while everything was shut down. It was also a wonderful way to build reading lists as each attendee shared some great new recommendations. Additionally, these groups provided suggestions of shows and movies, like Great Teacher Onizuka 

Most importantly, reading books, watching television, or playing games is fun! And by extension, so are book clubs. Perhaps the strongest reason to join this book club is that you will meet fellow media and book enthusiasts who are as invested in learning about your likes as we are about you. Maybe we can bond over a show like Lovecraft Country? 

Our first meeting is Wednesday, September 23rd at 6 p.m. RSVP at this sign-up form.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Gif of Aladdin and Jasmine with text "A whole new world"

Written by: Simone

Edited by: Maurissa & Nicole

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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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Eat This Blog

Candied Voltaire Cake made of various confections.

Sweet, sweet literature. (cake by Glen C. Davies)

If you’ve been looking for the perfect way to feed your mind and your belly at the same time, why not participate in this year’s Edible Book Festival?

The International Edible Book Festival is a world-wide event, begun in 2000, that allows participants to celebrate both their literary and culinary culture—to ‘eat their words’ and let others eat them, too. The Urbana-Champaign community has been taking part in the festivities since 2006, and this year’s local festival is just around the corner. If it sounds like your cup of tea, register your entry now and get ready to celebrate!

Here are the basics of what’s going on:

What: Bascially, take a book, and make an edible version of it—it can be a direct visual representation, or a clever play on words, or something in between. A panel of judges will award prizes in different categories, and then everyone gets to chow down!

When and Where: Monday, April 1st, at the University YMCA (1001 S. Wright S.)

2013 Festival - Monday, April 1st, 1001 S. Wright Street, and a cake in the shape of the Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein

Nom nom nom nom nom

Who: Anyone from the Urbana-Champaign community can participate! This year’s panel of judges includes Jennifer Bechtel, a local filmmaker; Cleda Wang, the Resident Director of the University’s Residence Halls, and Edie Stotler, a retired business professional, community volunteer, and lifetime “foodie.”

Why: Because food and books are fun things to share!

All the information you could ever need about this year’s festival can be found at the official  festival webpage, so head on over there if you have questions, need more information, or just want to browse the galleries of previous years for inspiration! If you want to check out the literary origins of your favorite entry, we’ve assembled a Pinterest board for just that purpose. You can also visit the festival’s Facebook page to find out more, or just share your enthusiasm. We hope to see you there!


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Celebrate Black History Month

The University of Illinois works hard to foster an atmosphere of diversity and inclusiveness. And all through the month of February, many organizations are hosting events to celebrate and honor Black History month.

vingtage photograph in round frame

Portrait of Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield courtesy of University Housing at Illinois

One of the coolest announcements recently was the board of trustee’s decision to name a new dorm after the first black woman graduate, Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield. Ms. Bousfield graduated in 1906 and went on to teach high school math. She also became the first African-American principal in Chicago’s public schools in 1928. The new dorm, which will be called Bousfield Hall and open in Fall 2013, will be located on the corner of First and Peabody.

But that’s not all! Check out some of the awesome events coming up this month:

Feb 4     An Evening with Keith Boykin: A Celebration of Black LGBT History Month

Feb 9     Sweet Honey in the Rocks

Feb 23     Black and Latino Male Summit

Feb 27     Culmination Celebration (Sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation)

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Several groups have on-going presentations and series throughout the month. The Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center has a “Food for the Soul” series featuring some great topics for the month. And Inclusive Illinois has countless events happening, too.

And don’t forget about the Library. This month, there is a display on the first floor of the Music and Performing Arts Library for Black History Month, and on the second floor, they’re exhibiting hip-hop and rap materials, including recordings. Stop by, check it out, and learn something new!

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Meet our Dog Stars!

In case you’ve missed the brightly colored Pug posters, the “Stall Stories” or our tweets and Facebook posts, therapy dogs are coming to the UGL next week—for real!

Research shows that interaction with dogs reduces stress by decreasing the level of cortisol and increases happiness by releasing endorphins. The Undergraduate Library, partnering with the International and Area Studies Library, will be hosting registered therapy dogs for students to walk, pet and play with as part of our ongoing stress reduction initiatives during midterms and finals. (If you think we’re crazy for letting pooches in with the patrons, read about Yale Law Library’s therapy dog!)

Dogs from the CU Registered Therapy Dog Group will be available in the UGL on Monday, Oct. 29 from 2-5pm and on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 2-5pm and 7-9pm. We encourage you to come, de-stress, and make a new furry friend. If you’re on Twitter, feel free to tweet about your experience—we’ve even got a hashtag: #UGLBFF. (And while you’re at it, follow us @askundergrad.)

In the mean time, here’s a sneak peek at three of the dogs you can meet:

Two poodles relax on a deck.

Raven, on the left

Raven is a 6-and-a-half-year-old Standard Poodle. She loves people of all ages, but prefers adults since they are the best petters. She does most of her therapy work at libraries (so she’ll fit right in at the UGL!) and at the Urbana Crisis Nursery. When she’s not working, she enjoys fetching frisbees and tennis balls.


Hunny is picture with medals from winning a rally.

Hunny, the rally champ!

Hunny is a 6-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix adopted from Good Shepherd Humane Society near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In addition to therapy visits, Hunny trains and competes in Dock Dog and APDT Rally Obedience venues earning a Junior Dock Dog and APDT Rally Championship titles. Hunny is also a canine star of the theater, most recently appearing in S.T.A.G.E. productions of “The Miracle Worker” and “Cranford.” Hunny shares her People and Paw Print Pond with five Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, two Labrador Retrievers, and five rescue cats.


A fluffy Malamute sits in the snow.

Full disclosure: This isn’t Sam, but we’re sure he’s just as handsome as this Alaskan Malamute.

Sam is a 7-year-old Alaskan Malamute. He’s a very calm, large, furry, wolfy-looking dog who is quite content being petted. He has a Three Stooges sort of sense of humor, is very curious, and very typical of the Malamute attitude that anything that happens, he can take care of, so why worry. He also subscribes to the belief that you can never know when you might have to pull a sled, so nap whenever possible. Energetic isn’t an adjective one would use to describe this guy. He is casually obedient, selectively deaf, but utterly charming and sweet. He’s a conformation champion (so he’s quite stunning), loves agility obstacles though he hates to jump, and he isn’t too crazy about do-overs. He suffers from severe test anxiety, so understands what mid-terms can do.

If these dogs look like good cuddle BFFs to you, stop by the UGL on Monday or Tuesday to say hello. Interested in learning more about therapy dogs? Check out Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society) to learn more about the work that therapy dogs do.


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Fight the Flu!

Don't let yourself feel like a sick basset hound.

October is halfway over (uh, what?), midterms are almost here (say it ain’t so!), and the semester will be wrapping up before we know it (gulp!). The last thing you need to worry about on top of everything else you have to get done is being sick.

Fortunately, as students, you can get a flu shot from McKinley Health Center (if you want) for FREE! That’s right: free of charge, gratis, zip, zero dollars, cheaper than dirt, etc. And, you don’t even have to make a separate trip to McKinley if you’re already spending all of your precious free time in the UGL studying. This week, on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 18 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, you can get your flu shot right in the UGL. McKinley will have a tent set up on the upper level, near the collaboration rooms.

There are several differing opinions on the importance of getting a yearly flu shot, though when living and working in highly communal areas like a university campus, the benefits may outweigh the risks. The Center for Disease Control has a detailed FAQ about the seasonal flu shot if you’re looking for more information.

If you choose to get a vaccination, all you need to do is bring your I-Card to the UGL on Wednesday or Thursday. McKinley staff will be on hand to administer the vaccines. If you can’t make it to McKinely but also think you will miss the dates in the UGL, take a peek at the whole list of McKinley’s flu shot clinics, happening around campus (they’ll also be back in the UGL on Oct. 29).

Flu shot or not, we wish everyone a healthy second half of the semester—after all, whose research and circulation questions are we going to answer if everyone is home sick?


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Learn to create iPhone / iPad apps!

Ever had a great idea for an iPhone app and the only thing keeping you from making it was your lack of app-making knowledge?  Well, now you can turn your app dreams into “re-app-lities” (OK, that doesn’t really make sense… but you get what we’re saying, right? You can learn to make iPhone apps!). Come to the UGL (Room 289) next Friday, April 27th from 6:30-8:00PM for an app-making workshop specifically designed for beginners.  No programming experience required! In fact, we encourage those with little or no experience to attend!

This is the second session we’re offering this month.  The first session filled up quickly, so we expect this one will, too! Register now to secure your spot.  More details below:

Learn to make iPhone apps!

The Undergrad Library is pleased to announce a free workshop for developing iPhone and iPad applications.  While these workshops are primarily aimed at undergraduate students, all interested campus affiliates are welcome to participate. Advanced registration is requested due to limited seating. All materials will be provided.  We will be using templates from Apple’s Dashcode development environment, which takes a web-based approach for application design.

Where: Room 289, Undergraduate Library

When: Friday, April 27th, 6:30PM – 8:00PM



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Summer Diversity Internship at the UGL!

Image of development team

Get real software developing experience with this cool team!

Are you a University of Illinois undergraduate student with a 2-year IT degree or a minor in Informatics?  Are you interested in getting real experience developing software in a collaborative, team-based research environment? Are you awesome? YES?!?  Then you might be the perfect candidate for the UGL’s new 8-week summer internship opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds. Read all about it below!


Non-traditional information technology career exploration for undergraduate students with two year IT degrees from diverse backgrounds; the University Library is recruiting diverse candidates for a summer paid internship in software development. Students will co-design library software services in a collaborative team-based research and development group based in the Undergraduate Library.


Participate in a collaborative software development team for library services that aid information discovery.


Must be a University of Illinois undergraduate student from a diverse background with two-year IT degree; or, enrolled in the Informatics Minor.

Programming experience with object oriented languages (preferably Java), familiarity with RESTful web services for API development.


40 hours a week for 8 weeks @ $12.25

To apply: Send cover letter and resume to Jim Hahn, , Orientation Services and Environments Librarian.
Image of development team with large and fancy computers

Check out those sweet iMacs!

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