Workshops (2/1 – 2/7)

Next week (2/1-2/7), join us for two online workshops:

  • Welcome to NYU Libraries (Online Workshop)

Tuesday, 2 February 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM (China Standard Time)

An overview of library resources during this time of remote access. Learn what is available to you electronically, and what you can expect for in-person access. How do you get books? Is the library “open”? What about study space? We want to welcome you to our spaces and let you know what to expect while we engage in remote learning.

​This workshop will be held live via ​Zoom, so you can attend from the comfort of your dorm or apartment. You must register in advance through the  NYU Bobst Calendar

  • Intro to U.S. Research Libraries (Online Workshop)

Thursday, 4 February 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM (China Standard Time)

This session is for students who would like an overview of how to use the rich resources and services of an American-style research library. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about how an academic library works and learn how to connect with your subject specialist for more help.

​This workshop will be held live via ​Zoom, so you can attend from the comfort of your dorm or apartment. You must register in advance through the  NYU Bobst Calendar. 

I hope you’ll be able to join us!

Why search for a “literature review” or “annotated bibliography”?

College research ain’t easy. It’s nothing like the papers from high school, because the training wheels are off. You are part of the academic conversation. New vocabulary, technical writing, and using citations to talk with scholars/professors about proof you have done your homework behind the thoughts.

Luckily, while not a short-cut, there is a wise tool to add to your skillset. In the library’s databases, you can search
“Literature review” AND “your topic”

Remember to use the double quote mark to help the computer ignore:

  1. literature without the reviews, 
  2. reviews that aren’t about your topic, and
  3. Articles that mention your topic but are not “literature reviews.”  (the image below is of a Venn diagram of literature AND review– with a subcircle inside the overlap for  “literature review” )

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Library System Outage Dec 31, 2020-Jan 5, 2021

Due to a planned power shutdown at Bobst Library in New York City, several library systems will be unavailable starting on Thursday, December 31 through Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Services affected include Library catalog (BobCat), ejournals, ebooks, databases, My Library Account, and Interlibrary Loan services. Please plan your research accordingly. In the meantime, our library website will still be available.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Feel free to contact us at if you have any questions or concerns

Library Holiday Hours

Christmas and New Year Library Opening Hours

Dear faculty, students, and staff,

During the Spring Festival, NYU Shanghai Library’s services will be closed from December 25th-27th and January 1st-3rd. Academic Commons and stacks remain open as long as the Academic Building opens.

Happy Holidays!

NYU Shanghai Library

Why doesn’t BobCat or ProQuest work like Google?

Librarians and professors suggest you start your research process from the library’s website because of filtering (described in our previous post). The librarians collect scholarly (peer-reviewed) material. That doesn’t mean every book on the shelf is perfect. Some may have been retracted or disproven yet remain part of a historical record. Recent examples are Frey’s A Million Little Pieces or when Krakauer disproved Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea

                                             Information surrounding us (~6 min)As a scholar yourself, in order to build your own ideas, part of your work is to double-check, verify, or cross-reference what others have said or written about the documents you are reading and citing . Who knows? You may find the first voice announcing major errors identified through new techniques or new information.

I–perhaps oddly–prefer the deliberate search bars of ProQuest and BobCat. Filters (usually on the left of the screen in a results page) are explicit and focus a broadsearch into something more specific to your needs. Unlike Google, typing more words into BobCat’s or ProQuest’s search bars will not help you. Start with two words then use the filters.Check in with a librarian. We can share screens with you in chat at Ask a Librarian{point out the contact us feature at the bottom of wechat? Or add a screen clip of the “Chat with us” from the library homepage}. If you have time, ask for instructions on how to run the search or select the filters yourself.

Long Night Against Procrastination 2020 Fall

Conquer finals with the LNAP!

Papers are due, exams are coming, but panic is NOT setting in! Lots of work to get done? Come to the Long Night Against Procrastination, maximize your productivity, and cross-off items on your to-do lists! 

Research Librarians and ARC fellows will be on hand to provide research and writing assistance throughout the evening, or you can just come and de-stress with our soothing events – paper folding and lucky notes drawing! 

Here is the link for registration: We are all here to help you ace the finals week!

smiley faces announce Long Night Against Procrastination on Dec 9 in the Academic Building on 4F

Why not just use Google?

When you’ve searched Google for a book, has Google ever suggested, “Go to your local library”?


The cover of the book "Invisible Women"

Imagining this is the book you are looking for. You typed the name in and the result is like this:

A screenshot of the results of searching the book, Invisible Women, on Google

But none of these results will tell you that your Library already has it

Part of that is on us, librarians: we haven’t opened our data and we are working on that. But it’s also because we (libraries) don’t pay Google to promote us. No one really knows Google’s algorithm, so it is hard to guess what sources it isn’t showing you 

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Online Workshop on Using RSQLite and Shiny App to Solve Business Problems

On November 19, the Library will host an online workshop on creating a business intelligence dashboard with the help of R Shiny and RSQLite. Participants will make an application that resembles this dashboard.

Using RSQLite and Shiny Applications to Solve Business Problems (Online Workshop)

Thursday, 19 November 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM (China Standard Time)

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Next week(11/9-11/15), join us for two lunchtime online workshops:


  • Introduction to QGIS (Online Workshop)

        Tuesday, 10 November 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (China Standard Time)

QGIS is an open source software package for geospatial analysis. This introductory workshop covers simple GIS analyses and visualizations within QGIS.

​This workshop will be held live via ​Zoom, so you can attend from the comfort of your dorm or apartment. You must register in advance through the NYU Libcal page  ( 


  • Data Cleaning and Management Using Python (Online Workshop)

         Thursday, 12 November 10 AM – 12 PM (China Standard Time)

This session is an intermediate level class that will examine ways to perform data cleaning, transformation, and management using Python. We will look at some efficient ways to load data and parse it into a container for ease of use in Python, to store it in helpful formats, and to perform some basic cleaning and transformations typical for mixed string-and-numeric formats. Finally, we’ll try putting it all together using a dataset from the NYC Open Data portal.


  • Ability to set and understand the object type of a variable
  • Familiarity with foundational object types (lists, strings, numbers, dictionaries) in Python
  • Familiarity with common data storage file types such as JSON and CSV
  • Comfort with, or willingness to learn more about dataframe and array objects in Python
  • Comfort with using Jupyter Notebooks for writing code

​This workshop will be held live via ​Zoom, so you can attend from the comfort of your dorm or apartment. You must register in advance through the NYU Libcal page  ( 


I hope you’ll be able to join us!