Library secrets: Lesser-known resources

College students spend a significant amount of time researching, reading and writing papers. What better place to do this than the library? It has a ...

Nov 23, 2013

College students spend a significant amount of time researching, reading and writing papers. What better place to do this than the library? It has a wide range of books, equipment for student projects, study spaces and a variety of other resources, all within easy reach. However, beyond the search for an empty desk to work at, students rarely explore the library and what it has to offer. Here is a list of eight lesser-known resources that can be found in the NYU Abu Dhabi library:
  1. Abu Dhabi Film Festival Archive:
    This archive is a recent addition to the library. NYUAD librarian Ilka Datig mentioned that the library hopes to acquire a copy of all films and documentaries featured in the ADFF so that students can check them out at their convenience. For those who were unable to attend the ADFF, the library now offers the chance to catch up. Currently, the library has procured approximately 30 movies that played at the recent ADFF festival, and the library hopes to expand this collection. All of the movies are accessible through the library catalog.
  1. Cambridge archive editions:
    “This is basically a large collection [of] facsimiles of primary sources having to do with the Middle East,” said NYUAD librarian Beth Lindsay. “We specifically have records of the Emirates, a gazetteer of Arabian Tribes and over 50 other titles.”
    This is an excellent resource because obtaining primary documents can be an arduous task. The Cambridge archives are located on the 20th floor of Sama Tower in the NYUAD Annex, which can be visited by arranging a prior appointment.
    College students are involved in a gamut of different activities that require skills they do not posses. Finding a tutor or a helpful friend is not always possible; in such circumstances is helpful. This website offers tutorials on a range of software and developer tools, such as Photoshop, as well as web design and programming languages, like Python and MATLAB.
    “It is very self-paced and convenient to do in your own time,” said Datig.
    The instructions to access the website can be found on the Student Portal under the Services and clicking on Technology and Support.
  1. Streaming music:
    Is iTunes too expensive and Spotify unsatisfying? Then try the NYUAD library’s music streaming databases. Several audio streams are offered such as the Smithsonian Global Sound, along with music from many other genres and countries.
  2. Borrowing Equipment:
    Checking out cameras and headphones from the library is nothing new to most students, but the library has recently acquired a set of small laptops that are much easier to carry, a fleet of iPods that are perfect for photography on the go as well as a brand new 3D printer that anybody can use. In addition to these new acquisitions, the library has some very high tech equipment such as the Flash Kit, a software tool for budding professionals.
    “People know that we have a lot of interesting equipment, but they may not always know what those are, so we encourage them to talk to the librarians more often,” said Lindsay.
  1. Language learning:
    Rosetta Stone seems to be a staple for students learning languages. But if picking up a few works before a trip to Nepal is the goal, then Mango Languages is the place to go.  Take a few lessons, have a quick look at vocabulary lists or listen to some everyday conversations in a new language.
    “Mango is not as in depth and intense like Rosetta Stone, and it also has a wide breadth of languages covered,” said Datig.
  1. Silent study:
    Something most people may not know is that in the evening, the maintenance staff rearranges the furniture in the study rooms on the first floor to turn it into a silent study space. This means it is possible to have quiet time with the added benefit of being close to useful resources.
    “The rooms are almost never booked,” said Lindsay, and they are usually available on a walk-in basis.
    And if evenings don’t work, the library is also open on Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m. for quiet hours.
    “We’re also open for extended hours when it gets close to finals” said Datig.
  1. Librarians:
    Many people may feel that approaching the librarians may take them away from their real job, but Lindsay said they’re here to help. The librarians are an excellent resource that everyone should utilize. They are trained in research and can direct students toward what they are hoping to achieve faster than a computer.
    “I always feel getting help from a librarian is a resource which is underused,” said Datig.
Mitali Banerji is a contributing writer. Email her at 
gazelle logo