Day in the Life: Bobst Librarian Tom McNulty

Ilona Tuominen for WSN
Ilona Tuominen for WSN

While many NYU students spend their Sundays at Bobst Library catching up on work before their dreaded Monday classes, Tom McNulty, a librarian for Fine Arts, comes to work. McNulty will often sit behind the resource desk on the first floor, offering help to confused students trying to navigate the grand library.

6 a.m. McNulty wakes up bright and early to start the day.

12 p.m. McNulty heads to Bobst. He lives close to campus, so he likes to walk to work.

1 p.m. McNulty begins his shift.

When he is not organizing books or answering students’ questions, one would most likely find him helping a student with research in the contemporary fine arts, his area of expertise. The library also offers a series of classes ranging from basic research skills to more advanced, specialized topics, which McNulty assists with.

“Research skills are important for student work, but true research proficiency can be one of your most marketable professional skills,” McNulty said. “Regardless of your chosen field, gaining advanced research proficiency might lead to your dream job upon graduation.”

7 p.m. McNulty’s shift ends. However, he likes to stay at Bobst longer to catch up on work. He can often be found in his office on the M-landing between the first and second floors reading a book. McNulty is currently doing background reading for an article he plans to write.

“My current research focuses on valuation issues related to the early work of major twentieth century artists,” McNulty said. “My most recent publication is a book titled ‘Art Market Research: A Guide to Methods and Sources (second edition).’”

McNulty loves to read — when asked what his favorite book is, McNulty is unable to answer. With all the reading he has done for his job, He simply has too many favorites to choose from.

8 p.m. After a long day working in the library and meeting multiple students for research help appointments, McNulty will leave the library. Although an entire day of his weekend is spent at Bobst, he enjoys his job and finds it relaxing.

“I love being a librarian,” McNulty said. “I work with creative students and faculty members on a wide range of topics, and there is never a dull day.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 27 print edition. Ilona Tuominen is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected] 



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