Friday, Jul 25, 2014 02:48 am est

Day in the Life: Bobst Librarian Tom McNulty

Posted on February 27, 2014 | by Ilona Tuominen

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 


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.