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“Working with Data” Workshop Series

This series will take learners through the process of finding, processing, analyzing, and visualizing a single dataset from beginning to end. However, each individual workshop also stands on its own without prerequisites. Attend one, or attend them all!

All sessions take place in the Digital CoLab, Olin Library 701.

Click on the titles below to register.

Fetching Data from a Public API

Thursday 9/13 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

An increasing number of government agencies and other organizations make public data available via an application programming interface (API), rather than via direct download. The advantage of an API from the researcher’s perspective is that it allows you to write queries to find a meaningful subset of data, while also ensuring the data is the most up-to-date possible.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to fetch data from public APIs to use in your work. We’ll also compare fetching from APIs to other methods of retrieving web data, such as downloading static .csv files or scraping a web page. No prior programming experience required. 

Cleaning Messy Data with OpenRefine

Thursday 9/20 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Is your spreadsheet full of inconsistent spellings, strange abbreviations, and/or columns you wish someone had organized differently at the start? Or are you just facing a large dataset and aren’t sure how to get your head around it? Learn how to use OpenRefine, a free and open source tool for taming data, and feel like a caster of data magic spells.

Visualizing and Exploring Data with Tableau

Thursday 10/11 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Visualization can be used as a method for exploring and analyzing data, as well as for presenting final results of those analyses. In this workshop, learn techniques for making sense of large datasets by exploring them visually. We’ll use Tableau, a tool that allows you to generate and customize visualizations using a drag-and-drop interface.

Creating an Interactive Web Map with Carto

Thursday 10/18 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Maps are just a particular type of data visualization. Like graphs and charts, maps are good ways to learn about patterns and tendencies in your data, and later, to present the results of your research. Interactive web maps can also allow your users to drill deeper, and explore your data for themselves. In this workshop, you will learn how to create interactive web maps with a tool called Carto, which you can use for free with your Cornell netID.


Ask a Librarian!


If you have a research problem – If no one else can help – You can find them –

Ask a Librarian!

The library offers help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through a variety of services: email, chat, phone, and in-person, at a reference desk.

We’re here for you, whenever you need help.

Notes from Cornell Typewriters

Inspired by “Notes from a Public Typewriter”, Olin & Uris Libraries are providing two vintage typewriters as a way for Cornellians to connect both with each other & the past.

We invite you to record thoughts you would like to convey to the library—poems, haikus, ideas, or whatever is on your mind. If someone has already typed on the page, leave some space and continue with your own narrative, adding pages as needed (they’re numbered). We will archive these sheets of paper, and if we quote from them, will keep them anonymous, so only sign your messages if you want them attributed, and leave a note that specifies if you have privacy preferences. Please treat both typewriters with respect.

In Uris Library’s Lobby, a 1915-25 L.C.Smith & Bros.

It is an antique, ca. 1915-25, and belongs to Mann Library.

In Olin Library Lobby, a 1973 Smith Corona.

It is the personal writing instrument of Fred Muratori, Cornell’s Bibliographer for English-Language, Literature & Film.


Photos courtesy of Shayla Harrington.

July Workshops at Olin & Uris Libraries

Digital Privacy: Everyday Privacy Protection  – July 5th at 4 pm in Olin Library 106G Classroom

Learn about the major risks to your privacy, how to discern riskier digital circumstances from safer ones, and “set-it-and-forget-it” low-barrier actions you can take to increase your protection. Have questions about two-factor authentication, password managers, https, private messaging apps, and how to stop those personalized ads with pictures of the last pair of shoes you shopped for from following you around online?  During the workshop, take the opportunity to change browser settings, device settings, and browser plug-ins that will make real differences to your privacy. In addition, learn how to take advantage of library and campus resources that can help.

Bring your laptop, smartphone, and other devices to this session.

Scrivener for [Academic] Writing – July 12th at 4 pm in Olin Library 106G Classroom

Scrivener is software for writing with more organization and other options than a word processor. It can be installed on Macs, PCs, and, just recently, iOS mobile devices. Long a favorite with fiction writers, its many powerful features are increasingly making it a favorite among academics.  Workshop attendees should bring their own laptop with the 30-day trial installed if you have not yet purchased Scrivener.  If this presents a challenge, before the workshop, please contact Olin Library Reference through Ask a Librarian.

WordPress for Websites – July 18th at 4 pm in Olin Library 106G Classroom

Not just for blogs, WordPress can be used to produce elegant, user-friendly websites.

Whether you’re creating a publicly-accessible, scholarly website or an online collection of texts or images for private use, WordPress is a flexible solution with a simple, intuitive interface and surprisingly powerful plugins. Learn the basics of WordPress site building in this session.

Please bring a laptop to this workshop. Course outline.

Basic HTML – July 19th at 4 pm in Olin Library 106G Classroom

Learn the syntax and structure of html in this introduction to the Internet’s most basic markup language. You’ll code a simple web page during this sixty-minute, hands-on session.

Please bring a laptop, or borrow one from Olin Circulation.

Introduction to LaTeX – July 26th at 4 pm in Olin Library 106G Classroom

A hands-on introduction to document creation with LaTeX using the TeXStudio front-end and the MikTeX engine for Windows. LaTeX is a markup language enabling anyone to create high-quality typeset documents. Learn the basic structure of LaTeX and take advantage of the tools provided in TeXStudio. No previous experience required.

Bring your own laptop or borrow one from Olin Circulation.

Fake News, Alternative Facts, and Misinformation: Learning to critically evaluate media sources – July 30th at 3:30 pm in Uris Library Classroom

In the high-speed world of reality-optional politics, “alternative” facts, and “fake” news, how can you identify news sources that are accurate and trustworthy? There are tools and approaches to help you be a more effective evaluator of news sources and news content. Join us for an hour of working together to recognize reliable news sources and separate them from the “alternative,” fake, truthy, and promotional versions.

For information on August workshops, please visit:


Extended Study Hours at Olin & Uris Libraries

During the study and exam period, May 11th through May 21st, Olin & Uris Libraries will have extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights.

On May 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th, Olin Library will be open until 12 am.  Uris Library will be open 24 hours through the end of the study/exam period and start intercession hours on Tuesday, May 22nd.

For more information on the hours at Olin & Uris Libraries, please visit:

Slope Day 2018 at Olin, Kroch, and Uris Libraries

Uris Library closes at 2 am on Slope Day.

DRAW A LINE ———————————————-


The exhibit DRAW A LINE ———————————————-, located in Olin Library’s Basement Display case from April 23-May 26, 2018, represents a unique collaboration between library staff and Amy Sara Carroll’s Society for the Humanities Spring 2018 graduate seminar “Undocumentation” (SHUM 4620, AMST 4620, COML 4616, FGSS 4620, LATA 4620, LSP 4621, ROMS 4625, VISST 4620).

Work by Julissa Andrade, Lydia Anglin, Elise Czuchna, Michelle Dan, Diego García Blanco, Salvador Herrera, Laura Pérez-León, and Emily Celeste Vázquez Enríquez engages maps of the Mexican-US borderlands housed in Olin’s Map and Geospatial Information Unit. Many thanks to Howard Brentlinger, Robert Kotaska, Craig Mains, Oluwayimika Osunsanya and Eliza Bettinger for making such an exhibition possible.

Text provided by Amy Sara Carroll

Photo provided by Carla DeMello

Book Talk: Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict States

Sabrina Karim is an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Between 2016-2017, she was a Dartmouth Dickey Center Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security. Her new book, Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping (Oxford University Press, 2017) is coauthored by Kyle Beardsley, and it was the winner of the Conflict Research Studies Best Book Prize for 2017.

This event is sponsored by Olin Library. For more information about Olin Library events, visit

All events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.

For more information about the book talk series and to view recordings of previous talks, visit

Spring Workshop Schedule at Olin & Uris Libraries

Reserve Olin/Uris Group Study Rooms in Advance

Olin/Uris now has 6 group study rooms that are available to be reserved: 302, 402 & 404 in Olin Library, and the 3 group study rooms in the Cocktail Lounge of Uris. Students reserve the rooms online through a reservation system called LibCal.

There is a link to this system on the Group Study Rooms-Policy for Use page on our website:

While you should review all the policies on the page, some of note:

  • These spaces are intended for current student academic use only. Faculty and staff members who need to reserve a room can refer to the Library Spaces page of the Cornell University Library website.
  • Reservations have priority. If you are using a space and do not have a valid reservation, you must leave when asked by a group that has a valid reservation.
  • Please bring a copy of your confirmation with you and be prepared to inform those sitting in a room that you have the space reserved.
  • Drinks must have a lid. Use quiet conversation.
  • Please refer any issues to staff at the circulation desk.
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