From research and data science workshops to lectures and screenings, the UCLA Library will present dozens of virtual events this spring designed to enrich students, faculty, staff and other researchers’ academic experiences and to help them advance knowledge through engagement with library resources and services. 

Featured events include “The History of the Chinese Book” webinar series, highlighting Chinese rare books from the library’s collections; the “Undergraduate Research Week Awards Ceremony,” where recipients of the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research will be recognized; “Introduction to Tinderbox,” which offers beginners an overview of the data note-taking application, and other workshops focusing on how to develop a research plan, find sources, write a literature review and use Python for research.

Other program highlights include the continuing “Virtual Screening Room,” a series of films, television shows and newsreels presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, a division of UCLA Library. Curated by Archive programmers, the series supports the mission of offering access to unique moving images that provide insight into diverse communities and our shared cultural history. 

Most events are free, and most are open to the public. For more details and a complete listing of events, see the UCLA Library calendar

Research workshops

April 8: Practical web technologies for social scientists will introduce the alphabet soup of technologies powering the modern web. Explanations of TCP/IP, HTTP, JSON and more will provide attendees the background knowledge to begin extracting data from the web.

April 8: During data visualization with Tableau, participants will receive a general introduction to the Tableau software and learn how to create different types of visualizations. Prior experience is not required.

April 8: Participants in developing a research question will learn methods for topic exploration and narrowing down their research focus.

April 14: A hands-on approach will be used in introduction to QGIS-raster analysis, which covers quantum geographic information systems, an open-source software platform. Beginners to mapping will leave the workshop having created a map using spatial and raster analysis tools.

April 15: There is more to search than Google. Learn effective search strategies at finding sources at the UCLA Library.

April 16: Introduction to the Bash Shell command line participants will learn fundamental skills for working with operating systems through a command-line interface. Beginners will leave understanding how the shell can help automate complex tasks and how to write shell scripts.

April 20: Real-world advice and resources are offered at Adulting 101 workshops: Renting in L.A. Learn tips and strategies for navigating the rental process and hear library staff share their experiences.

April 22: Questions about citing sources and plagiarism will be answered during collecting and citing sources. Learn how to track sources and auto-generate your bibliography to avoid problems down the road.

April 23: Discover the version control system programmers use to track and manage changes at introduction to Git/GitHub.

April 27: Adulting 101 workshops: Free Los Angeles Public Library resources introduces resources including e-books, magazines and newspapers, and online tutorials.

April 29: Writing a literature review will teach participants strategies for organizing their research in a clear and compelling literature review.

April 30: Tailored to beginners, plotting and programming in Python-1 provides an introduction to those with little or no previous programming experience in Python. Participants will learn basic syntax, data structures and data science tools.

May 6: Create engaging and compelling presentations after attending presentation strategies and tools, where the focus will be on how best to connect with your audience.

May 6: In developing your research plan participants will learn how to create a project timeline and keep research goals on schedule.

May 7: Plotting and programming in Python-2 builds on lessons taught in the version one of the course. Participants will learn Python in the context of data science and identify how it can be used in research.

May 13: At Exploring digital archives with DEVONthink, Tinderbox and Zotero, participants will be introduced to management and note-taking tools designed to help collect, organize and analyze documents and data.

May 14: Library carpentry: Introduction to R part 1 provides beginners an overview of the basic R programming language syntax, data structures and data science tools.

May 20: Learn about the note-taking application designed to capture and analyze complex relationships and ideas at introduction to Tinderbox. Both core and advanced concepts will be covered.

May 21: Library carpentry: Introduction to R part 2 will continue concepts covered in session one. Learn RStudio and more about how R is used for data exploration, visualization and statistical analysis.

May 25: Artists’ books, comics, graphic novels and zines introduces students and researchers to a variety of alternative publishing formats available in the library.

May 27: Fundamentals of computational text analysis with Voyant will introduce participants to the basic workflow, terms and output they may encounter when undertaking a text mining project. 

June 3: Introduction to network graphs: Formatting your data will cover the basics of data analysis, creating graphs and network analysis projects. 


April 15: The “Hear/Now/Then/There: Subversion, Sound and Queer Underground” lecture series features a conversation with artist and educator Jasmine Nyende, member of Black, queer punk band FUPU. This is the final installment in the series, presented by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities with support from the UCLA Music Library.

April 30: A scholarly panel examines piano culture in an age of contemporary, back-and-forth reproduction at 21st-century pianism: Retrospection, new directions and interpretative communities. This program is part of the music performance studies today series, presented by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities and the UCLA Music Library.

May 14: Methods in music performance studies brings together a panel of music scholars to discuss the field of music performance studies, identify challenges and methodologies, and foster cross-disciplinary conversation. Presented by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities and the UCLA Music Library.

May 21: Performance, gestures, electronics offers presentations and panel discussions on music, technology and composition, featuring a piece about women’s labor composed and performed by Jocelyn Ho, assistant professor of music studies at UCLA. Presented by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities and the UCLA Music Library.

June 11, 18, 25: The UCLA Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library and UCLA Library Special Collections present the History of the Chinese Book webinar series, with leading scholar Li Kaisheng, curator of the Tianyi Ge Library (est. 1561). The lectures will highlight UCLA Library’s collection of Chinese rare books and introduce the history of China’s oldest continually operating library. 

Awards ceremony

May 28: As the culminating event of UCLA’s Undergraduate Research Week, the awards ceremony recognizes the student researchers across multiple disciplines for their innovative work. Prizes awarded include the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate research through the use of library collections.

Virtual Screenings

April 15: “The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean” (1966) is the story of a clairvoyant teenage girl, Norma Jean (Sharon Henesy), and a boy band, fashioned after the Beatles, who are determined to exploit the young woman’s powers as part of a hoax revival. Written, directed and produced by Juleen Compton, the film is an impressive example of American independent feature filmmaking during the mid-1960s, and centers on an uncommon portrayal, for the time, of female agency. The screening will be introduced by film preservationist Jillian Borders and Maya Montañez Smukler, research and study center officer of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

April 22: “Two by Sarah Maldoror,” features two distinct works from filmmaker and theater artist Sarah Maldoror: her first short, “Monangambé” (1969), and her satiric, delightful French television film, “Dessert for Constance” (1981). Born in France to parents of West Indian and French descent, Maldoror, who died last spring from complications from the coronavirus, co-founded the country’s first Black theater troupe in 1956 and later pivoted to cinema, directing more than two dozen films and forging her own visual transmissions of African culture. Presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Black Feminism Initiative at UCLA, the program includes a post-screening panel discussion with Annouchka de Andrade, Maldoror’s daughter, producer and distributor.

April 29: Filmmakers Ellen Fisher-Turk and Andrew Weeks give center stage to International Chrysis, the pioneering diva and self-proclaimed “transgender performer” who dominated the New York cabaret and nightclub scene for two decades, in their film “Split: Portrait of a Drag Queen” (1993). Through their assemblage of interviews, stills and video footage, Fisher-Turk and Weeks capture the sharp wit and vivacious presence that made Chrysis a showstopping headliner, a muse to fashion designers and artists (especially Salvador Dalí) and a guiding light for the next generation before her untimely death in 1990. The Archive is thrilled to present “Split” with filmmaker Fisher-Turk in conversation with cultural critic Ernest Hardy.

May 6: The Virtual Screening Room series continues with “Frankly Jazz: Three Preserved Episodes.” Premiering on Los Angeles’ KTLA Channel 5 in 1962, the short-lived local television series “Frankly Jazz” offered viewers powerhouse live performances by some of the best West Coast jazz musicians of the day. The Archive presents three episodes of this obscure local music TV series, as preserved from recently acquired, original two-inch master videotapes featuring legendary artists such as Gerald Wilson, the Jazz Crusaders and Sammy Davis Jr. The performances will be introduced by jazz musician and educator Ray Briggs, jazz studies department chair for the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, and assistant director of jazz studies at Cal State Long Beach, where he teaches courses in jazz history and ethnomusicology.