The Libraries seek to support research in all aspects of East Asian studies, with an emphasis on humanities and social sciences, except where these fields overlap with other Columbia collections (e.g., Business, Lehman, etc.) It supports the needs of undergraduate, graduate, Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, post-docs, research staff members, and visiting scholars.
There was a dramatic growth in the library's user population during the first half of the 1990’s. The East Asian Languages and Cultures department has seen an annual enrollment increase of nearly 30%.
Areas of established specialization include are History, Literature, Religion (particularly Buddhism).