Library Status Updates

Last updated Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 2:16pm EST

Physical Locations & Study Space

  • Six libraries are currently open. Library spaces are available to students and faculty by reservation only in Avery, Butler, Business, Lehman, Starr East Asian, and Science & Engineering. Students and faculty at Columbia who have signed the Columbia Community Health Compact are eligible. Special collections visits are available for research by appointment only
  • Seats must be reserved. Students and faculty must reserve seats in libraries for up to four hours per day before they arrive to ensure that they will have a place to study and work. Video conferencing is allowed in designated rooms.
  • Columbia ID is required. You must have a Columbia ID to enter library buildings. 
  • Face coverings are required.  Library reading rooms are monitored for adherence to the Columbia Community Health Compact.  Food is not permitted in libraries.
  • The Microforms Reading Room is available for in-person use on a very limited basis by appointment only to current Columbia faculty, staff, or students whose individual research requires consulting microfilm or microfiche. Appointments will be scheduled on Mondays between 9am to 1pm or on Fridays between 1–5pm. Please see the Services page for more information.
  • Visit our Library Privileges page for more information about current access to our libraries and study spaces. 

Borrowing and Returning Physical Materials

  • Library stacks are closed; there is no direct access to browsing or handling library materials at this time. 
  • Book pick-up service is now available for select print collections. Eligible items will have a "Pick-up" hyperlink in the CLIO record. Please refer to the Pick-Up Service page for instructions about how to request materials for pickup, how to pick up the materials, and how to return materials. 
  • Materials can be returned to book bins outside Butler Library, the Science & Engineering Library, Lehman Library, and the Business Library. Due dates have been universally pushed back to February 19, 2021; regular late fines have been removed; account blocks have no negative effect on access or permissions. 
  • If you have left or are leaving the New York City area permanently and cannot return materials to the Butler Library book bins, please email lio@columbia.edu to make other arrangements. 

Access to Collections Online

  • Scanning is available from offsite collections and select campus locations.  Scanning via Interlibrary Loan has also been enabled.  Eligible items will have a "Scan" hyperlink in the CLIO record. Reproductions of small portions will be made in accordance with the Terms of Service. Archival collections, rare books, and some other offsite materials are not eligible to be requested.
  • Millions of items from our collections can still be accessed online, including 40% of our print holdings that are temporarily available digitally.
  • Request items for Course Reserves by using our submission form as soon as possible. Library staff will then be in touch with details on the availability of each item. Whenever possible, we will supply electronic copies of materials. Also, consult with an expert about using films in courses.

Get Help Online with Research and Teaching


Frequently Asked Questions about Reopening

While some on-campus services have resumed, many library services remain available remotely. Faculty, students, and researchers should consult the menu of services available during remote or hybrid learning scenarios.

Six libraries are open for general use and study. Special collections are open to users by appointment. Students may reserve seats in libraries for up to four hours per day before they arrive to ensure that they will have a place to study and work. Face coverings are required.  Video conferencing is allowed in in designated rooms. Reading rooms will be monitored for adherence to the Columbia Community Health Compact. Food will not be permitted in libraries.

With overwhelming concern for the safety and wellbeing of our library staff and users, these initial services have been implemented with the fewest possible staff members on site. 

Borrow Direct requests can now be filled from many of the consortial partners.  Search via the website portal or click on Pick-Up (Borrow Direct) in CLIO.  

Interlibrary Loan is still an option for requesting scans of articles and book chapters.  Submit a request directly via the website portal or click the Scan link in CLIO.  Hardcopy borrowing and lending via Interlibrary Loan remains suspended.

Books from the First-Generation, Low-Income (FLI) Partnership Library at Columbia are available through the Libraries’ Book Pick-Up Service

For further information about the collection and to suggest new additions, please see FLI Partnership Library page on the Libraries’ website.

Materials can be returned to book bins outside Butler Library, the Science & Engineering Library, Lehman Library, and the Business Library. For users who are unable to return materials in person, we have taken several steps to mitigate the pressure of due dates and fines for all borrowers. Due dates have been universally pushed back to February 19, 2021; regular late fines have been removed; account blocks have no negative effect on access or permissions.

If you have left or are leaving the New York City area permanently and cannot leave your materials with someone to return later, please email lio@columbia.edu to make other arrangements. 

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent closure of library locations, many print collections have been made available in digital format. 40% of Columbia’s print collections are now temporarily available in digital format following the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service announcement. Here’s how to access those materials.

Many of our collections are always available online, including ebooks (choose “ebooks” on the left before or after any search in CLIO), research databases, digital reproductions from our rare and special collections, and access to health sciences databases and health sciences resources

If you have questions about the availability of a collection, how to access a collection, or how to make a collection request, please contact us

 

If you need to retrieve materials from a personal space such as a locker or carrel, please email lio@columbia.edu to make arrangements. (Currently this is only possible for lockers and carrels in Butler Library.)

Please continue to refer to the University’s COVID-19 Guidance for the Columbia Community for information about classes, campus events, health updates, travel restrictions, and preventative measures.


For questions not answered here, please email recovery@library.columbia.edu