Library Status Updates

Last updated Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 3:16pm EST

What's Available & Open Now

  • Under the COVID-19 monitoring plan, indoor masking in library spaces is optional.
  • Libraries remain open. Hours can be found here. Groups may study in designated reading rooms in libraries. 
  • *Certain visitors may access Butler Library. Visitors must check in for each visit at the Library Information Office in Butler Library during business hours with proof of vaccination and ID. Hours can be found here. Please review our Visitors page for more information about the types of visitors permitted to enter Butler at this time, plus important requirements. 
  • The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is accepting limited appointments for external visiting researchers. Appointments at all other special collections remain open only to current Columbia faculty, students, and staff.
  • Video conferencing and group study is allowed in designated rooms. Study space options can be found here. 
  • Butler Cafe is open. Eating is not curently allowed in library spaces. Drinks are allowed in library spaces in spill-proof containers only. 

*Butler Library is allowing building access to a limited number of visitors with research needs and an existing connection to the Columbia University community. Please check the Visitor Page for types of visitors permitted to enter at this time. 


Ongoing Access to Online Collections and Help

  • Scanning is available from offsite collections and most 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.
  • Faculty and instructors can request required course readings be placed on  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.
  • Faculty and instructors can request a tailored library instruction session and/or consult with a subject specialist or relevant distinctive collections repository about designing and supporting research assignments and alternative projects in the context of a remote or hybrid learning environment.
  • Any library user can get general 1-1 help online by using our Ask a Librarian service.
  • Any library user can get 1-1 help online from an expert with questions about copyright or digital methods for research and publishing

Frequently Asked Questions about Reopening

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

Interlibrary Loan scan and hardcopy borrowing requests can be submitted directly via Borrow Direct if no requestable copy is available, via e-Link in Worldcat or the ILL website portal

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.

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


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