Media Policies

Columbia University Library facilities are private property and are subject to restrictions allowable by law. The following policies are designed to ensure that libraries are able to maintain study spaces and service areas without disruption and that each user's right to privacy is respected. 

For full University policies, please see Columbia University News Media and Filming Policies


Requests to photograph or film must be limited to regular operating hours of the requested library facility.  Please reference the Library Hours page for details, and the Library Locations page for an outline of all facilities.  Individuals or crews using cameras must be accompanied by an assigned communications officer or other designated University escort at all times.  Media personnel that have been granted permission to enter library facilities must clearly display valid credentials. Requests to obtain "broadcast roll" in any library facility requires permission and an assigned escort.

Academic recesses are the best time to film at Butler Library and other library facilities. During midterm and finals periods, it is unlikely requests will be granted. Please reference the University Academic Calendar for dates. All commercial and documentary productions are subject to location and support fees, based on the scope of work.  For more information, please visit the University Event Management Website


  • To submit a request for a commercial, for-profit photography or film shoot, please do so through the Columbia University Events Management system.  

  • To submit a request for journalistic news media photography or film shoots, documentaries, or for student projects, e-mail the Libraries Communications Office at least two weeks prior to desired shoot date with the following criteria:

            Desired date, time and location of shoot
            Brief description of project
            Crew size
            Description of equipment
            Time duration of shoot
            Library materials requested



Libraries events are open to media or filming with advanced approval. To gain access, the media must agree to comply with these policies and must display valid credentials. Media attending events must remain seated in a designated section unless permission is given to move elsewhere. 

To request permission to attend a Libraries event, please contact the Libraries Communications Office in advance of the event at 212-854-5289.