Columbia FLI Partnership Library

What is the Columbia First-Generation, Low-Income (FLI) Partnership Library?

Located on the third floor of Butler Library, Room 303A, the Columbia FLI Partnership Library is a collection of textbooks and other course materials available to low-income and/or first-generation students from one of Columbia University's undergraduate schools: Columbia College (CC), the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and General Studies (GS), as well as students from Barnard College. Students who identify as first-generation or low-income and who register can borrow materials from the collection for extended (semester-long) loan periods.

Barnard College also maintains the Barnard FLI Partnership Library at the back of the fourth floor of the Barnard Library, and qualified Columbia undergraduates may similarly borrow from that collection.

How do I use the collection?

Students who identify as first-generation and/or low-income may register to brorrow materials from the collection for extended loan periods by filling out the FLI Partnership Libraries Access Form. The purpose of this form is to create a confidential channel for requesting access to the FLI library, while ensuring that the collection serves its primary audience of FGLI undergraduates.

Once you fill out the form, please allow two business days for your patron account to be updated with enhanced borrowing privileges. After your record has been updated, you can check books out from the FLI Partnership libraries as you would any other library book for the entire semester with the ability to renew.

Can I find the FLI Partnership Library books in CLIO?

CLIO is the Columbia University Libraries' unified search system designed to improve information discovery and deliver enhanced services for students and faculty.  

To see whether an item is in the collection, search CLIO. You can also browse the titles in the collection by searching by location for "Columbia FLI Partnership Library" or "Barnard FLI Partnership Library." Browse both collections by searching just for "FLI Partnership Library."

How can I check out books?

You can check out the books from our FLI Partnership collections in the same way you would any other library material, after you have filled out our online, confidential FLI Partnership Libraries Access Form. Students should take books to the Circulation Desk on the third floor of Butler Library or use the self-checkout service. Students may also or instead use the Libraries’ paging and pick-up service. To renew items, log into "My Library Account" in the upper right-hand corner of CLIO or the Libraries' main website.


2023–2024 Columbia FLI Partnership Library Course Materials Information Collection Form (CC, SEAS, GS Students Only)

This form is intended to collect information about textbooks and other course materials for users of the FLI Partnership lending library for the 2023-2024 academic year. After searching the libraries online through CLIO or in person, use this form to indicate items that are missing (or missing in sufficient quantities) but still needed for coursework. (Also use this spreadsheet [LionMail access only] to check library holdings for required textbooks in Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization.) Students may submit requests on a rolling basis for material that fits into the library's collection development policy The FLI Partnership Library will review the requests already submitted and notify students about the potential availability of the requested materials at least once a week during the semester.

**When your requested text becomes available it will be placed on hold for you. For this reason, please include accurate contact information. If you no longer need any item after a request is made, please contact as soon as possible.

**We will try to fill requests as quickly as possible but be advised that shipping or processing delays may affect the arrival of course materials. For immediate needs, we encourage students to use Course Reserves, browse CLIO for other available copies, and review our Free & Low-Cost Textbook Resources PDF:

How do I know if I am a first-generation college student?

At Columbia, a first-generation college student is identified as a student whose parent(s)/guardian(s) have not received a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or completed a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree later in life. Any student who self-identifies in this way, or who may have limited support in navigating an institution like Columbia, is welcome to use the lending library.

How do I know if I am considered a low-income student?

There is no specific income level that determines eligibility for students to check out materials from the FLI Partnership Libraries. However, low-income students typically have little to no expected parent contribution as part of their financial aid package.

Does the Columbia FLI Partnership Library accept donations?

If you are interested in making a financial donation or a gift of books, please email us at: Please also see the FLI Library collection development policy.


What other options can FLI students use to get books?

Please see the FLI Partnership guide for additional options for getting books.  

What is the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership student group?

The First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership is a recognized student club at Columbia University. The FLI Partnership Library is a collaboration between the student group and the Columbia University Libraries. The group primarily builds community for students who identify as first-generation and/or low-income, actively creates and advertises resources needed by FLI students, and advocates for and implements institutional change with the help of administrators. To learn more, check out the group's Instagram account and the group's other resources. If you have questions regarding food insecurity, joining the board, attending general body meetings, or other resources the FLI Partnership offers students, please contact them at

What is the Barnard FLI Partnership Library?

The Barnard College Library maintains its own FLI Partnership Library, located on the fourth floor of the Library within The Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning. Open to both Barnard and Columbia undergraduates who identify as FLI students, Barnard's collection contains mostly textbooks and other course materials required for Barnard College majors. For more information, please visit the Barnard FLI Partnership page


The FLI Partnership Library is coordinated and maintained by a team of Columbia University Libraries staff, led by:

Sydni Meyer, Teaching & Undergraduate Services Librarian (primary liaison and selector for undergraduate collections)

Jeremiah Mercurio, Head, Humanities & History

For questions regarding resources and services, please contact us at


Many members of the FLI community at Columbia University have and continue to work with the Libraries on the FLI Partnership lending library, with valuable assistance from community members at Barnard College.