Booth Ferris Foundation Awards Columbia University $200,000 for Integrated Science Library

(NEW YORK, August 20, 2009) Columbia University has received a $200,000 grant from The Booth Ferris Foundation to support the Integrated Science Library to be housed in the University’s new Northwest Corner Building for interdisciplinary science research.


The library, scheduled to open in 2010, will feature a digital science center providing research and data support for students and faculty in a high-end, technology-rich facility, with flexible spaces for collaborative work, and core literature along with current reading collections in the sciences.

The new library will respond to emerging needs and developments in science education and research. It will redefine information services for an increasingly multidisciplinary science research agenda at Columbia. As more and more of the scholarly information which supports science is captured digitally and distributed to classrooms, laboratories and laptops across campus, the library will become a center for consultation and service, bringing students, faculty members and librarians into a new partnership.

As a nexus, a gathering place for science and engineering, the new science library will make a fundamental difference to the working lives of scientists and engineers at Columbia, the learning environment of undergraduate and graduate students, and the intellectual life of the academic departments. “Incorporating the latest technology while preserving the most important aspects of a great university research library, it will be an inspiring space for study and research,” said Jim Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia.

The Booth Ferris Foundation was established in 1957 under the wills of Willis H. Booth and his wife, Chancie Ferris Booth. According to the foundation website, “The foundation's primary interest is in the field of education, including smaller colleges and public education initiatives in New York City. The foundation also makes grants in the areas of civic and urban affairs and culture in New York City. Grants in other areas are made occasionally, most often in the fields in which the Booth family had an interest. The foundation primarily funds capital and capacity building projects.”

Columbia University broke ground in March 2007 on the Northwest Corner Building, designed to house faculty offices, classrooms, and research facilities for the disciplines of chemistry, biology, engineering and physics. It will also serve as a new access point to and from the Morningside campus. It is anticipated that the building will be competed in the Fall of 2010.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.

08/20/09 LMK