Library Information Office
Library Information Office staff provide a wide variety of services to faculty, staff, students, and visiting readers, including initial requests for visitor access to the Columbia University Libraries. The office also answers general questions about any of the Libraries' services and resources, administers user privileges, clears library blocks due to overdue fines/fees, and distributes publications of a general nature about the Libraries. LIO is separate from Butler’s reference desk; for reference information, please click here.
User Access: Read more about how different users can access the Libraries on the Library Privileges page. Information for Columbia students, faculty, and staff about services provided by the libraries may be found on our Using the Libraries page.
Columbia University undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and teaching assistants are eligible for semester loan privileges in most libraries. All Columbia libraries are open to valid Columbia ID holders, regardless of discipline or use—with the exceptions of the Law Library and Business Library during midterm and finals and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML), which is limited to use of RBML materials only.
Deputy Borrowers: Full-time officers may designate a teaching assistant or research assistant as a deputy borrower as long as the assistant has an official University ID and their own borrowing records. Click here for further deputy borrowing instructions.
Using Other Libraries: Columbia library users are encouraged to check with the Library Information Office about documentation they may need to consult materials in other metropolitan-area research libraries (METRO) and before visiting other SHARES member libraries.
LIO staff also process payment of fines and fees for overdue and/or lost library materials. You should consult your “My Library Account” in CLIO to check the status of borrowed items. Fines and fees may be paid by credit card (Mastercard, Visa or Discover), check or money order. Cash payments are no longer accepted. The clearance process required before University transcripts and diplomas can be issued is managed at LIO. Click here for more information regarding payment of fines and fees.
Planning a visit to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and other Libraries collections on display? Please bring government-issued photo identification to the Library Information Office to receive a day pass. Click this page for visitor guidelines and what you will need before you arrive.
At LIO, visitors may also purchase access to the Libraries, which includes physical access to most library spaces between 9am and 11pm (or during library operating hours within that window), borrowing privileges, use of public computers in library spaces, and access to most e-resources on public computers. Information for visitors to Columbia about services provided by the libraries may be found on our Visitors Services page.
For general questions, contact the LIO staff by email or call 212-854-7309.