Using the Libraries During COVID-19

Students and faculty can book a study seat for up to four hours per day in Butler Library, Avery Library, Lehman Library, Starr East Asian Library, Business Library, and Science & Engineering Library. All other locations remain closed until further notice. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. 

You must have a Columbia ID to enter. Before students or faculty enter a library, they must complete the symptom self-check and receive a green pass, make a seat reservation, and review the terms for using library spaces:

  • Wear a face covering at all times
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance
  • Arrive on time for your reservation
  • Check in when you arrive and check out when your reservation ends
  • Food is not permitted
  • Leave furniture in place
  • Wipe down surfaces before you leave
  • Wash your hands after touching shared surfaces
  • Only library staff may handle books; use for online access or to request a book for pick-up

Failure to comply with terms of use may result in termination of library study seat reservation privileges; you may be asked to show your Columbia ID for reporting purposes. 

Video conferencing is allowed in designated rooms in Lehman Library, Butler Library, and the Business Library. Look for the "Video Conferencing Allowed" indication in the Category drop-down to select a room designated for video conferencing. Furniture must not be moved, masks must be worn, and headphones should be used to minimize distraction to other users.


Please contact the relevant special collections repository library to make a research appointment. At this time, special collections visits are limited to current Columbia students, faculty, and staff. 

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library:

Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary:

C.V. Starr East Asian Library:

Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Due to COVID-19, library stacks are closed; there is no direct access to browsing or handling library materials at this time.

Book pick-up service is available for select print collections. Eligible items will have a "Pick-up" hyperlink in the CLIO record. Please refer to the Pick-Up Service page for instructions about how to request materials for pickup, how to pick up the materials, and how to return materials.

Materials can be returned to book bins outside Butler Library, the Science & Engineering Library, Lehman Library, and the Business Library. Due dates have been universally pushed back to May 28, 2021; regular late fines have been removed; account blocks have no negative effect on access or permissions.

If you have left or are leaving the New York City area permanently and cannot return materials to the Butler Library book bins, please email to make other arrangements. 

Please read more about borrowing and returning items here:

Borrow, Request, Renew

Attend a workshop, schedule a tailored session on library services and tools for small groups or classes led by a subject specialist, or take advantage of access to expert-led online professional development courses and videos with LinkedIn Learning.

Workshops & Training

Learn about services for patrons with unique accomodation needs.

Go to Accessibility 

Request books, articles, or items for email or campus delivery. Learn about how to request a consultation, library instruction session, and more.

Learn more about requesting items and services during COVID-19 here:

Go to Request Items & Services