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Columbia University Library Access

The NYTS students, faculty, and staff have the right to use the Burke Library for their research and studies, including use of the space, reading and borrowing privileges, and onsite access to eResources except the Law Library, Teacher’s College Library, and the Medical Library.  Columbia Library Cards have an expiration date and must be renewed each fall as long as the patron is a current student, faculty, or staff member.  The length of time that you may check out books varies from library to library.  The loan period at the Burke Library is 28 days.

Library hours for all of the Columbia libraries are available on the Columbia University Library website at

Services NOT available to NYTS faculty or students at the Columbia Library:

  • Access to Teacher’s College, the Law Library, or the Medical Library.
  • Alumni/ae Access: Students will not be issued Columbia Library cards after graduation.
  • Off-site access to the Columbia online databases and e-books.  NYTS students can access Columbia databases only from computers on-site at any of the Columbia Libraries (including the Burke).
  • Inter-library Loan (ILL): Students cannot borrow books from other institutions through the Columbia Library. For this service, students should use the New York Public Library.   Faculty and staff have ILL access through the Inter-Church Library on the 2nd floor at 475 Riverside.
  • Printing in the Columbia Libraries
  • Online Course Reserves at Columbia.
  • The Writing Center, which is not a part of the Columbia Libraries, but a service provided by Union Theological Seminary for its students.

Gaining Access

 To gain access to the Columbia libraries:

  1. Acquire a current semester sticker for your NYTS ID from the NYTS Registrar.
  2. Go to the Library Information Office (LIO) at the Butler Library on the Columbia Campus, Room 201 (See map 1).
    1. The LIO office is the first door to the left as you enter the library and before you pass through the security station.
  3. After you show your NYTS ID, your picture will be taken and a Columbia Library ID will be created in your name. The library card is valid for the academic year and must be renewed at the beginning of each school year.
  4. Make sure that you are given a UNI ID. Your UNI is a 6 digit number beginning with your initials and will be given to you at the time that you get your Columbia Library card. The functionality of the UNI is for library account identification, and is necessary to store search information, renew books or call off-site books for checkout. (The UNI does not allow access to Columbia’s network, remote access to eResources, remote printing, and CU email accounts).
  5. Activate your UNI account at any computer terminal.  After reading and accepting two pages of text, you will be prompted to create a password and answer several security questions. Write down the password and the answers to the security questions for future use.
  6. After activating your UNI, you may add printer dollars to your account to be able to print in any of the Columbia Libraries.

Activate UNI Account . Change UNI Password .  Purchase Printing

Library Copiers

Library copiers require the use of the Flex Card, which can be purchased at a number of Columbia Libraries.

  • Avery Library
  • Barnard College Library
  • Business Library
  • Butler Library (Room 2L1, across from the Lounge)
  • Lehman Library

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