Columbia Library Borrowing Privileges

Cornell University Library and Columbia University Libraries (2CUL) have partnered in a reciprocal borrowing program for current students, faculty and staff of each institution. Users may register for a library card at the partner library and borrow books when visiting that campus (Columbia medical libraries, Jewish Theological Seminary Library, Law Library, and Teachers College Library are excluded). The lending library’s policies and loan periods apply to partner borrowers. The library card is good for one year, and may be renewed upon reapplication.  There is no charge for this program.

Note: Cornell visitors to Columbia who are staying for at least 2 weeks in New York City are eligible to use Columbia’s BorrowDirect service during their stay.

  • Columbia Library Cards are created within two business days of receipt of the application. Cards are available for pickup at 201 Butler Library during regular business hours.  You must present your valid Cornell ID and a government-issued ID to claim the card.
  • To borrow materials at Columbia, present your Columbia Library Card and your Cornell ID at the circulation desk. Cornell borrowers receive the same borrowing privileges as their Columbia patron group counterparts (usually one semester for books; loan periods for other materials may vary — see 2CUL reciprocal borrowing for more details).
  • Cornell patrons may recall Columbia books for pickup at Columbia.
  • As noted above, if you are staying at least two weeks in New York City, you may use Columbia’s BorrowDirect Service to request and receive books while there.  Please note that the delivery time for BorrowDirect requests is typically 4-5 business days.
  • Books borrowed from Columbia University Libraries or through Columbia’s BorrowDirect service may be returned at either the Columbia or Cornell campuses.

Questions? Please contact the Library Public Services Office at (607) 255-5069, or email us at