Category Archives: Using the Libraries

Get in the Spirit of Halloween – A List of Scary Movies & Thrillers to Check Out

In honor of the spookiest time of year, Butler Library’s Librarian for Media, Film Studies and Performing Arts, Nancy Friedland, put together a list of scary movies and thrillers from the Criterion Collection on her "Features and Shorts" blog.  All of the films listed are available for check out from the Butler Library Media Collection.  

Diabolique (1955) — Thriller from Henri‑Georges Clouzot — is the story of two women who hatch a daring revenge plot — stars Simone Signoret — truly terrifying

Silence of the Lambs (1991) — from director Jonathan Demme — starring Anthony Hopkins in a superb performance as Hannibal the Cannibal and a wonderful Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling, winner of numerous Academy Awards — absolutely terrifying

The Vanishing (1988) suspense thriller about a young man and his obsessive search for his girlfriend after she mysteriously disappears during their sunny vacation getaway

For the rest of the list, click here

And for more information on films and collections, follow Nancy on Twitter @Rashomondo.


Borrow Direct Partnership Expands to Include Harvard Library and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

Columbia University Libraries is pleased to announce the addition of Harvard Library and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) to Borrow Direct, a service enabling faculty, students, and staff of Columbia University to borrow books and music scores directly from the libraries of Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is expected to join by late October 2011.

This expansion increases the number of volumes available to Columbia scholars from more than 45 million to almost 70 million.

Participating Harvard libraries include Widener Library (Humanities and Social Sciences), Countway Library (Medicine), and the Andover Library (Theology). In addition, books held at the Harvard Depository that were deposited by, or from, these three collections can be obtained through Borrow Direct.

New Equipment and Software Available in the Libraries!

Need to work on a Mac? Use Microsoft Word or Powerpoint? Finish a graphic design assignment? 

There are new computers and software options available throughout the libraries! In 300 Butler, in front of the Circulation desk, 16 computer kiosks have been replaced and the new computers now include Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite – that includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and more! 

Additional upgrades have also been made in the Digital Humanities Center (located in 305 Butler); 3 more Macs will be available in the Music & Arts Library (701 Dodge); and touch screen scanner stations will be available in Butler as well.


Meet the Librarians: Jeffrey Lancaster

Name: Jeffrey Lancaster

Title: Emerging Technologies Coordinator

Contact Info:

office404 Northwest Corner Bldg,
Science and Engineering Library
mailcode: 4899
phone: 212.851.7138

Library: Digital Science Center, Science and Engineering Library

@ Columbia Since: August 2006 (Ph.D. in Chemistry), with the Libraries since June 2011 

Education Info: 

B.A. Chemistry, Art History – Washington University in St. Louis
B.F.A. Sculpture – Washington University in St. Louis
M.Sc. History of Science, Medicine and Technology – Oxford University
Ph.D. Chemistry – Columbia University

About me: I’m generally interested in the role of technology in scientific research and how the transition to digital media is changing the way libraries are used and conceived.  I’m also interested in information design (infosthetics), taxonomy, emerging uses of social media, and the incorporation of technology in the classroom. 

What’s new at my library: Well, the whole thing is new, really, as of January. We have over 50 PCs and Macs that have a broad range of high-powered software installed. We also have several high-end scanners, a huge flatscreen TV, and Joe’s coffee is right downstairs. 

Personal favorite: Lately I’ve been teaching myself processing.js – a javascript-based platform for visual animation and design. 

Recommended Resources: Anything paper – get it while it lasts!



Locker Lotteries, Using the Business Library, Theater Architects and More …

Check out what’s going on this week at the Libraries:

Would you like an introduction that shows you how to navigate the libraries resources and services?  Come to one of three workshops offered by librarian Karen Green

Hoping to snag a Butler Library locker for the academic year?  Enter the Butler Library locker lottery by this Friday, September 9th.

The New York Times brings welcome news regarding the future of the Victoria Theater on 125th Street in Harlem designed by Thomas Lamb, one of the major theater architects of the first half of the 20th century, whose archive is one of the most heavily used collections in Avery Library’s Drawings and Archives.

Check out five things you need to know about researching in Watson Library

Libraries Aren’t Just A Physical Space & Other Things Our Intern Learned This Summer

by Jessica Gentile, Social Media Intern

I’ve had an amazing summer working as Columbia Libraries’ Social Media intern. In between blog posts and Twitter updates, I’ve gotten to explore some breathtakingly beautiful libraries and met some amazing librarians and staff. From the architectural wonders of Avery to the physically small, but informationally massive, Journalism Library, I quickly learned that every subject gets its due here, as the campus is home to over twenty libraries.

I’ve also gotten familiar with so many of the Columbia’s remarkable archival collections. Check out one of my favorite digital exhibits, 1968: Columbia in Crisis. It does an amazing job documenting and contextualizing student protests and social activism of the 1960s with incredible primary sources and photographs. Additionally, there’s usually a really neat exhibition on display at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which is always worth visiting. I especially loved the Tennessee Williams exhibit shown earlier this summer.

But the libraries aren’t just a physical space. They’re everywhere. That’s one of the most exciting realizations I came to while working here. From the search pages of CLIO, to your Facebook news feed, to this very blog, the presence of the library extends well-beyond its reading rooms. And that’s important. As information is more readily available than ever, so is misinformation. As celebrated graphic novelist, Neil Gaiman, once said, "Google can bring back a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one." So go ahead – email, call or even text a librarian. That’s what they’re here for. And the next time you swing by, check in on Foursquare while you’re at it!

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the Library!

by Jessica Gentile, Social Media Intern

Columbia University Libraries welcomes all new and returning students! As the fall semester gets under way, here are the top ten things you need to know about Columbia’s Libraries (yes, libraries, there are over 20 of them!)

1. Your CUID Card is your library card!

  • Have your card on you at all times. It’s necessary for you to enter the library, check out materials, and use the copy machines.

2. There are over 20 libraries at Columbia!

  • Chances are you won’t have to use all of them, but you should know what’s available (and where it’s located) for your particular research needs. Butler Library specializes in history and humanities, while Avery is the place to go for art and architecture. There’s also the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, the Science and Engineering Library, the Business and Economics Library and many, many more. Check out the complete list here.

3. LibraryWeb is the place to start your research.

  • It has links to everything you need: catalogs, archival collections, databases, other e-resources and, yes, even the very blog you’re reading right now.

4. CLIO is the online Catalog of Columbia.

  • Be sure to check out our awesome guide to CLIO for helpful search tips.

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Meet the New Curator, Get Your Bearings in Butler, Free Cookies & More!

by Jessica Gentile, Social Media Intern

Check what’s going on at the libraries’ this week:

Avery Library celebrates the birthday of Charles Follen McKim, one of the most prominent American Beaux-Arts architects of the late 19th century. Check out his material in the Drawing & Archives department.

Meet Carolyn Yerkes, the new Curator of Avery Classics.

If you’re a new grad student studying history or the humanities, or just want a refresher course on what Butler Library has to offer, you’ll probably want to attend a "Get Your Bearings" orientation session and/or take a tour of the library some time next week. Be sure to check the schedule and drop on by!

The Digital Social Science Center discusses the Country Reports on Terrorism 2010, an annual Congressionally-mandated publication that provides loads of information and statistics about international terrorist organizations, which was just released last week.

Did you know there are fresh cookies available in the Journalism Library each week? In a Star Wars-themed Death Star cookie jar no less. Be sure to grab one on your next visit.

The Music & Arts Library urges you to spend the last days of summer with some opera. Check out the Morningside Opera’s production of "The Judgement of Paris" tonight!.

The Science and Engineering Library discusses all the awesome resources and equipment the Digital Science Center has to offer.

Brush Up on Google Scholar!

by Jessica Gentile, Social Media Intern

Google Scholar is a great tool that can help you discover abstracts, full-text articles, and other database content through a simple search interface. The resource provides a search of scholarly literature across a diverse array of subject areas and sources. Here’s a reminder on how to most effectively utilize Google Scholar both on-campus and remotely.

You can access the full-text journal and database content provided by Columbia University Libraries directly from Google Scholar. Just type the title of a journal article into Google Scholar and then link directly to Columbia’s full-text via "e-Link@Columbia."  



If you’re on campus and you search Google Scholar, you will automatically see the "e-link @ Columbia" when the content is available from the Libraries. If you’re off campus, there are a few ways to access Columbia Libraries’ content through Google Scholar.

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Check Out the Digital Social Science Center!

by Jessica Gentle, Social Media Intern

The Digital Social Science Center (DSSC), located in Lehman Library, provides a wide range of resources and technology to assist you with all your research needs. Whether you’re working on an anthropology paper, researching international affairs, or in need of statistical data or mapping software for a geography project, the DSSC has you covered.

Here’s just some of the software available in the lab work stations:


There are also many workshops and reference services available as well. Be sure to check the calendar for their daily hours and stop on by!