Campus Corners: Geology Library

Written by

In which Bwog staffer Mark Krotov familiarizes us with the places you can find him when he’s supposed to be in class.

“We have a geology library? Do we even have a geology department?”

Yes. And no. Yes.

In some ways, those two questions reveal a lot of what makes the Geology Library wonderful. It doesn’t entirely make sense, but it’s there, on the west side of Schermerhorn 6, occupying one end of the massive building. Because of its position, it has the best illumination on campus–three sides of the main room are dominated by massive windows. And that’s in addition to neat rows of light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. I can never really tell where the light is coming from, but it’s always bright and warm, due in no small part to the light salmon-colored walls.

Most of all, the library works because it feels really old. It’s not shabby or unkempt. Rather, the space has an amazing solidity, from its scuffed brown floor, to the broken clock above the entrance, to the stacks in the back room, which are darker and more mysterious than any room in Butler.

The more time I spend in Geology, the more I realize that its friendly, airy ambience is a pretty unique thing to find on this campus. The older buildings tend to be poorly maintained (see: Fayerweather) or overly renovated (see: Religion Department), while the newer buildings lack the overwhelming sense of permanence that makes itself known the moment one walks by the circulation desk in the library. And while the absence of a geology department at Columbia may make the library’s presence a little odd, if not anachronistic One can only be grateful for such an endearing study space.



  1. geology student

    You're incorrect. The GEOLOGY department was renamed the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department. Earth Science Majors, like myself, study Geology, and often utilize the geology library. Perhaps a tiny bit of research or asking the librarian would have told you this.

  2. geology student 2

    I also happen to study rocks and have have to look up old cross sections in the library. Also the department is located on the 5th floor sch extension which is why the library is there.

    There is also a graduate program in geology at columbia

  3. geology student 3

    Note however, there is also a geosciences library on columbias Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory campus in rockland. Geoscience was the new word for geology before "earth science" came into vogue. They are actually moving most of the geology library's collection up there, and it will be gone in a year or two.

  4. skeptic

    there's no way those comments were from three separate geology students.

  5. archaist

    the place still feels anachronistic, whether there's a geology dept. or not

  6. Sigmund Freud

    I used to think I was studying in the psychology library before I realized that there was, indeed, a psych library (with somewhere between five and ten books) on the 4th floor.

  7. brendan

    I'm not sure if you've met the department prof, Nicholas Christie-Blick, but he's the most amazing englishman I've ever met. better than Churchill. He says 'bugger'

  8. geology student 3

    In fact, geology student 1 contacted his only two peers, who in turn were outraged and commented. And, Nick Christie Blick is incredible. Other departments lust after him

  9. geology student 2

    it is true that three seperate geology students commented. there are three people in the undergrad department currently. rock on

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.