We're Fayerweather fans, but Schermerhorn isn't really that bad either.

We’re Fayerweather fans, but Schermerhorn isn’t really that bad either.

Continuing with our series on underutilized but fully available Columbia libraries, Bwog next spotlights a library tucked away in Schermerhorn—the Geology Library. Though often eclipsed by the artsy and sophisticated Avery Library, the Geology Library proffers a legitimate substitution to the soul sucking lower bowels of Butler and the superficiality of Avery.

Location: 601 Schermerhorn. Accessible library.

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 AM to 7 PM. Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM. Saturday-Sunday, 12 PM to 5 PM.

Contact: (212) 854-4713; geology@library.columbia.edu; http://library.columbia.edu/locations/science-engineering/about.html#geology


  • Total: 26 Seats
  • Carrels: 11 Seats
  • Tables: 8 Seats
  • Computer Booths: 5 Seats
  • Overstuffed Chairs: 2 Seats
  • Seats for Talking: 0 (no talking zones)


  • Printers: 1 PawPrint printer.
  • Scanners: 1 scanner.
  • Lighting: Warm incandescent lighting.
  • Chairs: Wooden chairs in great condition.
  • Outlets: Outlets available at each carrel, but not at either table.
  • Computers: 5, which require login.
  • Bathrooms: Bathrooms contained in other parts of Schermerhorn, with a men’s bathroom on floors 6 and 9, and a women’s bathroom on floor 8. Good luck finding them.
  • Water Fountains: Water fountains on each floor, of varying quality.
  • Food/Drink: The library is a “yellow zone,” allowing only “spill-proof mugs” in the library.
  • Windows/View: Windows look out over the Uris terrace area and the immediate vicinity of North Campus. Not bad views at all.
  • Smoking: Fayerweather Plaza is peaceful and open to smokers.
  • Books: Geological and geoscientific texts, including access to the library’s stacks.
  • Bonus: Interesting architectural design aided by warm lighting. No swipe access needed to enter the library.

Atmosphere: This is a clearly underutilized library, with only one patron present on a Saturday afternoon. However, this means the library is quiet and in a relatively great condition. The carrels and chairs differ from the typical Butler or Avery chairs in colour and design, accenting the library’s warm lighting. Various art pieces, the pristine set up of various accoutrements, and the openly viewable library offices all contribute to a very “lived in” atmosphere.

Favorite Spot: Any of the study carrels. They’re neatly packed together, clean, and very advantageously situated to plough through work.

Recommendation: Very few people know about the Geology Library, which is truly a shame. When Butler is filled on weekend afternoons, the Geology Library is open and quiet. The library deserves to be patronized, in all its warmth and cleanliness.


Photos via Bwog Staff