Not a castle, but close

In the interest of contrasting her industrial-modern experience from the other day, Bwog Bagel Amara Banks visited The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary. Below are some useful stats as well as her opinion of the library. 

Location: 3041 Broadway, New York, NY, 10027. Right on the corner of 121st and Broadway

Hours: Typically 9am-10pm on weekdays; 10am-5pm on Saturdays; 2pm-10pm on Sundays; check the full schedule here

Contact: (212) 851-5606;; Twitter @BurkeLibraryUTS

Seats: ~200 seats total, ~20 computers, 20 comfy chairs, 0 seats for talking


  • Printers: 2 black & white Paw-Print stations
  • Scanners: 3 scanners
  • Chairs: Classic wooden chairs
  • Computers: multiple computer locations throughout the library’s three levels
  • Bathrooms: single-use, gender-neutral bathrooms are located on the first floor
  • Windows: The library’s walls are filled with windows, filling the study spaces with lots of natural light
  • Smoking: The library is located out of Columbia’s main gates so you don’t have to worry about finding a designated smoking area; just go like 20 feet away from the building
  • Books: This is one of the largest Theological libraries in North America. It houses includes the Bonhoeffer Collection, the Gillett Collection of American History and Theology, the Missionary Research Collection, the Sacred Music Collection, and more.

Atmosphere: This is a really nice alternative to people who enjoy Butler’s classic and traditional aesthetic. With nice architecture throughout the building and an extra large reading room on the third floor, the only thing missing is a hoard of people searching for seats. This library boasts large windows, which allow for natural light to compliment its warm overhead lamps. It was pretty empty and lacked ambient noise, so I felt like I could come here to crack down or catch up on reading.

Favorite Spot: Right when you enter, there’s a large nook lined with glass windows. It faces a nice, grassy courtyard.

My favorite spot

Recommendation: You should totally study here. It’s super low key, has its own stacks, is basically a mini butler minus the crowd!