The artful barriers surrounding the atrium

Who knew you could use your Columbia or Barnard ID to get into NYU’s Bobst library? Senior staffer Sarah Dahl has the scoop, thanks to her NYU connects. FYI, it’s pronounced B- OH – BST, with a long O, not like BOBst as in Bob’s your uncle

First things first about Bobst: Columbia and Barnard students can access the library year-round with a special card that’s pretty easy to get. Thanks to a library sharing system, all I had to do was prove to NYU that I am a currently enrolled student, and they printed me up a shiny purple ID card. #BleedViolet. Now I can come and go from Bobst as I please. NYU students have similar privileges at Columbia libraries, but their ID cards are made of paper.

Bobst is a lot bigger than Butler, but it’s also sadder. Twelve floors of study and administrative space is centered around a giant open square atrium. The walls overlooking the atrium are blocked floor-to-ceiling by aluminum screens. Three students have committed suicide at the library since 2003.

Bobst is much more prone to stealing than Butler: students often report laptops, electronics, and other valuables stolen, but the library only has one camera–in the lobby–and it requires a subpoena to look through the footage for your thief. I know all this because my girlfriend’s Macbook was stolen recently, from a dude sitting at her table. She left for five minutes to pee. I’ve left my laptop on a table in Butler for, like, an entire day.

On a recent Sunday during midterms season, it was nearly impossible to find two seats next to each other. If you get to the library early enough, it is possible to snag a North-facing seat, but otherwise, you’re out of luck. Obviously, this is also the case at Butler and other Columbia libraries, but if you’re gonna take a crowded train all the way to Washington Square Park, you’re hoping you’ll be rewarded with better seat availability.

Any pros to studying at Bobst? CNN plays on nice TVs 24/7 on the lower levels. There’s free coffee during finals, but student gov’t and other clubs definitely provide us with that, too. The bathrooms don’t smell like Butlers’, and they’re generally nicer, except for one women’s bathroom on 4 East that had only a single working stall with a door that didn’t lock.

Bobst is also outfitted with really dope Aeron swivel chairs at all the desks.

What about snacks? Admittedly, there’s way better food around NYU than Columbia. There’s plenty of poke, as well as halal carts, a Starbucks, and other cafés. Walk west and you’ll find Ramen-Ya, which is definitely the best ramen in the city. Shake Shack recently opened a location at Astor place. Astor also has Sunrise mart (better than M2M), and the Japanese dive bar 212 Hisae’s. A short walk further east, and St. Mark’s Place is full of cheap eats, such as Two Bros pizza. Bobst also has a snack/vending machine area in the basement, complete with TWO microwaves.

Can you fuck in Bobst? Maybe. Our friends at NYU local recently wrote “Boning in Bobst: A Definitive Guide,” which provides some insight. Ultimately, though, because Bobst doesn’t have The Stacks (or anything similar), it’s way harder to have secluded sex.

Overall, Bobst is a cool library, and if  you want to get off campus, it’s easy and fun to take a solo study trip downtown. But as a regular, go-to study spot–to see us through the good and the bad–Butler’s still our best friend.

Next stop? Cornell’s library. Apparently we having access privileges there, too.