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Bwog’s Bitter Guide To Milstein

Green chairs are prioritized for members of marginalized groups. It’s called reparations.

For those who have migrated from Butler to Milstein, Deputy Editor Idris O’Neill is begging you to abandon your old habits and adopt these new, more considerate ones. She’s tired of seeing you in group study rooms alone.

1. If you are a Columbia student, come with a buddy. Chances are you weren’t invited to the Milstein opening and haven’t been receiving the emails on emails of Milstein tours. Similar to Barnard housing rules, you should be escorted by your Barnard buddy at all times. Don’t risk wandering off by yourself and getting into trouble.

2. Use group study rooms for groups of 3 or more only. I work at the library and I will exert my library privilege, do God’s work, and ask you to leave if you’re occupying the space with literally just you, your papers, and your bag. This isn’t Butler. Take your weird isolationist behavior elsewhere–we actually like and utilize collaborative spaces here.

3. Pay attention to the levels and corresponding noise levels. Milstein’s noise levels decrease as the level increases, i.e. the first floor should be loudest, the second floor should be quieter but is still a collaborative space. You should be making noise on Milstein 2! It’s okay! Actually, if someone tells you to be quiet on Milstein 2, you can pull up this article and tell them they are welcome to move to the 4th floor, which is the quietest floor but still not Butler-levels. Similar to how different libraries have different personalities, different floors have different vibes.

4. First floor tables are also collaborative spaces. If you are just one person, you’re welcome to use the high bar by the printer (this is on the right, as you enter Milstein). Please expect people to come and sit by you if you are sitting there alone, while also being mindful that you should not be colonizing the space in any capacity, as in papers spread everywhere, bag in a seat, empty coffee cups strewn everywhere. This is a pivotal moment in defining Milstein as a healthy workspace, conducive to collaborative work.

5. Utilize the work centers. If you’ve ever seen those cute pennant sticker flags, you should be at least a little familiar with the different offices at Milstein, such as the Vagelos Computing Center, the Empirical Reasoning Center, the Design Maker Space, and more! All the spaces are extremely welcoming and offer amazing workshops and events, like movie screenings, coding workshops, photoshop practice, and more! You can find information on upcoming events on the Barnard Library’s calendar.

6. Seating matters, and more than in just the telling personality ways. I’m genuinely tired of seeing people nap in the blue couches for hours at a time. Please stop. That couch could very easily seat multiple people (between 4-6), yet here you go, taking up too much space. In case it wasn’t made evident by the other points in this piece, Milstein is a collaborative space! The couches are made for groups, not people who want to take a 3-person couch to themselves. If you want to be left alone, then go be alone, but the second floor is for people to come together and offers more seating than the first floor.

7. Additionally, there’s more to Milstein than the first 4 levels. Not that you would be venturing up to the 11th floor much, but certain offices do lend lounge spaces for students studying. I often study in the Computer Science Help Room–that’s Milstein 502–even if I’m not doing computer science work because it offers a great view of campus and Claremont. Just across the hall, right before the Milstein-Altschul Bridge, there’s a lounge that offers a number of outlets and comfortable seating for groups who want some privacy and a floor to ceiling chalkboard.

8. The Zine Library has board games for those who are inclined to do something other than work. Jenna, the Zine librarian, is tired of your oppressive silence in there and is literally begging people to play at this point. The Zine Library is sometimes reserved for zine-making, but you are welcome to join in. If you need to take a break or color or cut pieces of magazines out and glue googly eyes on them, just ask Jenna for those resources or bring your own!

The Milstein green chairs are a form of therapy. Change my mind via Bwog Archives


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