Columbia University has great libraries. We work very hard to bring you the information resources you need, but we can’t have everything. As a resident of the New York City metro area, you have access to far more resources than just those from Columbia.
New York Public Library
Anyone who lives, works, or attends school in New York State is eligible for a New York Public Library (NYPL) card. As you might expect from a major public library, NYPL has large collections of books, e-books, e-audiobooks, and movies. The Science, Industry, and Business Library is of note because of its market research materials, useful for population health researchers.
NYPL also has extensive and diverse research collections, including specialized collections in performing arts, black culture, and local history, as well as general manuscript and rare book collections.
To apply for a library card, visit https://www.nypl.org/library-card
Or, download SimplyE, NYPL’s e-book reader app.
The New York Academy of Medicine
If you’re interested in the history of medicine and public health, The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) library is a great resource. Its collections hold over 550,000 volumes, including many rare books. For more information, to search the NYAM catalog, or arrange for a visit, see https://nyam.org/library/
Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library
Both Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Queens Public Library (QPL) have large collections of books, e-books, and movies. While they do not have the specialized research collections of NYPL, they are still a great source for literature and contemporary reference information. Just like NYPL, anyone who lives, works, or attends school in New York State is eligible for a card.
Get a Brooklyn Public Library card here: https://disc.bklynlibrary.org/card/
Get a Queens Public Library card here: https://www.queenslibrary.org/get-a-card
There are many other specialized libraries in NYC. Most museums have research collections open to qualified scholars. Professional societies also frequently have specialized library collections. The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Bronx Zoo all have libraries.
So, if you can’t find it at Columbia, you’re not done. There are a lot of other places to look. And if you need help, just ask.