Milstein Center FAQs

What day did The Milstein Center officially open?

The Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2019, the day classes began at Barnard. All areas within the building are open. The official Grand Opening celebration is Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.

When is The Milstein Center open?

The Milstein Center is open:

  • Sunday through Thursday: 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. - midnight
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – midnight

The Library is open:

  • Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 8:45 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.

As always, the Library will be open 24/7 during reading days and finals.

Will I need to swipe my ID to enter The Milstein Center?

During normal building hours, the main entrance (across from the Lawn) is open and no swipe access is needed. You will need your ID card for swipe access:

  • If you are entering The Milstein Center through the Claremont Avenue entrance; and
  • To access the Library circulating collection after 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and during weekend hours.

What if I lose my ID and want to use the Library?

If you lose your ID, check in at the Circulation & Help Desk on the second floor to receive a guest pass. The Circulation & Help Desk staff will ask for a form of ID that they will hold until you exit the library and return your pass. Please be sure to replace your ID by visiting Public Safety.

Will the tunnel reopen under The Milstein Center?

Yes, The Milstein Center connects to Barnard and Altschul Halls in the Lower Level of the building.  This tunnel system allows you to move underground between the north and south ends of campus during The Milstein Center’s normal hours. The tunnel’s access will be closed when The Milstein Center is closed.

What hours will the coffee bar be open and what type of food and drinks is it serving?

The coffee bar is open:

  • Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The coffee bar will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. The coffee bar will serve Peet’s Coffee and a variety of bagels, pastries and various toasts. Last spring a taste test was held asking faculty, staff and students to choose the coffee for The Milstein Center - and Peet’s Coffee won.

The terraces are beautiful. Are they going to be open?

The terraces on the second, third and fourth floors are open the hours listed below. They may occasionally be closed due to inclement weather or maintenance.

  • Monday-Thursday:  8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday:  8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday:  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

I see that the Library collections are located on the second, third and fourth floors. What’s on each floor?

The second floor of the Library houses the circulation desk, library collections, Library administration and IMATS offices, IMATS equipment checkout room, the Zine Library, and the Barnard Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Alum Collection. The third floor holds additional book collections and the Personal Librarian offices. The fourth floor houses book collections, the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) collection, and Archives Special Collections and Reading Room.

What's on each floor of The Milstein Center?

  • Lower Level: Lynn Chu Classroom, Movement Lab, Ina R. and Howard J. Drew Conference Center, Claremont Avenue entrance (swipe access needed), tunnel system connecting to Barnard Hall, Altschul Hall and The Diana Center

  • First Floor: Main campus entrance, Access Attendants Desk, Library Pop-Up space, Design Center, Elsie K. Sloate Media Center with a production lab and post-production lab, Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Empirical Reasoning Center, Digital Humanities Center, seminar rooms, study spaces, coffee bar

  • Second Floor: Library circulation desk and book collections, including Alum Collection and Zine Library, Library administration and Instructional Media and Technology Services (IMATS) offices, IMATS equipment room, study spaces, open outdoor terrace

  • Third Floor: Library book collections, Personal Librarian offices, study spaces, open outdoor terrace

  • Fourth Floor: Library book collections, prayer and meditation resources for use throughout the library, First-generational Low Income Partnership (FLIP) collection, Athena Center for Leadership Studies, Archives Special Collections and Reading Room, study spaces, open outdoor terrace

  • Fifth Floor: Vagelos Computational Science Center, connector to Altschul Hall, study spaces, outdoor terrace (not open)

  • Sixth Floor: The Barnard Center for Research on Women

  • Seventh Floor: Urban Studies faculty offices

  • Eighth Floor: History faculty offices

  • Ninth Floor: Economics and History faculty offices, Faculty Salon

  • Tenth Floor: Economics faculty offices

  • Eleventh Floor: Political Science faculty offices

How many study spaces are there in The Milstein Center?

During our design process for The Milstein Center we worked with students who helped us plan and build-out a variety of inviting study spaces for Barnard students. There are more than 375 study spaces on the Lower Level and the First through Fifth floors – from seminar and group study rooms to more individualized quiet nooks. Many of the group study rooms are equipped with screens for sharing, as well as web-cams for remote work.

Tell me about the new Centers that are located in The Milstein Center. I’m excited to explore what they’re offering.

Several innovative centers are housed in The Milstein Center: The Vagelos Computational Science Center, affirming Barnard’s commitment to preparing women for successes in STEM fields; The Center for Engaged Pedagogy, to offer new methodologies in teaching innovation and student learning; The Digital Humanities Center, to enhance digital literacy and leverage advances in humanistic inquiry with cutting-edge technology; The Design Center, a maker space that will encourage thinking across disciplines; The Empirical Reasoning Center, to support students as they engage with data in meaningful, responsible ways; The Elsie K. Sloate Media Center, featuring labs where students will build valuable knowledge and confidence in emerging skills and technologies used by 21st-century digital producers and creators; and The Movement Lab for hands-on, innovative movement research, exploration and production, and to promote the exchange of ideas and cross-fertilization of movement with other disciplines.

When are the Centers open?

For the most part, the Centers are open during the hours that the library is open, but some Centers require you to be trained on the use of the equipment before you’re allowed to enter. For specific scheduling/hours and other information, please visit each Center’s website.

Where is The Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies?

BCRW is located on the sixth floor and the Athena Center is on the fourth floor.

Where are the faculty offices located?

Barnard faculty offices are located in the tower of The Milstein Center. Urban Studies faculty is on the seventh floor, History faculty on the eighth floor, Economics and History faculty on the ninth floor, Economics faculty on the tenth floor and Political Science faculty on the eleventh floor.

Are there restrooms on each floor?

Yes, each floor in The Milstein Center has at least one gender-inclusive restroom, and most floors also have women’s and men’s restrooms.

I have a meeting I want to schedule for an organization I’m in. Are there spaces that I can reserve?

Yes, there are spaces in The Milstein Center that can be reserved by Barnard’s recognized clubs and organizations. For more info, visit the Barnard Event Requests site.

I have heard there is a Math Help Room – where is it located?

It’s actually called the Math/CS Collaborative Space and it is located in the Vagelos Computational Science Center on the fifth floor. In addition, there will be a designated corridor office area for quieter 1:1 math help tutoring.

What resources are there for alumnae?

Library Collection: Barnard College alumnae can browse and borrow from the Barnard Library collection, including the Zine Collection. To access the collection, alumnae must bring a Barnard Alum ID card to the Circulation Desk. ID cards can be obtained at the Barnard Alumnae Relations Office on the 13th floor of The Interchurch Center on the northwest corner of Claremont Avenue and West 119th Street. Alumnae can also use scanners free of charge to scan printed materials and send the scanned document to their email.

Archives: Barnard College alumnae are also welcome to conduct research at the Barnard Archives and Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Milstein Center; please contact

Centers: The Centers are primarily for use by students and faculty, and are also open to Columbia undergraduates.  There will be alumnae-specific programming occasionally, and the Center staff are always happy to consult with alumnae for specific projects and requests.

What will be included on the display wall as you enter the building and how often will it change? What kind of topics will the displays cover? 

Open Doors, the first display, will be up through May 2019, after which we will be mounting similar exhibits of alumnae and their impact, Barnard history, and special topics from the Archives.  The initial exhibit was curated by Library staff and Suze Myers ’16, and reflects Barnard alumnae who have innovated, created, and engaged with the world and paved the way for future Barnard alums.  The display will shift through the year as there are many more alums whose stories can be told. The Library invites nominations and is also open to collaborating on special exhibits - if you have an idea you would like to share, please contact Jenna Freedman at

What is going to happen with the space in the LeFrak Center? What about changes to other spaces on campus?

We plan to continue to use the LeFrak Center this semester to meet near-term needs for meeting and office space.  Beginning October 1, seminar rooms 117 and 118 in the 1st floor of LeFrak will be bookable space for meetings (please note, audiovisual use will be limited in these rooms) and room 113 will be bookable rehearsal space for groups requiring a room without fixed furniture and conducive to movement.  We will also keep the first floor open for additional student study space.  We will use the second floor for faculty office space.

While we have focused our energies on the opening of the Milstein Center we recognize that the College has some decisions to make on the long-term use of the LeFrak Center and other open spaces on campus.  During the fall, we will engage with faculty, students and staff to solicit feedback about the potential uses of the LeFrak Center and how to best utilize space on campus to meet the needs of our community.

What’s going on at the north end of Barnard Hall? When is that construction going to be completed?

The exterior steps at the north entrance to Barnard Hall needed to be repaired and we began that work in early July. We expect it to be completed by mid-September. The north doors will remain closed throughout the duration of the work. 

How many books are physically located in the library?

The Barnard Library houses over 130,000 circulating items, including books, zines, and media. Over 20,000 additional books (14% of the collection) are housed in off-site storage and will be retrievable. The Barnard Library has room for growth in the on-site collection. In the coming year, look for new conversations about the collection and future directions.

Is the Milstein Center LEED-certified?

Yes, we are going through the process, and we expect The Milstein Center to be certified LEED Silver.