Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning
The Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, at the heart of the campus, houses the Barnard Library and Academic Information Services along with Academic Centers that together provide research platforms and sustain robust services for students to facilitate their scholarly work. It serves as an open, accessible, and creative space to connect with and create information in a way that is engaging, fosters collaboration, and sparks new thinking. The Milstein Center is a home for scholarly exploration, innovation, and production, empowering the Barnard community collectively to challenge and expand methods and scholarship, mix and remix content, and create new conversations. It acts as a gateway to a creative frontier of information that can lead to brand new modes of teaching, learning, and discovery.
Barnard Library & Academic Information Services
Barnard Library and Academic Information Services (BLAIS) supports excellence and innovation in teaching and learning by providing exceptional research and instructional services, and connecting the Barnard community to extensive information resources. Located on floors 2, 3, and 4 of the Milstein Center for Teaching & Learning, BLAIS includes the Library, Instructional Media and Technology Services (IMATS), AV/Classroom Technologies, the Barnard Zine Library, and the Barnard Archives & Special Collections.
Barnard’s library is an affiliate of the Columbia University Libraries; Barnard community members have access to the Barnard and Columbia Libraries collections in all formats The staff of the Barnard Library Circulation and Help Desk on the 2nd floor of the Milstein Center welcome you to ask questions and learn from us how to search these expansive collections through the shared CLIO online catalog..
The Barnard circulating collections in print and digital formats support the Barnard curriculum across the disciplines, with particular depth in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Dance Studies. We also collect to support the interdisciplinary work of students and faculty researching in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections and the many academic centers in the Milstein Center.
We have many specialized materials available for check-out. The internationally-renowned Barnard Zine Library is a collection of zines written by women with an emphasis on zines by women of color, trans women of all races and ethnicities, and zines on feminism and femme identity by people of all genders. Zines offer both contemporary and future researchers primary resource insights into today’s feminist culture. The circulating zines collection is on the second floor of the Milstein Center, while an archival collection is held in the Barnard Archives. We hold a focused collection of books in Art and Architecture (which circulate) to complement Columbia’s Avery Library holdings (largely for library use only.)Our other special circulating collections include the Barnard Alum Collection; the Barnard BIPOC Alum Collection, which affirms the lives, histories, and imaginations of past and current Barnard students who are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color; the Barnard FLI Partnership Library, a textbook library for first-generation and/or low-income students, a partnership between the Barnard Library, the Columbia First-Generation Low-Income Partnership, and Barnard SGA; Course Reserves; and the Media Collection.
The size of our collection makes our library browseable, and we welcome you to visit the shelves. We hold more than 130,000 circulating books, zines, journals, and media in the Milstein Center on floors 2, 3, and 4. Another 23,000 volumes reside in a retrievable storage facility; these are available for request in the CLIO Catalog and will be delivered to Barnard Library for pickup.
As an affiliate of the Columbia University Libraries, the Barnard Library contributes and provides access to a world-class research collection. The Columbia University Libraries collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials.
The Personal Librarian program connects each student and faculty member with a member of our research and instruction team, librarians specializing in academic disciplines across the curriculum. Incoming students are assigned to a personal librarian who will help them navigate library resources, build on their research interests, and explore new methods for research and scholarship. Personal librarians seek to understand student, faculty, and staff research needs, and provide individualized consultation. As students select a major, the librarian affiliated with their field becomes a guide for the research process in advanced courses, and ultimately the senior project, thesis, or capstone. Librarians also provide instructional workshops in First Year Writing as well as foundational courses across the curriculum. They support both students and faculty in making connections from the course syllabus to the vast collections available at the Barnard Library, within the Columbia University Library system, across the New York metropolitan area, and beyond. The Personal Librarians are partners for researchers seeking to build projects that utilize the Milstein Centers, serving as a point of connection to other Milstein specialists.
The Barnard Archives and Special Collections collects and makes accessible materials that document campus and academic life at Barnard, as well as histories of feminism and dance. The mission of the Barnard Archives is pedagogical at its foundation. We provide source material to students, staff, alums, faculty, administrators, and other members of the Barnard College and Columbia University communities, as well as to local, national, and international researchers, activists, and artists. Our work is informed by reparative and redistributive frameworks, to actively confront histories of exclusion of people with marginalized identities within our collections.
Instructional Media and Technology Services (IMATS) consists of Audiovisual Technology Services, which supports Barnard's audiovisual needs and classroom technologies; and Instructional Media Services, which provides resources and training in media equipment, editing, and digital technology for Barnard College. Our media equipment room is located on the second floor of the Milstein Building, where a variety of equipment is available for checkout including cameras, projectors, microphones, and more. IMATS supports academic technologies at Barnard as well, including Canvas, course evaluations, the digital archives collections, website development, and consultation on implementation of new software or computing needs. IMATS uses media and technology to support teaching, learning, and creativity at Barnard.
The Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning houses a number of Academic Centers, flexible learning and collaboration spaces, each with a specific emphasis, including computational science, empirical reasoning, digital humanities, design, media, pedagogy, and movement. Also in Milstein are the Barnard Center for Research on Women and the Athena Center for Leadership. The Library and the Centers collaborate on a range of programming and workshops throughout the year. We invite all students to explore how the Centers’ offerings can extend and deepen your learning and exploration at Barnard
The Design Center is an incubator for creative making and embodied learning located on the entry level of the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning. We’re an open and inclusive studio space for hands-on experimentation with materials, tools, and equipment. We support the design and fabrication of objects as well as the pedagogy and learning associated with making.
Our team is committed to addressing design justice, sustainability, and inclusivity in the fabric of our programming and our operational framework. The Center provides equitable access to design technologies and empowers members of the Barnard community to discover, experiment with, and pilot new technologies and design practices.
Incorporating a broad tool set that includes computer-aided design tools, power tools, and hand tools, the Design Center expands opportunities for design-centered thinking across the Barnard College curriculum and to our local community partners. Our programs and workshops address foundational making techniques, sustainable design practices, and the powerful ways in which designed and constructed objects impact our lives. The Design Center enables students, faculty, and staff of all skill levels to learn and apply practical making skills in their design projects through experiential, community-based learning.
The Digital Humanities Center (DHC) is a research, teaching, and learning facility designed to foster technological approaches to the humanities to help researchers create dynamic connections between the analog and the digital. The DHC will provide students and faculty with support for a range of methods, from textual and timeline analysis to sonification and mapping. Additionally, the DHC hosts workshops, events, and conversations about the intersections of critical theory, technology, the humanities, and feminism, sustainability, and racial justice, and is equipped with video conferencing technology to connect people around the globe.
The Empirical Reasoning Center (ERC) helps faculty, students, and alumnae to engage critically with data, both qualitative and quantitative. At our offices and lab on the first floor of the Milstein Center, ERC staff provides empirical research support and technology training at all levels -- from introductory to advanced -- in statistical, textual and spatial analysis, and data visualization methods. Our services include dedicated course workshops, stand-alone short courses, and a drop-in help desk, as well as programming (e.g., forums, panel discussions) on current, vital issues.
The Sloate Media Center is a place for original media production, media content creation, media experimentation, and media research. This is an inclusive and accessible space open to all members of the Barnard and Columbia communities, and everyone is welcome to learn how to be media makers regardless of their background, experience, or skill level. With both a bookable production studio and a drop-in post-production lab, the Media Center allows digital media producers to access a wide range of resources such as an audio booth, an LED light-grid operated from a switchboard, backdrops and greenscreens, as well as a range of editing & animation software. The Sloate Media Center also collaborates with faculty around the integration of media into various curricula across disciplines at Barnard College, such as podcasting, video production and editing, photography, stop-motion animation, screenwriting, and other media production skills. We host events and programming, including open workshops; the Emerging Filmmaker Mentorship Program, where Barnard students receive funding and mentorship to create a short film; film screenings and panel discussions; and other initiatives that engage the community with media and media-making.
The Diana T. Vagelos and P. Roy Vagelos Computational Science Center (CSC) facilitates the understanding, exploration, and use of computational science and technology across disciplines. We take an intentionally broad approach to computing and its use and we are dedicated to lowering the barrier of entry into computing across disciplines. We engage students, faculty, and staff in learning about computing in meaningful ways, including thinking critically about the development and application of technology in society.
Our event programming reflects these values and we build on our mission through our bi-monthly open workshops, student fellowship programs, talks and roundtable discussions, publications, and ongoing collaborations with Barnard centers, departments, and outside institutions. A primary theme of our collaborations is to explore computational topics through an interdisciplinary lens with a focus on social justice. Through our Computing Fellows peer-leadership and mentorship program, undergraduate fellows are “attached” to Barnard courses to support or introduce computational activities and to mentor, tutor, and assist students in coding and computing pedagogy.
The Movement Lab is a flexible, modular space for movement research, production, collaboration, and interdisciplinary interaction. The Lab’s trans-media function serves to enhance critical thinking and learning through body-and-brain connection as it seeks to explore emerging trajectories in art, science, and technology. The lab presents creative research through installations and open forums, both virtually and at the Movement Lab. This research is generated through lab programs such as Students Artists in Residence (SAR), Artists in Residence (AIR), Media Movement Salon (MeMoSa), and collaborations with various programs and departments at Barnard College and Columbia University.
The Center for Engaged Pedagogy (CEP) strengthens Barnard’s deep academic engagement and support for student and community wellbeing. To support this mission, we offer programming on teaching and learning topics; develop and share pedagogical scholarship; build and sustain relationships within and beyond Barnard; and provide tools and resources to the campus community. Our goal is to prepare Barnard specifically—and higher education more broadly—to critically engage with and contribute to our ever-changing world.
The CEP serves as a hub for student learning and support at all levels of the Barnard curriculum by providing student tutorials on learning strategies, student learning communities exploring the use of new technologies and relevant pedagogical topics, and holistic programming aimed at supporting the whole student. For faculty, the CEP facilitates institutes, workshops, and public lectures on topics ranging from course design, assessment, and active learning strategies to anti-oppressive teaching practices and the use of digital tools in face-to-face as well as online classroom instruction. The CEP also offers 1-on-1 consultations, teaching observations, and assessment services for classroom instruction.
In 1971, Barnard students, faculty, and staff founded the Barnard Women’s Center, the first of its kind in the country. BCRW’s founding took place in the midst of feminist, Black freedom, anti- war, and Third World Liberation movements, international student mobilizations, and the parallel creation of Black studies, ethnic studies, and women’s studies programs at universities across the country. For more than fifty years, BCRW has built a bridge between students, scholars, activists, artists, neighbors, and our communities beyond New York through public events, publications, multimedia projects, and working groups.
BCRW is committed to vibrant and engaged research, pedagogy, art, and activism, supporting the work of scholars and activists to create new knowledge and to challenge and refine how we understand the world around us. From our signature annual Scholar and Feminist Conference to our peer-reviewed journal The Scholar and Feminist Online, our unique collection of feminist social movement ephemera housed in the Barnard College Archives and a constantly expanding video archive, and a rich history of collaborations with activists and artists, BCRW brings scholars and activists together to foment intersectional social justice feminist analyses and promote social transformation.
Every semester, students, faculty, and community members can engage with BCRW through public programming and our open-access publications focusing on issues such as abolition and transformative justice; anticolonialism and Black transnational feminism; reproductive justice; labor and economic justice; and more. Students can get involved in the Center through a weekly social hour on Thursdays from 12-1 p.m., the Center’s collaborations with student groups, and paid research assistantships.
The Athena Center for Leadership is a hub for changemakers at Barnard College, itself a center for leadership for over 130 years. Our mission is to prepare Barnard students to lead change today and throughout their lives. To this end, we work with a wide range of on-and off-campus partners to offer academic year and summer co-curricular opportunities (in the form of 15+ communities of practice) for Barnard students interested in applying what they learn in the classroom to real world challenges; summer programs for future Barnard students to experience the Athena approach to leadership development, and two marquee programs for the public: SPARK, a series about change and how it happens, and the Athena Film Festival, which presents stories of women’s leadership from uncommon angles.
THE TODDLER CENTER
The Center was created in 1973. In January 2023 we moved to our newly renovated, state of the art classroom and research center on the ground floor of Milbank Hall. Since the beginning, the Center has functioned as an integral part of the Psychology Department at Barnard College, providing an initial group social experience for toddlers, a unique learning experience for Barnard and Columbia College students, and a research site for developmental researchers. Barnard Psychology courses use the center for students to observe toddler behavior and learn about research methods. An upper level seminar provides a year long opportunity for students to be part of the program while studying theory and research in early development. Each year the Center enrolls toddlers in one of four classes for the academic year (mid-September through June). All classes are structured by age and gender, and include children from diverse backgrounds. Morning and afternoon classes are available and meet once or twice a week. Parents and/or caregivers can participate in an educational group focused on the developmental issues of the toddler years and on related parenting and caregiving issues.
The approach of the Center is based upon the philosophy that children learn by doing: through experiences, exploration, and active participation with their environment. Children’s discoveries promote mastery and feelings of competence. Emotional development is the core to building security and trust at these ages. The Center provides a warm environment to support each child’s needs, promote self discovery, and facilitate separation.