5 Things you need to know about KSL!

KSL stairwell

Kelvin Smith Library invites you to celebrate National Library Week 2023 with the theme of ‘There's More to the Story,' suggesting that your campus library is so much more than books. Library staff actively support research and teaching, collaborate with CWRU and community partners for relevant special programming and engaging exhibits, and celebrate scholarship at CWRU by taking an active role in preserving, storing, and sharing scholarly works in all formats. There's more to the story of KSL...check out five things you need to know!

ONE: 500 Years of Experience
The professional staff at KSL have an impressive 500 years of combined experience in the field of information science, achieving a level of expertise in their field and can be relied upon to provide the best possible services. Read more below about how library staff supports research and instruction, collaborates with the CWRU Campus and Community to develop relevant programming and exhibits, and preserves, stores, and shares scholarship in all formats.

TWO: Instruction for Faculty and Students
KSL staff work directly with anyone interested in elevating their research and digital skills, consult on course and assignment design, and teach sessions on a variety of topics relating to research in all disciplines. The Instruction Hub, created by librarians, contains Canvas modules on research, information, and technology topics. These detailed, step-by-step instructions can be referenced at any time on the library website and are ready to be embedded into Canvas courses. Contact us for a module customized for your class.  

Further, the library encourages the development of information and digital literacy skills for students through campus partnerships in general education classes. The fall 2022 SAGES course taught by Erin Smith, instruction and outreach librarian, “Knowledge and the Digital World from Social Media to Wikipedia,” familiarizes undergraduate students in all disciplines with analyzing digital media and tools. A similar course will be available in Spring 2024, “Interrogating Information: Research and Writing for a Digital Public,” through the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

THREE: A Natural Space for Study, Special Events, and Exhibits
Located at the heart of campus, Kelvin Smith Library invests in spaces for study, collaboration, and maintains partnerships with the campus and community to develop relevant programs, workshops, and compelling exhibits. 

The library recognizes the need to redefine our space to meet the needs of growing enrollment and changing needs of the campus. 

For focused study, reserve one of the individual quiet study rooms
For group work, reserve a Collaboration Room, or the Selfie Studio, perfect for the creation of videos, podcasts, interviews, monologues, and more! As the semester ends, make sure you explore our newest addition, the Individual Virtual Meeting Room.

Library staff developed several new series in Spring 2023 designed to support scholarship across all disciplines. 

The Digital Scholarship Workshop Series featured introductory talks and hands-on exploration of data, where to find it, and how to use it to your advantage in academic pursuits. A similar Digital Workshop Series will take place in Fall 2023 and feature a variety of digital scholarship projects involving multiple instructors from the library. 

What I Wish I’d Learned in Grad School, a series led by Research and Engagement Librarians, highlighted key elements of the publishing lifecycle from what an academic publication entails, to how to make sure your work has the broadest possible reach.

Special Events and Exhibits
The library, along with the Office of First Year Experience and OCA of Greater Cleveland collaborated in a special screening of the documentary History of Cleveland’s Chinatown by local director Johnny K. Wu, complimenting the 2022-23 common reading book, The Fortunes. The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity and the Kelvin Smith Library partnered for Our Voices: Stories from Black Authors, an event at which members from the CWRU community read moving passages by Black writers and led a group reflection. 

The first floor Art Gallery offers another opportunity for enriching content, such as the multimedia exhibit Braided Memories, a unique perspective of Holocaust survivors in Chile. Braided Memories was made possible in collaboration with CWRU Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the artists themselves. Join us on May 2nd, for an opening reception and the exhibit "In Pursuit of Equity: The Ongoing Fight for the Equal Rights Amendment" developed by CWRU students enrolled in the course “Curating Public History: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and Women’s Rights in America.” In June, the library will feature a solo painting exhibition by DeAnne Smith, Cleveland Institute of Art student, that supports Smith’s participation in the Creativity Works Experiential Learning Program. 

Find out about upcoming workshops and collaborative events on the library website. Follow Kelvin Smith Library on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! 

FOUR: Preserving, Storing, and Sharing CWRU History & Scholarship
Kelvin Smith Library celebrates scholarship at CWRU by taking an active role in preserving, storing, and sharing scholarly works in all formats.

Scholarly Commons @CWRU 
This online archive houses scholarly and creative works produced by CWRU faculty, staff, and students. Submit your journal articles, conference papers, chapters, and more to this open access repository, making it freely available to anyone across the world, increasing the visibility, gaining impact data, and ensuring long-term online access to your work. 

Faculty Authors Database 
Faculty and staff authors can submit their written or edited books and similar long-form scholarship to be considered for addition to the library collection and added to the Faculty Authors Database.

Digital Case 
Digital Case is Case Western Reserve's online source for digital content about the University. Find photographs and audio recordings from University Archives as well as digital copies of rare books and manuscripts in Special Collections. As CWRU Legacy Week is approaching, explore the About the University page, compiled by library archivists for easy access to information about CWRU history.

FIVE: The Oldest Book in KSL
In addition to creating, preserving, and storing virtual scholarship, the library maintains a collection of historically significant physical items. When asked to identify “the oldest book in KSL,” Bill Claspy, Team Leader of Special Collections and University Archives gave a three part answer: Our oldest THING is not actually a book, but a clay tablet with cuneiform writing on it. It dates to approximately 2,000 BCE. Although cuneiform is writing, our oldest item with writing in ink is from our collection of papyrus fragments. These are texts in Greek from the 3rd century BCE. They would have originally been in the form of a scroll, rather than a book. The oldest book is a medieval manuscript, dating from 1450. 

Browse, and request to view items from our collections of rare books, manuscripts, and CWRU University Archives.