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Welcome Back, Students: Things to Know About the Kelvin Smith Library

Kelvin Smith Library

Note: This information applies only to Kelvin Smith Library. Arrangements may vary at other campus libraries (i.e., Health Sciences, Law, and Mandel School) 

Welcome back to the Kelvin Smith Library! Our highest priorities are to ensure your health and safety and to provide a warm, inviting and productive space for your study and research. The library adheres strictly to all state and university public health guidelines regarding physical distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, sanitizing and disinfecting workspaces and equipment, and quarantining books before they are re-shelved. 

This quick guide provides information about what to expect when you visit the library, including recent service changes, improvements, and ideas on how you can help ensure that everyone in the campus community has a positive experience. Additional information about our other services is available here


  • Kelvin Smith Library will reopen for CWRU ID card holders only beginning Monday, July 27  
  • 24/7 hours are not in effect; see the the library’s website for daily hours  
  • A new entry protocol is in place to ensure the health of all visitors  
  • The number of available study seats is significantly reduced to accommodate physical distancing, but the new system lets you reserve a place in the library in advance  
  • Library content expanded for remote access and other services have been improved  
  • Course Reserve printed materials will be replaced with online access through Canvas  
  • Books checked out during the spring semester should be returned by September 15

Kelvin Smith Library re-opening to the CWRU community.

The library will reopen for CWRU ID card holders only beginning Monday, July 27. To enable daily deep cleaning and disinfecting, 24/7 service has been discontinued. Most days during the fall semester the library will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., but hours will vary, so please check the full building schedule

Entering, exiting, and queuing.

For safe physical distancing, please enter only from the side doors facing the Tinkham Veale University Center and exit only through the side doors facing Severance Hall. To enter, you will need your University ID to unlock the outside doors and to tap your ID card again at the Welcome Desk. You must wear your mask as you enter and at all times while in the building. 

Health and safety.

For your safety, all high touch surfaces of the library (such as handrails, computer keyboards and screens, and tables and chairs) will be disinfected regularly throughout the day and every evening after closing. 

Building seating capacity.

To ensure safe physical distancing, the total building capacity has been significantly reduced and access to some areas has been eliminated entirely, such as the personal seating pods on the first and third floors and all collaboration rooms. However, two new systems can be used to help plan a visit to the library. 

  • a new display at the library’s entrance, and visible from a computer or phone, provides real-time information on the number of people currently in the building and the maximum building capacity. 
  • a new online reservation system allows visitors to reserve an available seat in advance, either from a phone or computer on the day of the visit or upon arrival in the library by using the QR code at each seat. It’s recommended to keep a copy of the reservation in case another person is sitting at the reserved seat, and to check in and out. Reservation time slots will be for a maximum of three hours. 

Returning checked out materials.

Library materials will be quarantined before returning them to the shelves. Please do not try to disinfect library materials before returning them. 

  • Students returning to campus for the fall semester, should return materials once they return to campus. 
  • Students who are not returning to the university, but live in the area, should return materials at either the outdoor book drop or the drop immediately inside the front entrance. 
  • Students who are not returning to campus, and do not live nearby, should ship books to: 

Kelvin Smith Library
Attn: Access & Delivery

11055 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland OH, 44106-1713

  • When items are shipped, please obtain a tracking number for the package. 
  • Any overdue fines accrued since March 10 have been frozen and will be waived if materials are returned by September 15. Cash payments will no longer be accepted to pay library fines. To pay with debit or credit, please use the library self-checkout kiosk near the first floor service center. Online payments will be implemented in the near future. 

Research Assistance.

Remote consultations are available through email ( and will be answered within two business days. Librarians are also available to meet with students by phone, Zoom or live chat. Schedule an appointment on our website. 

Library Collections and Equipment.

The library stacks are open for browsing. If you remove a book from the shelves, place it onto a book cart in the stacks so we can quarantine it before re-shelving. 

  • Over the summer, the entire Kulas Music Library collection was permanently relocated from Haydn Hall to the first floor of Kelvin Smith along the aisle parallel to East Boulevard. 
  • On the third floor, one extended section of the stacks now has a new keypad system to move the shelves that replaced the old buttons. 
  • Most equipment is still available to borrow, except for headphones. Upon return, equipment will be disinfected so it will be safe for the next person. 

OhioLINK and Interlibrary Loan.

OhioLINK will resume borrowing and lending on Monday, August 10. Some member libraries may not be able to participate immediately, and books may need to be quarantined upon arrival on campus. This will also be true for interlibrary loan borrowing from out-of-state libraries. As a result, response times may be delayed. 

Reserve materials.

Physical materials (books, printouts, media, etc.) will no longer be available on reserve because this is incompatible both with dual delivery of classes and quarantining requirements. We are working with faculty to make more reserve materials accessible electronically through Canvas. 

Food and drink.

Food and drink will be prohibited in the building, except in the Cramelot Café area. It has not been announced when Cramelot will reopen. Food deliveries to Kelvin Smith Library are not permitted. 

Water fountains.

The touchless bottle fillers are operational on all floors, but the push-button drinking spigots have been shut off. 


The lower level lockers and lockable graduate student carrels are unavailable. 

Other spaces.

The maximum occupancy for both elevators and restrooms are limited to two people at a time. The hand dryers in the restrooms have been disconnected. 

Please let us know if you have any additional questions or suggestions!