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

Kelvin Smith Library

Spring Semester 2021 Updates

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

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

Current Status:  

  • KSL is open for building use. Please see our daily hours.  

Things to know:

[Please see sections below for more details.]

  • Seat reservations are now required. The number of available study seats has been significantly reduced to accommodate physical distancing, but a new seat reservation system lets you reserve a place in the library in advance. Your reservation confirmation needs to be shown at the Welcome Desk as you enter the building. Reserve a seat HERE.
  • Take a look at the 360 Virtual Tour of the changes to Kelvin Smith Library!
  • 24/7 hours are not in effect; see the the library’s website for daily hours.  
  • Continue to follow the new entry protocol to ensure the health of all visitors.  
  • Library content has been expanded for remote access and other services have been improved.  
  • Course Reserve printed materials will be replaced with online access through Canvas.  

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. 

  1. A new display at the library’s entrance provides real-time information on the number of people currently in the building and the maximum building capacity. 
  2. A new online reservation system allows visitors to reserve an available seat in advance, either from a phone or computer. Seat reservations are required and your reservation confirmation needs to be shown at the Welcome Desk. Reservations are encouraged to be completed in advance of arriving at KSL. Once you arrive, complete your reservation by checking in at your seat via your email confirmation or the QR code at your reserved 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. 

Returning borrowed materials.

Books can be returned in the outdoor bookdrop near the entrance to KSL or another bookdrop has been added in KSL's lobby. Library materials will be quarantined before returning them to the shelves. Please do not try to disinfect library materials before returning them. 

Research Assistance.

  • For expert assistance with questions about library resources or services, or to consult with a specialist about research, a specific subject or creating digital media, please contact us either by email, use our live chat, phone or text message services, or schedule an appointment for a Zoom or phone consultation. A KSL staff member will respond as quickly as possible.
  • Access to Special Collections and Archives will be by appointment only. Please contact us for more information at kslspecialcollections@case.edu.

Library Collections and Equipment.

When the building reopens, the library stacks will be 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, a number of sections of the stacks have been upgraded with a new keypad system to move the shelves that replaces 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 has resumed borrowing and lending with most member libraries participating in this service. Books are required to be quarantined for 72 hours 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 within the Cramelot Café area that allows 30-minute seat reservations. Cramelot will be closed during spring semester but vending machines are available in the cafe area. 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!