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Libraries’ Policies

Borrowing Policies

Please see Borrow, Renew Return for policies including:

  • Who can borrow
  • Checking out materials
  • Loan Periods
  • Renewing Items
  • Recalling items
  • Returning items
  • Fines & Bills
  • Purchasing a library card (area residents)


Code of Conduct

The Smith College Libraries aim to create a safe and welcoming learning environment for all users. Any visitor causing disruptive behavior within the Libraries will be asked to leave by library staff.

Computer Use

Computers in the Libraries are available for academic work by Smith and Five College students, faculty and staff. The Libraries follow the college’s policy for Acceptable Use of Computer Resources.

Copyright & Intellectual Property

Smith College provides information regarding the use of copyrighted works for education and research, copyright protections, and fair use principles. See:

Digital Signage

Campus community members may use the Smith Libraries Digital Signage Submission Form to submit content to be shown on Smith College Libraries digital signage displays.

  • General submissions (i.e. digital flyers, general campus notices and events, etc) that are not library-related will be displayed on the Virtual Bulletin Board on the 1st floor of Neilson Library.
  • Library-related submissions will be displayed in Neilson Library, Alumnae Gym, or both. This includes submissions for any kind of events being held in a library building.

Filming & Photography

If you are interested in filming or photographing at any of the Smith College Library locations, please fill out this inquiry form. A Libraries staff member will then contact you regarding this form, and if appropriate, put you in contact with College Relations for final approval.

Hillyer Art Library Carrel Policy

The library is one of the most popular places to study on any college campus, but students aren’t always able to count on their favorite spot being available. Semester-long carrel reservations provide students with a reliable space to do their work outside of the dorms. Carrels also have ample storage room, so students do not have to carry their books and other supplies with them every time they come to the library.

At the start of each semester, a lottery will take place to determine carrel assignments. Students must sign up for the lottery online. The following prioritization will take place during the drawing:

  1. Thesis students
  2. First and second semester seniors
  3. All other students

Each carrel will be assigned to two students. Students will have the opportunity to choose who to share a carrel with. Students who do not provide a second name when they sign up for the lottery will be randomly assigned a carrel mate.

The person you choose to share a carrel with should ideally have the same priority level as you. For example, two thesis students rank higher in the lottery than one thesis student and one non-thesis student. If you choose to be randomly assigned a carrel mate your priority level will not be affected.

Several carrels will be set aside as “open carrels”. They are first come, first served. Personal items or library materials may not be stored in open carrels.

Personal items and library materials may be stored in your assigned carrel. All library materials must be checked out to your library account. You may add personal touches to your carrel (e.g. posters, trinkets) but they must be easily removable. Keep in mind that when not in use, people may use your carrel but you are entitled to ask them to relocate if you need it.

Food of any kind is not allowed to be consumed or stored in your carrel. Covered drinks can be consumed but not stored. Any food or drink left at the end of the day will be thrown away.

Open Access Policy

The Faculty of Smith College is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. The Open Access Policy establishes the terms under which Faculty members permit distribution of their scholarly articles via open access channels. The Policy was approved by the Faculty on April 22, 2015. Open Access works are available in Smith ScholarWorks.

Records Management

The College Archives oversees the disposition of the official records of Smith College. It acts as a central entity for the storage of records that have long-term value as well as those records deemed of permanent and therefore archival value to the College.

For more information, please see Records Management Policy (Smith College, Revised January 2023) (PDF)

If you have questions about the policy or wish to discuss your participation in the records management program, email

Service Animals & Pets

No pets are allowed inside any library buildings in accordance with the Campus Pet Policy.

Note: This prohibition does not apply to individuals accompanied by seeing eye dogs or other trained, assisting animals. See the Service Animal Policy for more information.

Weather & Power Outages

Smith College Libraries follow the College’s policy for foul weather for non-essential services. The Libraries close when the College closes, and follow the college policy for delayed openings and early closings. It is possible that the Libraries will close at times when the College is not officially closed, such as when there is inclement weather on a weekend.

In the event of a power outage, the Library Director or college administration will close the Libraries. The Libraries will not be open if there is a power outage during the day or evening.

More Smith College Policies

See the College Policies page for a complete listing of college policies.