Skip Navigation

Library staff will be unavailable on Monday, January 18, for Martin Luther King Jr Day. Online resources are accessible 24/7. See Find Online Sources


Today's Hours

Library buildings are closed
while the College is closed.

See Library Services During Covid-19

Contact Us

Libraries' Service Desk

Call 413-585-2910
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Librarians are available via Zoom
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Use Ask Us to send a question and
we'll set up the virtual meeting.


Library Services During COVID-19

Ask Us

Submit a question at any time.
We reply M-Th 11 a.m.-8 p.m. 
F 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Su 5-8 p.m.

Ask Us

Meet With Us

Schedule a virtual meeting
with a research librarian.


Annex and Young Library materials will be temporarily unavailable from December 18, 2020 to January 22, 2021 while books are moved into the Neilson Library. Please plan accordingly; collection requests can be made until December 17, 2020. Library materials from Hillyer, Josten, and the Five Colleges will continue to be available during this time.


Library buildings remain closed. Contactless pickup hours have expanded to 9 a.m to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Bass Hall lobby, in front of the Young Library main entrance.

Books & Contactless Pickup

Please contact or 413-585-2910 with any questions or concerns.

  • Who can request: At this time, we can only honor requests from Smith and Five College students, faculty, and staff. Those living on campus or within 10 miles of campus may use our contactless pickup service, while those living more than 10 miles from campus may use our Books By Mail program (details further below). Local borrowers of Smith College Libraries cannot borrow materials at this time, but will receive complimentary extended service to their accounts once privileges resume.
  • What is available: Most Smith books, print collections (see HathiTrust Access for details) and DVDs, as well as many Five College books, print collections, and DVDs. Please note that materials in the Young Library and the Annex will be temporarily unavailable from December 18, 2020 to January 22, 2021 while books are moved into the Neilson Library. Please contact with questions about specific items.
  • How to request: Submit books requests as you normally would through the library catalog. Thank you in advance for your patience, as it may take a number of days for us to safely process your hold request.
  • Limits: Students may have a maximum of 5 hold requests and 5 items checked out at any one time; contact us if you need additional items. Faculty and staff may have up to 15 active hold requests pending; once requested items are picked up, you may place more holds. 
  • Due dates: Special due dates apply, see Loan Periods.
  • Books by mail for students: Students living more than 10 miles outside of the Northampton area can request books by mail. This service is available within the United States and applies to some books that are only available in print; unfortunately, we are unable to mail books internationally. If you only need a book chapter, you can request the chapter to be scanned and emailed through Interlibrary Loan. If a whole print book is needed, please use the request button in the library catalog. Staff will review requests, contact you, and may offer chapter scanning or ebook alternatives. Returning books is easy: use the prepaid return label included in the package when we mail your book.
  • Books by mail for faculty: Faculty members living more than 10 miles outside of the Northampton area can contact Ask Us to request books by mail. A library staff member will respond and verify a mailing address before sending the books. Returning books is easy: use the prepaid return label included in the package when we mail your book.
  • Mail delivery time: Please note that it could take 2-3 weeks to receive books through the mail due to quarantining materials and the mailing process. Please plan ahead to request books so you will receive them in time to be used.
  • Before coming back to campus, complete the COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines training and have approval from your manager. For details and instructions, see Return to Campus on the college website.
  • Notification: You will receive a notification email from the libraries letting you know when your items are ready to pick up. Be sure to bring your OneCard and face covering so that you can access the building.
  • Hours: Pickup hours are 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday - Friday. You will have 5 business days to pick up your material. If you cannot make it to campus in this timeframe, please contact us to arrange a different pickup date.
  • Where to go: Enter Bass Hall through the entrance near Burton Lawn. Proceed to the book carts in front of the Young Library entrance, where you will find your items in a labeled paper bag with your name and the date of your notification email. Take your items. They will be pre-checked out to you before you pick them up. Normal due dates apply, see Loan Periods. Exit back through the Bass Hall lobby, maintaining social distance when necessary.
  • Cleaning books: Please don’t clean or disinfect library materials. It may damage the materials, and it’s not necessary given the precautions our staff will be taking.
  • Book drop: Anyone can return library items by using the book drop outside of the Young Library (outside the entrance to Bass Hall)
  • Media drop: Please return DVDs to the separate return box inside the Bass Hall Lobby.
  • Books by Mail: If you borrowed a book through Books by Mail, you should have received a prepaid return label with your package. If you lose the label, use this form to request a new one.
  • Return by mail: If you are unable to return your items in person, fill out this form to receive a shipping label. All shipping options are free.
  • Spring 2020 student loans: If you borrowed library items in spring of 2020 and still have them, please return them as soon as possible. You may use the on-campus book drop, or you may request a free shipping label. International students and others who need to extend their loans should get in touch through Ask Us
  • Books from the other four colleges: Please either renew these online, return them through the mail, or deposit in the drop box at Young Library by the due date.
  • New guidelines: The safety of library staff and users is our highest priority. Library staff will follow all state and college public health guidelines, including social distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, sanitizing and disinfecting of workspaces and machinery, and self-monitoring for symptoms.
  • Quarantining library items: Findings from tests on library books by Battelle released in late June show there is no trace of COVID-19 on the cover or interior pages of books after 4 days. With guidance from Smith’s medical staff, CIRT and Academic Planning committee members, the library staff will quarantine any possibly contaminated books within paper bags for 4 days before they are available for you to pick up. You can follow additional testing results at the Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Information Hub.
  • Contactless service: For health and safety reasons, materials can only be picked up through the process outlined above. Library staff will not be present in the immediate pickup area, and no library equipment or technology will be available for use.

Online Resources

Find Online Sources: See our guide to finding online resources such as ebooks, articles, journals, media, class guides, and more.

  • All library eResources are available from off-campus.
  • Use the links on the Libraries website and enter your Smith username and password when prompted.
  • If you have trouble accessing resources remotely, check out our FAQs or report the issue to Ask Us so we can help.
  • HathiTrust: This not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserves over 17 million digitized items, including eBooks and scholarly research. Due to the pandemic, we have been granted temporary access to HathiTrust eBooks that are still under copyright.
  • Lending limits: Under our agreement with HathiTrust, we cannot lend paper copies of books owned by Smith when a HathiTrust e-copy is available. When this emergency access ends, Smith users will lose access to the HathiTrust eBooks and will regain access to print titles in Smith’s collection.
  • Course Reserves scanning: Beginning in mid-August, faculty will be able to request that chapters of Smith print books, including those that are available as eBooks in HathiTrust, be scanned and placed on reserve. More details will be announced soon.
  • Online tutorials: Librarians have created a short video tutorial reviewing how to access HathiTrust eBooks through the Libraries' website. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on accessing HathiTrust eBooks from the Smith Libraries catalog, see our Find Online Sources guide.

Interlibrary Loan

  • Digital only: Staff will try to fulfill all requests for materials that can be delivered electronically. We encourage you to submit ILL requests for the sources you are looking for, no matter the original format, and we will attempt to either find them online for you, ask other libraries to scan requested materials, or suggest alternate sources. Physical borrowing from other libraries outside the Five Colleges is not yet available.
  • Submit a request: Request electronic materials (such as scans of book chapters and articles in the Smith collection, and online resources from beyond Smith) by logging in to Interlibrary Loan and submitting a New Request using the left-side menu.
  • Returning ILL materials: Interlibrary Loan books (they have a colored paper band around the cover) can be returned in the book drop outside the Young Library/Bass Hall.

Course Reserves

  • Course materials and E-Reserves are available on the E-Reserves list and via the "Library Course Reserves - Required Materials" link on the top of your Moodle course page. If you’re unfamiliar with how reserves work on Moodle, get in touch through Ask Us and we’ll walk you through it.
  • Faculty may request that online resources be added to Moodle using our new online request form. We are actively scanning and converting physical materials from the collection. See Course Reserves Information for Faculty or schedule a time to meet with us for assistance preparing materials.
  • Print Reserves are suspended until library services resume on campus and physical lending can be done equitably. See Course Reserves.

Research Help

Ask Us: Ask questions and get help from a research librarian:

  • Ask Us - Submit a question at any time. Library staff members monitor and regularly reply to messages.
  • Meet With Us - Schedule a virtual meeting with a research librarian.

Research Subject Guides: Librarians have created custom online research guides for every subject taught at Smith.

Special Collections - Submit all questions and requests to Reference inquiries that require materials investigation will be held in order of when they were received and responded to once the campus is opened. Digitization services are not available at this time.

Special Collections


  • Special Collections staff will support students, faculty and staff into the fall via virtual reference and digitization for access and use of the collections. Requests should be made through
  • The Special Collections Reading Room is closed to in-person research visits. Requests for remote research assistance can be made through
  • Digitization orders submitted by Smith students and faculty, and that support teaching and learning, will have first priority. General (or public) research requests will be triaged and responded to as staff capacity allows.
  • Fee waiver: Special Collections is waiving all copy and digitization fees for Smith faculty, students, and departments during this period. All other fees still apply at this time.
  • Find Online Sources: Special Collections: See our guide for finding Special Collections materials online.

Faculty Teaching Support

  • Purchasing Digital Materials: Use the Faculty Book & Media Order Form to request the purchase of online materials, including eBook copies of print materials you currently use with students. The Libraries will prioritize eBooks and other digital materials. Some eBook titles are available with unlimited simultaneous users, meaning multiple students can read them at the same time. 
  • Purchasing Print Materials: Requests for books and other print material are currently being accepted. Use the Faculty Book & Media Order Form to request the purchase of print materials.
  • E-Reserves, scanning, and streaming: Use the Reserves Request Form to request that library resources be added to a Moodle course page. Library staff will digitize material from the collection and acquire new resources for your teaching, including scans of book chapters, DVDs and will provide stable links to online resources. Working with the Libraries’ staff ensures that materials meet copyright and accessibility guidelines. Please submit your syllabus with the request and we will prioritize materials to be ready by the date they are needed.
  • Moodle: If you’re unfamiliar with how reserves work on Moodle, get in touch via Ask Us and we’ll walk you through it. For more information, see Course Reserves Information for Faculty.
  • Accessibility: If you scan book pages, articles, or other materials to post for your class on Moodle, be sure to follow the College’s guide for Accessible Instructional Materials.
  • Support: Librarians are available to support faculty with preparing resources and selecting alternative course materials. Please be in touch with your departmental library liaison or use Ask Us.
  • Synchronous Course Instruction: Librarians are working on planning course-related instruction delivered remotely for the Fall semester. If you would like to plan a Zoom research instruction session for your students on the research process, working through a specific research assignment or how to use library resources, complete the Request Library Instruction Form or contact your department’s library liaison directly.
  • Asynchronous Course Instruction: Librarians can pre-record video instruction sessions or create short instructional videos on library research for your course. Contact your department’s library liaison to learn more.
  • Find Online Sources: We have created a new guide to help you Get Started With Online Resources.
  • Workshops: Librarians are offering online workshops on accessing and using digital resources effectively in your courses, as well as teaching with Special Collections. Get full details and register. ITS is also providing workshops and COVID-19 Digital Support for faculty.
  • Recordings and slides: Recordings and slides of recent “Finding online materials for your course with the Libraries” workshops have been made available below:
  • Research Librarians will continue to work remotely for the fall semester, and can meet with you and your students via Zoom video or audio. They offer consultation on fall curricular planning, eBooks and course materials, research needs and citation management.
  • Schedule an appointment: Use Meet With Us to schedule an appointment with research librarians via Zoom or by phone.
  • Send us your questions: Use Ask Us to submit questions, or send email to
  • Library Liaisons: Contact your departmental library liaison.
  • Faculty and Special Collections access: Special Collections will work with you to discuss and identify your needs and work out remote service whenever possible. If there is a specific request that is related to a course and it cannot be done remotely, staff will determine whether it can be handled in a way that is safe for everyone involved.
  • Teaching: Special Collections staff will continue to support teaching with primary materials via remote instruction. While staff cannot host classes in person at this time, curators and archivists can employ the following options to support teaching and learning:
    • Pre-recorded lectures
    • Remote synchronous live sessions (e.g., curator with hovercam sharing materials remotely, live)  
    • Remote consultations with students and faculty
    • Generation of guides and resource lists
    • Creating and sharing special collections digital resources held by other institutions, synchronously or asynchronousl
  • Workshops:Special Collections will be hosting three faculty focused webinars on August 6th:

Special Collections course support requests should be directed to the relevant collection steward:

Smith student and faculty digitization needs will be prioritized over other reference requests. Please submit all research inquiries to