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Neilson Library

chairs with floral fabric in front of bookcases

Welcome to the new Neilson! As the intellectual heart of the campus, the library celebrates learning and discovery. Renowned architectural designer Maya Lin’s vision has reimagined the building as a place of beauty, harmony, connection and community. Illuminating down through five stories, the atrium’s oculus is a beacon of light, while glass windows throughout bring the natural landscape outside in. Take a virtual video tour and enjoy innovative spaces and awe-inspiring views. See for yourself why Maya Lin describes Neilson as “calmly natural,” and why President McCartney says the library “invites us to explore the world in all its wonder.”

Download a floor-by-floor guide to Neilson Library.

Masks are required in classes and gatherings of 30 or more people. See Library Services During COVID-19 for more details.

Those visiting the Neilson Library can now see real-time occupancy levels in spaces around the building.

Where To Go for Help

Location & Contact Help Provided

Central Service Point

Ground floor Central Hall
413-585-2910
libraryhelp@smith.edu
  • Checking out library materials, technology and media production equipment
  • Directions to services, staff, and spaces
  • Course reserves
  • Research advice and referrals
  • Technology and software guidance 
  • Library account & billing

Welcome Station

1st floor Central Hall

Directions to services, staff, and spaces; appointment referrals and general information

Learning Commons

Neilson 108
libraryhelp@smith.edu

Student-centered space providing tutoring, workshops, study groups, and other programs.

Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

Neilson 103
413-585-3653
ciec@smith.edu
Innovation and financial literacy hub, student ideation space, and venture development assistance, including classes and workshops.

Special Collections Welcome Desk

Neilson 307
413-585-2970
specialcollections@smith.edu
Special Collections materials and access.

Services and Collections

Services

A number of services are offered in Neilson Library, including:

Collections

General Collections Locations Location
LC Call Numbers A – PT, Burack (new fiction / non fiction) collection, language readers collection, and reference collection Ground floor
LC Call Numbers PT – Q, journals and magazines 1st floor
LC Call Numbers Q – TX 2nd floor
Oversized and oversized reference books 2nd floor mezzanine
LC Call Numbers TX – ZA, bound journals 3rd floor

For an overview of the letters and corresponding subject areas of the Library of Congress Classification system, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline.

If you can’t retrieve the item you are looking for please place a request in the Discover Advanced.

Books shelved in Neilson that were formerly classified under the Dewey Decimal System have been reclassified under the Library of Congress system for ease of use.

Additional library materials are housed in the Five College Annex. These materials can be requested through Discover Advanced.

Special Collections

The materials in our special collections are kept in a secure, climate-controlled area. Please visit or contact the Special Collections Reading Room to ask about accessing these materials.

Neilson Spaces & Technology

To submit an image to be displayed on Neilson Library digital signage, please fill out this form.

  • Connector Tunnel to Alumnae Gymnasium - Lower Level
  • Courtyard - 013. This space is open to anyone who would like to enjoy it.
  • Digital Media Hub and production studios - 012
  • Browsing Room - 102
  • Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center - 103
  • Learning Commons - 108
  • The Compass library café - 110
  • Amphitheater - outside The Compass, near Wright Hall
  • Reflection Room - 208A. This room is available for silent meditation and prayer.
  • Classics Study - 208B 
  • Exhibit spaces - 2nd floor and 3rd floor central halls. See Exhibition Program for more information on exhibits and to submit an exhibit proposal.
  • Skyline Reading Room and Terrace - 4th floor. Please note that the terrace closes at 6 p.m. during warm weather. The terrace is closed over the winter.
  • Lockers - Available for OneCard holders to store personal belongings. Tap your OneCard on a locker to open it or lock it. A green light means the locker is available; a red light means the locker is in use. Lockers will be emptied daily at closing. Contact the Central Service Point for assistance. Lockers can be found in the following locations:
    • Ground floor, across from print/copy/scan stations
    • 1st floor café, near the elevator
    • 3rd floor, across the hall from the restrooms
    • 3rd floor, outside the Special Collections Reading Room
  • Soft seating is available on all floors
  • Study Carrels are available on the Ground floor, 2nd floor, and 3rd floor
  • Study tables are available on each floor
  • Group study rooms are available on floors G through 3 
  • Study spaces on 2nd and 3rd floor Ruth J. Simmons Wing
  • Reading Room - 302
  • Skyline Reading Room on the 4th floor
  • Phone Rooms - 001E, 010B, 101E, 108K, 208C. Individual rooms for private phone and Zoom conversations.

See also Study Spaces and Reservable Spaces.