Promoting Climate Resilience through the Library

Librarians Kevin Adams and John Hosford applied and won funding for the American Library Association grant: Resilient Communities – Libraries Respond to Climate Change.

The grant comes with funding as well as film screening rights to support Alfred University Libraries as we design resources and programs that will create educational opportunities and public forums for community members to come together to learn, build connections, and grow toward a more sustainable and prepared future.

Alfred University Libraries are happy to present the new virtual Climate Resilience Information Hub. The virtual information hub includes movies, books, databases and articles, and open web resources. Due to COVID-19, not all materials in this hub are available to the broader community. If you need help accessing specific items, please contact Kevin Adams at

Over the course of the 2021 Spring semester, Alfred University Libraries will host virtual film screenings for the broader Alfred community, which will be paired with programming to allow film viewers to come together and discuss topics like climate change and community preparedness. Details on film screenings and programming are forthcoming.

Information Literacy & Library Instruction

The Libraries are offering Information Literacy and Library Instruction sessions for all courses at Alfred University. We can provide anything from a basic library orientation to an advanced information literacy sessions.

We are happy to work with you to create a customized session that fits your learning objectives and the needs of your students. For more on the options available to you, check out this menu: Information Literacy Instruction Menu.

To request a library instruction session, please contact your liaison librarian or use this form: Information Literacy Instruction Registration Form.

Image: Two classroom participants consulting information.

Where Can I Study?

In an effort to support student learning while maintaining social distancing, numerous spaces around campus have been made available for studying or participating in classes online.

Herrick and Scholes Libraries both have study spaces and computers available. A limited number of reservable spaces are available for commuters or students taking courses online.
Email for more information.

Library hours can be found here:

Campus Computer Labs are available when not in use for scheduled classes. A list of spaces and hours can be found here.

There are additional spaces around campus such as Powell Campus Center, The Science Center, Miller and Seidlin. Some of these spaces are available for students studying specific subjects or require a reservation.
More details can be found here.


Scholes Library Student Employee VanRenselaar ’22 competes in KCACTF Auditions

Alfred University News

Kirstin VanRenselaar
Kirstin VanRenselaar

Kirstin VanRenselaar ’22 (Education, History, Theater major and Scholes Library student employee) was chosen to compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre (KCACTF) Festival Irene Ryan Auditions, performing two monologues on Zoom for the national selection team.

She was part of a group of 16 actors screened from an original pool of 220 actors from the seven states that make up KCACTF Region 2.

VanRenselaar was nominated for her work in UnBound: A Loose-Leaf Theater project on Racial and Social Justice, produced at Alfred University Nov. 6, 7, 8 via Zoom, guided by Alfred University Performing Arts faculty Becky Prophet, Maureen Weiss, Zachary Hamm, and Debra MacCrea.

Unbound was a first for the Performing Arts Division at Alfred University.  The entire creative process was engaged to stream the live performance.  Every actor, designer, crew member, as well as faculty and staff engaged in Unbound seized the opportunity to tackle a new means of performance by learning the Zoom platform and experimenting with the ever-increasing options of digital theater, which became a major medium for Alfred University in March when classes moved on-online. 

In addition to her role in Unbound, VanRenselaar also performed multiple roles in Annie Jump in the Library of Heaven. Both plays were produced the fall in Alfred University’s Fall semester.  

Kirstin VanRenselaar has been acting since the third grade and has played many roles over the years, her favorite being Polonious from Hamlet. Since coming to Alfred she has played Orgon in Tartuffe, Mrs. Gomez in Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven, and participated in the most recent production- Unbound. She is currently working on preparing for her future role of high school teacher, in which she hopes to inspire her students as she has been inspired by those who have taught her.

What's Available in the Libraries?

Herrick and Scholes Libraries are here to support the campus with remote services and limited onsite services under COVID safety protocols.

See the Herrick and Scholes Library websites for current hours.

What’s Available?

-Library books and media are circulated through contactless pick up via a request system. Requests can be picked up at either Herrick or Scholes Library. Instructions can be found under the “Request Materials for Pickup” tab found through this link.

-PCs, printers, and scanners are available in both libraries to current AU students, faculty, and staff. The set up includes reduced seating capacity to support distancing.

-Article databases, Kanopy, and ebooks.

-Interlibrary Loan.

-Research assistance with Librarians and Archivists by video conferencing such as Zoom, or email. To check the availability of in-person appointments please contact a Librarian or Archivist directly, or contact

-Library Instruction for classes.

-Study rooms can be reserved by commuters and other students who need a dedicated space to participate in online classes. Reservable space is limited. For more information, email:

What’s Not Available?

-Shelf browsing materials in the stacks.

-Study rooms and conference rooms for groups.

-24-hour study rooms.

-Reserve Books (email and we will assist you via scanning or other alternatives).

-Shareable items like headphones, laptops, chargers, and markers.

Questions? Email


Information Literacy Modules for Asynchronous Learning

The Information Literacy Librarian, Kevin Adams, has created a series of Information Literacy modules to support student learning. These modules have been created for AU faculty to easily import into their Canvas courses. If you are interested in using any of these modules in a course, just email Kevin Adams at

Each module has clearly stated learning outcomes. Topics currently include library concepts, finding sources, developing research questions, evaluating sources, and providing citations in MLA, Chicago, and APA. You can explore the modules here: Information Literacy Modules.

Sliding image compares two images: 1) Depicts a computer with a book on the screen and 2) depicts a tablet with a book on the screen.

Spring Hours 2021

Library Hours for Herrick and Scholes Libraries


  Samuel R. Scholes Library 

  Herrick Memorial Library


      2:00 pm – 9:00 pm     

     2:00 pm – 9:00 pm    


      8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

    8:00 am – 9:00 pm 


     8:00 am – 9:00 pm 

    8:00 am – 5:00 pm 


     8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

    8:00 am – 9:00 pm 


      8:00 am – 9:00 pm 

     8:00 am – 5:00 pm 


      8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

     8:00 am – 5:00 pm 





The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship

Engineering and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Samantha Dannick authors jocose essay in a national library science publication.

“The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship”, published in the January issue of College & Research Libraries News (C&RL News) , is a playful and “irreverent” guide to finding your niche in librarianship. C&RL News is the official newsmagazine of the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Nudibranch Berghia coerulescens. Photo credit: Parent Gery, Public Domain.

Dannick encourages library professionals to establish their own personal  “policies” and “professional value system” by way of behavior analogies between librarians and jellyfish, nudibranch, and octopus. Dannick writes, “The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship is intended to help librarians recognize and name their own professional tendencies… There will be times to be an Octopus, a Nudibranch, and a Jellyfish. Most of us will have a form that is more comfortable than the others. What’s appropriate is to recognize what that form is, how it helps and hinders, and whether a different form would be more suitable for a given situation.”   What’s a nudibranch? Learn more here.

The full article can be read here: The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship

Winter Break Hours and Services

Scholes Library will be open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.
Herrick Library will be open by appointment only.

Library materials from both Herrick and Scholes are available for pick up via the item request system. Directions on how to use the item request system can be found here.

All requested library materials, including interlibrary loans, will be made available for pick up in Scholes Library.

Printers, scanners and computers are available to current AU students, staff, and faculty in Scholes Library. No appointment is needed.

Services such as Archives and research consultations will be available by appointment in Herrick and Scholes. Please contact directly, the staff or librarian you wish to meet with to make arrangements. Contact information can be found here: Herrick Library; Scholes Library.

The entrances will remain locked and instructions for entry upon arrival will be posted on the doors.

Both book drops will remain available for returns.

For more information on services or how to use the item requests system visit: https://libguides.alfred/COVID

For questions please email:

Announcing Retirement of Mark A. Smith

After 29 years at the Samuel R. Scholes Library of Ceramics and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Mark Smith will be retiring at the end of this year, signaling the end of an era for the Alfred University Libraries.

For nearly three decades, Mark has been recognized, appreciated, and widely beloved across campus for his passionate advocacy for and devotion to the College of Ceramics, his boisterous laughter, and his dynamic and all-encompassing fervency in everything he does. After obtaining his Master of Library Science degree from the University at Buffalo, he has served the Alfred University Libraries, and Scholes Library in particular, in a variety of positions, including Reference Librarian, Information Systems Librarian & Head of Technical Services, Collection Management Librarian, and, most notably, Director of Scholes Library & Associate Dean of Libraries.

During his extensive career, he has shepherded Scholes Library with his characteristic nurturing style and roll-with-the-punches attitude, through all of the tremendous computing and technological shifts of the past few decades, including the implementation of numerous digital systems, tools, and resources. In addition, he led several strategic planning processes, directed multiple library space redesign initiatives, and helped to establish lasting cross-library partnerships while tirelessly championing the unique and specialized mission of Scholes Library. Mark served on myriad College and University committees including Middle States Steering Committees, Promotion and Tenure Committees, Search Committees, the College of Ceramics Faculty Council, Faculty Senate, and the Advisory Council on Technology.

Mark came to librarianship as a second career after a decade of teaching music and theater in Canisteo, NY. He has continued to share these gifts with the community though his leadership and involvement with The Orpheus Chorale, the Hornell Area Community Cantata Choir, the Hornell Community Theatre, and as a board member of the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, from which he received the Arts Partnership Award in 2013.

As a leader and mentor, Mark has consistently modeled how to lead with empathy, using the heart as well as the mind. Colleagues through the years could tell stories of times they brought Mark an idea and watched him immediately light up with excitement and enthusiastic support in direct proportion to their own excitement and enthusiasm. Mark has always been a master at nurturing the seed of an idea and ensuring it has ample opportunity to thrive. His approach to the cultivation of people has been similar, providing just the right mix of encouragement, direction, and space for each person to soar as their best self.

Throughout his career, Mark has drawn energy and inspiration from the relationships he created through his professional involvement in groups outside of Alfred. For instance, he has been the president and executive board member of the SUNY Librarians Association, the Chair of the SUNY Council of Library Directors, a member of the SUNY Provost’s Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching & Technology, a board member of the South Central Regional Library Council, and a contributor to the New Media Consortium’s highly influential Horizon Report. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship in 2004 and the Friend of SUNY Librarians Association Award in 2012.

Mark’s colleagues throughout the years are grateful that he answered the call to forge a new vocational path into the world of librarianship. His second act has inspired, uplifted, and left us smiling a little bit more than before we heard and joined in his song.

Thank you for all of the laughter, support, and creativity you have given us, Mark. We wish you all good things in the next act of your life’s adventure.