Service Updates, 2021-2022

[Updated August 16, 2021]

We are excited to welcome researchers and visitors to Kenneth Spencer Research Library! The library is open to the public for the fall 2021 semester.

The health and safety of library staff and users is our top priority. Library spaces are configured to support healthy practices, and we ask all library users to comply with safety procedures.

  • Masks are required inside all library spaces — even for those who are fully vaccinated — in alignment with the university’s reinstated mask mandate. Visit Protect KU for more information.
  • If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or believe that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should stay home and contact your healthcare provider.
  • In alignment with campus protocol, our spaces are cleaned regularly. Please do not attempt to clean tables, chairs, or collection materials, as that can cause damage.
  • Please wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling collection materials. Hand sanitizer is strongly discouraged because it can leave a harmful residue on items.

Spencer's plan for fall 2021 may change based on evolving circumstances and campus, local, state, and federal guidelines. This page is being updated as needed; please check back frequently and before visiting the library. Contact us at or 785-864-4334 if you have questions or concerns.

Information about the services and resources being offered at all KU Libraries locations this year can be found on the What to Expect: 2021-2022 page.

Additional details about our spaces and services are outlined below.

In-Person/On-Site Research

Beginning August 23rd, researchers are no longer required to schedule an appointment to use the Reading Room. We are continuing to offer a limited number of optional research appointments. Details are available on our online booking page. Please contact Reference Coordinator Shelby Schellenger at for more information.

Reproductions and Research Assistance

Researchers should use Spencer's online Aeon system to request reproductions. Please contact Copy Services Manager Kathy Lafferty at if you have questions or need additional information.

Spencer librarians are available to answer questions about our collections and services and to help you identify digital material in our collections or at other repositories for your research paper or project. Please send your research questions to


Spencer librarians are enthusiastic about finding opportunities for students to engage with Spencer’s diverse collections in creative and meaningful ways. In-person, synchronous, and asynchronous library instruction is available. In-person instruction will follow university protocols that prioritize the health and safety of students, instructors, and library faculty and staff. Instruction sessions are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, and scheduling is dependent on staff and classroom availability.

Students can also access Spencer’s physical collections in the Reading Room. This can be for a specific assignment (e.g. analyzing a primary source) or for larger research projects. Students can search for, identify, and request their own items. Or, we can work with an instructor to pre-select materials that can be put on hold for students over a period of time.

Instructors who have worked with a Spencer librarian in the past can contact that person directly to schedule an instruction session. Alternatively, instructors can reach out to


Please contact library staff by emailing before dropping off or shipping a donation of collection materials to Spencer Research Library. Donors who have worked with a Spencer librarian in the past can contact that person directly.

Friday Guided Tours

We will resume guided tours of Spencer's third-floor spaces in Fall 2022.