KSL News

Physical Environment

The physical environment in which library materials are housed is the largest single controllable factor affecting the usable life of the entire collection.

Temperature and Relative Humidity

The temperature goals of the Kelvin Smith Library are between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity between 40- 55%. Although most people are comfortable within this environment, some do feel chilly. Cooler temperatures and lower humidity GREATLY increase the longevity of the entire paper, film, and magnetic-based collections this library houses. At a stable lower temperature and humidity, more of the collection will remain physically available for use by future generations of students and researchers. Please remember to bring along a sweater if you feel too cold!



High humidity can allow an outbreak of mold such as this to occur in a collection. It also encourages certain insect infestations, especially when combined with warmer temperatures.


All visible light is damaging to books and paper over time. The UV portion of the spectrum present in natural light causes especially rapid fading and deterioration of cloth, paper, and leather materials. The warming effect of sunlight coming through the windows onto the shelved books also causes them to deteriorate at a much faster rate. If you are using study carrels in the third floor stack area, please help protect this collection by remembering to close the window shade next to your study area before you leave.

Summary of Criteria for the Conservation Environment

taken from "Conservation Environment Guidelines for Libraries and Archives", by William P. Lull

Paper: 40-45%
Film: generally 30% RH, but can vary with material

Paper: 60-65 F for storage
65-70 F for occupied areas
Film: Same, or lower if possible
Temperature goals should generally be subordinated to humidity goals and stability

Storage: 1-5 Footcandles (11-55 Lux)
Reading /Work Areas: 30-60 Footcandles (330-660 Lux), but only short exposures for paper and other light-sensitive materials
UV Content: <75 microwatts per lumen, <2 to 4% UV
IR Content: Limit with light levels or dichroic reflector lamps

About Us FAQ

What and Where is Siegal?

The notation "Siegal" in the online catalog refers to the Aaron Garber Library of the Siegal College of Judaic Studies at 26500 Shaker Blvd. Cleveland OH 44122. The Aaron Garber Library is the academic library of the College and the central library of the Cleveland Jewish community. It includes 30,000 volumes, plus periodicals, language tapes, music and text CDs in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. The Library's electronic catalog is part of the online library system managed by Case Western Reserve University, and is included in OhioLINK, the statewide electronic academic catalog system. Online borrowing privileges are reserved for students registered at Siegal College. Community members are welcome to browse the catalog, visit the Garber Library and borrow materials.

For further information, contact by email, or call 216-464-4050 x131 or 132.

View All FAQs

Kelvin Smith Library | 11055 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44106-7151 | 216-368-3506