This year marks two significant milestones for Kelvin Smith Library: Its 25th anniversary as the heart of scholarly discovery on Case Western Reserve’s campus, and the retirement of vice provost and Lindseth Family University Librarian Arnold Hirshon, who has led the library for more than a decade. 

To mark the occasions, the library has created the Arnold Hirshon 25th Anniversary Excellence Fund, which seeks to honor his contributions to campus and further the mission of Kelvin Smith Library.

An anonymous donor has committed $500,000 for the Excellence Fund, and the university is seeking community support to reach the fund’s $1 million goal. The fund will support the evolving needs of the library, such as new digital technologies, special collections, and services for students and faculty, as well as broader community engagement.

These advancements build on many of Hirshon’s efforts during his 11-year tenure, which were recognized in 2019 when Kelvin Smith Library received the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries.

“Our inventive staff turned Kelvin Smith Library into a welcome student destination,” said Hirshon. “We amplified digital scholarship services, enriched the scope of and access to special collections, reinvented instructional services, redoubled our diversity and inclusion efforts, and expertly navigated a world suddenly dominated by COVID-19. Throughout, we maintained our commitments to experimentation and assessment, a healthy sense of humor, and strong campus partnerships.”

Hirshon retires at the end of 2021 and his successor—Emory University’s dean and librarian Yolanda Cooper—will step into the role Jan. 1, 2022.

For more information about the Arnold Hirshon 25th Anniversary Excellence Fund, visit the library’s website or contact the Annual Giving Office at 800.304.4483 or