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Staff Profiles: Kai Alexis Smith

Profiles of staff at the MIT Libraries.

Kai Alexis Smith

Headshot of Kai Alexis Smith

Kai Alexis Smith

Architecture and Planning Librarian
Liaison, Instruction, and Reference Services | 7-238 | 617.258.5593
Pronouns: she/her

How can Kai help you?

Kai can help you find information in architecture, art, design and urban studies and planning. She is the liaison librarian for the International Design Center and the School of Architecture which includes Architecture and Urbanism; Art, Culture and Technology; Building Technology; Computation; and History, Theory and Criticism. Kai also is a member of the Urban Studies and Planning Librarian's team. She works with faculty throughout the School of Architecture and Planning to design instruction sessions on the research process for students.


Kai began working for the MIT Libraries in the Fall 2018. Before that, she worked for Cal Poly Pomona where she liaised with the College of Environmental Design which included departments such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, and Art History among others. She started as an art practitioner in sculpture, photography and painting and studied art history. Kai has specialized as an architecture, art, design and urban planning librarian for over eight years and has experience in a variety of libraries including academic, museum, government and public libraries. Past employers include the University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, City University of New York (CUNY)’s Graduate Center, Housatonic Community College, the Pequot Library, among others. Kai interned at the Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum, Smithsonian’s Biodiversity Heritage Library, American Museum of Natural History, and Barnard College.

  • BA, Writing, Pratt Institute
  • MS, Library and Information Science, Pratt Institute

Kai's Research Guides:

Urban studies & planning guides: