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Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center

3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
For additional library information please call: (215) 898-7555.

Please read the below policies in their entirety. If you have any questions, or you are a guest/non-affiliate, and would like building access during nights, weekends, or restricted access, please email Access Services at during Access Services office hours: Monday - Friday 9a-5p. Thank you!

General Access Policies

Weekdays until 6pm

  • To enter the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, visitors must show a valid PennCard or a current, valid government or school-issued photo I.D. that contains an expiration date.
  • Registered courtesy borrowers must show their library-issued borrower's card and a valid photo ID.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Visitors who do not hold a PennCard and who are not a member of an affiliated institution (see list) will be asked to sign in. A copy of their identification documents will be made and a Visitor Badge will be issued. The information obtained from the I.D. will be used only for security and/or law enforcement purposes when necessary.

After 6pm Weekdays and on Weekends

  1. Access is restricted. Patrons must show identification in one of the following categories:
    • Valid PennCard or Penn Alumni Card
    • Library Courtesy Card accompanied by a valid photo I.D.
    • Valid photo I.D. from Drexel, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, or a Research Libraries Group Shares Member
    • An institutional I.D. from HUP, CHOP, Pennsylvania or Presbyterian Hospitals, or a hospital affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania Health System
    • Guests of Penn students must display a valid photo ID, as well as have a guest pass sent to the security desk ahead of time. Penn students should fill out guest passes in advance at the Van Pelt Information Desk.
    • Individuals attending an event, or visiting an exhibit, must display a valid photo ID.
    • Sponsored guests using a specific collection must display a valid photo ID, as well as have a guest pass sent to the security desk ahead of time. If a researcher is traveling to Penn to use one of our unique collections, they must get their library liaison to fill out a guest pass for them. See the Directory of Subject Specialists to contact a library liaison.
    • Development Officers (with valid Penn Card) and their Guests (with Valid Photo ID).
  2. The use of the Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center, including Rosengarten Reserve, is restricted to PennCard holders.
Restricted access

Reading Days and Final Exams

Individuals who are not affiliated with the university will not have access to Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center during reading days and final exam periods at the close of each semester, when student demand on library facilities is at its peak. During these weeks in December each fall and in April/May each spring, access will be limited to individuals who hold a PennCard, Penn Development Officers and their Guests (with Valid Photo ID), an Institutional ID from HUP, CHOP, Pennsylvania or Presbyterian Hospitals, a Penn Alumni Card, or a Library Courtesy Card. Reading days and final exam periods for the current year are noted on the Van Pelt Library Hours calendar.
Public Access to U.S. Government and U.N. Depository Documents
As a Federal Depository Library Program participant, the Penn Libraries make U.S. government documents received through the depository program available for the free use of the general public. Please read about access at
Access for guests & Penn-affiliated visitors
  • Penn alumni:
     Alumni are encouraged to obtain a Penn Alumni Card, which will provide unrestricted access to Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, excluding 24 hour access to Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center. Information on securing a card and on library services for alumni is available at
  • Guests of Penn students:
     Penn students who wish to bring guests into the library weekday evenings or on the weekend need to complete an access pass. Passes must be filled out no later than the same day of the visit before 5p. Please email or call the Info Desk at 215-898-7556 to receive a pass for your guest.
  • Children of Penn faculty, staff, & students:
     Children may enter the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center when accompanied by a parent or guardian with a valid I.D. as described above. Children in the Library Center must remain accompanied by their parent or guardian at all times.
  • Elementary, middle, & high school students:
     The Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is not open for use by individual elementary, middle, or high school students. Students who need to use depository documents should read about access at govdocs.html.
    Teachers interested in arranging a tour for a class group may make arrangements by contacting Van Pelt Reference at 215-898-7556 or
  • Prospective students & their families:
     The library welcomes prospective Penn students and their families to visit the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. To make arrangements, please contact Van Pelt Reference at 215-898-7556 or
Accessible Entrance
The accessible entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is on the ground floor through the Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center. This entrance faces the Blanche P. Levy Park. See Van Pelt Library Services for Patrons with Disabilities for more information.