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Fisher Carrels & Shelves



The Fisher Fine Arts Library provides study carrels and art shelves for students to reserve for the duration of the academic year. The benefit of using a carrel or art shelf is that one can check materials out to either location and maintain a core collection of materials in one place. These materials are not to leave the building and are subject to recalls.

Due to limited number of carrels, only students in the School of Design and History of Art programs are eligible to apply. Specifically, PennDesign and History of Art graduate students in a PhD program or last year of Master's study are given priority; students at other points in these programs and seniors embarking on their senior essay will be placed on a wait list first or can apply for an art shelf. You may submit your application for a carrel via the Fine Arts Library Carrel Application. If you have questions, send an email to the Fine Arts Library staff.

Condition and Use:

  • Carrels are in high demand and there is always a waiting list.  If library staff sees that a reserved carrel is seldom used, that student will be contacted about either giving up the carrel or sharing it.
  • Carrels are public spaces and must be kept clean and organized.  Nothing may be stored on window sills or on the floor.  Please be mindful of maintenance staff who must dust and vacuum on a regular basis.
  • Carrel holders are responsible for scratches or other damage to furnishings.  Tape or glue may not be applied to any portion of the desk. 
  • When one has finished using his/her carrel, or one's reported end date has passed, please inform the library if the date needs to be extended. It is the assigned carrel/shelf user's responsibility to clear out on time.
  • On occasion, patrons will sit at a reserved carrel not realizing that these spaces are for reserved use only. Please contact the library if this is an ongoing problem.

Books on Carrels & Shelves:

  • All books must fit comfortably on assigned shelf or shelves. Overflows on the desk, carts, or other assigned shelf are not allowed.   Non-Fisher books may be kept in one’s carrel or shelf so long as all books fit inside the bookshelf and are the owner's responsibility. Books must be stored properly—upright on the shelf or sideways on the spine. They should never be piled on the desk, left open or laid horizontally on top of other shelved volumes.  Folios and elephants may not be kept in carrels or on shelves.
  • Books must be properly charged to one’s carrel or shelf with a signed flag in each volume. Uncharged books will be removed.  Please be respectful of other readers and library staff. No one wants to waste time searching for uncharged items.
  • Do not write in books or mark your place with anything other than a paper bookmark. Post-it Notes leave an adhesive residue and should never be used on library books.

Personal Items:

  • The Library is not responsible for personal items left in carrels, drawers or on shelves.  The Library reserves the right to inspect carrels.
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