The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Museum Library Carrels

Carrels and shelves in the Museum Library for use by current Penn students and researchers.

A row of carrels with books and shelves.

The Museum Library has 34 carrels and 20 shelves that can be reserved for the academic year by currently enrolled Penn students and researchers* who have valid Penn Libraries patron accounts and active PennCards (for example, post-doctoral researchers with faculty or associate status at Penn, current Alumni PennCard holders, or registered Courtesy Borrowers).

*The Museum Library reserves the right to change the policy governing the use of carrels by non-student researchers if necessary in order to meet the needs of currently enrolled Penn students.

Reservation rules

Due to a limited number of carrels and shelves, senior majors in Anthropology and graduate students in the School of Arts and Sciences are given priority until September 8. All other interested patrons will be placed on a wait list and notified after Sept. 9 if the Museum Library is able to honor their requests. Thereafter, unclaimed carrels and shelves will be assigned to eligible patrons upon request.

To reserve a carrel, please see Ainsley Hume at the Museum Library circulation desk or submit your request by e-mail to including your full name, PennID number, status, and department affiliation.

Conditions of use

  • Penn Libraries is not responsible for personal items left in carrels, on the shelves, or in drawers. The Museum Library reserves the right to inspect carrels and shelves.
  • To charge library materials out to a carrel or shelf, patrons must bring their PennCard and the materials to the Museum Library circulation desk and give their assigned carrel or shelf number to the staff member. Staff will charge out the materials to the carrel and insert a flag.
  • Unflagged library materials on carrels or shelves are assumed to be not properly signed out and will be removed by library staff.
  • Library materials must fit comfortably on the shelf or carrel and should be stored in such a way as not to damage the books, i.e., upright on the shelf, shelved spine down, or neatly stacked with smallest items on top, largest items on the bottom.
  • Carrels and shelves should be kept clean and organized. Tape, glue, pencils, and pens should not be applied to carrel or shelf surfaces.
  • If library staff sees that a reserved carrel or shelf is seldom used, the patron to whom the carrel or shelf is assigned will be contacted about either giving up the assignment or sharing it.
  • Food, beverages, and dirty containers for food/beverages should not be left on carrels nor shelves. Please dispose of trash properly.

Where to print, copy, scan

Accordion List


Food, beverages, and dirty containers for food/beverages should not be left on carrels nor shelves. Please dispose of trash properly.

Location and Accessibility


For Wheelchairs

  • Sufficient doorway & hallway clearance
  • Automatic doors or no doors

Orthopedic Accessibility

  • Chairs have adjustable height


  • Natural and/or non-fluorescent light

Nearby Bathrooms

The nearest accessible bathroom is located on the first floor of the museum. Take the elevator down. To your left should be a way into one of the Museum's entrances where the bathroom is located. (see floor plan)

Additional Information

The map on the right shows the location of the Museum's East Entrance. Both the Main Entrance and the East Entrance are accessible, but the East Entrance is more convenient for getting to the Library.

See the Museum's Accessibility page for more details.

Accessible Entrance

Museum on campus map, showing location of accessible east entrance