A research study carrel is a desk in the library that may be assigned to graduate students, faculty, or undergraduates working on a senior honors thesis. If you have a carrel assignment, you can check out library books to it and store them there for an extended period, unless they are recalled for Course Reserve or requested by another patron.
The library has several different types of carrels available to qualifying members of the Northwestern Community.
The library has numerous open carrels throughout the University Library towers. Current Northwestern graduate students, and undergraduates working on a senior honors thesis, qualify for an open carrel. Senior honors thesis undergraduates must supply additional documentation in the form of a letter from their advisor or proof of registration in a relevant seminar.
Study Carrel Applications for the academic year will begin to be accepted October 1. Assignments will be made on a first come, first served basis as applications are received. Processing time will vary during periods of high demand.
The Music Library has a small number of carrel desks for graduate students in related subject areas. If you are interested in a carrel in the Music Library, please indicate that preference in the comments area of the application.
The Art Library maintains shelves in the Art Research Center on the third floor of Deering Library as shared space for graduate students in Art History and Art Theory and Practice. If you are interested in using a shelf in the Research Center, please contact the head of the Art Library to have your request reviewed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closed-room shared PhD carrels
PhD Candidate carrels are shared, with two people assigned to each carrel room. The demand for PhD closed room study carrels far exceeds supply, but you can apply for our waiting list by submitting a Study Carrel Application. The average wait for a closed-room study carrel is eight months, but actual time may vary. Graduate students must already be admitted to Candidacy before they can request to be placed on the waiting list.
Single closed-room carrels
Faculty carrels are single occupancy. The demand for Faculty single closed Study Carrel rooms exceeds supply, but you can apply to our waiting list by submitting a Study Carrel Application.
Storage of Library materials
- All materials at open carrels must be properly checked out to that carrel. Closed carrel holders may store books checked out to their personal account and personal research materials in their carrel. Uncharged materials should never be kept in carrels and will be removed if found during regular carrel checks.
- Materials charged to carrels may not be removed from the library. Patrons who wish to take materials charged to their carrel from the library must switch the items to their personal account at the Circulation Desk or a Self-Check Station.
Regulations for the use of study carrels
- Assignments normally cover the academic year. In any case, all assignments must be renewed yearly by June 15. Failure to renew by this date will lead to cancellation of the carrel assignment.
- Carrels are for research only using library materials. They are not to be used as office or conference space. Studies are not soundproof and therefore should not be used for long conversations.
- No furniture or equipment is to be moved from or introduced into a study, except by arrangement with the Circulation Desk. Heating and cooling ducts must not be covered.
- Damage to furniture or equipment requiring repair or replacement should be reported immediately to the Circulation Desk.
- Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the library.
- No food or drink of any kind may be kept in closed study carrels.
- No cooking or heating devices for preparing food or drink are allowed in the study carrels.
- The University Library cannot guarantee the security of personal belongings in any study space.