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Main Library Research Carrels

Main Stacks carrels are provided as a research aid to our current University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty, graduate students, and department-sponsored visiting scholars. Please note that OLLI Scholars are not eligible for a carrel.

Not all researchers find the Main Stacks to be a suitable environment for study. Before requesting a carrel, you may wish to visit the Stacks to determine whether a carrel will fit your needs. Please note that WiFi is not available in the Stacks.

Carrel User Responsibilities

Carrels are provided for research purposes only. As such, the following guidelines for use must be observed. Further information is available on our Quick Carrel Information page.

Personal Items

  • Lockers are available at the Main Stacks entrance to store personal items.
  • Writing implements, paper, class materials, personal books, and library items are allowed in the Stacks.
  • Personal electronics are also allowed in the Stacks, but must be removed each time the patron exits the Stacks.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility or liability for items lost or stolen from a carrel.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

  • Edible items and/or packaging (e.g., food, candy, cough drops)
  • Liquids and/or containers for liquids
  • Extra furniture (e.g., step stools)
  • Personal care items such as lotion, lip balm, and other toiletries
  • Bags/backpacks/purses
  • Personal electronics may not remain in a carrel when it is not occupied.

Collection Maintenance

  • All Library items in study carrels must be checked out by the carrel’s occupant(s).
  • Fire regulations prohibit covering carrel windows. Posters, notes, and other materials may not be attached to the walls, doors, or windows.
  • Heating/cooling ducts may not be covered.
  • When the carrel is not occupied, all lights must be turned off/unplugged and windows and window shades must be closed.
  • Library materials may not be stored on the floor, window ledges, or radiators.
  • No additional furniture or equipment may be introduced or removed from a study carrel.

Carrel Inspections

  • All research carrels are routinely inspected to ensure patron and collection safety.
  • Prohibited items may be removed from carrels and held for you to pick up at the Main Circulation desk.
  • Violation of Library or carrel policies may result in loss of carrel privileges.
  • Please notify Circulation desk staff of any potential carrel safety or maintenance issues.

Request a Carrel

You can request a carrel by emailing us at circlib@library.illinois.edu or our Circulation Contact Form. For ease of identification, please use your University-issued email account when possible. Please specify in your message that you are requesting a carrel. You will be updated by email as your request is being processed. You may then visit the Main Circulation desk with your i-card to pick up the carrel key and sign the application form.

  • Carrels are assigned in the order in which they are available.
  • We are unable to accommodate requests for specific carrels or carrel attributes.
  • Carrels are for use by the individual(s) assigned to the space and cannot be transferred to other individuals or groups.
  • More than one patron may be assigned to a carrel.
  • Carrels may be removed from service as necessary.

Renew Carrel Key

  • Carrel keys are issued through the end of the semester in which they are requested.
  • To continue using a carrel, the key must be renewed each semester.
    • Carrel keys may be renewed:
      • By email: circlib@library.illinois.edu
      • Daytime phone: (217) 333-8400
      • Evenings and weekends phone: (217) 244-0732
      • In person at the Main Circulation desk.
    • Carrel keys may not be renewed:
      • Through your library account online.

Carrel Key Return

When a carrel is no longer needed or the occupant is no longer affiliated with the University, the key should be returned to the Main Circulation desk.

  • Failure to return a key will result in charges ($25).
  • Personal items remaining in a carrel after a key is returned will be removed and held for 30 days.
    • You will be notified by email if an item is being held for you.
    • Unclaimed personal items will be donated or otherwise discarded.

Contact us

Circulation Contact Form
(217) 333-8400
(217) 244-0732 (evenings and weekends only)
(866) 262-1510 toll-free