Library Carrel and GRR Shelf Policies

Apply for a Carrel or Graduate Reading Room (GRR) Shelf

There are study carrels in Alderman and Fine Arts Libraries that are reservable to UVA graduate students.

To apply for an Alderman study carrel or shelf in Alderman Library, contact Stephanie Hunter.

To apply for a Fine Arts Library study carrel, visit the Fine Arts Library circulation desk. Jump to Fine Arts Carrel Policies. 

Note that there are also short-term use lockers in the Graduate Reading Room. The keys for the lockers are kept at the front desk of Alderman. The keys check out for 3 hours at a time.

Alderman Study Carrel General Use Policies

A desk and chair surrounded by the bookshelves of the Library stacks.

Old Stacks study carrels.

  • Graduate students in good standing are eligible to apply for Alderman carrels or shelves in the Graduate Reading Room.
  • Carrels and GRR shelves are assigned for an academic year. Graduate students may only have one or the other.
  • Some carrels have two people assigned to them, so they must be kept tidy.
  • Food should not be stored in carrels or shelves. Food will be disposed of if found.

Problem Reporting

  • Problems with the carrel or the GRR shelf (burned out light, broken drawer lock, the carrel needs cleaning, etc.) should be reported to Stephanie Hunter.


Adjoining desks with a small amount of natural light in the stacks area of the Library.

New Stacks study carrels.

  • Carrels and GRR shelves can be renewed each year as long as the owner is a graduate student in good standing.
  • Owners will be contacted near the end of each academic year with a renewal reminder.
  • If an owner is not using the carrel or shelf, allow it to be reassigned since there is usually a waiting list.
  • Failure to renew carrel keys or GRR shelves may result in loss of carrel privileges and check-in of any Library materials left on the carrel.
  • Notify the Circulation Desk of address changes to ensure receipt of all correspondence regarding Library matters, including carrel renewal deadlines.


  • Carrel keys must be returned immediately at the conclusion of carrel assignment.
  • There is a $10 charge for nonreturned or lost carrel keys.  Bills will be referred to Student Financial Services.

Carrel Charging Books

  • All books and periodicals kept in carrels or on GRR shelves must be checked out to the owner.
  • Carrel owners should inform Library staff that a book will be put in a carrel or GRR shelf at the time of checkout.
  • Books that are carrel charged are not desensitized, and a carrel slip will be placed in each book.
  • Books without carrel slips may be removed and reshelved by Library staff, so the carrel slips should be visible.
  • Keeping uncharged material in carrels may lead to revocation of carrel privileges.
  • Do not keep carrel slips. Return carrel slips when returning books.
  • Carrel owners should stop by the Circulation Desk when taking a carrel book out of the Library so it can be desensitized and the circulation record checked. The carrel slip will be removed at this time.
  • Books are left in carrels at the owner’s risk.  The Library does not assume responsibility for personal materials or books left in carrels or the Graduate Reading Room.

Fine Arts Library Study Carrel Policies

The Fine Arts Library offers carrels to graduate students in Art History, Architectural History, Architectural Design, Planning, and Drama.

Assignments are made for one academic year, beginning August 15. Carrels are assigned in the order in which your application is received. Carrel holders last year have first preference.

Due to space limitations, more than one person may be assigned to each carrel.

Carrel Policies

  • All books kept in carrels must be checked out to you and have carrel slips in them or they will be removed from the carrel.
  • Do not store more books in your carrel than it will reasonably hold without damaging the books.
  • Items sustaining damage from abuse or overcrowding will be removed and your carrel privileges revoked.
  • Folios, reference, and other non-circulating items may not be stored in carrels.
  • Electrical outlets are available in carrels 1-26 (some lettered carrels are near pillars on which there are outlets and most lettered carrels can reach an outlet with an extension cord).

Shelving Policies

There are a limited number of shelves to be assigned to graduate students for the books they wish to keep at the Fine Arts Library. They will be assigned as follows:

  • One shelf to one graduate student.
  • The number of books on the shelf will neatly line up to fill the shelf. No stacking will be allowed; any books not fitting on the shelf should be taken home.
  • Each book on the shelf must have a carrel slip and be checked out to the user of the shelf.
  • The shelf must be maintained neatly and must not hold anything that might spill onto the shelves below.