Library Carrels

In consultation with the School of Graduate Studies, the Robarts Library undertakes the allocation of carrels to graduate degree students, faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and visiting scholars. Details are outlined in this Policy on the Allocation of Carrels at the Robarts Library. Assigned space in the Robarts Library consists of lockable carrels and book lockers on the fifth floor and the stack floors 9 to 13, including some carrels on each floor with connections to the campus computer backbone. The number of lockable carrels is approximately 680.

Scale of Priorities

The main purpose of the lockable carrels is to provide doctoral candidates in the Humanities (Division I) and the Social Sciences (Division II), especially those preparing their theses, with private and quiet working space. Faculty members on research (sabbatical) leave, faculty members needing a carrel for special projects, post-doctoral fellows affiliated with the university, and visiting scholars are also considered.

The following scale of priorities is used to allocate carrels.

Visiting scholars accredited by the School of Graduate Studies (Divisions I and II);

A. 1. Doctoral students (Divisions I and II) in the third year of candidacy and beyond, to a maximum of three years (not necessarily consecutive);
  2. Faculty members on leave or without office space on the St. George Campus (Divisions I and II);
  3. Postdoctoral fellows affiliated with the University (Divisions I and II).
B. 1. Faculty members, including professors emeriti, requiring library space for special projects (Divisions I and II);
  2. Visiting scholars accredited by the School of Graduate Studies (Divisions I and II);
  3. Doctoral students (Divisions I and II) in their second year of candidacy.
C. 1. Other doctoral students (Divisions I and II);
  2. Toronto School of Theology doctoral students.
D.   Full-time master’s students (Divisions I and II).
E. 1. Part-time master’s students (Divisions I and II);
  2. Toronto School of Theology master’s students.


Quotas are specified as follows:

Joint applications   250
Faculty members (A2)   50, of which 20-25 will be assigned to Mississauga and Scarborough faculty members
Postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars  

Whenever a quota exceeds the number of applications received within the deadlines, the excess carrels revert to the pool and become available to applicants within the next priority.

No more than three computerized carrels per year are made available to faculty on leave (priority A2).

Assignment of Carrels

Carrels, open carrels, and book lockers in the Robarts Library are allocated by the Access and Information Services Department, first floor, Robarts Library.

Applications for carrels and book lockers from faculty members, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and visiting scholars are received by the Carrel Office, Access and Information Services Department, from mid-May to mid-August for all or part of the subsequent winter and summer academic sessions.

Carrel applications are accepted electronically. The Library’s carrel services Web page announces the dates for receipt of applications and provides instructions about assignment procedures and dates, as well as the application form to be mailed electronically. Written notices of these procedures are sent to all Coordinators of Graduate Studies in Divisions I and II of the School of Graduate Studies, and to current holders of carrels and book lockers. Signs are also posted in the library. Applications received after the specified deadlines are deemed late applications and are considered only after applicants in other priorities have been accommodated.

Names of student applicants are submitted to the appropriate departments for verification.

Faculty members not on leave who apply are sent a letter and a questionnaire for completion which is then forwarded to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies or Principal (Mississauga or Scarborough) for ranking.

First-time assignments of carrels are made according to a waiting list, created by lottery, for each priority. Applicants in Category A1 who have held a carrel for less than the entitlement of three years will be considered deferred renewals.

Monitoring Carrel Use

The Library regularly monitors the use of carrels. Carrel holders who are not using their carrels are requested to relinquish them.

Abuse of carrel regulations may result in the removal of carrel privileges.

Based on a report approved by School of Graduate Studies Council, January 18, 1983.
Revised by School of Graduate Studies Council, April 22, 1997.


Robarts Library:
Robarts Library – 130 St. George Street, Room 1008
Telephone: 416-978-2305