The rules of research carrels 

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The research carrels in the library are private, individual study rooms in which UConn students can do their work, primarily related to research that they are conducting.  Photo by Avery Bikerman / The Daily Campus.

The research carrels in the library are private, individual study rooms in which UConn students can do their work, primarily related to research that they are conducting. Photo by Avery Bikerman / The Daily Campus.

Only honors students and University Scholars at the University of Connecticut actively working on their thesis or research project are allowed to reserve a private research carrel, according to the Homer Babbidge Library website.  

According to the website, the carrels exist for the purpose of doing research requiring library materials, not for doing homework and other school work.

There are 162 individual research carrels lining the perimeter of the second, third and fourth floors of the Homer Babbidge Library, according to Jean Nelson, Head of Communications & Engagement at the UConn Library, and there is a reason that many undergraduates can’t reserve them.  

The research carrels in the library are private, individual study rooms in which UConn students can do their work, primarily related to research that they are conducting. These rooms are different from the larger group study rooms available to all UConn students on a daily basis, which can be reserved on the UConn Library website with a NetID. The carrels are generally reserved for at least two academic semesters and must be applied for at carrelreserve.lib.uconn.edu, according to the UConn Library website.  


There are 162 individual research carrels lining the perimeter of the second, third and fourth floors of the Homer Babbidge Library.  Photo by Avery Bikerman / The Daily Campus.

There are 162 individual research carrels lining the perimeter of the second, third and fourth floors of the Homer Babbidge Library. Photo by Avery Bikerman / The Daily Campus.

Carrel applications for this year have closed as of Sept. 6. However, 20 carrels are set aside each year for daily use by any UConn undergraduate student, according to Nelson. 

“We call these per diem carrels and they are available to all students for up to four hours at a time,” Nelson said. “They can be reserved at the iDesk [on the Plaza Level] in Homer Babbidge with a student ID.”  

Most of the research carrels, though, are booked for long periods of time by graduate students, honors students and University Scholars, faculty and visiting scholars and a select few emeritus faculty.  

“We start with an extremely small number [of carrels] relative to the amount of research being done at UConn,” Nelson said. “As a result, we have broken down user groups based on those with the greatest need starting with graduate students working on their master’s thesis or Ph.D. dissertations. Honors students and University Scholars … are required to work on a thesis or research project requiring extensive use of library materials so we allot them the second largest chunk of carrels.” 

Research carrels can also be reserved by more than one person, in order to optimize their usage. Being willing to share a carrel can increase somebody’s chances of getting one, according to Nelson. 

Anyone interested in the UConn Library’s research carrels can contact Jean Nelson at jean.nelson@uconn.edu or Kim Giard at kim.giard@uconn.edu or go to the UConn Library’s website at lib.uconn.edu


Keely Greiner is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at keely.greiner@uconn.edu

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