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Stacks Appointments: Introduction


Stacks access is available by appointment in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through July 16. Starting July 19, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center will be open to the Penn community and outside visitors, and appointments will no longer be needed to browse the stacks.

In accordance with the latest University guidelines, all active Penn students, faculty, and staff will be eligible to make appointments to browse stacks. This includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Patrons must comply with Penn's COVID-19 testing protocols and show both a confirmed reservation and a PennOpen Green pass, valid for the day of their appointment, for entry.

Reservations must made no less than 12 hours in advance. Please review the procedures below before you make your appointment

How it works

How It Works

Patrons with a reservation will have access to stacks on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the Reference Stacks on the first floor, and the following seminar rooms: Classics (301), Africana (305); JANES (Judaica Ancient and Near East- 401), Medieval (405), and Marian Anderson (452). Browsing appointments can be reserved online for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 2 hours. Operating hours are from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

  • Upon arrival, please check in at the guard desk on the ground floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.
  • You will be offered a basket for your books and a handout to help you navigate the building.
  • Once you are ready to check out items, proceed to the circulation desk on the first floor. If no one is at the desk, please call 215-573-9822 and someone will assist you.
  • If you have questions while browsing, librarians will be available via online chat, and tech support will be available remotely through the University of Pennsylvania Tech Center.
  • The tables in the Moelis Lounge and Moelis Electronic Research Center will be open to patrons with stacks appointments to consult materials while onsite.
  • A self-serve scanning station and copier will also be available adjacent to the reference stacks on first floor.

  • If you are interested in consulting materials in the East Asian Studies Seminar Room, South Asia Regional Studies Seminar Room, Middle Eastern Studies Seminar Room, Ormandy Music & Media Center, or the Peck Collection, please contact Tom Bruno, Director of Access Services.

  • If you are interested in consulting materials in the Furness Shakespeare Library, please email

As you prepare to make your browsing appointment, be advised:

  • You will be prompted to enter your PennKey.
  • You will be asked to choose the date and time and submit your name and contact information. A confirmation email will summarize the details of your booking.
  • You will be asked to show both your reservation confirmation and a green PennOpen Pass upon entry to the building on the day of your reservation.

Health and Safety Guidelines

The safety of our staff and our users is our top priority. Library patrons must review and follow all campus safety procedures, including wearing face coverings and adhering to social distancing requirements.

  • No food or drink is permitted in the library, including water. Restrooms will be available to patrons in the stacks and on the ground floor of Van Pelt.
  • Stacks will operate as a quiet space. Cell phone calls must be taken outside the building.
  • If a patron needs to briefly leave the building, they may return within their reservation window. A PennOpen Green Pass and reservation confirmation must be shown for re-entry.
  • Out of courtesy for other patrons, and to avoid crowding, please respect your start and stop times for your stacks browsing appointment.


Tech support is available remotely through the University of Pennsylvania Tech Center. 


All stacks are wheelchair-accessible. The Butler Assistive Technology Room can be reserved upon request through the seats reservation system.



Patrons can access materials reserved through Pickup@Penn during their stacks appointment only with prior confirmation from the Circulation Department (contact for details).


Have questions?

Contact Tom Bruno, Director of Access Services.

Important Note: This service was designed to match current health and safety guidelines. We will continually assess how to best meet user needs while guaranteeing the safety of Penn Libraries staff and patrons.

All services are subject to change; revisions will be made as necessary with guidance from the University of Pennsylvania, city and state officials, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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