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Circulation: PickUp@Penn


See the Libraries' COVID-19 page for the latest updates on library services.

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries are currently closed to users and the only access to our physical collections is through Books by Mail or PickUp@Penn.  Requests for electronic articles and book chapters can be submitted via Request Digital Delivery.  

Quick facts: LOCATION is Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, Ground Floor; HOURS are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

What is PickUp@Penn?

PickUp@Penn is a service offered to all Penn Libraries registered borrowers, including courtesy borrowers, to facilitate their research while the libraries remain closed. Borrowers can request pickup at Van Pelt Library of on-shelf Penn Libraries circulating books.  [Biddle Law Library materials are available for pickup here but are requested through a different service from the Biddle Law Library.] Materials from all Penn Libraries departmental libraries is available, but delivery between buildings is limited to one to three times per week, depending upon the location. Books will be charged to users and placed in paper bags for pickup just inside the library building on the ground floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. 

Who is eligible for PickUp@Penn?

The service is available to all borrowers in good standing, including courtesy borrowers. Borrowers are subject to the same loan policies and fine rates as if they checked out the items in person at a circulation desk. Users who are delinquent, whether through fine blocks, overdue recalled blocks, or other reasons, will be unable to request pickup. 

Do I have to register for PickUp@Penn?

It is not necessary to register for this service. 

What materials can I request with PickUp@Penn?

All Penn Libraries circulating collections are now available to be requested. This includes music CD's, DVD's, and musical scores. 

How do I request PickUp@Penn?

Users may request materials by using the PickUp@Penn option in our online catalog, Franklin. Only materials from circulating collections, and only those with the status "Available," may be requested using PickUp@Penn. For works with multiple volumes, you'll need to click on the location to see the pickup option. 

What is the PickUp@Penn procedure?

Requested materials will be checked out to the user, then placed in a paper bag. Library staff will label the outside of the bag with the request printout and arrange bags in alphabetical order by patron last name. Bags will be available for pickup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday inside the door of the ground floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. 

What is the pickup location?

Bags will be on tables in a separate area of the ground floor through a special entrance which is near the southeast corner of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (see map). A security guard will admit ask for your photo ID and retrieve your bag for you. Patrons will not be allowed to enter the building, but will be handed their book(s) at the door. 

How soon can I pick up my requests?

You will receive an email notice when your requests are available. Note that items coming from any site other than Van Pelt and Lippincott will take longer, so if you request items from more than one location, they may not all be available at the same time. You'll receive an email for each request. 

How long will the library hold my requests?

Bags will be kept for one full week, e.g, Monday through Monday. After that, to make space for other requests, we will remove the bag, and check the items in from your account.  If you need it held longer, email us at when you receive the notice for pickup. Note that we only process pickup requests Monday through Friday, so a full week starts from the first weekday that your book is available for pickup, not counting the weekend before, even though emails will be sent out Saturday morning for items that will be ready on Monday. 

Can I use PickUp@Penn to retrieve my library books from my library study carrel or faculty study?

Since these items are considered "on loan" in our system, you won't be able to request individual items using PickUp@Penn, but please email the library where your carrel or study is located to make arrangements:;;

Are there restrictions associated with PickUp@Penn?

We ask that you pick up all your requests when they are available; if you need longer, email us right away. Remember the weight of the books when you place your requests! You'll need to get them safely home. Users must observe due dates, returning materials on time. 

What if I can't make it during the regular PickUp hours?

Our hours are limited, but you can send someone else to pick up your item for you; you MUST email us in advance to tell us the name of the person coming so that we can alert the guard. Your other option is to register for Books By Mail and email us to ask us to mail that item to you instead. If you KNOW you want it mailed to you, please use the Books By Mail request type, rather than waiting until the item is already available to pick up. We have a very small staff on site and need to eliminate double work as much as possible.  

Can I ask to have my PickUp items mailed to me instead?

Your can email us and ask to have the item mailed, but if you know that coming to campus is going to be an issue, please use Books By Mail as the request type rather than waiting until we have already processed your request for PickUp. If you get an available notice and can't come in to campus, email us after you register for Books By Mail. 

How can I return my books when I am done with them?

The book return bin to the right of the ground floor entrance to Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, where you pick up the books you requested, is available at all times, 24/7, for returning books. It is the only book return open at this point. 

Are there costs associated with PickUp@Penn?

No, there is no charge for this service.

How do I communicate with the library about PickUp@Penn?

Contact us at


Contact us at the Van Pelt Library Circulation Department:

Email Us:

Call Us:
215-898-9767 (M-F, 9-5) Erin Sharwell, Head of Circulation Services (Leave a message if no answer)