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Seat Reservations: Introduction

UPDATE: This pilot program has ended in response to new guidelines from the City of Philadelphia. Find the Libraries' latest service updates in our FAQ.

A limited number of seats in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center are now available to reserve for individual study on a pilot basis. In accordance with the latest University guidelines, current students who are living in campus housing and participating in the University's COVID surveillance testing/screening program will be eligible to reserve seats. This includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

Reservations are required for entrance into the study space. Reservations must made no less than 4 hours in advance. Same-day reservations must be made by 5pm.

Please review our policy and procedures before you make your reservation. 

How It Works

Seats are located on the ground floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich (see a floor map). Seats can be reserved online for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 4 hours. Operating hours are from 6pm to 10pm, Monday through Thursday.

As you prepare to make your online reservation, be advised:

  • You will be prompted to enter your PennKey.
  • You will be asked to select your seat, 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. Patrons using the study space must review and follow our full policy and guidelines.

The Libraries remain otherwise closed to patrons at this time. No public access to book stacks will be granted. Visitors must follow all safety procedures, including wearing face coverings and adhering to social distancing requirements, as described in the Student Campus Compact.

Patrons must wipe down their workspace after use. Sanitizing wipes will be provided.

No food or drink is permitted, including water. Restrooms will be available to patrons.


Contact-free printing will be available, free of cost, to anyone with a reserved seat. 


All reservable study seats are wheelchair-accessible. The Butler Assistive Technology Room can be reserved upon request.



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



The Libraries welcomes feedback on this pilot program. Patrons are encouraged to complete this 2-minute survey.

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.

Hand holding a cell phone. In the background is the Undergraduate Study Center.