The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Library Research Carrels

In keeping with CDC and Massachusetts state guidelines to protect the health and safety of members of our campus community, use of study carrels have been taken offline for the Fall 2020 semester.

If you need to coordinate the retrieval of any items currently stored in a carrel, please contact Sheryl Crowe:

Key Returns

For those still in the area, place your carrel key, along with a note including your name and the number of your carrel, in a sturdy (cardboard backed) or padded, sealed envelope. On the exterior of the envelope, please write "Circulation - Carrel Key."

Then, return the key via the W. E. B. Du Bois Library's exterior bookdrop (located outside the front doors) or through the Robsham Visitor Center's outdoor bookdrop. This is the safest way to ensure we receive your key!

You have the option to mail your key to us, but we cannot reimburse postage and you will be responsible for paying a replacement fee if the key is lost. To mail a key, follow the same instructions of placing a key with a note including your name and carrel number into a padded/sturdy envelop. Send the key to:

c/o W. E. B. Du Bois Library
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

We appreciate your patience as it may take some time after the key is sent to us for it to be removed from your library account.

Library research carrels are small, quiet work spaces in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library for graduate students and faculty.

Priority for Research Carrel Assignment

  1. Graduate students
  2. Faculty and designated visiting scholars
Length of Research Carrel Assignment
Role at UMassLength of Assignment
Doctoral students One year, option to renew for an additional year (maximum two-years)
Masters students One year (no renewal)
Faculty and Visiting Scholars One year, renewable based on eligibility.
  • Large (window) carrels will be assigned to two individuals to share. Those who prefer an individual carrel will be assigned to one of the smaller interior carrels. 
  • Small interior carrels will be assigned to one individual. That individual may opt to designate one other eligible individual to share this space. In this case, the initial assignee will be the primary occupant of record and will prevail in any dispute over the space.
  • 2020 Application & Re-Application period: April 15-May 15 
  • Applicants are notified of new or renewed assignments via email by June 1st each year.
  • Carrel assignments run from July 1 through May 31.
  • During the academic year, carrel applications will be fulfilled as space allows (rolling).

All carrels are subject to periodic inspection by Library or University staff, and the Library assumes no responsibility for personal property left or stored in library carrels.

A small number of short term use carrels will be made available approximately two weeks after the beginning of each semester. These are available to UMass Graduate students only for a 28 day loan (non-renewable) on a first-come, first-served, as available basis. To inquire about the availability of one of these spaces, please contact the Learning Commons department on the Lower Level, or email

Note: A limited number of open day-use study carrels are available on the 7th and 10th floors of the DuBois tower on a first-come, first-served basis.

User Agreement

I agree to abide by carrel rules and Library building policies and assume responsibility for any damage beyond reasonable wear and tear. I also agree to pay a replacement fee (up to $85) for any lost key or a $10 fine for a late key return (key carrels only).  I also acknowledge that any belongings left in the carrel 15 days after the expiration date will be forfeited by me and may be removed and discarded by Library Staff. The University Libraries are not liable for damage or theft of personal property from Library carrels. Electrical appliances (including refrigerators, heating or cooking devices), bedding, additional furniture are not permitted. All carrels must be vacated when the library is closed.