Van Pelt Library reserves

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NOTE:  See our LibGuide for assistance in placing requests.

Who has privileges at Van Pelt Reserves?

All University of Pennsylvania students, faculty, and staff are eligible to use reserve materials and to borrow those items that circulate. Visitors who have a Library Courtesy Card may use reserve materials only in Van Pelt Library.

Print reserves

Reserve materials are books, journal articles, etc. which are required reading for a Penn course. Required readings for social sciences and humanities courses are to be found on the 1st floor at the east end of the Van Pelt Circulation Desk, near the entrance to the Moelis Family Grand Reading Room. The online catalog, Franklin, shows "Van Pelt Reserve Desk" as the location when books are on reserve.


During the Fall and Spring semesters, the Van Pelt Reserve Desk is open from 9AM to midnight Monday through Thursday, 9AM to 9PM on Friday, 10AM to 6PM on Saturday and 10AM to midnight on Sunday. Hours vary during holidays, intersessions, and summer semesters.

For students

Finding Reserve Materials

Van Pelt Reserve materials are arranged by call numbers and must be requested at the Van Pelt Reserve Desk. To find call numbers and other information about location, please consult the Canvas page for your course and click on the Penn Library Course Reserve button.

Use within the library

All reserve materials must be checked out at the Van Pelt Reserve Desk. They are primarily for in-library use. Reserve books may be used in other parts of Van Pelt Library during the 3-hour loan period. Reserve books may be checked out overnight after 10 PM and are due back at the opening of the following day.

To return a Reserve book: Please return Reserve materials to the Van Pelt Reserve Desk.


Due to the heavy demand for reserve books, fines are high. Fines are $1.00 per hour per book. Fines are computed until the time the book reaches Van Pelt Reserve.



For routine inquiries, contact email or call 215-898-7561.

For other questions or information about copyright restrictions, contact Erin Sharwell at 215-898-9767 or