Research Carrels

We have 27 research carrels on the third floor at Waldo Library for Western Michigan University faculty and graduate students who are engaged in writing or research requiring extensive use of library materials.

Requesting a carrel

Faculty and graduate students can apply to use a research carrel for one academic year. Graduate students must provide a letter from a faculty member or the Dean of the Graduate College, supporting the research nature of the request, along with their application. Incomplete applications or applications without a detailed description will not be considered. 

Applications are accepted online between February and mid-March each year. New carrel assignments will be communicated in April. Carrel assignments run from August through mid-June. 

Faculty members may request a one-year extension of their carrel assignment by re-submitting an application. Extensions are not guaranteed. Faculty members are limited to one extension only. Graduate students are not eligible for extensions.

After a carrel assignment has ended, there is a one-year waiting period before a faculty member or graduate student may reapply for a carrel. 

Carrel access and use

Use your Bronco Card to access your research carrel. Each carrel has a unique card swipe reader. Card access to the carrel will be activated once you have been assigned a carrel and completed the online check-in form. Access to the carrel will only be provided to you.

Use guidelines

  • Moving in
    • All carrel users must complete a carrel check-in form and provide a phone number and email where they can be reached year-round.
    • Swipe access will be granted to the carrel user after the check-in form is received.
    • If an assigned user does not complete their check-in form by September 30, their assignment will be forfeit and the carrel will be reassigned.
    • A library staff member will inventory the space before the move-in date to ensure that the furniture and walls are in good condition and to note any issues for repair. A copy of this inventory will be kept in the carrel for your review.
  • Carrel use
    • Carrels are intended for individual use and may not be used for office hours, meetings, conferences or other group purposes. Carrel holders may not reassign their carrels to someone else nor give permission for its use by other persons.
    • Carrel holders may bring their own computers into their carrels. However, the Libraries cannot be responsible for the loss of any items left in the carrels. WMU Secure Wi-Fi is available in the research carrels. The Libraries does not provide access to the wired network.
    • Card swipe access is monitored by the Libraries’ Office of the Dean. The Libraries reserves the right to reassign a carrel if an individual goes two months or longer without using it.
    • The window in the carrel door must remain clear for security purposes.
    • Carrels are located in a quiet study area. Talking and other noises are not allowed.
    • Building damage or maintenance issues should be promptly reported to the Office of the Dean.
    • Abuse or circumvention of these guidelines may result in the loss of carrel privileges.
  • Book use in carrels
    • All library books and materials kept in the carrels must be checked out at the Waldo Library Service Desk in the same manner as for external use. 
    • Return library materials to the Service Desk when finished. Do not reshelve books.
    • Reference books and periodicals may not be kept in the carrels.
  • Moving out
    • Carrel holders will be notified of move-out procedures in April.
    • Carrels must be vacated by the end of June. All personal items must be removed by the move-out date. Any items found in the carrel after it is vacated will be discarded.
    • The carrel and all library furniture must be in the same or better condition than when received.