Library Carrel Policy

English and Comparative Literature Graduate students are eligible for a one-year contract for a Butler carrel once they have passed their orals and received the M.Phil.  

Students who have not received the M.Phil. by the time their assignment begins will not be considered eligible.  Although the Graduate Student Council liaison is responsible for approving applicants, GSAS has the final word.  GSAS will make sure that each applicant has in fact received the M.Phil.  and will not be able to assign students who have not officially received their M.Phil.
 
To avoid delays, if you expect to receive your M.Phil.  by the beginning of the academic year make sure to follow up with the English department in the months leading up to the fall semester.  Otherwise, you will have to wait until your M.Phil. is processed and your space will be assigned to someone else.  This might result in the loss of your space for the current academic year.

The library committee will delegate library space primarily according to seniority and to special needs among post-orals students within the program:

  • 1st priority: Parents and commuters who have never had access to a carrel
  • 2nd priority: students in their 5th and 6th years who have never had access to a carrel
  • 3rd priority: 4th-year students who have just passed their orals

Duration of Carrel Lease

Please note that not all carrel assignments begin during the first weeks of September.  Due to Butler Library’s carrel assignment schedule, some carrel assignments begin in late September or even in early-to-mid-October. We ask that you be patient while your carrel is vacated.

In addition, some students might vacate their carrels mid-year.  In this case, the Library’s personnel will work with our Graduate Student Council liaison to ensure that this space is re-assigned as soon as possible.

Please complete the carrel application form

Upon assignment, you will receive a letter from Butler Library indicating the duration of your carrel lease and stating Butler’s carrel space policy.

*Carrel holders who fail to vacate their spaces in time will not be allowed to re-apply for carrel space or carrel shares in the future.*
 

Application Deadline and Carrel Assignment

Every year, the Graduate Student Council liaison will send out an email announcing the beginning of the application process in mid-July.

The deadline for applications will be July 25th.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Current carrel holders will be contacted in order to estimate the number of available carrels for the following academic year.  

Carrel Shares

The department holds a determinate number of carrels on the 7th, 8th, and 9th floors in Butler, and in some years there may be extra desks available.  In an effort to provide work space for as many graduate students as possible, the department will make these desks available as carrel shares for students who already have had access to carrel space in the past. 

Once their one-year contract has expired, students who have already held carrels will be eligible to apply for a space share in a Butler carrel. Those students who never have had access to a carrel and are only interested in a carrel share may also apply. 

The wait-list for carrel sharing will be considered once all students on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priority lists have been accommodated. Carrel shares will be assigned according to the following criteria:

  • Students with children
  • Commuters  
  • Students beyond the 6th year who are teaching Literature Humanities or Contemporary Civilization
  • Students beyond the 6th year who hold a Whiting fellowship

Questions and Concerns

Questions and concerns regarding carrel space assignment and occupation should be addressed to the Graduate Studies Coordinator.  

Please do not contact Butler Library directly.  If the Library Committee fails to answer your questions or concerns, contact your Graduate Student Council liaison.

To all post-M.Phil. graduate students:

If you would like to be part of the Library Committee, please contact the GSC at gsc.columbia@gmail.com.