The traditional library study carrel has a special place in the hearts of Concordia students.

The study carrel dates from at least 8 centuries ago. Westminster Abbey (London, England) was recorded in the 13th century to have study carrels, though they were likely used even earlier. The monks of Gloucester Cathedral had a row of twenty carrels in the 14th century. There are two carrels to each bay beside a window, with short partition walls and a small roof. The carrel partitions which still exist today, though the desks have been removed.*

Spaces for the carrels can be seen on the left side of the photograph.
(Image credit: Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters by Michael D Beckwith, public domain,


When LB-4 closed for renovations in December 2016, the last of the old study carrels at the Webster Library were removed. The Library is planning on acquiring 88 carrels with 18-inch frosted glass partitions on 3 sides for reading rooms on LB-2 and LB-4 (in groups of 22). They will be placed on the Bishop Street side near the back of the reading rooms. We are hoping to have 44 carrels installed by the end of May 2017 and the rest of the carrels will be in place by the end of Phase 4 (late 2017).

Students can still find carrels in the Vanier Library on VL-2.

For those needing a monastic setting for study, we recommend these locations:

  • Grey Nuns Reading Room: located in the former Chapel of the Invention of the Holy Cross
  • Switzerland Reading Room (LB-261): a smaller room that offers an environment with less distractions
  • Friends of the Library/Zero-Noise Room (LB-361): a small room where silence is required
  • Argentina Reading Room (LB-555): a usually very quiet room. We recommend sitting close to the atrium, which is peaceful.



*”Carrel.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 Feb. 2017. Accessed 27 Feb. 2017.
Cover image: Study carrels by Lorianne DiSabato (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0),