Reading Room Policies

COVID-19 Changes:

The Special Collections reading room is open limited hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 am to 1 pm, and Tuesdays / Thursdays from 1 pm to 5 pm. We encourage researchers to use the booking tool online to reserve a date and time: Walk-in researchers are also welcome during our modified hours, if the reading room is not already at capacity. 


Special Collections materials are open to all who desire to consult them; no affiliation with LSU is required. However, to protect materials and ensure that they will be available for future use, visitors must complete the following procedures and respect the following rules:

  • Sign in at the Public Services Desk in the lobby and present a photo ID on each visit.
  • Bags, briefcases, purses, notebooks, file folders, and coats must be left in the lobby. A secure locker will be provided.
  • No food, drinks, or pens are allowed in the Reading Room. We also do not allow researchers to use portable scanners. 
  • Create a Special Collections Request System account during (or before) your first visit and read the “Guidelines for Handling Materials” notice in the Reading Room.
  • Shelving areas are not open to the public. Items are requested via patrons' research accounts (see above) and are retrieved by staff for use in the Reading Room.
  • With very few exceptions, materials may not be taken out of the building.
  • Some materials are stored offsite and require 72 hours advance notice for retrieval. In the catalog, these items will be marked "remote storage" in the location field and will have an Access Restriction note. 
  • Unprocessed materials may not be used without a curator's permission
  • Self-service photography of collection materials is permitted after completion of a Camera Use Policy form, obtained from reference desk staff. 
  • Items currently on exhibit will not be available for research or instruction use unless special approval has been requested in advance and agreed upon by library staff. Contact Amanda Hawk, Head of Public and Research Services, to submit a request. 

What can I bring into the Reading Room?

  • A pencil and notetaking paper (additional paper and pencils are available in the Reading Room).
  • Laptop computers (including chargers), eletronic tablets/pads, cameras, and cellphones. Computers and cameras must be taken out of their cases.

If additional materials are required for your research, please consult the staff member or student worker at the Public Services Desk in the lobby. Be aware that anything brought into the Reading Room is subject to search before you leave.