The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Address and Contact Information

Johnson Pavilion
36th & Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Ask a question
Accessibility information

For Students, Faculty, and Staff Associated with the University of Pennsylvania

All students, faculty, and staff can visit the Biotech Commons and use its resources anytime the library is open. A valid photo ID (like a PennCard) must be shown at all times.

For All Other Visitors

Weekdays until 6 p.m., access to the library is unrestricted.

Evenings after 6 p.m., weekends, and holidays, access is restricted. Patrons must show current, valid identification in one of the following categories, without which they must leave at 6 p.m.:

  • PennCard or Penn Alumni Card
  • Photo ID from HUP, CHOP, Pennsylvania or Presbyterian hospitals; or UPHS affiliate
  • Biotech Commons Barcode accompanied by a photo ID
  • Library Courtesy Card accompanied by a photo ID
  • Photo ID from Drexel, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, or a Research Libraries Group Shares Member.

Children of Penn faculty, staff, and students and other Library patrons may enter and remain in the Biotech Commons when accompanied by a parent.

The library is not open to elementary or high school students, but arrangements may be made for class groups, or for high school students who need to use depository documents. Contact us to inquire about arrangements.

Individual, unaffiliated visiting researchers and students, as well as Penn affiliates who wish to bring guests, can make special arrangements to visit the Biotech Commons in the evenings or weekends. Penn affiliates on behalf of their guests or individual researchers/students should call the Information Desk at 215-898-5815, email, or stop by the Information Desk in advance to arrange for access.

Due to licensing restrictions, access to most of the University's electronic resources is limited to Penn students, faculty, and staff. Please see the Electronic Resource Access policy.

Access to the University's Wireless AirPennNet network is limited and requires advanced setup. Guests should work with their sponsor or sponsoring organization to receive support. More information is available on Penn's AirPennNet Guest page.

Research Services

Library staff are available to provide answers to reference questions in person and to assist with research Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Send us your subject-specific or general questions, and we'll make sure they are answered by the appropriate subject specialist. Turnaround time is usually within 24 hours.

Biotech Commons staff respond to chat questions 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (10 a.m.- 4 p.m. during summer months). Additional Penn Libraries staff are available via chat at other times.

Reference Librarians are available to meet individually with Penn students, faculty, and staff to provide research assistance. Reference librarians are also available for customized sessions, designed for the needs of your class.
Request an appointment or a session using our form.