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General Use Policies

The Weigle Information Commons is intended to support the collaborative learning and group academic work of the Penn community and to facilitate interactions with Penn academic support services. In order to ensure an environment that is conducive to academic work, users of the Commons and the Library are expected to respect the rights of others and to exhibit responsible behavior; students are to abide by the Code of Student Conduct. The open areas of the Commons are designed for active collaboration; students seeking a quieter environment may want to consult the FAQ on quiet study space. Computers in the Weigle Information Commons are for the use of currently enrolled students, Penn faculty and staff. Use of computers/library workstations in the Weigle Information Commons is governed by the Library's Policy on Use of Public Workstations and by the University's Computing Policies and Guidelines.

  • Downloading and installation of programs, software, etc., is not permitted.
  • Suggestions for additional software and hardware can be submitted through the WIC feedback form.

The posting of flyers, brochures, or advertisements is not permitted. Only WIC staff and academic support services may post information in the Weigle Information Commons. (General posting is permitted on the bulletin board outside Mark's Café on the ground floor.) The Information Commons closes as scheduled. It is necessary to make preparations to save work in advance of closing time and to leave the Commons at closing time.

Study Booths

Data Diner booths are provided for groups of 2 or more. All 12 booths can be reserved online. An individual using a study booth in the Weigle Information Commons may be asked to move to another study space in the Library if a group needs the booth. (Individual study space is available in the 1st floor Reference area; the Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center (ground floor); and throughout stack floors. (See floor plans of Van Pelt Dietrich Library.)


Alcoves are for groups of 2 or more and can be reserved only by WIC staff at faculty or special request.

Group Study Rooms

  • Use of Group Study Rooms is for 2 or more.
  • Use of study rooms is restricted to Penn ID holders.
  • Reservations can be made online.
  • Groups that do not arrive within ten minutes of their reserved start time will forfeit the reservation. Please note that the entire reservation will be canceled, not just the first half-hour segment.
  • Individuals may not reserve study rooms but may use unreserved rooms when these are not needed by a group.

Online Room Scheduler (LIBCAL)

The Penn Libraries Online Room Scheduler :

  • displays room availability for the next seven days.
  • makes it possible to specify room choice.
  • enables online self-service reservations with a Penn email address for WIC rooms, booths and other study rooms in the building.
  • allows each patron to reserve rooms for up to two hours per day (the day starts at midnight) per location over the next seven days. So, for the same day, one can reserve two hours here in WIC and two hours elsewhere in Penn Libraries.
  • For each week, starting on Sundays, one patron can reserve up to 14 hours across the Penn Libraries system. So, at one time, one can reserve the same room each day for two hours for the next week.
  • Attempts to circumvent the reservation software by using multiple Penn email addresses or booking intermittent slots to hold spaces for extra time will be addressed by staff intervention. Repeated circumventions of system restrictions may result in loss of room reservation privileges.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones may be used in the Commons as long as they do not disturb the group study activities of other students. Please be courteous and respectful of others using the group study booths, tables and alcoves. (See the Library's Cell Phone Policy for additional information.)

Food & Drink Policy

  • In the Weigle Information Commons only - NOT in the Vitale Digital Media Lab - covered beverages and snacks are permitted. (See the Library's Food & Drink Policy.)
  • Meals and aromatic food should be consumed in Mark's Café, ground floor, Van Pelt Dietrich Library Center.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the Vitale Digital Media Lab of the Weigle Information Commons.

Vitale Digital Media Lab Policies

  • The Vitale Digital Media Lab is available only to currently enrolled Penn students, faculty, and staff on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Please present a current, valid PennCard to the lab attendant, and let the attendant know what equipment you expect to use during your session. The attendant will log in a computer for you, and help connect the appropriate hardware.
  • Media Lab workstations are not available for general computing activities such as word processing, web browsing or email. These stations are available only for those who need to use the special software and hardware found only in this lab.
  • The lab is intended to support the academic mission of the University; access to workstations will be prioritized accordingly. At the discretion of the attendant, you may work on non-academic projects when workstations are available. Attendants or other Library staff may ask those working on non-academic projects to vacate workstations in favor of those who need to do course-related work. Other policies for use of Library workstations apply. (See the Library's Policy on Use of Library Public Workstations.)
  • If you need to leave the lab during your session, please inform the lab attendant. The attendant will hold your workstation for as long as 15 minutes. If you do not return within 15 minutes, the attendant may turn over the workstation to other users. Be sure to save your work before leaving the station for any period of time, even just a few minutes.
  • The lab is at times reserved for classes and other group activities. During such events, all other users must vacate the lab. As the start time approaches, attendants will periodically remind users to save their work and prepare to leave the lab.
  • You may store work-in-progress files on the workstation's internal hard drive for the duration of your session but must save your work to removable media at the end of the session. You should bring a portable USB or Firewire drive, CD-R or DVD-R disc, to save your work. Files may be deleted from the workstation's hard drive at any time after the completion of a session.
  • You may connect your own camcorder or other equipment to the workstations; use the Firewire or USB ports located on the back of the display. Please do not disconnect the Firewire cable from the front of the workstation. See the attendant for assistance.
  • 2 headphones are provided at each workstation; you may use these or connect your own to jacks available at each station. Please do not disconnect the installed headphones. Individual volume control is available for each headset.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the lab.
  • Use of copyrighted materials in the lab is subject to all applicable laws, including provisions for "fair use." You may not use the lab to make full-length copies of movies, or other copyrighted materials. For a summary of issues and practices, see Stanford University's Copyright and Fair Use Overview.
  • Please check the Poster Printer FAQ regarding our poster printing processes.

Policies on Patron Data

  • The Vitale Digital Media Lab is a self-service facility.
  • We take no responsibility for accidental theft/loss/corruption of or damage to your data or media, or personal possessions.
  • The workstations in the lab are erased regularly. Do not leave files on any workstation in the lab and expect them to be there upon your return.
  • We strongly recommend that you make your own back ups of all files before using them in the lab.
  • We take no responsibility for loss/disclosure of personal information as a result of using the workstations in the lab. Please be sure to securely delete all sensitive information from the workstations before leaving the lab. Please ask the lab consultant on duty if you need assistance with this.

Reservation Policies for Vitale Digital Media Lab and WIC Seminar Room

These policies concern scheduling the Vitale Digital Media Lab and the Class of 1968 Seminar Room, and are intended for faculty interested in using these spaced for class sessions or other academic events. Students and others who wish to use the Media Lab do not need to make reservations; the lab is available on a walk-in basis when not reserved for classes. The Seminar room is not available as a student group study space except during reading days at the end of each semester. Policies applying to both rooms:

  1. All reservations must be approved by and are at the discretion of the WIC Director according to general guidelines listed below.
  2. In the case of conflicting requests, SAS will receive priority over other schools and centers. The WIC Director has final say in all conflict resolution.
  3. Instructors who need a subject specialist (e.g. research skills, or video editing) to lead a session should request this of the WIC Director in advance.
  4. Instructors should inquire in advance about the availability of software. Software installation is typically not possible except for annual refresh cycles during the summer months. Requests for special configurations must be made 2 weeks in advance. The requestor should be prepared to provide sufficient licenses for the any software that is not normally available in the Commons .
  5. Curricular sessions wishing to reserve the rooms have priority over non-curricular sessions.
  6. The instructor or TA must be present during class sessions, even when someone else is leading the session.
  7. The WIC Director reserves the right to revoke scheduling privileges for no-shows or others who do not respect Information Commons policies.

Vitale Digital Media Lab Reservations

  1. Reservations are available only to classes or other academic events that need to use the resources that are unique to this lab. It is not to be used for activities that can be accommodated in other computer classrooms.
  2. The Vitale Digital Media Lab is available for reservations only by Penn schools or centers that do not have a media lab or comparable facilities of their own.
  3. Instructors may request the lab for occasional use but not for regular class meetings.
  4. The instructor should consult in advance with the WIC Director or Lab Coordinator about file storage or other special requirements for class projects.
  5. In the interest of making the lab's resources available to as many users as possible, the lab as a whole is limited to:
    • no more than 2 consecutive hours of reserved time
    • no more than 3 reserved hours per day
    • no more than 9 reserved hours per week
  6. Requests for lab reservations must be made 2 business days in advance.
  7. The lab is available for reservation only during its normal operating hours.
  8. A lab attendant will be available to assist during reserved sessions.
  9. All users not associated with a reserved session will be required to leave the lab during reserved times. For classes that don't need all the workstations, the instructor may, at their discretion, allow other users to remain in the lab.

Class of 1968 Seminar Room Reservations

The Class of 1968 Seminar Room, also known as the WIC Seminar Room, can be reserved with approval from the WIC Director. Priority use of the seminar room is for classes or activities affiliated with two or more academic support programs. Additional details about this room are below.

  1. Coordinators for Information Commons partner programs may request reservations, acting on behalf of their constituent groups. The coordinators are expected to forward only requests that are consistent with the academic mission of the Commons.
  2. Any request for full semester reservations must show a clear need for some of the unique resources of the Information Commons. These might include access to collaborative spaces for break-out sessions, or access to library resources or staff specialists.
  3. The seminar room is available for classes of 6 or more students
  4. Up to 20 laptop computers are available for use in the seminar room. The computers must remain in the seminar room. Instructors are strongly encouraged to bring an additional helper when the class is using the laptops.
  5. Student groups can reserve the seminar room only on an occasional basis (no more than two meetings per semester) and during times that do not disrupt workshops or classes. The seminar room will be available as general study space at the end of each semester.

Education Commons

  • The Education Commons is a collaborative group study space. There is no official policy on noise levels, and students are encouraged to work together and have discussions freely. Disruptive levels of noise are not allowed, so please, no yelling or calling across the space.
  • Food and covered drinks are permitted throughout the Education Commons. We may request that you take large, complex, or extremely fragrant meals outside to avoid disturbing other students or causing unintentional mess. If there is a spill, please notify the desk attendant so that we can have it cleaned up as soon as possible, and keep the Education Commons clean and neat.
  • If there is a conflict with reservations or any general problem, please notify the desk attendant. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve the Commons, or services that you would like to see us bring here, please let us know!