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Using the Institute of Fine Arts Library

Information about using the Institute of Fine Arts Library for NYU community members.

Using the Reading Rooms

All Institute of Fine Arts students should note that study spaces have specific purposes.

  • The Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts’ Medieval Reading Room is reserved for Ph.D. students currently studying for their oral examinations. If available, other students may use open tables for study.

  • The Stephen Chan Library of Fine Arts’ Archaeology, Modern, Renaissance/Baroque Reading Rooms, and the Conservation Center Library Reading Room, are for quiet study.

Food & Drink Policy

The Institute of Fine Arts Library's Food & Drink Policy is intended to preserve our library materials, computer equipment, and furnishings, and to maintain a pleasant and comfortable environment for our readers and staff. Your help in this effort is greatly appreciated.

Unless otherwise posted, non-alcoholic beverages in approved containers may be consumed in the library. 

Approved containers include:

  • Spill-proof mugs with secure lids and a drinking hole that can be closed

  • Sports bottles with a drinking spout that can be closed

  • Water in capped plastic water bottles

  • Paper or Styrofoam cups with a lid

Containers that are not considered acceptable include:

  • Open cups or mugs

  • Aluminum cans

  • Glass bottles

No food is allowed in the reading rooms.

Readers not complying with these policies will be asked to take the food or drink to the Marble Room on the first floor.

Unattended food in library spaces will be discarded as well as unattended drinks in unapproved containers.

Reading Room Guidelines

  • All cell phones and other electronic devices must be silenced.

  • Adhesives, including glue, tape, and adhesive notes are prohibited in the reading room.

  • Materials may not be marked, folded, or handled in any way that is likely to damage them.

  • Shelve book returns in designated areas in the library.

Personal Shelves

To request a personal shelf in one of the Library’s reading rooms, please email

Your personal reserve shelf may be used to store Institute of Fine Arts Library books that are checked out to you, as well as personal books and books from other libraries.