a small individual study room or private desk, often in a library, where a student or researcher can work undisturbed
Word Origin for carrel
C16: a variant of carol
Alexis (əˈlɛksɪs; French alɛksi). 1873–1944, French surgeon and biologist, active in the US (1905–39): developed a method of suturing blood vessels, making the transplantation of arteries and organs possible: Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1912
1590s, "study in a cloister," from Medieval Latin carula "small study in a cloister," of unknown origin; perhaps from Latin corolla "little crown, garland," used in various senses of "ring" (e.g. of Stonehenge: "þis Bretons renged about þe feld, þe karole of þe stones beheld," 1330); extended to precincts and spaces enclosed by rails, etc. Specific sense of "private cubicle in a library" is from 1919.