John M. Olin Library

Exterior image of Olin Library at night

The John M. Olin Library is the central library of the Washington University Libraries system, housing general-interest materials and collections in the humanities, sciences, and engineering.

You may search library collections in the Classic Catalog or Primo, and by exploring our Research Tools & Guides. Olin Library is also the location of many general services for the Washington University Libraries.

Please visit the Services and Borrowing & Returns pages for details about Library services and Olin Library’s Help Desk, borrowing privileges, circulation policies, fines and fees, and more.

John M. Olin Library’s stacks, available Study Rooms, and Help Desk are available. Visitors are responsible for being abreast of and adhering to the university’s visitor guidance and protocols available on the WashU Together: COVID-19 Response.

See the individual library’s location pages for hours and related details.

Visitors to Special Collections must be pre-approved with an appointment. See below for more details:

  • Some study spaces and carrels will be available with limited capacity, with university study cubbies remaining on Level 1 of Olin Library.
  • Some Library services — such as public computers, eResources, and in-person reference consultations — are limited and/or based upon availability.
  • Printing will be available on Level 1 of Olin Library at public computers and Whispers Café and are also available near the restrooms on Levels 3, 2, A, and B.
  • Microform readers will resume first-come, first served usage to view film or fiche borrowed on Interlibrary Loan or housed in Olin Library.
  • The Julian Edison Department of Special Collections will be open on a limited basis to researchers by appointment and will offer virtual instruction.
  • Visit our Remote Resources and Guidance page for details about how to access our extensive remote services and additional digital content available during this time.

Visit our COVID-19 Updates and Resources page for additional information.

Collection Locations and Floor Plans

Find out more information on where materials are housed within Olin Library’s five floors.

Newman Exploration Center

The Newman Exploration Center offers a vibrant and dynamic space in the John M. Olin Library and showcases Washington University’s broad and varied international activities undertaken by our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Whispers Café

Located on the ground level of the Olin Library, Whispers Café offers an expanded coffee and tea program, more grab ‘n go options, and a great place to sit and chill.


Find out more information about the services offered at Olin Library including circulation policies, Interlibrary Loan, and proxy borrowing.

Study Rooms

See group study rooms in Olin Library and learn about other Olin Library spaces.

Research Support

The University Libraries provides a variety of resources to aid in your research. Learn more about the research tools and resources available to you both on- and off-campus.

Olin Library Amenities & Technology

Olin Library offers many welcoming spaces, technology-related services, as well as audio and visual materials for our users.

Olin Library Guidelines & Policies

Learn more about Olin Library building access and usage.

An empty table with chairs and a large screen within the Data Services Research Studio.

Data Services Spaces & Tools

Data Services and the Research Studio are located on Level A of Olin Library and support the data needs of Washington University.

Contact Us

Departments in OlinPhoneEmail
Data Services(314)
Help Desk – Circulation(314)
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)(314)
Research & Liaison Services(314)
Special Collections(314)

Directions to Olin Library

Google Map directions

John M. Olin Library
MSC 1061-141-B
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 935-5420

Plaza Scripts

Curious about the scripts displayed on the Olin Library plaza? We’ve created a PDF guide about them.