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Olin Library Amenities and Technology

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

Carrels, Lockers, and Faculty Studies | Instruction Room 3 |
Whispers Café | Serenity Room | Infant Nursing Room | Computer Information |
Printing and Copying | Microform Readers and Scanners | Audio and Visual Materials

Carrels, Lockers, and Faculty Studies

Olin Library provides material storage and study spaces throughout the building for Danforth faculty and students to use.

Library materials kept in lockers and faculty studies must be checked out or the materials will be removed. It is the responsibility of the borrower to check out books at the Help Desk and either return or renew them when they are due.

For any questions about lockers, fines for late returned keys, or replacement key costs, please see the Olin Help Desk, email, or call (314) 935-5420.

Day Lockers for one-day use are available to students and faculty on Levels B, A, 2, and 3 near the copier machines. Keys are available at the Help Desk. Day Lockers may not be reserved.

Graduate Student Lockers are available to Danforth faculty and graduate students for a period of one year on a first-come, first-served basis. Graduate Student Lockers are located on Levels B, A, 2, and 3. Keys are available at the Help Desk. Renewals can be arranged on a space-available basis.

Danforth faculty needing space for longer research projects may request one of the assigned faculty studies on Levels B and A. These will be assigned for a period of one year on a first-come, first-served basis. Renewals can be arranged on a space-available basis.

If demand for faculty studies exceeds supply, a waiting list will be maintained. Renewals may be denied to those people who use their assigned space infrequently.

Group Study Rooms available for Danforth faculty and graduate students are on Levels B, A, 2, and 3. Faculty and Graduate rooms utilize a card swipe lock and require a Washington University faculty ID card. Undergraduate quiet study rooms are not locked. Learn more about the group study rooms.

All library material kept in a day locker, lockable bookshelf, or study must be checked out to the person assigned to the space. Library staff will periodically inspect day lockers, lockable bookshelves, and studies. Any library material not checked out will be removed and returned to the stacks.

Food or drinks may not be kept in day lockers, lockable bookshelves, or studies.

Trash cans must be placed outside faculty studies to be emptied by the cleaning staff.

Day lockers, lockable bookshelves, and studies were not built to secure personal property and are susceptible to theft. Electronic equipment is particularly vulnerable. For this reason, please do not leave valuables in these spaces.

Instruction Room 3

Instruction Room 3 is accessible to anyone with a valid Washington University ID and is available for drop-in use and studying when not reserved. The Libraries reserve the right to ask anyone using the room to leave when the room is scheduled for a program. For information on using Instruction Room 3 for studying, please see the Study Rooms page.

For additional information on Instruction Room 3, please see the Instruction page.

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.

Serenity Room

The Serenity Room is located on the second floor of Olin Library and is available for prayer, meditation, and quiet reflection.

This space is available to all people of all faiths as well as those with no religious affiliation. It is open at the same hours as Olin Library, is not reservable, and is not intended a study space.

The Serenity Room in the John M. Olin Library.
The Infant Nursing Room located on Level A of Olin Library with permission and a WashU ID.

Infant Nursing Room

This private space with a chair, small table, and sink is intended for nursing mothers to feed their children and also includes access to power for pumping.

To utilize the Infant Nursing Room, please contact Library Space & Building Operations Management at in advance so your WashU ID can be enabled for card swipe access.

Computer Information

The University Libraries provide computers in the following locations:

  • John M. Olin Library – Levels B, A, 1, 2, and 3

Software installed on all PCs:

  • Adobe digital editions
  • Evernote
  • Google Earth
  • Mendeley desktop
  • Microsoft Office pro
  • Notepad++
  • Oxygen
  • Skype
  • VLC media player
  • Zotero

Dedicated computers are equipped with Job Access With Speech (JAWS) software that allows users with low vision or complete loss of sight to read the screen. Ask the Olin Library Help Desk on Level 1 for further assistance.

Files cannot be stored permanently on library computers. When a public computer reboots, it resets itself to a default configuration and periodically erases all locally stored user data. Please utilize your own external drives, such as flash drives/thumb drives, to save work. Save to your own device and save often.

If you forget your thumb drive and need to borrow one, please see the Help Desk in Olin Library (Level 1), and you will be provided with one. Please review and follow the University’s rules on the use of computing resources when using library-provided computers. Any movies, music, programs, or other software installed or stored on library computers may be deleted at any time.

Printing and Copying

The Libraries provide printing and scanning services to members of the Washington University community (students, faculty, and staff) using color, multi-function printers located throughout the Libraries. These devices provide print and copy services at the same price. Printing is available from all PCs in the Libraries and from personally owned computers with the proper drivers installed.

Printers are located 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.

Printing Locations

See the Printing page for information on printing locations at the Distributed Libraries. Multi-function printers are available at Olin Library in the following locations:

  • Level 1 – near the computer area
  • Level 1 – Whispers Cafe
  • Levels 3, 2, A, and B – near the public restrooms

Consult the Olin Library Floor Plans for further specifications.

Microform Readers & Scanners

Microform Types

Type of microformDescriptionHow It Is Shelved
MicroficheApproximately 3″x4″ transparent pieces of plastic printed with very small images of documents. Government documents are often printed on fiche.Microcards are filed alphabetically by a primary entry in the online catalog.
MicrocardOpaque cards of various sizes are printed with very small images of documents.Microfilm is filed alphabetically by a primary entry in the online catalog.
MicrofilmApproximately 35mm wide rolls of transparent plastic printed with very small images.Microfilm is filed alphabetically, by a primary entry in the online catalog.

There are two ViewScan microform scanners in Olin Library located on Level B near the microform collection. Both scanners are first come, first served.

If you need technical support with the microform, please email for an appointment in advance to ensure a staff member is available to help you.

  1. Determine if you are looking for a microfilm, microfiche, or microcard by checking the Washington University Libraries Catalog.
  2. While looking at the item’s catalog record, make a note of the item’s primary (first) entry in the record. This is most likely the author or title. Also, check to see if it is part of a series.
  3. Use the chart below to best determine where your item is located within the collection.
  4. Olin Library Microforms are located on Level B.
  5. Use signs at the end of each shelf to determine the aisle in which the title is located.
  6. Items are shelved differently depending on the nature of the work:

  • Individual titles are often filed under the author’s last name
  • Journals, magazines, and newspapers are filed by title (e.g. New York Times or Time magazine)
  • Items that are part of a series are filed by series title (e.g. STC or Wing reels fall under Early English Books)
  • US Government publications are filed by SuDoc number (e.g. NAS 1.29/3-2)


Small flatbed scanners are available in Olin Library on levels A, 2, and 3 in the stack area adjacent to the catalog-only systems. Two KIC Bookeye overhead scanners are also available – adjacent to the Olin Library Help Desk on Level 1 and in the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library copy room. The Bookeye can scan from a flat surface or a v-cradle and documents can be saved to a USB drive or sent via email.

Audio and Visual Materials

DVD/VHS Viewing Workstation

The DVD/VHS viewing workstation is on Olin Library Level B near the DVD collection. This location is the only place to view a VHS tape in Olin. DVDs can also be viewed there, particularly PAL and non-US region discs. Standard DVDs can be viewed on any public computer in Olin if the DVD player at the viewing station is not available.


Thousands of DVDs are available at Olin Library. The collection is shelved on Level B and fully browsable. The Olin Library DVD List below shows links to lists of DVDs by subject or language. These categories are not comprehensive, so if you are looking for a particular title and you do not find it, search for that title in the Classic Catalog. There are also some DVDs in the Music and Art & Architecture Libraries.

Thousands of DVDs are available at Olin Library. Most of the collection is shelved on Level B, with a few behind the Help Desk on Level 1.

Level B DVDs are fully browsable and are listed in the catalog with the location Olin Library Level B DVDs.

You may also place requests for DVDs through the online catalog.

Below is a link to a list of DVDs in the Olin collection. If you are looking for a particular title and cannot find it, please ask at the Help Desk, call us at (314) 935-5420, e-mail us at, or chat with us online.

Olin Library DVD Title List


There are a few reference-type CD-ROMs; they are located at the West Campus Library. Please ask the Help Desk on Olin Level 1 for assistance in obtaining these resources. Audiobooks and some sound recordings are located on Level B in Olin Library. Most audio CDs and other sound recordings are located in the Music Library.


VHS videos are arranged as a browsing collection in Olin on Level B. Departmental libraries may also have small video collections related to their subject areas. Please see the following Library Catalog listings and finding aids for assistance:


Audiobooks are shelved on Olin Library Level B. You can search for them in the Classic Catalog by author or title and limit your search to spoken recording as the material type. But if you just want to browse what we have, try these links: