Olin Library Transformation

A rendering of the Olin Library

John M. Olin Library, Future

Washington University Libraries are excited to announce the Olin Library Transformation project, a renovation of Olin Library. Construction began May 23, 2016, and new spaces are slated to be open in time for the spring 2018 semester.

Responding to student and faculty feedback, the project will increase special collections exhibition and storage capacity; increase the quantity and variety of seating, study, and research spaces; implement a new north entrance for seamless access to Olin; and enhance the accessibility and visibility of specialized research services and special collections.

Generally, construction will occur in one shift, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exceptions may occur. For current hours, see the Library’s schedule.

The project is funded through donations; read about our generous donors in The Source.

For more information, see our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Level 1: Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration (spanning Levels A, 1, 2 and 3 through Whispers); Thomas Gallery; museum-quality exhibition spaces; new north entrance; Whispers expansion

Level 2: Risa’s Landing within the Newman Tower, a special, balcony seating area directly connected to Whispers

Level 3: The Sky Room within the Newman Tower, a place for quiet study

Level A: Newman Exploration Center; renovation of the Arc Technology Center space, which will house the Instructional Support Services and Data & GIS staff; Blackboard support through the Teaching Center; variety of consultation, instruction, learning, and study spaces; gender-inclusive restrooms; infant nursing room

Level B: Increased collections storage

Spring 2016: The Transformation project begins the Monday after commencement. Staging begins with a construction wall outside Whispers to the south and east of Olin. Whispers Café will be closed until the spring 2018 semester. During this time, expanded vending options are available in the Olin Ginkgo Room, and additional table and chair seating is available across from the Olin Help Desk.

Summer 2016: Excavation below Whispers Café begins. Trucks escorted by flag carriers will remove approximately 1,100 loads of dirt. Construction of the new portions of Levels B and A, Whispers Café, and the Newman Tower will continue until the spring 2018 semester.

Fall 2016: Olin Library will be open 24/7 during the fall 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017 semesters.

Spring 2017: Construction of the new north entrance and Thomas Gallery on Level 1 will begin. When the north entrance is complete, the existing south entrance will close for renovation. Renovation of the Level A Arc will begin after final exams.

Spring 2018: New spaces are expected to be open and ready for use!

Significantly increase collections storage capacity in Olin Library.
• Through the addition of special collections storage on Level B, provide the space needed to manage a balanced and flexible approach to all collections — print, special, and digital — in support of the university’s mission.

Increase Olin seating capacity and access to power outlets.
• Greater variety of seating and study options, with ample access to power.

Increase accessibility and visibility of special collections.
• Through increased storage space in Olin, make more of the collections accessible to students, faculty, researchers, and the campus and broader community.
• Increase exhibition opportunities along pathways made more robust by the creation of the new north entrance.

Increase accessibility and visibility of specialized research services.
• Bring all of Data & GIS together in the central location of Olin; co-locate Data & GIS and Instructional Support Services in Level A.
• Implement a variety of new spaces and services in support of learning, research, and teaching.
• Increase opportunities for collaboration within the Libraries and with campus partners.

Create a new north entrance on Level 1 for seamless access to Olin.
• Make traveling through Olin a more engaging experience through physical and digital exhibitions that highlight collections, resources, and services.

Click here to make a gift to the University Libraries. If you’re interested in naming opportunities in the Libraries, contact Mary Druyvesteyn, Director of Development, at druyvesteyn@wustl.edu. Thanks for your interest and support!

Libraries’ Project Manager: Sarah Laaker (slaaker@wustl.edu)

WUSTL Facilities Project Managers: Brian Newman and Neal Schaeffer

Architect: Ann Beha Architects (Boston, MA)

Associate Architect: V Three Studios LLC (St. Louis, MO)

Construction: Alberici