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Olin Library Transformation Project

New Webpage for Olin Library Transformation

For the latest news, visit the Libraries' website at, and click the Olin Library Transformation graphic.

About the Olin Library Transformation Project

Washington University Libraries are excited to announce the Olin Library Transformation project, an upcoming renovation of Olin Library. Construction begins May 23, 2016, and new spaces are slated to be open in time for the fall 2017 semester! 

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

For more details about the project, see our story on the Libraries' blog.

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

Project Goals

  1. 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.
  2. Increase Olin seating capacity and access to power outlets.
    • Greater variety of seating and study options, with ample access to power.
  3. 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.
  4. Increase accessibility and visibility of specialized research services.
    • Bring all of Data & GIS together in the central location of Olin; co-locate Scholarly Services 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.
  5. 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.

New Elements Coming to Olin Library

Level 1 Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration; Thomas Gallery; new north entrance; exhibit spaces; Whispers Café expansion
Levels 2 and 3 Newman Tower within Whispers atrium; balcony seating on Level 2; seminar room on Level 3
Level A Newman Exploration Center; Libraries’ Scholarly Services & Instructional Support Services staff; Blackboard support through the Teaching Center; variety of consultation, seating, study, and learning spaces; gender-inclusive restrooms; infant nursing room
Level B Increased collections storage