January 19, 2022

Washington University in St. Louis: “Reimagined Olin Library Unveils New Whispers, Research and Study Spaces”

From Washington University in St. Louis: University Libraries Announcement

Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis will unveil two highly anticipated features on Tuesday, Jan. 16 — an improved Whispers Café and new research and study spaces in the Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration. And, for the first time, both the library’s south and north entrances are open, making the library easier to reach. The new spaces are part of Olin Library’s multimillion-dollar transformation, which is expected to be complete in May.

“The Libraries are thrilled to share these new spaces with the Washington University community and beyond,” said Denise Stephens, vice provost and university librarian. “Olin Library is at the center of the Danforth Campus, and this project increases its accessibility to users and helps foster collaboration among library staff, faculty, researchers and students.”


On Tuesday, Jan. 16, visitors also may access two new study spaces in the Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration  — collaborative study space Risa’s Landing (Level 2) and quiet study space in the Sky Room (Level 3). The exterior of the tower, which spans four stories through Whispers Café, features artwork from the Libraries’ Special Collections, including images from University Archives, Rare Books and the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library.

The library will roll out other spaces and resources throughout the spring. Features include:

Thomas Gallery: The gallery by the main pathway of Level 1 will feature a variety of rotating exhibits from the Libraries’ vast and distinct special collections.

Declaration of Independence: The Libraries’ rare copy of the Declaration of Independence will go on display in May in a climate-controlled chamber in the Thomas Gallery.

Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration:  The Newman Exploration Center is located at the base of the tower on Level A and is designed to celebrate exploration and research. Level 1 will feature a variety of unique exhibitions.

Instruction Rooms 1, 2 and 3: New and improved library instructional spaces on Level A are suited to a variety of teaching and learning styles.

A/V Studio: The studio on Level A supports audio and video recording, photo shoots and e-learning activities.

Research Studio: Located on Level A, the studio has computing stations with specialized software optimized for group and individual work involving large data sets and mapping data.

Data and Visual Exploration(DaVE): In this Level A space, users can facilitate data visualization and exploration in virtual reality and augmented reality environments.

Stephens said the new features will transform Olin into a center for 21st-century scholarship.

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.