In seeking to provide top-notch service and resources to Washington University faculty and students as well as independent scholars, WU Libraries collect, preserve, and provide robust access to rich special collections. In order to increase the access to these distinctive collections and facilitate their use in teaching and learning, the Libraries are exploring options for housing more of them in Olin Library, at the center of the Danforth Campus.
"Our collections of rare books and literary manuscripts already reside in Olin Library, but other collections are housed a mile away, at the West Campus Library," says Sarah Laaker, manager of user space planning and campus liaison. "Faculty and campus stakeholders tell us—and we agree—that these premier collections need to be more accessible, both physically and digitally, for use in the classroom and scholarly projects."
Efforts are underway in hopes of making more space for special collections in Olin Library. As a first step, lower-use collections from Olin Level B will be relocated to West Campus.
"During spring semester, you may see and hear the movement of collections and seating as we prepare Level B to house additional special collections. Any construction needed to accommodate these materials would begin in the summer of 2014 at the earliest," Laaker says. "Seating from Level B will be relocated in phases to other areas of Olin Library, to support studying, reading, relaxing, and collaborating."
During the move, signage in Olin Library will help keep library users posted about changes. For help finding resources or study space, users may inquire at the Help Desk.
To learn more about the Libraries’ special collections, visit http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/ or take advantage of a special open house event—Out of the Vault—from 12 to 6 p.m. Thursday, January 16, featuring new resources and acquisitions from Rare Books & Manuscripts, the Modern Graphic History Library, Film & Media Archive, and University Archives. If you have questions about changes to Olin Library space, contact Sarah Laaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.