Olin Library rededication set for May 7

After nearly 40 years of service to the University and the community, it was time for Olin Library to undergo a massive overhaul with some additional enhancements.

Now, three years after renovation began in May 2001, the new-look library will be officially unveiled in a rededication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. May 7. The ceremony will be in the plaza in front of the library’s new southern entrance. (The severe-weather location is Holmes Lounge.)

Neil Rudenstine, head of ARTstor and president of Harvard University from 1991-2001, will deliver the keynote address.

Other speakers will be Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton; William H. Danforth, chancellor emeritus and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees; John F. McDonnell, chairman of the board; Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor, dean of Arts & Sciences and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences;

Shirley K. Baker, vice chancellor for information technology and dean of University Libraries; and Wayne Fields, Ph.D., the Lynne Cooper Harvey Distinguished Professor of English and co-director of American Culture Studies, both in Arts & Sciences.

The ceremony will also feature the dedication of a statue of George Washington — for whom the University is named — which will stand in the plaza in front of the library.

The goals for the renovation included:

• making Olin more high-tech and easier to use;

• adding 17,000 square feet on the main level;

• creating a cyber café and 24-hour study space;

• establishing a technology center to support digital projects and instruction;

• reconfiguring the interior for better visibility and convenience;

• moving the main entrance to the south side of the building;

• upgrading the HVAC and electrical systems;

• replacing virtually all of the furniture in the building; and

• preserving the architectural integrity of the award-winning building.

Now it has been completed, and an open house and tours of the library will follow the ceremony to show off the work.

Attendees will be able to see some of the following:

The cyber café is at the heart of the campus, where patrons can take a break from their work or meet friends for conversation. The café will open May 10 for limited hours, then be open 24/7 starting in the fall.

The café is surrounded by glass on all sides and an atrium overhead. It will offer a place for meeting friends, for enjoying a snack while cyber-surfing or for studying into the night. Wired and wireless network service will be at every seat at café-style tables and chairs, and cozy, soft armchairs.

Food service and vending service will provide coffees, soft drinks and snacks. A University Police substation across the hall will provide security.

The Gingko Reading Room is the formal living room where the library can host exhibits, lectures, orientations and receptions. When not in use for those events, it’s open for study.

Display cases in the reading room feature exhibits and samples from the library’s collection. The room features wood paneling and a fireplace with a limestone and marble mantle, which was originally in one of the pavilions at the 1904 World’s Fair.

And the Arc is a technology center that’s unlike anything the library has had before. The Arc is a place where students, faculty and staff can learn about and use sophisticated software.

Users can digitize and edit text, photographs, slides, VHS and sound to create multimedia presentations, interactive tutorials or course modules. The Arc offers seating configurations that allow either individual or collaborative work.

It replaces the library’s old PC Lab, but is a much larger and more ambitious facility.

The rededication ceremony is open to the public, but a reservation is requested. To make a reservation, go online to aisweb.wustl.edu/alumni/olindedication.nsf/reservation, call 935-8003 or e-mail olinlibrarydedication@wustl.edu.

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