What space changes are occurring in Wilson Library?


Recent surveys and focus groups with our faculty and student users have guided our plans to redesign Wilson Library to better align with contemporary scholarly needs. Wilson Library, a classic mid century building, has had few programmatic renovations since it opened in 1968. Originally built to house 1.5 million volumes, Wilson now holds 3.6 million, severely limiting the amount and variety of user spaces available for study, collections use, consultation, technology access, and collaboration.
Conversations with users have helped begin to shape near-term plans and are contributing to longer term planning. Renovation of Wilson Library and addition of collection storage capacity is on the University’s future legislative agenda, and predesign is currently underway. As this work unfolds, we will seek opportunities for deeper engagement with faculty, student, staff, and community users to refine the vision for a future Wilson library.
While waiting for a full renovation, the Libraries will continue to make modest investments to improve space in Wilson, and to test new service models.
What projects are currently happening?
Research Collaboration Studio (Spring-Summer 2017)
The Studio will be a flexible, open, and experimental collaboration space where faculty, students, librarians, and technologists can work together, leveraging digital tools for innovative research, learning and the creation of new knowledge. The Studio is a destination for collaboration, consultation, and presentation on digital scholarship, online publishing, geospatial data, entrepreneurship, and learning innovation. The space can be flexibly configured to support small project teams, group seminars, and consultations.
The studio will open Fall 2017 on the first floor of Wilson Library in the space previously occupied by the reference collection. To allow for construction, this area is now closed.
Where is SMART now located and why did it move?
The SMART Learning Commons has moved temporarily to the 4th floor of Wilson Library to accommodate the projects outlined above. SMART will continue to offer the same range of services they did in their previous Wilson location.
What projects have been completed?
New Group Study Rooms
Four new group study rooms are now available in the Wilson Lobby. These glassed-in rooms (two with open fronts, two fully enclosed with swinging glass doors) continue the updates that were made to the Lobby in 2015. These spaces as well as four additional study rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor may be reserved at https://www.lib.umn.edu/services/reservespace.
To make room for the new Research Collaboration Studio, the Wilson Reference Room is now closed for construction. Collections and user spaces have moved to other parts of Wilson Library so they may continue to be used during construction.
Wilson Reference Collection
  • A small reference collection of highly used titles are located in the main Lobby area.
  • The majority of the reference collection has been integrated into the general collection and is available for check-out.
  • Reference Microfilm will be moving to the Wilson Basement during Winter Break 2017.
Computers and Uniprint station
  • Public computers, as well as the printer, are located in the back of the main Lobby area..
Bloomberg Terminal
  • The Bloomberg Terminal is located in the back of the main Lobby area.
Visual History Archive and CDROM Computer
  • These two resources are relocated to the Basement.
Study Spaces
  • Quiet study space can be found on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of Wilson Library.
  • While not considered quiet study, the Basement level also provides additional space for collaboration and study..
Dewey and Periodicals Collections Moved
To make room for more user space on the basement level, the Periodicals Collection moved to the 3rd and 4th floors of Wilson. The majority of the Dewey collection has been moved to off-site storage and items with high use (high number of check-outs) incorporated into to the Library of Congress general collection. Some items have been placed in the Wilson Annex Collection. Regardless of their new location, all materials are available through our our Get-it Campus Delivery Service.
How will I know if changes are happening to library areas, or collections, I use frequently are being affected by these space changes?
  • Regular emails are and will be sent to University faculty, staff and students to update them on current and future changes in Wilson Library.  
  • Signs will be placed in affected areas several weeks before changes occur to provide users with information on how to access collections, and where to seek additional help in person within the libraries.
Have additional questions?
If you have any questions, please contact us at lib-space@umn.edu.


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