University News

Changes coming ahead of Wilson Library renovations

Critical updates to the historical building will cause most special collections to go into storage in August 2024 and a two-year closure.

Low angle shot of Wilson Library during the day with students scattered around the front steps.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Editor’s note: The timeline for the launch of the Wilson Library improvement project has been extended. This extension means the library will remain open, and materials, staff and program space will continue to be available to the campus community. Read more updates on the project.

Dear Carolina Community,

We are planning for several improvements in Wilson Library that will provide critical updates in this historic building. The project will include extending sprinkler coverage, creating emergency egress stairs and upgrading the fire alarm system.

Because this work will be disruptive and widespread given the size and age of the building, Wilson Library will close to the public during construction. We ask our community to begin planning now for these changes.

• We anticipate that beginning August 2024, and for approximately three years, most special collections materials will be in secure storage and unavailable for use. We will continue to offer digital special collections, online research and instructional expertise and services during this time.
• Wilson Library will remain open for study, meetings and special events at least until the early spring semester of 2025.
• Most Music Library collections and services will be made available in other locations or through other means such as interlibrary borrowing.
• The Center for Faculty Excellence, currently housed on the lower level of Wilson Library, will relocate its offices.
• Wilson Library is expected to reopen in 2027.

Some of you may have questions about the impact these changes will have on your research, teaching and learning. We will provide additional information at upcoming meetings, including Employee Forum on Nov. 1. We’ve also created a webpage to post specific project dates and other details when finalized. In addition, you may reach out as follows:

• For questions about library collections and impacts, email wilsonproject@office.unc.edu.
• For questions about the Center for Faculty Excellence, contact Catherine Gihlstorf, Senior Associate Director for Operations, catherine_gihlstorf@unc.edu.

We thank you in advance for your patience during the closure and will keep you updated on any changes to this timeline. We also share our appreciation for the N.C. General Assembly and the generous funding it provided for this important project. As we anticipate Wilson Library’s centennial in 2029, these critical improvements will help ensure the building remains a beloved Carolina treasure.

J. Christopher Clemens

María R. Estorino
Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian

This message is sponsored by: Office of the Provost