Reimagining the Wimberly Library

Students attending Florida Atlantic University today are different from when the Wimberly Library was first opened in 1962. This means that our spaces and resources demanded an upgrade to match the needs of modern-day students.

In the past few years, library staff has made strides to repurpose spaces in the Wimberly Library in order to support the students and faculty who rely on and use our building for academic development, innovation, discovery, and lifelong learning.

For the past few years, the Libraries have been redesigning spaces to be both more functional and more inviting. The fourth-floor redesign is just one of the most recent improvements that showcase the commitment of the Libraries to improving the total experience for FAU’s students.

Library leaders worked hard to redesign and reimagine what a XXI Century academic library should look and feel like. Some of the changes made will be noticeable as soon as you walk in the door, while others might take you a little longer to discover.

The spaces featured below were modernized on a very limited budget, but the outcomes were tremendous.

It is a long-established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using 'Content here, content here', making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for 'lorem Ipsum' will uncover many websites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humor and the like).

FAU Spirit

To kick off the changes within the Wimberly Library, the staff wanted to set a new tone by getting on brand with Florida Atlantic University. In the summer of 2016, library staff decided the green color scheme needed to go. So the green walls were painted white or blue, and the green doors were replaced with wooden ones.  


Next came some FAU spirit! The first and second-floor bookshelves were painted red, blue, and silver and an owl logo was hung in the lobby.



Pillars on the first floor near the Instruction and Engagement Services Department were painted red and blue as well as in the second floor computer lounge.

Painted Shelves


The initial project went beyond paint colors, though. New white furniture and red chairs replaced antiquated wooden study carrels, chairs, and tables on the first floor. The contemporary new furniture is comfortable and provides increased access to power.

Reference Computers


Centralized Service Desk

As you enter the Wimberly Library, you’ll be struck by the shiny new flooring that transformed the concrete underneath into a gleaming surface that makes you think you’re walking on water. Greeting you front and center is now a single service desk, which replaced the old Circulation and Reference Desks on the first floor.

The goal is for students to be able to get the help they need in one central location. The new Service Desk is that go-to spot for checking out books, learning how to use library catalogs, getting help accessing our electronic journals or databases, picking up a key for a study room, and getting detailed reference and research assistance.  

Eliminating the two other desks allowed for more individual and group seating as well as new ADA workstations.


First Floor



Diversity Burrow

On October 12, 2018, we opened the Diversity Burrow just across from Dunkin’ Donuts on the first floor. This cozy reading nook replaced the Circulation Desk and now serves as an inviting area for students to work together, study alone, read or just hang out. 

The Burrow also houses a small diversity book collection of a few hundred books. The collection's purpose is to provide a quick, deep dive into the variety of perspectives and life experiences that are represented in our general collection. Students looking for more books on a topic can use the call numbers on the books to guide them to similar ones in the general collection upstairs. 

The Wimberly Library’s Diversity Burrow is just one manifestation of the FAU Libraries’ efforts to “develop a culture that serves as a model of diversity and inclusion for staff and for the Libraries’ patrons,” as articulated in our strategic goals.



ADA Workstations

Replacing the Reference Desk on the first floor are the new and improved workspaces for assistive technology (ADA workstations). These new spaces are more centrally located while still providing privacy for students with disabilities.

The workstations’ software and equipment include Dragon Naturally Speaking, Kurzweil 3000, JAWS for Windows, ZoomText, Dolphin Easy Reader, Plustek Book Reader V100 Scanner, and the SmartView Xtend video magnifier. We also have available for check out the Eschenbach Electronic Magnifying Glass and the Victor Reader Stream (New Generation).


ADA Stations


Fourth Floor Redesign

The fourth floor of the Wimberly Library is officially open after renovations were completed during the December 2018- January 2019 winter break. The quiet study space, which once had carpeted floors and dark-wooden study carrels, was redesigned to be more modern with tiled floors, new light-colored study carrels, and increased access to natural light and power.

4th Floor 1

There are 28 new study carrels in addition to the 40 that were previously on the floor. The new carrels are equipped with duplex outlets, which allows 56 devices to be plugged in at one time. For those looking for a more relaxed study spot, there are now 13 additional comfortable chairs. Painted bookshelf ends and a more open floor plan provided the finishing touches to make the space more inviting.

4th Floor 1



Fifth Floor Redesign

On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the fifth floor was officially opened to the Florida Atlantic University community. This underutilized storage area and meeting space was transformed into a busy center of collaboration.

The square footage of the fifth floor was expanded by knocking down a wall, which allowed for a more open and brighter floor plan. The pillars were also painted to be on-brand with Florida Atlantic University’s colors and make it more welcoming.


The layout of the fifth floor now includes 100 new study spaces with improved access to power, more comfortable seating, and movable furniture. Which once was a space used a dozen times a year, has become a student hub bursting with creativity and life every day. It also still doubles as a large meeting and presentation space when needed.



Graduate Study Lounge

In 2016, a suite of offices was turned into an exclusive study lounge for graduate and College of Medicine students. The secluded study area, which can only be accessed with an active Owl Card, now has open study areas as well as group study rooms.


The space's green color scheme was replaced with vibrant red and blue accents as well as a Florida Atlantic University logo on the wall. Besides the friendly decor, there is also comfortable seating, computer workstations, and additional access to power.



Serenity Room

Office space on the third floor was turned into the Wimberly Library's Serenity Room. In 2017, the room was designed to provide students of all backgrounds a quiet place to pray, meditate, or reflect. The non-denominational space is open to all members of the FAU community, who have an active Owl Card.

The Serenity Room is one of the most recent demonstrations of the FAU Libraries’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, articulated strongly in our Diversity & Inclusion Statement.

Serenity Room


GIS Corner

In October of 2018, the Wimberly Library sectioned off part of the Alumni Alcove on the first floor with blue panels for a new geographic information systems corner.

The GIS Corner has two computers equipped with GIS software that all FAU students, faculty, and staff have access to. During designated hours, a graduate student is even there to help use the technology.


The GIS equipment helps a broad range of majors such as those studying geography, anthropology, civil engineering, biology, environmental science and urban planning.

Second Floor Computer Lab

The computer lab on the second floor got new technology during the summer of 2018 in order to meet the demands of students. In a partnership with the College of Arts & Letters, 18 new Mac computers were added to the lab. Ten of the Apple computers have specialized software such as Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.

The goal was to provide space within the library for School of Communication and Multimedia students to work on their assignments. This collaboration supports the mission of the Libraries including reimagining services and spaces to enable users to explore, collaborate, educate, and create in their journey toward academic excellence and lifelong learning




FAU Chapter of Progressive Black Men Inc.'s Blazers and the Arts 2019




In the summer of 2019, some of the Wimberly Library’s walls and elevators got a cosmetic update in order to help students better navigate the building and take advantage of all of the resources we have to offer.

The first floor elevators in the east wing are wrapped in FAU-branded decals, which were designed to showcase the different departments and spaces available on each floor.



The first floor West Wing was decorated with wall decals to put emphasis on the different labs accessible within the area.

alumni alcove

These stickers brighten up the spaces while pointing patrons in the right direction. 


The Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox

The Wimberly Library is excited to be the home of The Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox. Thanks to a $1 million gift to the University by the Grubers, library space will be transformed into a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence lab.

A 3,400 square-foot space that was used for offices is being redeveloped in partnership with the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab (MPCR)

Full updates about this ongoing construction project can be found here

Last modified at 11/30/2022 - 10:59 AM