Welcome to Rice University’s Fondren Library! Fondren Library, located at the center of the academic quad, is a key center of learning in our educational community, providing access to scholarly information, research support, library instruction, and computing and study facilities. At Fondren Library and through our extensive Web sites, you'll find important services and resources to help you meet your academic and research goals.
The library is the home of books and print materials, as well as a wide range of audio-visual media, sound recordings, and rare and unique collections of books, photographs, manuscripts, and maps. Throughout the Library, renovations are underway that will further facilitate collaboration and quiet study.
The library also links users to a world of scholarly information available through licensed online databases and journals and a vast network of reciprocal borrowing agreements with libraries around the world. Just as importantly, the Libraries’ expert librarians and professional staff provide unparalleled research assistance and library services in person, over the phone, or online.
We hope you'll consider Fondren Library to be your educational partner and source of quality scholarship and learning during your time at Rice University. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions about your experience in the library and with the libraries’ online services. I wish you every success in your inquiries and pursuit of learning.
-Sara Lowman, Vice Provost & University Librarian
Fondren Library supports Rice University’s research and teaching aspirations by providing innovative research and information services, access to scholarly resources, and inviting physical and virtual spaces.
The Values Supporting our Mission are to:
- Inspire trust
- Embrace diversity
- Provide excellent service
- Support University priorities
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
In order to address DEI, promote understanding, and increase the sense of belonging at Fondren, we will:
- Recruit and retain a diverse library staff.
- Train and develop staff in cultural competency.
- Promote understanding of implicit bias, and work to shape our organization to limit it.
- Intentionally find ways to be more inclusive.
- Promote equity and accessibility in collections, and the allocation of resources to support DEI initiatives in all areas of Fondren Library.
What Fondren Library Administration Does
- Working with staff, develop and monitor a forward-looking strategic plan for the library.
- Provide necessary administrative support for managing the daily operations of the Fondren Library.
- Help set customer service standards for each department.
- Manage the budget and funds of the Fondren Library.
- Provide administrative support for hiring and terminating personnel and student workers.
- Provide administrative support for purchasing equipment and supplies.
Phone: (713) 348-2591
Fondren Library MS-44
PO Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Fondren Library 313
Affiliations & Memberships
Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
The mission of the ARL is to shape and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. Specific programs in which Fondren Library participates include:
- AAU/ARL Global Resources Program: Latin Americanist Research Resources Project One of three demonstration projects of the Association of American Universities' (AAU) and Association of Research Libraries' (ARL) program to improve access to and delivery of international research resources.
- ARL Global Resources Program: German-North American Resources Partnership One of three demonstration projects of the Association of American Universities' (AAU) and Association of Research Libraries' (ARL) program to improve access to and delivery of international research resources.
- Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) SPARC is conceived as a partnership project of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and other educational and research organizations. Its mission is to be a catalyst for change through the creation of a more competitive marketplace for research information.
BioMed Central's Institutional Membership Program enables institutions to actively support open access in scholarly publishing, and will help ensure the most widespread dissemination of the research published by their scientists. Researchers currently affiliated with Rice University will be charged only 50% of any page or article-processing charges for publishing in BMC publications (the fees are subsidized through the library's institutional membership).
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
CNI is an organization to advance the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity.
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
CLIR works to ensure the well-being of the scholarly communication system upon which knowledge creation depends. CLIR's agenda embraces the entire range of information resources and services, from traditional library and archival materials to emerging digital formats, and the entire network of organizations that gather, catalog, store, preserve, distribute, and provide access to information.
CrossRef, the official DOI registration agency for scholarly and professional publications, harnesses collaboration among publishers to provide the scholarly community with easier access to online research content. CrossRef was established in 2000 as an independent, non-profit membership association, with a mandate to make cross-publisher linking throughout online scholarly literature efficient and reliable using the DOI system.
Digital Library Federation
The Digital Library Federation (DLF) is a consortium of libraries and related agencies that are pioneering in the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services. Through its members, the DLF provides leadership for libraries broadly by: identifying standards and "best practices" for digital collections and network access, coordinating leading-edge research-and-development in libraries' use of electronic-information technology, helping start projects and services that libraries need but cannot develop individually.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Specific programs include:
- National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII) NLII is a membership coalition of institutions and organizations sponsored by EDUCAUSE. Its mission is to create new collegiate learning environments that harness the power of information technology to improve the quality of teaching and learning, contain or reduce rising costs, and provide greater access to American higher education.
Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)
As the Federal Depository Library for the 7th Congressional District of the State of Texas, Fondren provides free public access to publications from all branches of the U.S. government in a variety of formats. There are nearly 1,400 Federal depository libraries located throughout the United States and its territories, at least one in every Congressional District. All provide free public access to a wide variety of Federal Government information, in both print and electronic formats, and have expert staff available to assist users.
Greater Western Library Alliance
The mission of the Greater Western Library Alliance is to deliver quality cost-effective services and resources required by clients of member institutions through joint action and collaboration.
Houston Area Network of Documents Information (HANDI)
HANDI is a group of Houston area depository libraries. They are the librarians and support staff responsible for the United States and Texas depository collections.
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.
Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC)
The LDC is an open consortium of universities, companies and government research laboratories that creates, collects and distributes speech and text databases, lexicons, and other resources for research and development purposes.
LOCKSS (for "Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") is open source software that provides librarians with an easy and inexpensive way to collect, store, preserve, and provide access to their own, local copy of authorized content they purchase. The LOCKSS Alliance is a membership organization open to libraries interested in LOCKSS as part of their strategy for building and preserving digital collections of e-journals and other web-based content
Museum of Houston
The Museum of Houston is a collaborative effort of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, Rice University and Houston's leading educational institutions and cultural organizations
Open Content Alliance
The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. The OCA will encourage the greatest possible degree of access to and reuse of collections in the archive, while respecting the content owners and contributors.
Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program (PTRCP) (formerly PTDLP)
As one of five Patent and Trademark Resource Center Libraries in Texas, Fondren provides free public access to patent and trademark materials and offers training in patent searching and trademark searching. The PTRCP administers a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries designated as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) authorized by 35 U.S.C. 13 to: Disseminate Patent and Trademark Information and Support Diverse Intellectual Property Needs of the Public.
TexShare TexShare is a cooperative program designed to improve service to Texans. Members include public libraries that belong to the regional library systems, academic libraries, and libraries of clinical medicine. Texshare enables libraries to offer a broader range of materials and services than any single library can provide for its constituents.
Texas Independent College and University Libraries (TICUL) is a group of 41 college and university libraries whose parent institutions are members of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT).
Western Storage Trust (WEST)
The Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) is a distributed retrospective print journal repository program serving research libraries, and library consortia in the Western Region of the United States. Participating libraries consolidate and validate print journal backfiles at major library storage facilities, The resulting shared print archives ensure access to the scholarly print record and allow member institutions to optimize campus library space. This collaborative regional approach to managing library collections represents an important step, when joined with other initiatives, toward development of a network-level shared print archive.