Community Engagement

Fondren’s world-class collection of materials supports internal and external researchers and raises awareness of the library’s collections, facilities, and programs.

Rice Civic Engagement

Rice University was recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting for making intentional efforts to increase student voter participation. Fondren Library was proud to be part of the endeavor and made consistent contributions in multiple ways. 

This year, three library staff members (User Experience Librarian Amanda Thomas, Government Information Coordinator Anna Xiong, and Government Information Librarian Hannah Edlund) have joined a number of civic engagement key partners from Rice student organizations and academic departments and served on the Executive Committee of RiceEngaged Coalition, led by the Center for Civic Leadership. The RiceEngaged coalition collaborated on Rice campus voter registration and election events and activities throughout the year.  

The new VDVR email listserv, managed by Anna Xiong, proved to be an efficient way to unite and coordinate a large number of VDVRs and organize these Rice voter registration events within a short time. As a result, from August to October 11, collectively we were able to complete 16 events at six different places at Rice (Fondren Library, Grand Hall, Valhalla, MultiCultural Center, Ray Courtyard, Sid Richardson Commons) for 49.5 hours spanning over 12 days. There were additional events at each residential college during Orientation Week. These events registered a total of 522 voters, which was a great success. 

Fondren Green Team supports climate change education 

Fondren's Green Team contributed to educating the Rice community about being prepared for climate emergencies by hosting “Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: Why They Are Stronger and How to be Ready” featuring Sylvia Dee, Rice climate scientist. It also shared hurricane preparedness information via a library table event and set up a permanent library exhibit with brochures concerning how to be prepared for extreme weather events. Green Team staff members also presented programs at several national conferences about being resilient to climate emergencies and exploring how the digital library community can promote climate justice. The Green Team sponsored a talk by Dr. Joanne Kong called "Food is Climate." In addition, the Green Team provided tips for incorporating sustainable practices into office work through the Green Department Initiative, a three-day challenge.

Practicum Students

  • Gabi Coleman, Spring 2022 - Department: Woodson Research Center, Mentor: Sylvia Podwika 
  • Erin Smart, Fall 2022 - Department: Woodson Research Center, Mentor: Amanda Focke 
  • Preston Mack, Summer 2022 -  Department: Woodson Research Center, Mentor: Amanda Focke 
  • Tieranny Keahna Summer 2022 -  Department: Woodson Research Center, Mentor: Amanda Focke 
  • Ima Oduok, Summer 2022 - Department: Cataloging and Metadata Services, Mentor: Dave Erlandson 

Ambassadors facilitate communication for undergraduates 

  • Fondren Library Ambassadors, facilitated by the UX Office, work to facilitate communication between the library and the campus to make positive improvements to services, systems, and spaces. 
  • Together again! The FY22 Fondren Ambassadors started with a lunch meeting on October 13, 2021, outside the library. Fondren Library Ambassadors worked over the year to identify improvements and supplies needed for Fondren Library with funds provided by the Student Initiative Fund. A few of the improvements included free menstrual products in selected restrooms, circulating scientific and graphic calculators, and the recommendation for a new student lounge, which is being developed and will roll out in the spring of 2023. Ambassadors share information from Fondren Library and solicit feedback from students on campus in order to make improvements to library spaces and services.
Students pictured: Jennifer Wang, Emma Saving, Raiya Myren, Shannon Jelley, Sini Koviu, Rocio Gonzalez-Espresati Clement, Shreyas Minocha
Students pictured: Jennifer Wang, Emma Saving, Raiya Myren, Shannon Jelley, Sini Koviu, Rocio Gonzalez-Espresati Clement, Shreyas Minocha