Dear Rice Community and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I extend best wishes to each of you as we embark on another new year at Fondren Library at Rice University.  As the University Librarian, it is my privilege to lead a dedicated team that strives to support the academic endeavors of our faculty, students, and researchers. It is with great pride that I share the achievements of the Fondren staff for FY23. 

As you delve into the resources available at our library, I encourage you to explore the diverse array of collections and services outlined in our latest annual report. From groundbreaking research initiatives to community engagement efforts, we had a very productive and impactful year. 

Our commitment to supporting research is unwavering, as evidenced by the recent acquisitions at Woodson Research Center’s Special Collections and the Fondren Patent and Trademark Center workshops at the Ion. These invaluable resources serve as catalysts for innovation and scholarly inquiry.

In the realm of teaching and learning, we continue to expand our offerings to meet the evolving needs of our community. Whether through library research instruction, increased support for streaming videos, or outreach events at Woodson Research Center and the Digital Media Commons, we strive to empower learners at every stage of their academic journey.

Community engagement lies at the heart of our mission, and we take great pride in our efforts to foster meaningful connections both within and beyond the university. From hosting student events to spearheading recycling initiatives through the Fondren Green Team, we are committed to making a positive impact in the lives of those we serve.

Moreover, our dedication to promoting diversity, access, and inclusiveness is reflected in initiatives such as Fondren's book displays and exhibits, the expansion of OneSearch digital collections, and the cultivation of a children's collection. By celebrating diverse perspectives and voices, we enrich the intellectual landscape of our community.

In the spirit of transparency, we are pleased to share updates on building news, library usage statistics, staff achievements, and student worker highlights. These insights offer a glimpse into the vibrant activities that define our library's ecosystem.

As we look ahead to the future, I am filled with optimism about the possibilities that lie ahead. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of knowledge, foster a culture of collaboration, and empower individuals to realize their full potential.

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for the mission of Fondren Library. I invite you to explore all that we have to offer and to engage with us as active participants in our shared intellectual journey.

Warm regards,
Sara Lowman

Sara Lowman
Vice Provost and University Librarian

Sarah Lowman

Editor’s Note

In keeping with the university, Fondren Library runs a fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. Unless otherwise noted, stories and numbers in this annual report are gathered utilizing the July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 fiscal year. Special thanks to UX Office Assistant DeAndrea Smither and UX Student Office Assistant Keaton Abbott ‘25.