FOFL Library Access by Appointment

May 21, 2021

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for supporting Fondren Library with your membership, especially throughout the challenges of the last year. I am writing today to share some good news! Beginning June 1, we are offering library access by appointment for Friends members over age 18.

For those who prefer not to visit campus at this time, we are continuing to offer books by mail and front-door pickup for Friends members.

Fondren Library will accept reservations for the following members of the Rice Community to visit the library to check out and return materials, browse for books and access online resources and non-circulating materials, beginning June 1:

  • Current Members of Friends of Fondren Library over age 18
  • Rice retirees/emeritus
  • Family members of Rice faculty, students and staff over age 18
  • Woodson Research Center (WRC) patrons with appointments coordinated via WRC at

The details and duration of this pilot program will be dependent on local circumstances and may be impacted by changing university guidelines.

  • Guests may make one reservation per week, Monday through Saturday.
  • Reservations will be available up to one week in advance.
  • Morning sessions are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and afternoon sessions are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

To make your reservation, you may

  • Call 713-348-4021 and request a reservation
  • Text 713-487-6912 with your request
  • Or use the Ask Us feature at or email

When you arrive at the library, please check in at the front desk with your photo ID.
Rice University’s COVID precautions will be strictly enforced. If you are unable to comply with these precautions for any reason, please continue to use our books-by-mail service.

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose if you are unvaccinated. We respectfully request that all guests wear a mask when interacting with library staff.
  • Keep 6 feet apart from others
  • Enjoy food and drink outside the building
  • Additional guests are not permitted

While you are here, you can determine which library floors have the most available space with our new Waitz Real-time crowd check.

For questions about this reservation plan, please email or call 713-348-5157.

As we look forward to the fall semester, we would appreciate your input about how we offer events and programs. Please click this link to take our 5-question survey.

If you would like to check out a book that is currently in Fondren Library, and you prefer not to visit campus at this time, please email me directly at with the request. We will mail the book(s) to you via the US Postal Service's media mail, or you can pick it up at the reception desk. To request a book, please include

  • title
  • call number
  • your shipping address or request for pick up
  • phone number (in case we have questions)

The limit will be 4 books per member (including what you have currently checked out), which is the same as your usual borrowing limit. Items will be loaned for 8 weeks, and we ask that items be returned to the outdoor book drop, unless the book is recalled and needs to be returned sooner. Recalled books must be returned within 10 days. If returning books to campus creates a hardship for you, please email me to discuss other options.

If you would like a scan of up to 50 pages of a journal article that is currently in Fondren Library, please email me directly at Due to contract provisions with our electronic resource providers, we are only able to scan physical journals. Please include

  • title
  • call number
  • pages requested
  • your email address
  • phone number (in case we have questions) The scanning limit will also be 4 scans per member.

Please check your account and return any due books via the outdoor return bins at either library entrance. You can park on the street nearest the library with your hazard lights on for up to 15 minutes to return books. Please contact me at to manage any unusual circumstances.
When you borrow books for eight weeks (new, expanded return time), you can log into your library account to renew them for an additional 8 weeks. After that time, please return them to the outdoor return bins or email for additional renewals.

If you are seeking online resources, this helpful libguide created by Fondren Scholarly Communications Liaison Shannon Kipphut‐Smith provides information about finding information via Open Access:

The Digital Media Commons offers remote workshops in Zoom, Illustrator, Tableau, iMovie, Zotero and more. Friends of Fondren Library members at the Patron level and above are eligible to attend. Please register in advance for each workshop.

We thank you for your generous support of Rice University and Fondren Library, and we hope to see you in the library soon.

Mary Lowery, Executive Director