Fondren Library Overview

Our Collection

  • Approximately 2,800,000 print volumes
  • Approximately 72,000 print and electronic serial titles
  • Over 141,000 subscriptions
  • Over 4,000 DVDs/CDs/VHS recordings
  • The Library Service Center, our off-site storage facility, holds approximately 1.1 million volumes, with a facility capacity of 1.8 million.

Our Staff

  • ~39 librarians
  • ~71 support staff

Our Mission

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:

  • Collaborate
  • Innovate
  • Inspire trust
  • Embrace diversity
  • Provide excellent service
  • Support University priorities

Our Strategic Plan **

The Four High Level Goals

Fondren Library recently went through a strategic planning process using the Association of Research Libraries’ road map of four different research environment scenarios set in the year 2030. What will the research environment look like in twenty years? How might universities and their libraries fit in those environments? What should libraries be doing now in order to anticipate and adjust to researchers’ needs?

Provide trusted Information

  • Increase access to Rice’s unique resources
  • Build and preserve top notch collections
  • Enhance findability of quality materials
  • Make research more efficient
  • Information Fluency training is more important than ever and the library can help!
  • Improve the identity of Fondren Library as a source of reliable information

Collaborate locally & globally

  • Collaborate with consortiums, other institutions, and the community to provide better services to our users
  • Collaborate with other campus groups to support international students
  • Create an international student outreach team or mentor system

Enhance the User Experience

  • Adapt building spaces to fit user needs
  • Create innovative user-driven services
  • Investigate, implement, and sustain a variety of virtual tools to further teaching and research

Be a culture of innovation

  • Create an enthusiastic and supportive environment for innovation
  • Create a safe environment for innovation
  • Support experimentation for new ideas and resources


**Beginning fall 2016, Fondren Library has been engaged in a thorough-going strategic planning process, taking its cues from the university's Vision for the Second Century II ( The library's process is moving forward through the efforts of a broad-based volunteer group of library staff. Various sources of feedback, internal and external, are being sought at different points in this iterative process. A final version of the plan is expected by the end of calendar year 2017. Co-chairs of the strategic planning group are Lisa M. Spiro ( and Melinda Reagor Flannery (, who welcome your inquiries.