Fondren Library Center is the main library on the campus of Southern Methodist University, providing over 250,000 square feet. Constructed in four phases over thirty years and never having undergone a comprehensive overhaul, the facility now faces problems with infrastructure, user services and operations. GFF was engaged in 2010 for a programming and feasibility study to adapt to the changing needs of the academic library, including increasing demands for digital resources and technology access, along with the shift from individual study to collaborative learning.
The proposed plan densifies collections by making better use of compact shelving, resulting in a net gain in square footage for user functions, and consolidates the special collections library for improved security, adjacencies and workflow. The new plan increases and improves user spaces, emphasizes the focus on technology, consolidates service points, creates new functions such as an auditorium, collaborative computing suite and café, and addresses major infrastructure improvements. The original grand reading room, now cannibalized for collections functions, will be restored as the library’s signature space.