2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Mary Couts Burnett Library


The Mary Couts Burnett Library is the intellectual heart of Texas Christian University, encouraging student and faculty collaboration across multiple fields and serving as the central marketplace for the acquisition of knowledge and the exchange of ideas. The library itself regularly sees more than 1,000 students at one time, for a wide range of purposes including to access books, to study (alone and in small groups), to use computers, to attend information literacy instruction sessions, to seek research assistance and to view exhibits.

Our mission is organizing and providing access to quality information resources that inspire curiosity, creativity and innovation throughout the TCU community, while offering exceptional services and surroundings that nurture our students.

Services and Collections

Access and Hours
The Mary Couts Burnett Library during the fall and spring terms is open 24 hours, five days a week and current hours are posted on the library’s website (library.tcu.edu).   TCU ID cards are needed for entry after 8:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. during 24-hour operations.  

General Collections, Access and Borrowing
Students and faculty have access to more than 2 million books, CDs, DVDs, videos and more than 140,000 electronic and print journals, housed in the campus library and offsite library annex. More than 400 databases are available 24 hours a day via the library’s website (library.tcu.edu).  Use your TCU ID to borrow these items and many more such as laptops, headphones, calculators, cameras, and more.   How long an item can be borrowed is shown on the Borrowing page at (libanswers.tcu.edu/faq/103439).

Special Collections
Special Collections contains the University’s Digital Archives, Speaker Jim Wright Archives, Amon G. Carter Collection, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Archives, George T. Abel Map Collection and the William Luther Lewis Collection of English and American literature, as well as many other rare and archival materials.

Research Librarians
Librarians provide library and research assistance in person at the Research Services desk on the second floor, by phone, by email or online chat. Research librarians also serve as subject liaisons for all disciplines taught at the University. These librarians conduct sessions on using the library’s resources and also schedule individual consultation appointments for more in-depth research assistance. In addition, they evaluate and purchase materials for the library’s collections (both print & electronic) for their assigned subject areas.

Music/Media Library
The Music/Media library contains a large repertory of music scores, collected works, reference works and multidisciplinary sound and video recordings in a variety of formats. The W.B. "Judge" Hamilton Audio/Visual Resource Center offers viewing and listening equipment.

Government Information
The Mary Couts Burnett Library has been a Federal Depository Library program for over 100 years, providing access to government documents issued by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) such as the Congressional Record, U.S. Congressional Serial Set, U.S. Census, Budget of the United States, Code of Federal Regulations, and Federal Register.

Fab Lab
The Fab Lab is a digital fabrication laboratory available to students and faculty that offers multiple 3D printers, a high definition 3D scanner, a large-scale plotter printer, a laser cutter/engraver, a vinyl cutter, an electronics workbench, sewing machine and serger sewing machine. Additionally, the space provides access to the gaming collection and virtual reality equipment.

The GIGA Lab was created for students whose classes use software such as AutoCAD and ArcGIS requiring high-end computing capability. The lab also includes multimedia editing suites and 12 desktop computers.

Information Commons Computer Lab
The Information Commons is equipped with 100 Windows and Mac desktop computers containing the current software packages to support student learning, dozens of laptops and headphones available for checkout, black and white printing, color printing and scanning.

Reservable Rooms
Two-person to eight-person rooms are available by reservation 24 hours in advance by the library website (library.tcu.edu). Most rooms have writable walls and a digital display. 

Screening Room
A 12 seat screening room can be reserved to view video programming.

Graduate Student Study Spaces
There are a variety of areas accessible only to graduate students using their TCU ID, including a dedicated computing lab, open study spaces and individual study rooms assigned for the semester which provide a quiet space to complete dissertation and thesis work.

The Lizard Lounge
This multi-purpose space invites graduate students and faculty to come together in a more casual environment for meetings, TED talks, poetry readings and book discussions.  Graduates and Faculty can use their TCU ID for entrance and room reservations are available.

The Sumner Academic Heritage Room
The Sumner Room highlights iconic items such as the University Mace, photos of Chancellor’s Award winners, portraits of former and current Chancellors, and the University’s Phi Beta Kappa charter. It also houses TCU yearbooks and faculty publications.

Knowledge is Power Steps
These unique, centrally located stairs provide a path for students as well as amphitheater-like seating for studying, socializing and resting. The limestone steps are etched with “Knowledge is Power” in 12 languages to celebrate our international student enrollment.

The Mary Couts Burnett Library has remained at the core of the University’s academic mission for 95 years, by evolving to meet the changing needs of students and faculty. Collectively, the library has enriched the TCU campus with an extraordinary building renovation, highly-talented staff, enhanced digital and print collections, and many fun-filled and informative programs.