The inscription carved above the door reads: Ipsa scientia potentas est — “knowledge itself is power.” For the next generation of TCU students, faculty and staff, that aphorism will signal entry to the Mary Couts Burnett Library and the beginning of the University’s Intellectual Commons.
This summer, the library’s new west entry took shape with regal columns, elegant lampposts and wide, welcoming steps. The classic design aligns the library’s look with other TCU buildings and creates an impressive façade fronting University Drive. In tribute to the reflecting pool that once sparkled in front of the original building from the 1920s to the 1950s, designers installed a similarly shaped flower bed in the same spot.
Building renovations will continue on the east side of the structure through August 2015, when the library will connect to the new Rees-Jones Building with a ground-floor plaza and a second-story sky bridge.
Construction in July closed the 1980s wing of the library, and the new west entrance became the sole access to the building for the time being, Reference librarians, special collections, computer labs and Bistro Burnett will relocate temporarily. The library will still offer on-site access to the University’s 400,000 holdings, plus the daily retrieval system for books kept off-site.
When completed, the repurposed library will be a multi-media, technology-enhanced environment with an emphasis on community space.