Page 2 - Windows Newsletter Spring 2016
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TCU                                                                                                                            A GENTLER KIND OF PROTEST


                                                                                                                                                               As 1960s sit-ins rose in popularity, TCU was
                                                                                                                                                                                home to a sit-out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     by Marcia Melton, TCU Magazine, Winter 2016

                                                                                                                               The renovated Mary Couts Burnett Library offers state-
                                                                                                                               of-the-art facilities almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
                                                                                                                               But this kind of access to the library wasn’t always the case,
                                                                                                                               especially on weekends

                                                                                                                               On the lawn outside the library in February 1963, a group of
                                                                                                                               students gathered to protest. It wasn’t a march and it wasn’t a
                                                                                                                               sit-in. It was a sit-out.

                                                                                                                               Many students, especially those who worked while attending
                                                                                                                               classes, had lobbied the library staff for open hours on
                                                                                                                               Sundays. A 1962 TCU Skiff article titled, “Never on Sunday”
                                                                                                                               remarked that, “Sunday, despite the Christian tradition, usually
                                                                                                                               is not a day of rest for students...It could be an excellent day for
                                                                                                                               research and other library work.”

                                                                                                                               Students also reminded university administration that other
                                                                                                                               Southwest Conference schools had regular Sunday library
                                                                                                                               hours. At first, administrators were unmoved, claiming that
                                                                                                                               Sunday hours would stretch the budget and students wouldn’t
                                                                                                                               use the library on Sundays anyway. But, in the fall semester of
                                                                                                                               1962, the library had opened on two Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
                                                                                                                               By the beginning of the next spring semester, students were
        FEATURES                                                                                                               again agitating for Sunday openings.

        4 Message from the Dean                                   10 TCU Texas Book Award                                      On that Sunday afternoon in 1963, a group of students took
                                                                                                                               the next step. With their protest signs, they gathered books and
                                                                                                                               papers, and “sat out” on the lawn around the library.
        5 TCU Students Love the Library                           12 Joyce Pate Capper Receives Order of the
                                                                       Crown Oak                                               “If the Library were open, we’d be inside,” read several signs.
        6 Love Letters                                                                                                         One sign, posted on the (locked) front doors of the library
           Special Collections Exhibit                            13 Library Aquires Manuscript Diary of                       stated: “This door is our education to closed.”
                                                                       Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn
        7 TCU Press                                                                                                            The 1963 Horned Frog described the event this way: “Not a shot
           Honors & New Releases                                  14 #DearWorld                                                was fired. Not a battle cry was heard. But it was still a revolt.”
                                                                       Students, faculty and staff share personal
        8 An Evening of Great Conversation                             messages through photo portraits                        The library committee finally agreed to schedule regular Sunday
                                                                                                                               hours. Starting in the fall of 1963, it opened on Sundays. The
           An evening of serious fun       Koelker and TCU Magazine                                                            next year, the library committee included students as members
                                                                  15 A Gentler Kind of Protest                                 for the first time.
                                                                       As 1960s sit-ins rse in popularity, TCU was
                                                                       home to a sit-out

                                                                                                                                 In the early 1960s, students successfully lobbied for Sunday library hours and seats on the  library’s policy committee.

     2  TCU Library                                                                                                             Spring 2016                                                                                                     15
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