Library Policies & Guidelines

The information provided here is an overview of policies and guidelines related to the library. Some tabs will link you to other pages with contact information if you have further questions. We appreciate your cooperation.

The use of tobacco on campus is strictly prohibited on university property. Coates Library follows the approved Trinity University policy on tobacco in addition to its alcohol policy which can be found on the main website.

Circulation Information for Alumni

Eligibility: Any alumnus/a of Trinity University may activate their borrowing privileges by bringing their Alumni card to the circulation desk.  These are mailed from Alumni Relations or can be obtained from the Tiger Card office (999-7825).

Borrower’s Responsibility: Borrowers assume total liability for items checked out from the Coates Library, which includes payment for lost or damaged items. Borrowers are responsible for making sure that items are properly returned for discharge from the Library’s circulation system. The responsibility and liability remain with the borrower until the item is properly discharged.

All library materials are subject to recall at which time the due dates are shortened and the overdue fines increase. Recalled materials must be returned promptly if the borrower is to retain library privileges.

Electronic Resource Access: Alumni do not have access to electronic resources.

Coates Library appreciates and accepts gifts of materials that enhance and deepen our collections and support the curriculum. The library evaluates donations for the general collection with the same guidelines used for purchased materials; therefore we may decline to accept those items which are not in the scope of our collections or that duplicate existing material.

Due to space limitations and staffing constraints, the library is discontinuing the recycling service previously offered to faculty and staff members.

For more information, please visit our collection guide or contact Jane Costanza, Head of Resource Management

For information regarding circulation and general policies for alum, staff, faculty, students, summer patrons, trustees, associates & business affiliates, TexShare, and dependents, please visit our guide outlining the specifics or call us at 210-999-8127 with any questions.

For retired faculty, the Human Resources “Insurance and Other Benefits” Policy states that full-time faculty and staff who retire from Trinity may choose to retain certain benefits, including continuing access to library databases. Please contact the ITS Help Desk at (210) 999-7409 if you wish to request continuing access to digital library resources.

Collections Philosophy: Coates Library helps students in their quest to discover and reinterpret knowledge by acquiring relevant portions of the intellectual record and providing access to much of the rest. Indeed, the library is but one note in a global network of collections. Through established relationships, agreements, and systems, we extend our students’ reach beyond the borders of campus and into the world by drawing on other libraries’ and producers’ resources.

Please visit our collections philosophy guide for more information.

Contact Jane Constanza with any questions: 210 -999-7612

Access Manager Jason Hardin is your contact point for copyright questions.

Please contact him at

To read more on the basics, please visit our guide on copyright information, policies, fair use, copyright images, and Creative Commons licensing.


Library exhibits are held to promote the library and its resources, contribute to the discussion of important issues or events by the campus community, or promote the educational activities of campus organizations.

Library exhibits may not promote commercial, unbalanced, or partisan points of view. They may not denigrate cultures, political or religious beliefs, specific groups, or individuals. Various points of view should be included when appropriate. However, we recognize that some educational presentations of topics or materials may generate controversy, and this is acceptable in most cases.


Requests for a library exhibit should be made by completing our Library Exhibit Request Form. Requestors should allow sufficient time for the proposed exhibit to be reviewed and approved, and appropriate space identified for the materials.

Exhibit requests may be made by any faculty member, department, or organization at Trinity University or by a Trinity student or an unaffiliated individual or organization whose request is sponsored by a Trinity faculty member, department, or organization.


Requests will normally be reviewed and approved or denied within one to two weeks. The library reserves the right to refuse any exhibit request. Requestors will be notified of the library’s decision and, if the exhibit is approved, assigned a library liaison with whom to work.


The preparation, installation, and removal of the exhibit is the responsibility of the exhibitor.

Exhibits should include not only library materials, art objects, etc., but also signage and other appropriate identification of the exhibit’s purpose and exhibitor, including contact information for the exhibitor. The production and cost for these additional materials will be the responsibility of the exhibitor.

Library staff will provide guidance in displaying the materials. Limited display stands and similar items may be used for some displays, if available.

Materials will normally be exhibited for two to four weeks. The exhibitor should make any special requests for length of the exhibit on the request form, and the library will decide how long the exhibit may stay up.

The exhibit must not damage library walls, ceilings, floors, and other facilities, nor shall it impede normal library activities or pedestrian safety.

Library materials that are included in the exhibit may normally be used in-house or circulated to users as needed.


The library cannot guarantee the security of items in an exhibit; the exhibitor accepts all potential risks to materials not owned by the library. Especially valuable items are not recommended for the exhibit.

The Elizabeth Huth Coates Library (“Library”) is committed to providing a platform for educational, cultural, and community-enriching events. This policy is intended to provide guidance for organizations seeking sponsorship from the Library for such events.

Library sponsorship does not imply endorsement of any or all views expressed at an event. Library sponsorship signifies our belief that an event should take place to foster the discussion of important issues or events by the campus community, to support the educational activities of campus organizations, and to support Trinity University’s mission to “…inspire lifelong curiosity, creating new knowledge through deep and meaningful thought and action.”

Library-sponsored events may not promote commercial enterprise. Events may not denigrate cultures, political or religious beliefs, specific groups, or individuals. Various viewpoints should be included when appropriate. However, we recognize that some educational presentations of topics or materials may generate controversy, and this is acceptable in most cases.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Library offers various sponsorship opportunities, with support tailored to each request. Details on available supports provided by the Library are specific to each event and will be outlined during the approval process. Sponsorship may include one or more of the following:

  • Library name included on event marketing materials.
  • Acknowledgement of the event in announcements and programs.
  • Funding to support programming
  • Use of Library space for the event.
  • Event promotion through the Library website, social media channels, or physical displays.


Requests for Library sponsorship should be made by completing the Library Sponsorship Request Form here:

Requestors should allow sufficient time for the proposed event to be reviewed and approved. 

Sponsorship requests may be made by any faculty or staff member, department or organization at Trinity University, by a Trinity student, alumni, or an unaffiliated individual or organization whose request is sponsored by a member of the University community (faculty, staff, student, department, organization, etc.).

Application Process

All sponsorship requests must be submitted through the Library Sponsorship Request Form at least fifteen (15) working days prior to the event date. The Library will endeavor to honor requests made with less advance notice, but sponsorship is not guaranteed in these cases.

The following information will be required as part of the application process:

  • Event description and objectives
  • Target audience
  • Budget outlining funding needs (if applicable).
  • Requested sponsorship support
  • Information about the sponsoring organization

Selection Considerations

Sponsorship requests will be reviewed by librarians based on the following considerations:

  • Alignment with the Library’s mission and strategic goals
  • Potential benefit to the community
  • Program outline, objectives, and intentions
  • Financial need of sponsoring organization
  • Availability of space and resources at the Library

* If approved, the Library will either accept the request as submitted or will respond with an alternate sponsorship proposal based on the above considerations.


Requests will normally be reviewed and approved or denied within two weeks. The Library reserves the right to refuse any sponsorship request. Requestors will be notified of the Library’s decision and, if the sponsorship is approved, assigned a library liaison to work with.


This policy is subject to change at the Library’s discretion. Sponsorship does not imply endorsement of the views expressed at or around the event.

Contact Information

For any questions regarding event sponsorship, please contact:

Interlibrary loan is a service that provides you with study and research materials not available in the Coates Library. We borrow books, DVDs, and CDs for you from other libraries and deliver electronic versions of journal articles and book chapters to your desktop. The conditions of this service are set by local agreements, the regulations of the individual lending libraries, and the National Interlibrary Loan Code. The Coates Library uses an ILL platform called ILLiad to manage your requests.

To learn more, please visit the ILL Guide.

If you have questions about the extent of interlibrary loan services for retired Trinity faculty, please contact Jane Costanza, Head of Library Resource Management.

Trinity University Open Access Policy

What is “Open Access?”
Open Access refers to unrestricted online access to creative work or scholarship. These works are available to anyone in the world with an internet connection and a web browser. Payment is not required to access content.

What is an “open access policy”?
Open access policies allow universities to make research and scholarship more accessible to scholars, educators, policymakers, and citizens around the world.

What does the policy do?
This policy will allow you to make your manuscripts freely and legally accessible.

What are the benefits of the policy?
Open Access increases the visibility and impact of scholarship. Articles in the Digital Commons are cataloged, preserved, indexed and collocated, bringing individual and institutional scholarship together in on place.

If you have open access questions, please contact Jane Costanza, Head of Resource Management. You can view this guide for more information on Open Access (OA).

Pets or emotional support animals are not allowed in the library.

In compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, Registered Service Animals (dogs), a category defined by federal law, are permitted in the library.

For questions regarding student accessibility, please call 210-999-8528.

Coates Library values and supports free expression as a means of promotion of various events by university organizations and departments. In order to facilitate the promotion of these events and maintain a clean workspace free of distraction for all library patrons, items are only allowed in the following locations: Starbucks’ bulletin board and the free-standing bulletin board in the Info Commons on the 3rd floor.

Coates Library faculty and staff will remove any posters, flyers, placards, signs, and/or advertisements of any type, size, and/or shape found to be in violation of this policy. We will return these materials to the sponsoring groups whenever possible, because we recognize that printing can be expensive and they can be reused elsewhere.

Contact the library’s administrative office at 210-999-8161 to for inquiries regarding an exception to this policy including permission to post in other locations within Coates Library.

Contact the outreach librarian if you would like to collaborate with the library for an event or promotion:

For more information regarding student organizations and promotion of events, please contact the Office of Student Development at 210-999-7547.

The Coates Library at Trinity University recognizes the importance of protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of the information you share with us when you use our websites or other library services. This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ (PII) is being used online.

PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

What personal information does the library collect through its websites or internet services?


What we collect:
When you use this website, the Coates Library’s web server collects technical information from your web browser, including:

  • browser type
  • internet address
  • operating system type
  • web address of the page from which you linked to our site
  • information related to tracking web browsers through the use of cookies.

How we use it:

  • improve the usability of our website
  • technical troubleshooting
  • tracking aggregate statistical trends
  • web form communication

What we collect:

  • Depending on the method of communication, the information we collect may include your name, email address, the IP address from the computer where you sent the communication, your phone number, and the content of your message and/or attachments.

How we use it:

  • This information is necessary for us to have reciprocal communication with you. We will only use this information in support of the purpose for which you submitted it and will not combine your personal information with the other types of information we collect.

Surveys/user feedback

What we collect:

  • Coates Library may collect information from our users who voluntarily participate in interviews or surveys we conduct as we assess the quality of our operations. We strive to collect this information as anonymous input, but occasionally we may receive feedback via email or web services that can include email addresses or web-related data such as IP addresses.

How we use it:

  • This information is used for assessment and improvement of Coates Library’s facilities, materials, or services. This information is anonymized and aggregated to the extent possible and is retained solely for the purposes of compiling internal assessments.

When does the library collect information?

We collect information from you when you fill out a form, respond to a survey, or enter information on our site.

How does the library protect my information?

In most cases transactions on our website occur using a SSL (Secure Socket Layer protocol) connection. This provides increased security to the information as it is transmitted. Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. In addition, sensitive information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.

The security of your Personal Identifiable Information is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Identifiable Information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Does the library use cookies?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your browser (if you allow) that enables the site’s or service provider’s systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We also use Google Analytics, which uses cookies, for statistical analysis related to your browsing behavior on the website.

Can cookies and other tracking technologies be disabled?

You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since each browser is a little different, look at your browser’s Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.

If you turn cookies off it will turn off some of the features of the site.

Is my personal information secure with third-party tools?

  • Our website contains links to websites and licensed databases that we do not maintain or support. We also use third-party tools for some library services.
  • The Coates Library is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these third parties.
  • We encourage you to read the policies associated with these third-party tools before using them.

How do I find out about changes to this Privacy Policy?

  • This privacy policy will remain in effect except with respect to any changes in its provisions in the future, which will be in effect immediately after being posted on this page.
  • We reserve the right to update or change our privacy policy at any time and you should check this privacy policy periodically. Your continued use of this website and internet services after we post any modifications to the privacy policy on this page will constitute your acknowledgment of the modifications and your consent to abide by and be bound by the modified privacy policy.

How can I get more information about this policy?

If you have questions about this policy or feel that we have acted in violation of this policy, please contact us at

Is there any other information I need to know?

The Coates Library also adheres to the Trinity University Internet Privacy Policy published by Information Technology Services.

The American Library Association provides information about the privacy and confidentiality principles supported by the library profession.

For updated hours, visitor forms, and making an appointment, please visit the Special Collections and Archives page.

Reading Room Guidelines:

  • Each researcher is required to complete and sign the registration form.
  • Archival material and rare books are to be consulted only in the Reading Room and do not circulate.
  • Coats, backpacks, purses, or any bags must be stored in the coat closet or lobby during your visit.
  • Researchers may bring laptop computers into the Reading Room.
  • Eating and drinking are not permitted.
  • Only lead pencils may be used in the Reading Room.
  • Personal cameras may be used without flash.
  • Personal scanners of any kind may not be used.
  • To preserve our collections, materials must be handled with care at all times:
    • do not lean on, write on, fold, or handle materials in a way that may damage them.
  • Tracing is not permitted.
  • Please remove only one folder from a box at a time and replace all materials in their original order.
  • Use of special formats or fragile materials may require special handling or additional consultation with the archivist or librarian.
  • Requests for scans should be presented to the appropriate library staff.

Faculty have two options for submitting reserves:

Option 1: 

Materials to be placed on reserve can be brought to the Circulation desk by the faculty member or a representative, together with complete written info including the following:  Course name & number, professor name(s), and loan period that students may check out reserves (2-hour, 1-day, 3-day, or 3-week).

Option 2:

A reserve list may be submitted via email to (Eliza Perez). The email should include the following:  Course name & number, professor name(s), length of time students may have reserves (2-hour, 1-day, 3-day, or 3-week), and a list of the items including titles and call numbers.

If items on the list are not legible or if the book is not found on the shelf, the faculty member will be contacted to make other arrangements.

*Circulation staff are happy to pull any in-house items from the Library shelves for faculty requesting this service. Note however that this may result in a delay in processing time. Reserve materials and lists may be submitted at any time during the semester.

For faculty: please visit our reserve guidelines & procedures page.

For students: please visit our about course reserves page.

Please submit your request for library space through T-Space.

  • Priority will be granted to instructional use by the library.
  • Reservations may be made no more than one week in advance through the tenth week of the semester.  After the tenth week of the semester, requests may be submitted more than one week in advance.
  • Submit requests for rooms through T-Space, the campus-wide calendaring and room reservation system. A confirmation will be sent after the request is approved. The room is not reserved until you receive approval confirmation.
  • As a courtesy, please do not request a room for the same class period for longer than a week’s time. Library rooms should not be seen as a surrogate for the assigned classroom.
  • Rooms should not be reserved for a full day.  Exceptions may be made on review.
  • All rooms are to be left in the condition in which they were received. The requestor (faculty, staff, or student) is responsible for turning off lights and equipment and rearranging furniture if needed.
  • Any loss or damage to the equipment in the rooms is the responsibility of the requestor.

The following access guidelines are intended to protect all researchers, visitors, university faculty and staff, and emergency personnel in addition to providing security and safety for the materials preserved in the Special Collections and Archives unit (room 208) at Trinity University’s Coates Library. 

Access to Special Collections and Archives closed stacks areas, and the reading room outside open hours must be supervised by Special Collections and Archives staff.

Special Collections and Archives Department: Access Policy and Procedures

Donating materials to Special Collections and Archives

Please contact Special Collections and Archives at if you are interested in donating material. An archivist will be in touch with you to go over the material in more detail. Be prepared to discuss the scope of the material, the formats of the material, and the collection size. If the material is deemed fit for the repository, the archivist and donor will then go over the transfer process and the deed of gift which acts as the donor agreement.

Trinity University has a records retention policy and schedule which can be found at this link.

In addition to records designated to come to the university archives, we are also interested in material that is completed or no longer needs to be referred to on a regular basis for operations. This includes:

  • Official correspondence (important updates, charges, actions, decisions)
  • Newsletters and other publications from the division, department, unit
  • Reports, studies, reviews, assessments, executive summaries
  • Policy and procedure statements and related planning documents
  • Major planning documents – strategic planning, campus, and department plans
  • Meeting agendas and minutes – committees, tasks forces, boards, teams
  • Curriculum-related material such as syllabi, records of programs, curriculum, and class development
  • Compiled histories and activities of office or department

When you are ready to transfer files to the archives, email the University Archivist. They will work with you to confirm the preparation of files and set up the best transfer option.