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Library Services & Policies


  • Book loans: 4 weeks (undergraduate); 6 weeks (graduate), with up to 3 renewals
  • Video loans: 1 week, with 1 renewal
  • Trinity Student patrons may check out up to 50 books and 3 videos
  • Periodicals and reference books do not circulate; reserve material is available in the library only
  • Phone renewals (call 202-884-9350) may be made at least one day before the book is due
  • Self-renewal of Trinity material can be done at your “My Library Account
  • Self-renewal of WRLC material can be by signing in to your “WRLC account
  • All overdue and/or lost fees will be passed on to the borrower
  • Unless requested by another patron, faculty may borrow books for an entire semester at a time; due by end of semester
  • Registered Alumni may check out up to 5 books, with up to 2 renewals
  • Graduate Workshop Students with special borrower’s ID card may check out up to 5 books with 1 renewal — all items due by end of workshop
  • For any other special borrowing arrangements, see the Librarian

Community Patron Membership

The Sr. Helen Sheehan library is proud to offer a FREE Community Patron Membership for residents over the age of 18 in the Brookland/Edgewood communities, generally in the 20017 zip code. With this free membership, community patrons will gain access to the library’s physical space and all the amenities that come with it. Community patrons will enjoy access to computers (however, must agree to give priority of computer use to students), high quality information via Trinity’s scholarly databases, and quiet study spaces.  Community patrons may peruse the library’s collection of books and periodicals at the library, but may not borrow books from the library or ILL.  Community patrons may also utilize printing services at 10 cents a page. To gain access, candidate community members will simply need to register for the program, obtain and be able to present a Trinity ID (member card), and they will be able to seamlessly come and go from the library as they please. No children permitted in the library

Consortium Loan Services (CLS) and Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Requests to borrow materials owned by other libraries may be made at the Circulation Desk , using the book request or journal request form, or through the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). These requests generally take longer to fulfill than the CLS service, and due dates are set by the lending institution. Any ILL lending charges or fines due to loss, damage, or late return for these materials will be passed on to the borrower.


  • Overdue fines are 25 cents per day and per book and $1 per day per video. $1 per hour for reserve materials.
  • There is a three-day grace period for non-reserve, non-video overdue material; fines are not charged for items returned during the grace period.
  • The maximum overdue fine is $10.00 per book and $200.00 per video. When an overdue bill reaches $25.00 (including CLS and ILL fines), the patron is blocked from checking out material until the fine is cleared.
  • Charges for lost books are $80 per book accompanied by a $30 processing fee per book, in addition to the maximum overdue fines.
  • Patrons may elect to replace lost/missing items in lieu of paying the above charges. Please note that patrons will still be responsible for the maximum fine ($10) in addition to replacing the item.
  • Patrons may pay their Trinity library fines in cash at the library, or by using a credit/debit card at the Business Office, located in Main.
  • Lost, damaged, or late materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan are subject to the lending institutions fine policy.

Media (AV) Materials

Video and audio collections include educational, international, and documentary sources
and feature films. Two multimedia rooms are available. TV monitors, VCRs, slide projectors, and overhead projectors are available for use in the classrooms, with prior reservation.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Why and What?

The open resource movement has been around for a while, starting with static learning objects (about 2000), and transitioning to OERs that allowed for revision and reuse.  It is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is now pushing the OER movement forward.  Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,100 per year.  According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn’t purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.  Through OERs the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced.  OERs also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the “perfect” textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources.

“OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” [1]

The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Open [2]

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend).

Learn more about OER

Trinity Library OER Guide is adapted under Creative Commons licensing from OU Libraries OER LibGuide for the use of the Trinity Washington University community. This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All linked-to content adheres to its respective license.


Current magazines, journals, and newspapers are shelved on the 2nd floor in room #208. Older issues are shelved by title in Ground Floor Room 100.  Hundreds of additional titles are available electronically under Trinity Library Resources>Trinity e-Journals by Title.

Photocopying and Printing

Photocopying and Internet printing costs 10 cents per page black and white and 15 cents per page for color. Money can be added through your online Papercut account.


Eligible patrons: Trinity undergraduates, Graduate students, Faculty and Staff only.

  • The average recall takes about 3 weeks.
  • A recalled item is held for ten days after the date it is returned. If not picked up, it will either be returned to the shelf or be put on hold for the next person in the recall queue.
  • Recall requests will not be honored for patrons with blocked ID’s.

Reference Services and Research Instruction

Research assistance is available at the Information Desk, by e-mail, or by telephone.Classes on research strategies in Trinity and WRLC databases and the World Wide Web are available in the fall and spring semesters.


Required course materials (books, articles, and videos) are held at the Reserves Desk.

To place materials on Reserve, please submit a completed Reserve Request Form along with the course materials.

Study Facilities & Class Rooms

  • 30 Computer Workstations
  • 2 Multimedia Rooms
  • Study carrels and tables
  • The Computer Classroom (ETLI), Seminar Room, and the Auditorium are used for classes, as assigned by the Enrollment Services office. Reservations for occasional meetings are taken after class assignments are made.

Trinity Reads

Trinity Reads: One Book, One Campus!

Sonia Sotamayor

Current Selection: Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World

Trinity Reads is intended to build an intellectual and social rapport among students, staff, faculty, and community members by providing a collective experience of reading, thinking about, and discussing challenging ideas and themes that raise important issues, especially those surrounding issues of social justice. A common book is chosen to enrich perspectives and to invite conversations from across disciplinary fields of interest. Students are urged to read the book and faculty members are encouraged to include it in their courses. A series of cultural and academic activities—film screenings, debates, panel discussions, book discussions, and lectures—are organized to support the project.

This year the library will be hosting events encouraging the Trinity community to convene on the topics and themes explored in Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved World



The goals of this interdisciplinary program are to:

  • Create awareness of and ongoing dialogue about Social Justice issues.
  • Enhance learning by facilitating a shared experience for students faculty, staff, and the community.
  • Emphasize reading as a significant component of a well-rounded education and existence.
  • Provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to explore and discuss relevant social justice issues.
  • Increase the level of awareness among participants about social inequality.
  • Encourage participants to use the knowledge they gain to work personally and professionally for positive social change.
  • To strengthen our common human bonds, and to demonstrate the vital connection between classroom learning and social issues in the broader community.

Book Selection Criteria

The criteria for book selection is:

  • A work that addresses social justice issues.
  • A reading complexity appropriate for the Trinity community-wide.
  • Relevant themes and issues suitable for group discussion and analysis.
  • A topic of relevance and appeal to both students and faculty.
  • A subject that lends itself to community-university programming and special activities.