B2: Sustain Coates Library as a critical intellectual resource for the campus

As one of the leading private libraries in the Southwestern United States, Trinity’s Coates Library is a nationally-recognized leader in connecting students and faculty with traditional and contemporary information resources. The Vice President for Information Resources, Communications and Marketing will oversee efforts to maintain Coates Library as a forwardlooking Learning Commons – a vibrant, shared resource for all members of our academic community. Recognizing the speed at which information can be accessed online, Trinity will devote the necessary human and technological resources to ensure that faculty, students, and other users will find what they need quickly and easily using the Library’s web site and our physical collections. Trinity will continue to pioneer new forms of digital scholarship through the Digital Commons platform.


a student views Digital Commons on her computer

Common Knowledge

Open Access organizations provide research and teaching resources

Trinity University’s Coates Library currently directs more than $56,000 toward open access ventures to increase access to scholarly research. Through membership and subventions, Trinity supports 12 open access organizations that make it easier for students, faculty, and researchers to find the information they need.

Among other organizations, the University supports the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition, Lever Press, Biomed Central, MDPI, Open Book Publishers, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), and Knowledge Unlatched. Coates Library joined Knowledge Unlatched, a London-based nonprofit, in 2016 to support monographs in the humanities and social sciences. Two books, authored by Trinity political science professor Peter O’Brien and sociology and anthropology professor David Spener, were published through Knowledge Unlatched.

Additionally, Trinity supports open access scholarly publishing by providing financial support to nonprofit publishers that make research freely available. The library also provides an online repository, the Digital Commons, where faculty and student scholarship is openly accessible and easy to find. Since 2010, there have been more than 2 million downloads across more than 4,000 works. The most downloaded document was created by a graduate of Trinity’s Master of Arts in Teaching program and has been viewed more than 45,000 times.

In addition to managing the Digital Commons, Trinity’s librarians educate faculty, administrators, and students about the economics of scholarly publishing, the impact on University budgets, and the bigger picture surrounding access to scholarly knowledge. The library even helps faculty and student authors amend their contracts with publishers so that the University can retain a copy of an article or book within the Digital Commons. The library also encourages faculty to submit their works to reputable open access publications. For more information about open access initiatives at Trinity, ask a librarian.