Library Policies

For additional information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions area or Ask a Librarian.

Security Policy

All library users will be asked to present a current Trinity or other academic institution ID card at the front desk upon entering the building.

Circulation Policies

  • Books may be checked out for a period of four (4) weeks and may be renewed up to three (3) times, provided no patron has put a hold or recall on the item.
  • Videos may be checked out for one (1) week and may be renewed once, provided no patron has put a hold or recall on the item.
  • Each patron may check out up to 50 books and 3 videos.
  • Renewals may be made by phone (call 202-884-9350) or online if the items are not overdue. Fines for overdue items must be cleared before renewal.
  • Periodicals and reference books do not circulate. Reserve material is available in the library only.

Borrowing items from other libraries–Consortium Loan Service (CLS) and Interlibrary Loan:

  • Students, faculty and staff may borrow books or request articles from any of the libraries belonging to the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) via Consortium Loan Service.
  • CLS is a patron-initiated loan service where patrons can directly request items from WRLC libraries.
  • Direct borrowing privileges are suspended when the patron owes $25.00 or more for fines, has ten or more overdue items, or has one overdue recalled item.
  • Trinity students, faculty and staff are also eligible for borrowing items from non-consortium libraries (Interlibrary loan or ILL). These requests generally take longer to fulfill than the CLS service, and due dates are set by the lending institution.
  • For CLS and ILL, the borrower is responsible for all material received via ILL and must abide by the policies of the lending institution. This includes faculty.
  • Borrower is responsible for all fees incurred, such as lost book replacement fees or photocopying charges.
  • The library cannot accept payment for WRLC fines. Patrons may speak to a library staff member for guidance.


  • 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, 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.


  • Unless requested by another patron, faculty may borrow books for the entire semester.
  • All material is due back by the end of the semester. Items must be renewed for each term.
  • AV material may be checked out for a period of one week.


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.

Special Borrowers (Non-degree patrons)

Different policies apply to students who are not pursuing an undergraduate or graduate program. These patrons are not eligible for CLS or interlibrary loan programs but do have access to Trinity resources as well as numerous electronic resources. Also, circulation policies differ slightly for these patrons and are outlined below:

A. Graduate Workshop Students:

  • A special borrower’s ID card will be issued.
  • Each Student may check out up to 5 books.
  • One (1) Renewal is allowed provided there is no hold, recall, or outstanding fine on the item.
  • All items are due at the end of the workshop.

B. Alumnae/i:

  • Alumni must be on file with the Alumni Office.
  • Each patron may check out up to 5 items.
  • Two (2) renewals are allowed provided there is no hold or recall on item.

C. Other:

  • Special privileges may be given to patron groups temporarily residing on campus.
  • These patrons will be given a temporary borrowing card.
  • Each patron may check out up to 2 books.
  • No renewals are allowed.