The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


Tiger Learning Commons opens in Coates library

The new Tiger Learning Commons opened this fall semester. Photos by Amani Canada

Correction: Jenny Rowe was incorrectly identified as Jenny Lowe.

On Aug. 28, the Tiger Learning Commons (TLC) officially opened on the third floor of the Elizabeth Huth Coates Library, combining the Student Success Center, Writing Center and Student Accessibility Services in a single space amongst the library’s countless other resources.

To make space for the new area, located just past the circulation desk, library operations staff was relocated to the first floor. Diane Graves, assistant vice president for academic affairs and a university librarian, commented on the addition.

“We’re very happy to welcome the new Tiger Learning Commons to the main floor of the library, and we encourage the Trinity campus community to stop in to see it,” Graves said.

By moving the Writing Center from its previous home in offices on the third floor, the renovation opened up new spaces to study.

“With that construction, we were able to carve out a new, small-group study room on the first floor. We know study rooms are in very high demand; we also know that the kinds of furniture we purchase for those spaces can be important, too,” Graves said. “We are strongly considering making it into a larger group study room and would love to get thoughts from students on the best use of that space, and how it should be furnished.”.

Jenny Rowe, director of the Writing Center, noted that including the Writing Center in the Commons will be extremely beneficial for students, who will now be able to study in a quiet, learning-focused space with writing tutors right on hand.

“We will offer the same services as we did last year. Six days a week, we offer walk-in, no appointment necessary tutoring. We have five, trained undergraduate peer tutors who are trained throughout the year to help all Trinity students at all stages of the writing process. In addition to that, which has always been the bread and butter of the Writing Center, we have, over the past two years, developed a series of evening skills workshops,” Lowe said.

Sophomore Camila Acosta does homework in the new study area. Photo by Amani Canada

Lowe is also excited to use the move as an opportunity for growth.

“I would like to develop the Writing Center to include tutors that are trained in writing disciplines across the curriculum, so I’d love to have a tutor that specializes in business writing, love to have a tutor that specializes in science writing, just in different genres of writing,” Lowe said.

In addition to new offices for the three centers and plenty of room to study, a new testing center has been worked into the TLC as part of Student Accessibility Services.

“TLC has some new technology coming in. They’ll have a new testing center. The old testing center used to be in Halsell, so now it’s up there on the third floor. Theres about 31 computers for testing,” said Greg Longoria, director of academic technology.

Over the summer, all of the computers in the library have been upgraded to Windows 10 under Longoria’s supervision. His department, located on the first floor, also offers Mac desktop computers, study rooms with projectors and a technology check-out service for items such as Chromebooks, iPads, video production equipment and Mac adapters.

The library has also undergone more developments outside of the TLC, such as in Special Collections on the second floor. Special Collections houses materials that are too old, fragile, or valuable to leave the library, as well as the University Archives.

“Special Collections is a great place to visit when looking for primary sources, particularly in our strong collecting areas like Texas history, the history of printing, music, space exploration and Latin American history,” said Colleen Hoelscher, special collections librarian. “We launched an updated version of our Digital Collections website this summer. Here you can see items from Special Collections and University Archives that we have scanned. We are continually adding more content to this site.”

Sophomore Loretta Rodriguez and senior Jessica Phillips take advantage of the new quiet study area. Photo by Amani Canada

Anne Graf, First-Year Experience librarian, had advice for Trinity students on utilizing the library’s resources effectively.

“Start coming to the library early in your Trinity career, and it will become more comfortable for you the more you use it. Some people find it overwhelming because it’s big or it’s organized differently than they’re used to, and the more time you spend here, the more used to that you’ll be,” Graf said.

The library hopes that these new changes will benefit the Trinity community and encourage more students to take advantages of the resources located on campus. If you have any questions or recommendations for improvement, visit the library or email Graves at [email protected].

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