Guiding Principles

In all of its activities and initiatives, TRLN will:

  • promote openness and information sharing, across the consortium and beyond;
  • pursue the goal of dismantling racial injustice and inequity in research libraries by considering issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility; 
  • emphasize fiscal responsibility and thoughtful stewardship of resources; and
  • make data-informed decisions.


This program plan will guide TRLN’s activities and resource allocation through 2023. The plan will be reviewed annually by the Advisory Council and Executive Committee and will be revised as needed.

Collaborative Collecting

  • Develop a robust, complementary, and accessible collection that takes advantage of members’ geographic proximity, serves diverse user communities, and highlights members’ unique strengths.
    • Document and communicate widely about members’ participation in print retention programs that serve to reduce costs of maintenance and space; 
    • Utilize our robust shared index to analyze collections and reduce duplication of print collections, within TRLN and beyond;
    • Continue working toward online access to scholarship and creative licensing of digital resources.
      • When appropriate and mutually beneficial, seek to enter agreements as a consortium, and actively seek opportunities for negotiating agreements with other consortia;
      • Develop and implement licensing guidelines that articulate the importance of accessible electronic resources.

Key Facts & Figures

TRLN is the oldest academic library consortium in the United States. The member libraries’ combined collections include over 20 million volumes. In 2006, prior to the proliferation of electronic monographs, over 70% of the consortium’s print materials were unique to one institution, with only 2% overlap by all four institutions.

Sharing Collections, Scholarship, and Knowledge

  • Establish and implement tools and policies to support sharing of materials among and beyond our member institutions.
    • Collect and share data about TRLN resource sharing that may be used for individual library reporting and may inform decisions about shared interlibrary services; 
    • Implement Project ReShare; 
    • Document and seek opportunities to simplify and streamline circulation policies across TRLN institutions and libraries;
    • Explore controlled digital lending (CDL) and share best practices with consortial and CDL communities.
  • Maintain and continually improve the shared index and related discovery applications.
    • Make the discovery experience more inclusive through methods that include  re-mapping problematic subject headings, incorporating variant creator names, and meeting accessibility guidelines;
    • Monitor our Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting costs and explore opportunities to decrease these expenses while maintaining quality of service. 
  • Support member libraries’ efforts to increase access to primary resources and scholarship by and about Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC)and pursue opportunities to collaboratively promote underrepresented works. 
  • Contribute to global efforts to transform scholarly communication into a more sustainable and equitable enterprise.
    • Collect, analyze, and disseminate data about TRLN scholarly communication; 
    • Contribute expertise and tools to collaborative projects.
  • Develop processes for sharing information across TRLN about licenses and agreements with other consortia.
  • Develop and share best practices in licensing and negotiating principles.

Building Capacity

  • Through seminars, training, the TRLN Annual Meeting, and other activities, facilitate acquisition, application, and exchange of knowledge and skills of individual staff, libraries, and our consortium.
    • Identify selected areas of expertise across our libraries that could be shared and promoted across and beyond TRLN; 
    • Identify areas of need for training and professional development;
    • Generate collaborative professional development opportunities to expand cost savings and further spur collegiality among our staff;
    • Develop and communicate a plan for coordinated professional development opportunities;
    • Continuously assess the structure and goals of the TRLN Annual Meeting to ensure that it reflects the work and priorities of member libraries; 
    • Promote and amplify the work and interests of BIPOC staff at member libraries. 
  • Create and pursue opportunities for collaboration with geographically proximate schools of library and information science (LIS) and other local educational institutions, with an emphasis on outreach to and recruitment of people from underrepresented communities and identities.
    • Consolidate and disseminate opportunities for research projects or practica; 
    • Participate in career fairs of local public high schools; 
    • Consider developing a program to introduce high school students to career opportunities in academic libraries; 
    • Collaborate with LIS schools on development of curricula and courses that are informed by the current landscape of academic libraries.
  • Deliberately situate TRLN in the context of other consortia and explore how to direct our energy and talent meaningfully. 

Member Libraries