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Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative

This guide provides practical information and library resources for UNTs transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender variant, and gender diverse students.

Information for Librarians

The purpose of this page is to share the steps that went into the Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative. Our hope is that others can adapt what they learn here to serve their local transgender community OR modify the initiative to serve other marginalized populations in their area. We would love to hear about how you adapted this initiative for your community.

trans accessible libraries initiative

This page includes:

  • Needs assessment,
  • Collection development process,
  • Promotion and outreach,
  • Next steps, and
  • Resources consulted.

As described on the About page of this guide, funding for this initiative came from a Dean's Innovation Grant awarded to Julie Leuzinger (she/her/hers), Coby Condrey (he/him/his), and Clark Pomerleau (he/him/his). It is also driven by a passion and dedication for making all of our libraries accessible and welcoming for transgender individuals.

If you have questions about the initiative overall, please contact Julie Leuzinger. If you would like more information about the Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative image above, please reach out to the UNT Libraries External Relation Office.

NOTE: While I have tried to use inclusive language in this guide, if you notice anything that could be improved, please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions. 

Needs Assessment

This needs assessment began in 2016 through the Texas Gender Project, funded by another Dean's Innovation Grant, started by Spencer Keralis, Julie Leuzinger, and Jennifer Rowe. We asked transgender Texans about their impressions of library services, then asked Texas Librarians about their knowledge of transgender issues. We shared our recommendations based on our findings with the Texas Library Journal in the 2017 article, Providing Inclusive Services to Transgender Customers. This research, along with the UNT Libraries excellent relationship with the Pride Alliance (the campus gender and sexuality education, outreach, and resource office) provided a foundation for learning the needs of our local community. 

Additional research, including, but not limited to, the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, Stephen Kreuger's bookDrake's 2017 article, and Lyttan's 2019 article informed the initial proposal for the Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative and were crucial in the outcomes of the project as a whole. 

Part of the needs assessment also included the collection evaluation, which is described in further detail below. 

Collection Development

The $3000 collection enhancement was based on the following criteria determined in the needs assessment:

  • E-books, so students did not have to come to library if they were not comfortable and wanted to maintain privacy,
  • Books published within the last 10 years so the collection is current,
  • Mostly books published in the U.S. if they were "how to" (for example: navigating health insurance),
  • English language because it is the primary language on campus (if your community is largely Spanish speaking, consider including those), and
  • Adult books (the local public library already does a great job collecting YA materials),

We excluded books on:

  • Teens, children, and elderly since our users are adults (if you are a public library, consider including those), and
  • LGBTQ+ books that were too broadly focused (instead focusing on transgender or gender identity specific) because most LGBTQ+ resources focus very little on the T.

We used Gobi to make a list of everything published with the above criteria covering transgender and non-binary themes . Then created subject based (medical, humanities, and social sciences) anonymous surveys in Qualtrics. The screen shot below is from the medical books survey, which had 16 books. 

Qualtrics survey on trans medical books

The screen shot below includes the directions and information about book selection.

Qualtrics trans book survey directions

The screen shot below is an example of how the survey appeared (the title links out to the book description).

Qualtrics guide to transgender health

It is critical to actually get input from the population this initiative is serving so we partnered with the Pride Alliance as well as select faculty to get survey links out to the right students. We did not want students to have to out themselves just to participate, which is why the anonymous survey was so important. 

The Collection Assessment Department put together a collection evaluation report using circulation, interlibrary loan, and usage data to make collection enhancement recommendations based on the call number ranges provided (this topic is interdisciplinary). The image below is from their report.

collection evaluation qualitative matrix of subjects

The Collection Development Liaison Librarian, Coby Condrey, used the data from the surveys and the collection evaluation to make final selections that fit within our budget. If items were available on DDA (demand driven acquisition) through Gobi, we were able to include those too deferring the purchase cost to if or when the item is used. 

Promotion and Outreach

In progress, come back this summer for details! 

Next Steps

In progress, come back this summer for details!

Resources

Additional Links

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