Bailey/Howe adds gender-free bathrooms

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I’m writing on behalf of the UVM Libraries to provide some clarity about the current state of access to gender-free restrooms in Bailey/ Howe Library.

John Riedel’s Oct. 11 article “Students Call for Gender Inclusive Bathrooms” featured
a graphic indicating that the Bailey/Howe Library has one gender-inclusive bathroom.

This was true in Aug. 2016, when a UVM gender-inclusive restroom task force released the report that informs the graphic; it is not the case anymore.

Following student protests described in the article, UVM Libraries joined the task force and worked closely with student feedback to improve restroom access.

In fall 2016, we opened four new gender-free restrooms on Bailey/Howe Library’s second and third floors, including two multi-stall restrooms, each of which accommodates two users at a time.

When we renovated our first floor this fall, we added an additional single-occupancy gender-free restroom.

Bailey/Howe is now home to six gender-free restrooms, accommodating eight simultaneous users, with access on each of the library’s four floors.

We learned a lot from students during this process.

We value the collaboration that led to increased access and are proud of our work to create a more inclusive experience for library users. It is critical to our mission that all UVM students are able to use our services, collections and programs.

We want UVM students to know that they can find a gender-free restroom on every floor of the library. I hope you’ll share this information with your readers, so they have the full story.


Selene Colburn Assistant to the Dean for External Relations and Dance Liaison University of Vermont Libraries
Bailey/Howe Library