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What students need from academic libraries has changed dramatically in recent years. We are reminded of this by each new article on library space design, which may emphasize movable furniture, Wi-Fi connectivity, class-room technology, and group study spaces. What is less frequently noted is that in all these years of change and adaptation, at least one need has remained the same: the need for a working bathroom.

Bathrooms are fundamentally important; nevertheless, we are often uncomfortable talking about these spaces (and the activities that take place within them) in public contexts.

In this conference proceeding, the authors build on their prior research discussing why bathrooms are missing from the literature, and they share findings from their Library Bathroom Tour.


This is a conference proceeding from the 2017 meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), At the Helm: Leading Transformation. The document can be found at



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