TRLN E-Resources Management Working Group Publishes TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses

The E-Resources Management Working Group (ERMWG) of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) is pleased to announce the publication of the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses. This guide was created to help TRLN member libraries engage in conversations with vendors around e-resource accessibility. Recognizing that licensing is key to codifying the shared understandings and priorities of vendors and libraries, the TRLN E-Resources Management Working Group sought to create “a reference tool for library staff involved in licensing and e-resources management as they advocate for strong accessibility assurances in their formal contracts with service and content providers.”

While the intended audience for the document is TRLN libraries, ERMWG believes it makes sense to share beyond the TRLN community as all librarians are advocates for the needs of their users and regularly participate in conversations both internally and with vendors on how best to ensure those needs are met. This is meant to be a dynamic document. Along with the working group’s more general licensing principles, they envision updating the guide regularly to reflect the gains we have made in accessibility as well as the accessibility concerns brought about by new platforms, resources, and, most of all, user communities. It is their hope that this guide gives the necessary tools to have consistent and impactful communication with vendors as libraries strive to make their e-resources accessible to all users.

There is excitement in the TRLN community for the publication of the guide:

“I am delighted to see the publication of the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses, a valuable reference tool on best practices and advocacy, made available to library staff doing this critical work.” said Dracine Hodges, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services at Duke University Libraries. “This guide supports libraries having a clear alignment of strategies to encourage better design and outcomes. E-resource accessibility is imperative for a more inclusive user experience. I commend my TRLN colleagues for creating this needed contribution to the field.” 

Dracine Hodges, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services at Duke University Libraries

Tessa Minchew, Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University and chair of ERMWG shared

“While we view thoughtful and practical accessibility standards as a fundamental user right, our content and service providers may be trying to balance accessibility with specific business concerns. They may also just be unfamiliar with the work entailed in making a resource accessible and why it is so important to do so. Negotiating for accessibility is an advocacy and outreach opportunity. Thorough preparation for such moments is never wasted. This is why I am so excited about the release of the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses. The guide is a license negotiator’s dream, not only offering sample license language, but also the background information and rationale that a negotiator will need to call upon in their quest for the holy grail of all library licensing … ‘mutually agreeable’.”

Tessa Minchew, Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University and chair of ERMWG

Maria Collins, Department Head, Acquisitions & Discovery, North Carolina State University and longtime ERMWG member appreciates the collaboration inspired by the guide and used in its creation:

“This TRLN Guide provides practical advice for understanding and negotiating license terms related to accessibility, an increasing area of emphasis for libraries given the predominance of electronic resources. What makes this set of guidelines unique is the support provided for the decision making process. Benefiting from collaborative effort, this guide goes beyond providing template language to providing strategies to assist with judgment calls made during license negotiations as well as ways to assess the context and priorities for your institution.” 

Maria Collins, Department Head, Acquisitions & Discovery, North Carolina State University

Access the TRLN Guide to Negotiating Accessibility in E-Resource Licenses at Reach out to with any questions.


TRLN Publishes Guidelines for Language Used in Exhibitions

A team of communication experts, exhibit specialists, and librarians from across TRLN institutions have published guidelines for producing exhibitions that are inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible. “Exhibition Language Guidelines: A Working Document for Academic Library Exhibit Professionals” was developed in response to increased awareness of the role of  academic libraries in dismantling racism. 

 “Building on the momentum of the conscious editing work being conducted by our colleagues in Technical Services and against a backdrop of IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Access) initiatives in our libraries, we saw a common need for a document to guide us, and the curators we work with, when making decisions about ethical descriptions,”  explained Rachel Reynolds, Special Collections Exhibitions Coordinator, at the Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The document includes guidelines on language related to gender orientation and sexual identity; disability; social class and socioeconomic status; age; race, ethnicity, and nationality; and religion and spirituality. The guide is intended for anyone working on library (or other types of) exhibits who aims to write copy that is inclusive and non-offensive, including library staff and campus and community collaborators.

The staff who lead exhibit programs at TRLN member institutions have had collegial relationships for at least a decade, but their collaboration and communication were intensified during the pandemic, as staff wanted to discuss exhibit work and how programs were adapting to pandemic-related challenges and other societal events. 

“As the staff responsible for exhibit-related outreach, we helped to increase the number of exhibitions focused on communities or individuals who had been underrepresented or overlooked,” noted Linda Jacobson, Keeper, North Carolina Collection Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We wanted to make sure that the language we use in our exhibits is current, respectful, and without implicit prejudices and stereotypes.”

From the outset, the group knew that a simple “cheat sheet” with suggested edits would not be sufficient, which led them to produce the more comprehensive and contextualized document. They recognized that even members of particular groups do not always agree on how they want to be described, so a simple glossary was not sufficient; and, they were aware that preferred nomenclature changes overtime.

Each member of the exhibits group took on research and writing responsibilities for different sections of the document, meeting twice per month throughout 2021 to discuss their progress. They consulted and expanded on language guides from other professional disciplines, many of which have been appended to the Guidelines. The group hopes that their guide will benefit not only TRLN institutions but smaller organizations that may not have the resources to develop such a resource. The authors welcome feedback and input on the Guidelines, which will be revised as needed.

The authors of the Guidelines presented their work at the 2022 TRLN Annual Meeting. The recording of that presentation is available at

Contact for more information or to contribute suggestions. 


2022 DLF Forum, DigiPres, and Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium Recap

The 2022 CLIR events included the DLF Forum, NDSA’s DigiPres, the Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium and was held in Baltimore, MD from October 9 – 13.


The keynotes for each event touched on numerous issues relevant to academic libraries including technology’s impact on society, the digital divide, digital preservation and its relationship to provenance, and community archives.

The Forum started with a conversation with data journalist Meredith Broussard and anthropologist and media scholar David Nemer hosted by Sara Mannheimer. Panelists shared how their work explores how technology can perpetuate bias and inequality. The Forum closed with Andrew Coy’s keynote about building digital equity in Baltimore for K-12 students.

Dorothy Berry presented the DigiPres keynote titled “Keeping Whose History, For Whom: Writing the Stories Digital Preservation Tells” and explores enhancing public access to digitized cultural heritage materials and creating new virtual environments for exploring Black history. Berry has numerous publications exploring these concepts and her Archives Unbound column on JSTOR Daily is a fantastic read.

The Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium keynote featured Michelle Caswell with a talk titled “So that Future Organizers Won’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel”: Activating Digital Archives for Liberatory Uses”. Her talk explored the “radical politics of independent, minoritized identity-based community archives to envision new liberatory possibilities for memory work.”

Highlighted Sessions

Slides from the events can be found at, but two sessions to highlight include:

  1. “Changing the Subjects: Making the Catalog Better Than Before” (
  2. “Groove is in the Heart: Trust and Vulnerability in Collaboration” (

Helpful Links


Fall 2022 IDEA Funding Recipients

TRLN is excited to announce two recipients of the second round of IDEA funding: “A Tribute to Hip Hop: Celebrating 50 Years of Creativity” and “Improving Accessibility for Exhibition Spaces in TRLN Libraries”.

About the Projects

A Tribute to Hip Hop: Celebrating 50 Years of Creativity

Submitted by a group of NCCU staff members, “A Tribute to Hip Hop: Celebrating 50 Years of Creativity” will be a series of events “celebrating Hip Hop culture. Hip Hop and the culture created by this genre of music and art will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023.”

The event series will start with a book talk with author and journalist Justin Tinsley to discuss his new book It Was All A Dream: Biggie and The World that Made Him. Part two will be an art exhibit and competition consisting of original works that pay tribute to Hip Hop. Lastly, NCCU’s Shepard Library will host a poetry jam featuring spoken word artists, poets, and rappers and the event will feature a DJ and NCCU’s Hip Hop Dance Crew.

These events are designed to give students an outlet through which they can express their creativity, engage in a creative process with peers, and celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop with the larger campus community and the community at large.

Improving Accessibility for Exhibition Spaces in TRLN Libraries

Submitted by Margaret Brown, Head, Exhibition Services and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Librarian, Duke University Libraries on behalf of a team of people working in exhibits across TRLN institutions, “Improving Accessibility for Exhibition Spaces in TRLN Libraries” will increase accessibility to exhibitions in TRLN libraries through assessment, discussion and commitment to follow-through on all feasible accessibility work.

Accessibility for exhibitions in libraries is complicated by the nature of the architecture, cases and collection materials. For example, balancing the preservation of unique materials with required low light levels can make it difficult for people with visual disabilities and tall built-in cases can make it difficult for people who utilize wheelchairs. The exhibition programs in TRLN Libraries serve many different audiences, contain a wide variety of formats of materials and their spaces and cases were often not designed to be ADA compliant. Because most exhibitions are short-term, and resources and personnel time are limited, the goal of making every instance fully accessible to people with all abilities has often been unachievable. This project includes a series of consultations to help our institutions design practical frameworks and prioritization models for the nature of library exhibition programs. Local specifications are one deliverable of this project, but the group will also work towards more general guidelines to share with other libraries.

One part of this process is to hire an accessibility consultant to visit each of the library exhibition spaces and create site specific reports. Although none of the TRLN institutions are currently in a position to consider redesign of exhibition spaces, being made aware of all potential problems can help with compensating for potentially inaccessible spaces in exhibition design and fabrication and advocate for change. Having a better awareness of the accessibility challenges spaces pose will help the group design accessible exhibits moving forward.

This project would be a step towards awareness and a commitment to making accessibility a part of the regular workflow as opposed to an occasional act when practical.

About TRLN’s IDEA funding

TRLN seeks to support our member institutions’ work in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility with project funding. Staff members at any TRLN library can apply for funding for a variety of projects that further their library’s and TRLN’s goals to establish or advance inclusion, diversity, equity, or accessibility efforts.

The Executive Committee approved a total of $100,000 of funding, to be distributed across two years (two funding cycles per year). The next call for proposals will open in Spring 2023. Learn more about this funding.

Contact with any questions about this project or TRLN’s IDEA funding.


New working group established to lead ReShare implementation

TRLN’s Executive Committee approved a recommendation made by the ReShare Evaluation Task Group to implement ReShare Returnables and form a working group to undertake this implementation. 

The ReShare Implementation Working Group (RIWG) will plan for, implement, coordinate training for, and document the ReShare Returnables product as used by TRLN. Additionally, they will coordinate sunsetting Relais D2D since it will be replaced by ReShare Returnables. Reach out to with any questions about this group or its work.


DukeAndrea Loigman, Head, Access and Delivery Services
Michael Edwards, Resource Sharing Librarian
Erin Nettifee, IT Business Analyst
NC CentralVickie Spencer, Head Circulation Librarian
Yan Wang, Systems Librarian
NC StateMia Partlow, Resource Sharing Librarian
Kristen Wilson, Discovery Systems Manager
UNC Chapel HillRenée Bosman, Government Information Librarian
Joe Moran, Systems Administrator
Ashleigh Donaldson, Borrowing Assistant
David Pierpont, Saturday and Carrels Supervisor
Jamie McGarty, Library Software Applications Developer
TRLNKelly Farrell, Program Officer (Project lead)
Genia Kazymova, Applications Developer
Members of the ReShare Implementation Working Group across TRLN.


Below is a high level timeline and a more detailed timeline is available within the group’s charge. The RIWG will complete the tasks outlined within to the best of their ability, but with an overall goal of implementing ReShare Returnables in May 2023.

July – August 2022Planning & DevelopmentRefinement of users stories for additional development of ReShare Returnables
Development of testing plan stand up testing environment
September – December 2022Testing & PlanningTesting and issue reporting begins
January – March 2023Testing & ImplementationDraft local documentation
Complete testing and stand up production environment
Develop TRLN support and sustainability plan
April – May 2023ImplementationEstablish TRLN Direct reporting with production data
Go live!
June – September 2023CleanupComplete local documentation
Establish TRLN ReShare user group
Timeline and tasks of ReShare Implementation Working Group.



Updates to TRLN Discovery Subject Remapping Program

The TRLN Discovery Metadata Team recently created a public list of requests for subject heading remappings so people can more easily review what has already been requested and the status of the request. Access the list at

Learn more about this program at and reach out to with any questions.


2022 TRLN Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

TRLN is now inviting proposals for presentations and workshops for the 2022 Annual Meeting being held on July 11 and 12.

The deadline to submit a proposal is June 1.

Proposals of up to 150 words should be submitted along with an abbreviated abstract of 50 words that will be included on the annual meeting website.

About Presenting

Who can present?

Anyone who works in a TRLN member institution. We welcome proposals of any domain, area of expertise, and library. We also encourage partnering with colleagues to co-present.

What topics should presentations be about?

We welcome presentations about interesting activities at your institution. Do you have a completed, current, or upcoming project that other attendees might want to hear about or replicate? Working groups and interest groups are encouraged to share updates about their projects and accomplishments.

If you are planning on presenting or leading a workshop at another conference later this year, we also encourage you to present during the annual meeting to share your exciting work and to practice presenting.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Technologies, infrastructure, and/or vendor relations;
  • Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility projects or programs;
  • Collections and resources;
  • Policy, legal, and accessibility issues;
  • Project management, design, or implementation;
  • Assessment;
  • Education and/or professional development; 
  • Partnerships with university presses;
  • Leadership and management; and
  • Sustainability.

How long can presentations be?

Presentations ranging from 5 minute lightning talks, 30 minute presentations, or longer workshops will be considered. Sessions will be grouped into blocks. If you have an idea for a longer workshop, please submit your idea and if selected, TRLN staff can coordinate scheduling this workshop around the same time as the annual meeting.

When will I hear if my proposal has been accepted?

All submissions will be reviewed by the Annual Meeting Steering Committee and selections will be announced by June 14.

Can I pre-record my presentation?

Yes! If you prefer to pre-record your presentation, TRLN staff can work with you to record your presentation and stream it during a scheduled time in the program for attendees. You can also present live and we expect most will do so, but we want to try and accommodate as many presentation preferences as possible. Regardless of presenting live or pre-recording, there will be a live Q&A with the presenters.

Reach out to if you have any questions!


Save the Date for the 2022 TRLN Annual Meeting

The 2022 TRLN Annual Meeting will be Monday, July 11 and Tuesday, July 12. This year we will be meeting in person at the Carolina Theatre on the first day and online for the second. This year’s theme will be “Sustainability: Social Equity, Economics, and Environment”.

The meeting will feature two keynote speakers, panels and presentations from your TRLN colleagues, and more! The event page will continue to be updated with details as we get closer to the Annual Meeting. If you have any questions, please contact


TRLN IDEA Funding awarded to “UNC Black Faculty Vanguard” project

TRLN is excited to announce the first recipient of IDEA funding will be the project “UNC Black Faculty Vanguard” proposed by Sarah Carrier – North Carolina Research and Instruction Librarian for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Special Collections Library.

About project

The purpose of this project is to locate and digitize primary documents/artifacts about the first Black faculty members at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1966 – 1973. These materials, primarily housed at Wilson Special Collections Library, will be organized to tell the stories of the first Black faculty members and speak to one essential part of the overall story of desegregation at UNC-Chapel Hill. The project will culminate in an online digital exhibit built in Omeka featuring each of the first Black faculty members, plus a timeline of the era.

Dr. James H. Brewer, UNC-Chapel Hill History Professor and Director of the Afro-American Studies. Appeared in October, 1972 issue of Black Ink, the UNC-Chapel Hill Black Student Movement newspaper

Wilson Special Collections Library is where UNC history is researched and preserved. There exists no single resource for researchers or for community members to gain an overall view and understanding of the individual stories of the first Black faculty at UNC, nor their impact on the University as a whole. In fact, the realities and lived experiences of the entire desegregation era is still in many ways not as well understood as it could be, considering the immense interest in race at UNC-Chapel Hill. By learning from this vanguard’s lived experiences, this collective insight will instruct communities on and off campus about the realities of desegregating the faculty at the nation’s first public university.

The content of the Omeka exhibit to be published in the Fall of 2022.

Potential for collaboration

This project will be focused on the very first Black faculty members at UNC-Chapel Hill, but the ideal outcome is connect and collaborate with other TRLN institutions to either create and explicitly coordinate digital resources related to vanguard Black faculty at all TRLN institutions – to honor their efforts and their contributions in building our universities. Together, these resources will fulfill a research need and forge community connection.

In collaboration with Sarah Carrier, TRLN staff are exploring how this project can connect to similar work at Duke, NCCU, and NC State.

About TRLN’s IDEA funding

TRLN seeks to support our member institutions’ work in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility with project funding. Staff members at any TRLN library can apply for funding for a variety of projects that further their library’s and TRLN’s goals to establish or advance inclusion, diversity, equity, or accessibility efforts.

The Executive Committee approved a total of $100,000 of funding, to be distributed across two years (two funding cycles per year). The next call for proposals will open in Summer 2022. Learn more about this funding.

Contact with any questions about this project or TRLN’s IDEA funding.


Funding available to support IDEA projects

TRLN announces the first round of funding to support member libraries’ work in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). The Executive Committee has allocated $50,000 per year for two years to fund IDEA projects and activities. We are eager to see the ideas that emerge. The application deadline for the Spring 2022 funding cycle is March 25. Details are available on the TRLN IDEA Funding page. Contact with questions or to discuss a potential proposal.