Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library History: Part Six 2010's

Chapter 5, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

On October 4, 1971 the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library was dedicated, bringing health sciences library services to a permanent home at the University of Utah. From the beginning, we have been known for pioneering new ideas, new technologies, and innovative partnerships. This exhibition series will showcase our history, from the first health sciences library collection in 1908 to the present-day.

2010’s Table of Contents:

  1. Evolution of Space
  2. Changing Access
  3. Innovative Service
  4. Discovering Technology
  5. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  6. Notable Events, Faculty, & Staff

Black History Month

In 2017, the Eccles Library began an annual series of guest lectures, exhibits, Community Reads, and film screenings celebrating Black History Month of February.

The first exhibit, Celebratory Retrospective on the History of African Americans in Utah, highlighted three prominent Black Utahns for their Civil Rights activism in the state and the University of Utah campus.

Pastor France Davis
Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church, an author, and a leading voice for justice in Utah.



Herman Hooten
University of Utah’s Ethnic Minority Director for the Health Sciences Center, and Assistant Dean of Minority Affairs for the School of Medicine.


Dr. Charles James Nabors
(1934 -1986)
First African American Faculty member at the University of Utah, Utah’s DNC leader during Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, Utah’s NAACP leader.

The series continued in 2018 with The Stories of African Americans in Early Utah History, and in 2019 with Race: The Power of an Illusion.

Charles Nabors & Herman Hooten

A wall in the library’s Garden Level was dedicated to showcasing recipients of the Leadership in Inclusive Excellence Award from the University of Utah Health’s Office of Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. Award recipients include the Eccles Library’s Joan M. Gregory.

Portraits of Dr. Charles James Nabors, the first African American faculty member at the University of Utah and Herman Hooten, M.S.W. who served as the Director of the University of Utah’s Ethnic Minority Health Sciences Center and as Assistant Dean for Minority Affairs at the University Of Utah’s School of Medicine were placed to honor both of these prominent figures at the University of Utah.

Read the full profiles of Charles J. Nabors, PhD → and Herman Hooten, MSW →

Utah Women in Medicine

The Utah Women in Medicine Exhibit presents many of the female clinicians and researchers who have contributed to the health sciences legacy of excellence at the University of Utah, from the pioneering women in the early medical classes to the innovative women advancing today’s medical field.

This exhibit is permanent, and is located in the Eccles Health Sciences Library main level on the south-facing art gallery wall.

Where is the diversity in the Portrait Gallery?

Naloxone Kits

In 2019 the Eccles Library began providing no-cost Naloxone rescue kits courtesy of Utah Naloxone. Naloxone (Narcan®) is an injection that reverses and stops an opioid overdose from occurring.

Kits are available at the Eccles Library front desk →

Menstrual Products

Free Menstrual Products in all Restrooms

In an effort to increase menstrual equity, the library began offering menstrual products, for free, in all restrooms in 2019. Like toilet paper, health products should be readily available for all who need them, and it’s very common for periods to unexpectedly start.

These products were also made available in the men’s restroom for trans and intersex visibility (or to grab one for a friend in need!). Creating access for any one, for any reason at the Eccles Library.


Therapy Animals

In 2016, Public Services began inviting therapy animals to visit the students studying at the library during finals week of spring and fall semesters. The visits were so popular that taking a “Paws before Finals” became a mainstay of the library’s wellness programs.

Free Yoga

The library began offering free yoga classes every Wednesday at noon in 2016. The project was initially a ten-week trial series in summer 2016. At the end of the trial  the weekly attendance and  feedback was so positive that the  series continued through the present day. Free yoga at the library also provided a much needed complementary and integrative health option for students, staff, and faculty of the health sciences.

Tallie Casucci, Donna Baluchi, from A Health Sciences Library Promotes Wellness with Free Yoga


Event Series

Joan M. Gregory organized art galleries from numerous community members on campus, a weekly book club on various social topics called “Community Reads” as well as a lecture series “Evening Ethics” and several film screenings as part of Joan’s greater access and inclusion efforts.