Making the library more accessible

Libraries are for everyone. That’s why we make the extra effort to remove any potential barriers that might otherwise make it more difficult for you to use library products and services. We have introduced everything from book baskets to postal loans, and scanning to our click and collect service, all to make your life easier. Here is a potted overview of some of the ways we work to make your life easier.

Shopping for books

Not everyone finds it easy to carry books around, and anyone can injure themselves, so we make every effort to make all our information accessible to everyone, whatever their needs and physical abilities. Most books are available electronically but if you prefer to read a printed book or you need one of those books that are only available in print you can always request and have delivered to the Atrium for you to pick up using our Click & Collect service. It takes a few days but means you don’t have to haul books around the Library and you don’t have to find books on the shelves. Of course, if you are shopping for books yourself, it helps to have a basket. If your books are heavy or you feel tired, our wheeled trolley baskets are even better. You can find a supply of both kinds of baskets by the curved wall in the Atrium.

Wheeled basket
With a lift to all floors and wheeled baskets with extendible handles, gathering books has never been easier.

Going postal

For many people, getting into the Library is a challenge. If that’s you, you can always request library books by post to anywhere in the UK. This service is free; you just have to get the books back to us when you no longer need them or they are requested by another client, either dropping them back in person or posting them back (we recommend a parcel service where the books are signed for on receipt). We also have a range of physical accessibility aids, such as wheeled trolley baskets and a book stand that holds books up and at a convenient angle to read. All these things are for everyone to use, whether you are fit and healthy but have just strained your elbow at the gym or you have reduced mobility because of a persistent physical disability.

Book being pulled from an envelope, representing a postal loan.
Free books by post can make everything easier if you cannot visit the Library for any reason.

Going beyond print

We can supply scans of book chapters and journal articles to anyone, free of charge. Complete the online request form and we will email screen reader accessible scans to you. For anyone with a visual impairment or print disability, such as dyslexia, we may be able to offer additional services, including making printed materials that are usually available only in print available in a more accessible, screen reader friendly electronic format. If you have any difficulties with your sight – including if you injure yourself or develop sight or reading problems while at university, please don’t hesitate to contact the Library in confidence to discuss your needs. We have well established procedures for supporting clients with additional needs and work with ASDAC, publishers, and the RNIB to help ensure you have the best study experience possible. We just need to know what your needs are!

Our overhead book scanner in operation
Our overhead book scanner makes digitising print quick and easy, so we can get copies of the chapters and articles you need to you when you need them.

Avoiding noise and bustle

Some people find noisy, busy spaces hard to cope with. While there is only so much we can do about the Library building, I have produced a guide explaining how you can avoid busy, noisy spaces by coming in when it is quiet, making use of all our services, or simply getting things delivered to where you live.

Individual study pod
The new individual study pods make isolated study easy. Get here early to grab one before they are all taken!

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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