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Accessing Resources

Cambridge libraries: accessibility & disability

A guide to library accessibility services for students

COVID-19 and library spaces

Please note that due to COVID-19 and changing circumstances, physical library spaces may be closed, operating with different opening hours or with modified layouts. The information below may not reflect the latest situation. You are advised to check library websites before any visit and contact library staff ahead of your visit if you may be impacted by physical changes to buildings.

About Cambridge libraries

There are over 100 libraries in the Cambridge library network (don't worry, you'll probably only use a few of them!), occupying very different styles and ages of buildings and presenting different challenges from an accessibility perspective. For example, there may be narrow spaces between shelves or books shelved over two metres high in some libraries, so some users may require assistance. Conversely, many libraries provide different seating (e.g. adjustable chairs) and desk (e.g. standing) options to cater to different needs and preferences, and lifts may be available to improve access.

Below are some pointers to available information about physical access to libraries. As information may go out of date easily (and especially in the current COVID climate), if you have questions or concerns about access to library buildings and facilities please contact the relevant library using the contact information in the Cambridge Libraries Directory in advance of a visit.

University Library

The University Library website provides information about access to the University Library building as well as services for disabled library users. There is also a University Library AccessAble listing within the University's AccessAble site.

Faculty & departmental libraries

Faculty and departmental libraries are generally located within the building that houses other facilities such as lecture theatres, teaching rooms, labs etc. Faculty and department buildings are listed on the University of Cambridge's AccessAble site, and in most cases library information is included. Search the University of Cambridge section of AccessAble for your department or faculty to find out how accessible your library is.

Please note that temporary changes to physical library spaces due to COVID-19 may not be reflected in AccessAble. Please check library websites before any visit and contact library staff ahead of your visit if you have any needs which may be impacted by physical changes to buildings.

College libraries

Access information for the 31 Cambridge colleges is available from the Disability Resource Centre. Library information is included.

Information out of date?

Information about buildings, services and facilities can go out of date quickly. If you discover any incorrect information on any of the websites linked from this page, please send us an email. We will contact the site owners and ask them to update their pages.

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