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Accessing Resources

Cambridge libraries: accessibility & disability

A guide to library accessibility services for students

Who is this guide for?

This guide is put together by the Cambridge Libraries Accessibility Service. It is intended for:

  • students using any library in the Cambridge libraries network (University Library, faculty/departmental libraries, college libraries) who are looking for information or advice about accessible library services
  • people who are considering applying to Cambridge, or have been accepted on a course, and would like to know how accessible our libraries are and what support is available for those with accessibility needs

For the Alternate Formats Service (see Accessible readings), evidence of a disability is required due to copyright law. Registration with the University's Disability Resource Centre (DRC) and referral to the Alternate Formats Service is a pre-requisite.

Members of library staff, please note that the Accessibility & Inclusivity Toolkit has moved to a new location.

Why might I need this guide?

Using libraries and library resources (books, articles, databases etc.) is at the heart of a Cambridge education and at the centre of academic research. While we strive to make libraries universally accessible, we are a long way from this aim. Sometimes library users can encounter barriers to reading and study.

Barriers can present problems for:

  • people with a permanent disability, such as a visual or physical impairment, a specific learning disability or a mental health condition
  • those with a temporary disability, such as an injury or illness
  • people in situations where using some kinds of resources can be a struggle: studying in noisy environments, poor lighting, a slow internet connection, using a small screen for example

This guide helps by signposting information and services to help overcome these barriers, as well as explaining some of the ways in which the libraries are working towards a more universally accessible service.

About the Libraries Accessibility Service

The Libraries Accessibility Service is a new service established in November 2020, based at the University Library.

The service will work across the Cambridge library network to ensure that library users have equal access to services and resources regardless of their accessibility needs.

Please see Contact us for further information.

External links disclaimer

Throughout this LibGuide you will find links to external websites. Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate, up to date and relevant, we cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by other parts of Cambridge University or external providers.  

Please report any links that don't work to us.

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