Skip to Main Content

Resources for My Subject

English Faculty Library Services: Accessibility


The Cambridge Libraries Accessibility Service guide is useful for those who are looking for information or advice about accessible library services, and includes information about assistive technology and alternate formats. 

At English, we are here to offer support and make the library accessible to everyone. If you have a disability or health condition which affects how you use the library, and are registered with the Disability Resource Centre, library staff will be aware of some of your requirements. However, we are always happy to hear from you and if you wish to discuss your requirements with us further, please contact the English Library by email.

Information about access to the building is available from AccessAble

Information about other study spaces in Cambridge can be found on SpacefinderAccessAble logo

Library layout and accessibility
Step free access

There is, unfortunately, no lift inside the library, and so if you require step-free access, you will be asked to use the lift in the main Faculty building (opposite the library), and given first floor and basement access using your university card. This should be offered to you by the Faculty in advance of arriving, but please ask staff if you are not sure. Library staff will always be happy to show you the step free entrances.


There are accessible and gender neutral toilets on the ground floor and first floor in the library, and others in the basement in the Faculty building.


Many of the chairs in the library are adjustable and ergonomic; if, however, you have any specific requirements for seating, please contact library staff. There are height adjustable (or standing) desks on the first floor near the top of the stairs.

Sidgwick site access map (click the map to expand it)

A map of the Sidgwick site with accessible buildings outlined

Services for students with disabilities
Fetching and carrying

Library staff can fetch books for you at any time, just ask at the desk. Alternatively use the Click and Collect service. If you require further assistance (such as having books sent directly to your college), please contact us.

Reserving desk space

If you wish to reserve a specific desk in the library, this can be done on a short- or long-term basis, depending on your requirements. The library has a variety of types of desk spaces, for more information, speak to the library staff.

Accessible resources

The library may be able provide resources in a different format to suit your requirements: we can often access electronic copies of resources in a text readable format. Please see the accessibility guide for more information. 

Extended borrowing rights

All students registered with the Disability Resource Centre are given extended borrowing rights, and most books borrowed from the English Faculty Library will renew automatically for as long as you need them. Short Loan books, DVDs and CDs will not automatically renew, and if you are unable to return them within the loan period (usually 4 days), we would advise you to contact library staff.

Returning books

The library has an external book dropbox, nicknamed Sidgbox, by the bicycle racks between the English Faculty and the ARC cafe. This is fully accessible, and can be used to return books from most libraries on the Sidgwick site. Books are collected from here daily and returned to the appropriate libraries.

Food and drink

Drinks with lids are always permitted in the library. If you have a health condition or disability that requires you to eat at regular intervals, you should feel free to do so in the library; however, we would ask respectfully that you go to the social space outside the library if you intend to eat something which might disturb other library users.

Working with other libraries

If you need to use other libraries for your studies, and are unsure about the space or services they offer please contact the relevant library - information is available via the Libraries Directory.

© Cambridge University Libraries | Accessibility | Privacy policy | Log into LibApps