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Disability Access and Support

If you have a disability or specific learning difference such as dyslexia, we offer a range of library services to help support you. We are always open to suggestions of ways in which access might be improved or new services that might be introduced.

Access to the library  

There are power assisted doors at the main entrance of the library building, and a lift is available to the first floor study areas and Education resources. Disabled parking spaces are available on the Main Campus. 

A priority PC on a height adjustable desk is provided close to the entrance of the library. If this PC is already in use when you arrive and you require access to it, please ask a member of Hub or library staff for assistance. There are also two priority desks in the Social Zone near the out of hours doors. All students with mobility issues can gain access via the out of hours doors 24 hours a day with their ID card. 

Accessible toilets are available a short distance away from the Library in J Block, just past the Dolche Vita café. 

Assistive Technology Suite 

There is an Assistive Technology suite located in the library on the lower ground floor. Access is limited to students registered with Student Wellbeing Services, and you must have your university ID card with you to gain access. This room contains height adjustable desks, as well as assistive technology on dedicated PCs for help with your studies. 

Fetching service 

If you have difficulties accessing the online catalogue or physically retrieving books from shelves, we can arrange for books to be collected and held for you. Please contact us 24 hours in advance with a list of your requests on 020 8240 4097 or by email at

Alternative formats service 

The Alternative Formats Service is designed to support students and staff with disabilities and specific learning differences in using library resources. 

The service can provide copies of publications in various formats, depending on your assessed need. Examples include: 

  • Electronic books with built-in accessibility features 
  • PDFs (screen-readable) 
  • Word Documents 
  • EPUB ebooks 
  • DAISY Audiobooks 
  • Standard audio files (e.g. MP3 format) 

Digital formats can be used with screen reading software and magnifying software.  

If a resource on your Resource List is not available electronically or not accessible, you should initially register with the Student Wellbeing Service if you have not already. Once you have been assessed by the Wellbeing Team as qualifying for alternative formats, Wellbeing will issue you with a login for the RNIB Bookshare service. 

We do not have the facilities to print out copies of resources that are available electronically. If you need to print out resources due to a disability, please seek advice from Student Wellbeing Service; they may be able to support you to apply for Disabled Student Allowances (DSA)

RNIB Bookshare Service 

This service can provide copies of publications in various formats, depending on your assessed need and availability from publishers. 

RNIB eligibility rules are here 

If you find that a certain book is not available, you may be able to request it here, so long as the University owns a physical copy. 

You should start by searching RNIB Bookshare for any books you need to access in electronic format. 

If a book isn't available and the Library owns a copy in print or e-book format (or is on a Resource List), email with your requirements. 

Requests for an individual chapter or article: Library staff will provide access to a scanned copy. 

Requests for more than one chapter or article: The Library will request electronic access directly from the publisher; if this is received it will be emailed to you. 

We are not able to digitise entire Resource Lists, only individual resources on a case-by-case basis. 

Someone else borrowing on your behalf 

If you are unable to visit the library, you can arrange for a nominated helper (e.g. a relative or support worker) to borrow on your behalf. Please contact to set up this arrangement. 

Portable hearing induction loop 

Please ask staff in the library if you require this, or wish to use it for discussions elsewhere in the vicinity of the library. 

Individual inductions  

We are happy to run individual inductions at any time of the year to help you find your way around the library and use our resources. If you would prefer to find out about our services and resources on a one-to-one basis, please ask in the library or email

Accessibility Statement 

  • St Mary's Library and Digital Support is committed to the fair and equal treatment of all users.
  • The Library and its services aim to be accessible to all users. Where an equivalent level of access cannot be provided, alternative services will be offered.
  • All users have a right to know what services are available and how access to those services can be supported. 
  • We will work towards implementing changes necessary to support these aims. 
  • Information regarding the accessibility of library services is made available in print and electronic format via the website. 
  • Library staff are encouraged to be aware of the issues surrounding services for users with disabilities and dyslexia and to attend disability awareness sessions.