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Support for disabled users

UCL Library Services is committed to ensuring that students, staff and visitors are not disabled by our services or by the Library environment.


Service accessibility

The UCL Library is committed to removing barriers that may prevent students, staff or visitors from making the most of our services. Below are some examples of adjustments that can be made to improve access to UCL Library Services. Please email the Library Membership Team with any feedback regarding accessibility, we welcome suggestions for further reasonable adjustments.

Orientation tours

Library staff offer one-to-one orientation tours to improve accessibility at every Library site. These tours help familiarise students, staff, and visitors with the learning environment and our services. Please contact the Library Membership Team by email to arrange an appointment at the required Library site.

Orientation tours can be offered at any time of the year. Prospective students who have been offered a place at UCL are welcome to book an appointment before enrolment.

Digital accessibility

A detailed guide to e-learning, web accessibility and assistive software can be found on the accessibility of the digital environment webpage.

The Digital Accessibility Hub is a dedicated IT workroom that provides improved access for students that are disabled. Students must book an induction via Student Support and Wellbeing before access to the Digital Accessibility Hub will be granted. The induction will introduce you to assistive software specific to your needs. The Digital Accessibility Hub can also offer assistance with printing and accessible scanning. The Library has a provision that allows registered students to move items that are normally restricted to reference use to the Digital Accessibility Hub for short periods. Students must agree for Student Support and Wellbeing to share a limited amount of information with the Library Membership Team for this adjustment to be made.

Students who are print disabled are subject to a copyright exemption, and UCL has an account with RNIB BookShare that can be used to provide accessible digital copies of books when suitable formats are not already available. Please contact Student Support and Wellbeing for more information. UCL has also acquired Blackboard Ally, a tool that provides students with alternative file formats for course materials in the Moodle virtual learning environment.

UCL staff seeking guidance for improving digital accessibility should refer to the creating accessible content webpage.

Extended loans

The Library offers extended loans to UCL students and staff who have registered with Student Support and Wellbeing. This adjustment will extend the one week loan period to a two week period, allowing more time to consult materials that may be important to your studies. You will also be able to reserve up to 6 items at a time.

Please note that other loan periods are not affected, and that overdue fines still apply if items are returned later than the due date.

Students and staff must agree for Student Support and Wellbeing to share a limited amount of information with the Library Membership Team for this adjustment to be made.

Fetching service

The Library offers a fetching service to UCL students and staff who have registered with Student Support and Wellbeing. Library staff will retrieve books, journals, and other items, and make them available at the preferred Issue Desk/Collection Point. This service is also available to visitors on a case by case basis.

All requests should be placed with the Library Membership Team, and should be submitted by email a minimum of one working day in advance. Students and staff must agree for Student Support and Wellbeing to share a limited amount of information with the Library Membership Team for this adjustment to be made.

Reading list and database search assistance

Library staff can provide one-to-one demonstrations on the use of Library Explore, the single search tool for finding journals, books, full-text articles, archive material, and much more. Please submit an email request for a demonstration to the Library Membership Team, allowing three working days for the appointment to be arranged.

Many of our sites also offer assistance with literature searches, resource discovery and reference management software. Please speak to staff at one of the Help Points for more information.

Access for support workers, study assistants or carers

The Library will provide access for support workers, study assistants and carers accompanying a registered UCL student, member of staff, or visitor, even if they are not registered at UCL themselves. Access can be provided at a membership service point during staffed hours, and will be for one day. If regular access is required for the same support worker, study assistant or carer please email the Library Membership Team.

Induction loops

Fixed induction loops are in operation at:
•    UCL Student Centre
•    Institute of Education Library
•    UCL School of Pharmacy.

Portable induction loops are available for use at:
•    UCL Science Library Help Point
•    UCL Institute of Archaeology Library
•    UCL Language and Speech Science Library
•    UCL Royal Free Hospital Medical Library
•    UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies Library.

Fixed induction loop systems should be in operation at all times. Please speak to a member of staff if the system does not appear to be operating to ensure it is active. Portable induction loops are held at the relevant desks and people requiring this assistance should feel free to ask Library Services staff to use the equipment when it is needed.

If you have a hearing impairment that means you require the assistance of an induction loop but the site you use is not listed above, please contact the Library Membership Team to discuss possible long term re-deployment of one of the available systems at the relevant site.

Alternative formats for information leaflets

Library information leaflets are available in large print, braille and MS Word formats.  Please send an email request stating the required leaflet and format to the Library Membership Team.

Visual magnifiers

Hand held visual magnifiers are available from the following issue desks/collection points:
•    UCL Cruciform Hub
•    UCL Language & Speech Science Library
•    UCL Institute of Archaeology Library
•    UCL Institute of Neurology Library
•    The Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
•    UCL Institute of Orthopaedics Library.

Assistive technology is also available to help users with on-screen visual or tracking issues. Please see the IT support and assistive technology webpage for more information, or contact the Digital Accessibility Hub.

Colour overlays and reading rulers

Colour overlays and reading rulers can be used by students who have difficulty reading black text on a white background. The following sites have colour overlays or reading rulers available on request:

•    UCL Language & Speech Science Library (Reading Rulers).

Assistive technology is also available to help users with on-screen visual or tracking issues. Please see the IT support and assistive technology webpage for more information, or contact the Digital Accessibility Hub.

Explore Access Points with large format keyboards and screens

An Explore Access Point with a large format keyboard and key guards to assist those with fine motor control difficulties are available at the following libraries:

•    UCL Language and Speech Science Library
•    UCL Royal Free Hospital Medical Library
•    UCL SSEES Library (large keyboard only).

Please ask a member of staff at the relevant Library site if you are not sure of the location of the adapted machines.

Postal loans

The Library offers postal loans to UCL students and staff who have registered with Student Support and Wellbeing. Any books available for borrowing can be posted to a home address. 

Please note that books must be returned to the Library in person or by post before the due date, and that overdue fines will still apply for late return. 

Students and staff must agree for Student Support and Wellbeing to share a limited amount of information with the Library Membership Team for this adjustment to be made. 


Building accessibility

UCL endeavours to ensure that our buildings are accessible to all. However, due to the physical layout some Library sites are not fully accessible to wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. In many cases, this is because there is no safe evacuation route in case of emergencies, other than using the stairs. Only specially adapted lifts should be used during a fire. If you are planning to make regular use of a Library site please ensure that the building is included as part of your Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).

The information below covers accessible entrances to the Library site, safe evacuation routes, and accessible toilet facilities. UCL has worked with AccessAble to provide a more detailed access guide for staff, students and visitors.

If any areas of the Library collection are inaccessible to you we can provide a fetching service so that the required material can be retrieved and made available to you in an accessible location. 

UCL Student Centre

The UCL Student Centre is accessible to wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. There is a ramp at the main entrance to the building, and an accessible wide access gate allows entrance to the UCL student and staff areas of the Student Centre. Lifts are available to all floors. Height adjustable desks are available throughout the building.

Safe evacuation routes are available on all floors without the use of stairs. An Adapted Standard Lift can be used during an emergency evacuation. Refuge points are available on the upper and lower floors, equipped with call points that can be used to notify staff of your location. A lift can then be directed to the relevant floor.

Accessible toilets are available on every floor of the building. There is an accessible shower in Basement Two.

Please visit the AccessAble guide for the Student Centre for further details.

Institute of Education Library

The Institute of Education Library is accessible to wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. Wide access gates are available at the entrance. There is a lift to all three floors of the Library.

Safe evacuation routes are available on all floors without the use of stairs. Level Four and Five feature horizontal means of escape. During an evacuation, Level Three of the Library can be exited horizontally via Room L301. 

Accessible toilet facilities are available on Level Three of the Library.

UCL Bartlett Library

The Bartlett Library is on the Ground Floor of Central House, and is accessible to wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. There are manual doors between the entrance and the Library.

Safe evacuation routes are available without the use of stairs. There is a ramp at the entrance to the building and a wide access gate inside. 

An accessible toilet is available on the Ground Floor of Central House, where the Bartlett Library is based.

Please visit the AccessAble guide for Central House for further details.

UCL Language and Speech Science Library

The Language and Speech Science Library is on the Second Floor of Chandler House, which can be accessed by wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties using the entrance ramp. There is a lift available to the Second Floor.

Safe evacuation routes are available without the use of stairs. In case of emergency those who cannot use stairs should proceed to the refuge point, where there are evacuation mats and a telephone to speak to the emergency services or staff managing the evacuation. An Adapted Standard Lift is available on the other side of Chandler House.

An accessible toilet is available on the Ground Floor of Chandler House. An accessible shower is available on the Second Floor.

Please see the AccessAble guide for Chandler House for further details.

UCL Orthopaedics Library

The Orthopaedics Library is on the First Floor of the Sir Herbert Seddon Teaching Centre, however the Library can be accessed via a permanent ramp. 

Safe evacuation routes are available without the use of stairs. The ramp provides a safe evacuation route in case of emergency. There are no steps outside the library, in the corridor leading to the library, or within the library itself.

An accessible toilet is available on the Ground Floor of the Sir Herbert Seddon Teaching Centre.

Please visit the AccessAble guide for the Institute of Orthopaedics Teaching Centre for further details.

UCL Main Library

Most areas of the Main Library are accessible to wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. An accessible wide gate is available at the entrance of the Main Library, next to the Information Point. Wheelchair accessible self-service machines are available.

A lift is available to Floor 1 and Floor 2, but the Mezzanine levels are only accessible via stairs. The Mezzanine levels include the following subjects: law, sections of English, sections of Art, sections of Economics, and sections of German. If you are unable to access these collections please place a fetching request for any inaccessible material by emailing the Library Membership Team. Whenever possible, staff at the Help Point will also fetch items on an ad hoc basis.

Safe evacuation routes are available on the Ground Floor, Floor 1 and Floor 2 without the use of stairs. In case of emergency the fire doors in the North End of the Main Library should be used. These doors can be accessed through the English or Hebrew and Jewish Studies section. These doors will lead to an Adapted Standard Lift.

If you are not able to reach the North End fire doors there are refuge points with access to an evacuation chair in the South End of the Main Library, accessed through the Art/Economics or History sections. There are telephones in the refuge point that can be used to alert the emergency services. The South Wing building can also be accessed from this area.

The Donaldson Room (law) and Mezzanine Levels in the Main Library are not accessible to wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties. The lift to the Donaldson Room will not operate in an emergency.

Accessible toilet facilities are available on the second floor of the Main Library. 

Please note that due to the design of the building a number of collections in the Main Library are accessible only by stairs, or are stored in shelving units where there may not be enough space to access the material when using a wheelchair. Staff at the Help Point can fetch items during staffed opening hours. Alternatively, you can place a request in advance for material by emailing the Library Membership Team.

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Main Library for further details.

UCL Science Library

The Science Library can be accessed by using a ramp at the main entrance to the DMS Watson Building, and there are two wide gates at the entrance to the Library. The Membership Point is wheelchair accessible. Inside the Library, Explore Access Points and self-service facilities are also wheelchair accessible.

There are currently no safe evacuation routes above the Ground Floor for those who cannot use stairs. The Science Library is accessible to wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties on the Ground Floor.

As most of the collections in the Science Library are stored on the upper floors, wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties can place a fetching request by emailing the Library Membership Team. Our team will retrieve the items for you and make them available at an accessible location. Whenever possible, staff at the Help Point will also fetch items on an ad hoc basis.

Accessible toilet facilities are currently available on the Third and Fourth Floor landing areas.

UCL Royal Free Hospital Medical Library

The Pond Street entrance of the Hospital is fully accessible and the entrance to the Library is on the Ground Floor. Most of the Library resources and facilities are accessible on the Ground Floor, including books, multi-functional devices, computers and study pods. The Basement Level, where some journals are stored, can only be accessed via stairs. Please speak to staff at the Help Point If you require a fetching service for any journals stored on the Basement Level.

Safe evacuation routes are only available on the Ground Floor of the Library without the use of stairs. The Ground Floor can be exited horizontally. The Mezzanine Level can only be accessed via a standard lift or stairs. 

Accessible toilet facilities are available on the Ground Floor of the Hospital, and throughout the building

More information can be found on the Hospital webpage.

UCL Cruciform Hub

There is a ramp entrance to the Cruciform Building. The Hub is on a lower floor and can currently only be accessed via the stairs without staff assistance. We regret to inform you that the Cruciform Hub lift is currently out of service. Whilst we repair it, we would ask that users requiring step-free access call the UCL Cruciform Building Security team at 0207 679 6888 or 0207 679 8666, approximately 15 minutes in advance of the required entry/exit time. A staff member will let you in/out via the Huntley Street entrance. There is a wide access exit/entry gate for the Hub itself. 

There are currently no safe evacuation routes for those who are unable to use stairs. The Cruciform Hub is based below ground level, and only accessible via stairs or a standard lift. Wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties can place a fetching request for any inaccessible material by emailing the Library Membership Team.

Adjustable desks, with PCs, are available in Group Study Room B.1.12.

Accessible toilet facilities are available in the Cruciform Hub.

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Cruciform Building for further details.

UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies Library

SSEES Library can be accessed via a ramp at the entrance to the building and a wide access gate to the Library itself. There is a lift within the Library. There are also two height-adjustable desks located in the Current Periodicals section on the Lower Ground Floor.

There are currently no safe evacuation routes below or above the Ground Floor for those who cannot use stairs. The SSEES Library occupies floors above and below ground level, and these can only be evacuated via stairs in case of an emergency. Those that are unable to use the stairs in an emergency can place a fetching request for any inaccessible material by emailing the Library Membership Team. Whenever possible, staff at the Help Point will also fetch items on an ad hoc basis.

Accessible toilet facilities are available on the First Floor and Lower Ground Floor of the Library. 

Please see the AccessAble guide for SSEES for further details.

UCL Institute of Archaeology Library

The Institute of Archaeology Library is on the Fifth Floor. There is a ramp at the entrance to the Institute of Archaeology building.

The Institute of Archaeology Library does not have two safe evacuation routes for those that are unable to use the stairs. If you are unable to use the stairs, please place a fetching request for required material by emailing the Library Membership Team, who will try to make it available to you at an accessible location.

Accessible toilet facilities are available on the Ground Floor of the Institute of Archaeology Building. 

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Institute of Archaeology for further details.

UCL School of Pharmacy Library

The School of Pharmacy Library is on the First Floor of the School of Pharmacy Building. There is a ramp entrance to the Building, and a lift can be used to reach the Library. There is step-free access to the Library itself.

There are no safe evacuation routes for those that are unable to use the stairs. If you are unable to use the stairs in an emergency please place a fetching request for required material by emailing the Library Membership Team, who can move the material to an accessible location.

Accessible toilet facilities are available on the First Floor, just outside the Library, and also on the Ground Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor, Fourth Floor, Fifth Floor and Basement of the Building.

Please see the AccessAble guide for the School of Pharmacy for further details.

The UCL School of Pharmacy Library also has a dedicated webpage containing information for disabled students.

UCL Queen Square Library, Institute of Neurology

Queen Square Library is on the First Floor of the Institute of Neurology at 23 Queen Square. The accessible entrance comes under the responsibility of the private health care clinics on the Ground Floor. To use the entrance, and the platform lift just inside the building, it will be necessary to contact the Library so that they can liaise with the private clinics to provide entry. This is the only step free access into the building.

There are no safe evacuation routes for those that are unable to use the stairs. Those who cannot evacuate using the stairs in an emergency can place a fetching request for required material by emailing the Library Membership Team.

Accessible toilet facilities are not available in the Library.

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Institute of Neurology for more information.

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library

The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library is based on the Second Floor of the Institute of Child Health. A lift is available to the Second Floor. Access to the Library is via 5 clearly marked steps with a handrail. There are two height adjustable desks.

There are no safe evacuation routes for those that are not able to use the stairs. If you are unable to use the stairs in an emergency, please place a fetching request for required material by emailing the Library Membership Team.

Accessible toilet facilities are available on every floor of the building. 

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Institute of Child Health for more information.

The Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

The Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is situated on the Lower Ground Floor of the Institute of Ophthalmology. There is a ramp entrance to the building. A lift is available to the Lower Ground Floor. There are small steps between the street and the Library.

There are no safe evacuation routes for those that are not able to use the stairs. If you are unable to use the stairs in an emergency please place a fetching request for required material by emailing the Library Membership Team.

Accessible toilet facilities are available on the Ground Floor.

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Institute of Ophthalmology for further details.

UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries

The Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries are not accessible for wheelchair users or users who are unable to use the stairs.

There are no safe evacuation routes for those that are not able to use the stairs. Please place a fetching request for required material by emailing the Library Membership Team. Alarm lights are in place to notify users with hearing loss or deafness of an evacuation.

There are no accessible toilet facilities in the UCL areas of the building.

Please see the AccessAble guide for the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital for more information.


Contact us

For any UCL Library Services queries regarding accessibility, please contact the Library Membership Team at the following email address:

lib-membership@ucl.ac.uk

Student Support and Wellbeing are located on Level 1 of the UCL Student Centre. Their contact details are available on the Student Support and Wellbeing webpage.