desk and book shelves in the Wolfson College Library

Support for disabled users

Wolfson College Library is committed to enabling access to our services, facilities and collections for all students, fellows and staff.

desk and book shelves in the Wolfson College Library

We are keen to ensure that the physical library, our online resources and the support we offer meet your individual requirements. Please feel free to come and talk to us at any time whether you are registered with the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) or not. If you have been in touch with the DRC and indicated on a Student Support Document that you require additional support to use the library, then this is passed on to us and we will contact you when we receive this information. However, you do not need to wait if you would prefer to contact us first.

We arrange induction tours for all students in October to introduce the service that we offer. We are also very happy to meet you one-to-one to offer a personalised induction. This would be a great opportunity for you to discuss your requirements and find out how we can assist you.

Below, we cover some of the main topics we receive questions about. In all cases mentioned, please get in touch with Meg Westbury, the Librarian to discuss how we can best support your studies or research. If your question is not answered here, please do ask in person or by email.

Access

The library is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, apart from a short period of closure around Christmas and again at New Year. The library is staffed between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

There is step-free access into the library through two hinged doors and a lift links all three floors of the building. Your University card will need to be activated if you wish to use the lift; we can arrange this for you. The study room and computer room on the ground floor require a University Card for entry, again through hinged doors. The reading room, where you will find our print collections, is on the first floor. There is an accessible toilet, a water fountain, coffee machine, fridge and lockers in the basement. There are no automatic doors in the library and the hinged doors are quite heavy. Please ask if you require assistance moving around the library.

Using the collections

Books are arranged by subject area on shelving, much of which is over 2 metres high. Kick-stools are provided to help you reach books on the top shelves. The gaps between the shelves can be quite narrow. Therefore please let us know if you are unable to access any resources, either when in the library or in advance of your visit and we can fetch them for you.

Borrowing

All users can borrow for the duration of the term or vacation in which the books are borrowed. We are happy to extend this, should you require longer to work with a book. If you require someone to borrow books on your behalf or if you have any difficulty returning them, please get in touch. Borrowing is via the self-issue machine. If you are unable to use this, we have some self-issue slips which you can complete by hand and we will add the books to your record. Please note that self-issued books will set the alarms off if leaving the reading room via the stairs.

E-resources

Many resources are available online. An increasing number of platforms comply with usability standards and assistive technologies such as screen readers. However, if you are having any difficulty accessing materials online, do let us know. If you require material electronically but it is unavailable in this format, we may may be able to acquire a copy for your personal use.

Wellbeing

There is a small collection of books on well-being topics, which may be of interest. These books have the classmark WB and can be found on the shelves beneath the Study Skills section in the Reading Room. We welcome suggestions for titles to augment this collection.

Using the workspace

We offer a range of furniture which we hope you find comfortable to work at. However, we are always looking for ways of improving your study experience. Please email us if you have any suggestions for a different type of desk or chair.

Desks

We have over 50 workspaces at a various-sized tables in both the reading room and study room including large open desks, enclosed carrells, and standing desks. We also have a number of smaller laptop tables in the Sir David Williams study room.

Seating

We have fixed chairs in the reading room plus some adjustable office chairs, 'easy' chairs and a kneeling chair in the Sir David Williams study room. There are adjustable office chairs in the Computer Room as well. We have a limited number of lumbar-support rolls that you can borrow for lower-back support. They are located on the shelf outside the Librarian's office in the reading room. Please do not remove them from the reading room and replace them after use for others to use.

Study Aids

We have adjustable lamps in every study space; fans and book-rests are available throughout the library to help you adapt your working environment. The library operates a policy of silence but you can help yourself to ear plugs if you require a completely quiet environment in which to work.

Printed Guides and Notices

We produce study guides, maps and other information in printed form for users to look at on the wall or to take away. If you would prefer these in an alternative format (e.g. on different coloured paper, in a larger font size, or online) please let us know. Many are also available on the Library web pages and the College Library LibGuide.

Academic skills support

Meg Westbury (the Librarian) and Laura Jeffrey (Academic Skills Librarian) are very happy to see you on a one-to-one basis if you would like to talk about study skills such as critical reading, note making, time management and editing a thesis, as well how to search for items on your reading list, avoiding plagiarism and managing your references. Support is also available online on the College Library LibGuide. The college also offers workshops on a range of topics to help you develop your academic skills.

Using other libraries

The University Library has a set of pages for Readers with Disabilities. This includes information about the Assistive Technologies Room, which has the following equipment and furniture:

  • a bench at the recommended height for wheelchair users
  • three electrically operated, height-adjustable desks
  • daylight table lamps
  • a range of ergonomic chairs
  • a PC with a 19-inch monitor provides access to the Library catalogue, electronic resources, the Internet and Microsoft Office
  • Dolphin Supernova software, which offers screen-reading and magnification facilities
  • the Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-recognition package
  • scanners
  • an adjustable keyboard
  • a trackball mouse
  • headphones
  • a microphone
  • a CCTV scanner.

Your department or faculty library will be able to advise you about their individual services and support. For contact details, see the Libraries Directory.