Taylor Institution Library for disabled readers

A room of desks with wooden bookshelves around the edge of the room


We aim to ensure that all our readers can access library services. Unfortunately, the design and layout of the Taylor Institution building do not always lend themselves to this. 

The main entrance to the Taylorian is off St Giles' with ramp access for those who need it. The front doors are powered. You will need a valid University card to access the building.
The library is spread over five floors, with the issue desk in the Teaching Collection on the ground floor and the research enquiry desk on the second floor. There are two main staircases and several subsidiary ones connecting the different library levels. The first floor and the second floor are accessible by lift. Room 2 and the Slavonic Reading Room are accessible via a platform lift located in the main entrance area. The platform lift is operated by the Premises Assistants. Please ask the lodge staff for assistance if you need to use the platform lift.
Access to the Voltaire Room may be possible for users of lightweight wheelchairs using a portable ramp operated by the Premises Assistants. Please ask a member of staff for advice and assistance if you need help to access this room.

There is one accessible lavatory on the ground floor, near the Lecture Hall.

Staff will fetch books to the ground floor for readers with mobility problems.

You can find more detailed accessibility information in the University Access Guide.


Services and support

Ergonomic furniture

Height-adjustable desks can be found in the Main Reading Room (manual), Periodicals Reading Room and Teaching Collection Reading Room (electronic). Ergonomic chairs are available in the Voltaire Room, Periodicals Reading Room and Teaching Collection Reading Room. The Voltaire Room also has a footstool.  

Assistive equipment

Assistive equipment is available in the library. There are induction loops at the issue desk and the enquiry desk. Please ask a member of staff if you need to use them.

Please ask at the issue desk to borrow the following equipment:

  • book stands
  • daylight lamp
  • magnifiers
  • coloured acetate sheets
  • coloured paper for printing
  • ear plugs

CCTV/OCR magnifier

The Taylor has a DaVinci Pro CCTV/OCR magnifier, currently located in the French and German Reading Room. The device can display high-definition enlarged images which can be of benefit to readers with low vision. The device also has an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) mode which can take snapshots of written text and convert them to audio speech.

Please ask library staff for assistance if you wish to use the device. There are brief instructions near the device and a full instruction manual can be obtained from the enquiry desk. The remote control is kept at the issue desk.


We encourage members of the University to contact the Disability Advisory Service to discuss their requirements. The service will liaise with the library. Find out more about the support and services available for disabled readers from the Bodleian Libraries.

Other readers should contact the Taylor’s Operations Manager and disability coordinator, Frank Egerton, to discuss their requirements.

Readers with disabilities may be registered with the library as privileged members. This membership provides extended loan periods and increased borrowing allowances. Readers can also request proxy borrowing on their accounts. This allows a nominated person to collect and return items on behalf of the reader. All items borrowed in this way remain the responsibility of the reader.

All readers may renew by telephone, in person, or online using SOLO. Disabled readers with privileged membership may also renew and request reservations by email.