Support for disabled readers

If you have a disability or a long-term health condition, the Bodleian Libraries offer a range of services to support your study or research and help you to make the most of the libraries and our resources.

Disability Liaison Librarians in all site libraries

All Bodleian Libraries have a local Disability Liaison Librarian, who can discuss access and specific arrangements for you at that library. These are listed in the contact pages for each individual library.

Find a library


Loan allowances

You may be entitled to longer loan periods or a greater number of loan items when borrowing from Bodleian Libraries' lending collections. If you think this would be useful for you, get in touch with staff in your library or the Disability Librarian.

You must be registered with the Disability Advisory Service to benefit from this service.

For more information about reserving items on loan, renewals and returns, visit our Borrow and reserve page.

Proxy borrowing

If you are unable to visit the library to borrow items due to your condition, we can arrange for you to use proxy borrowing. This means that your support worker or non-medical helper can borrow materials from your account. If you would like to arrange this, contact the Disability Librarian or the Disability Advisory Service.

You are responsible for any items that are borrowed in this way.

One-to-one inductions

All students are automatically signed up for a library induction by their college or department. We can also provide one-to-one inductions for disabled students to help familiarise you with the libraries, before or during your first term.

If you would like to arrange an individual induction, contact the Disability Liaison Librarian in your library or email the Disability Librarian.

If you are a prospective Oxford University student, you can request an orientation tour. For more information, contact the Disability Librarian.

Food and drink

You can bring bottled water into Bodleian Libraries and reading rooms (except the Weston Library). Some libraries also allow hot or cold drinks in KeepCups. Many libraries have access to common rooms and areas where you can eat and drink.

Check the facilities at our libraries.

If there are no facilities available at the library you wish to study in, speak to the library’s Disability Liaison Librarian.

Using library materials

All Bodleian Libraries offer Print, Copy and Scan (PCAS) facilities, which allow you to make copies and scans of permitted library material. If you receive the Disabled Students' Allowance, you can print receipts from PCAS devices to redeem your costs via DSA.

You are also welcome to use personal digital cameras (including smartphones) and scanners in the libraries, subject to library rules.

Materials in alternative formats

If you are unable to use printed materials, our Accessible Resources Unit (ARACU) may be able to provide you with content in alternative formats.

Non-print legal deposit

The current interface for non-print legal deposit (also known as electronic legal deposit) is inaccessible for assistive technology users. Whilst a new access solution is being developed, the Disability Librarian can download materials from this collection so that readers can access them on their own computers equipped with assistive technology. To verify eligibility or place a request, please contact the Disability Librarian with details of your request.

HathiTrust Accessible Text Request Service

The HathiTrust Digital Library is a digital preservation repository and access platform, hosting digitised content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house member institution initiatives.

The Accessible Text Request Service allows the Bodleian Libraries to download accessible copies of materials available in HathiTrust’s collections if the Libraries own a print copy of the item. It is available to all University members who have a print impairment that affects how they are able to use print. To verify eligibility or place a request, please contact the Disability Librarian with details of your request. This service is available to University members only.

RNIB Bookshare

The Bodleian Libraries manage the University’s RNIB Bookshare account. RNIB Bookshare is a database of accessible texts available to print disabled people, created to support learners to access curriculum material. The database contains almost 1 million titles from fiction, such as Harry Potter or Bridgerton, to legal textbooks and other academic material. The books available are DRM-free and can be downloaded in a variety of formats including PDF, EPUB, Word and audio. To verify eligibility or request a membership, please contact the Disability Librarian with details of your request. RNIB Bookshare service is available to University members only.

Related links