Information for readers with disabilities


We aim to ensure that all our readers can access library services. Unfortunately, the Taylor is housed in an old building, the design and layout of which do not always lend themselves to this, although we will do all we can to support readers with disabilities.

Readers who hold blue University cards are encouraged to contact the University’s Disability Advisory Service to discuss their requirements. The service will liaise with the library. Other readers should contact the Taylor’s Operations Manager and disability coordinator, Frank Egerton, to discuss their requirements.

Disabled Access

University of Oxford Access Guide

To find out about access to buildings across the University, please visit the Access Guide. The Guide includes further information about access to the Taylor.

Access to the Taylor Institution Library (St Giles')

The main entrance to the Taylorian is off St Giles' with ramp access for those who need it. The front doors are powered and a valid University card is needed to access the building.

The Library is divided into two sections (the Teaching Collection and the Research Collection), and 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.

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

Lavatories are in the basement, with one accessible lavatory on the ground floor, near the Lecture Hall.

Facilities and Equipment

The following equipment is available in the library:

Ergonomic furniture:

Height-adjustable desks can be adjusted to whatever height is most comfortable for you and can be used as a standing desk. These can be found in the Main Reading Room (manual), Periodicals Reading Room and Teaching Collection Reading Room (electronic).

Ergonomic chairs are adjustable to support your body and to help you maintain good posture. The Taylor has these in the Voltaire Room, Periodicals Reading Room and Teaching Collection Reading Room.

Footstools are useful for good posture and to help reduce pressure on your legs. You will find one in the Voltaire Room, with the ergonomic chair.

Assistive Equipment:

Please ask at the Issue Desk to borrow the following equipment:

Book stands: help maintain good posture and may help those with visual impairments

Daylight lamp: provides summer levels of bright light to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, lift mood, boost concentration and restore natural energy

Magnifiers: can reduce strain on your eyes

Coloured acetate sheets: can enhance the contrast between the print and background, making words and letters appear darker and easier to read as well as reducing glare

Coloured paper for printing: can be useful for those suffering from dyslexia or visual impairments affecting colour vision

Ear plugs: to reduce background noise.

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 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.

Induction Loops:

These are designed to aid communication with people with hearing difficulties who wear a hearing aid with a “T” facility and are located at the Issue Desk and the Enquiry Desk. Please ask a member of staff if you need to use them.


Borrowing Privileges

Readers with disabilities may be registered as privileged members. This membership provides extended loan periods and increased borrowing allowances. For further information please visit the borrowing pages of our website.

Proxy Borrowing

Readers can 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.

Renewals and Reservations

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.

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