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Support for users with disabilities

The University Library can provide support to user with disabilities in several ways.

Please tell us how we can help you make the most of the library:
  • Visit the Help Desk
  • Contact Us
  • Read our Student Services Disability Support page
  • If you have a Summary of Reasonable Adjustment in place, please let us know when you talk to any of our staff if it is relevant to your enquiry.

Physical Access

During staff hours you will always find library staff happy to assist you when you visit. Please ask at the Help desk.

If you would like to get in touch with us before you come, then please contact us by email, or give us a call on +44 (0) 1245 686555.

University Library Lead on Disability contact details

Diane Hilton, Customer Services Manager, Chelmsford
  • Lifts are available to all floors
  • We are happy to help customers access materials
  • Toilets are available on the Ground Floors of all sites
  • Hearing loops are installed at service points and in teaching rooms in the libraries at Cambridge and Chelmsford
  • The library at Cambridge and Chelmsford has a fire-safe evacuation lift. At other sites evacuation chairs are available
  • We are Fire Marshal trained and are aware of procedures for the evacuation of mobility impaired customers
Physical Access to University Library Cambridge
Physical Access to University Library Chelmsford

Borrowing, Renewing and Requesting

Auto Renew/Recall

The library aims to offer an inclusive borrowing service for all our customers.

We offer an automatic renewal / recall system, which means that all books renew automatically before they are due to be returned, unless they have been requested by another user.

You will receive an email informing you if a book has been recalled or cannot be renewed.

Other students may be waiting for you to return your items back so that they can use them next. Returning items on time allows for fair access especially where there is high demand for the item.

To find out more please see our Guide to Borrowing.

Request Collection Service

If you find it physically difficult to find and collect books, you can use our request collection service. If your assessment with Student Services identifies that you need this service, it will automatically be allocated to you.

You can place requests on all the books you need, and we will fetch them and put them on the request collection shelves ready for you to pick up and borrow when you come in to the library. You will be able to place requests on books that we have at any of our libraries, including your home library.

It takes time for us to process your requests, so it is best to check that we have them ready for you before you travel in to collect them. You will receive an email to your student email account when the books are ready to collect, or you can contact us by phone during staffed hours.

How to request books

To request a book, make sure you are logged into the library website, click 'Get It' under the item, and then 'Request'. You will then be asked to choose the library you want to collect it from. You will receive an email once it's ready for you to collect.

If you no longer need the item you have requested, you can cancel it from your library account. You can also read out FAQ on how to cancel a request. If you are unable to cancel the request, ask us and we will be able to help.

For more information about borrowing and requesting books, see our Getting Started guide and the Requests page.

Authorisation for others to act on your behalf

You may authorise another person to collect library materials on your behalf or to be given information about your library account, fines, items on loan, overdue items or requests.

To set this up just email us from your staff or student email account (or your registered email for other membership types) with the following details:
  • Your name;
  • Your ID number and/or username;
  • Name of person authorised to act on your behalf;
  • Date from and an end date.



To help you make best use of our library resources, you can attend one of our group training sessions, or book a one-to-one session with a specialist subject librarian. Also, our friendly staff at the help desk will be happy to assist you.

Study Skills Plus

For help with general study skills, such as academic writing and maths and numeracy, you can use the Study Skills Plus services.

Library materials for print disabled students

We can get accessible electronic copies of reading list materials for those with a visual or print impairment. If you need this service, please speak to your Module Leader, who will liaise with us to find more accessible alternative reading.

The library tries to buy to e-books if they are available.

Information for Staff

Please see our section on Library materials for print disabled students for information.


The library subscribes to a large number of databases and packages of e-resources, which are provided by a number of suppliers and publishers and made available on a variety of platforms. For information on the level of accessibility provided by each supplier and links to their own advice, please see our accessibility guide.


We are happy to help you use the photocopiers and printing facilities.

Copying or printing on coloured paper is available via Digital Copy Services.

Accessibility Features on the Anglia Ruskin desktop

Information is available from the Microsoft website on Windows Accessibility.

The Microsoft Office Accessibility Centre is another resource which explains how to make Microsoft Office easier to see, hear, and use. This includes accessible templates and how to use the Microsoft accessibility checker and exporting accessible documents to Adobe PDF.

The Library website accessibility statement also links to 3rd party accessibility statements.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

Assistive Equipment

The library has additional equipment available for use including book rests, writing slopes, coloured overlays, document holders and book baskets.

These items are located on the ground floor of the library at Cambridge. Please ask at the Reception Desk (Cambridge). And can be found on the first floor table by the balcony at Chelmsford.

Height adjustable desks

These are available in the following areas:

Chelmsford: height adjust desks on each floor
Ground floor - 1 height adjust desk near the ARU Temps Desk and 1 height adjust desk in Que045 Anglia Assessment Centre Advice room
First floor - 2 height adjust desks one in each corner of the roundabout end and 1 height adjust desk in Que114 training room
Second floor - 1 height adjust desk at a corner of the roundabout end
Third floor - 1 height adjust desk behind the stairwell/lift lobby

Ground floor – 2 winding height adjustable desks at front of MUM012 (winders for these 2 desks available from the library helpdesk) and one electric desk which hosts a Digital Library terminal next to the printers at the rear of the ground floor.
First Floor - 1 electric desk next to Primary Resources Collection, 1 winding desk at the end of the outer study area near study room 5, 1 electric desk at the windowed corner of the outer study area furthest from the lift, and 1 electric desk at the corner of the outer study area near the lift.
Second Floor – 1 electric desk which hosts a Digital Library terminal near the stairs nearest to the lift and 1 electric desk in Study Room 6.
Third floor - 2 electric desks on the end of study area next to lift and 2 desks (1 electric and 1 winding) by the stairs furthest from the lift.

CCTV magnifier screen

The Cambridge campus holds a magnifier on the first floor on a height adjustable desk on the right end corner of the floor as you come out onto the floor beyond study rooms 4 and 5. The magnifier can enlarge print materials and also change the background colour of the page.

Accessible reading materials

The library can provide accessible electronic copies of reading list materials for those with a visual or print impairment.


We are happy to help you with the multi-functional devices to print, copy or scan.

Copying or printing on coloured paper is available via Anglia Ruskin Printing Services.

Further requirements

If you have any further requirements, please contact us.
Page Last Reviewed: 25th January 2024 by Ros Francis.