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University of Bath

Services for Users with Disabilities

This guide provides an overview of services the Library offers in support of students and staff with disabilities.

Welcome to the University of Bath Library

We are committed to providing equality of opportunity for all users of our services and facilities.  We do this by providing appropriate facilities, including assistive software and equipment, as well as assistance with using the Library and accessing its resources.

This guide provides an overview of services the Library offers in support of students and staff with disabilities. More detailed guides to our services are available. We can provide any Library guide on coloured paper, on request. This guide is also available in PDF and Word document formats.

An introduction to the Library

Your Subject Librarian will be happy to meet with you for a one-to-one introduction to the Library and a confidential conversation about the library support that you require. You can find contact details for the Subject Librarian for your Department online.


  • There is one central Library building on campus, open 24 hours a day all year, including all national holidays.  
  • During semester, Library staff are available on the subject floors until at least 5pm, and at the Issue Desk from 9am to 7pm weekdays and 10am to 5pm at weekends.  

  • University Reception on Level 2 is staffed 24 hours a day by members of the Security Service.  

  • There are wide automatic sliding doors at the Library entrance, then gates into the Library which swing open when your Library card is placed on their sensor. Reception staff will open the adjacent, wider glass gate, on request. Inside the Library, there are three stairwells and a lift to all five floors.

Fetching books and journals

  • If you have difficulty reaching books or journals on the shelves, Library staff will be happy to fetch these and put them aside for you to collect.

  • If you are a University of Bath student with a support worker we can arrange for them to borrow books on your behalf. If your support worker does not have their own Library card, staff at the Issue Desk will provide them with an access-only card. For enquiries about borrowing books, please email or call 01225 385000.

Alternative formats

  • If you find it difficult to view the Library’s print or electronic resources, ask your Subject Librarian about alternative formats which can be provided. The Library may be able to obtain reading resources in a more accessible format, such as PDF, directly from the publisher.

  • Our scans are rendered accessible by an Optical Character Recognition process that works with most screen readers. Unfortunately, this process does not work on mathematical or scientific equations, formulae or symbols. So please make Library staff aware if you require alternative formats for this type of content.

  • Alternatively, all the scan/copy/print machines in Copy and Print on Level 2 of the Library can produce free PDF scans. Staff at the Copy & Print point will be happy to help if you need assistance. 

Assistive Technology

  • There are networked computers on all floors of the Library and the entire building is wireless-enabled. Students registered with the Disability Service may also be able to borrow equipment such as a laptop, audio recorder or visualiser, for short or longer term loan. All computers and laptops have a range of assistive software installed, including speech-to-text, mind mapping and screen-reading utilities.  
  • There is a dedicated study room containing computers with additional specialist software and hardware to provide speech-to-text, screen magnification, scanning, and dedicated print and Braille output at the back of Level 2. This room also houses a low-level colour printer. The Copy and Print printer fleet also includes a low-level colour device. Students can request access to this room by contacting the University’s Disability Service.  
  • You can request advice and support with assistive technology from Tim Winship or Luiza Bell either via Student Services in 6 West or via the Digital, Data and Technology webpages  

  • Further information about the Assistive Technology is available.

What to do in an emergency

  • Call Security Control: 666 from University phones or 01225 383999 from a mobile. All three stairwells have refuge areas on Levels 2 to 5, with call points to Security.  
  • University Reception on Level 2 is staffed 24 hours a day by members of the Security Service, all of whom are qualified first aiders.  
  • If the fire alarm sounds, do not use the lifts, but leave the building by the nearest fire exit, or wait in one of the stairwell refuge points and use the wall-mounted call point to contact Security.  
  • If the invacuation siren sounds, stay inside the building, away from windows and doors and close to a networked computer if possible. Follow advice provided by Security or Library staff, or the networked computers.

Further information

For advice on support available for students with disabilities, please contact the University’s Disability Service, email: or call 01225 385538.