Disability Services Support for Library Users

The Library is committed to ensuring that all students can make full use of its services and collections. This guide is intended as a general outline of Library facilities and services that are available at the Albert Sloman Library for people who have a disability or a specific learning difficulty.

Library staff are happy to help readers and these notes highlight aspects of our service that may be tailored to your needs. At the start of the year the Student Support Office supplies the Library with a list of staff and currently registered students who have given permission to register that they have individual needs, and this list is updated as necessary throughout the year. You may also want to look at the University of Essex's Accessability page.

Library tours

Student Ambassadors and library staff offer library tours at the beginning of the academic year. If you miss them or wish to have a more detailed tour directed to your specific needs please contact Mary Pelowski, maryp@essex.ac.uk .

You may find that the Orientation Aids tour available from the Library web site covers your requirements although the introduction was recorded before the recent changes to the ground floor and landings. These guides can be found by clicking on the link for 'Tour' in the band at the top of the Library web page *********************************************** http://libwww.essex.ac.uk/ 

Short loan

Short loan books are issued during the day for 4 hour periods and may be read outside the Library during this period. They may be borrowed overnight, from 4.30 p.m. until 10 a.m. the next working day for students with recorded individual needs.

They must be returned to the Library for renewal as we cannot guarantee that a renewal will always be possible. However if there is a problem with returning the item ring our helpdesk to discuss options.

If you use the online booking system, this facility will ensure that a book is available for you at a specific time. It cannot take account of the additional entitlement for overnight loans which is available for students with individual needs, so please ask staff at the Service Desk to help with overnight bookings.

Photocopying / PRINTING / SCANNING facilities

There are multi functional devices on all floors of the library. They are self service machines and you will need your registration/campus card in order to tap to log in to your printer account. All are able to enlarge print. If you receive help with the cost of copying and printing you will be able to see any credits that you have made on your PaperCut account.

In addition to these devices there is a scanner available in the Large Reading Room for public use. It is at the far end of the room on the left hand side. The PC next to it contains the software that you need to use it and the instructions on how to use it.

A further scanner is available on the First Floor please ask a member of staff on the Help Desk on the ground floor about using this. This scanner has OCR software to convert print to digital text

Assistive Software


Installed on all public computers in The Library. Zoomtext is a fully integrated magnification and screen reading program that can enlarge, enhance and read out all on-screen information. This software enables large print users to magnify the contents of their computer screen, and listen to it read out in synthetic speech at the same time.

TextHELP! Read & Write

TextHELP! Read & Write software aims to assist users with dyslexia or other difficulties which affect their English reading and writing abilities. It is a vocabulary support package which talks, types, checks spellings, and can even predict what the user wishes to type. TextHELP! Read & Write can be used with word processors, spreadsheets, databases, email and Internet. It provides a simple toolbar that "floats" on top of any open application waiting to provide assistance when called upon. Click here for more information.

Collection service

If you have difficulty finding books and other materials members of the Library staff will be happy to fetch them for you to collect from the Service Desk on the ground floor. Please let us have a list of items in advance as we may not be able to collect at certain times of the day or at the weekend. See contact details below or talk to anyone on the Service or Help Desk on the ground floor.

For those students whose disability may prevent them coming to the Library easily, arrangements can be made for books to be collected and borrowed on their behalf by a friend or colleague. Please contact circmail@essex.ac.uk if you would like to nominate someone to do this for you.


If you have a helper to support your study needs they are entitled to a library borrowing card in their own right.


The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
+44 (0) 1206 873192