Library accessibility guide

Accessing and navigating the library building

  • The main door is heavy and leads directly onto a revolving door.  There is an adjacent accessible door with ramp access which can be opened with authorised University cards.  If you need to use this door but your card doesn’t open it please contact Downing's Disability Liaison Officer:
  • There is a lift (with a 78cm wide doorway) to all three floors of the library.  Ground floor access is through the staff area which is not locked.
  • There are handrails on both sides of the staircase.
  • The library’s two main floors are mostly open plan.  Existing doorways are wide, with single doors over 95cm and double doors around 140cm in width.
  • More accessibility information is also available on the AccessAble guide to the library and their guides to other Downing College buildings.

Finding and borrowing books

Studying in and using the library

  • We have four standing desks positioned around the library.  There are also two desk-top tables that can be used to create a raised surface for standing study and have an angled section (eg. for laptops).  The desk-top tables can be moved around as required.
  • Individual study carrels have their own lighting and there are desk lamps available for use at other library study spaces.
  • There is a hearing loop installed at the library front desk.
  • There are book rests, full page reading magnifiers and A4 white boards which are available for use in the library.  These are held in the ground floor reference section adjacent the self-issue machine.
  • Toilets are in the basement (accessible by lift).  One is accessible; all are non-gender specific and self-contained.

Additional help

  • Library produced information can be printed on coloured paper or in large print on request.
  • We have a range of self-support literature including books on mindfulness, depression, anxiety and eating disorders. These are shelved in the basement book stacks, close to the door that is furthest from the lift (opposite the history books).
  • There is an evacuation chair at the top of the stairs for use in emergencies.


We are here to support you in your learning – if there is anything else we can do to help please let us know!