Library services for disabled students


Access to library buildings
Library services
Fire procedures
Link to our information on Library services for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties
Link to our Library Services for Disabled Students Wiki

Welcome to Oxford Brookes University Library

Who can help you?

  • Ask staff at the Welcome Desk (Headington) or Enquiry Desks (Harcourt Hill and Wheatley) for help at any time

  • Subject help, information skills, database searching, referencing - ask your Academic Liaison Librarian

  • Lending services - Head of Customer Services Team Leader 01865 483120, or email Lending Services

Hearing induction loops

There are some fixed hearing loops at Library Counters and Welcome Desk and Enquiry Desks.

Student Disability Service

Some of the services provided by the Library are only available to disabled students who have registered with the Student Disability Service. We strongly advise you to contact them for advice and support during your studies at Oxford Brookes on 01865 484651.


We are working to make the Library accessible to all. Please email us if you have any suggestions.

Access to library buildings

Headington Library

  • The main entrance to Headington Library is on Level 1 in the John Henry Brookes Building (JHBB). The route does not require the use of stairs or lifts for access to services on this floor, but the Library itself is located on six floors of the JHB building and other Levels will require the use of stairs of lifts for access. A PDF map of the Library is available.
  • A wheelchair accessible route to Level 1 of the Library is available from the main entrance to the JHBB.
  • There are accessible toilets in the Basement Level and on Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the Library. Other accessible toilets can be found close to the main entrance of the JHBB and in other parts of the building.

Harcourt Hill Library

  • The Library is approached by a ramp, and has automatic doors.
  • A lift provides access to the Lower Ground Floor (ask for the key at the Counter).
  • There is an accessible toilet on the Lower Ground Floor.

Wheatley Library

  • The main entrance is in H Block (the Tower Block) up a flight of stairs. The Library is in H Block (the Tower Block) and Block HL.
  • An accessible entrance for wheelchair users is immediately under the link bridge via a swipe card access door into Block HL (opposite the ramp to the refectory). Please phone the Library on 5869 from the internal phone in the H Block foyer if you have forgotten your swipe card and we'll be pleased to help you. Some journals and pooled room PCs are on this floor. Use the lift to the First Floor to reach the rest of the Library.
  • A Stannah stairlift near the Counter enables wheelchair users to access the Library's mezzanine floor for books. A small number of other group study rooms remain inaccessible to wheelchair-users.
  • There is an accessible toilet in the foyer of Building H.

Library services for disabled students

The following services are only available to students enrolled on Brookes courses who have disclosed their disability to the Student Disability Service.

Borrow up to 15 books at a time instead of 12

No fines on one and two week books

  • We will not charge fines on overdue one and two week books, but please return books as soon as possible to help other students. You will still have to pay fines on any Short Loan books that you return late.

Library guides

Alternative format material

The Library subscribes to a range of electronic resources, including electronic journals and some ebooks.

If you require reading material in alternative formats, this is obtained or produced by the Student Disability Service. The Student Disability Service can transcribe texts into electronic, audio, Braille or large print formats. They can also arrange tactile diagrams. Please allow plenty of time. To contact the Alternative Format Production Service telephone 01865 484683 or email the Alternative Format Co-ordinator, Jude Savage.

Assistive Technology and Software

All PCs have basic Microsoft accessibility options, including an on-screen keyboard and a magnifier (Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, Accessibility). The university has additional assistive software which is networked wherever possible so that it can be used on any pooled room PC. This includes:

  • Supernova - text magnification and screen reader software for people with a visual impairment. Go to Start, All Programs, Visually Impaired Users.
  • TextHelp - software designed to support people with dyslexia and others who like to have text read aloud to them. Go to Start, All Programs, Study Tools. TextHelp includes a scanning option to convert print documents to electronic format that can be read aloud or saved as an audio file.
  • Inspiration - mind mapping software. Go to Start, All Programs, Study Tools).

Other software is available on a limited number of PCs, including Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software and ZoomText magnification and screen reader software.

Headington Library
You may work in the Assistive Technology Suite in the Basement study area.

  • 4 PCs with full pooled room menu and high-visibility keyboards (yellow letters on black);
  • 3 scanners;
  • black and white printer with choice of paper;
  • Height-adjustable desks.

Other library services you may find helpful

Journal photocopying service : you can also use this service to request photocopies from books. Please contact the Welcome Desk on 01865 483155 for details
Renewing books
Returning books
Electronic enquiry service
Library opening times:


The Upgrade Study Advice Service provides 1:1 tutorials, drop-in sessions and take away resources on study skills and maths skills for any student on any course at any level.
Contact them by email at : visit the Upgrade Study Advice Service Web site for further details.


We suggest that if you have access needs, you contact the Head of Customer Services Team Leader on 01865 483120 or email before your visit to discuss arrangements.
If you are using Oxford Brookes University Library under the Sconul Access Scheme, please be aware that you should approach the library at your home institution for support such as providing material in alternative formats.
Due to licensing agreements you will not be able to use our assistive software.
If you park in the designated accessible parking areas, please display a disability badge in your vehicle.

Fire procedures

If you have a visual or hearing impairment please tell library staff if you will be working in isolated areas of the building so that we can contact you in an emergency.
If there is a fire a continuous alarm will ring. Please make your way to the nearest Fire Exit, identified by a green Fire Exit sign, and leave the building.
Do not use lifts while the alarm is ringing.
If you would have difficulties in leaving a building unaided, the Student Disability Service may draw up a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) with you.   We will discuss and agree the part that covers the library with you. The university has a responsibility to ensure that in the event of an emergency all of those who are on its premises can be evacuated safely.

Headington Library designated refuge areas are the Library staircase landings and there is an evacuation chair.
Wheatley Library designated refuge area is on the First Floor link bridge between the main library in H Block and the journals area in HLG Block. Staff will help you leave the building using an evacuation chair on the stairs adjacent to the lift. The stairlift may be used once other readers have left the Library.

Harcourt Hill Library has a level exit on both floors.