The Library is committed to ensuring that all users are able to take full advantage of our facilities and services.

Disabled access sign

Getting around

Lift access is available from the ground floor (opposite the reception desk). If you require a parking space please contact in advance so that staff can reserve one for you.

The Library entrance, and Membership Desk, are located on the 4th floor of Senate House. Access for wheelchair users is via a gate next to the Membership Desk. ​

Books and journals are located on floors 4 to 7. The Library has a new lift between floors 4 and 6. For lift access to 7 please visit the Service Desk on the 4th floor. There are Accessibility phones on floor 7 to call for a lift to bring you back to the 4th floor. There are also phones on the 5th and 6th floors, which are marked on the floor plans.

Accessible toilets are located in the Convocation Hall (next to the Service Hall) on the 4th floor.

Assistance Dogs for guidance are welcome.


Accessibility Suite

The Accessibility Suite is a bookable room in the Library for students with disabilities or dyslexia who use specialist assistive software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software, or who need to speak with their assistants. Wheelchair users are also welcome to use the room. It is located on the 6th floor, next to the lift.

The room has two electronically height adjustable tables with orthopaedic chairs, large-screen workstations and scanners. In addition to the regular software that all computers in the Library have installed, the computers in the Accessibility Suite have a range of accessibility software available for use.

Fire Safety and emergency evacuation

The emergency alarm is a continuous ringing bell. There are no visual alarms in the Library.

In the event of an emergency evacuation, please leave the Library by the nearest exit if you are able to do so.

Wheelchair users should wait by a Refuge Point

Staff will walk round the Library to alert users. If you are having difficulty reaching the refuge point, please alert a member of staff. If the alarm is a drill staff will inform you of this when they re-enter the building.

In the event of a genuine fire alarm your presence at the refuge point will be reported to the fire brigade who will enter the building via the stairs to evacuate you.

Green refuge point sign
A green refuge point sign with an emergency call point.

Fetch Service

Items may be fetched from the Library and brought down to the Service Desk on the 4th floor for collection.

To request a fetch please email your list to If it is not possible to email please call us on 020 7862 8468 or ask at the Service Desk on the 4th floor.

Please help us by giving one day's notice and if possible pasting the Catalogue details of each item into the email.

Proxy Borrower

If you would like to bring an assistant with you, we are happy to provide reference access for them. They can also borrow, return and renew books on your behalf.

To arrange this, please provide a letter stating that you give the proxy borrower permission to use your account.

They will need to visit the Membership desk with:

  1. A statement granting them permission to use your account
  2. Photo ID (such as a passport or driving licence)
  3. Proof of address (an original document such as a utility bill).

You may wish to email in advance so that we can alert the Membership Team – this will help speed things up.

Extended loans

We are able to provide extended loans for readers. This service must be requested by the college disability unit or learning support officer. They should email a request directly to 

With extended loans:

  • A regular 4 week loan becomes a 6 week loan.
  • A short 2 week loan becomes a 3 week loan.
  • A 1 week loan becomes a 10 day loan.
  • A 3 day loan becomes a 5 day loan.
  • A 2 day loan becomes a 3 day loan.

Postal loans

We are happy to accept items returned by post. We recommend they are sent by Recorded Delivery.

Please return books to: Book Returns, Senate House Library, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Email for further information.


Photocopiers are located around the Library. Your library card doubles as a printing card. You can add credit from the Service Desk or the top-up kiosk in the Service Hall on the 4th floor.

All photocopiers have an enlarging function that may help if you have a visual impairment.

If you find it useful to read from coloured paper, staff at the Service Desk can supply paper in a range of colours for use in the photocopiers.

Induction loops

Fixed and portable hearing induction loops are available in the Service Hall. Please inform a member of staff if you would like one used.

Specialist equipment and assistive software

We can provide a range of equipment including: height adjusted tables on the 4th and 5th floors and in the Middlesex Reading Rooms, wide computer screens, orthopaedic chairs, desk Lamps, magnifying glass and writing slopes.

We also have a wide range of Assistive Software installed on workstations across the library including:

  • Inspiration 9
  • ClaroRead Pro
  • ZoomText M/R
  • TextHelp R&W
  • Mindview 6
  • Dragon Pro
  • Jaws Pro

There is also a bookable Accessibility Suite which brings all these facilities together.

Please ask staff at the Service Desk for further details.


Please note that your discussions with Library staff are confidential. However it may be necessary store information on your record (with your permission) or to share information with a third party in order to make adjustments to the service and to prevent you from repeatedly having to explain your needs to different staff.

Contact us

Our Accessibility Support Team may be reached at: | 020 7862 8468.

For general support in the Library ask at the Service Desk, or call 020 7862 8460 if you are outside the Library.