- West Road,
Cambridge, CB3 9DR
- 01223 333 000
- 01223 333 160
- Mr Colin Clarkson
- 01223 333 016
- 01223 333 160
Location, Services and Transport
West Road, opposite entrance to Sidgwick Site. Robinson, Selwyn, Wolfson, and the back gates of Trinity, St. John's, Clare and King's Colleges are nearby.
Queen's Road, Grange Road and West Road are all becoming increasingly busy at peak times, but speed is restricted and there are speed humps in place on the site.
Services and shops
Accessible Tea Room within the library serving drinks, snacks and lunches. Open 9.30am–5pm Monday to Friday and 10am–1.45pm Saturday.
Vehicle entrance via West Road. Four disabled bays opposite front entrance in main car park. Two further bays in smaller car park on left, at the top of the drive. Some pay and display parking on West Road.
Other transport options
Opening hours vary. Generally open 9am–7.15pm Monday to Friday and 9am–5pm Saturday. Some rooms open to 10pm during Easter Full Term. Closed over Easter, August Bank Holiday Monday, Christmas and New Year, and a week in September for Annual Inspection.
The main library of the University, with a huge collection of manuscripts and of books, journals, maps and printed music published worldwide. The Library also subscribes to thousands of electronic resources. There is an Exhibition Centre with regular exhibitions and an accessible Tea Room serving snacks and lunches. Disabled access to the Library is improving continually, and many arrangements can also be made to help individual readers. Please feel free to contact the Disability Liaison Officer to discuss your needs.
No smoking anywhere in the building.
First aiders in the building during office hours.
Evacuation chairs fitted on main staircases.
Covered platform lift to left of main entrance steps, with push-button automatic doors. Push-button automatic door into Entrance Hall. The Entrance Hall is half-way between the ground and first floors, and staff will escort you to the first floor via the Tower lift. There is a clearly marked bell by the Tower lift on the first floor for summoning assistance on the way down. Note that the Tower lift is small and not suitable for large wheelchairs or buggies, and that it cannot be used for floors other than the Entrance Hall and first floor.
Ramped access to the Library for larger wheelchairs and buggies is also available 9am–5.45pm Monday to Friday, via the staff/goods entrance at the West Road end of the building. There is a porter on duty and a large lift nearby giving access to the ground floor and floors 1 to 4.
Number of floors
Seven floors in total, including ground floor. Fewer floors in some parts of the building. The majority of reading rooms and service points are on floor 1.
Lifts and stairs
Nine lifts. Two are huge, but only reach floor 4. Smaller lifts reach all floors, but may be difficult for wheelchairs. The lift from Entrance Hall to floor 1 is very small, but an alternative route to that level can be arranged - see above.
The main reading rooms are spacious and have fixed tables and moveable chairs. Some bookshelves can be cramped, often 63cm wide. Staff from the main Reading Room will collect open access books as necessary, if requested either in person or via email.
The Morison Room, for meetings, seminars and user education sessions, is located on the ground floor and accessible via the exhibition centre or staff-only areas of the building. Please arrange in advance.
Large Digital Resources Area on floor 1. Two low-level catalogue computers. Assistive Technology Area with ergonomic chairs, adjustable tables, and other equipment (see Visual Impairments). Laptops allowed. Wireless internet is available in many parts of the building. Staff and students of the University of Cambridge access wireless network using their Raven password. Other readers may do so using a Lapwing visitor ticket, available from staff in the main Reading Room.
Disabled toilets on floor 1 (near Assistive Technology Area, Munby Rare Books Reading Room and Digital Resources Area); floor 3 (near Manuscripts Reading Room and Commonwealth Room), and in the Exhibition Centre.
Self-service Tea Room on floor 1, spacious, with moveable chairs. Serves drinks, snacks and lunches. Can get busy at lunchtimes. Outside courtyard with benches near tea room.
Exhibition Centre accessible via separate entrance to right of main steps. Small bell for assistance, but it is best to arrange in advance. Disabled toilet inside.
- Lockers and University network telephone are down several steps. Bags and coats are not allowed in the library, so please ask the Entrance Hall staff to look after your bag.
- Requests for special arrangements regarding borrowing rights should be made in a letter directed to the Head of Reader Services, along with a note from your tutor or supervisor.
Guide dogs welcome but no other dogs are allowed.
Assistive Technology Area contains a PC with large monitor, scanners, and a colour printer. PC runs Dolphin Supernova and JAWS magnification and screen-reading software and Dragon voice-recognition software. Please ask for assistance.
Large print, Braille and audio
Large print information provided on prior request. Some large print books but no Braille or audio. Coloured paper available for photocopying and printing.
Library and magnification equipment
Individual lights on most desks in reading rooms. Shelving lights mostly operate on a timer basis. Four daylight lamps available in the Assistive Technology Area. Magnifying glasses available in most reading rooms from staff. Two self-service photocopier areas, and an Imaging Services Department which can copy and enlarge documents on request.
Signs and wayfinding
Little special directional signage. Small spine labels on volumes. The building is very large and rather a warren, so ask for help in fetching books if needed.
- CCTV reader available in Assistive Technology Area and in Munby Rare Books reading room.
- Other assistive technology or lighting can be acquired if needed. Please speak to the Disability Liaison Officer about the possibilities.
- Touch-readable buttons in some lifts.
Induction loops in Entrance Hall and at enquiry desks in all reading rooms.
- Vibrating alarm pager for hearing impaired readers is available from Entrance Hall.
- The reading rooms are large and open plan, so sound does travel. However, noise is discouraged within the library, and most other areas are quiet.
Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues
Arrangements can be made to support those with dyslexia, ADD, and other learning difficulties. Please speak to the Disability Liaison Officer about your needs.
Planned Access Improvements
Disabled access is continually under review.
The information on this page is the responsibility of the University Library. The DRC updates information as it is received from the Library. This page was last updated on 4 January 2013. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with the University Library.