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Disability Resource Centre

DRC
 

Transcript for Libraries Accessibility Service Introduction

Patrick Dowson and Lindsay Jones

 PATRICK DOWSON: Hi, so I hope you're all enjoying the induction today and we're going to talk a bit about the Libraries Accessibility Service. My name is Patrick Dowson and I'm the libraries accessibility service manager

LINDSAY JONES: and my name is Lindsay Jones and I'm the libraries accessibility service coordinator.

PATRICK: There are a wide range of libraries at Cambridge and we're going to talk a bit about some of them before talking about what our service can provide. So there are faculty and departmental libraries, there are college libraries, and there's libraries that are broader in scope, such as the University Library and the Moore library.

LINDSAY: Starting with college libraries, your college library is likely to be your home library and the one that you use most often. College libraries hold copies of key readings for undergraduate courses, and they're always located within your college grounds, so they're really handy for your accommodation in your college life. As well as providing you with books and journals that you need, they tend to play a pastoral role as well, and they're looking out for your welfare. They're staffed by really friendly and approachable staff. Who you can always go to for advice and assistance. College libraries are accessible 24/7 with your swipe card, and they're not always located in the dusty old buildings that you might associate with Cambridge Colleges. They're very often in bright, airy, modern buildings like the one pictured here, which is Wolfson College Library.

PATRICK: So there are also Faculty and Departmental Libraries where you can access a greater range of subject specific texts and these are located all around Cambridge, but many are on sites where there are a number of other faculty and departmental libraries such as the Sidgwick site, the Downing site or the Madingley Road site. And like college libraries they are always very happy to help and answer any questions that you might have. And I think it's very likely that they either will have got in touch with you or will be getting in touch with you. And if you have any questions then please do ask them.

LINDSAY: So if you can't find the books or the journals that you need in your college or your faculty library, you'll probably want to use the main university library. Cambridge University Library is a world famous research library, and it's also a legal deposit library, and this means that we receive or we should receive one copy of every book published in the UK. We now receive some of these books electronically. As well as offering a huge range of resources, modern and old. There are a wide variety of different kinds of study space available in the university library and any student registered at the university can come in and use us.

PATRICK: And there's also the Moore library which is has more of a focus for STEMM subjects, but any student can use it, and it also has 24 hour access and it's located near the Centre for Mathematical Sciences.

LINDSAY: So what resources do the libraries provide? One of the great advantages of studying in Cambridge is the wide variety of information and publications provided through our libraries. So we have a huge number of books. As you might expect, modern books, rare books, we have manuscripts. We have a vast number of electronic books and journals available online and other resources that you might need, such as databases and statistics etc. Because there was such a wide number of libraries, a large number of libraries in different kinds of buildings, there's a variety of different study spaces that you can choose from. As well as providing you with access to published information, we produce a lot of our own guides to help you navigate library life at Cambridge and to help you with academic skills. And we call these LibGuides and you'll find a number of these available to you on lots of different topics and libraries. Also offer study skills sessions where you can come and learn about using libraries, but also about wider academic skills.

PATRICK: So one thing that we offer in the Libraries Accessibility Service, which provides accessible digital files for students who need resources in a format different to that which an item is held at Cambridge. So to use this service you need to share your SSD with us because we're using a copyright exemption. However, we are able to get a wide range of full texts from places including RNIB Bookshare, publishers and we can also scan materials using the scan and deliver team that we have here at Cambridge. We also work on files including format conversions to ensure that they can work with assistive technology, and we also get occasional requests for print versions of eBooks and we're very happy to try and answer any request and we will always do our best.

LINDSAY: So we really encourage you to get in touch with us if there's any way that we can help. We're based in the UL (University Library), but there are a variety of different ways that you can contact us. We have a team email address disability@lib.cam.ac.uk, but you can also contact us via our individual email addresses. So I'm lj311@cam.ac.uk and Patrick is pgd35@cam.ac.uk.

PATRICK: We've produced our own LibGuide all about accessibility in the libraries, and that's called the Cambridge Libraries Accessibility and Disability LibGuide and we've put together a few useful links on our slides: