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Study aids available from the Library Service Desk

During staffed hours you can ask for help with anything you need at the Service Desk on level 1. We can provide:

  • A hand-held magnifier to enlarge text when using printed books
  • Tinted overlays in a number of colours to help you with reading and concentration when using printed books
  • Coloured paper for printing and photocopying

Our Library Service Advisors will be happy to assist with other aspects of using the Library, for example finding your way around. The Service Desk is also equipped with a portable hearing loop.

Accessible study spaces

We have spaces for you to study individually and with friends and as part of a group. Our Study Zones have different noise policies to help you find an environment that is right for you.

Booking a desk for individual study

Some of the study desks in the Library can be booked in advance, so you know you have a set place to work before you come to the Library. You can use our Book a study space service if you would like to do this. The Assistive Technology area is also bookable through this service, as well as our group study pods.

Book a study space

Adjustable-height desks

There is at least one adjustable-height desk in each Study Zone of the Library, which are great at accommodating people who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Some of the adjustable-height desks are equipped with Birmingham Newman PCs, but others are available for you to work on your own devices or with pen and paper.

Assistive Technology area

On level 2 we have a self-service assistive technology area. This is available for you to use whenever the Library is open. Here you can find:

  • A 'ReadEasy' text-to-speech scanner.
    This equipment can convert any pages of a printed book or document into audio. You will need to bring headphones to use this equiment, but you can also save the converted documents as mp3 files on a USB memory stick to listen to on your personal device.
  • A CCTV Book Scanner.
    This equipment uses a high-resolution camera to zoom in on any printed book or document and displays the enlarged text or image on a screen. It also allows users to display documents in alternative high-contrast background and text colours to aid reading.

If you would like training on how to use this equipment, then please book an appointment with us, using our online booking form, and we will be pleased to help you make the most of it. You are welcome to contact us in another way if you find this easier.

You can book the Accessible Technology space in advance using our Book a study space service. Booking is not essential, but booked users will have priority.

Computers with assistive technology software

The Computers in the Libary are managed by Birmingham Newman IT Services and run Windows 10. Windows 10 has a number of assistive features, including 'sticky keys' and 'Narrrator' voiceover built in, that can be used as a screen reader with keyboard operation.

If you have any portable assistive software (e.g. on a USB memory stick), please contact IT Services if you wish to use this on the computers on campus.

Last reviewed: 18 September 2023

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