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Information about the services and resources the library has to help you access the library.

1:1 Welcome Tours

We are now offering a one to one welcome tour of your campus library (Colchester, Loughton or Southend). This is a new service being trialed for this year and is available with a referral from the Student Wellbeing Inclusivity Service (SWIS). 

This service is available for newly registered students declaring a disability who are registered with SWIS. Suitable for those who are unable to participate in generic/group Welcome library inductions or tours, due to physical, visual or specific learning difference - who may be anxious about using the library, find it hard to ask questions or participate in a busy group environment.

With a referral you can book a 30 minute one to one with a member of our frontline team for a general tour of the Library and its physical services, which can include tailored aspects based on your needs and preferences, such as:

  • Location of subject reading material on the shelves.
  • How to use self-service machines to borrow and return books.
  • Where to find the lift and location of accessible toilets.
  • Location of height adjustable desks and how these work.
  • How to borrow a laptop from an accessible locker.
  • Various study zones and where to find your preferred space ie Silent/Quiet.
  • Where to find bookable Individual Study Pods and Study Rooms.
  • Where to collect requested books (particularly useful if using the shelf retrieval service).
  • Where to find assistive equipment such as book baskets, colored overlays, book supports, contrast coloured paper for writing/printing, or magnifying sheets.
  • Answering any questions or concerns you may have on using the library.

If you are a new student and would like to benefit from this service please register your disability with the Student Support Disability Team via Student Services Hub, or speak with your SWIS contact. For more information on this service please contact us

As this is a new service we are interested in your experience and feedback to help develop and improve our service offering, so please do let us know what you think

Collection Service

If you need assistance locating/retrieving books and other materials from the shelves, members of the Library staff will be happy to fetch them for you to collect from the Helpdesk (Loughton) or hold shelf (in Colchester).
If possible, please let us have a list of items in advance as we may not be able to collect at busier times of the day or at the weekend. See contact details below or talk to staff at the Helpdesk.

If you are registered with Student Wellbeing & Inclusivity Service (SWIS), you can request books through the library website. Simply search for the book you need in the search bar on our homepage, then click on the Request button under 'Get it'.

For those students whose disability may prevent them coming to the Library easily, arrangements can be made for books to be collected and borrowed on their behalf by a friend or colleague. Please contact if you would like to nominate someone to do this for you.

Copying Services

There are multi functional devices on all floors of the library. They are self service machines and you will need your campus card in order to log in to your printer account. All are able to enlarge print and you are able to get yellow and blue paper from the help desk to use when printing.

All of these devices also allow you to scan and photocopy.

Alternative Formats Service

If you need any reading lists materials to be provided in an alternative more accessible format, please complete an accessible copy form.


There are magnifying sheets available to borrow near the Colchester book return.

Each Colchester floor holds a book basket with wheels which you can use to collect and carry your books around the library.

The university also provides assistive technology, from hardware to software, which can be found on the university's Computers & Software page.


  • Four adjustable desks can be found on floor 2 of the library. They are adjusted electronically.
  • On the ground floor, one of our quick access PCs is lower down and easier to access.
  • Our Library Helpdesk also has a Hearing Loop which works by transmitting amplified sound to NHS hearing aids. Most hearing aids have a T or MT switch which allows them to pick up the electromagnetic signal. The hearing aid converts the signal in to a sound suited to specific hearing requirements, allowing participation more fully in conversation.  
  • If you are registered with SWIS and have been given access to accessible routes on campus, you will also be able to access the Postgraduate Reading Room on the ground floor of the library. This room has a card tap access and automatic door.


Accessible Laptop Loans

Using the laptop loans, you can choose Accessible Locker.

This will provide you with a laptop from the middle lockers, and should be easier to take out of the lockers.