What is a library support assistant?

A library support assistant is there to ensure the university’s library and related resources and services are accessible to you.

How can they support you?

Library Support Assistants can help you to locate academic library materials, access study areas and scan and photocopy library resources.

They can also provide reading material in alternative formats if you can’t access essential reading from your reading list.

If they are unable to source an alternative format which meets your access requirements, they will discuss with you the next possible steps, such as finding a substitute title or scanning and reformatting sections or the entirety of a title.

Library support assistants can help you access resources via:

  • Assistive Technology, such as magnification and text-to-speech software and/or coloured overlays.
  • Longer loan period of a print book.
  • Purchase of a digital copy.
  • Using software to convert reading material into accessible formats such as: MP3 audio, Word, braille and e-books.

Top tip

RNIB Bookshare is a brilliant free service which provides books in a range of accessible formats for students who have a vision impairment or other print disability. The service specialises in books used in education and currently has nearly 800,000 titles. Students can access the service by applying through their university. If a book you require is not in the Bookshare library, you can put in a request for them to obtain it. So, be sure to ask your university about getting you set up with Bookshare!

How do you access their support?

Library support assistants are usually employed within the university’s library services. You can explore the types of support you might need from your university’s library services by discussing your access requirements and the demands of your course with your disability adviser, library services and teaching staff.

Your university has a duty to ensure you have access to all essential learning material on your course and the library services play an important role in making sure you have access to reading material for your studies.

To find out more about some of the library services your university could potentially offer, check out our Getting support in place at university webinar!


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