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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Information for Users With Disabilities

This guide is an introduction to services available to library users with disabilities.

Research Assistance for Students with Disabilities

Request a Research Consultation

Librarians are available to help with any aspect of your research. Submit a Research Consultation Request for Users with Disabilities Webform or email at refassist@library.illinois.edu

Research Assistance for Students with Disabilities Policy

The University Library:

  • Will not require documentation of disability
  • Will provide service to the best of our ability
  • Will provide research consultations appropriate to the each students’ needs, both academically and in terms of their disability
  • Will provide consultation in a timely manner

Examples of what we can do:

  • Reading book titles and table of contents for people with visual or mobility impairments
  • Sighted assistance in navigating databases for people who use screenreaders
  • Wayfinding to determine best routes into and out of buildings to access materials
  • Research assistance in a quiet, reduced distraction environment
  • Use of large screen monitors during research assistance
  • And a lot more - contact JJ Pionke pionke@illinois.edu with questions

Accessing Library Materials

Library staff can assist in retrieving materials from bookshelves. If materials are needed immediately, please ask a library staff person for assistance. Requests can also be placed through the Library Catalog to have materials retrieved from any library location and sent to a convenient library or Residence Hall Library. It may take several days for this service; an email notice is sent when the materials are ready for pick-up.

For help finding books or other materials in the Library Catalog, renewing materials, placing requests, troubleshooting connection problems, or using the MyAccount function in the Library Catalog, call Central Access Services at 217-333-8400, or email them at circlib@library.illinois.edu.

Photocopy Services

Library staff can provide assistance at the self-service copiers and scanners located throughout the library. Library staff can also assist with placing a request via Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery's Illinois DocExpress service. This service obtains copies of journal articles, book tables of contents, and book chapters for materials located in any of the Illinois campus libraries, with electronic delivery of documents within 48 hours (within 72 hours for microfiche or film). Delivery of hard copy by other means may take longer. The fee for this service may be waived upon request for students with disabilities; however, a verification of eligibility from Disability Resources and Educational Services may be required.

HathiTrust Digital Library

The HathiTrust Digital Library provides access to millions of digitized public domain books and journals. Illinois faculty, students, and staff with a print disability (visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability that prevents them from effectively reading print materials) may also request a PDF or text file of in-copyright items as long as the Illinois Library currently holds or has previously held the item. Submit a HathiTrust proxy request web form or email at hathiproxy@library.illinois.edu.

Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center

The Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center (ITBOC) provides free library service for anyone unable to read regular print because of a visual or physical disability. They offer audio books and magazines with playback equipment, and also books in Braille. Books and magazines are mailed free to and from library patrons, wherever they reside. There is no charge to the patron. Currently, they serve over 6,000 active readers. Their office is open 8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday. The The Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center's website has information on their program, links to other disability sites, and news of interest to readers.

The Center is also part of a state network administered by the Illinois State Library and a national network administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress. For more information, email the Center at info@illinoistalkingbooks.org or call them at 1-800-426-0709.

711 Illinois Relay

For deaf and speech impaired communication over the telephone, use the 711 Illinois Telephone Relay Service to contact the library.