Library Access for Users with Disabilities

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It is Northwestern University's policy to ensure that no qualified student with a disability is denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any University program or activity. In response to a request made by a qualified Office of Services for Students with Disabilities(SSD) will arrange for reasonable accommodations to enable the student to obtain equal access to courses, programs, services, or activities.

The Northwestern University Library's policy is to make all of its collections and services accessible to users with disabilities. Call the Library's Public Services Office at (847) 491-7632 for more information on access and special services available to NU students, faculty and staff with disabilities.

Services include:

  • General library orientation
  • Designated parking for users with mobility impairment at the parking lot north and east of the McCormick Tribune Center and at the Seeley G. Mudd Library loading dock
  • Automatic doors for users with impaired mobility
  • Elevator access to all levels
  • Public telephone for users with impaired mobility and/or hearing impairment
  • Wheelchair accessible restrooms on all levels of University Library, Seeley G. Mudd Library, and Math Library
  • Book paging at Circulation Desk
  • Research assistant library cards available
  • Renewals by mail or online
  • Viewing carrel equipped with closed captioning available in the Mitchell Multimedia Center on Level 2 of University Library
  • Adaptive Technology Lab on the Lower Level of University Library
  • Other services by arrangement through the Public Services Office
University Library and Deering Library

The closest designated parking spaces for people with mobility impairment are in the McCormick Tribune Center parking lot. There are 2 spaces in the northwest corner and 3 near the southeast corner of the lot.

Automatic doors, activated by a push-button for entry and exit, are located at both the north and south sides of the main Lantern Entrance. An elevator provides access to and from the lobby area. All levels of the University Library are accessible by public and staff elevators. The Library is a large carpeted building that requires traveling some distance between departments.

A wheelchair, stored in the Circulation Services Department, is available for use within the University Library. Wheelchair accessible restrooms and drinking fountains for users of the University Library and of the adjacent Deering Library are located on all levels of the University Library.

Elevator access to or from Level 2 and Level 3 of Deering Library is available with staff assistance. Ask staff at any service desk to page Library Security for immediate assistance.

The Circulation Services Department pages books for users with disabilities during all of the hours the Circulation Services Department is open. Requests for paging also may be made by telephone, (847) 491-7633, or by mail. The latter requests should include the date and time the user will come in to use or check out the books.

An accessible public telephone with receiver volume control is located at the west end of Level 1, outside the Government Information Department.

An accessible electronic typewriter is available in the Periodicals and Newspapers Reading Room on Level 1.

Call the Public Services Office, (847) 491-7632 to arrange for general library orientation, special library cards for research assistants, or for other services you may need.

Adaptive Technology Lab

Located on the second floor of Deering Library in the Music Listening Center Lab, the Adaptive Technologies lab workstations contain hardware and software for use by individuals with disabilities.

The Library is working to expand access to all its public workstations for individuals with disabilities. The following software can be found on all Library workstations:

On Windows workstations:

  • ZoomText
  • Read and Write Gold
  • Jaws - on two additional workstations in the Info Commons

On iMacs

  • Dragon Dictate for Mac
  • Read and Write Gold

The University's Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) facilitates general access to assistive computer equipment as well as individual accommodations.

Science & Engineering Library - Seeley G. Mudd Library for Science & Engineering

Entry can be made through the Technological Institute or from the loading dock area of the Seeley G. Mudd Science and Engineering Library on North Campus Drive (between the two buildings). A ramp leads from the designated parking spaces (at the south end of the loading dock) to the first floor doorway. An intercom must be used to call for assistance. Elevator access is available to all three floors. Accessible restrooms are available on each floor. Restrooms near the connecting walkway in the Tech. Institute are also accessible. Book paging is available upon request at the Circulation Desk. For questions about access to Seeley G. Mudd Library, call the User Services/Life Sciences Librarian at (847) 491-2906.

Mathematics Library - Boas Mathematics Library (Lunt Hall)

A ramp at the back of Lunt Hall leads to the first floor where the Math Library is located. There is a wheelchair accessible restroom on the same floor. Book paging is available upon request at the Circulation Desk. Call the Math Library at (847) 491-7627 weekdays for additional information.

Schaffner Library (Chicago Campus)

The Joseph Schaffner Library is located on the second floor of Wieboldt Hall, 339 East Chicago Avenue, on Northwestern University's Chicago Campus. Parking for people with mobility impairment is available at several downtown campus parking facilities. NU students can have their parking stubs validated at Wieboldt Hall for the parking garages at 275 E. Chestnut or the Erie-Ontario D-Lot, Monday-Friday from 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. and weekends from7 a.m.-7 p.m. Call the Chicago Parking Office 312-503-1103 for more information about parking or call the Schaffner Library at 312-503-8422 for information about accessing the library.

Entry to Schaffner Library can be made through automatic doors located on either the north or south side of Wieboldt Hall at 339 E. Chicago Ave. or 340 E. Superior. Wheelchair accessible restrooms and drinking fountains are on the first floor of Wieboldt Hall. The library is on the second floor, with elevator access via the Chicago Avenue elevator banks. A wheelchair accessible workstation is located in the public computer area of the library. Book paging is available upon request at the Schaffner Library Front Desk.

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