Information Services

Main Library and disabled users

This is an overview of access facilities at the Main Library, George Square and how we assist disabled users. If you are a student and wish to arrange individual adjustments such as study rooms and reduced cost printing you should contact the Student Disability Service as soon as possible. None of the services mentioned in this document are instead of support you may receive from the Student Disability Service. Their contact details can be found at the bottom of this webpage. If you are a staff member then you should contact your line manager or your local Human Resources department for individual adjustments.


library sign

The library is situated on south side of George Square. Wheelchair access is by the ramp to the  main door. Disabled parking spaces are available at the front of the building and are accessed by the west side (closest to the meadows). All floors are accessible and can be reached by lift. The lift is wide enough to accommodate electric wheelchairs, and disabled users have priority access to the lifts. Maps can be sent out in advance and assistance dogs are welcome.

Helpdesk services

  • The helpdesk on the ground floor has a lowered section for wheelchairs and an induction loop installed.
  • Coloured acetates, portable desk lamps and an A4 page magnifier are available to borrow.
  • All library documents are available in alternative formats upon request.
  • A library trolley can be borrowed if you find it difficult to carry books.
  • Extended borrowing is available for disabled students and is arranged via the Student Disability Service.
  • Induction tours can be arranged.
  • Staff will be happy to assist in whatever way you need such as helping with printers and photocopiers to collecting books etc

Accessible toilets

Accessible toilets are available on all floors. All floors have 2 accessible toilets one left hand transfer and one right hand transfer.

IT services

  • All open access PCs have mindmapping software and TextHelp Read and Write which converts text to speech
  • Accessible study rooms 1-3 on the first floor contain a range of assistive technology. If you are a student and wish to arrange access to these rooms please contact the Student Disability Service (details at the bottom of this webpage). If you are a member of staff please contact Viki Galt (Disability Information Officer).
  • USB sticks loaded with assistive software that can be borrowed from the Helpdesk. If you find it useful, you can download the software for free onto your own USB stick.

FM Induction Loops

Information Services has two portable FM induction loops for use in any of the meeting/training rooms, or group study areas in the Main Library. These devices are kept and charged at the Helpdesk on the ground floor. If you are presenting or running training in any of the rooms in the Main Library please alert those attending in advance (staff, students, general public) that this facility exists.  Any individual with a hearing aid can use these portable devices which come in the form of a neck loop which can be concealed under clothing if the user wishes. If you wish to use these loops please just ask the presenter of the session or at the IS Main Library Helpdesk. The presenter then wears a small device with microphone that transmits to the loop worn by the user. These devices can be used in conjunction with the room's standard PA system. These devices can be borrowed at the  helpdesk for periods of less than a day and should be returned before the helpdesk closes.

Furniture and study rooms

If you are a student you may be eligible to use the accessible individual study rooms on the 1st Floor. To arrange this students should contact the Student Disability Service (details at the bottom of the web page). All adjustable height desks and standing height desks have notices attached to them identifying them as such. Staff will be happy to show you there location.

There are adjustable height desks located at:-

  • 1 on the Lower Ground Floor, East Study Area.
  • 1 on Ground Floor, next to pillar in front of Heldesk on the left hand side.
  • 2 beside the Quick Use computers on the Ground Floor.
  • 4 on the 1st Floor, at the bank of computers against the wall near the water fountain.
  • 1 on the 2nd Floor facing the gardens on the North East side.
  • 1 on the 4th Floor facing the gardens on the North East side

There are standing height desks located at:

  • 1.08 Lower Ground Floor study area 
  • 2nd Floor, North facing against pillar
  • 5th Floor, within the post graduate area.

Fire evacuation

If you require assistance to evacuate in an emergency you should ensure you have a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan). To arrange a PEEP for this building please contact your school or line manager for more information. If you are a visitor to the building and require assistance to evacuate in an emergency please inform a member of staff at the Reception Desk.

Useful contacts

Main Library

The Main Library website has information on opening hours and contact details

Student Disability Service

Will provide advice and support for disabled students and students with specific learning difficulties (eg dyslexia).

Student Disability Service

  • The University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Third Floor
Library Building
55 George Square

Post Code

Request an alternative format

If you require this document in an alternative format, please contact Viki Galt, Disability Information Officer.

Viki Galt

Disability Information Officer

  • Information Services

Contact details



Argyle House
Floor F West
3 Lady Lawson Street

Post Code