Due to continued indoor temperatures and humidity, the University Library and Science Library will remain closed.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Learn more about accessing materials and services while we are closed.

Short Description

We are here to assist you in making your experience at the University at Albany both accessible and successful. The Libraries offer a variety of services to persons with disabilities designed to enhance your ability to use our Libraries fully and independently. The information on this page will guide you in accessing the services and accommodations you may need. You are encouraged to explore the links and feel free to contact a Disability Service Coordinator if you have any questions. We are here to answer any disability related questions you may have throughout your college experience.


All students, faculty, and staff are eligible for these services.

Visitors who are not students, faculty or staff at the University at Albany, but who request library services, will receive, if possible, the same services as University affiliates. Our goal is to facilitate access for all users, regardless of affiliation. However, limits in staff availability may prevent us from offering “while you wait” service. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Coordinator to discuss service needs ahead of your visit.

Disability Service Coordinator

Jeff Goldstein

Interim Head of Access Services

A Disability Service Coordinator is available at the uptown and downtown campus for each of the three libraries. The coordinator’s role is to:

  • Respond to all inquiries regarding services to persons with disabilities.
  • Register users for services and verify eligibility.
  • Serve as a liaison to the Disability Resource Center.
  • Arrange for training in the use of assistive equipment & software in the Libraries.
  • Arrange or provide orientations.
  • Coordinate requests for services with individual library departments.
  • Advocate for users in overcoming barriers encountered in the Libraries.
  • Recommend facilities and services to meet the needs of users with disabilities.

Accessible Library Events, Workshops, and Orientations

Individual and small-group orientations are available upon request. Orientations include guided tours of library facilities and reviews of services offered. 

The Libraries offer many instruction programs and courses. If you wish to attend and have special needs of which the instructor should be aware, your needs will be accommodated if advance notice is provided.


The University Library and its entrance doors, rest rooms, and other public spaces have been modified to improve accessibility. There is elevator access to all public areas. The entrance is on the podium level. Access to the academic podium is from Washington Ave. entrance to the University.

The Science Library, constructed after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, is our most accessible library. The entrance is on the podium level, east side of the Library.

The Dewey Library, constructed in the early 1900s, has modified its entrances to facilitate access. The entrance is from the first floor of adjacent Draper Hall. Automatic doors and a wheelchair elevator increase accessibility. All services are available on the first floor of the Dewey Library; retrieval services are available to provide access to collections stored on the lower level. Dewey’s electronic classroom is accessible through the lower level of adjacent Draper Hall.

Research Assistance

The Libraries offer a variety of services to assist you in the successful completion of your research and coursework. Online tutorials are available.

Online reference chat services and databases are available 24/7 and print reference materials are available in all three libraries. Once you’ve begun your research, if you are having trouble finding resources on your topic, you can ask at the Reference Desk or make an appointment with a librarian for in-depth assistance.

Through PAWS (Personalized Assistance With Searching), librarians will also help you develop a search strategy or provide individualized instruction, depending on your needs. To make an appointment for PAWS assistance use our online form or contact the University Library Reference Desk at 518-442-3558.

Remote Access

Access to many library services and information resources are available through our website.

You can access electronic journals, full-text databases and a vast array of other resources selected by library staff for the University community.

Through the web site you can:

  • Access the University Libraries’ online search tool.
  • Search our collections.
  • Request books, media, book chapters, and journal articles: library staff will page physical books and media for pickup at your preferred library, office delivery is available for faculty and staff, home delivery is available for distance learners; book chapters and journal articles are scanned and delivered electronically as accessible OCR-enabled PDFs.
  • Check due dates for items you have checked-out and renew eligible items.
  • Search the catalogs of other libraries in the area or around the world.

Retrieving Items from Book Stacks

If you cannot retrieve books or other materials from library stacks, we can assist you with our paging service. You can submit paging request for items in our collection through our Interlibrary Loan request page.

Proxy Borrowers

You may designate another person such as an aide, family member or friend to conduct library business on your behalf. This is called a “Proxy Borrower”.  Your proxy borrower may then complete forms, pick-up and return materials and conduct other business without you being present. You may designate more than one person as a proxy borrower. Note: You are responsible for any fines and lost book bills incurred by your proxy(s). Proxy authorization forms are available at the Service Desk.

Study Carrels and Study Rooms

In the University Libraries a number of library study carrels and computer tables are designed for wheelchair accessibility. Look for the universal access symbol or ask for assistance at library service desks.

Group study rooms are available to users with disabilities. Learn more about Group Study Rooms:

Assistive Equipment and Software

Equipment / Software Location
Kurzweil 1000: Text to speech software that makes printed or electronic text readily available to people who are blind or visually impaired. Provides user with document creation and text editing. Information may be exported as an audio file to be accessible on other computers, MP3 players and other devices. University Library - (lower level)
Dewey Library - (1st floor)
Science Library - (1st floor)
JAWS screenreader software: Provides voice output from keyboard and mouse commands. JAWS uses an integrated voice synthesizer to output the content of the computer screen to speakers or headphones University Library - (lower level)
Dewey Library - (1st floor)
Zoom Text magnifier reading software: Enlarges and enhances everything on the computer screen. University Library - (lower level)
Dewey Library - (1st floor)
Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software: Transcribes spoken or recorded voice commands into keyboard and mouse entry; can create and edit word documents or emails, launch applications, open files and more. (Requires some training to adjust software to individual voice). University Library - (lower level)
Dewey Library - (1st floor)
Duxbury Braille Translator and Braille Embosser: Provides Braille translation and output of text documents. Attached to PC with JAWS voice output software. Paper is provided. University Library - (lower level)
Audio Recorders: Recorders may be checked-out of the library.  University Library - (lower level)
Large Type Keyboards, including 1 Braille keyboard - available for 3 hour checkout University Library - (Circulation Desk)
Dewey Library - (Circulation Desk)
Oversized USB trackball mouse - available for 3 hour checkout University Library - (Circulation Desk)
Dewey Library - (Circulation Desk)

Other Library Materials

A number of titles are available in large print. 

Many catalogs of Braille books, digital formats & sound recordings, especially those published by the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped are located in the ULIB GovDoc J 85 LC 19 call number range.


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