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Accessibility Services

The Vanderbilt University Libraries are committed to providing equal access to library services and collections for all patrons. If you need special assistance, ask for help at any library service desk. Some services may require advance notice to ensure staff availability. We work in conjunction with the Vanderbilt offices of Student Access Services and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): Disability Services (faculty & staff) in order to provide assistance. For more information, please contact a specific library for advice on access and assistance.

Research Assistance

Upon request, staff can assist you with:

  • Using the library catalog to get started with your research.
  • Determining library holdings and locations.
  • Reading call numbers.
  • Oral or written directions to help you locate library materials.
  • For more in-depth research assistance, contact a subject specialist or use Ask a Librarian to schedule a research consultation.

Access to Print or Online Materials

  • Request assistance with retrieving print materials (books, journals, scores, etc.) from the stacks at the library's service desk.
  • Use InterLibrary Loan to:
    • request books (print or electronic) from other libraries.
    • request electronic copies of articles or book excerpts from other libraries.
  • Scan documents to email using networked library photocopiers. Use these scanners to send a PDF copy of documents to email and then use software with optical character recognition to convert the images to text for reading.
  • By working with Student Access Services or EEO Disability Services, individuals with print and/or mobility disabilities may request an accommodation that will allow the library to:
    • deliver materials to the library of your choice (undergraduates) or your department (graduate/professional students and staff - all faculty have access to Faculty Delivery).
    • authorize those with print disabilities for access to all ~14,000,000 HathiTrust materials - even those still within copyright.
    • for either of these options, contact the appropriate office and have them send confirmation of your eligibility to Jim Toplon at or call 615-343-4222.

Adaptive Technology

Basic assistive technology is available on all library public PCs and laptops available for check-out. This includes:
  • Text Magnification (Magnifier (Microsoft Accessibility)
  • Screen Readers (JAWS, NVDA, Narrator (Microsoft Accessibility)
  • Speech Recognition (Windows speech recognition (Windows Ease of Use)
  • Word Prediction and Completion (On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) in Windows)
For information regarding adaptive technology available at individual libraries, please see our list of adaptive/assistive equipment .

Facility Accessibility

Our buildings have accessible:

  • study spaces
  • collections
  • restrooms (some gender neutral/family/single-use)
  • entrance/exit equipped with automatic doors
Visit specific libraries’ websites for additional information about library accessibility.

Handicapped Parking

Handicapped parking is located near several libraries. Refer to Visitor Parking or Disability Parking (employee permits) for more information.

Handicapped Parking near Vanderbilt Libraries

Lot 6B - off 21st Ave. (near Central Library, Divinity Library, Special Collections, and Science & Engineering Library)

Lot 6A (off 21st Ave.; near the Law Library and Management Library)

Lots 95 and 96 (spaces on Magnolia Circle, near Peabody Library)

South Garage (off Children’s Way, near Blair School and the Music Library)


Visiting the Peabody Library with a wheelchair

Wheelchair access in and around the Peabody Library is limited because of its construction and layout. Because it is not possible to access each floor from the elevator you must plan your visit accordingly.

Magnolia Circle: This entrance will give you access to the first floor only. The first floor houses the Iris Café, the Fireside Room, two study rooms, a vending area and restrooms. A free public telephone is also available on this floor. The Fireside Room has Mac workstations for patron use.

21st Avenue South: This is the entrance at the back of the library along 21st Avenue South. This entrance will provide access to the Ground Floor Project Room, a study room and restrooms. Computers are not located on this level.

Elevator access: The elevator is accessed at the ground level (21st Ave. S. entrance). The elevator will take you to the Main Floor and the third floor. The elevator will not accommodate wheelchairs more than 24 inches wide.

Stacks Access: Originally, the Peabody Library was a closed stack library so the aisle ways are narrow. Staff will be happy to retrieve any material that you want from the stacks.