Disability Services at Temple University Libraries

The Temple University Libraries are committed to providing equal opportunities in  research and study for students, faculty, alumni and members of our surrounding communities.  Whenever possible, the libraries will select and acquire resources and technologies that are accessible to all in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  For those parts of the historical library collections that are not accessible, the libraries are committed to providing reasonable accommodations and timely access in order that these materials may be accessible to  library users with disabilities.  This page provides links to our most commonly requested resources and services.  

Should you need further assistance or accommodation, please discuss your needs with library staff in person at any service desk or by phone or email or chat.  Special accommmodation requests not addressed below should be directed to Richie Holland, Director of Administration, at 215.204.3455 or by email to richieh@temple.edu


On This Page


Locating or Reaching Library Materials on Bookshelves

Library staff will assist in locating and retrieving shelved library materials.  Please provide the location information (the catalog call number, title and year or other sufficiently identifying information) to the circulation desk of the library and a staff person will retrieve  the materials for you.  

Paley Library  --  place your request at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Tuttleman Learning Center which is connected to Paley Library.  If you are already in the Paley stacks, use the service (red) phones located on both the east and west sides of the 2nd and 3rd floors to request assistance from the Circulation Desk during all open hours.  Requests to have items retrieved from the book stacks may also be made 24 hours in advance by phone or email.  Please call the Access Services Department at 215-204-0744.

Ambler Library - please request shelving assistance at the service desk.


All photocopiers provided are wheelchair accessible.  

If operating a photocopier is not possible owing to a disability, library staff can assist with photocopying.  Ordinarily, 50 or fewer copies can be copied upon request at the Circulation desk.  The extent of photocopying must be within copyright guidelines.  You must provide Diamond Dollars or credit card payment for the standard cost of the copies.  If you have more copying than can be done immediately, you may make arrangements for copying and payment at the Circulation desk.  Turnaround is usually 1 to 2 business days for more than 50 copies.

Assistance with print or online materials for the print disabled

For students and faculty/staff with certified or registered print disabilities, the library will provide accessible electronic versions of library materials as follows:

Items placed on online course reserve by library staff are in born-digital format or have been scanned and processed with optical character recognition software (OCRed)  to convert the textual content  for reading by screen reader software.  Should specific files not be readable, contact  Richie Holland, Director of Administration, at 215.204.3455 or by email to richieh@temple.edu with specifics including the Temple course and section number, instructor, title of assigned reading, and a description of the problem.  Note that the libraries are not responsible for remediating non-library materials or materials placed into Blackboard directly by instructors circumventing library course reserve processing.

Items placed on hardcopy course reserve such as books:  Students with certified print disabilities should request at the Circulation reserve desk that the assigned portion of the item be scanned and OCRed to convert the textual content  for reading by screen reader software.  Please allow up to five (5) business days for scanning and delivery of the finished file. 

Books and journals from Temple library collections:  Students and faculty/staff with certified print disabilities may request  that hardcopy books and journals be scanned and delivered to them in electronic format suitable for screen reader software.  Email to tuhathi@temple.edu  with specific citations.  Note that library staff must ascertain that you are appropriately registered with Temple Disability Resources and Services for students or ,Employee Relations for staff, in order to comply with Section 121 of the U.S. Copyright Act which governs reproduction of copyrighted works for users with print disabilities.  Further reproduction or distribution in a format other than a specialized format exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities is not permitted under Section 121.  Please allow five (5) business days for scanning and delivery of the finished file(s). 

Online ebooks and online journal articles:  Most online databases to which Temple subscribes have fully accessible interfaces and accessible textual content, although some older online materials may not be fully accessible.  Should specific files not be readable, contact  Richie Holland, Director of Administration, at 215.204.3455 or by email to richieh@temple.edu with specifics including the topic of inquiry, database(s) consulted, article or item citation if available, and a description of the problem. 

Assistive Technology Resources

Temple Libraries offers a variety of assistive technology. Desktop computers offers a variety of assistive software, such as JAWS, MAGIC and FS Reader, for text magnification and text-to-speech. Paley Library has a CCTV device for text magnification and text-to-speech capability. A variety of assistive hardware is available in Paley Library.  

Assistance with print material for those with limited mobility

Students working with the Office of Disability Resources and Services may request any regularly circulating item owned by Temple at Paley Library or Temple's Ambler campus be delivered to their home by signing into their ILLiad account and placing the request.

Borrowing privileges for students with mobility challenges are identical to those extended to our on-Campus patrons.

Once the request has been received, library staff will retrieve the book and mail it to an eligible home address within one business day. Please allow an additional 1-3 business days for books coming from the Ambler campus. 

All items will be shipped via UPS. Requesting students are responsible for renewing or returning all borrowed materials by due date and are responsible for any loss or damage that may occur while library material is in their possession and until it has been received back at Paley library.

Please note that we cannot loan items from our Special Collections, Reserves Department, bound serials, or items borrowed via Interlibrary Loan.

Students working with the Office of Disability Resources and Services are also eligible for the Document Delivery service that enables requesting of scans from print items owned by Temple at the Paley, Ambler, and Health Sciences libraries. 

Regardless of whether or where Temple owns a particular journal or book, students may request scans by signing in through ILLiad. Once the request has been made, library staff will locate and deliver a link to a pdf of the requested material directly to your e-mail. 

Requests for scans of up to 20% of a book, to be capped at 50 pages will be eligible for fulfillment through Document Delivery. In addition, eligible patrons must make one unique request for each individual serial article they wish to have scanned.

For items that are on-shelf at one of the above listed libraries, a scan will be supplied within 1-3 business days. If the requested item is missing, checked out, or not owned, and you already have an ILLiad account Document Delivery will submit an Interlibrary Loan request to our partner libraries. 

It is recommended that any students choosing to use Document Delivery or home delivery take a moment to register for their ILLiad account which is open to all current Temple faculty, staff, and students. Turnaround times for items requested via ILL are dependent on the lenders ability to supply us with the required document(s).

For queries about Document Delivery, home delivery of library or ILLiad services, please e-mail teuill@temple.edu or call 215-204-0754 and we will be happy to work with you to support your research.

Assistance with Audio and Video Materials

 DVDs:  The Media Services Department  on the lower level of Paley Library  holds a substantial DVD collection, most of which is closed-captioned for the the hearing impaired, and some of which is also described for those with vision disabilities.  The accessibllity of these materials are noted in the Diamond catalog record.   

VHS Cassettes:  Media Services holds a substantial number of video cassettes.  These are seldom captioned.  

Streaming Media:  The Libraries subscribe to large collections of online video content, much of which is closed-captioned.  Individual film and documentary titles are represented in the Diamond online catalog with notes concerning accessibility. 

For further assistance,  ask library staff at the Paley Media Services desk or email tulmedia@temple.edu.  For students and faculty/staff with certified disabilities, we are permitted under section 121 of the U.S. Copyright Act to reformat audio and video materials for their individual use in study and research.      

Assistance with Microforms

Staff at the Media Services Desk on the lower level of Paley Library and at the Ambler Library are available to provide assistance in retrieving and using microforms.  For example in threading and using microform reader/scanner machines for those with motor disabilities.   

For those with certified visual disabilities, library staff are prepared to scan microformat materials within five (5) working days of request and supply a digital copy prepared for use with screenreading software.    

Arranging Research Assistance

Librarians are available, by appointment, to provide research assistance in a variety of subject areas.  Assistance can take different forms including  consultation about research strategies, how to conduct an effective and efficient literature review, how to evaluate sources and cite them appropriately, to assistance with keyboarding a database search, or other research support needed to complete your research assignments and projects. 

To discuss research needs and/or set up an appointment with a Librarian please contact Richie Holland, Director of Administration, at 215.204.3455 or by email to richieh@temple.edu.  For most effective service, please indicate your area of inquiry, any sources already consulted, and disability.  All such inquires are held in confidence.


page last reviewed August 29, 2018 by Richie Holland