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Haddon Library


Making the library accessible to all

It is important that our physical spaces, reader services, online classes and other resources meet your needs and requirements. We are very happy to meet with you one-to-one for a personalised and confidential discussion about how to make the Haddon Library work best for you during your time in Cambridge.

While some of our students may be registered with the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC), we recognise that this may not be the case for all and you may wish to discuss different types of support with us which are not exclusively related to disability. 

Step-free access to the building

The Haddon Library is located on the Downing Site. AccessAble has a good overview of the Downing Site. The main door to the library building from the Downing Site has two steps up and then another set of stairs before reaching the library. There is, however, step-free access from the archway to the Downing Site, on the east side along Downing Street. There you will find a ramp and an automatic accessible door, which your university ID can open. Please let us know ahead of time if you would like to access this door, and we are happy to arrange activation. Once through the door, the lift is at the end of the long corridor, which is wheelchair accessible. We are located on Floor 1. Upon exiting the lift, there is a button to the right of the heavy doors to open them automatically, Please give us a call if this button is not working, and we will be happy to open the doors.

Additionally, there is a ramp-entrance at the door to the museum, to the left of the Haddon door. However, there are two steps up to the lift from this entrance.

Once in the library, there are three steps up to the reading room. These steps have a stair-lift for wheelchair access. For access to the McBurney Room on the second floor, where journals and books about the ancient Near East are located, you can take the lift to the second floor and a staff member would be happy to open the door.

Alternatively, we are always very happy to fetch books or journals that you would like to consult or borrow. Please let us know if we can help.

Books and loans

Many of our books are at high heights. We have ladders to assist reaching books, but we are happy to retrieve any books for you. If you are a student, books borrowed from the library renew automatically each month and continue to do so until you graduate, unless the books are requested by someone else. You will receive an email if the books are requested, and then you have three days to return the book. However, please speak with us if you need a longer time period. You can search for Haddon Library books using the library catalogue, iDiscover.

Guides and tours

We are happy to provide alternative formats for our library guides, such as on tinted paper, with larger fonts or online. Please let us know what would be helpful for you. We are also happy to give you a one-to-one tour of the library space and to discuss how the library can best meet your needs.

Other Cambridge libraries

You can find further information about accessibility services across Cambridge University libraries, including information about accessible readings, assistive technologies and library inductions and training on the Accessibility and Disability LibGuide.