Disability Services

Some of the services on this page are unavailable at this time. Please contact our Disability Services Coordinator at bb29@cornell.edu with any questions. See our latest service updates for more information.


Bethany Silfer
Library Disability Services Coordinator
(607) 255-3758

Cornell Library Public Services Office
(607) 255-5069

Student Disability Services
(607) 254-4545

Cornell University Disabilities website

Cornell University Library is committed to providing accommodations for patrons with disabilities. Patrons seeking assistance are encouraged to contact Bethany Silfer, disability services coordinator for the library system. Bethany will arrange for accommodations at any of the Ithaca campus Cornell libraries to enable you to make the most efficient use of library facilities, materials and services. Students may find additional resources including Bookshare at Student Disability Services.

Assistive Technology in the Libraries

All library public computers include the Premier Literacy Suite* of assistive software, as well as JAWS Screen-reading software. Assistive Technology workstations are available in Olin and Mann Libraries. In addition to the workstation, Olin has a Merlin text magnification LCD screen and Mann Library houses a Braille printer with associated software. Olin Library and Law Library also have assistive laptops which include Dragon NaturallySpeaking software.

Access to Materials

Library staff will page materials for you, or you may use any of the services listed below.

Accessible Printer

Olin Library Net-Print 4, on Olin’s first floor, is placed on a low table for easy accessibility.

Borrow Direct

If Cornell does not own a particular book that you would like access to, or Cornell’s copy is checked out to someone, you can search for the item in Borrow Direct. Borrow Direct is a shared database of 12 partnering institutions that share materials by shipping them rapidly to one another for a 56 day loan period. Turnaround is usually 1 week or less.

Document Delivery Services

With Document Delivery Services, Library staff will scan a book chapter or journal article and send it to you as a PDF via e-mail to view on your own computer. This service is free for patrons with temporary or permanent disabilities. (Please note this on the request form.)

HathiTrust Equitable Access

In participation with HathiTrust, Cornell University Library (CUL) can provide access for eligible patrons with print disabilities to items within the HathiTrust Digital Library. Access is accomplished through a proxy. Eligible patrons wishing to use the service of equitable access may refer to this guide (PDF) for step-by-step instruction. Contact CUL proxies through CUL-HTProxy-L@cornell.edu.


  • Eligible patron: an affiliated user at a supporting institution who has a print disability for which access to digital copies of library books is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation.
  • Print disability: a disability, such as a visual impairment, learning disability, physical disability, or other disability that impedes access to printed content in the standard way.
  • Proxy: a representative designated by a HathiTrust Supporting Institution who accesses in-copyright content on behalf of an eligible patron.

Interlibrary Loan

Materials that Cornell does not own and that are not available through Borrow Direct cannot be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

Library-to-Library Book Delivery Service

With Library-to-Library Book Delivery Services, you can request that materials be paged and sent to the library of your choice.

Other Requests

See our Requests section for all service options.

Private Study or Work Spaces

In some of the libraries, privately assigned study desks are available for semester-long use. Check with each individual library for more information.

*Programs Included in Premier Literacy Suite: English Talking Dictionary, E-Text Reader, Launch Pad, Magnify It. PDF Builder, PDF Equalizer, Premier Tools, Scan And Read Pro, Talking Calculator, Talking Checkbook, Talking Word Processor, Text Cloner Pro, Text-To-Audio, Universal Reader Plus, Worksheet Wizard, Write Now