Disability Services


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

Cornell Library Public Services Office
(607) 255-5069

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 the libraries facilities, materials and services.

Assistive Technology in the Libraries

Assistive Technology Centers in Mann, Olin and Uris libraries provide users with screen-readers, a Braille printer, e-text readers and software that converts e-text into MP3s and other audio files. In addition, Premier Literacy Suite of assistive software is installed in most Ithaca campus libraries (exceptions are the Library Annex and the Olin Library Rare and Manuscripts Collection).

See the interactive campus map for a complete list of assistive technology installations around campus. Click the library name and "full details" to see the list of all software available on public workstations.  Or use the Assistive Technology filter at the right-hand side of the map to select specific software and view library locations where the software can be found.

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 (http://www.hathitrust.org/). 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 are requestable 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.