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The Library: Alternative Formats Service

Eligibility for the service

The Alternative Formats Service is for eligible print impaired students referred by Disability Advice. Please see What is the Alternative Formats Service? for more information.

Alternative Formats Service video

Accessing your reading

You will access all of your recommended reading through the online reading list system. This is the same system which all students use, however the Library have made a copy of the reading lists for your modules specifically for you. These lists will have links to books in electronic formats which other students are not entitled to.

You will receive an email from LibraryAltFormats with a link to your Alternative Formats Reading list for each module you are studying. Emails will be sent to your student email account. If you receive an email for a module you are not studying, or have not received a reading list, please email as soon as possible.

Remember that any book files you download are for your personal use only and must not be shared with anyone else.

There are different types of accessible formats available on your Reading list:

To access your reading in accessible formats please follow the instructions below:

  1. Click on the link in the email to open your reading list
  2. Please read the notes underneath each book title. These will explain whether the file is available and where from. Please note your lecturer may also have added notes for all students on the module. If there isn't a note just click the View Online button.
  3. To open a resource (e.g. book, chapter, webpage) click the View Online button on the right of the page: 
  4. If the book is already available as a library ebook one of two things will happen when you click the View Online button:

    You will be taken straight to the ebook and you will be able to start using the book (you may need to click on the Read Online or Download button to access the ebook).

    The Find full text page will open, you will need to click on the View Full Text link to access the ebook.  Some ebooks are available from more than one supplier, click on the View Full Text link next to the supplier you prefer, you will then be taken to the ebook.  For example, Askews and Holts VLeBooks has a range of accessibility tools so you may prefer to use it over other suppliers.The Find full text page showing where to click on View Full Text next to the Collection you want to use.

  5. Where a book file has been obtained directly from the publisher it will open as a PDF file. If prompted, enter your standard username and password. You can then download the PDF file to keep.
  6. If the book is available on RNIB Bookshare you will need your unique username and password to log into RNIB Bookshare (this will have been emailed to you). If the book is available on RNIB Bookshare the note Available on RNIB Bookshare will have been added underneath the book title:
  7. If there is not a View Online button available for a book a note will have been added underneath the book title:
  • This title has been requested - we have requested this title for you but it is not available yet. We will add the link when we receive the file or update the note if we are informed that it is not available.
  • Accessible copy not available - unfortunately we are not able to obtain the book in an accessible format. Please note: the majority of books published pre-2000 are not available in an accessible format. Please contact if you need further help.
  • If you need this title in an accessible format please contact as soon as possible and we will try and source it for you.

If you have any questions please contact and we will be happy to help. You can also book an appointment with the Learning Support Officer via the Book an Appointment button on the right of the page.

Using your reading list FAQs

Contact the Alternative Formats team

Library Disability Support Team

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Pippa Wood & Susan Smith

Adobe Reader DC accessibility features