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Services for Persons with Disabilities: Home

This guide describes services and resources in the MIT Libraries for persons with disabilities.

Service update

Library access is limited to:

  • MIT faculty, students, and staff and their invited guests in compliance with MIT’s campus access policies.
  • Visitors who have been issued a Tim Ticket by Distinctive Collections or for Libraries business or events.

All Libraries users must be in compliance with MIT's campus access policy, including.

Please note: The MIT Libraries do not sponsor users in Covid Pass or issue Tim Tickets for access to Libraries’ general collections or study spaces.

Services for Persons with Disabilities

The MIT Libraries are committed to making sure persons with disabilities have access to all of our resources.

Research Assistance

Individual Consultations (MIT only)

Ask Us (MIT only)

"Ask Us" is a reference help service offered by the MIT Libraries. Your question will be answered as soon as possible, and no later than 5:00 PM the next business day.

HathiTrust Digital Library (MIT only)

HathiTrust is a digital repository that provides long-term preservation and access services for public domain and in-copyright content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives. As a partner institution, the MIT Libraries are pleased to provide special access to HathiTrust content for members of the MIT community with print disabilities. This applies to all public domain works as well as in-copyright materials that are held currently or have been held previously by the MIT Libraries. Access is provided by the ATIC lab; they are also able to assist with searching, if required. See HathiTrust accessibility for full details on how this access works.

Retrieving Materials from Library Shelves

-  online through our Your Account service (MIT and Harvard only)

Request MIT Libraries materials for pick-up at any MIT library. Available items will be delivered in 1-2 business days, depending on location.

- from the shelves of the library you're in:

Contact the circulation desk of any MIT Library to request a special arrangement. (This may not be available on days when staff is reduced - for example, on holidays.)

It's best to plan ahead if you need help with extensive library research.  Please contact the Student Disability Services Office at 617-253-1674 or to make an appointment to discuss your disability-related needs and to request assistance.

- borrowed for you by someone else: Designated Borrower's Card

Specify another person on your card to borrow materials for you by completing a Designated Borrower form online or at any MIT Library service desk.


The following libraries are equipped with computers containing Kurzweil 1000 and 3000 scan and read software that are connected to scanners:

For training in the use of JAWS, Kurzweil, or Zoom Text software, please contact the Student Disability Services Office at 617-253-1674 or only)

Headphones are available at the Service Desks of each library. The Barker and Dewey libraries also have computer terminals with JAWS software.

The following libraries are equipped with book scanners that can scan books or journal articles and convert them to multiple file types, including PDFs:

Files scanned from each machine can either be saved to a flash drive or emailed. There is no charge to use these machines. Please note that these machines do not have text-to-speech capability.

Getting Assistance for Scanning Documents

Staff at any of the service desks listed above can help with small amounts of scanning. Please contact the library in advance to make arrangements. For more extensive scanning needs, please contact the Student Disability Services Office at 617-253-1674 or to make an appointment to discuss your disability-related needs and to request assistance.