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Access for Persons with Disabilities


The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is committed to enabling readers with physical disabilities to make use of the Library's resources. Questions regarding services can be made by telephone at 917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975) and by e-mail at TTY Reference is available at (212) 930-0950. At the Library, the staff is always available for assistance.

All public service units of the Library are wheelchair accessible. A ramp entrance to the building is located at the 42nd Street entrance. All levels of the building are accessible by an elevator at the north end of the building. Wheelchair-accessible restroom facilities are located on the ground floor; please obtain a key from the Security Desk at the 42nd Street entrance.

Services for Individuals with Visual and Mobility Impairments

A variety of adaptive technologies for the visually and mobility impaired are available on the second floor corridor. These resources include:

  • an Optelec text magnifier machine
  • a Kurzweil Personal Reader, which converts printed text into synthetic speech
  • an Internet workstation equipped with screen magnification software (MAGic) and speech synthesizer software (JAWS)
  • access to electronic outlets for users to bring their own laptops and Braille typewriters
  • a wheelchair-accessible photocopy machine
  • wheelchair-accessible networked computers linked to the Internet, the Library’s catalog, and the Library’s selected electronic resources

Materials from other divisions of the Library may be transferred to the second floor corridor for use with adaptive technology. Please speak with a Library staff member to make arrangements.

Wheelchair-accessible microfilm reader/printers are available in the Microform Reading Room, located on the first floor of the building. Machines with motorized spools are available, and a larger microfilm magnification lens for the visually impaired is also available upon request.

Using the Library Online

The Library’s website and online catalog comply with the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative Guidelines to promote accessibility.

Personal Research Consultations

The Library’s reference librarians and subject specialists provide free half-hour research consultations by appointment. To schedule a Personal Research Consultation, speak with a librarian or e-mail

Public Programs

The Library offers a series of programs featuring lectures by scholars, writers, and public figures. A calendar of upcoming programs is available. Assistive listening devices are available at all events. The Celeste Bartos Forum and the South Court Auditorium are fully accessible to wheelchairs.

Support for services for people with disabilities was made possible, in part, by a grant from Filomen M. D'Agostino Foundation.

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