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Information on how the Library supports accessibility and inclusivity.

Enhancing digital reading

Do you find reading text in e-books and online journals challenging or uncomfortable? The purpose of this guide is to highlight built-in tools within e-book and and online journal platforms, and assistive applications which can make reading from the screen a better experience.

Text-to-speech tools can help readers with:

  • reading fluency.
  • comprehension.
  • focus.

On some resource platforms you can change how the text displays on your screen. Including adjustments to:

  • text size.
  • font.
  • background colour.

Tools to enable bookmarking, highlighting and annotation can help you record key ideas, review, and make sense of what you are reading.

The Library often receives requests for texts in audio-book format. It is rare for audio-books to be available for academic texts. We recommend that readers use text-to-speech applications to listen back to the texts.

Alternative formats

Online library resources should be accessible to all. If you find any of our digital texts inaccessible and have a referral from the Student Health and Wellbeing team, we can supply you with an alternative format. See our alternative formats guidance for more information.

The RNIB provide guidance on reading in your preferred format.

Accessibility tools in e-books

You will find many of our e-books available through VLeBooks and Proquest Central. The guides below show how you can access text-to-speech, customise the display and bookmark, annotate and highlight the text.

Accessibility tools in other resources

Our main e-book providers have included tools within their online reading platforms to support your reading. 

Assistive software, tools and e-readers

Many of our resources can be downloaded in PDF, EPUB or other formats such as Word or plain text. EPUBs are a very accessible format, for example the layout can be reflowed..

You can use these files with assistive software or the tools built into operating systems and browsers. How much content you can download varies across providers, see our E-book Guide for more information.

You can also view our guide to reading PDFs for more guidance about how to change the display of a PDF and listen back to the text in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Reading for pleasure

City Library provides a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction titles through Libby. You can access these titles in the following ways:

Libby's accessibility guidance has more information on how to change the display and adjust the accessibility settings in e-books.


Audiobooks are a popular format with many benefits. Most of the audiobooks on Libby are read by humans. You can also add bookmarks, notes, and highlights in an audiobook.

Access the full audiobook collection in Libby.

Further Support

If you have any difficulty accessing any of our resources, contact us.