Stories & Updates

Making the Library more accessible for everyone

10th February 2022

Making the Library fully accessible to everyone for the first time is one of the most important parts of the restoration project. The College is committed to improving diversity and inclusion – there should be no barrier, physical or other, to deter excellent young people from learning and working at Exeter.

This is vital for students like Amber who struggles to use the Library in its current state:

“Currently, I can’t use the Library because it isn’t easily accessible, and I have a health condition that can cause extreme fatigue, so getting there and back is difficult for me. The plans to make the Library fully accessible would make a big difference to my experience as a student at Exeter, especially during those times when I use a wheelchair – at the moment it’s too much of a faff, but once a lift is installed I look forward to having the opportunity to work in there.”

Amber (2020, Biological Science)

In order to make every area of the Library accessible, part of the project will involve the installation of a lift to all floors. The lift will be located next to the spiral staircase and will provide access to both the mezzanine level and the upper floor of the main wing.

The lift will be situated discreetly next to the existing spiral staircase

A door at the far end of the Annexe (which is currently blocked by bookcases) will be revealed to provide an additional step-free emergency exit. There will also be a fully accessible toilet at ground level near the new entrance meaning that students no longer have to leave the Library to use the facilities elsewhere on site.

Render of the new lift shaft in the Rector's Garden
The lift shaft will protrude discreetly next to the exterior turret and will only be visible from the Rector’s Garden.

Can you help students like Amber and support making the Library accessible and open to everyone? Make a gift today.