Library Users with Disabilities--Services

The Rod Library is committed to providing equitable access to information resources to support the study and research needs of University of Northern Iowa students, faculty, and staff. The Library staff seeks to provide reasonable accommodation in making its resources and services available to all members of the University community. UNI students, faculty, and staff who have disabilities may contact the Reference and Instructional Services Department (273-2838) for information on available services and access. Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech impaired may contact Rod Library by telephone through Relay Iowa (7-1-1 or 800-753-2942). 

Statement of General Policy

 The Rod Library staff can assist you in:

  • searching UNISTAR (the electronic library catalog system), electronic databases, and printed reference materials;
  • retrieving materials from collections and stack areas;
  • completing library forms at every Rod Library service point (for example, interlibrary loan requests); and,
  • using library equipment.

We acquire assistive technology to enable users to search and use information resources. The Rod Library is also committed to ensuring that its Web site is accessible to individuals who have disabilities.

Services and Resources

Reference and Search Assistance

The Reference and Instructional Services staff at the Reference Desk (273-2838) and the staff in the Fine and Performing Arts Collection, Special Collections, and the Youth Collection recognize that extended reference or research help is sometimes needed for individual patrons, and we attempt to provide assistance to the fullest extent possible. When you are new to Rod Library, you may find it most convenient to ask your reference and research questions at the Reference Desk. The staff there will assist you or will refer you to the Fine and Performing Arts Collection, Special Collections, or the Youth Collection if your request is most appropriately answered in one of these collections.

Librarians and Library staff can assist you with UNISTAR, electronic databases, and printed reference materials. Library staff members are available to help you look up as many as five separate items. For example, we can assist you in searching UNISTAR to determine whether the Library has five particular books or other information resources you are seeking. Or we can assist you in finding the scholarly definitions of five terms.

If you are a university student, faculty member, or staff member who needs to do an extensive search (more than five items) for specific authors or titles in UNISTAR, you may leave your list of titles (bibliography) at the Information Point/Reference Desk. The Library staff will discuss the research process with you and will later search each author or title and indicate resources owned by or accessible through Rod Library. You may then pick up the list within 24 hours, provided you have given us your list by 5:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. This assistance is also available in the Fine and Performing Arts Collection, Special Collections, and the Youth Collection and if you know your request is related to resources in those areas you may ask for assistance in the appropriate area.

University students, faculty, and staff requiring assistance in conducting subject searches or in planning a strategy for researching a topic may arrange for a research consultation with a Reference and Instructional Services librarian. You may make these appointments at the Reference Desk or by calling 273-2838. A librarian will discuss your research topics with you and will then assist you in conducting searches to identify resources that might be useful. It is your responsibility to make the intellectual decision of which resources to use. This service is also provided by librarians in the Fine and Performing Arts Collection, Special Collections, and the Youth Collection and you may be referred to one of these specialists or may arrange for an appointment with the appropriate librarian.

Librarians teach classes or groups about library resources and effective library research strategies. In addition, Rod Library offers a variety of educational Web pages to aid users in learning about library resources and research techniques.  consult the "Research Help" and "Information For..." sections of the Rod Library Web page.   If you prefer to have large-print versions of library handouts, please ask at the Reference Desk.

Retrieving Library Materials

Rod Library staff members are available to assist you in retrieving books, periodicals, and other circulating Library resources. Please ask at the Circulation Desk for assistance in retrieving most materials (273-2462). The Access Services staff there will able to retrieve five or fewer books or periodical articles while you wait on Mondays through Fridays (9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) if you provide them with book call numbers or journal article citations. If you know that the materials you need are located in the Fine and Performing Arts Collection, Special Collections, or the Youth Collection you may ask for assistance in the appropriate collection. If you need videos, please inquire at the MultiService Center or in the Fine and Performing Arts Collection or Youth Collection (for videos in those areas) about video retrieval and booking procedures.

A larger number of stack books, journal volumes, and/or other circulating materials can be retrieved so that they are available for you at a mutually convenient time, if you make arrangements at least 24 hours in advance. Please make these arrangements at the Circulation Desk or in the Fine and Performing Arts Collection or Youth Collection (for resources in those areas). Under most circumstances, staff members can retrieve your materials within 24 hours if you provide us with your list by 5:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. You may be asked to prioritize the items you wish to have retrieved.

Retrieved materials will normally be held at the Circulation Desk (273-2462) for the standard hold period of six days. Periodical volumes will not be held at the desk, but you can arrange to have photocopies made of the articles you need from the retrieved journal volumes. Books and other information resources located in the Youth Collection and Information File material will not be held.

Photocopying Library Materials

If you need assistance in photocopying library materials, please inquire at the Photocopy Desk on the first floor of Rod Library (273-7092). The staff will provide photocopies of articles at the regular self-service per page charge. Pages will be copied at 100% unless you request text enlargement or reduction. In addition, Library staff are available to make print copies of microform materials for users with disabilities at the self-service copy price.

Assistive Technology

The Rod Library acquires assistive technology devices and designs workstations so Library information resources are accessible to UNI students, faculty, and staff with disabilities.  The equipment is available and no reservation is needed. If someone else is using the equipment you wish to use, please inquire at the Reference Desk for assistance.

Assistive Technology Area, second floor near the Reference Desk. The following equipment is available:

  • OpenBook reader
    Scans and vocalizes written text. Includes low vision options for customizing how the document appears on the screen. Output may be recorded.
  • JAWS for Windows
    Screen reading software on a microcomputer with color monitor connected to the Library network and Internet.
  • Merlin CCTV system
    A camera system which magnifies text and other visual material for viewing on the Merlin monitor

Electronic Resource Area (near Reference Desk)

  • ZoomText text enlargement and reverse video with speech
    Microcomputer with color monitor connected to the Library network and Internet and equipped with ZoomText and a Kensington Expert trackball mouse. ZoomText assists users who have low vision view information on their computer screen while hearing it through a speech synthesizer

In addition, American Printing House for the Blind (APH) cassette tape recorders/players are available at the MultiService Center for recording and listening to the spoken word and other recordings.

Other Library Equipment

Library staff are available to orient you to the operation of Library equipment. For example, orientation can be provided for microform reader/printers, photocopy machines, microform readers, TV/VCRs, computer terminals, or compact shelving. If you need assistance in operating any library equipment, please seek help from the staff located at the closest Library service desk.

Restrooms

Restrooms with wheelchair accessible stalls are located on the east and west sides of each floor of Rod Library (floors 1 through 4).  Restroom doors with automatic door openers are located on the east side of the first floor of Rod Library.

Drinking Fountains

Wheelchair accessible drinking fountains are located on the east and west sides of the fourth floor of Rod Library and on the east side of the second and third floors, near the restrooms.

Elevators

The Library contains three elevators; one is located in the southeast and a pair is located near the center of the building. All of the elevators are furnished with Brailled signs.

Wheelchair for Public Use

A wheelchair may be checked out from the Circulation desk on the first floor. You will need to provide a photo ID and provide contact information at the time of check out. The Access Services staff will be on hand to assist you if needed.

Questions and Suggestions

Please contact the Reference and Instructional Services Department (273-2838) for reference and research assistance. You may contact the Access Services Department (273-2462) for assistance in retrieving or photocopying library materials or for information about the circulation of library materials.

If you wish further information or have suggestions concerning services to library users who have disabilities, please contact Barb Weeg, Rod Library Disabilities Services Coordinator (in the Reference and Instructional Services Department, 273-2838).

The Rod Library maintains ongoing cooperation and coordination with UNI Student Disability Services (273-2677) and Faculty/Staff Disability Services (273-6164) for the benefit of library users with disabilities.

Comments: Dean of Library Services
Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
1227 W. 27th St., Cedar Falls, IA 50613-3675
URL: http://www.library.uni.edu/information-library-users-disabilities/library-users-disabilities-services
Endorsed: April 2, 2001; revised February 9, 2007, March 13, 2009, May 19, 2010, Dec. 9, 2010, July 26, 2011, October 16, 2013