National Library of Scotland National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland

George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW, United Kingdom | +44 (0)131 623 3700 | Website


Sightseer - Chapter 5

An enjoyable visit to a library with a difference


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This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair


The visit to the library was to see the latest exhibition and to find out how access to the reading services would work for me as a powerchair user.

Transport & Parking


Transport for me was great as there is a bus stop almost outside the door. I tend to use the Lothian buses as they are all accessible and cover most places in town. It would also be fairly easy to get a taxi as they can drop off outside the main entrance on the George IV Bridge.



I was impressed by the access and the helpfulness of the staff when I raised a couple of small issues that would make the experience even better for wheelchair users. The entrance doors were automated and and I had the option to use one of two available platform lifts to get up to the main public level of the building. Getting around the exhibition space was easy and I could see and enjoy the displays. The cafe area was easily accessible, as was the shop, the information desk, and the Reader Registration desk.



There was an accessible toilet next to the standard toilets. It has a wide door and plenty of space to get in and move around. Grab rails were in helpful places and the environment clean and tidy.



Having been confused by the information on the current website about accessing the various collections as a reader I was interested to see what staff would say. They were able to advise how access to the collection materials works for mobility impaired readers who may not be able to access the upper floors. It was very easy in that materials would be brought to a reading room on the main floor by a librarian for me to view. Obviously, the same time constraints would apply as retrieval of materials does take time. Overall, the staff were very helpful and made my visit enjoyable.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

Having had the opportunity to speak to members of staff I am now more confident in visiting the NLS and encouraged by their enthusiam to make the collections accessible to all.

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