Existing accessibility & Disabled Services

motor disability

In the Research Library (Rez-de-jardin level), at the François-Mitterand site, users with reduced mobility can reach the reading rooms by elevators.

To access rooms P (Audiovisual) and X (Bibliographic research), users need to go through the ‘Club chercheurs des Lettres’ (for Room X) and through the ‘Club chercheurs des Lois’ (for Room P). A telephone reserved for readers in wheelchair allows to get in contact with a staff member who will come and open the doors leading to these rooms. This device provides a greater autonomy for readers using these rooms on a regular basis. Yet, the doors remain a major obstacle.

In the Public Library (Haut-de-Jardin level), a specific device allows people with reduced mobility to open and close the automatic barriers.

Wheelchairs are available for free, on presentation of an identity card, in the clockrooms located in the East and West halls.

Visual Disability

At the BnF, special equipment for consulting documents is available for visually impaired readers

Portable electronic magnifiers

Some portable electronic magnifiers are available at François Mitterrand Library and Richelieu Library. Upon presentation of ID, they might be borrowed for the whole day in the exhibition areas and reading rooms.

Video enlargers and reading machines

Video enlargers allow to enlarge any printed or handwritten text and allows the reader to change the contrast. They are available in rooms A, B, C, D, E, I and J of the Public Library (Haut-de-jardin level) but also in rooms P and X of the Research Library (Rez-de-jardin level), in the reading room of the Maps and Plans Department and in the reference room at Richelieu Library. A video enlarger and a reading machine are also available at the Music department (Richelieu Library) and at the Arsenal Library.

Reading areas provided with special equipment

Sound proof booths are located in room E (Public Library) and rooms M and U (Research Library) at the  François Mitterrand site. In the Research Library, all booths are equipped with a wired internet connection; they should be reserved using the seat numbers M152 or U80.

The equipment provided allows:

  • to consult documents, using video enlargers and reading machines (the text is digitized and proposed in different languages);
  • to consult the catalogue and connect to the Internet thanks to a monitor equipped with dedicated softwares, Jaws – Reading by voice synthesis – and Zoomtext  that magnifies characters.
  • to take notes (Word word-processing package)
  • to make Braille and classical printing.

The library’s staff is at readers’ disposal to consult the catalogue or specific docume

hearing impaired users

Some tours and lectures are punctually proposed in sign language.
Hearing aids with magnetic loops are available. This equipment can be requested at the reservation moment Phone: 00 33 (1) 53 79 49 49 or E-mail: visites@bnf.fr

The François-Mitterrand Library is equipped with magnetic loop systems necessary to hearing-impaired visitors. These devices are available in the auditoriums, at welcome and cashier desks, at the accreditation service and information offices in all the reading rooms.

The Arsenal Library is equipped with the same system in the entrance and the reading room.

Tours In French of  the François Mitterrand site intended for visitors with disabilities

Some tours of François Mitterrand Library might be organised on request for visitors with disabilities. Please contact the reservation office at 00 33 1 53 79 49 49.

The programme varies according to users’ needs and specificity of each type of handicap. To prepare the tour, a meeting will be planned gathering the BnF’s staff and the association, institution or group wishing to take part in the tour. The library’s building materials as well as relief plans in large characters are also presented during the course of the tour.

Also, the Department of educational programs proposes a variety of activities connected to BnF’s exhibitions.

Site François-Mitterrand : accessibilité pour les mal-voyants

L'accessibilité du site François-Mitterrand pour les mal-voyants © BnF Durée : 2mn6s


Accueil des personnes en situation de handicap

Téléphone : 01 53 79 37 37 du lundi au vendredi de 9h à 17h, ou par courriel à