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Who we are and what we do

Home Library Information Who we are and what we do


Our vision is to be a trusted, leading-edge service at the heart of the Open University learning experience.


Library Services supports the teaching, learning and research of the University by ensuring that all staff and students have access to world-class resources. We also provide a centre of excellence for information management and preservation, and are focused on equipping students with the essential skills and capabilities to enable their self-directed learning and for them to succeed in the workplace.

Supporting students and staff

Information literacy and module production

Library Services staff in the Student and Academic Services team work closely with module teams to create opportunities for students to develop their digital and information literacy skills whilst studying.  Digital literacy refers to the skills of OU students in using digital technologies to achieve their personal, study and work-related goals. The team also work with faculties to help select online content to use in modules.

Advice and guidance

An important role of the Student and Academic Services team is to provide help and support to staff and students. The Library Helpdesk provides help and support to both students and staff, which is available 24 hours, 365 days of the year through webchat. Online training sessions also provide students with the opportunity to develop essential study skills in areas such as referencing and finding information for their assignment.

Research Support

The Library Research Support website offers guidance on Open Access Publishing, Research Data Management, Bibliometrics, ORCID and managing researcher visiblity.

Access to trusted educational material

Library Services connect students and staff to an accessible and seamless world of online content. This world of online content, managed by the Digital Content and Systems team, includes journal and magazine articles, newspapers, encyclopaedias and dictionaries. All resources can be accessed 24 hours a day.

University Archive

The University Archive holds historical materials of the Open University and unique research collections. The University Archive also manage the Open University Digital Archive (OUDA) that helps to manage and preserve digital and digitised OU archive content, as well as making materials more widely accessible.

Library projects

Library Services’ broad range of projects are focussed on supporting our organisational objectives as well as sharing our learning and findings with the broader community.

Want to find out more?

Take a look at the support and services for students or support and services for staff pages for more information.

Get in touch with us

If you’d like to get in touch with the OU Library please contact us.

Jan 30

Introduction to Library Services

Wednesday, 30 January, 2019 - 12:30

Learn about the online library, how to find help and support, and how to access key services to help with your studies or work at the OU.

Library Helpdesk

Chat to a Librarian - Available 24/7

Other ways to contact the Library Helpdesk