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Getting started with the online library

The online Library gives you access to many different ebooks, ejournals and databases, to assist you in your studies. This guide gives an introduction to the amazing resources available in the online library. As your studies progress you will learn a lot more about the resources.

What is the online library?


When I decided to study with the Open University I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use a library to help me with my assignments, because I wouldn’t be studying on campus.


Then I logged on to my module website for the first time and saw a link to library resources.


I discovered that I can access a vast range of resources & library services online. In fact I can access them anywhere I can use the internet.


Not only are there academic books and articles, but also newspapers, encyclopaedias and dictionaries to help me write my assignments. As they are included in the online library I know they will be reliable and I can get to them whenever I need them, 24/7.


There are library tutorials and guides too which will help me to understand the best way to use the resources and information.


There’s even a getting started guide to show me how the online library works and a helpdesk if I get stuck.




Summary screens:


The Open University’s online library gives you access to thousands of up-to date articles and books and the Getting Started guide will help you make the most of them.


To find out more visit


Library Services: Bringing you resources you can trust.

Using our resources you will be able to:

  • Read around your subject
  • Find academic quality information for your assignment
  • Find different viewpoints

To begin with

There are different ways to access the content we provide. You can search across most areas of the library using Library Search. This will give you results covering different subjects and resource types.

There are four main types of resources.

  1. Ebooks are like traditional books but available online
  2. Ejournals are similar to a magazine but available on the internet; the content is rigorously checked for academic quality
  3. Articles - each issue of a journal contains a number of articles written by expert academics
  4. Databases  - in the library context, this means a collection of ejournals or ebooks which can all be searched at the same time

In order to use databases to find information for an assignment you need to understand how ebooks, ejournals and articles are organised so look at those links first.