Your gateway to a wide range of online information resources
We provide a digital and physical library service to every member of the Open University community, ensuring staff, students and the public can benefit from library content, skills teaching and support for their academic endeavour.
The Library Services intranet site (login required) is only available to Open University Staff. It covers information which is relevant to OU staff, but not to students or members of the public.
We work directly with module teams to embed skills materials and Library content into the curriculum, aligned to the student journey and in-context with the module material, ensuring the maximum benefit for students.
Library Services is leading on the development of a digital capabilities strategy on behalf of the University. The term ‘digital capabilities’ refers to “those capabilities which support living, learning and working in a digital society” (Jisc, 2015).
Library Services enhances The Open University mission of openness by providing expertise, services and infrastructures that enable researchers and research students to undertake and disseminate their research and scholarship globally. We add value to the research produced at the OU by ensuring it is open to all and preserved for future generations.
The library provides access to a world-class variety of high quality content across all subject disciplines; from primary source material to journals, books and databases to video and other interactive visual and audio materials.
The University Archive holds historical materials of The Open University and unique research collections. View a list of our collections on the main Archive internet page.
Metadata is something we all use to describe, structure, process and manage information. The Metadata team exists to help the University find, use and manage resources by identifying and applying consistent ways of describing content.
The Library’s Digital Services and Business Systems teams manage the library systems and technologies that: connect library users with our rich repository of library content, engage with library skills and expertise, and allow the Library to support the business of managing and delivering library services.
We are committed to providing an accessible library for all members of the OU community, ensuring our content, activities and services can be used by everyone, as far as reasonably practical. We provide specialist expertise on providing Library content in alternative formats, web accessibility and services such as SensusAccess, which converts files and webpages into accessible alternatives (e.g. text to audio or braille).
The Library building, based at the Walton Hall campus, provides a welcoming, inviting space, which showcases the whole University to students, staff and the public.
Innovations within Library Services are guided by a strong user-focused approach. Critical to this is our insight into the needs, experiences, perceptions and expectations of Library users which includes the whole OU community plus partner organisations, students from other academic institutions, and the public.
Library Services project work aims to prototype and innovate new types of services for our library users.