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Become an OU student

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Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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6 The OU Library

Through the online Library [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] you’ll be able to access quality-assured and trusted resources that are selected and assessed by subject specialists and academics. The extensive range of journals and magazines, academic books, newspapers, dictionaries and encyclopaedias are just some of the resources you’ll be able to use to:

  • find information for your assignments or projects
  • explore further reading for your module
  • carry out in-depth research or explore specific subjects.

You may not need to search for resources in the early stages of your studies but the Library also has resources to help you to develop skills that will support you as you study, at work or in everyday life.

Watch this short video introducing the OU Library services.

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You can find a link to the library in the top navigation links that you'll find across StudentHome and your module website(s).

Getting started with the online Library

You’re probably familiar with libraries as a place to borrow and return books but you may not have used them for academic research before.

Don’t worry: there’s plenty of support available and you’ll be introduced to this over the course of your studies. You can find lots of self-help resources on the Library website under ‘Help and support’.

The online Library is also the place to go for help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism. We’ll talk more about this in Session 4 of this course.

Library Helpdesk staff are available to help you make the most of the online Library and advise you on finding and using information for your studies. There is a 24/7 chat service or you can email your query or speak to someone.

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The Library also runs live online training sessions throughout the year which are designed to help you make the most of online library resources while you’re studying, when you’re at work, or for everyday life. They also run live Facebook events, and have recorded guides to help you use library resources to benefit your studies.

Explore events that are coming up in this next short activity.

Activity 6 Library training events

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Go to the Library homepage and locate the next event. Then explore the recorded events that are available.

There is no need to watch any of these at the moment. The thing for now is know where to find them and what kind of subjects are covered.

If you struggle to find a recording, have a look at the discussion below where there is a step-by-step guide.


STEP 1: Click on the ‘Library’ link on StudentHome.

STEP 2: Click the ‘Training and events’ tab on the Library home page.

STEP 3: Click the ‘Using Library Search for your assignment’ link from the list of training sessions available.

As well as the OU’s own library you also have access to other university libraries. You’ll find out how to use them in the next section.