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Who we are and what we do


The multi-award-winning Open University Library underpins the University mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. Our vision is to connect the whole OU Community with world class information, technology and award-winning expertise to facilitate knowledge creation. 


We support the teaching, learning and research of the University by: 

  • delivering an integrated learning experience in partnership with OU staff to improve student success by embedding library skills and content into the curriculum 

  • ensuring that all staff and students have seamless, timely access to world-class resources to support their teaching, learning and research  

  • equipping all staff and students with essential digital capabilities to transform how they succeed in the workplace 

  • providing services to support the management, preservation, discoverability and dissemination of OU research and teaching outputs 

  • providing specialist expertise and point-of-need help 24/7  

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.

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.

Information Literacy Award 2019 logo

The Library is award winning. The prestigious Information Literacy Award recognises an outstanding UK-based individual or team who demonstrate impact, innovation, initiative and originality in raising the profile of IL within an organisation or sector.