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Libraries NI

A man and woman sat at a desk working and laughing on a phone and laptop

The Open University in Northern Ireland works in partnership with Libraries NI to provide enhanced library access and free learning opportunities for both OU students and Libraries NI customers.

Library branches can help support OU students learning and development needs whether it’s the facilities on one of the 96 sites across Northern Ireland or the access to free resources that go beyond just access to books. 

Joining a library is easy. Simply visit your local branch with proof of name and address alongside a completed application form. Library membership is free and open to anyone living, working or studying in Northern Ireland.

an image which says 'Libraries NI Learning Hub' and has the OU logo and the OpenLearn logo

Libraries NI Learning Hub

The new 'Libraries NI Learning Hub' on OpenLearn, has been prepared in collaboration with Libraries NI, and features a collection of free online resources designed to support mental health, wellbeing and learning and development. The Libraries NI portal provides access to curated content for library users covering a range of topics and over time we hope that this portal will grow.


Visit the 'Libraries NI Learning Hub' on OpenLearn


A laptop sitting on a table

Branch Network – Libraries NI

There are 96 branch libraries across Northern Ireland, alongside an online presence that offers eBooks, eMagazines, audiobooks and eNewspapers. Many of these branches also have late night opening hours and study spaces.

In addition to late nights, the Out of Hours Service provides open access to a selection of branches. Out of Hours libraries offer adults (aged 18 years and over) controlled access to library facilities outside of normal opening hours, providing a limited but important range of services on a self-service basis, including broadband/ Wi-Fi access, printing facilities, study spaces and book borrowing.

Find a library near you

a set of computers in the middle of a library

Library NI Study facilities

Alongside normal functions such as book borrowing, each Library site provides designated ‘plug in’ areas so you can use your personal laptop alongside computers available on site for those without access. Computer and Wi-Fi use is free for library members. Each site also offers printing, photocopying and scanning facilities.

Digital Hubs are a new initiative which offer communication and privacy screens to facilitate tasks such as watching lectures or engaging in seminars.

As a library member you can do the following for FREE:

  • read and borrow books including curriculum support material
  • access free Wi-Fi and use library computers
  • access study space to read, revise or complete assignments
  • access in library digital resources such as Access to Research
  • access the Ulster University Library through the Civic Access Scheme
  • access OpenLearn, the Open University free online learning resource
  • access trusted health information for many of the issues that students face
  • take part in social activities  

Reading: A Child's Superpower - Book Week NI 2022 Event

In today’s screen focused world powered by videos, why should your child pick up a book and read? 

In this online event from Book Week NI 2022, in partnership with Libraries NI, Professor Teresa Cremin of The Open University shared her expert knowledge on the benefits of reading in childhood, tips for engaging a reluctant reader and how you can nurture a child’s love for reading. 

Teresa Cremin is Professor of Education (Literacy) at The Open University and co-Director of the Literacy and Social Justice Centre. Teresa is passionate about developing readers for life and leads a community website and wider movement to support the development of children’s reading for pleasure