Using the library resources


The library facilities at each campus provide extensive collections of electronic, print and archival information, alongside state-of‐the‐art learning spaces for study, social learning and reflection.

Using a large academic library for the first time can be a daunting experience. With literally thousands of books, e-books, online journals, and other resources, tracking down the sources of information you need for your academic work can sometimes seem confusing and time consuming.

However, learning to use the Library and its resources is an important skill to master. By finding and using good quality information in your assignments, you are demonstrating to those marking your work that your opinions are informed and built on research conducted by experts in your field. This is an essential skill to demonstrate in order to attract top marks for your work.

Here you will find some clear and practical guidance on how to make effective use of library resources to find the information you need for your studies and get maximum benefit from what is available.

Where can I search for the information I need?

Books and e-books

Books will prove to be an invaluable source of information for your studies.  There will be particular books that are recommended by your tutors via your reading lists, but you may also want to do your own wider reading and research using books on the subjects you are studying.  Books can provide valuable background information, an in-depth overview of a subject, an explanation of theories and a comparison of differing ideas, approaches and opinions.

You will not be surprised to hear that there are lots of books in the University of Greenwich libraries. The easiest way to check whether we have the book you need, whether it is currently available, and where exactly you can find it, is to search our library catalogue.

Find out more about using the Library and borrowing books.

In addition to the print books in the libraries, we also have an extensive collection of nearly 13,000 full text e-books. E-books are great because you can access them at any time and quickly search the whole of the text for relevant information. Many of our e-books can also be downloaded to your own device so that you can read them offline.

Search tools like the library catalogue and LibrarySearch will help you to discover the e-books we have on a specific subject, or whether a particular title is available as an e-book.

Find out more about e-books.


Find LibrarySearch on the My Learning page in the Student Portal.

Put simply, LibrarySearch is like a big academic search engine. It is an easy-to-use tool which allows you to search across many of our print and online collections in one place. Whilst the library catalogue is limited to showing you books, LibrarySearch will help you to discover books, plus many other sources of quality academic information.

So why is it important to use more than just books? As a university student your tutors will be looking for evidence that you have used a wide range of resources in your studies. When marking your written work your tutors will want to see that you have looked beyond your lecture materials and the obvious textbooks on your reading list to see what research, evidence and current thinking there is on your subject.

Academic journals are a great source of this type of information. In simple terms, an academic journal is a collection of scholarly articles which is published periodically. The articles in academic journals can provide up-to-date, specialised information on topics which are not always found in books. Essentially, the purpose of a journal article is to communicate the very latest thinking, research and developments within a specific academic, or professional field.

You can search LibrarySearch to discover full text academic journal articles on the subjects you are researching. LibrarySearch will also provide you with links to other useful sources of information from official publications such as conference papers and proceedings, reports, newspaper articles, and some audio visual material.

In addition, LibrarySearch can be used to identify references to articles, books and other documents not currently held by the Library, but which we may be able to obtain for you through our Document Supply service.

Find out more about LibrarySearch.

Specialist information resources

Depending on the subject you are studying, you may need to access specialist resources and sources of discipline specific information which will not be available to you in LibrarySearch.

Your Subject Librarian will be able to give you advice about the best resources to use to find information for your subject.

Find the contact details of your Subject Librarian.

Many of our LibGuides also offer specialist advice on finding information for your subject.

Current staff; Current students

Information and Library Services Directorate