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Online library resources and reference

If you need help with homework, tracing your family history, writing a business plan or preparing for your driving theory test, we subscribe to a wide range of resources to help you.

Most of these will require you to log in with your library membership barcode number ​to get into the members' area.

Driving theory test

  • Theory Test Pro - a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory test.

​IT for beginners

  • First Steps on Your Computer - is a totally interactive training program for anyone completely new to computers. It contains full human English speech that can be listened to as many times as you wish, and text can be selected in Urdu, Arabic, Bangladeshi, Polish or Somali. It takes absolutely nothing for granted, guiding you through the program with interactive exercises​. At the end of each section you can test what you've learned before progressing ​to the next level. ​​
  • Learn My Way - free online IT courses for beginners on subjects such as using emails, finding a job online, using mobile and online banking, video calling, online shopping and much more. When you register for an account, it will ask you for the name of the centre you're learning in. You can enter your local library as your Learning Centre. Find your local library.

​​The National Arc​hives​

The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, containing over 1,000 years of history including over 270,000,000 documents that are available on the UK Government Archive. It includes:
  • Guides, catalogues and indexes - whether you are looking for a person, a place or a particular subject​
  • Lesson plans and workshops for teachers and students
  • Online exhibitions on historical themes
  • A museum of national treasures
  • Podcasts about news and popular topics
  • Advice on how to use the National Archives in Kew


Access to British Standards

If you're looking for British, European or International standards you can use British Standards Online (BSOL) as the authoritative and most current site for all BSOL publications. The site includes thousands of current, draft and historic British Standards.

We don't offer access to British Standards, however, you can access British Standards Online from any library across the country that does offer this service. If you're looking to access the service in Greater Manchester you can register your library card at that library. If you're looking to access the service outside of Greater Manchester you may be required to join their library first. Joining a library is free.

Access to Research (academic articles)

You can get free access to over 10 million academic articles using your library membership.

To access:

  1. Search for academic articles at home.
  2. If you find ones you'd like to read, contact us using the details on this page. Tell us the name of the articles you'd like and we'll print them for you.
  3. Collect your requested articles from one of the libraries open for the Request and Collect service.
  4. If you can't get to a library, please email and tell them which articles you'd like and why you can't get to the library. They'll advise you on other ways to access the article instead.

Services available on computers in libraries

You can get full access to the following sites on the library computers:

  • Access to Research - free​ access to over 10 million academic articles.
  •​.uk - search your family tree
  • Find My Past - access to a range of family history records in partnership with Manchester City Archives
  • United Utilities​ - access the drainage/sewerage plans for the area where you live
  • Which? - product reviews and advice from the consumer experts​

Our library catalogue also has some useful reference resources including a newspaper index


0300 303 8876

Phone: Monday–Friday 9am–5pm.

Visit Rochdale Borough Libraries' Facebook page

Did you know?

Joining a library is free. You can join any library in England and Wales to use their facilities.

So, if you can't find it with us, take a look at the services on offer at a different library.

Join Rochdale borough libraries

It only takes a couple of minutes to join the library online. You can use your library membership to:

  • Download the latest eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines to your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
  • Reserve and renew books.
  • Choose from thousands of great books and audiobooks.
  • Access a range of online resources.
  • Borrow items from any library in the Greater Manchester Consortium.

Please remember to bring identification when you first visit the library to borrow items - for example, utility bill, driving licence or bank statement.

Join the library