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Online resources

You don’t need to visit the library to find quality information books and magazines to read. The library service subscribes to a number of online services, bringing reliable information to you.

Business information Toggle accordion

COBRA is ideal for anyone who wants to start a business. Its comprehensive content includes information on how to write a business or marketing plan and research into new markets.

There is also legal information for businesses and a series of business information factsheets.

Use your library card number to log in to COBRA.


Citizenship test preparation Toggle accordion

Go Citizen is a free online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK Test. It includes an online version of the latest official study materials licensed from the Home Office (which publishes the handbook) plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test.

Go Citizen

You can take the tests as many times as you like, and track your progress. You will need a Barking and Dagenham library card and an email address to use GoCitizen.

Citizenship ceremonies

Computer training Toggle accordion

The Computer School

The Computer School provides IT based lessons and tutorials including:

  • computer basics
  • staying safe online
  • technology basics
  • tablets and mobile devices
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Android
  • Google
  • social media and networking
  • digital photography
  • Photoshop
  • Dreamweaver

and much more.

All content is presented in an easy-to-follow, quick lesson format, with clear, precise, step-by-step instructions. Use your library card number to sign in.

The Computer School

Learn My Way

All Barking and Dagenham libraries are registered as UK online Centres. Learn My Way is a website of free online courses for beginners, helping people develop digital skills to make the most of the online world. Courses on managing your money online and improving health online and staying safe online are included.

Learn My Way

Digital Unite

Whether you are an independent learner or a digital champion, this site has everything you need to improve your computer skills and boost your digital confidence.

Digital Unite

Driving theory test Toggle accordion

Theory Test Pro is a realistic online simulation of the UK’s driving theory test.

Free to use, it is suitable for anyone learning to drive a car, motor bike, passenger vehicle or heavy goods vehicle.

It contains:

  • questions similar to those asked in the official test 
  • hazard perception video clips 
  • an online version of the Highway Code 
  • a login to the driving theory test

All the material is licensed from DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), which sets the test.

Use your library card number to register or log in to Theory Test Pro.

Theory Test Pro

E-books and audio books Toggle accordion

Library members can download digital books and audio books for free and read them on a computer or portable device.

Before you start, check that you have the right software for your device, and that your device is compatible.

Device compatibility

Books can be taken out for either 7 or 14 days. At the end of the lending period, the books will automatically expire and will no longer be available for you to access. However, you can download them again if you wish.

Use your library card number to log in to London Libraries Consortium. You will be asked to create an online account.

Libby e-book app

User guide and account set up instructions (PDF, 276.00 KB)

You will need a PIN number, available from any local library, and your library card number to login to London Libraries Consortium.

London Libraries Consortium

If you already have an account to access online magazines, that will also allow access to the audio book collection.

Audio books

Encyclopaedia Britannica Toggle accordion

One of the world’s best-known reference works, Britannica provides information on:

  • art
  • history
  • geography
  • science

and many other subjects, supplemented by links to magazine articles and websites. It’s also a good source of related illustrations and video content.

Library members can access a choice of three age-specific sections:

  • adult (for ages 14+)
  • student (for ages 11 to 14)
  • junior (for ages 5 to 11)

Use your library card number to log in.

Britannica Library - adult


Britannica Library - student


Britannica Library - junior

Family history Toggle accordion

Our libraries and the Archives and Local Studies Centre offer access to Ancestry Library, a great place to start for anyone researching their family history. This service is not available remotely, it can only be accessed in one of our libraries or at the Archives and Local Studies Centre.

It contains over 4 billion names in worldwide historical records, including national birth, marriage and death indexes for England and Wales, and census records from 1841 to 1911.

Ancestry Library

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Toggle accordion

The IELTS provides free online practise resources for its general training and academic training tests.

General training

General Training is for those who need to know English for secondary education, work experience or training courses. It focuses on basic language skills needed in social life and the workplace.

The website includes:

  • tutorials 
  • video advice 
  • mock tests 
  • activities

Academic training

Academic Training is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training.

Use your library card number to log in.

IELTS General Training


IELTS Academic Training

Issues Online - research into contemporary issues Toggle accordion

Issues is a reference source made up of articles addressing contemporary social issues, such as rights and discrimination, drugs, crime and the environment.

It’s very useful for school and college projects and general interest and there are links to statistics and official and other useful websites. 

Use your library card number to log in to Issues online. 

Issues online

E-magazines, comics and graphic novels Toggle accordion

You can read digital copies of your favourite magazines online. All the content you can get in print is available online‚ plus some issues include features like video and audio. Back copies of magazines are also available.

Before you start, you'll need to download one of the apps to read on your mobile device:

There are over 500 magazine titles covering range of interests, including:

  • business
  • celebrity news
  • children’s titles
  • current affairs
  • IT and gaming
  • Marvel comics and graphic novels
  • sport and fitness
  • women’s interest

Use your library card number to log in to London Libraries Consortium. You will be asked to create an online account.

London Libraries Consortium

Newspapers Toggle accordion

Newsbank allows you to search for news stories from around the UK, including national, local and regional newspapers. Archived editions of the newspapers and news services are available, some from national papers.

Searches can be made from a single title or a range of titles and dates. You don't need to login to use the service but you can create an online account. 


Oxford Art Online Toggle accordion

Oxford Art Online is the gateway to Oxford’s art reference works. It includes more than 200,000 articles that span ancient to contemporary art and architecture, as well as over 15,000 images of works of art, structures, plans, and artist signatures. 

How to use the service

Use your library card number to log in to Oxford Art Online. If your library card starts with 28069 you will need to enter lbbd before entering your library card number.

Oxford Art Online

Oxford dictionaries Toggle accordion

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is the most comprehensive English dictionary in the world. It not only gives you the full meaning of a word but explains its origins and history.

Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford Dictionaries puts the following language information at your fingertips: 

  • English 
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Russian
  • Portuguese

Oxford Dictionaries 

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Toggle accordion

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography features thousands of detailed biographies of people either born in Britain or who made significant contributions to British history.

No one living is included, but its coverage is updated with additional biographies three times a year. You can find biographies by name, subject area and place.

Use your library card number to log in to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. If your library card starts with 28069 you will need to enter lbbd before entering your library card number.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 

Oxford Music Online Toggle accordion

Oxford Music Online is the authoritative resource for music research with over 57,000 articles written by more than 6,000 scholars charting the diverse history and cultures of music around the globe.

Use your library card number to log in to Oxford Music Online. If your library card starts with 28069 you will need to enter lbbd before entering your library card number.

Oxford Music Online

Oxford Reference Online Toggle accordion

Oxford Reference Online contains a vast collection of reference books covering everything from accountancy to zoology.

Use your library card number to log in to Oxford Reference Online. If your library card starts with 28069 you will need to enter lbbd before entering your library card number.

Oxford Reference Online 

Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions Toggle accordion

Very Short Introductions offers concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas from climate to consciousness, game theory to ancient warfare, privacy to Islamic history, economics to literary theory.

Use your library card number to log in to Very Short Introductions. If your library card starts with 28069 you will need to enter lbbd before entering your library card number.

Very Short Introductions

Tense Buster - English language practise Toggle accordion

Tense Buster will help you to understand key areas of grammar in English. It’s suitable for anyone wishing to improve their understanding of English grammar and is also suitable for ESOL students at A2 level and above. There is also a 6 week course option that provides suitable study units that help you improve your English. 

The site covers: 

  • nouns 
  • verbs 
  • adjectives 
  • articles

It also has:

  • tutorials 
  • tests 
  • activities

Use your library card number to log in to Tense Buster. 

Tense Buster 

Which? Online Toggle accordion

Online version of Which? Magazine. Expert independent testing and reviews of products and services. Helps you make the best purchase decisions for your needs.

Available in libraries only, please ask staff for login details.

Which? Online

Ziptales - reading for children Toggle accordion

Ziptales helps make reading fun for children aged 4 to 12+ years. Its content supports the National Curriculum and suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2 and the International Baccalaureate. 

The Ziptales online library consists of over 550 interactive stories and activities with:

  • voice overs
  • animations
  • quizzes
  • games

Use your library card number to log in to Ziptales.