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Getting Started

A guide on getting started with your campus library



Welcome to your Library at Essex. We are here to support you in your studies by providing the resources you need, study environments to suit you, and expert help and support.

Check out the video below for a brief introduction to some of our services and the ways that we're here to support you.

For an interactive introduction to the library, why not have a go at our tutorial introducing the online library services? If you're on campus, here are our self-guided inductions to the Albert Sloman Library in Colchester and The Forum in Southend

Social Media

You can follow the library via our social media channels, for up to date information on our services and events.

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  Wordpress  Youtube

If you're new to the Library, we've created some tutorials to get you started!

  • If you're based at our Colchester campus, have a go at our self-guided induction tour to help you navigate around our physical Library space, and get familiar with our online Library. This can be completed within the Library building itself, or at home. 
  • If you're based at our Southend campus, take a look at our self-directed tour to set up your library PIN number, learn how to find a book in the library, and more!


Need to do some reading for your modules? Weekly essential readings are available online through your reading list on Moodle.


Want to do some background reading or find sources for assignments? Search the online library on the Library website.  If  you prefer a physical item but they are all out on loan, or on the shelf at another campus, you can reserve a print copy. Once your reserved item is ready to collect from your chosen location, you will get an email to your student email account so keep checking your inbox.


Want to get a copy of a book chapter or journal article that the Library doesn't have online but is in the physical collection? Request it via Scan & Deliver and we will email it to you.


Need to access a book the Library doesn't have  either online or in print? Use our Request a Resource service, and we'll get an online copy, or you can arrange to have it sent to you from another library.


Confused about how to access resources? Contact the Library via chat or email and we'll help you get what you need. You can also book a 1:1 consultation with one of our subject experts in the Academic & Research Services team.

Reading Lists

The easiest way to access the resources you will need is through your reading list. You can find your reading lists for all modules through the Moodle page for your module, or by visiting the Reading Lists homepage.

All of your essential reading material should be available for you to access online.

If you can't find your reading list here or you are struggling to access your reading materials, please talk to your lecturer and contact us.

You can also find help with your reading lists on our reading list guide.

Finding online resources

Once you’ve found your reading list, you can use the Library search on the Library's homepage to find other online resources to support your studies. There are three tabs on the Library search, as shown in the image below.

Search Library

You can search for articles, journals, and databases using the Library search.

Southend Books

This searches the catalogue of books at our Southend campus library, The Forum. Use this tab if you're based at Southend and are looking for a book on the shelves.


eJournals allows you to search for online journals. You can also download the Browzine app to search and use theBrowzine e-reader. To find out what a journal is, take a look at our search skills guide.

DOI Search

This is used to search for specific journal articles using their DOI - or digital object identifier. This is a unique identifier assigned to all journal articles, and if you know it then this can help you locate exactly what you're looking for!

Accessing online resources

There are two main types of online resources: e-books and journal articles. You can access these via the Library Search.

Subject Guides

Check out your Subject Guide: a subject-specific bank of resources and guidance put together by our team of Academic Liaison Librarians, including our Southend Campus Librarian!

Your Academic Liaison Librarian provides subject-specific support and guidance in a range of areas, from recommending and evaluating resources, to search skills and referencing. The below image shows an example of one of our subject guides. Why not have a look at yours now?

A screenshot showing an example of a Subject Guide

Access to resources

If you are a University of Essex Online student, you will have access to a selection of our e-resources, but not our physical collection.

Our University of Essex Online page has further information to support you in your studies.