Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Something I didn't know about my local library service

I've known for a long time that the Oxford University Press offers a commercial subscription service to a selection of online dictionaries and reference books, known unsurprisingly as Oxford Reference Online.

What I didn't know was that for the last year anyone who has a membership card to almost any public library service in England - or to one of many, though not all the public library services in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Irish Republic - can access all of Oxford Reference Online, and the whole of the Oxford English Dictionary online for free, just by entering their library card number.

In fact the local library service for the London Borough where I live, Barnet, has gone even further, and offers free access to a range of online reference services.

Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner?