Digital libraries have quickly become the norm in Universities, since they combine technology and information resources to allow remote and immediate access to educational content, breaking down physical barriers.
The University of London Online Library is a collection of learning resources – such as ebooks, journal articles, past papers, images, audio visuals, dissertations, conference proceedings, legal cases and legislation, organised in electronic form and available on the Student Portal, VLE or directly from the Online Library website.
The Online Library provides students with access to explore the subjects they are passionate about.
It also helps students to develop skills that will support them as they study in everyday life. I am a Level 6 student of the Bachelor of Laws degree, and I personally use the Library to find legal articles and journals which are relevant for my course. I use the UOL Online Library at least twice a week to find relevant legal articles to help me with my assignments. All of these resources are available for free, when they would be expensive in a different context.
This allows me to refer to credible sources in my class assignments and achieve good grades. It gives me access to educational resources without leaving my room. It was like opening a door and discovering this massive building beyond it, with all sorts of different rooms, ready to be explored!
In comparison to traditional libraries, UOL online Library has many benefits:
The sky, or rather, an internet connection, is the limit. As long it is available, students have access to relevant sources, 24/7. Very few conventional libraries can be attended by students at night (the most productive time for a lot of students). The UOL Online Library, however, can be used round the clock. There is no need to wait for a specific item. A number of students can use the same book simultaneously.
The ability to use customisable search is useful. Students can use any search word or phrases to find a relevant source. Students can sort an item by the author's name, title, subject, format, language year of publication etc.
Preservation and conservation of resources is guaranteed. A physical copy degrades over time, from persistent use. But this is not a problem for the UOL Online Library.
A structured approach is used. The Online Library provides access to much richer content in a more structured manner. For instance, students can easily move from one catalogue to the particular book then to a particular chapter and so on.
Books in the Online Library are never out of stock, and there is no wait on shipping. They are available instantly, and this saves time compared to searching in physical libraries.
Physical space is not a problem. As there are no physical boundaries in the UOL Online Library, it contains more items in comparison to physical libraries.
The University of London online Library is a priceless tool for students who need to find academic sources needed to complete the course which are not freely available on the internet, and also provides an ‘’Ask a Librarian’’ service. Further, it is also helpful that the Online Library website is compatible with mobile phones.
As a current student of the University of London’s Undergraduate Laws programme, I have access to extensive electronic resources which enrich my studies and help me to maximise my potential. To access these resources, I visit the Online Library Laws Gateway, where I am offered law specific – databases, such as Lexis®Librar, Westlaw and JustisOne. From these, I am able to retrieve case laws and journal articles relevant to my area of study.
As a student of UoL, I also have access to several multi – disciplinary databases like ABI/Inform Global & Academic Search Complete, where I find materials that help me place my legal studies in a wider context, which are convenient and easy to use.
To sum up, the University of London Online Library has so many amazing resources designed specifically to help students. I have found the most valuable thing on my mobile phone is my University of London Student Portal, where I can access the Online Library. So visit the Online Library on your Student Portal, and enrich your studies!
Haala is studying the LLB via distance learning in Pakistan.