24/7 Online Services

These online resources are part of the Library Service’s information and learning offer. To find out about other information available from libraries, visit the Information services web page.

  • Ancestry LibraryAncestry library edition - key records for family history research, including 1841-1901 census; birth, marriage and death records; street directories, telephone directories, school and military lists.
    (This service can only be accessed from a Croydon Library computer.)


As a library member, you can use the barcode on your library membership card to access subscription-only online reference services. The following websites participate in the scheme:

  • Access to ResearchAccess to Research - Free, walk-in access to a wide range of academic articles and research in public libraries across the UK. *Available from library PCs only.

    Britannica Online logo

  • Britannica Junior - Encyclopaedia for those aged 5 to 10
  • Britannica Student - Encyclopaedia for those aged 10 to 14
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica - Encyclopaedia for those aged 14 and over

  • Comics Plus logoComics Plus - Access thousands of digital graphic novels and comics with Comics Plus using any PC or device with an internet connection. 
    - You will need your library card number and email address to set up your account. If you already have an account for our Zinio magazine collection you do not need to join again. You can use your existing Zinio login details to access Comics Plus.
    - Items are loaned for one week and can be renewed as many times as you wish.
    - A ComicsPlus Library Edition app is available (here) for iOS.  | The ComicsPlus Library Edition Android App is now available download the app here!
    - Parental guidance: graphic novels and comics on ComicsPlus are suitable for under 18s but some material may be more appropriate for young people aged 13+. Age guidance is available for each magazine.
  • COOCS – Community Open Learning CoursesCOOCS – Community Open Learning Courses - COOCs have been developed to help people from all walks of life to share learning and create opportunities for personal development. For more information visit http://coocs.co.uk/



  • Digital Unite: Computer & Internet GuidesDigital Unite - Computer & Internet Guides - Getting started with computers and the Internet can be difficult.
    To help you on your way, here are links to useful guides produced by Digital Unite. Whether you want help with setting up Skype, online shopping or email, there’s something here for you.


  • Enquire is a free, live-chat question and answer service available 24 hours a day with trained library staff.Enquire is a free, live-chat question and answer service available 24 hours a day with trained library staff. Libraries throughout England take it in turns to deliver the service Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm, with libraries in the United States answering your questions at other times.Ask a question via Enquire and get a response straight away from the real-time 24 hour service.
  • HM Revenue and CustomsHM Revenue & Customs starting a business e-learning tool - Have you just started in business and become self-employed? Got a lot of questions about Income Tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses? Then try this e-learning course from HM Revenue and Customs.



  • Life in Great BritainLife in Great Britain - The online learning practice course to prepare users for the British Citizenship Test




  • The British Way of LifeThe British Way of Life - The British Way of Life is a comprehensive resource containing all the basic facts and information needed to help new arrivals understand, and succeed in, British life.



  • Law & RightsLaw & Rights
    Relevant and updated daily, Law & Rights is a complete legal resource for anyone with a question about the rights and responsibilities associated with living, working or engaging in life in Britain.

  • Law & BusinessLaw & Business
    Law & Business summarises statutes and statutory instruments that relate to starting, growing and operating a business in England, Scotland and Wales; including funding, business support and regulation information.


  • London Business PortalLondon Business Portal - London Business Portal offers information and support for people wanting to start their own business and for those who are running a business. Training and networking events are promoted here.
  • National Numeracy Challenge - Helps adults learn the maths needed for everyday life. Why not take the Challenge?

  • Oxford English DictionaryOxford English Dictionary
  • Oxford Dictionaries Online
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - biographies of 56,000 men and women who shaped British history worldwide
  • Oxford Reference Online - English and bilingual dictionaries, quotations, maps and illustrations, timelines, encyclopaedia, and subject reference guides
  • Who's WhoWho’s Who - The definitive directory of everyone who’s anyone in Britain, and beyond, today.

  • Theory Test Pro - for learner driversTheory Test Pro - a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory tests for all vehicle categories. It contains all the official test questions licensed from the DSA, the people who set the tests.




  • European NewsstreamEuropean Newsstream - Search and  access information from UK national and regional newspapers, and also European newspapers. Each issue of each newspaper is indexed thoroughly to enable you to find top news stories and also information contained in the various sections of the papers.






  • ZiptalesZiptales - Ziptales is a fun on-line resource that uses stories, quizzes and games to make reading a pleasure for children.  It includes:
    - 500 + interactive levelled stories and curriculum aligned English lessons.
    - Voice overs, animations, videos, follow up comprehension quizzes and much more.
    - Over 1500 printable worksheets to follow up each story/lesson.
    - A fun and SAFE online learning environment.
    - Use in small groups, or individual use at the library AND at home.
    - Access online anywhere from any device including computer, laptop, iPads, tablets and more.