Information and Advice


Information in the library

All Lambeth Libraries offer an information service and library staff will be happy to help with any information enquiry you have or signpost you to other organisations that can help you further.

Brixton Library is the central reference library for the borough and holds the many directories and a wider range of material.

All our libraries take newspapers and magazines and Brixton holds a backfile of several main publications.


Online information resources

We now also provide many information resources online and these can be accessed from home if you have a Lambeth library card.

  • Art

Grove Art Online is the foremost scholarly art encyclopaedia, offering global coverage of visual culture, written in collaboration with thousands of scholars and specialists from around the world.

  • Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has over 60,000 biographies, and over 11,000 portraits of significant, influential or notorious figures who shaped British history.

Who’s Who is the leading source of up-to-date information about over 35,000 influential people from all walks of life, worldwide who have an impact on British life, including senior politicians and notable figures from the arts, academia, and other areas.

Who Was Who is an invaluable historical archive going back to 1897, which includes the entries of over 94,000 people, now deceased, who were included in previous editions of Who's Who.

  • Business

Cobra helps with all you need to know to turn your idea into a successful business. 4,000 factsheets, market reports, contacts and sources of funding and support, plus hundreds of practical guides to starting up more than 350 types of business.

  • Citizenship

Go Citizen has everything you need to prepare and pass the Life in the UK or British Citizenship test on your first attempt. It includes an online version of the latest official study materials licensed from the Home Office plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test, as well as additional learning games to help you understand and remember difficult material.


  • Driving

Theory Test Pro lets you practise your driving theory test, including the hazard perception test and the highway code before you take the test.

  • Dictionaries

Oxford English Dictionary if you are learning these online dictionaries will give you reliable translations: Arabic: English, Chinese: English, French: English, German: English, Italian: English, Portuguese: English, Russian: English.

Oxford Language Dictionaries is the definitive record of the English language, featuring 600,000 words, 3 million quotations, and over 1000 years of English.         


  • Encyclopaedia and Reference books

Encyclopaedia Britannica is easy to use and a trusted information source. This online edition has a feature for children so information is presented so it is suitable for each age group.

Oxford Reference spans 25 different subject areas covering Arts, Science, Social Sciences, Law, History and Religion. It brings together 2 million digitized entries across Oxford University Press’s Encyclopedias, Companions and Dictionaries.

Oxford Research Encyclopaedias provide articles written by world-class experts that give an overview of a wide-range of subjects so they can be understood in half an hour of reading or less. All articles have been peer- reviewed so the information is accurate, unbiased and up-to-date.

Oxford University Very Short Introductions with just under 700 titles, these books provide the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Whatever your area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates you, the series is an indispensable and accessible guide that will enrich your understanding. You can view a complete list of titles available.


  • Family History

Ancestry explore your family history with this world leading resource – this resource can only be accessed in the library from our desktop computers using this link and cannot be used remotely.


  • Film

Kanopy allows you to stream films for free as well as having a range of documentaries and online courses.


  • Literature

New Oxford Shakespeare presents all of Shakespeare's works drawing on the latest textual and theatrical scholarship. This contains a fresh, authoritative Complete Works with modern spelling and punctuation, explanatory notes and performance notes on every page as well as text presented with original spelling, punctuation, ambiguities, and inconsistencies.


  • Music

Grove Music Online is the authoritative resource for music research with over 52,000 articles written by nearly 9,000 scholars charting the diverse history and cultures of music around the globe


  • Newspapers

Newsbank if you are searching for an article in a UK national or local newspaper this resource has a huge backfile up to current time for many of the main publications

PressReader provides instant online access to current and back issue newspapers and magazines from many countries around the world, in full-colour, full-page format and in over 60 languages

Times Digital Archive is a fully searchable database of the Times newspaper articles from 1785 to 1985.


  • IT and Employment Skills

Universal Skills helps with basic IT skills and job skills including CV creation as well as Universal Job Match and Universal Credit process


  • Social Issues

Issues Online contains over 70 e-books on topics that effect our everyday lives, summing up the key points and views for each topic. Aimed at secondary school students and above, the well-researched articles encourage informed debate and critical thinking


Advice and Support

Lambeth Libraries work with partners to host a range of advice sessions, although most of these have been temporarily suspended because of COVID they are gradually restarting.

Currently Age UK (West Norwood Library) run advice support once a week and there is CV support at Brixton Library every Thursday.