Online Reference Library

We subscribe to a number of online resources. These are available to library ticket holders of any library in Southend-on-Sea.

E-Books and E-Audio for Download Services

You can access hundreds of free e-books and e-audio.

An e-book is an electronic version of a book which can be read either on a computer, or on some e-book readers, tablets or smartphones. 

E-audiobooks are audio books which are borrowed as an audio file that you need to download online. You can then listen to these on a range of devices, including MP3 players, tablets and smartphones.

For details and to start downloading titles view the library catalogue.

Press Reader

Get access to the world’s largest digital newspaper and magazine service. Free unlimited access to over 7,000 publications from 101 countries and 60 languages. All the top newspapers and magazines are available. Sign up using the Press Reader App or


Borrow from a collection of over 3000 issues on a wide range of topics from cookery and fashion to sports and hobbies. All are free of charge and there is no limit to the number you can borrow. Instant checkout and download to read anywhere, 24/7.

Simply download the free Libby app from your app provider, or visit the OverDrive website.


We are pleased to offer online access to a wide range of comics and graphic novels, entirely free of charge.

Over 250 titles from leading brands are available, including all the favourites:

  •  Dungeons & Dragons
  •  Ghostbusters
  •  Judge Dredd
  •  My Little Pony
  •  Skylanders
  •  Star Trek
  •  Transformers
  •  The Crow Midnight Legends

 Appealing to all ages, genres include Fantasy, Manga, Horror, Science Fiction and Superheroes.

The service is free and easy to use. Simply download the free Libby app from your app provider or visit the OverDrive website and sign up using your Southend Library card and PIN.

Encyclopedia Britannica

The online edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. You can only get remote access to Britannica Online if you are public library staff or a library member (personal use only). Any non-personal use is not allowed.

EBSCO Masterfile

An electronic database of thousands of magazines. Articles are either available in full text or as an abstract.

Go Citizen

A great online study resource if you are preparing for the Life in the UK test or British citizenship test.

Oxford Online Collection

Please use the links below to access all of the Oxford University Press online databases. Use the Library Card login option and type your library card number.

Theory Test Pro

An online simulation of the UK's driving theory tests for all vehicle categories. It contains all the official test questions licensed from the Driving Standards Agency.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is usually accessed on public computers within our libraries, but is currently available to access from home, until 31 March 2021. To access this you need to log in to your library account.

Universal Class

Learn something new with access to over 400 courses on a range of subjects from IT to Reiki, Business skills to Cake decorating.

Transparent Languages

Learn over 100 languages from beginner to conversationalist. Great for holidays abroad!

Contact a Library

Telephone: 01702 215011

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