Specialist Library Services

Courses and learning

Man learning on computer

Learning is at the heart of what libraries do.  All libraries stock books and other resources that allow you to undertake independent informal learning.  In addition, most libraries hold a variety of courses that could help you learn new skills.

Independent learning

All libraries stock books on a wide range of subjects, ranging from history and archaeology, to more practical subjects such as DIY, handicrafts, car maintenance and health. The two largest libraries - Newport and Ryde - stock the largest range of subjects, but books can be reserved for a very small charge, and sent out to any other library for collection. Please ask in any library if you would like help locating books on any particular subject.

Language courses

Libraries stock audio language courses on CD, covering the most popular languages that our customers ask for most frequently. There are also some online audio language courses on RBdigital service for e-audiobooks.

To use these online courses for the first time you will need to create your own account with RBdigital eaudiobooks. To do this please complete the following steps:

  • Access the RBdigital eaudiobooks website and choose the register option.
  • Fill in your details, including your library card number.
  • Create a username and password, then click "Register" to complete creating your account.
  • Once you have registered you can use the service by going directly to the RBdigital website and logging in with the account details you have created, or by downloading the RBdigital app onto your mobile device.

Online courses

Please visit the Library Learn section of this website to find out how to access online courses and other learning tools. These consist of:

  • Driving Theory Test course
  • UK Citizenship Test course
  • Access to Research: access to a wealth of academic research from computers within the library

Courses in libraries

Most libraries offer a range of courses and classes.  One-off courses include sessions on researching family history, and "silver surfer" classes, which offer a two hour introduction to the internet for people who have never used it before.

Some libraries provide a venue for external trainers to come in and run longer courses on a variety of subjects, including literacy, computer skills and CV writing.

To find out what your local library offers, go to the Local Libraries page on this site and select your library from the listing. Library events, including courses, are also listed on the Isle of Wight Libraries' Facebook page.