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Are you an undergraduate student who is still unsure which career path to follow? Have you already graduated and want to know what options are available to you? Or perhaps you’re interested in a career change and need advice on how to proceed?

The free resources available at the Information & Reference library cater for individuals at all stages of their careers. This blog post explores some of these, including e-resources, e-books, physical reference volumes, IT events and one-to-one taster sessions.


Physical reference titles

On entering the library, your first port of call might be our well-stocked careers and education section. Here you will find more than a hundred up-to-date titles addressing all areas of career planning and job hunting; there are sections on graduate job hunting, CV writing and interview skills, pursuing a Ph.D., or starting up your own business. Particularly useful is our section on employability skills. You will find several books on workplace skills for students, graduates and employees.

Here are a few examples of titles in stock:

  • How to get a job you love by John Lees (2015/2016 ed.)
  • The career guide for creative and unconventional people by Eikleberry and Pinsky
  • What color is your parachute? Guide to job-hunting online by M. Bolles
  • Brilliant: Workplace skills for students and graduates by Bill Kirton
  • How to succeed at an assessment centre by H. Tolley and R. Wood
  • Tough interview questions and how to answer them from Which?
  • Work your way around the world by Susan Griffith
  • Top 100 graduate employers from The Times

We also have several books about starting a career in science or medicine and guides to finding work if you have an arts or humanities degree. If you are stumped about the sector you want to work in or about which career you want to pursue then you can head straight for the annually-updated job directories. These provide profiles of hundreds of jobs in the UK and may prove to be invaluable for students and career changers. Below are a few of these titles:

  • The A to Z of careers and jobs Susan Hodgson
  • Job and Career Opportunities: A Guide to Careers and Jobs (Straightforward guide series)
  • Careers 2016 12th edition
Here are just a few examples of the dozens of latest edition career guides available
Here are a few examples of the many career guides available

If you’re thinking of postgraduate education, have a browse in our higher education section – it’s quite substantial. We have guides on how to get into your preferred university, including Oxford and Cambridge, and how to apply for and gain a Ph.D. If you’re considering other qualifications – or perhaps internships, apprenticeships or volunteering abroad – there are many guides to choose from:

  • Studying abroad 2016: A guide for UK students by Cerys Evans
  • The apprenticeship guide 9th edition, BarkerBrooks
  • Choosing your degree course & university by Brian Heap
  • University degree course offers: The essential guide to winning your place and university by Brian Heap
 Some popular books in the education section

Getting funding and getting into university

There are two study rooms at the Information & Reference Library designated for quiet research where you may use our reference titles, your own books and connect your mobile device to our superfast, free Wi-Fi.


E-books and E-resources

Your library card gives you access to all of our e-resources and e-books as well as our physical lending and reference volumes. If you’re still considering your options and want bite-size introductions to certain areas of interest for study or work then reading a digital copy of one of our Very Short Introduction titles may be just right for you. We now have hundreds of these titles written by experts in their field and the range of subjects covered is very wide. Some of our most recent additions are on Nuclear Power, Medicine, Nutrition, Accounting, Advertising, and Geopolitics.

To find our e-resources go to and scroll down to discover the full range of the Very Short Introduction series. There are over a dozen other online resources such as the Oxford Reference Dictionaries, Access to Research (journal) and business services such as Mint UK, COBRA and Many of the e-resources can be used anywhere you have access to the internet: from home, your favourite café or via one of our People’s Network computers. To gain access you just need to log in with your Richmond Card or your library card number. However, Access to Research and business services may be accessed from a library computer only. Mint UK is available at the Information and Reference Library only.

Access our digital reference services at
Access our online digital reference services

To borrow one of our e-books you will need a valid library card (Richmond card), access to the internet, a device on which to read the e-book and the appropriate app. The 3M Cloud Library and Overdrive library e-reader apps will be available from your device’s app store or online. You can then log in and borrow books from Richmond upon Thames Library Services. And when you’ve finished reading them they are returned to the library automatically, freeing up space on your mobile device!

IT events and taster sessions

If you need help to develop your IT literacy skills or you’d like to explore online career resources for job hunting and career development, then we offer a range of presentations and one-to-one taster sessions. These may be may be a good place for you to start. Our staff can provide help on an wide number of IT topics related to career and education; such as using Microsoft Office applications, LinkedIn, CV writing and careers resources, job hunting online and using social networking. We run our IT events throughout the year. To book an individual taster session call or visit the Information & Reference Library. All our IT events are listed on our website and, if you are a library member, you may also join to our IT events mailing list.

Making the most of our business information section

Thinking of starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur? Perhaps you’re interested in a business career and need the right resources to help you reach your decision? We have the just the right online e-resources to help – Mint UK, COBRA, and With Mint UK  you can run reports to assess potential competition in your local area. Mint UK and are extremely useful business directory services which give in-depth company information and generate reports which can help you understand the current climate of your chosen industry, locally and UK-wide. COBRA is the Complete Business Reference Adviser and contains authoritative information to help your business or voluntary organisation comply with its legal and safety obligations. COBRA also holds Business Information Factsheets and lists sources of business information.

And if you need a place to study while you use our various databases there are two quiet study rooms to choose from as well as a designated research space in the Library’s business section.

We hold copies of the latest edition business directories and how-to guides in all areas of business; from risk-analysis to going freelance. To help you kick start your career, some of our business titles may be borrowed.

 Interested in starting your own business? Pick up your essential how-to guides @ the reference library

Interested in starting your own business? Pick up your essential how-to guides at the Information & reference library
Further digital resources
Careers advice, job profiles, internship, graduate scheme and job listings:   (careers advice, job profiles, graduate job listings)  (graduate jobs, schemes & internships)   (employer directory, job and placement listings)   (employer directory, job listings, job profiles, careers advice) (careers advice, discussions, job listings)  (career tools, job profiles and advice) (career profiles, unemployment advice, interview preparation) (job listings, career profiles, advice) (graduate employment agency)


Career changers: (articles, expert advice, success stories, free resources) (articles, success stories, advice) (blog on career changing)


Listings of career fairs for students, graduates, career changers and mature students: (view event details and book free tickets) (annual list of job fairs in the UK)–london/job-fair/ (list of job fairs in the UK) (view event details and book free tickets)


Careers advice blogs (advice articles, job listings, fairs and events) (advice, articles) (advice, articles, links to further resources) (advice, articles, links to further resources)

[ Emma, Library Assistant ]