Swindon Libraries have been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late as the council attempts to shut down some small branches and replace them with mobile libraries (I must admit, I think mobile libraries are quite fun, but I accept they're limiting). But I want to give them a pat on the back for something.
When I first got into writing, I made the luxury purchase of a CD-ROM based Oxford English Dictionary, which I find very useful - but I never bother to run it any more. Because Swindon Libraries have a superb little facility called 24 Hour Library, which allows you access to the OED and plenty of other handy references sources, including Who's Who, Encyclopedia Britannica, and a fascinating archive of old editions of the Times where you see the actual cuttings.
Take a look here (the access page is rubbish, but the content is wonderful). If you live in the Swindon area you can make use of it - otherwise I think you're limited in what you can do, but check with your local library service to see if they have something similar. And if they don't, get stroppy. They ought to!