More Than Just Books – Reader Aids & Info

Hello there! A happy Friday to you all and a warm welcome back to those of you who read the first instalment of this series released back in October. In that first post we focused on all the library tech on offer to our readers, but today we turn our attention to reader aids and information in the hope that those visiting us in Hilary Term and beyond can hit the ground running. Specifically, we’re taking a look at the library’s signage, guides and website (the info); and equipment and furniture (the reader aids). Let’s dive in shall we?


The signs in our library are a useful way of staying abreast of the latest events and developments relevant to readers, from forthcoming student productions of Shakespeare to details about Bodleian Libraries service updates. But perhaps the most important one to keep an eye on is just outside the main entrance; it shows the opening hours for the week, which are subject to change depending on whether we are in term time or vacation.

Photo of the English Faculty Library main entrance showing the opening hours sign to the right of the automatic door.

Welcome to the English Faculty Library! Don’t forget to check our opening hours sign on your way in.

Many of our signs are displayed on one of four noticeboards or at natural confluence points in the library. You can find the noticeboards in the following locations:

  • Next to the entrance and exit gate.
  • In the computer room, to the left on entering.
  • Next to the Quick Search PCs on the ground floor.
  • Above the Quick Search PC at the top of the stairs.

Directional signs and maps are also displayed throughout the reading rooms to help you navigate our spaces and find the resources you need. At the bottom of the stairs you’ll also find a handy author look-up table, which lists alphabetically a number of noteworthy writers alongside their corresponding shelf mark.

Photo of the author lookup table at the base of the library stairs along with floorplans of the library.

Our author look-up table at the foot of the stairs is a great place to go if you want to browse our collections or research a particular individual.


A number of useful guides are available from the help desk and next to the Quick Search PCs on the ground floor. Need help placing a hold request? Want to find out more about Bodleian Libraries provision for disabled readers? Looking for the location of an Oxford library? You can find the answers to these questions and many more in our guides.

Photo of library guides at the help desk in the library with three rubber ducks in the background.

Our guides cover a range of topics and are looked after dutifully by a team of rubber ducks.

At the top of the stairs, next to our PCAS machines, you will also find laminated instructions for completing routine tasks such as scanning to email, photocopying, or printing from a personal device.

It doesn’t end there either. We have a wealth of resources available to readers online, including subject and research guides that cater to specific topics and periods of interest to members of the English Faculty. Click on the link below to get started.

Subject Specific Guides – English Language and Literature – Oxford LibGuides at Oxford University


The Bodleian Libraries website is one of the most useful places to go for up-to-date information on library services and resources for all the Bodleian Libraries, including the English Faculty Library. Take a look at the GIF below for a brief overview of the homepage and navigating to the EFL’s webpage. This webpage contains all the information you’ll need to get started in our library, including an introductory video, a virtual tour and links to our floorplans.

A GIF of replaying a mouse navigating the drop down menus of, scrolling to 'Find a library' and selecting 'English Faculty Library' from the options. is the place to go for lots of useful library information, including important service updates.


So now you know where to go for the info, how about the reader aids? Well, the library has a variety of equipment for readers to use onsite and most of it is kept at the Accessibility Hub adjacent to the help desk. Here you will find a foot stool, magnifying glass, reading ruler, laptop stand and acetate overlays. Need to block out the ambient noise of the library? There’s earplugs too!

Photo of the library's accessibility hub, showing bookstands, laptop stands, a foot stool, earplugs, a magnifying glass and coloured acetates.

The majority of our reader aids live at the Accessibility Hub and are free to take away and use in the library – you don’t need to ask!

There are multiple units of more popular equipment, such as bookstands. These are kept both at the Hub and on the gallery balcony by the first floor seating area, meaning you’ll never have to go far or wait long to get one.

Our daylight lamp is the only bit of kit that isn’t kept at the Hub. It’s plugged in with the height-adjustable desk on the first floor at the top of the stairs. Which brings us on neatly to the ergonomic furniture available for use…

Ergonomic furniture

Here we’re referring only to furniture that can be adjusted for different postures. There is of course plenty of different seating across our reading rooms, conducive to different activities, but we won’t go into that here.

On the ground floor, you will find two height adjustable desks, one accompanied by an ergonomic chair in the main reading room and the other in the computer room, topped off with an all-in-one monitor. It is a similar situation on the first floor, where you will find another adjustable table and chair combo at the top of the stairs and another adjustable desk with a monitor just beyond the PCAS machines.

And that’s all for this instalment of More Than Just Books. But before we let you go, a reminder that suggestions for future posts in the series can be sent to¬†





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