More Than Just Books – Study Spaces

Hello, readers! Welcome to the third instalment in our More Than Just Books series, where we aim to share our information with you about our library provision beyond just the wonderful books on our shelves. You can check out the rest of the series here, if you’re interested.

Today, we’re going to talk about using the English Faculty Library as a study space. We’ll be showing off all the different study spaces available for you to use in the library and explaining the individual benefits of each one.

Our Study Spaces

Ground Floor Reading Room

The ground floor reading room is the first study space that you see when you walk into the library. Chairs are arranged on either side of seven long rectangular tables, with capacity for up to 76 readers. The chairs here are leather-covered and armless. This reading room is lit by ceiling windows as well as overhead light fittings, and each space has an individual study light over it. This makes it the area with the most customisable lighting in the library.

It’s worth noting that this is the space that readers have to use when consulting rare books or special collections items. It’s also the only space in the library with plug sockets available – though please keep in mind that these are only available at 36 seats.

The ground floor reading room in the English Faculty Library.

The ground floor reading room in the English Faculty Library is our largest study space.

Conveniently located for: Enquiries desk, displays, accessibility hub, film collection, Bodleian closed stack self-collect, reference collection, periodicals, English language material including prelims paper 1 materials, English literature up to the 16th century.

Gallery Reading Room

The gallery reading room can be found by going up the stairs, and crossing to the other side of the library. This space has a similar set up to the ground floor reading room, with 5 long rectangular tables and capacity for up to 57 readers. Lighting here is provided by overhead lights, and natural light coming in from large windows to one side of the room. This is an ideal space for silent group study, as readers can easily face one another over the tables.

Please note that there are no plug sockets available at the tables in the gallery reading room.

The gallery reading room in the English Faculty Library is an ideal workspace in which to spread out with lots of materials.

Conveniently located for: PCAS machines, English literature of the 16th century and beyond (including Shakespeare), Scottish and Irish literature, American literature, postcolonial literature, bibliography.

Computer Room

The computer room is located on the ground floor of the library, on the far side of the wall to the right of the entrance. It contains 28 computers, which can be used by readers, as well as some DVD/video viewing equipment. This room is lit by overhead lighting and some large windows on one wall. It is often well-regulated in terms of temperature, staying comparably cool in summer and warm in winter. These spaces also come with ergonomic chairs.

The computer room, complete with reader PCs and a presenting desk.

Please note that the computer room may occasionally be booked out for classes/training. We’ll always hang a sign on the door, if this is the case.

Single Occupant Desks

In addition to our larger study areas, the English Faculty Library also has some individual study spaces.

6 of these are located on the first floor of the library, secluded behind the bookshelves straight ahead of the stair case. They’re comprised of single-occupant desks, spaced out in front of the windows, each with a high-backed wooden chair with arms. These desks are primarily lit from natural light coming through the windows, supported by the overhead lights. They benefit from plenty of sunlight, and from being right next to the warm radiators in winter and open windows in summer.

These spaces are perfect for those looking to social distance, or who simply work best alone. Please remember that these spaces can be pre-booked by individuals registered with the disability advisory service (a sign on the desk will mark it as reserved, if this is the case).

Single occupant desks are arranged by large windows with views outside.

There are also 2 single occupant desks which are height adjustable and served by an ergonomic chair. One is on the edge of the ground floor reading room, near the enquiries desk. The other is on the first floor, between the top of the stairs and the PCAS machines.

A height adjustable desk, complete with ergonomic chair and daylight lamp – perfectly located for using the PCAS machines!

Turville-Petre Room

The English Faculty Library also has one more reading space, which may not be immediately obvious to our readers. We have a dedicated room to hold our Icelandic/Old Norse literature and language collections, known as the Turville-Petre Room. To access it (and the materials therein), readers must come to the enquiries desk and temporarily swap their Bodleian Reader’s card for a ‘TP card’. We’ll then show you down to use the Turville-Petre room.

This is a small study space. The walls are lined with caged books and one large desk fills the centre of the room, with capacity for up to 8 readers (seated on bamboo and wicker chairs). The room is lit by overhead lights and large windows on one wall.

This room provides excellent access for those referencing Icelandic and Old Norse materials.

The Turville-Petre Room is a cosy study space for those referencing the collections.

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