Alma Updates

By Helen Scott, English and Film Studies Subject Librarian

On 24 August 2023 the Bodleian Libraries upgraded to a new library management system. Most of the changes are ‘behind the scenes’ but we have also taken the opportunity to make changes to some aspects of SOLO, and to the Bodleian Libraries’ borrowing policy. This blog post outlines the changes and will help you navigate them smoothly.

Changes to the Bodleian Libraries’ borrowing policy

Readers now have one allowance for borrowing, across all Bodleian libraries that offer lending. (Please note that college libraries have their own separate lending policies.) The Bodleian Libraries have also standardised loan periods into 4 different loan types: same day loan (3 hours), 2 day loan, 7 day loan, long loan.

Most of the English Faculty Library’s borrowable books are now 7 day loans for all readers (as previously, there are also a minority of 2 day loans). However, loans will auto-renew for up to 112 days – unless somebody else places a hold request.
Follow the link to see further details of borrowing allowances and loan categories.

Book already on loan? Place a hold request!

If you want to borrow a loanable Bodleian Libraries book (which another reader already has on loan) we recommend you place a hold request on SOLO. If you don’t place a request, the book will continue to renew automatically for the original reader.

Below are the most noticeable changes and improvements to SOLO. For a full guide to using SOLO, please see the SOLO LibGuide.

You will now need to sign into SOLO to see borrowing options

If you are not signed into SOLO you will only see whether an item is available or not, rather than whether an item can be borrowed or for how long. It is always best to sign first as you get a better service from SOLO.

Once signed in you will now see loan periods personalised to you

The terminology for loan policies has also been improved to make it clearer how long you can borrow the book for. (e.g. 7 days; 28 days etc). Please note that you can only borrow from libraries where you are a member, for example, the Bodleian Libraries and your college library.

Check for available copies before requesting from offsite

To try to help you avoid reserving and waiting for a book out on loan when there are copies already available on library shelves for you to fetch immediately, we have added this additional message to SOLO:

Message content: Find & Request - Before requesting, check for 'item in place' copies - it will be quicker for your to fetch it from the shelf than to wait for a request

A message that appears on SOLO to help you get your books faster.

New location names

If you regularly use the collections in the Bodleian Library, Weston Library, and/or the Radcliffe Camera, please note that we have improved some location labels, which will make it easier to understand at which library (or location) a book is available.

See this blogpost from the History Faculty Library for more information.

LibraryScan streamlined with Scan & Deliver service

The LibraryScan service has now been streamlined with the existing Scan & Deliver service (for items in offsite storage) into a new integrated service. If scanning is an option for any type of item you will now just see the ‘Scan & Deliver’ button.

The Scan & Deliver request form has been improved, particularly the wording on how much you can have scanned (not the whole book!) including advice that you can ask for the index or table of contents in addition to your final choice of chapter.

Requesting items from other libraries, beyond Oxford

If we do not hold an item in Oxford it is now really easy to request an item from other libraries, beyond Oxford. Simply click on ‘NEED MORE?’ from the menu at the top of the SOLO page and fill in the form.

Help & support

If you need any help, please do get in touch with library staff who will be more than happy to help you. You can contact the English Faculty Library by on, or use the Live Chat service (from SOLO front page).

You can also give feedback on the changes via the ‘Feedback’ option on the banner currently at the top of the SOLO front page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *