Service Update: Trinity Term 2023


Now we’re coming to the end of 0th Week, it’s time to wish all our readers the best for the term ahead! To help you meet that term with your best self forward, this post’ll let you know all about recent and upcoming changes to services and opening times. We’ve kept it short – you have enough on your plates!

Vacation Loans

Vacation loans are nearly due! All vacation loans need to be either returned or renewed during the first week of Trinity Term – the week starting from the 23rd April.

Opening Hours

From Saturday 22nd April*, the library will move to term time opening hours. These are:

Monday to Friday: 9:00-19:00

Saturday: 10:00-13:00

Sunday: Closed

*For avoidance of doubt, we will be open Saturday 22nd April as usual in term-time, 10am-1pm.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or need help with anything, our library staff will always be available during opening hours to speak with you.

You can also contact us via telephone, email, or twitter. All our details can be found on the English Faculty Library webpage.

Final Words

From all of us here at the EFL – welcome back!

Stay up to date with developments at the English Faculty Library by following us on Twitter. Updates affecting the Bodleian Libraries as a whole will be published on the Service updates webpage. Any questions about library service updates can be addressed to

More Than Just Books – Accessibility

Hello, readers! Welcome to the fourth instalment in our More Than Just Books series. This series was created to draw attention to the wonderful things that the library offers beyond just the books on our shelves. You can check out the other posts in the series here.

Today we’re going to be talking about the accessibility provisions offered in the English Faculty Library. Topics include:

Building Access

The English Faculty Library is located across 2 floors in the St Cross Building. The building itself has level access through a lift in the main foyer, and all parts of the library have level access through a lift located in the library office. You can read more about navigating the building here.

Photograph of the exterior of the English Faculty Library

The English Faculty Library is in the St Cross Building at the corner of St Cross Road and Manor Road. Source: Access Guide (linked above)

Parking outside the building is limited and often in high demand, so we usually recommend using the Park and Ride service where possible. However, a parking space for Blue Badge holders is available.

Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.

Specialist Services

We offer some specialist services to readers who are registered with the Disability Advisory Service or by individual arrangement, at the discretion of the library staff. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Hearing Loops
  • Extended loan periods and unlimited renewals
  • Large print or Braille copies of our informational leaflets
  • Permitting the consumption of food and drink in the library (only where medically necessary)
  • Pre-booking of socially distanced desk space
  • Proxy borrowing
  • Book fetching and reserving
  • One-to-one inductions
A photograph of a single-occupant table by the window.

Socially-distanced seating is available upstairs in the library.

You can find out more information about the specialist services we offer here.

Accessibility Station

We’ve talked to you about our Accessibility Station before, but it seems worth reiterating here. We keep a variety of accessibility equipment in the library for any readers to use as necessary. All we ask is that you put it back where you found it when you’re finished. The station includes:

  • Footstools
  • Bookrests
  • Coloured acetate sheets
  • Reading rulers
  • Earplugs
  • Daylight lamp (stored on the height adjustable desk upstairs)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Laptop stands
A photograph of our Accessibility Hub

The equipment in our Accessibility Hub can be used by any library users.

We also have some height-adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs. You can read more about our height-adjustable furniture here.

The Bodleian Libraries

Beyond just the English Faculty Library, the wider Bodleian Libraries offers a range of services to assist disabled readers with accessing and using resources. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • ARACU (The Accessible Resources Acquisition and Creation Unit): a team who can help you with accessing printed resources in alternative formats.
  • RNIB Bookshare: a database of accessible books and resources.
  • SensusAccess: a service that reformats inaccessible files into accessible ones, including ebooks, audio books, and digital Braille.
  • Self-Help Reading Lists: curated by the University Counselling service

You can see the full offering of services for disabled readers here.


If you’d like any more information on anything we’ve talked about today, you can contact:

Service Update: Easter Vacation 2023


We’re creeping slowly closer to spring (though I know it might not feel like that just yet, what with the hints of snow). Well done everyone for making it to the end of Hilary Term! Make sure to take some well deserved respite over the vacation. We’ll be open for (most of) the vacation if you need anything at all from us. In the meantime, our latest updates and information can be found below.

We’re keeping it short and sweet this time – we know you’re all busy.

Vacation Opening Hours

The library will move to vacation opening hours from Monday 13th March. From this point, our opening hours will be Monday to Friday: 9:00-17:00. We will not be open on Saturdays.

Easter Closure

Please note: We will be closed for the Easter bank holidays: Friday 7th April – Monday 10th April.

Vacation Loans

Vacation loans are now in session! Anything that you borrow from now and over the vacation will be due for return in the first week of Trinity Term (which starts on the 23rd April). This means that you can crack on with your reading at home, without worrying about needing to return your books unexpectedly.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or need help with anything, our library staff will always be available during opening hours to speak with you.

You can also contact us via telephone, email, or twitter. All our details can be found on the English Faculty Library webpage.

Final Words

From all of us here at the EFL, we wish you a peaceful vacation.

Stay up to date with developments at the English Faculty Library by following us on Twitter. Updates affecting the Bodleian Libraries as a whole will be published on the Service updates webpage. Any questions about library service updates can be addressed to

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.

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





Service Update: Hilary Term, 2023


A wintry welcome back to you all for the first week of Hilary Term. We hope you had a pleasant break, full of festive frivolity, and are sufficiently layered up for the approaching cold weather. On that note, before we jump in, a reminder that hot drinks can be brought into the library provided they are in a KeepCup. Said hot drinks can be purchased from the Missing Bean Cafe, a 30 second walk away in the St Cross Building.

Opening hours

From Saturday 14th January the library reverted to its term-time opening hours. For the duration of Hilary Term, until Saturday 11th March, the library will be open Monday to Friday, 9:00-19:00, and Saturdays, 10:00-13:00.

Vacation loans

The vast majority of library loans issued over the winter vacation are due back on 17th and 19th January, that’s Tuesday and Thursday of this week! Be sure to renew or return any loans you have with us on time so that everyone can borrow what they need when they need it for the term ahead.

A library refresher

It’s wholly understandable if one or two things about the library have slipped your mind after the holidays, or passed you by entirely during Michaelmas Term. After all, there are lots of resources and services to familiarise yourself with and we are expanding our provision all the time. So, with that said, why not head over to our webpages for a brief recap of what’s on offer? We’ve managed to pack quite a lot into our three-minute welcome video in case you haven’t got much time to spare:

Using the English Faculty Library | Bodleian Libraries (

And remember, there are lots of ways to get help across the Bodleian Libraries. The last thing we’d want is for you to struggle on silently and staff across all sites work together to maintain a number of dedicated avenues of support. You can find out all about them here:

Ask and support | Bodleian Libraries (

Of course, when you are in the English Faculty Library, you’ll always be able to find someone to talk to at the help desk. We’re a friendly bunch and we’ll do our best to answer even the hardest of library-related conundrums.

Library training sessions

In-person library training sessions for English students are being timetabled for the term, with details due to be circulated to relevant cohorts ahead of time via email.

Contact us

We warmly invite any of our readers with questions or concerns to contact the library directly using the details on our webpage:

English Faculty Library | Bodleian Libraries (

Best wishes for the term ahead!

Stay up to date with developments at the English Faculty Library by following us on Twitter. Updates affecting the Bodleian Libraries as a whole will be published on the Service updates webpage. Any questions about library service updates can be addressed to

Service Update: Winter Vacation, 2022


All too quickly, it’s that time of year again where the library begins the transition to its vacation service. Congratulations to all our readers for getting through another busy term. Whether it is your first Michaelmas or last with us, well done! We hope you find the time for a restful break this winter.

Vacation Opening Hours

The library will move to vacation opening hours from 4th December (today!), with a closed period of 23rd December to 2nd January inclusive. Opening hours during the vacation are:

Monday to Friday: 9:00-17:00

Vacation loans

Vacation loans for normal loans started on 28th November and 1st December for short loans. Loans issued from these dates will be due back during the first week of Hilary Term, starting 15th January.

Closure of CSF

The CSF, or Collection Storage Facility, is the complex housing the Bodleian Libraries offsite, closed-stack material. Due to a system upgrade, there will be no deliveries from the CSF on 8th and 9th December.

The last delivery of material will arrive in the afternoon of 7th December. You must place requests for material through SOLO by 10:00 on 7th December to receive material in this delivery.

OffsiteScan will also be unavailable during this time. Readers are encouraged to place stack and scan requests well in advance so that they can be fulfilled prior to the closure.

Deliveries and offsite scans will resume as normal on 12th December.

Online Support

If you are away from the library over the vacation don’t forget the wealth of support available to you remotely online. If you need help or have a query, you can get in touch with us via email or the telephone – the details are on our library webpage. Alternatively, you can speak to a librarian in real-time using the Live Chat service available from the SOLO homepage.

Don’t forget to check out relevant Subject and Research Guides too:

Home – Subject and Research Guides – Oxford LibGuides at Oxford University

Finally, it just remains for us to wish you the very best over the festive period. You’ll have another service update from us in the new year!

Stay up to date with developments at the English Faculty Library by following us on Twitter. Updates affecting the Bodleian Libraries as a whole will be published on the Service updates webpage. Any questions about library services updates can be addressed to

More Than Just Books – Library Tech

Welcome to this first instalment of a new (and hopefully informative!) series on our blog – More Than Just Books. The series has two aims. Firstly, we want to highlight the many things included in the English Faculty Library’s offering aside from its marvellous print collections and secondly, in drawing attention to this additional provision, encourage our readers to make the most it.

We begin our series by focusing on library tech, specifically our Print, Copy and Scan (PCAS) machines, library PCs, Wi-Fi and AV equipment. Why? Because in this day and age it’s quite hard to get by without it. Indeed, a tally of reader enquiries at the library’s help desk made during the first week of term reveals that library tech was one of the most commonly raised topics. So, without further ado, here’s a rundown of what we have, where it is and how it works.

PCAS Machines

The EFL has two of these machines in the main library space. Head up the stairs and you will find them directly in front of you. If you’re taking the lift, head to floor two and you’ll find them either side of you once the doors open for that floor. Look for the PCAS icon on library maps:The icon representing the location for a PCAS machine in the EFL, as it appears on library maps. A black vector image of a printer accompanies the PCAS logo of blue and yellow squares.

As the name suggests, these machines allow for printing, copying and scanning. Scanning, both to a USB or to an email address is free, though there is a small charge for printing and copying:

Pricelist Single (simplex) Double (duplex)
Black and white (A4) 6p 9p
Black and white (A3) 10p 15p
Colour (A4) 20p 30p
Colour (A3) 40p 60p

To log in, you will need your University Card or Bodleian Reader Card. The number above the barcode serves as your username and you can set a password at Tap your card to the touchpad to the right of the display and enter your credentials. If you get stuck, a friendly member of staff is available at the help desk to unstick you.

A photo of the display screen and touchpad on an EFL PCAS machine.

The login screen for PCAS. Once you’ve tapped your card to the touchpad and entered your credentials, PCAS will remember you the next time you tap.

Details about how much can be scanned or copied under copyright is displayed on a poster behind the machines, as is a QR code linking to relevant PCAS webpages on the Bodleian website. Short A4 guides with step-by-step instructions for completing common tasks are also available.

A photo of the wall above the EFL's PCAS machine showing a blue folder with help guides inside; a poster displaying copyright information; and a poster displaying charges for printing and photocopying on PCAS machines.

PCAS information is displayed on the wall behind each machine.

You can send print jobs from a personal device using Web Print, though more savvy users might wish to download the Mobility Print driver to their device for quicker more flexible printing. It’s also possible to print from the library’s Reader PCs, which calls for a segue!

Library PCs

Broadly speaking, there are two types of PC available in Bodleian Libraries reading rooms. These are Reader PCs and Quick Search PCs. The latter allows readers to search the Bodleian Libraries’ main resource discovery tool, SOLO, without signing in, but additional functionality is limited.

Photo of a Quick Search PC in the EFL. The SOLO homepage is displayed on the screen.

A Quick Search PC next to the EFL’s entrance gate.

Those wishing to access a fuller range of desktop and online services are encouraged to use a library Reader PC. These PCs require you to log in, using the same Bodleian Libraries credentials needed for PCAS, but reward you with access to electronic Legal Deposit, or eLD, material, cloud services and Microsoft Office applications.

A photo of Reader PCs in the EFL computer room. The closest computer is displaying the login screen.

Reader PCs in the EFL’s Computer Room.

The EFL’s computer room has 28 Reader PCs, available year-round when the room is not in use for training sessions. There are two more Reader PCs upstairs for when it is. You’ll find the library’s Quick Search PCs next to the entrance and at the top of the stairs. Look for the respective PC icon on library maps to find Quick Search or Reader PCs:The icons for Quick Search PCs and Reader PCs as they appear on EFL maps of the library. The images are black vectors of a computer monitor with either 'Quick Search' or 'Reader PC' written across the screen.


For those using their personal devices in the library, we know that a Wi-Fi connection is a top priority. We have three networks available to choose from:

A screenshot of Wi-Fi options available in Bodleian Libraries as they appear on a personal device. The options are Eduroam (connected); Bodleian Libraries (Saved); OWL (No Internet access).

The three wi-Fi options available in Bodleian Libraries, as they appear on a personal device.


For students and staff of the University, and any visitors from other institutions also using Eduroam. The great thing about this network is that once you’ve set it up, you won’t need to log in each time you want to connect. Many University and college buildings offer access this network, so in central Oxford you’re rarely without coverage.

Get help with Eduroam: How to connect to eduroam WiFi | IT Help (

Bodleian Libraries Wi-Fi

For University and Bodleian Library Reader Card holders. Conveniently, logging in is the same as it is for PCAS machines and Library PCs. So just to recap, that’s your card’s barcode number as the username along with a password that you set for yourself at Trigger the login process by opening a browser window once you’ve connected to Bodleian Libraries Wi-Fi. The drawback of this service is that you’ll need to log in each time you visit the library.

Get help with Bodleian Libraries Wi-Fi: Library Wi-Fi and computers | Bodleian Libraries (


This service is for University visitors, but it also serves as a handy alternative for staff and students who cannot access Eduroam. Very few webpages are available to those that don’t sign in with guest credentials or connect to the University’s Virtual Private Network beforehand. Staff at the library can help you negotiate either of these steps to get you online.

Get help with OWL: How to connect to Oxford Wireless LAN (OWL) | IT Help

AV Equipment

Once you’re online, you might be inclined to search SOLO for one of the many films available from the EFL, on Blu Ray, DVD and yes even VHS. Once you’ve found one in the library you might then be thinking ‘how on earth do I watch AV formats developed in the 70s, 90s and 00s in the year 2022? My laptop doesn’t even have a disc drive!’ Well, that’s where the library steps in again.

Photo of EFL DVD drives in a drawer at the help desk.

The DVD drives live in a drawer at the library help desk when not on loan.

We’ve got two DVD drives that staff and students can check out on loan and a viewing area in the corner of the computer room, complete with a quaint box TV boasting a built-in VHS player. Headphones are available for use from the help desk.

A photo of the viewing area in the EFL computer room showing a box TV with a built-in VHS player (left) and a DVD player (right, both silver.

The viewing area in the EFL computer room.

And so concludes our whirlwind tour of tech in the EFL – we hope you found it useful! Suggestions for future posts in the series can be sent to

Service Update: Michaelmas Term, 2022


A warm 0th-week welcome to new and returning library users! We hope you had a pleasant and restful summer. Here are a few pointers to help orientate you for Michaelmas Term.

Welcome sessions

A number of Bodleian Libraries welcome sessions are running Wednesday to Friday of this week (5th-7th October). We recommend new English undergraduates attend the following:

  • Central welcome webinars (Online, Microsoft Teams)
  • English Faculty Library Tours (In-person, English Faculty Library)

Further details about these sessions have been circulated to new cohorts via email and relevant information is available on the webpage below:

Getting started: Undergraduates and taught postgraduates | Bodleian Libraries (

Library training sessions

In-person library training sessions for English students are being timetabled for the term, with details due to be circulated to relevant cohorts ahead of time via email.

Getting to grips with the library

New library users are encouraged to read the ‘Using’ tab of the English Faculty Library’s webpage prior to visiting:

Using the English Faculty Library | Bodleian Libraries (

Information on support for disabled readers is available here:

Services for disabled readers | Bodleian Libraries (

The English Faculty Library is located in the St Cross Building, which is home to other University Faculties and Departments. On approach, follow signs for reception and you will find the library entrance adjacent to the reception desk. The building can be found using Oxford’s searchable map. Floorplans are also available. See the Access Guide for the St Cross Building for information on step-free routes and accessibility facilities throughout the building.

Reclassification project

The library’s reclassification project is ongoing. Over the summer we hit a big milestone, reclassifying all of our main open-shelf in-house sequence to the Library of Congress Classification Scheme. Information about the scheme and finding items in the library is available on our Finding EFL Items LibGuide.

Returning readers may notice that the location of some items in the Ground Floor Reading Room has changed. Signs and maps in the library have been updated to reflect these changes and staff are available at the help desk for guidance.

ALMA postponed

In a previous service update, we shared details of a planned migration to a new Library Management System called ALMA. This migration has been postponed until the Long Vacation after Trinity Term 2023.

Contact us

Readers who require help or who have any questions concerning the above are warmly invited to contact the library directly using the details on our webpage:

English Faculty Library | Bodleian Libraries (

Best wishes for the term ahead!

Stay up to date with developments at the English Faculty Library by following us on Twitter. Updates affecting the Bodleian Libraries as a whole will be published on the Service updates webpage. Any questions about library service updates can be addressed to

New Books September 2022

Lots of new books have been arriving at the EFL over the summer, ready to welcome everyone back for Michaelmas Term! In amongst all the new pens and notebooks that the start of the year brings, why not have a look at a couple of new books too? Remember that you can browse all of this month’s arrivals over on LibraryThing.

Cover image for Maureen N. McLane. Mz N: the serial: a poem-in-episodes: (not/a novel) (not/a memoir) (not/a lyric). (2016).

Maureen N. McLane. Mz N: The Serial: A Poem-in-Episodes: (Not/a Novel) (Not/a Memoir) (Not/a Lyric). (2016).

McLane is a poet, a memoirist, and an essayist, yet Mz N, as the subtitle says, is not easily categorised. Instead, this genre-bending book is best described as an allegory of a life – ‘a life intense, episodic, female, sexual, philosophical, romantic, analytic’ (from the blurb). McLane’s poetry can be placed within a queer tradition stretching from Sappho through Virginia Woolf to Gertrude Stein – the latter getting a number of mentions in Mz N.

In fact, McLane’s other works have been finalists for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry (2009) and the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award (2009 and 2018), again for lesbian poetry. But rather than accepting this lineage, Mz N interrogates what it means to be a (queer) woman. Themes of identity, subjectivity, and the self percolate her writing, alongside the idea of what it means to be contemporary – indeed, what it means to be alive.

Also by Maureen McLane at the EFL: My poets (2012); What I’m looking for: selected poems 2008-2017 (2019).

Cover image of Lara Choksey. Narrative in the Age of the Genome: Genetic Worlds. (2021).

Lara Choksey. Narrative in the Age of the Genome: Genetic Worlds. (2021).

Choksey frames this work as a reflection on a twenty-year period within scientific studies which has focused on the genome. While molecular biologists hoped that sequencing the human genome would provide answers to questions about the fundamental nature of humans and our relationship to our world, in fact their enquiries gave rise to even more questions than before. Choksey explores how the messy and inconclusive nature of our scientific knowledge of the genome feeds into – and is in some ways a product of – narrative trends and change. She draws links to late twentieth-century economic trends, to understandings of health, and to conceptions of identity and the self. This book is part of the series Explorations in Science and Literature, underpinned by the idea that these two fields are fundamentally connected and taking a cross-disciplinary approach to both explore and demonstrate that connection.

Also available as an Open Access ebook.

Cover image of Layli Long Soldier. Whereas. (2019). 

Layli Long Soldier. Whereas. (2019).

This small yet highly decorated volume (National Books Critics Circle Award winner, Poetry Book Society Special Commendation recipient, and National Book Award finalist) is an exploration of language and a riposte to the United States Congress’ 2009 Apology to the Native Peoples of the United States. It is divided into two parts: Part I, These Being the Concerns, explores Native heritage (Long Soldier is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe) and scrutinises the relationship between language and meaning; Part II, Whereas, turns to the United States government’s bureaucratic language and to the 2009 Apology in particular. Long Soldier’s poetry plays with the official language used by the United States government, picks apart the language’s hollowness and inadequacy, and ultimately turns it back on its perpetrators. Powerful and compelling, Whereas interrogates the politics of how language shapes our realities.

Cover image of Rachel Kushner. The Mars Room. (2019). 

Rachel Kushner. The Mars Room. (2019).

Romy Hall is serving two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, California, for the crime of killing her stalker. She will spend the rest of her life behind bars, cut off from the outside world and her young son, Jackson. Kushner delves into Romy’s prison experience, encompassing her fellow female prisoners and the prison guards, as well as the hardships and absurdities of Romy’s new institutional life. No character could truly be considered likeable, yet Kushner portrays them all with a sympathy that highlights the hopelessness of their situations. She reveals how Romy has been failed at every possible turn: by an inhumane prison system, an unfit-for-purpose justice system, and a society that has turned a blind eye. This ‘compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails’ (from the publisher) – shortlisted for the Booker Prize (2018) and winner of the Prix Medicis Étrangers (2018) – throws a light onto the women our society would rather forget.

Purchased with the Drue Heinz Book Fund.

Cover image of Caroline Davis (ed.). Print Cultures: A Reader in Theory and Practice. (2019).

Caroline Davis (ed.). Print Cultures: A Reader in Theory and Practice. (2019).

In this edited collection, Davis has brought together an anthology of critical writing from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries which together offers the reader ‘a vital overview of the processes that shape contemporary reading, writing and publishing’ (from the blurb). There are sections exploring everything from the impacts of censorship and war to the growth and consequences of literary prizes and globalisation. These sit alongside studies of colonial and postcolonial print cultures, women in the publishing world, and the rise of digital print cultures. The extracts in this volume are enormously varied: Davis’ selections were originally published between 1934 and 2015, penned by authors ranging from Gerard Genette and Virginia Woolf to those right at the forefront of the latest research in publishing studies. All these works sit together to provide a fascinating insight into the worlds of print culture, book history, and publishing.

Cover image for John Dos Passos. USA. (1996).

John Dos Passos. USA. (1996).

Finally, it may seem odd to highlight novels originally written in the 1930s in a New Books post! But this edition’s arrival in the EFL coincided almost to the day with the 52nd anniversary of Dos Passos’s death (28 September, 1970), and the trilogy continues to feature on ‘greatest novels of all time’ and ‘books of the century’ lists.

This single volume brings together the three books in Dos Passos’s USA trilogy: The 42nd Parallel (1930), Nineteen Nineteen (1932), and The Big Money (1936). They examine early twentieth century America and Dos Passos’s growing disillusionment with it amid a faltering of the American Dream. While Dos Passos shows many characters pursuing their fortune and climbing the social ladder, his sympathy remains with the ‘down and outs’ who are left behind. Four narrative techniques – incorporating fictional narratives telling the characters’ stories, ‘Newsreel’ sections bringing together collages of newspaper clippings and songs, short biographies of early-twentieth-century public figures, and ‘Camera Eye’ sections containing autobiographical stream-of-consciousness writing – come together to create a fragmented narrative, with different characters dipping in and out of view against the backdrop of the early twentieth-century American society that Dos Passos puts under the microscope.