NEW: Browse and Borrow service (and other updates…)

Browse and Borrow – 30 minute session 

From Monday 12th October, the History Faculty Library will be offering bookable “Browse and Borrow” sessions:

  • You can remain in the library for up to 30 minutes
  • You are free to browse the shelves in all reading rooms
  • You can use the PCAS machines to copy or scan material
  • Books can be issued using the self-issue machine or at the staff desk
  • You may not sit at any desks to study during a Browse & Borrow slots as seating capacity cannot be increased to accommodate this.

For further information see: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/browse-and-borrow

To book a session go to the booking page for the Radcliffe Camera https://tickets.ox.ac.uk/webstore/shop/viewItems.aspx?cg=BODBL&c=RRHFLBL

Click and Collect – withdrawn for History Faculty Library 

This service was introduced in early July to facilitate access to the collections when libraries were still closed to readers. It will no longer be possible to place a request via SOLO for this service for History Faculty Library items, as we are not able to offer this service on a wider scale to cope with term-time lending demand. As we have increased the number of slots to access the collections, this will offer more opportunity to our readers to have non-mediated access to collections.

We will continue to offer Click and Collect via email where appropriate (e.g. proxy collection for self-isolating or vulnerable readers).

Seating in reading rooms – more slots available!

We are increasing the number of slots available, as we extended our opening hours and introduce additional seating in the Gladstone Link and Duke Humfrey’s Library. Please be mindful that seating capacity is reduced, so we encourage you to only book the number of slots you need to access print collections or electronic Legal Deposit material. Please also let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel slot – we are working on improving the process for cancelling a slot.

We appreciate that the Lower Camera is very popular but this reading room has the fewest number of seats available. If you can’t get a seat in the Lower Camera then do consider booking a seat in one of the other reading rooms – from Monday 12th October access via the Gladstone Link tunnel will be reinstated so you can fetch material from any reading room on site and return to your desk.

Returning books on loan 

  • You do NOT need to book a slot to return books.
  • Avoid arriving at the following times at the Radcliffe Camera as there are more likely to be queues of readers with seat booking.
    Monday to Friday = 9:30 / 13:30 / 17:00
    Saturday = 10:00 / 13:00
    Sunday = 12:00 / 15:00
  • We have temporarily increased renewals for standard loan items so that you don’t have to return books on Monday 12th October
  • There is currently a grace period in operation for fines, so if you can’t return or renew then don’t panic and get in touch with us.
  • We are still offering FREE postal return including international courier service. Email borrow@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for more information

Services for self-isolating students

Do get in touch to discuss your individual needs and with library contacts. All of our services are dependent on staffing levels but we will do our best to help you where possible.​

Tips

  • Take advantage of access to online resources via SOLO
  • Be organised and book a visit to the library in advance
  • Book a Browse and Borrow slot of you only need to access something quickly
  • Don’t book multiple slots unless you need extended access to print/eLD collections
  • Cancel a slot if you don’t need it via reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Due to government guidelines, we are required to strictly manage access to our libraries to ensure that we are operating according to social distancing guidelines including NHS Test and Trace. We have introduced new services and adapted existing services in response to unprecedented circumstances and have planned our Michaelmas Term services, as best as we can but there will be inevitable teething issues. We fully anticipated that term time will be challenging and we will be closely monitoring the demand on our services and making changes where required.

Thank you for your patience and please get in touch if you have questions or feedback: library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Returning to our Reading Rooms: A Guide

From Monday 17th August, the Rad Cam will open its gates to readers once again for pre-booked reading room slots! If you haven’t done so already, you can reserve a slot up to 2 weeks in advance on our booking page. As well as desks in Upper and Lower Camera, we have a height-adjustable desk and Reader PCs available to book.

As you might expect, we have some new procedures and adjustments to help
keep you safe in the library, so here’s a guide to what to expect on your visit:

1. Please remember to bring your seat booking confirmation email, and most importantly your University/Reader card with you. As the Admissions office is currently not issuing Day Passes, we won’t be able to let you in without your card.

2. You will be asked to wear a face covering in the library, including at your desk, and unless exempt (see below*) staff will ask you to come back with a face covering if you arrive without one. We are following University guidance that wearing a face covering can aid alongside hand hygiene and social distancing in helping to keep us all safe in university buildings.

*Some readers will be exempt from wearing a face covering under government regulations, and this need for exemption may not be obvious.
Please be mindful of this if you see someone without a face covering in the library.
If this exemption applies to you, we can provide a sign to show at your desk if you would like to indicate that you’re exempt in this way, although this is completely optional.

3. You may need to queue on the path outside when you arrive at the library. Keep a distance of 2 metres between you and other readers when queuing, and for the duration of your visit.

4. When you arrive, show your booking confirmation to the member of staff at Reception, and they will give you your assigned desk number and directions to your seat. To help with distancing, most seats will not be in use; these will be indicated by a sign with a red cross. Staff will also be wearing face coverings subject to the procedure above, and we have installed protective screens at staff desks.

5. As well as hand sanitiser at the library entrance, we also have convenient sanitiser stations throughout the library. Please make regular use of these during your visit!

6. Want to find some books? As some spaces in our building are quite snug, please be cautious and considerate of other readers when browsing the shelves, ensuring a 2 metre distance. In Lower and Upper Camera, enter each bay on the right-hand side to reach the shelves, as there will be no reader desks in use on this side.

7. Want to borrow a HFL book? Due to the Bodleian’s membership of the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, which allows for access to selected ebooks during this period, we currently have license restrictions on the books we are allowed to loan. Please bring any books you wish to borrow to the issue desk, and staff will check whether they are loanable. Alternatively, you can use our Click & Collect service to order books from home; please note that this process can take 2-3 working days before books are ready for collection.

8. And finally, welcome back! If you have any questions in advance of your visit, you can email us at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, and if you’re unsure of anything in the library just ask a member of staff and we’ll be happy to help.

(Photos credit: George Kiddy & Gareth Evans)

 

 

New Postal Returns Service

If you’re not in Oxford and are unable to return your loans to our Returns hubs, you can now send your books back to us via the Bodleian’s new free Postal Returns service!

1. Click on this link for the Royal Mail’s Tracked Service.

2. Follow the instructions to either print off a package label at home, or to use a QR code, sent to you by email, to print the label at a Post Office.

3. Package the books following Royal Mail’s guidance as best you can. Take the package with label or QR code to your nearest Post Office. As this is a prepaid service, you won’t be asked to pay any postage on your parcel.

If you have books from multiple Bodleian Libraries, you can send them all back in the same package and once they reach Oxford they will be distributed to their owning libraries. Please don’t be concerned if you see that posted items remain on your SOLO account over the summer, as it will take staff some time to process them all. You will not be charged any fines while books are awaiting check-in; only fines accrued before the library’s closure in March will be payable.

If you are currently outside the UK, if you are unable to get to a Post Office to drop off your books, or if you have a large number of books on loan, you can get in touch with the Bodleian’s Returns team at borrow@bodleian.ox.ac.uk and they will find another option for you.

NB. Please note that the free postal service is for those readers who are unable to return books in person. If you are currently in Oxford, or planning to visit over the summer, and you are able to bring your books back in person, we would be grateful if you could do so via our Returns hubs (details here: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/loanreturns).

A Guide to Click and Collect at the HFL

You may have heard the news that we have started to welcome readers to our Click & Collect service at the HFL! Click & Collect is an emergency interim service at selected Bodleian Libraries (currently us, the Social Science Library and the Sackler Library), which allows university members to borrow books which would usually be loanable, via pre-booked collection slots.

Not sure what to expect when using the service? Here’s a step-by-step guide!

 

1. Request your book(s). Once logged into SOLO, look out for the green Click & Collect button next to eligible HFL books. Your request will then be sent to the library for staff to pick and process.

2. Once your book has been processed (usually the next working day after you request), you will receive an email inviting you to book a collection timeslot from the next working day onwards; our collection hours are 11am-3pm Monday-Friday. You will only need to book a slot for one requested item, and other books you order will then also be available to collect in this timeslot. At this stage you can also add a named person to collect books on your behalf (please ask them to bring some photo ID!).
N.B. As mentioned above, it takes a few working days for the Click & Collect process to complete, so please order your books ahead of time. Please also note that only pre-booked items will be available and you won’t be able to request additional items at the desk when you arrive.

3. On arrival, hold your Reader Card to the pad to unlock the door. If you have any problems with your card, use the intercom to talk to a member of staff. If you notice that there is another reader already inside, please wait on the path at a distance of at least 2 metres from any other readers.

4. Show the member of staff at Reception your card. There is a protective screen at the desk, and a hand sanitiser dispenser available, for the safety of staff and readers.

5. The staff member will fetch a bag containing your pre-issued books and may ask you to stand back while they place them onto the shelf beside the desk. Socially distanced handover pictured below! If you need to drop off HFL returns when you collect, there is a box next to the staff desk to put them in.

6. Enjoy your books! If you have any questions about the Click & Collect process, please get in touch by email at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

 

Click and Collect at HFL

We’re very pleased to announce that your favourite History Faculty Library loan books are now available to borrow through the Bodleian’s Click & Collect Service!

Click & Collect is an emergency interim service designed to enable borrowing from selected Bodleian Libraries. The service will initially be offered by us, the Sackler Library, and the Social Science Library, and other libraries will introduce the service on a phased basis.

University members will be able to place requests on SOLO for items which would usually be available to borrow. Once logged in to SOLO, just look for the green button next to eligible books. Library staff will fetch the requests and once the items are ready for collection, borrowers will be emailed to invite them to select a date and time to collect the items. The safety of staff and readers is paramount in the design of the service; limitations will apply on which libraries are able to participate and when.

For full details see https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/clickandcollect

If you have any problems when placing a request, or any queries about the collection process, please give us an email at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Research Data Management review – your views needed

As I hope historians are aware of, support is available to researchers for managing the organisation and storage of research data. This could include interview transcripts or audio files for oral history, digital photographs, sketches or diaries in digital form. More information about Research Data Oxford is at http://researchdata.ox.ac.uk.

The University is now conducting a review into its current Research Data Management (RDM) services and solutions. The review aims to ensure that the we are ready for the challenges of the future and we can meet the evolving needs of our academics, researchers and students. In the context of this review, we would like to understand your views on several RDM-related matters, including services and support currently provided by the University and the extent to which these are fit for purpose.

Your inputs will be key to informing further developments and investment in research data management and infrastructure at the University.

Please share your thoughts via this online survey which will be open until 20 March 2020.

The survey should take between 10 and 20 minutes of your time.

Self-issue update: upgrades and additions

Bodleian Libraries are currently in the process of upgrading all self-issue machines, which should ensure that we’re able to offer readers a reliable and secure service. Unfortunately this will result in a temporary break in service, but we’re hopeful things will be up and running again by the end of January. In the meantime staff at the issue desk are more than happy to help anyone wishing to issue books. 

We’re also pleased to report that in the coming weeks the HFL will be receiving a second self-issue machine, which will be trialled in the Upper Gladstone Link. The machine will initially be located beside the PCAS machine on the Camera side of the reading room, where we hope it will prove a convenient addition for readers accessing collections in this area. We’re very keen to receive any feedback regarding the trial, so please email any comments or questions to library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Further updates will be provided when the machine is up and running! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portable DVD drives available for loan!

In response to reader feedback, we’re pleased to announce that we now have two portable DVD drives available for loan. History students may be particularly interested in using these to consult items from the HFL DVD collection. The devices are quick and easy to use, compatible with most operating systems, and can be issued for two days (plus one online renewal). Please let us know if you have any feedback – we’re always looking to improve access to our collections.

Dyslexia, Visual Stress, and Accessibility Equipment

#DyslexiaAwarenessWeek2019

At the History Faculty Library, we’re very keen to create the best possible environment for learning and research.

So, to celebrate #DyslexiaAwarenessWeek2019 and the neurodiversity of our readers, here is a guide to our accessibility equipment and how it could help if you are dyslexic, experience visual stress, or have any other barriers to learning.

WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?

Dyslexia is diagnosed differently across the world and there are many different hypothesized causes. As it is currently understood in the UK, however, dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that exists on a continuum and frequently overlaps with other types of learning difficulties or disabilities.[1] Professor Margaret J. Snowling, author of the newly published Dyslexia: A Very Short Introduction and president of St John’s College, defines dyslexia as ‘a problem with learning which primarily affects the development of reading accuracy and fluency and spelling skills’, though it can also cause problems with speech. It affects phonological awareness, verbal memory, and verbal processing speed.[2]

Poor spelling, slow reading and writing speeds, confusing similar letters (like ‘b’ and ‘d’) or your left and right, along with visual stress (discussed below), are all well-known signs of dyslexia. Some of the lesser-known difficulties that affect students at university-level, however, involve more systemic differences in structural thinking. These can make organization and time management, writing and structuring essays, note taking, remembering the right words in tutorial discussions, and finding your way around Oxford University’s many libraries a challenge.

Yet dyslexic ways of thinking can equally result in brilliant insights, creativity, and excellent pattern recognition. Though dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder, it has little to do with education or general intelligence, and affects people of all ages and abilities in diverse ways. A holistic approach and a fair amount of experimentation are therefore required to find out what helps to overcome these difficulties and for dyslexic students to reach their potential.

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Friendly librarians and library assistants are always on hand in the History Faculty Library and Bodleian Libraries to show you how things work, help with shelf-marks, retrieve books and find resources. There is no such thing as a silly question!

We also have a variety of accessibility equipment so you can access the resources you need to learn.

Who can use accessibility equipment?

Anyone! If you think you’ll find it helpful, you may use any of the equipment, no questions asked.

What’s available and where can I find it?

Here’s a list of what we have available and where to find it. The equipment can be used anywhere in the Radcliffe Camera or Gladstone Link as long as it’s returned to its original location when you’ve finished using it.

WHAT IS VISUAL STRESS?

Visual stress’, also known as Meares/Irens Syndrome, is a common symptom of dyslexia. Yet not everyone with dyslexia experiences visual stress, and many who do not have dyslexia, do. It’s also a symptom of a whole host of other associated learning difficulties, disabilities, and illnesses that include attention deficit disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), headaches and migraines, and traumatic brain injuries. Visual stress is a perceptual processing disorder thought to be caused by the way some brains process certain frequencies of light.

What is it like?

Those of us with visual stress interpret regular black lines of text on a white page a bit differently, resulting in perceptual distortions. Serif fonts like Times New Roman make it worse, as do particular colours. When I look at a page of text, for example, it can seem like things are moving in the corners of my vision and white ‘rivers’ constantly emerge from the patterns between the words and lines. I know that these distortions ‘aren’t real’, but my brain interprets the neural data from my eyes in this peculiar way regardless. The same phenomenon occurs with other regular high-contrast patterns like narrow stripes. It reminds me of the way TV screens sometimes appear on film with flickering lines rolling across them. In all, the blurring, double vision, and glare from the white page caused by visual stress present an extra barrier to absorbing and understanding a text and can lead to poor comprehension, eye strain, fatigue, headaches and migraines. It can be particularly unbearable if you are already tired.

What helps? Colour!

Though visual stress does not cause the cognitive problems that you might face if you are dyslexic, relieving this symptom can help with fatigue and aid focus.

Coloured acetate sheets can dampen perceptual distortions by reducing the sharp contrast between the white of the page and black of the text. These transparent plastic sheets can be simply laid over the page you are reading. It is a myth that these ‘cure’ dyslexia, but lots of people report that they do alleviate visual stress.[3] A range of colours are available upon request at the staff desk in the Lower Camera, so if you think these might help, don’t hesitate to ask.

The History Faculty Library also has a variety of coloured paper to use in the printers for the same reasons, as well as coloured reading rulers that help stop your eyes wandering from the line that you want to read. Both are available on request. If you are reading from a screen, try changing the background colour of the document or reducing the brightness and enlarging the size of the text.

Other Assistive Equipment

Brain ‘fog’, procrastination, poor focus, and fatigue are also common challenges for dyslexic readers, so it is important to minimise distractions, support good posture, and make studying as comfortable as possible. Ergonomic equipment is available in the Lower Camera and Upper Gladstone Link to focus your attention and keep you comfortable. The History Faculty Library has ergonomic chairs, foot stools, book stands, and height adjustable desks for standing or sitting.

Daylight lamps at these desks can help prevent eyestrain, and a magnifier is available on request for texts with tiny fonts or help if you are visually impaired.

Ear plugs are available to muffle distracting sounds and if you find these uncomfortable, try listening to white noise tracks on a loop. There are also quiet laptop-free areas on the Gallery in the Upper Camera.

Height Adjustable Desks in the Lower Camera

How do I get further support?

More information about the History Faculty Library’s Services for Disabled readers can be found here. There are many more ways that the University can give support if you are dyslexic that are not discussed here, so if you haven’t already, head to the University’s Disability Advisory Service to find out more.

We would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions about how the History Faculty Library can support you, so come and talk to us in person or email us at radcam-enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

HFL Disability Contact: rachel.darcy-brown@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Radcliffe Camera Gladstone Link Disability Contact: lyn.jones@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

LINKS AND RESOURCES 

Margaret J. Snowling, Dyslexia: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

Jim Rose, Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties (An independent report from Sir Jim Rose to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, June 2009).

British Dyslexia Association’s website.

University of Oxford’s History of Dyslexia Project.

Watch Professor Maggie Snowling’s British Academy lecture on ‘Dyslexia: An Impairment of Language Learning’.

Notes

[1] Sir Jim Rose’s independent review for the UK government in 2009 defined dyslexia using the best evidence and remediation practises. It is still widely accepted today. It is worth noting that a discrepancy between ‘IQ-reading skill and actual reading level’ is no longer accepted as a diagnostic-criteria for dyslexia. See Jim Rose, Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties (2009) <https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/14790/7/00659-2009DOM-EN_Redacted.pdf>.

[2] Margaret J. Snowling, Dyslexia: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2019), 1.

[3] Despite the widespread acceptance of coloured lenses as a treatment for dyslexia, there is little evidence that specifically tailored colours for each person are required to gain the calming benefit of coloured overlays. Nevertheless, Professor John Stein’s research suggests that blue and yellow overlays may be most helpful. Read about his research here.

 

Vacation Loans

With the end of Trinity Term fast approaching, readers are advised that vacation borrowing for the summer will commence on Wednesday 26th June. Please note, this is 9th week, due to the History of the British Isles assessment for 2nd year History undergraduates. From this date onwards, HFL borrowing limits will increase to 30 items (short loans inclusive), with a due date of Monday 14th October. Wishing you all the best of luck in the coming weeks!