Connect 4, a game not of luck but mainly skill, there have even been studies done to work out the 9 main strategies to win the game. For us at the Law Bod it is mainly about putting coloured plastic discs in a grid to try to make a line of 4 before your opponent. The game, also know as captain’s mistress (we thought it wise not to use that name as the links may not have been as appropriate), is a staple of many a household game stash as it is quick and easy. It also shouldn’t result in accusations of cheating (it is a game that is said to have ‘perfect information’ in that you and your opponent have all the information in front of them).
So talking of perfect information and connecting 4 we thought we would take this post to talk about the 4 different levels of the Bodleian Law Library. You may have your favourite corner of the Library but there are 4 floors full of exciting resources and facilities.
So lets start from the ground up …
This quiet area of the Library has lots to offer but can sometimes be missed by readers as it sits 2 floors down from the entrance floor. This is where you will find not one but two IT rooms, the larger one seats 24 and is often where you will find us teaching about the many resources we have. The second one is tucked around the corner and is smaller. Imaginatively called the ‘Small Computer Room’ it seats 7 so offers a quiet space for you to work at one of our PC’s. There are also 3 discussion rooms situated here, there are 2 that accommodate 3 people and 1 larger one that seats up to 6 (but probably more like 5 if you all have laptops!). Two of the rooms have audio-visual equipment (with connectors and remotes available from the enquiry desk). These rooms can be used by anybody but it is best to book unless you don’t mind moving for those that have. The Graduate Reading Room is also on this floor and so if you are one of our postgraduates then please come and take a look as a possibility for a study space. As well as these areas there are also some desks, soft seating and a photocopier/printer/scanner.
The ground floor does not only have study space, it also houses a number of important collections. It is the home of the Official Papers Collection, which is an an excellent collection of parliamentary and non-parliamentary British official papers. The whole collection is on open shelf, making it the only collection in the country to have a full set of House of Lords and Commons papers immediately accessible to readers. The papers of the devolved assemblies and governments and Ireland are also held within the collection as well as a strong international collection. If you need help with searching you can always ask one of our Official Papers Team.
Moving up one floor we have Floor 1. This is a smaller floor but one which could offer a number of study alternatives. There are some main desks located as you come through the door and this tends to be quieter (maybe due to the fact that laptops cannot be plugged in). As well as this you can also find the Seminar Room. This room (also bookable through the same system as the discussion rooms) can seat up to 15 round a lovely round table. It has a projector screen (we can provide a projector if needed) and a white board and is a good space for larger groups.
This is the first floor you see when you enter the Law Bod and as such it is often referred to as the ‘main floor’. It has seats for over 230 people, a number of terminals to quick search the catalogue and PCs, a soft seating areas next to the new journals display and a room with 3 photocopiers/printers/scanners. It is also where you will find help if you are struggling with anything. There are usually 2 members of staff stationed on the enquiry desk which is just by the entrance. We are not just there to scan out ‘reserve books’, we can help with resource questions, directions and photocopying problems. If we can’t help you ourselves we will go on a hunt for someone who can so please don’t be shy your questions will not be ‘silly’.
The collections on this floor consist of the main UK collection, General monographs, Roman monographs, Jurisprudence monographs. The main monograph collection on this floor not only has UK monographs but includes monographs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US within the same run. This is due to the major Moys project which happened over the Summer, more information on this can be found in this blog post.
This is a floor you would probably only visit if you were wanting to use the collections as it does not have seating for general use, however, if you are one of our research postgraduates you may have made your ‘home’ at one of the research desks there. The collections consist of the resources for individual European countries, the EU collection (Euro Comm), the international (public and private) law collections, the US law collection (apart from monographs) and Criminology.
Connecting the 4 floors are 1 lift and 2 staircases, one is the main staircase and the other is one of the smaller ‘hidden’ staircases in the opposite corner. There are other smaller staircases throughout although these only ‘connect’ 2/3 floors so be careful about getting lost! Maps to our collections can be found on our website so you can plan before you come but remember to come and ask if you are struggling.