Summer Announcements

We apologise for the late blog post; this has been largely due to waiting on confirmation about several matters which will affect the Library over the Long Vacation. Having finally had some information, please note the following:

Opening Hours

There will be changes to the Library’s opening hours in the vacation:

From Monday 3rd July to Saturday 30th September, the new hours will be Monday to Friday: 09:00-17:00 and closed on Saturdays.

A system of transfer of material from OIL to the Sackler Library from 16:00 on Fridays from 7 July will be trialled (and adjusted if the quantity proves to be unmanageable).  This will cater for non-lending material and for readers without borrowing privileges.  It is expected that material transferred in this way will be returned to OIL by 10:00 on the following Monday but staff may consider requests from readers to keep the material on reserve in Sackler for their convenience.

The library will be closed as usual on August Bank Holiday Monday (28th August) and the two days of St. Giles’ Fair (4th-5th September).

 

Building Works and Library Closure

During the summer vacation, the Oriental Institute Library will need to close temporarily to allow for work to install a new central heating system in the Oriental Institute building. The closure dates will be communicated as soon as the library receives a detailed schedule of work from the Faculty. Should the closure be prolonged, we will make arrangements for books to be fetched from the Oriental Institute for use in the Sackler, subject to it being safe for staff to enter the building.

The graduate student vacation loan limit has been raised to 20 books and we strongly advise people to borrow their books at the beginning of the vacation.

We would ask readers who are planning to work in the library over the summer vacation to watch for further communications and/or to get in touch with library staff to let us know as soon as possible when you are planning to work in the library and which Open Shelf books you are intending to use.

If you know of any colleagues from outside of Oxford who are planning to use the Oriental Institute Library over the summer, we would be grateful if you could share this advance warning with them.

We will post further updates to this as and when we get them, both on the website and on the Social Media platforms.

Book Moves

When other factors allow, Kate will be undertaking another move of books around the LC section over the summer. Having cut down her hours to two afternoons a week for unrelated operational reasons, she reckons that this will take slightly longer than previous moves, but will endeavour to get it done with the minimum of noise and disruption. As part of this, the last of the periodicals currently not shelved over by the photocopiers (the Z. Per. Section) will be moved across the library and the LC sequence will continue from under the windows by the reader computers to the central section from where Kate has been moving the PJs. We will ensure that the shelf labels are kept up to date so that readers can find everything.

 

 

April News

Reclassification

Those of you who use the Arabic folio section – Fol. PJ – may have noticed the old sequence diminishing over the vacation as Kate has been reclassifying them, and should finish this week. The Folio shelves have been extended to the other side of the bay from where they used to finish (in the furthest corner, by the windows) to allow more space for the PJs. This area is still a work in progress, with a long-term likelihood that we will reorganise the larger books again, but for now they should remain in that place for a while at least. If you cannot find anything, do ask a member of staff.

 

Revision reminders

Readers are gently requested that, despite the stress of exams and other deadlines, they still adhere to the rules of the library regarding food and drink. *Only* water in bottles with a lid is allowed in the library; we have seen an increase in cups from the water cooler being brought in, which are a potential spill-hazard and could also affect electrical outlets. Food is, as ever, not allowed, but readers are welcome to use the Common Room downstairs. This rule is to prevent pests in the library, such as rats or mice, which might eat the collections when they run out of crumbs.

We know that OIL is favoured by people wishing to revise as it is a quieter environment than the busier Sackler Library (for example) and we welcome this and ask our regulars to do their best to maintain our good reputation!

 

Old £5 notes

Finally, the old (paper) £5 note goes out of circulation on 5th May (Friday). The Library will no longer accept these notes as payment for fines, locker deposits or book sales. If you have any old £5 notes in your possession you are advised to take them to a bank to be swapped with a new one.

 

 

March Headlines, Easter Reminders

E-Resources

We hope that some of our readers were able to take advantage of the e-resources trials publicised here which were available throughout March; do let Lydia know if you have any comments, and remember that e-marifah.net trial from the Middle East centre, which we mentioned on Facebook on the 14th March, is still available until April 27th.

We will keep you posted with any other trials which we decide to run in the future!

Book Moves

A small-ish move has taken place during the last couple of weeks; the “Z” books – Z.Arm, Z.G, Z.T, Z.Sov, and Z.C, which used to reside on the tiers opposite the Library of Congress Folios at the Sacker end of the library have been moved down three rows to the space vacated by the Japanese books last year in order to expand the shelves of folios. This is because Kate is currently working on the PJ folios – a quite extensive section – and was concerned about running out of space. We will be re-thinking this area of the library and there will be further moves of the Z.Per journals (which will go with the rest of the journals over by the photocopiers) over the Long Vacation. In the meantime, if anything you need has vanished without trace do come and ask at the desk! The shelves are labelled, and nothing has gone very far at this point.

Wifi

We are pleased to report that the router, which had been faulty for some time, has now been replaced and that the Bodleian Libraries Wifi is now available again. EduRoam and OWL are also available for those who prefer to use them, and the signal should be better now that we have a router in the library again. Thanks to all of you for your patience!

Easter Closing

As usual, the whole Oriental Institute building will be closed from Thursday 13th April to Monday 17th April inclusive. The Library will be open until 7pm on the Wednesday 12th, but the rest of the building will close at 5. Other Bodleian Libraries are open on Thursday 13th.

Additionally, the Library will close at 5pm on Tuesday 18th April, before normal opening until 7pm resumes from the 19th. We will post reminders on the Facebook page nearer to the time.

February News and March Reminders

 

Another quiet but busy month in the Oriental Institute Library; we have been pleased to see how popular our Facebook link to the new blog post about the Digby collection has been – for those who missed it you can find it here: http://wp.me/p5Eblf-ZQ.

E-Resources Trial

Of interest this month has been the exciting trial of new e-resources, mentioned in our previous post and now with its own display just inside the Library door.

We hope our readers are taking advantage of these resources which are all available via OxLip+ until the end of March EXCEPT for the Early Arabic Printed Books resource, which is available until the 10th. Don’t miss the chance to try them out!

 

Wifi

While the Bodleian Libraries wifi issues appear to have been resolved for now, we have been asked to inform readers that the infrastructure is being migrated to a new platform on the 7th March (Tuesday of 8th Week) and that the service will be unavailable for a short time while the migration takes place. Eduroam and OWL will still be available to readers during the outage.

 

Vacation Loans

Long loans for the Easter vacation will commence on Tuesday 7th March and from then on all books checked out or renewed will be out until April 25th (Tuesday of 1st Week). If you have books which you want to keep for the vacation do remember to check that you can renew them – remember only three renewals are permitted before the books must be returned to the Library, so don’t get caught out! If in doubt, a member of staff can help.

The Library will be closed over the Easter long weekend from Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April inclusive, but we will otherwise be operating our usual hours over the Vacation. A reminder of this closure will be posted nearer the time.

 

Moving books

Once we are out of Term we are planning another of our small book-moves, this time in the Reference Section at the far end of the ground floor. This will involve moving the “Z.” shelfmarked books which came here from the New Bodleian into the space vacated by the Japanese Reference books, and is necessary in order to increase the space for the Folios which are currently just on the last two bays along the back wall. Kate is imminently going to be reclassifying the PJ Folios and is concerned that there is not enough room in the current Folio section to accommodate them and the PK Folios (which she will reach within the next few months if she carries on at her current speed).

New e-resources being trialled this Term!

From now until the end of March*, there are several exciting new electronic resources available through the OxLip+ portal which we would like to encourage our readers to try out:

 

Early Arabic Printed Books (Trial until 10th March)*

Gale’s Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library, based on A.G. Ellis’ catalogue of the British Library’s collection, represents the first major searchable online archive of pre-20th century Arabic printed books. It includes examples from over 400 years of books printed in Arabic script as well as translations into European and Asian languages in the fields of Islamic religion, history, law, language, literature, philosophy and science. Together they demonstrate Europe’s fascination, study and assimilation of ideas and knowledge from the Arabic-speaking world with its rich heritage of science, poetry and Islamic texts and commentaries. Scholars can search on the full text of items in Arabic, English, French, German, Latin, Italian, Dutch and Spanish while also being able to discover content in Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac and more.

eBook Arabic Subscription Collection (Trial until 31st March)

Serving the countries and territories of the Arabic League and beyond, this Middle Eastern collection of more than 4,000 Arabic e-books covers a broad range of academic subjects, including art, biography, business, child development, education, medicine, social sciences, humanities, Islamic studies, history, law, music, religion, political science, technology, engineering and more.

Arab World Research Source (Trial until 31st March)

This unique full-text database is ideal for students and researchers of Arabic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Studies. Covering many major subject disciplines, it offers academic journals, magazines, trade publications, conference papers and industry profiles that are published in or pertain specifically to the Arab World.

Islam in the Modern World (1804-1918) (Trial until 31st March)

Islam in the Modern World, 1804-1918 addresses the beliefs, practices, theology, spirituality, and history of Islam. Content includes biographies of the Prophet Muhammad, works comparing Christianity and Islam, key theological and philosophical texts (including the Quran), relevant mystical and spiritual works, and texts surveying the history of Islam.

 

January News and February Reminders

 

January was a relatively uneventful month at the Oriental Institute Library, with the exception of the return of most of our readers at the start of Term, of course!

We were pleased to note that the hole in the ceiling down in the common room which caused a bit of concern during the electricians’ works before Christmas has now been prevented from leaking and covered over. Fortunately there was no danger to the library collections during the incident, which happened when a workman drilled through a heating pipe in the week before Christmas. We were intrigued by the ingenious device which was rigged up to take any residual leaking water safely into the drain of the sink in the kitchen:

 

In broader library news, readers of South Asian collections may be interested to in this blog post: http://wp.me/p5Eblf-Yb which details the digitisation of the Chandra Shum Shere collection of Sanskrit manuscripts. We hope that some of you find this new resource useful!

Finally, we have been experiencing difficulties with the Bodleian Libraries wifi signal for the last week or so; possibly related to a power shut-down which happened on the weekend of the 21st-22nd January. This will hopefully be resolved soon, in the meantime readers can access the wifi via Eduroam or OWL, depending on their membership type.

 

February Reminders:

We don’t have many of those either (it’s been very quiet here) except to refer people to the Open Access drop-in sessions which are taking place all over this term at various locations – see the picture in the previous post for details.

 

 

 

2016 Highlights

Happy New Year!

We trust everyone had a pleasant holiday!

Before we get on with the serious business of reminding everyone of the exciting things which happened at OIL in 2016, readers interested in Rumi may wish to attend the lecture on the Poetry of Rumi which takes place on January 20th at the Weston Library: (details here). Note that you will need to book a place for this; we will post a reminder on the Facebook page nearer the time.

2016 Recap

Books

Last year saw a number of adjustments and changes at the Oriental Institute Library; the Japanese collections were relocated to the Bodleian Japanese Library after a decision was made by the Faculty to consolidate all the Japanese holdings in one place.

The space freed up by the Japanese move enabled us to rearrange the books in the basement, so that the Korean Studies Library is now on the shelves just at the bottom of the stairs, with the Indian Institute section now also moved so it resides on the shelves on the ground floor by the photocopiers.

The space where the Korean books were kept is currently being used by the Taylorian Library for a number of their periodicals which are to be barcoded, but which needed to be moved out of their previous locations to make room for the books from the Taylor Slavonic library which left its previous location over the summer. We have welcomed a few slightly baffled Modern Languages scholars who were looking for their usual publications over the last few months, some of whom had no idea we were here!

At the end of Michaelmas Term a number of periodicals which had previously been shelved among the Library of Congress books were shifted to the empty shelves near the other OIL periodicals; these have had a suffix “Per.” Added to their shelfmarks on the system which should make them easier to locate, but do ask staff if something has vanished from its usual place!

Finally, as we mentioned in the previous post, Kate has finished the “D” section in the reclassification project, as well as a few smaller groups of books under “L”, “M” and “N” and will be starting the “P” section as soon as she has finished a bit of essential moving to make space. In the last calendar year, 1808 shelfmarks were reclassified, many of which were multivolume works – the total number of individual books reclassified was 2136.

People

In December we said goodbye to Jonathan Acton, who had worked with us since 2010. We hope he is enjoying retirement and able to spend more time with his grandson!

During the summer we had a number of guests from the Muller Library after a minor fire in the Clarendon Institute forced them to close and relocate for a number of weeks while the building was repaired. The library is happily now open and the staff have returned to their normal workplaces, but it was interesting to have different people around at OIL for a few weeks!

Services

New PCAS – and with it shiny new photocopiers – was launched successfully in September, with only a few minor glitches being identified in what is otherwise a very similar system to the old one. Those of you with long memories may shudder at the thought of the original PCAS launch in 2009 which was very different; in the case of the new system we are happy to report that only minimal staff time has been taken up showing readers (usually those new to the system entirely) how to use the machines.

Building works

Over the summer we had the excitement of the replacement of the Library skylights, which actually proved far less disruptive than most of us had feared (visions of the entire LC section on the back wall being sheeted off proved unfounded), with crash-towers erected, but not preventing access to the books. One of these came into its own on a memorable Friday when Vasiliki was at the desk, heard a shouted expletive, and saw one of the workmen fall through the hole from the roof! Fortunately he was unharmed.

During the work we were given an interesting opportunity to see the sky from parts of the library which usually can’t…

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Directly before Christmas work began to replace the lights in the common room area. This has taken longer than anticipated due to an unfortunate incident on the last Friday before Christmas when one of the workmen drilled through a water pipe in the common room ceiling. Library staff brought in a preventive conservation expert from the Bodleian to monitor the humidity in the basement during the weekend immediately after the accident, and happily there was no change, so the books at the end of the basement are at no increased risk of mould at present. Work to fix the problem is ongoing; we will keep readers informed if the library is affected.

And finally…

Readers who need to find out more about Open Access and how it affects them are encouraged to attend one of the following drop-in sessions this Term:

OA poster

 

November News, December Reminders

Goodbye to Jonathan!

Today we said goodbye to Jonathan Acton, who has worked at the Oriental Institute Library since 2010, when he moved here after the closure of the New Bodleian.

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Jonathan first started working in the Bodleian Libraries in 2007, in the old Oriental Reading Room, and has spent the past nine years assisting readers of modern Oriental materials. When the reading rooms were re-organised in 2008 he worked in the New Bodleian Reading Room, as well as carrying out book-processing duties behind the scenes, and then moved to OIL along with Kate when the refurbishment started.

We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours, and lots of fun playing with his grandson! We are sorry to see him go; his dedication to helping the readers has made him a valuable asset to the library, which will be a quieter (and probably less tidy) place without him!

November News

Drinks in the Library (again)

Despite repeated reminders, we are still finding evidence that readers are ignoring the rule that only water in sealed containers such as bottles may be brought into the library. We have found a number of cups containing coffee dregs over the past few weeks but have unfortunately yet to identify the culprit or culprits. Several readers with cups of water have also been spoken to.

We are not doing this to be awkward: the reason we don’t want coffee or other drinks in the library is purely for the protection of the books and equipment. We would politely request that readers respect this rule. We would rather not return to the days when readers were not permitted to take their bags into the library!

Reclassification

In happier news, November saw a milestone in the reclassification project: the end of the “D” section! D (History) has taken Kate since February 2014 to reclassify, with much of the collection moving into comparable sections in the Library of Congress sequence, although there were quite a few geography books which ended up in G!

The vast majority of former “D” shelfmarks – numbering almost 6000 books – are now in the LC sequence, which moves us a step closer to simplifying our shelving scheme and making it easier to find the books.

Since finishing “D”, Kate has also polished of “J” (Political Science) and “M” (Music) and is currently working on the end of “N” (Fine Art), before once again moving the books into the space created over the past few months.

This move is likely to start in the next week and will be finished before the start of Term in January.

Next on the reclassification project: “P”, but Kate says she’s not going to think about those just yet!

Periodicals

A number of periodicals which are currently shelved within the LC sequence are going to be moved into a space near the other periodicals (round the corner past the photocopiers) within the next few weeks. This is partly to free up space and also to rationalise the collection with a view eventually to having all periodicals on the ground floor in the same area. A prefix “Per.” will be added to these items to distinguish them from other materials with similar shelfmarks.

Vacation Loans

Vacation Loans are now in effect! Books borrowed from now on will be due back on January 17th (Tuesday of 1st week). Readers are requested to remember to renew books which were borrowed before this week to avoid a nasty new-year library fine surprise.

December Reminders

The library will be closed from 22nd December to January 3rd inclusive. This is a day earlier than the other Bodleian Libraries, which are open on the 22nd but closed on the 23rd onwards.

We have already noticed the dwindling numbers as many of our readers are leaving for the holidays and would like to wish everyone the best of the season!

October News

A much busier library…

Having had a successful turnout for our Library Inductions this year, which were kept to a more pared-down approach than previous years, we have been enjoying the livelier atmosphere which always descends on the Oriental Institute once Term proper has begun.

It has been great to see many familiar faces back again for another year, and to welcome our new intake. We hope that everyone is having a good term so far and urge anyone who needs help to please let us know. There will be someone at the library desk at all times during opening hours, and if we are not immediately visible we will be somewhere close by!

Oriental Collections Displays

Readers may have noticed a display of Georgian books from the Wardrop Collection which have been placed just inside the door for the last few weeks. These were to accompany a talk about Georgian Manuscripts which took place last month.

We will be featuring other displays of materials from the Oriental Collections over the next few months; Lydia is currently finalising the next one and we will post details on the Facebook Page soon!

Readers may be interested in a talk on the Hunt in Mughal India which is taking place on November 9th; details can be found on the Bodleian’s What’s On pages: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2016/nov/the-hunt-in-mughal-india

 

PCAS teething problems

The new version of PCAS has been for the most part running well since it went live in September, however, we are aware of particular problems for which the team are seeking support from the suppliers, in particular the fact that printing from pdf.s does not appear to work very well. There are also occasional problems with scanning and printing, as well as a known issue with reducing or enlarging copies, all of which are being looked into and which we hope will be sorted out or at least included in documentation soon. In the meantime we would ask readers to let staff know when they do encounter problems and to contact pcas@bodleian.ox.ac.uk to let the support team know as well. The more people report things, the more we can get them fixed!

 

Housekeeping

Since the start of Term we have noticed a number of readers with drinks in the library; may we please remind everyone again that ONLY water in sealable bottles is permitted? This is to protect the books and furniture from accidental spillages which may cause damage and encourage vermin. We have spoken to individuals when we have seen them with drinks other than water but would appreciate everybody’s cooperation.

 

Summer News, Autumn Announcements

Welcome!

The start of a new Term always seems to creep up on those of us who are here in the Library all year round; the sleepy quiet of the summer months being swept away by the influx of readers. September ends with a whimper and suddenly we are busy again!

This week marks Induction Week at the Oriental Institute Library; with graduate inductions having already mostly taken place and the Undergraduate Induction and Library tour taking place late Friday morning. We urge new users (and readers of this blog) to take advantage of these opportunities to meet the staff and to be shown round the library; we know you will have questions later, but for now it is just good to know we’ve told you roughly where the books you need are and how to access them!

 

Summer News

So… what’s new? Lots of things, actually!

The skylights in the library and the office were replaced over the summer, necessitating some disruption, mainly to the staff office, which had to be emptied for a number of weeks. The towers under the skylights in the library came into their own when one of the builders fell through the hole (amid much swearing) having tripped on the roof, so it was worth having them there, and the work itself was carried out from above, which lessened the dust and general unpleasantness for those of us beneath.

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At the end of the summer term we rearranged the periodicals into a slightly tighter arrangement in order to make some space for other materials on the ground floor, while at the same time moving the KSL (Korean Studies Library) books into the space vacated by the Japanese books which moved out earlier in the year. The area where the KSL books were is now a temporary home to a number of Taylorian periodicals which have been moved here to make space for the Slavonic and Modern Greek material which moved into the Taylorian; the Indian Institute Government Publications still occupy most of the rolling shelves downstairs, while the other Indian Institute material is now up on the ground floor just opposite the photocopiers. (Phew!) Everything is labelled; if you can’t find anything please ask a member of staff – we have updated our map of the collections accordingly.

The Library of Congress material has been moved round again by Kate into the space she made since her last move, so books may be in a slightly different area than they were; the shelf labels are up to date and Kate is currently working her way through the DT section in the corner near the reader computers.

In the last year, a total of 2388 items, representing 1993 shelfmarks, were reclassified and reshelved into the proper sequence. Kate is hoping to get past 2000 shelfmarks in the next year, but isn’t promising anything!

We now have a sale trolley, to be found just inside the door in the Front Office, which contains duplicates of books the library already holds and other items. Unsold books will be sent to Betterworld Books for resale, but we thought we would give readers the opportunity first. Hardbacks cost £3, paperbacks £1.50 and multiparts are 50p each. Lydia is adding new things regularly, so do feel free to browse.

Finally, PCAS has now changed to a new system which automatically links to a user’s reader card. Readers with existing PCAS accounts will need to transfer the funds from that account to their new one using the portal created for the purpose. Please see the PCAS pages on the Bodleian’s website for details: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/copy/pcas

Autumn matters

As mentioned before, undergraduate inductions take place on Friday 7th October, so there may be more noise in the library during that period.

We would like to remind readers that food and drink (with the exception of water in bottles) are not permitted in the library – there is a common room downstairs for that purpose.

Finally, there may be a few more readers than usual for a while this Term as the Muller Library, which suffered a small fire on the upper floors of its host building on Walton Street in August, is still to re-open. Please check their webpages (http://www.ochjs.ac.uk/mullerlibrary/) for more information, in the mean time staff are able to bring books round to the Oriental Institute for readers to use and Muller materials held at the BSF may be ordered here.