Category Archives: Building Works

Summer reminders

Vacation Opening Hours

Now that Term is over and the last of the exams are done, we would like to remind readers that this year we will be reducing our opening hours over the summer.

This Saturday, July 1st, will be our last Saturday until October 7th, and during the week we will be open from 0900 until 1700, Monday to Friday.

Readers who wish to consult books on a Saturday may discuss this with library staff, who may be able to move some material to the Sackler. This will be limited to confined books – readers will be expected to borrow books which can be borrowed, as long as they have the correct borrowing rights – and we reserve the right to refuse if the numbers of books being moved become unmanageable. Please give adequate notice that you wish to transfer books for use on Saturday (i.e. please don’t come to the desk at 4.55pm on a Friday with a massive mountain of books – this will not be appreciated!).

 

Basement Closure

Following all sorts of rumours about the imminent building work, the final version for 2017 appears to just be for some preparatory work to take place in the Oriental Institute basement. This will be taking place between the 21st and 28th July inclusive.

Due to the nature of the works, the Library Basement will be inaccessible to everyone, even library staff. This is because the fire exits are to be sealed – the work will not be in the library itself – which means we cannot risk going down there for Health and Safety reasons.

Readers who wish to consult books from the KSL, Hebrew & Jewish Studies, South Asian, and Eastern Christianity sections are strongly advised to either move them up to a desk in the ground floor space or to contact staff in advance if they are coming that week so that we can move them for you. If anyone is aware of a potential visitor who might need these books during the closure period, do please let them know about this; we have informed our colleagues in Special Collections at the Weston Library in case they are expecting academic visitors who might need access to our collections.

During this time, the Common Room and the toilets will also be out of action.

 

Book Moves – a long process

Kate, who has now reduced her hours to two afternoons a week (Tuesdays and Fridays), has begun moving the LC books into space vacated by the reclassified PJ section, and also the Z.Per. periodicals which have now been moved round to the same area as the rest of the journals. This will necessarily take some time, but she intends to keep the shelves updated with handwritten notes until the move is finished.

We apologise in advance for any confusion this may cause!

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

July News and Announcements for August

Building Works

As readers will have seen, we now have scaffolding towers known as crash-decks in three bays of the Library of Congress section under the skylights. It appears – happily – that this should be the only disruption to this part of the library as the work to remove and replace the skylights will be taking place from above rather than in the building, so although we have had to remove the tables from those areas for the duration of the work the books are still safely accessible to readers.

It has certainly afforded us an interesting view of the sky, which we would not usually have from this end of the library!

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Meanwhile the corridor by the offices and the office itself are also being readied

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We do not have an exact time-table for the end of the works, but are certainly glad to see some progress and grateful that the disruption to the inside of the library has been minimal.

In the meantime please forgive the occasional loud bang or drilling noise!

Book Moves

Kate has now completed her most recent book move, filling up the space at the end of the LC section which was cleared as part of the reclassification project over the last few months. We have updated the shelf-labels to reflect the changes.

Readers seeking anything from the DS300s onwards are advised to move along a few shelves from where they would have expected to find things. The most significant change is that G is now under the windows on the Sackler side, so that has moved quite a long way.

Arabic Geography

Natalija has been working on the G-section, applying a more detailed LC classification to the Arabic geography and travel-writing section, to reflect the different authors and subjects within it. We hope that readers of that subject will find it useful.

SOLO Downtime

The next scheduled maintenance on SOLO will be over the weekend of the 11th-15th August.

From 5pm on Friday 11th August it will be possible to search the catalogue but users will not be able to request items, the Find & Request tab will not show and there will be no information available regarding the availability of particular items. It will not be possible to renew books or place stack requests during the downtime.

Online access to electronic resources will not be affected.

The maintenance period should finish by 9am on Monday 15th August; we will keep readers informed if it overruns.

Note that the staff systems will also be out of commission over this period so we will not be able to order books or renew anything for readers, but we do have an offline circulation system which will mean that books may be borrowed.

Upcoming Closures

A quick reminder that we are closed at the end of August for the Bank Holiday weekend (27th-29th inclusive) and on the 5th and 6th September for St Giles’ Fair. We will post reminders nearer the time.

Housekeeping and reminders for the summer

End of Term housekeeping

As the end of the exams approaches and those readers who will not be returning are preparing to leave, we have been asked to remind those Finalists who are leaving us for good to please use up your PCAS credit! Your account will be rendered inactive after two years of non-use, but any credit which is still on it will not be refunded, so please do refrain from adding lots now if you are not going to need it! Credit *can* be transferred to another PCAS account, however, so if you have a friend who will still be here and are feeling generous, please contact pcas@bodleian.ox.ac.uk to arrange for a transfer (you will need all the details of both accounts to do this).

We would also like to remind everyone to please return your books! It sounds obvious, but we have heard stories of parents finding library books in their offspring’s room months after said children have left for jobs on the other side of the world or otherwise moved away. It will be much easier for everyone if Finalists return their books before leaving Oxford. We can and will chase outstanding loans and fines, but would much prefer not to have to.

Vacation Loans

We will start Vacation Loans in 8th week; books will be due back as usual on the Tuesday of 1st week of Michaelmas Term – 11th October. Readers whose cards expire before that date, and who are expecting to renew their readers’ card, will need to renew their books once they have a new card as the return date will have been set the day before their card expires.

Summer activities

During the Summer Vacation we are going to be having our skylights replaced, which will cause some disruption to the library.

At present we have an imprecise timetable for the work – sometime during July or August is the best we can predict, but this may change – but we will keep the blog and Facebook page up to date with more information when we have it. The area around the skylights in the library itself will be sheeted off so that the books are covered in order to prevent damage. It will not be possible for readers to access them during this period, but staff should be able to fetch any books which are needed by readers, just ask at the desk! It is likely that there will be some noise and dust disruption during this time, but we are currently planning to remain open during the works.

The skylights in the office will also be upgraded during this time; at present we don’t know what this will entail as our desks are actually under them, but with luck we will manage! As mentioned, we will update all our social media pages with more precise information when we have it.

 

January and February headlines

Firstly, an apology…

Attempts to publish a blog post in February were hampered by a technical issue with a number of Bodleian blogs including ours. This was not resolved satisfactorily until last week, so we have decided to publish one post for the first two months of 2016.

There has not been a lot going on besides the usual library matters, but we do have a few bits of news:

New Skylights!

At some point before July (we don’t know when exactly yet) the skylights in the Library and the Library Office are going to be replaced with new ones. We will keep everyone informed as to when the work will take place when we know ourselves; for the moment please don’t be surprised by occasional visits from practical-looking people with tape measures. The skylights are in need of upgrading, especially the ones in the office which are rather draughty on windy days, so this should improve the general comfort of the whole area.

LibraryThing

The Oriental Institute Library’s LibraryThing account has been on hiatus since Dawn left us, but recent acquisitions will begin to appear on the sidebar on this blog again soon. In the meantime do check our New Books Display (just inside the library), which is kept up to date with choice items of interest.

Meanwhile, readers with an interest in South Asian materials can check out the new Bodleian South Asia LibraryThing page, new additions to which can be seen on the South Asia Libguide page here: http://ox.libguides.com/southasia. Please note that new items on this feed are being added as they are catalogued and will require a short time to be ingested into the BSF before they can be ordered.

Reclassification

Kate has been working her way steadily through the DS section since sometime last year, and is now reaching the end of the shelves around the corner from the reader PCs. She will be doing one of her periodic bookmoves when Term finishes as the Library of Congress DS section is getting very short of space and there is an urgent need to rearrange that side of the library to accommodate both the materials which are being reclassified (currently mostly about Central Asian history) and new books which are arriving and for which we cannot find space.

As ever, during this move period there will be afternoons when Kate would normally be at the desk during which it will be unstaffed, but do feel free to either find Kate (follow the sound of shelves being emptied) or come round to the office where there should be a member of staff who can help. We realise that there will still be a number of readers using the library that close to the end of Term and apologise in advance for any inconvenience, but hope that everyone will understand that this is an essential part of our work and unfortunately unavoidable at this time

Easter Matters

As usual, the Library will be closed over the Easter long-weekend. We will be closed on Thursday 24th, Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Monday 28th March, reopening on Tuesday 29th. Note the extra day on Thursday – this is due to the Faculty offices closing that day. Other Bodleian Libraries will be open on that day.

Finally, we will be starting Vacation Loans next week (8th week) and books will be checked out until the Tuesday of 1st week – April 26th. Any books which you have already checked out for the usual two weeks should be renewed to take advantage of the longer loan period.

September Headlines

 

September at OIL is often the calm before the storm. Before the return of the students and researchers who make the library so much more lively during the winter months, before the chilly weather sets in and the nights begin to lengthen.

This September, however, we have been rather busy. The ongoing reclassification project for the David Reading Room in the Weston Library – now open and looking splendid – has been occupying various members of staff, who have been valiantly rearranging the hastily moved books into their proper Library of Congress order. There is still a way to go, but they already look very smart. Sadly, photographs are not permitted as the architect has requested that no pictures are made available until the Grand Opening next March, so you will have to take our word for it.

Meanwhile at OIL (where photos are permitted), we celebrated Dawn’s 10-year anniversary with an amazing cake:

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(thanks to Dinah Manisty for arranging this, and to Gillian Evison for the champagne!)

Kate has been moving the LC books again, this time into the space which was vacated by the folios when they were shuffled down the library to their current location. She began this small move on one of the days when we were closed for St Giles’ Fair, and was suitably perturbed by the bloodcurdling screams emanating from the rides on the other side of Blackfriars!

The Library reclassification project has been carrying on now that we are no longer doing so work for the Weston materials. We are happy to announce that the totals for the academic year 2013-14 are:

1993 shelfmarks, and a total of 2515 actual items, which reflects the fact that there have been a number of large sets reclassified over the year, including at least one 20 volume set, a couple which numbered around 15 volumes and numerous 10-volume sets, all of which are now to be found in the Library of Congress section. If you have problems finding anything which has moved, as ever, do ask the staff.

So, next comes October! The Library Open Day falls on Friday 10th October this year, and we look forward to meeting our new intake and seeing some old faces.

March Headlines and Announcements for April

From a Library point of view March has been quite a busy month, despite the end of Term and the subsequent emptying-out as many of our readers leave for the vacation.

The week of the 10th-14th was a SCONUL week, when we collect statistics of library attendance and the nature of our enquiries; if any of you were wondering why we were wandering the library counting you at particular times of day, that was why!

We had to contend with the visit from the men who were putting in new windows for two weeks at the end of the month, both in the Library itself and also in the back offices, along with a nice new fire door at the end of the building facing towards Blackfriars’. I hope that the plastic sheeting, banging around and persistent odour of glue were not too much of a distraction for too many people. Sadly they gave us minimal notice before the work began, we knew they were coming, but their schedule was somewhat of a mystery until they said “we’re coming next week”. We were just glad that they were so quick, and also that they managed to at least arrive now while it is vacation and not during exams, and we are sure that the additional easily-opened windows will help with the stuffiness which we sometimes suffer in the summer months. Sadly your humble blogger did not manage to get any action photos of the windows being done; we apologise for this oversight.

There is also an ongoing scheme to upgrade all the University computers still using the Windows XP operating system to Windows 7, which has seen several members of staff already upgraded. This is essential work as there will be no support from Microsoft for XP after the end of April. The programme of works will also affect the Library computers for readers, but we have yet to receive confirmation of the dates when this will happen. We will endeavour to give as much notice as possible of any times when the reader PCs will be out of action. Please keep checking the Facebook Page for further information.

Announcements for April:

The Easter closure of the Library will begin on Thursday 17th April and run through to Tuesday April 22nd, when the Library will open as usual at 0915. We will post signs nearer the time to remind people.

Vacation Loans are currently in operation, with all books borrowed due back on the 29th April (Tuesday of 1st Week).

Finally, the reclassification has once again necessitated a bookmove to make up the space once occupied by the BP section. This will be taking place over the next few weeks and will result in some noise, although we will try to keep this to a minimum. If items you are used to finding in a particular place have moved, do come and ask us where they are!

 

 

August Highlights

Hello!

This is the first in what will hopefully become a regular monthly post of bits of news which might not warrant a whole post of their own, but will give us a chance to let people know what OIL gets up to, especially when everyone else is on holiday.

August is usually a very quiet period here, but this year the Library has been ringing with the sounds of builders, drilling, hammering, (and, on one occasion, hammering followed by a howl of pain – ouch!) and also of multiple barcode readers beeping away…

Regulars will notice some changes down in the basement; the closed stack has become a friendly room which will eventually become a multimedia suite and the shelves on the righthand side of the basement are empty, awaiting a new collection which is being donated by the National Library of Korea. Watch this space for updates!

The books from the closed stack are now at the Book Storage Facility. Once ingested they will be orderable in the same way as other Bodleian books and will be kept in the reserve.

The Middle East Centre collection of Arabic fiction has also gone to the BSF, but will still be a borrowing collection, books will need to be ordered to the desk first. Staff are being trained in this soon, so feel free to ask us questions!

These moves necessitated, as mentioned, much barcoding. At any given point over a three week period at least one person was wading through over 5,000 Arabic books, re-barcoding each one and ensuring that it was identifiable as part of the collection. The more fragile of the closed stack books are also being boxed as part of the process, so that they will be kept in the best condition possible.

Of course, there have been staff holidays for much of the month as well; so generally speaking it has been fairly quiet. We anticipate things will pick up a bit in September, which will (naturally) in no way prepare us for the onslaught that will be October!