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!