Happy New Year!
Yes, yes, we know it’s a bit late… but we had so little to report straight after Christmas that it seemed better to wait a bit.
Last year saw some interesting changes in the organisation of the library, with our Technical Services moving out of the library and down to the offices at Osney Mead, along with similar moves for the staff at the Sackler and the Taylorian. This is part of a wider initiative to consolidate the Humanities libraries’ workflows.
The main difference for us has been that Natalija and Kenan now work some of their time down at Osney as well as being at the library, which effectively means that we sometimes have fewer staff than we would have previously had on some days. We are working more closely with the Sackler Library to fill in any staffing gaps which we might have as a result of these changes.
The long-term effect of this change is yet to be ascertained, but we welcome any feedback from readers. We hope that the workflows now being implemented at Osney will speed up the processing and enable us to get new books, especially those requested by readers, to the library faster.
The work to improve the heating system has been ongoing throughout the year, with lots of shiny new copper pipes being installed around the Library. We await confirmation of when this will be finished, but are assuming it will be mostly done during the summer months when the library is quietest.
The biggest change seen by everyone has been our reverting to term-time and vacation opening hours. We now open until 7pm during Term only and until 5pm during vacations. We hope that this change has not been detrimental to too many readers, but it was brought in as a necessity due to a lack of staff to cover during the summer last year.
The reclassification has continued, although at a slower pace since Kate’s hours at OIL reduced to two afternoons a week. She is currently in the midst of the PJ sequence, somewhere beyond the dictionaries, and heading towards linguistics. There is currently an impasse in the dictionary section under the windows, so she is avoiding adding to that section for now. A small move to make up space will take place during the Easter vacation, and anything which has not been reclassified will be kept in its former place until this has been done.
Due to the aforementioned staffing changes, we have had some problems finding the time to get all the shelving done in the library, particularly since Term started. This is partly due to the fact that we do not have enough space downstairs and need to do some rearranging, but with all our staff busy with their day-to-day duties when they are here in the library there has been no extra time to do the necessary move, particularly in the Korean Studies Library.
We are working on a solution to this and ask that readers are patient; this mostly affects the shelving for the Lower Ground Floor and anything which should be down there will be on the trolleys by the photocopiers if it is not on the shelves. Readers are welcome to borrow items which are on the reshelving trolleys.
We are still finding that some readers are surprised that they cannot borrow BSF books; possibly this is due to a misunderstanding during their original library inductions. To reiterate once again, if a book which has been ordered from the BSF is *not* part of the OIL Arabic Literature collection or the Aris Collection of Tibetan Studies, then the chances are it cannot be loaned. This includes the vast majority of the Indian Institute collection not concerned with Tibetan, as well as the Bodleian’s collections, which have historically never been loaned.
That’s all for now! Keep an eye on the Facebook Page, as ever, for urgent updates.