Category Archives: News

Welcome to OIL! Michaelmas Term 2018

October is upon us once again (where did September go?!) and we find ourselves at the start of another Academic Year. We are excited to meet all the new students and of course to see all our returning readers again.

What follows is a brief news-report of the summer, and a few reminders of the library rules and general housekeeping so that we can get off to a smooth start.

Summer update

The summer saw the continuation of the building works to change the heating system in the Oriental Institute, and also the installation of new windows on the basement. We were closed for four weeks, during which time our Sackler colleagues facilitated collecting of books from OIL to their reading rooms for our readers (thanks again to them for that!). Unfortunately, a supply problem resulted in the closure not coinciding with the noisiest part of the work, which happened when the shiny new pipes were being installed and caused some disruption. Happily the installation is now complete and the new panels near the ceiling are ready. The new heating system should be much more efficient and less wasteful than the previous (largely uncontrollable) one, so we should not need to have *quite* so many windows open in the middle of winter.

Kate has collated her reclassification data for the 2017-18 academic year; she has reached the last tier of the row which she started last year and has reclassified 645 shelfmarks, amounting to 797 individual books, in the last year.

A minor book-move was carried out over the Vacation. This mostly affects the end of the LC sequence, where the main change is that the PK books now start in the middle section rather than under the windows by the computers. PJ now occupies that space, with space to grow as that is the area currently being reclassified. All the shelves are labelled as accurately as possible (allowing for occasional moves round corners). There are now only two large sections which have similar shelfmarks to the LC collection – PJ and PK. We have noticed a difference over the past few years in the numbers of people asking where things are, which has reduced dramatically as the reclassification has progressed, so we know it is worth doing! If at any time you need a book which is being reclassified, please speak to staff. If it is not a Tuesday or Friday afternoon (the days when Kate is at OIL) then it might be awaiting a label on her trolley, but staff will be able to advise you.

New staff

Excitingly, we have three new members of staff joining the OIL team this term. Ben, who is the Graduate Trainee for the Sackler, will be doing some hours at OIL this year including Tuesday evenings; Katie, who is the Graduate Trainee at the Taylorian, will be working Thursday evenings during the Terms this year, and Jennifer, a new Library Assistant with responsibilities for both Sackler and OIL will be spending some of her time at OIL each week.

We are optimistic that these extra pairs of hands will enable us to deal with problems which have arisen due to our staffing-shortages over the last few years, including the shelving in the basement, which requires a re-organisation of the KSL section for which we have had no time.

General reminders

As it is now Term time, we are now open until 7pm on weekdays and from 11am – 5pm on Saturdays.

Up to 8 books can be borrowed at any one time, the normal loan period is 2 weeks, and they can be renewed online via SOLO up to three times before you need to bring them back to the library. We have longer loan periods during vacations. If you are not able to renew an item it is likely to be because someone else has placed a hold on it; if this is the case, please return the book to the library by its expiry date.

Please leave books for return in the big blue box on the counter just inside the library door or pass them to the library staff member at the desk. Please do not leave returns anywhere else, especially the returns trolleys inside the library, as this may result in them not being checked in properly. If this happens they may stay on your record for longer than necessary, and you could get emails suggesting that they are overdue.

If you have been using a book in the library and are not sure where it came from on the shelves please leave it on the shelving trolleys by the front office or on one of the reshelving areas in the library, rather than putting it back in a random gap. This is especially important for the complex Library of Congress shelfmarks as mis-shelving even a few books away may mean that people cannot then find the book again. If you are not sure, please leave it for us to do. It’s what we’re here for, after all!

As a general rule, books from the BSF cannot be borrowed from the library. Please do not attempt to take them out of the building. They belong to the Bodleian, which has a no-borrowing policy. BSF books can be collected from the library desk – just show us your Bod Card so we can collect it from the back office – and should be returned to the desk after each use so we can put them back in the reserve. BSF books will stay here for one week, and this can be extended using your SOLO account. There are two exceptions to the no-borrowing rule: the Aris Collection of Tibetan Books or the Arabic Literature collection which originated at the Middle East Centre. These books may be borrowed in the normal way. Please do not send books back until you are sure you’ve finished with them completely as they will take up to a week to return if you re-order them. If a book is left on the desk we will usually return it to the reserve rather than sending it back to the BSF for this reason.

Food and drinks other than water are not permitted in the library because they can encourage pests which damage the collections. If you need to eat something, please use the Common Room in the basement.

Water in a bottle with a lid which can be sealed is permitted in the library, but please do not use plastic cups. Keep-cups are not allowed.

PCs for the use of readers are located to the right as you enter the library; four are Library PCs which require a login and the other two are “kiosk” PCs which connect to the internet but have limited functionality for other things. There is also another PC in the basement which is available for readers to use; it is at the far end from the staircase, next to the microfilm reader.

We have a height-adjustable desk, located near the windows by the library computers which is available for anyone who needs to work in a standing position; there is also an adjustable chair which can be used either with the desk or at a normal desk.

If you have any suggestions of books which we should hold but do not, there is a form which can be accessed via SOLO, or you could write something in the Suggestions Book, which is on the counter in the aisle directly opposite the door to the back office, near the photocopiers. We monitor this regularly and are happy to acquire (within budgetary reason) books relevant to the collections.

Finally, if you have any questions, please ask! There will be someone at the desk or shelving nearby most of the time; look out for a note on the front counter.

 

 

Late Summer news and reminders

We’re back!

Enormous thanks to our colleagues at the Sackler Library for their help in ensuring that our readers were able to access the books from OIL which they needed during the closure, and for bringing everything back so promptly when we re-opened! It would not have been possible to ensure accessibility to our collections without their help – not least because most of us were on holiday for most of the closure…

Building Works

We have yet to receive a timetable from the builders for the remainder of the building work still to be done, some of which will be carried out in the library. They have now started on some of that work as of this week, however.

If any areas of the library need to be sheeted off to protect them during the works we will ensure that staff can get into those areas at least once a day to retrieve books which readers may need; we will endeavour to keep everyone up to date so keep an eye out for notices around the library.

Book Moves

Kate has been moving the Library of Congress section around again, we’re afraid. PK now starts in the middle of the library near the Reference section at the Sackler end, the PJ sequence having been extended into the shelves under the windows. This should facilitate her continuation of the reclassification project, which is gradually moving towards its completion. Shelf labels in the affected areas will be updated before the start of Term.

Opening times

A reminder that we are CLOSED on the August Bank Holiday Monday, August 27th, and also on the Monday and Tuesday of the following week – September 3rd and 4th for St Giles Fair.

Otherwise our opening hours will remain 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday until the start of Term.

 

 

 

 

 

News and Summer Announcements

Summer Closure

We would like to give readers advance warning that the Library will be closing during the Long Vacation, due to the ongoing heating works which have been carried out around the building. The work will significantly affect the library spaces, and it will not be safe for readers or staff to access the library during the day. The current dates for the closure are 14th July to 12 August. Please look out for notices in case this changes – we will do our best to keep information up to date.

The protocol agreed with the contractors should allow staff to access the library for an hour at the end of each day to fetch books requested by readers, which will then be made available at the Sackler Library.

We will make sure that everyone is kept informed and will be posting updates here on the blog, on Facebook and Twitter and on signs around the library, so do please keep an eye out for those. If you know anyone from outside Oxford who might be planning a visit to use the library over the summer please share this information with them – we do not want to disappoint anyone unnecessarily!

We appreciate that this is inconvenient for everyone involved, but are optimistic that the improvements to the heating system will mean that everyone in the building can be more comfortable in the long term.

Open Access Week

The University is holding its own Open Access Week in 8th Week, with a series of events of interest to researchers about issues and developments in open access publishing and research dissemination. The full programme and details for booking can be found here: http://openaccess.ox.ac.uk.

Doors

The ongoing issue with SALTO (the door-entry system) appears to be slowly resolving itself. The problem has involved the doors at OIL not connecting to the server and updating the cards which are used here; readers who are also using other libraries where their cards are updated – including the Sackler and the central Bodleian/Weston Library – are not experiencing the same problems. A new Web client for Salto is being installed at the end of June, which should solve any of the remaining problems.

Opening hours over the Summer

Summer Vacation opening hours for the library have been confirmed; we will remain open on Saturdays and until 7pm until Friday 29th June. Thereafter we will be open 9am to 5pm on Monday-Friday from July 2nd until Friday 28th September, apart from the aforementioned 4-week closure.

We will be closed on the August Bank Holiday Monday (27th August) and on 3rd and 4th September for St Giles Fair.

We will start the longer loan period for Vacation Loans in 9th week. We are considering whether to increase the number of books readers are permitted to borrow over the vacation in order to ease the problems which may be caused by the closure, and will let everyone know when a decision is made.

 

April News

Welcome back!

We decided to delay the blog post for a couple of weeks after the start of April as we figured that it was better to wait until a time when most people are actually back in Oxford, rather than right at the start of the month when we were all sluggish from too many Easter eggs.

Ahem. We trust you all had a restful break?

New height-adjustable table/chair

We took delivery over the vacation of these new pieces of equipment, a height-adjustable table and a chair which can be configured for various positions for use with the table or elsewhere.

Anyone is welcome to make use of them, but please note that readers with a specific need – such as the need to work at a high desk due to a back problem, for example – will take priority.

 

Two lectures about Persian books

https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2018/may/persian-arts-of-the-book

Readers of Persian may be interested in the above event on May 16th. Bookings may be made through the website. We will mention this again on Facebook nearer the time to remind everyone.

 

Mundane library matters

Last week we said goodbye to Natalija, who has left OIL to work as a cataloguer for the Bodleian, based at the Osney offices. We would like to wish her the best of luck in her new job – she will be missed by the rest of the team.

The PJ section has been rearranged again over the vacation to make room for the end of the 6000s, which were rather too crowded. We hope this will facilitate the reclassification for some time, although these things are notoriously hard to predict.

Finally, a reminder that we are now back to our Term time opening hours, so will be open from 9 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm on Saturdays.

January News and General Catch-Up

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.

2017 recap

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.

 

News

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer catch-up and reminders

Firstly…

We hope everyone has had a lovely summer!

Oxford’s official Autumn begins with St Giles’ Fair next week, so don’t forget that OIL will be closed on Monday and Tuesday as usual. We re-open on Wednesday, and will continue our shortened opening hours until the first week of October.

 

Summer shifting

Readers familiar with the layout of the library will no doubt be delighted to discover that Kate has now rearranged it…  Much of the collection has moved – but only from the middle of DS onwards, so those of you who use BP and similar will still find everything in the same place!

For the first time, the LC sequence has encroached on the old classification stronghold that was “the bit in the middle”. The end of PK, the whole of PL and everything up to and including Z are now at the Sackler end of that section, with the rest of old PJ and PK and others still to do. PK starts under the windows near the reader computers and PJ takes up much of the bay in the middle near the windows, with G and H having moved further from under the windows on the Sackler side. Lidio has helpfully re-jigged the floor plan of the ground floor to take into account all the changes. New shelf-labels have been applied to the entire ground floor.

Another change is that the Z.Per section is now with the other Periodicals at the far end of the library round towards the stairs. All the periodicals are now in once place, which we hope will avoid confusion.

We have also created a pair of “Outsized Folio” shelves on the Folio section near the windows; please be careful with these books as some of them are very heavy (especially the big green ones).

 

Building matters

Unlike last summer, when we had the delight of the replacement of the skylights, this year has been relatively quiet, with only the minor works in the basement taking place. We thank our readers who were frustrated by lack of access to the library’s basement for their forbearance! Next summer will see the replacement of the heating system, but we can worry about that nearer the time.

As ever, do keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates about everyday things which are going on; we promise the blog will get more lively once the rest of the University does…

 

 

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).

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.