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.
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.
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.
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.