Category Archives: News

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.

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.

2015 retrospective

 

Happy New Year! Please indulge us while we present a reminder of the exciting year that was 2015…

2015 was a busy year at the Oriental Institute Library, with many changes taking place. Most of these have been behind the scenes so we hope that as far as our readers are concerned things have remained calm and peaceful, but for the staff it has been quite a year!

The move that wasn’t

It was early March when the staff of the Library were told of the proposal to close the Oriental Institute Library and move the collections into the Sackler Library. We were told before any other discussions had taken place, in order that we could field questions if anyone heard rumours. Consultations with staff and students were carried out over the next couple of months, with a great number of people expressing to library staff their disquiet at the idea of removing the Library from the Faculty building.

Various points were made about the practicalities of moving our collection into an already full library and the problems which might arise for both sets of staff – Oxford is an institution with a long memory, and it is not uncommon for people to come back years after they left and be confused by changes which took place in the interim, so it would not be a case of taking a few months to get used to different materials.

We were finally told in June that the proposal had been withdrawn, which was an immense relief to both the staff of the library and our loyal readers – not to mention the Sackler readers and staff who had been as dubious as we were about the idea. We hope to continue for a long while as we are, providing a service which is obviously valuable to the University as a whole.

People

In June we welcomed Vasiliki Giannopoulou to the Library, initially on Thursdays and Fridays, although her role has now expanded slightly to take on extra hours. Vasiliki had previously worked at the History Faculty Library, so her familiarity with the Library of Congress materials was a definite bonus in terms of shelving. She has now been with us for over six months and has settled into the team well.

The summer saw a couple of announcements; Dawn Vaux, who had been the Deputy Librarian at OIL since 2004 (check this) told us that her husband had been offered a job in Sydney, Australia, and that she would be leaving the Library at the start of September, while Dinah Manisty would be retiring at the end of September.

Dawn’s departure was, naturally, more of a surprise, but we all wished her well and she was given a good send-off at the beginning of September.

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Meanwhile Dinah’s interim replacement as Subject Librarian for Middle Eastern and Islamic Collections is Lydia Wright, who worked for a month shadowing Dinah to get up to speed with the work before Dinah’s departure.

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As both our senior staff had gone we underwent a bit of restructuring to compensate; Lidio has now taken on more responsibility and Jane Bruder from the Sackler has extended her role to include certain managerial duties at OIL. Both Natalija and Vasiliki have also taken on more hours to increase staffing levels. We hope that readers have not noticed any major change in service provision as a result of these adjustments.

Books

At the end of the summer the staff of the Muller Library at the Hebrew and Jewish Studies centre moved some of the books in our collection over to Walton Street as they were deemed more appropriate to the collection there. Readers who find that books they were expecting to be here have moved are advised to check SOLO for new location information.

Kate has reclassified a total of 2342 books in the last calendar year. Over the 2014-15 academic year she reclassified 1688 shelfmarks, representing a 2223 items in total. During September she moved the books from the end of the LC sequence into the area vacated by the DS section and is currently working her way along the shelves near the computers. As ever, please check SOLO regularly if you are a frequent user of materials in the area which is currently being reclassified as things will move.

Looking Forward to 2016

Now that Term has begun again we look forward to welcoming our returning readers, hoping that everyone has had a relaxing break. At present the only major change of which we are aware is the move of some of our Japanese books to the Bodleian Japanese Library, but at present we have no timetable for that work and will keep the Facebook page and this blog updated when more information comes to light.

 

November Headlines and Reminders

November Headlines

The library has been gratifyingly busy during the past month, with various readers from departments other than the Oriental Institute borrowing books as their courses demand. We naturally expect things to quieten down slightly as the end of Term approaches.

Readers of our Facebook page will have seen that Kate found someone’s lunchbox (still with the remnants of their lunch in) on a desk at the back of the library recently. We would like to remind everyone that food of any kind is *not* allowed in the library, and nor is any kind of drink other than water permitted. This is not because we are trying to be awkward or make the library less welcoming; it is simply because crumbs and bits of discarded food attract pests such as insects and rodents, which can damage library collections. Sugary drinks spilled on books can cause them to become unusable, while water damage is fairly easy (if sometimes a bit expensive) to fix.

Please respect this rule of the library and confine your food consumption to the Common Room downstairs.

We received a number of queries after a blanket email about outstanding fines was sent out last week. This is a new initiative by the Circulation Task Force of the Bodleian Libraries which is intended to ensure that fines are paid promptly; however the emails seem to have gone to people who are no longer regular users as well as the current borrowers they were intended for and have caused some worry for some of our former readers (one of those who enquired had graduated in 2006!). We will be offering feedback to the CTF about this matter.

Announcements for December

Vacation Loans started on Monday, 30th November, so any books checked out from now on will be due back on the 19th January, which is Tuesday of 1st week. Please remember to renew any books taken out before the vacation loans period began to take advantage of this if you wish to take your books away over the holidays.

The library will close for the Christmas break on Tuesday 22nd December at 5pm and re-open on Monday 4th January at 9am. Please note that other Bodleian Libraries will be open on the 23rd; we are closing a day early because the rest of the faculty building is closing on the 22nd.

Watch this space: the 2015 retrospective post is being compiled and will be added to the blog shortly after we return from the Christmas break.

In the meantime we would like to wish all our readers a peaceful holiday and we’ll see you in the New Year!