Category Archives: Opening Hours

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…

 

 

Summer reminders

Vacation Opening Hours

Now that Term is over and the last of the exams are done, we would like to remind readers that this year we will be reducing our opening hours over the summer.

This Saturday, July 1st, will be our last Saturday until October 7th, and during the week we will be open from 0900 until 1700, Monday to Friday.

Readers who wish to consult books on a Saturday may discuss this with library staff, who may be able to move some material to the Sackler. This will be limited to confined books – readers will be expected to borrow books which can be borrowed, as long as they have the correct borrowing rights – and we reserve the right to refuse if the numbers of books being moved become unmanageable. Please give adequate notice that you wish to transfer books for use on Saturday (i.e. please don’t come to the desk at 4.55pm on a Friday with a massive mountain of books – this will not be appreciated!).

 

Basement Closure

Following all sorts of rumours about the imminent building work, the final version for 2017 appears to just be for some preparatory work to take place in the Oriental Institute basement. This will be taking place between the 21st and 28th July inclusive.

Due to the nature of the works, the Library Basement will be inaccessible to everyone, even library staff. This is because the fire exits are to be sealed – the work will not be in the library itself – which means we cannot risk going down there for Health and Safety reasons.

Readers who wish to consult books from the KSL, Hebrew & Jewish Studies, South Asian, and Eastern Christianity sections are strongly advised to either move them up to a desk in the ground floor space or to contact staff in advance if they are coming that week so that we can move them for you. If anyone is aware of a potential visitor who might need these books during the closure period, do please let them know about this; we have informed our colleagues in Special Collections at the Weston Library in case they are expecting academic visitors who might need access to our collections.

During this time, the Common Room and the toilets will also be out of action.

 

Book Moves – a long process

Kate, who has now reduced her hours to two afternoons a week (Tuesdays and Fridays), has begun moving the LC books into space vacated by the reclassified PJ section, and also the Z.Per. periodicals which have now been moved round to the same area as the rest of the journals. This will necessarily take some time, but she intends to keep the shelves updated with handwritten notes until the move is finished.

We apologise in advance for any confusion this may cause!

Summer Announcements

We apologise for the late blog post; this has been largely due to waiting on confirmation about several matters which will affect the Library over the Long Vacation. Having finally had some information, please note the following:

Opening Hours

There will be changes to the Library’s opening hours in the vacation:

From Monday 3rd July to Saturday 30th September, the new hours will be Monday to Friday: 09:00-17:00 and closed on Saturdays.

A system of transfer of material from OIL to the Sackler Library from 16:00 on Fridays from 7 July will be trialled (and adjusted if the quantity proves to be unmanageable).  This will cater for non-lending material and for readers without borrowing privileges.  It is expected that material transferred in this way will be returned to OIL by 10:00 on the following Monday but staff may consider requests from readers to keep the material on reserve in Sackler for their convenience.

The library will be closed as usual on August Bank Holiday Monday (28th August) and the two days of St. Giles’ Fair (4th-5th September).

 

Building Works and Library Closure

During the summer vacation, the Oriental Institute Library will need to close temporarily to allow for work to install a new central heating system in the Oriental Institute building. The closure dates will be communicated as soon as the library receives a detailed schedule of work from the Faculty. Should the closure be prolonged, we will make arrangements for books to be fetched from the Oriental Institute for use in the Sackler, subject to it being safe for staff to enter the building.

The graduate student vacation loan limit has been raised to 20 books and we strongly advise people to borrow their books at the beginning of the vacation.

We would ask readers who are planning to work in the library over the summer vacation to watch for further communications and/or to get in touch with library staff to let us know as soon as possible when you are planning to work in the library and which Open Shelf books you are intending to use.

If you know of any colleagues from outside of Oxford who are planning to use the Oriental Institute Library over the summer, we would be grateful if you could share this advance warning with them.

We will post further updates to this as and when we get them, both on the website and on the Social Media platforms.

Book Moves

When other factors allow, Kate will be undertaking another move of books around the LC section over the summer. Having cut down her hours to two afternoons a week for unrelated operational reasons, she reckons that this will take slightly longer than previous moves, but will endeavour to get it done with the minimum of noise and disruption. As part of this, the last of the periodicals currently not shelved over by the photocopiers (the Z. Per. Section) will be moved across the library and the LC sequence will continue from under the windows by the reader computers to the central section from where Kate has been moving the PJs. We will ensure that the shelf labels are kept up to date so that readers can find everything.

 

 

March Headlines, Easter Reminders

E-Resources

We hope that some of our readers were able to take advantage of the e-resources trials publicised here which were available throughout March; do let Lydia know if you have any comments, and remember that e-marifah.net trial from the Middle East centre, which we mentioned on Facebook on the 14th March, is still available until April 27th.

We will keep you posted with any other trials which we decide to run in the future!

Book Moves

A small-ish move has taken place during the last couple of weeks; the “Z” books – Z.Arm, Z.G, Z.T, Z.Sov, and Z.C, which used to reside on the tiers opposite the Library of Congress Folios at the Sacker end of the library have been moved down three rows to the space vacated by the Japanese books last year in order to expand the shelves of folios. This is because Kate is currently working on the PJ folios – a quite extensive section – and was concerned about running out of space. We will be re-thinking this area of the library and there will be further moves of the Z.Per journals (which will go with the rest of the journals over by the photocopiers) over the Long Vacation. In the meantime, if anything you need has vanished without trace do come and ask at the desk! The shelves are labelled, and nothing has gone very far at this point.

Wifi

We are pleased to report that the router, which had been faulty for some time, has now been replaced and that the Bodleian Libraries Wifi is now available again. EduRoam and OWL are also available for those who prefer to use them, and the signal should be better now that we have a router in the library again. Thanks to all of you for your patience!

Easter Closing

As usual, the whole Oriental Institute building will be closed from Thursday 13th April to Monday 17th April inclusive. The Library will be open until 7pm on the Wednesday 12th, but the rest of the building will close at 5. Other Bodleian Libraries are open on Thursday 13th.

Additionally, the Library will close at 5pm on Tuesday 18th April, before normal opening until 7pm resumes from the 19th. We will post reminders on the Facebook page nearer to the time.

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!

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.

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!

 

February news and announcements for Easter

 

The eagle-eyed amongst our readers may have noticed that there was no news blog at the end of January. This was because we decided that it would seem excessive to blog twice in a week – having announced the results of the Stapler competition a few days earlier (and besides which that was the most exciting thing which happened in January!).

February has been busy for us in terms of readers; it is always gratifying to see the library being well used! With this in mind, however, we do have a few little reminders for people.

Firstly, please remember that you are allowed bottles of water in the library but other drinks are NOT allowed as they could potentially damage the books if spilled. We will remove drinks if found on desks, and they can be claimed when you leave.

Secondly, as the library is busy and the turnover of books is quite high at the moment, the library staff are endeavouring to maintain a more regular shelving routine, including clearing desks in the mornings and doing a whizz round in the afternoons so that there is not too much accumulation. We hope that this will help to solve the perennial problem of readers not finding books on the shelves because they are on desks. Readers are reminded that you are permitted to keep books on a desk to be used the following day as long as you fill in one of the paper slips provided around the library for that purpose (if the area where you are working has run out, please inform the staff and we will print more). Books left with out-of-date slips (i.e. not the previous day’s date) will be reshelved.

Thirdly, please do not leave books from the BSF on desks at the end of the day. These books belong to the Bodleian and should be returned to the staff desk so that they can be put back on the reserve in the office. We receive a daily lapse-list of BSF books which should be sent back, and endeavour to keep on top of this, so keeping all the books in one place greatly facilitates this. If you wish to keep BSF books for longer than the initial week, you can renew them on SOLO. The main reason a renewal would not be allowed would be if someone else had requested the same book, either to OIL or to another of the Bodleian reading rooms. Please note that if you do not remember to renew, and the book is returned to the BSF, there may be a delay of at least a few days before it is re-ingested at the BSF and can be returned to the library. Unfortunately this is something over which we have no control, so it is essential that readers make sure that their books are promptly renewed (or let us know so we can do it for them in an emergency).

And fourthly, a further plea; if you have used a book and are not absolutely sure where it came from on the shelves, please do not panic and shove it into the most convenient space in roughly the right section! We find mis-shelved books on a daily basis and it does make everyone’s lives harder if the item they want is somewhere other than where it should be. A book can effectively vanish if it is shelved out of sequence, and although we do regular moves which do pick up these situations it helps us immensely if people don’t put things in the wrong place to start with. If you are not absolutely sure where you got a book from, please leave it either on one of the reshelving points between the desks on the right-hand (window) side, or on the trollies near the staff desk.

And finally, advance warning that the library will close for Easter on Thursday 2nd April and re-open on Tuesday 7th. Vacation loans will start next week, with books due back on the 28th April.

 

 

 

November Headlines and Reminders for December

November Headlines

November saw things settling down a little from the beginning of Term, but we have still seen many new faces and enjoyed meeting all the various people who are now using the Library. As always, do ask us if you can’t find something; we know that the set-up here can be a little confusing!

Term is still upon us for the next week, so we would encourage anyone who hasn’t to enter our “Name the Stapler” competition, a winner of which will be announced on Friday.

Vacation Loans are now in operation, having started on Saturday 28th November; books borrowed from then on will be due back on the 20th January (Tuesday of 1st week).

 

December Reminders

We are running a Research Skills Toolkit session on Thursday 4th December – there are flyers at the front desk for anyone who is interested in attending and learning more about this valuable resource.

We will be doing some reorganising in the Library of Congress section over the vacation, moving books up into the spaces vacated as Kate has been reclassifying the collections, so may be making a bit of noise and/or leaving the desk for periods of time, but there will be someone around in the office and we will leave a note telling readers where we are. This is essential work – there is no more room in certain sections due to the volume of material being added – so we beg your patience for a few weeks until we can get things back to something resembling order.

And finally, the Library closes for Christmas on the 23rd December at 5pm, re-opening on Monday January 5th at 9am.

 

October Headlines and new e-Resources

As ever, we’ve had a very busy month, so apologies if this is a bit of a long post…

Firstly, and most importantly for those of you who hadn’t realised, the Library now opens at 0900 rather than 0915, allowing an extra quarter of an hour a day for all that essential reading!

The OIL open day for new students (and anyone else tempted by the sweets) was held on the afternoon of Friday 10th October and was well-attended, with many of the students staying behind after the introductions for training on SOLO, PCAS and other library-related matters, and also to sample the abovementioned sweets, generously provided this year by Dinah Manisty and Alasdair Watson. Alasdair also made himself available to talk to people about Arabic Manuscripts, and had an interesting slideshow on his laptop showing some fine examples.

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Kate hinted during the introductions that there would be a new competition for Michaelmas Term, the final announcement of which was delayed by a week due to operational matters (she and her colleague at the Humanities Theses desk, Rob Wilkes, moved into the Weston Library from Osney Mead on the 16th October and things were a bit hectic for a few days). We have now, however, launched the “Name the Stapler” Competition – see posters at the Library desk or the previous blog post for details. We hope to have a good number of entries before the competition closes in 8th week, so get naming!

We welcomed Dawn back from her trip to Australia on the 20th – it sounds like she had a lovely time!

New e-Resources for Arabic materials

Dinah has asked that we pass on information about the following exciting new electronic resources which are available to Library users.

Firstly, there is the Qatar Digital Library Online portal at the British Library, a great new archival resource on the region.

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The QDL has been developed as part of a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding on Partnerships between the Qatar Foundation, the Qatar National Library and The British Library.
A wide range of content from the British Library’s collections (more specifically their colonial archives related to the Gulf Region) have been digitized since 2012, reaching a total of 500,000 images that will be available to browse and search by the end of 2014.

The Qatar Digital Library (QDL) is making a vast archive featuring the cultural and  historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region freely available online for the first time. It includes archives, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and much more, complete with contextualised explanatory notes and links, in both English and Arabic.

This archive is bound to transform the study of Gulf history, improving understanding of the Islamic world, Arabic cultural heritage and the modern history of the Gulf.

You can find more info on the Qatar Digital Library at  http://www.qdl.qa/en/about.

Try it for yourself (Qatar Digital Library portal) and please let the students know about this great (and free!) new resource.

Also, do let us know what you think of the following, available until November 22nd:

1) Classic Arabic Texts Online (trial until 22 November 2014)

And finally, we have added the following to our Brill package:

2) Early Western Korans Online: Koran Printing in the West, 1537-1857

Dinah is responsible for this side of the Library’s work, so do let her know if you have used these and whether you have any feedback to give; we try to keep up as best we can with the latest resources which are available, but if any of you know of any we should have and don’t, please do get in touch!

As we said, a bumper post for October! We hope for more of the same in November!