Category Archives: Vacations

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 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.


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: 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.


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!


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.


June News and Summer Announcements


First and foremost, a fond farewell to the last of our departing finalists – and a last ditch plea to those of you who have outstanding fines to please pay them off before you go. While the University is not able to prevent you from graduating because of outstanding library fines, there is still the possibility of repeat offenders being referred to the Proctors, and nobody really wants that.

June has been busy for us for various reasons; as well as the general library busyness of the last few weeks of Exams, we have been refurbishing the staff areas. Dawn and Dinah’s office was redecorated at the end of May and all the staff offices now have nice new desks and other furniture which makes for a far more efficient office environment than the previous ad-hoc arrangement of long planks and filing cabinets.

The upgrade of the door entry system was also an ongoing situation during June, but it appears that most people’s cards are now working on the front and Library doors. We will continue to add orange card-holders to the system manually, as we used to on the old one, but blue cards should work automatically. Anyone experiencing problems may need to get an updated card if theirs is too old for the proximity technology, but do ask us and we will endeavour to help.

Vacation Loans have been in force since the middle of the month, so anything borrowed by members with a normal (i.e. non-staff) membership will be checked out until 14th October (Tuesday of First Week, Michaelmas Term). This will only not apply in the event that a readers’ card expires before this point, in which case the due date will be the card expiry date.

Summer Announcements

There are various changes afoot in the Oriental Libraries this summer. While OIL remains constant – our opening hours are the same as for Term: 0915-1900 during the week and 10-4pm on Saturdays – a great deal of change is taking place elsewhere. The Chinese Studies Library will be moving out of the Clarendon Institute in Walton Street to new accommodations in the Dickson Poon Building in the grounds of St Hugh’s College of Canterbury Road from July; and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies will be moving into the Clarendon Institute in September, from their current base at Yarnton Manor. The website is here:

The Chinese move in particular does concern OIL, inasmuch as we will be the place for people to return any borrowed CSL books during their period of closure, which begins at the end of Friday 5th July. We do not have a definite opening date for the new  Bodleian K B Chen China Centre Library at present due to the logistical complications of the move, but there should be regular updates on the CSL pages of the website:

Meanwhile staff at OIL will be assisting Weston Library colleagues in preparations for the movement of the Oriental materials from the current SCRR at the RSL to the new reading rooms; we will update when we know more details, but this should not affect the general running of the Library during this time.

Otherwise we anticipate a fairly quiet summer – bar the inevitable moving round of the Library of Congress collection into the space vacated by the reclassified items!



March Headlines and Announcements for April

From a Library point of view March has been quite a busy month, despite the end of Term and the subsequent emptying-out as many of our readers leave for the vacation.

The week of the 10th-14th was a SCONUL week, when we collect statistics of library attendance and the nature of our enquiries; if any of you were wondering why we were wandering the library counting you at particular times of day, that was why!

We had to contend with the visit from the men who were putting in new windows for two weeks at the end of the month, both in the Library itself and also in the back offices, along with a nice new fire door at the end of the building facing towards Blackfriars’. I hope that the plastic sheeting, banging around and persistent odour of glue were not too much of a distraction for too many people. Sadly they gave us minimal notice before the work began, we knew they were coming, but their schedule was somewhat of a mystery until they said “we’re coming next week”. We were just glad that they were so quick, and also that they managed to at least arrive now while it is vacation and not during exams, and we are sure that the additional easily-opened windows will help with the stuffiness which we sometimes suffer in the summer months. Sadly your humble blogger did not manage to get any action photos of the windows being done; we apologise for this oversight.

There is also an ongoing scheme to upgrade all the University computers still using the Windows XP operating system to Windows 7, which has seen several members of staff already upgraded. This is essential work as there will be no support from Microsoft for XP after the end of April. The programme of works will also affect the Library computers for readers, but we have yet to receive confirmation of the dates when this will happen. We will endeavour to give as much notice as possible of any times when the reader PCs will be out of action. Please keep checking the Facebook Page for further information.

Announcements for April:

The Easter closure of the Library will begin on Thursday 17th April and run through to Tuesday April 22nd, when the Library will open as usual at 0915. We will post signs nearer the time to remind people.

Vacation Loans are currently in operation, with all books borrowed due back on the 29th April (Tuesday of 1st Week).

Finally, the reclassification has once again necessitated a bookmove to make up the space once occupied by the BP section. This will be taking place over the next few weeks and will result in some noise, although we will try to keep this to a minimum. If items you are used to finding in a particular place have moved, do come and ask us where they are!



November headlines and announcements for December

OIL has seen a change in our staffing this month, as we welcomed Hannie Riley from the Chinese Studies Library, who is now with us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while our own Kenan goes to CSL. Hannie will be responsible for the cataloguing of some of the Korean materials which have come to us as part of the Window on Korea project, as well as working on the desk.

We have had a reasonable response to our Facebook Mystery Object competition, which is now closed for entries. An announcement will come during 8th week as to who has won the top prize of the £10 Blackwell’s voucher, and who has won the runner-up, chocolate related prize. We are able to divulge that someone actually found the correct-ish answer!

We’ve also had a sudden rush of new likes on the FB page, which has taken us to 538, which is amazing! Hopefully we are getting the balance right of not posting too much and spamming everyone’s timelines. Luckily, SOLO has been behaving, so we’ve not been posting every five minutes like we were over the summer…

While we’re on the subject, we should urge people to book for the Research Skills Toolkit session for Orientalists which is on Wednesday 4th December . It’s only a couple of hours and you may find something very useful!


Looking forward to December, the Library will close for the Christmas holiday on Friday December 20th at 5pm. This is the same day that the rest of the building closes. We re-open on Thursday 2nd January.

Vacation loans for library books start next Monday, 2nd December, and will take you though to the Tuesday of 1st Week of Hilary Term – January 21st. Any renewals made on or after Monday will also take this into account. 

Trinity Term 2012

A lot of our regular readers seem to have returned now, and I know lots of you are having Oral Exams today – good luck! Ditto to anyone with Collections today or tomorrow…

All vacation loans are due back on Monday of 1st Week (23rd April), so if you had books out please remember to renew or return them over the next few days to avoid fines.

Our exciting new windows are now fully installed, with handles and everything! Apparently the scaffolding will be removed next week, so we’ll soon be all back to normal.

Easter Closing

Our pretty new windows are now installed, although we don’t yet have handles to open them – apparently they’re coming after Easter!

We’re closing for Easter tonight at 7pm (Wednesday 4th April 2012), and re-opening on Tuesday 10th April at 9:15am.

Hope you all have a good long weekend.

OI Building Work

This Easter vacation the Oriental Institute is having many of its windows replaced. This may make the library quite noisy (and sometimes possibly quite cold), but we will be trying to keep up our normal opening hours. The work will happen in 4 main stages:
– The bike chain at the front of the building will be removed this Friday (24th Feb 2012). All bikes should be removed by 3:00pm or they will be left unsecured, no longer locked to anything.
– Then through the last weeks of term scaffolding will be erected, covering the front of the building.
– During the vacation itself the windows will be replaced. The Library is scheduled to be re-windowed from Wednesday 28th to Thursday 29th of March, but this may change.
– Finally at the start of next term the scaffolding will be removed.