January News and February Reminders

 

January was a relatively uneventful month at the Oriental Institute Library, with the exception of the return of most of our readers at the start of Term, of course!

We were pleased to note that the hole in the ceiling down in the common room which caused a bit of concern during the electricians’ works before Christmas has now been prevented from leaking and covered over. Fortunately there was no danger to the library collections during the incident, which happened when a workman drilled through a heating pipe in the week before Christmas. We were intrigued by the ingenious device which was rigged up to take any residual leaking water safely into the drain of the sink in the kitchen:

 

In broader library news, readers of South Asian collections may be interested to in this blog post: http://wp.me/p5Eblf-Yb which details the digitisation of the Chandra Shum Shere collection of Sanskrit manuscripts. We hope that some of you find this new resource useful!

Finally, we have been experiencing difficulties with the Bodleian Libraries wifi signal for the last week or so; possibly related to a power shut-down which happened on the weekend of the 21st-22nd January. This will hopefully be resolved soon, in the meantime readers can access the wifi via Eduroam or OWL, depending on their membership type.

 

February Reminders:

We don’t have many of those either (it’s been very quiet here) except to refer people to the Open Access drop-in sessions which are taking place all over this term at various locations – see the picture in the previous post for details.

 

 

 

2016 Highlights

Happy New Year!

We trust everyone had a pleasant holiday!

Before we get on with the serious business of reminding everyone of the exciting things which happened at OIL in 2016, readers interested in Rumi may wish to attend the lecture on the Poetry of Rumi which takes place on January 20th at the Weston Library: (details here). Note that you will need to book a place for this; we will post a reminder on the Facebook page nearer the time.

2016 Recap

Books

Last year saw a number of adjustments and changes at the Oriental Institute Library; the Japanese collections were relocated to the Bodleian Japanese Library after a decision was made by the Faculty to consolidate all the Japanese holdings in one place.

The space freed up by the Japanese move enabled us to rearrange the books in the basement, so that the Korean Studies Library is now on the shelves just at the bottom of the stairs, with the Indian Institute section now also moved so it resides on the shelves on the ground floor by the photocopiers.

The space where the Korean books were kept is currently being used by the Taylorian Library for a number of their periodicals which are to be barcoded, but which needed to be moved out of their previous locations to make room for the books from the Taylor Slavonic library which left its previous location over the summer. We have welcomed a few slightly baffled Modern Languages scholars who were looking for their usual publications over the last few months, some of whom had no idea we were here!

At the end of Michaelmas Term a number of periodicals which had previously been shelved among the Library of Congress books were shifted to the empty shelves near the other OIL periodicals; these have had a suffix “Per.” Added to their shelfmarks on the system which should make them easier to locate, but do ask staff if something has vanished from its usual place!

Finally, as we mentioned in the previous post, Kate has finished the “D” section in the reclassification project, as well as a few smaller groups of books under “L”, “M” and “N” and will be starting the “P” section as soon as she has finished a bit of essential moving to make space. In the last calendar year, 1808 shelfmarks were reclassified, many of which were multivolume works – the total number of individual books reclassified was 2136.

People

In December we said goodbye to Jonathan Acton, who had worked with us since 2010. We hope he is enjoying retirement and able to spend more time with his grandson!

During the summer we had a number of guests from the Muller Library after a minor fire in the Clarendon Institute forced them to close and relocate for a number of weeks while the building was repaired. The library is happily now open and the staff have returned to their normal workplaces, but it was interesting to have different people around at OIL for a few weeks!

Services

New PCAS – and with it shiny new photocopiers – was launched successfully in September, with only a few minor glitches being identified in what is otherwise a very similar system to the old one. Those of you with long memories may shudder at the thought of the original PCAS launch in 2009 which was very different; in the case of the new system we are happy to report that only minimal staff time has been taken up showing readers (usually those new to the system entirely) how to use the machines.

Building works

Over the summer we had the excitement of the replacement of the Library skylights, which actually proved far less disruptive than most of us had feared (visions of the entire LC section on the back wall being sheeted off proved unfounded), with crash-towers erected, but not preventing access to the books. One of these came into its own on a memorable Friday when Vasiliki was at the desk, heard a shouted expletive, and saw one of the workmen fall through the hole from the roof! Fortunately he was unharmed.

During the work we were given an interesting opportunity to see the sky from parts of the library which usually can’t…

20160803_141501

Directly before Christmas work began to replace the lights in the common room area. This has taken longer than anticipated due to an unfortunate incident on the last Friday before Christmas when one of the workmen drilled through a water pipe in the common room ceiling. Library staff brought in a preventive conservation expert from the Bodleian to monitor the humidity in the basement during the weekend immediately after the accident, and happily there was no change, so the books at the end of the basement are at no increased risk of mould at present. Work to fix the problem is ongoing; we will keep readers informed if the library is affected.

And finally…

Readers who need to find out more about Open Access and how it affects them are encouraged to attend one of the following drop-in sessions this Term:

OA poster

 

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.

img_1726

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.

20160803_141429

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.

August News and September Reminders

We trust everyone is having a relaxing summer? Before we get on to the news from last month, please note:

St Giles’ Fair

The Library is CLOSED for St Giles’ Fair as usual, from Saturday 3rd (tomorrow as I post this) to Tuesday 6th. We will re-open at 0900 on Wednesday.

Having been in the building on other fair-days I can assure anyone who feels aggrieved about us being closed that you really don’t want to be trying to concentrate when all you can hear is the bloodcurdling screams of people on the rides directly behind Blackfriars’ at the back of the building, not to mention several conflicting bass lines from the music. Best to stay away, read at the Bodleian, where it’s quieter, maybe venture out for some candy floss?

Muller Library Books

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/14676916.VIDEO__Crews_tackle_fire_at_Oxford_University_building_in_Walton_Street/

The Leopold Muller Library remains closed following the fire at the Clarendon Institute on Walton Street on August 11th. We are as yet not sure when the Estates Department will allow general access to the building again, but in the meantime readers who wish to consult books held at the Muller Library are advised to contact the staff, who will bring their books to the Oriental Institute. Readers ordering books from the BSF will have their books delivered to us, and staff will also bring round lending books which we can then check out in the usual way. If the situation continues for a long time we may have a member of the Muller Library staff working on-site at the Oriental Institute, but as yet we do not know whether this will be necessary.

Building Works

We are happy to report that the builders have now finished in the library and the skylights have been successfully replaced. The scaffolding towers have gone and we are able to use the back office again, which had been completely emptied to allow for coverings on the ceiling. As I write this, the scaffolders are removing the rest of their structures from above the library, so things should quieten down nicely next week!

Thank you to everyone for their forbearance in the face of much drilling/banging and off-key singing (or so I am told by other colleagues).

We now have nice, new, brighter (and opening – but only in the back office) skylights which will hopefully hold in the heat a bit better in the winter, and are much less yellow and scruffy than the old ones were!

 

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!

20160803_141501

Meanwhile the corridor by the offices and the office itself are also being readied

20160803_141429

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.

Building Works in the Library

Work to replace the skylights in the Oriental Institute Library is set to begin NEXT WEEK, July 11th, and run through until approximately August 9th. The builders will be accessing the skylights in the LC section, round by the journals and in the staff office and there is likely to be some noise and dust disruption during this time.

We have been told that all the books *should* be accessible to staff during the works but would ask readers that they ask a member of staff to fetch items which are close to the building work and we may have to cordon off certain sections entirely depending on the nature of the works going on.

We are working on a day-to-day basis on this and the situation may change, but we are determined that the library will remain open for the duration of the works.

Please bear with us during this disruptive time. Any further updates or details will be posted on this blog or on the Facebook page.

Summer News and Announcements

It’s now the Summer Vacation, and contrary to the perceived assumptions of some of our readers, we don’t all just spend the summer lying down reading books (oh, if only…)! There is going to be rather a lot going on over the next few weeks:

Bookmoves

The move of some items from downstairs and the rearrangement of the rest of the collection was mentioned in the previous (short) blog post. We have now almost completed the bookmove, and are in the process of finishing off downstairs and finalising the shelf-labels and other details so that the books are locatable by readers.

Meanwhile we are also now home to a number of periodical titles from the Taylorian which are going to be temporarily kept in our rolling stack and in the area where the Korean Studies Library books were (round the corner from the Reader PC). We will do our best to accommodate readers from the Taylorian who need to access these journals, which will eventually be barcoded and sent to the BSF.

The last of the Japanese books in the Library – the Reference collection on the ground floor – have now been sent on to the Bodleian Japanese Library, so we no longer hold any Japanese material.

Building Works

Anyone who has been in over the last few days will not have been able to ignore the noises from the builders, who are currently scaffolding the building ahead of the replacement of various parts of the roof, including the Library skylights.

We do not have an exact timetable as yet for when the parts of the library directly under the skylights are going to be affected and are currently awaiting confirmation from the builders, but it is looking like the end of July – beginning of August. There will be periods when the books directly under the skylights will not be accessible to readers, but we have been assured that Staff will still be able to access them, and we will be able to bring readers books from the closed-off areas.

A larger issue for staff is that there may be a requirement to build a scaffolding tower *inside* the Library Office, which may result in staff being displaced if it requires us to dismantle the desks. We will endeavour to ensure that there is always a member of staff on the Front Desk (unaffected by the works) and there will be cover to ensure that we can stay open for our usual hours during the disruption.

Note, however, that if for some reason we do need to close, we will try to give everyone as much notice as possible to avoid inconveniencing people too badly.

New Photocopiers!

We will be receiving new photocopiers at some point over the later part of the summer in accordance with a plan to improve aspects of the PCAS system. Documentation will be distributed when the details have been finalised and we hope that there will not be too long a period when photocopying is not available to readers.

Opening Times

Subject to the above caveat, the Library will be open as usual throughout the summer from 9am – 7pm on weekdays and 11am – 5pm on Saturdays. The normal exceptions to this are the August Bank Holiday weekend, when we are closed on the Saturday 27th and Monday 29th August inclusive, and St Giles’ Fair, on the 5th and 6th September.

Outside the Oriental Institute, may we remind readers that the Middle East Centre library will be closed from 4.30pm, Friday 8th July until Friday 30th September.

Any alterations to the opening times or other matters will be posted on the Facebook Page, with longer explanations appearing as blog posts as and when we need them.

Disruption in the Library in the next couple of weeks

During the Long Vacation – and starting next week – there is going to be some disruption in the Oriental Institute Library to accommodate collections which are going to be stored here as an interim measure. The following is a statement from James Legg, Head of the Humanities Section, and Gillian Evison, Head of the Oriental Section of the Bodleian Libraries [with minor amendments in square brackets].

With apologies for the short notice, this is to alert our readers that there will be some rearrangement of material in the Oriental Institute Library over the Long Vacation with some preliminary moves in the next few days:
– former Indian Institute books and the former Bodleian periodicals will move to the main periodicals section [on the ground floor, which will necessitate some moving of the OIL periodicals to accommodate them];
– the South Asia section in the basement will move to the shelving nearest the staircase [previously occupied by the Japanese books which moved over Easter];
– the Korea [KSL] section will move out of [the section round the corner] into the area currently occupied by South Asia (reference section and lending books) and the Hebrew and Jewish Studies folios (periodicals) [the area immediately before the lift and computer downstairs, on either side of the aisle];
– the Hebrew and Jewish Studies folios will move to the other end of the HJS section.
These moves will consolidate the periodicals sections, give more space to rearrange material as the reclassification project proceeds, and create a separate space for the collections being processed in the basement.
If you have any questions or concerns about these moves, please contact Library staff, who will direct your question to the most appropriate person.

We advise keeping an eye on the Facebook Page/Twitter feed for short-term notices about the moves, and will produce a floor-plan of the new locations in the basement when the moves are complete.