During my weekly late shift in the Law Library I am able to get a sense of the quietness that would usually be a constant presence here. However most of the time instead of hearing the telltale rustling of books and tapping of keyboards associated with students hard at work, we have been subject to drilling and banging going on above us as a team of builders work hard to install our new roof. Currently the large scaffolding structure holding up the temporary roof takes up the majority of the space in our main reading room, with part of it covered in lovely yellow health and safety approved covering. We have definitely made the most of having scaffolding, as a few have been subjected to feature tinsel as the Law Library gets into the festive spirit.
In a nutshell these works are taking place because the roof needs some TLC. The structure of the roof is being replaced to allow for better ventilation, better rainwater drainage and better lighting in general. Even though the scaffolding is a prominent feature, we have still welcomed many readers over the course of Michaelmas term, most of whom were not too fazed by what was going on above them. However, there is no denying that the drilling and banging of building work can put people a bit on edge, and this probably contributed to the high volume of ear plugs taken from the box on our Enquiry Desk daily (again – suitably decorated in the festive spirit.)
So far the project seems to be going ok (except when our lovely British autumn weather decides to get in the way) with a new phase of the project having started in November on rebuilding the roof structure. I am definitely looking forward to April when the new roof is finally in place as myself and Laura (the other trainee here at the Law Bod) have only ever known the reading room encased in scaffolding.
For more information, follow the Law Bod renovations page here: http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/lawbod/renovations/