The OxCam College Librarians’ Virtual Conference 2022

OxCam College Librariies' Biennial Conference 2022 logoAt the end of March 2022, the OxCam College Librarians’ Conference was hosted online for the very first time. Held every two years, OxCam brings the college librarians from Oxford and Cambridge together to share experiences and knowledge, reflect on library practices, and of course, engage in some friendly rivalry (cake competition anyone??)! Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to meet in person, but instead joined a virtual conference spread over Thursday 24, Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 March. This was an excellent opportunity for us as trainees to hear from library professionals from across the Universities, and we are very grateful to Cambridge for hosting this year and for putting together such a fantastic programme! Each day was structured around a central theme, so here are a few thoughts about what was said and what we learned.


Day 1: Decolonisation 

In many ways, the conference could not have gotten off to a better start than with the Reader Services Workshop led by the Cambridge Decolonising Working Group. This was a fascinating session which encouraged participants to think about the ways in which racial bias plays out in our libraries – primarily in virtual reader services scenarios – and how we as library professionals can respond to systemic issues such as unconscious bias, race- and name-based macroaggressions, and the degree awarding gap. In break-out rooms, we discussed the research of Sally Hamer (herself a former Wolfson College, Oxford, trainee!): ‘Colour blind: Investigating the racial bias of virtual reference services in English academic libraries’ (The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 47:5, 2021). Hamer’s research is an important read for anyone working in library services. In particular, it highlights how our response to a reader enquiry may be tied up with aspects other than the actual question – including, even, a reader’s name and the racial biases we have associated with that name. Yet what was also especially noteworthy about this session was that the break out groups fostered a real sense of involvement and discussion for participants. We were able to talk directly with people from different libraries in a range of roles and career stages: a really productive and, we think, a fitting start to OxCam 2022. You can watch Sally Hamer’s findings here: ‘Colour Blind: Investigating the racial bias of virtual reference services’.

After a short break – in which the virtual meeting room was left open for casual chatting as people ran for tea, bathroom breaks, and snacks – we reconvened for a panel discussion on Decolonisation & Discussion: Learning from Libraries Experiences. The three panellists were Genny Grim (Pembroke College, Cambridge), David Rushmer (English Faculty, Cambridge), and Renée Prud’Homme (Worcester College, Oxford). They began by each introducing the efforts taken in their library to decolonise the collections, before moving on to answer questions and discuss their work. Two things really came through in this session as being central to positive decolonisation work in Oxford and Cambridge libraries. The first was working directly with library stakeholders (students, other staff members, academics), and the second was committing to decolonisation as an ongoing, ever-evolving part of librarianship. Perhaps most poignant, though, was a parting question from the audience which asked, “can we decolonise the college library without decolonising the college [or the] wider Cambridge / Oxford library system”? This is something we are sure many of us will be thinking and acting upon in the future.


Day 2: Accessibility

The second day began with Accessibility and Inclusion in Libraries for Disabled Students, which was a reflection on a year of the Libraries Accessibility Service at Cambridge (Patrick Dowson, Accessibility Services Manager, Cambridge). The number of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND or SEN) has been increasing significantly and the shocking statistic that there is a 3% awarding gap between SEND students and students without SEND. In addition, SEND students have a lower continuity rate. These facts show us we need to think about the social model of disability in our libraries. The social model of disability says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. The COVID-19 panic has increased some of these barriers, but also improved some, like hybrid study, ready access to scans, and more online resources. However, as Patrick Dowson stated, going back to the old normal before the pandemic is not an option – we must think about how libraries can work for SEND students in this ‘new normal’.

The following talk featured Eleanor Winterbottom (Apprentice Library Assistant, St Antony’s College, Oxford) and Aimee Burlakova (Librarian, St Antony’s College), who spoke about The Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant Apprenticeship Scheme: Opportunities for Diverse Applicants to Develop Careers in Libraries. The apprenticeship scheme is a great opportunity for those who want to work in libraries who did not necessarily go to university. You can read about Eleanor’s Day in the Life on the blog.

After a short break, we heard short talks about the Support Before Arrival: Enabling Non-Traditional Students to Thrive at Cambridge by Suzanne Tonkin, Librarian, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. The college’s new programme aims to improve students’ first-year experience and remove all barriers to success. This involves a bridging course between school and university, a residential summer school, and a scheme through which students could submit books they required from their reading lists and the library would buy them for them to keep for the year. Following this, Cecilia Vartholomeou, Senior Library Assistant at Christ’s Library, Cambridge, spoke about supporting students through the provision of accessibility equipment. Christ’s Library offers specialist and ergonomic equipment, but also resources which are available for all, such as coloured notepads and overlays, adjustable laptop or phone stands, magnifying glasses, book rests, and many more. She also spoke about library anxiety and readers experiencing threshold anxiety, which can be very common in the grand libraries at Oxford and Cambridge, and highlighted that it is important to offer up-to-date library and accessibility guides such as Cambridge’s College Access guide or Oxford’s Access Guide. Cecilia noted that the library’s book rests were very popular, and that the emoji stress balls were so popular that they all go as soon as they are put out.


Day 3: Lightning Talks

The final day of OxCam was a bit different from the first two – it was structured around 5- to 10-minute Lightning Talks. There were ten Lightning Talks in total, and they ranged in topic from how Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, has supported the University’s very first Foundation Year Students to to how Wolfson College, Cambridge, have welcomed and worked with early-career librarians looking for work experience.

There were also three Lightning Talks led by trainees – including one of our very own! Heather Barr (St Edmund Hall) spoke with Emma Anderson (Queen’s College, Cambridge) and Ellen Woolf (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge) about what it has been like to enter librarianship during a time of such a shift in attitude, education, and behaviour around decolonisation. Heather says:

“I opened my part of the Lightning Talk by saying that our students are an exceptional resource to draw upon when we are thinking about decolonisation. But working closely with Ellen and Emma has really highlighted to me how valuable it is to collaborate with other librarians, especially from outside of our own institutions. We can all be each other’s resources! OxCam has been a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and experiences, and I can’t wait to build on the discussions we’ve had through the rest of my career.”

chocolate buttercream cake with fondant green frog reading a book
‘Frog on a log’ cake – one of the winners of the OxCam Bake Off by Jess from St John’s College, Cambridge

The conference ended with some interesting parting thoughts about decolonisation in libraries and improving accessibility. The winners of the logo competition and the bake-off were announced. Sadly, the cake submission from the Oxford graduate trainee housemates was not mentioned, but the winners were so impressive, we don’t really mind.


Further links

Relevant book titles:

A Day in the Life (St Edmund ‘Teddy’ Hall Library)

The stone Norman church of Teddy Hall Library, with snowdrops in the graveyard in front.
Snow drops outside St Edmund Hall Library

As a College Library trainee my days can vary a lot. During term time our Library is always busy, with students coming in and out all day (literally – we are open 24/7) to study, to find and borrow books, and to make use of our other Library services – such as our wide selection of borrowable board games!

As I’m writing this it is fourth week – almost half way through term! This is a pretty typical term time day, though with more chocolate than is normal…

9am – Sorting, Shelving, Socials

I start by scanning my own and the shared Library email inboxes for anything which needs urgent attention. I’m part of a team of three here at Teddy Hall (me – Heather, Emma – Assistant Librarian, and James – Librarian); we all share responsibility for monitoring the Library inbox and responding to queries which come in there. I then process the returns which come in overnight. In the middle of term there are rarely huge piles of books: I’d guess around 20 each morning.

Next I turn to our Click and Collect requests. The Library started offering this during 2020 to support students who were in isolation but needed to access books from the Library. Students submit a request either via email or SOLO (the University’s book-finding-website – literally, Search Oxford Libraries Online), and we find the book and deliver it either to their pigeon hole or directly to their room. Then it’s time for some shelving! I actually find shelving books a nice way to start the day: there is something very grounding about sorting everything into its rightful place. Shelving also gives me a chance to have a walk around the Library and do some general tidying – I’ll also check there is paper in the printer, free period products in the bathroom, pens in the pen pot, and staples in the stapler.

My final morning task is to check the Library social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I’ll check whether we have any planned content to go out today, or which I need to prepare for later in the week.

Preparing a Blind Date…

10am – Blind Date with a Book

On Monday this week (7 Feb 2022) we launched Blind Date with a Book – Teddy Hall students, staff and Fellows request a book, telling us a little bit about what they like to read, and we set them up with something we think they’ll love. To celebrate Valentine’s Day and LGBTQIA+ History Month, we are selecting books with themes of gender, sexuality, and romance. Blind Date is always extremely popular, and on Monday alone we had 15 requests! This morning Emma, James and I shared ideas for what to give people who had requested books from poetry, to fantasy fiction, to a humorous and fun-to-read non-fiction. This is a really fun part of the day, and I inevitably end up with a list of books I want to read!

We wrap the books, affix a Valentine’s chocolate to the cover, and pop them in pigeon holes to await their dates…

11am – Desk Duty

I enjoy sitting at the Issue Desk, as I can help students with any queries they may have. Sometimes this can feel a bit like detective work! For example, today a student came to the desk with two items on her reading list which she and her classmates were struggling to find. The only information provided was an author name, a date, and a mysterious acronym… After some SOLO-searching, some googling and some guess work I found both articles – one of which we had in a physical book in the library. If you’re interested, the acronyms were the names of the journals in which the articles were published! Students are always really grateful for any help you can give, and so even when I feel stumped, I remember that any progress I can make in searching something out is time saved for them, and that is a good thing.

12.30pm – Lunch

You may have heard it before, but it’s worth reading again: college library jobs mean a free college lunch. These are consistently yummy, and because we all eat together, lunch in college is a really great way to chat to the rest of the Library team and also to other college staff. Today this chat covered the important topics of planetariums, dodgy ideas for fusion food, and Cadbury World.

1.30pm – Books, Books, Books

By lunchtime we’ve usually had some new books delivered, which I’ll collect from Porter’s Lodge and process. As these are often student requests, I will then almost immediately take the books back to the Lodge to put them in student pigeon holes!

Blackwell’s Book Shop – photo:

2pm – Book Shopping (yes, seriously) 

One of the best parts of my job is going to Blackwell’s for books. We are so lucky to have Blackwell’s as a resource and it is just a short walk from Teddy Hall, so when we can, we buy our books directly from there. This also means we can turn any requests around as quickly as possible! Today, as well as picking up a student request I am keeping my eyes open for anything which might be a great Blind Date book! I do find a personal favourite lock down read of mine: Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. As it’s a LGBTQIA+ love story, a Teddy Hall Blind Date requester should be expecting this in their pigeon hole soon!

3pm – Ticking off Tasks

This afternoon I’m sat up in my office, working on some ongoing tasks. This week I’ve got three balls which I am juggling. First, I’m preparing a book display and blog post celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science by showcasing the work of our own college Fellows.

Second, I am working through a donation of books we received over Christmas vacation – over 2,500 of them! When they arrived, we spread the books out over the thankfully-student-free desks and then organised them roughly into subjects, before putting what we could onto available shelves. The rest were boxed up and are currently living at the very top of the Teddy Hall Library tower…! We have started making lists of the books in the donation, and will decide what we want to keep and what we will offer to other libraries. If it’s a quiet day during term I might spend some time on this, but mostly this will get picked up properly again at Easter.

Third, I am planning my own Trainee project. As part of the Traineeship, we all work on an individual project which we then present about at the end of the year. My project is all about making the Library more sustainable… I’m really looking forward to working on this – so watch this space!

5pm – “Home” Time

One of the best things about living in Oxford is just how much there is to do in the city – and I love to take full advantage of that! From catching up with the other Trainees for a drink, to attending a seminar about medieval culture (I did a Masters in Medieval English Literature!), to meeting friends for dinner, or playing in orchestra (optional seminars and orchestra?! Yes – I am a bit of a nerd), Oxford is a great place to be. And there is loads to do which won’t break the bank! Today, though, it’s straight home for a hot chocolate and to continue reading Ali Smith’s wonderful book ‘Spring’.

Comfort Reading in Fifth Week

Fifth Week is a notorious week in the Oxford term (8 weeks long), known for ‘fifth week blues’ and the need for some well-earned rest. Things often feel particularly challenging in Michaelmas (first) term, as everything gets colder and darker. But all is not lost! The shorter evenings offer the perfect excuse to get home and curl up in the warm with a book. Here, some of our Graduate Trainee Librarians offer their favourite reads for a bit of comfort and escapism during fifth week…

A man with an impressive hat and moustache stands on one side of a wall, as 8 cats dance and climb their way up a ladder to him.
Title page: T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (Faber and Faber Limited)

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (T.S. Eliot)

In the midst of my undergraduate degree, I struggled to find the time and motivation to sit down and read a novel. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a wonderful alternative: T S Eliot provides short, witty poems about different feline characters. You can dip in and out of different poems, and will inevitably find yourself swept up in each of their wonderful worlds. My personal favourite is ‘Shimbleshanks: The Railway Cat’: with its bouncing metre and quick pace, you feel as if you are on a chugging train. I first read the poems in my early teens, drawn in by the book’s slim size and the myriad of cats on the cover. It is an undeniably comforting, joyous respite which you can revisit at any time. On rainy November days, when Oxford’s cats are curled up inside, turn to Old Possum’s Book to get your feline fix.

Izzie Salter, Sackler Library


14,000 Things to be Happy About (Barbara Ann Kipfer) 

This is not a book I would recommend reading cover to cover as it actually is a list of 14000 things to be happy about, just like it says on the tin! However, it is perfect to dip in to and find a thought to brighten your day! It provides a reminder that normal, everyday, sometimes functional things can make us happy or at least grateful. For example, SatNav, Google, the smell of a coffee can opening, eight-foot-long scarves or putting things back where they were found (very appropriate for us trainees who find great satisfaction in reshelving books!). Some are very random or abstract such as strawberry flavoured milk, isosceles trapezoids or making a beeline. Others are just excellent words like clodhoppers and inglenook (a corner by a fireplace). Some are poetic reminders of beautiful things and others remind you of wonderful things like going home and picking the right lane for once in a traffic jam!

The book is hidden in the Lower Gladstone Link as part of Mr Po Chung’s Personal Development Collection, so take a look, hopefully you’ll find something there that will help to make you smile.

Emily Main, Radcliffe Camera


Classic Scrapes (James Acaster) 

If you’re a fan of James Acaster’s comedy, his podcast (Off Menu with Ed Gamble), or his appearances on Taskmaster and Would I Lie to You?, I cannot recommend this book enough! And if you’re not, I am still confident that this book is funny and daft enough to elicit at least a smile. This book is a collection of Acaster’s most random, embarrassing and hilarious moments, from hiding from thugs in a bush whilst wearing a red dress for warmthto disappointing his sky-diving instructor mid-flight. Featuring illustrations from Acaster himself, this book is the kind of daft, silly read I love when I’m feeling down. He’s a great storyteller and really brings some of these bizarre and unexpected moments to lifemaking me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. 

Lucy Davies, Social Sciences Library


Book cover: Donna Tartt's The Secret History
Book cover: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History

The Secret History                   (Donna Tartt)

If, like me, you aspire to ponder over books, manuscripts, pictures and anything remotely old and dusty, then this book is perfect for you! Set in an “elite New England college” it follows protagonist Richard whose downfall is “a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs” … hmm, sounds familiar – I think we have all been guilty of romanticising academia at some point, especially us librarians! We follow Richard as he enters the world of classics and becomes embroiled in a group of conceited, entitled and eccentric undergraduate classicists. The story that unfolds involves murder, Dionysian madness and a lot of brilliant description of New England culture, academia and what it means to read a humanities degree. I would definitely recommend it. 

Ben Elliott, Pembroke College Library


The Liar’s Dictionary (Eley Williams) 

As a habitual reader of weighty paperbacks, I often look at my large stack of unread books with dread when I’m in a busy (or rather, busier than usual) patch. The Liar’s Dictionary was a book I’d had my eye on for some time when I spotted it shining at me from the window of an Oxfam bookstore. Pleasingly short at a little over 250 pages, this book is one to revitalise your love of language when you’re midway through an essay, you’ve written what you feel to be the worst paragraph in history (it’s almost undoubtedly not – and if it is you may want to try your hand at the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest) and you’re wondering quite what the point is. Whilst I can’t confirm this has the same effect on problem sheets, this is a wonderful, light-hearted book about words and – if you have the mental energy – also has some questions to ponder about the language we use and how it shapes the world around us. 

Jess Ward, Law Faculty Library


The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)

The Hobbit, while technically a children’s book, brings all kinds of unbridled joy to the adult reader. Though this spellbinding story is hardly a secret, it is a comforting tale that I believe is well worth visiting or revisiting while walking the streets and university buildings that Tolkien once walked himself.  For me, the most reassuring presence in the story is found in the hapless protagonist. Bilbo Baggins, a comfortable and contented Hobbit from The Hill, is dragged into a quest to help a band of dwarfs reclaim their ancestral home from the clutches of a dragon. His reluctance to leave his hobbit-hole and his uncertainty in himself and his abilities make his venture into the wonderful wilds that bit more satisfying. Bilbo is not a brave adventurer; in fact, he’s anxious, homesick, and often miserable… but he does his best – and along the way discovers qualities that he never knew he possessed.

This, I believe, is what delights me most about this book as an adult: the palpable sense of anxiety and the triumph over it. Well… that and a queer interpretation of the ending – but that is a topic for another day.

Sophie Lay, English Faculty Library
The Hobbit, displayed on the shelf at the English Faculty Library
J.R.R Tolkein’s The Hobbit, displayed on the shelf at the English Faculty Library


The Clocks (Agatha Christie)

From the first time I picked up an Agatha Christie novel as a teenager, I was hooked. For me, they offer the ideal form of escapism: not only in the challenge and suspense of working out “who dunnit”, but in the way Christie brings her reader so wholly into the worlds she creates. In The Clocks, the centre of this world is the genteel, quiet street of Wilbraham Crescent, where an unknown man is found dead in the living room of number 19. There is something so artful in Christie’s drawing of place and character that the murder itself becomes almost secondary to the web of relationships and personalities – of people and spaces – which make up this book. Witness interviews are vignettes of 1960s family: the long-suffering Mrs Ramsay and her irrepressible sons, Mr McNaughton and his love of compost, Mrs Bland and her (very much) enjoyed frailty. And, of course, the presence of Hercule Poirot in any story is always a delight. The true testament to The Clocks is that I have read it more times than I can count – which shouldn’t work for detective fictionI highly recommend it as a quick read which combines suspense, dry humour, spies, romance, perceptive social observation… and a murder, of course.  

Heather Barr, St Edmund Hall Library


Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (Wendy Cope) 

To be honest, more reading can be the last thing I want to do when I’m already feeling overwhelmedWendy Cope tends to feel like a safe option: short, sharp-witted poems that feel a bit like inside jokes. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis has some gems – ever wondered how The Waste Land would read in limerick form?  and can be found online via SOLO, but even that can feel like a lot if you’re in the absolute pits of it. Maybe just look up ‘The Orange.’ Go for a walk. Try to remember that things will probably be fine. 

Josie Fairley Keast, Law Faculty Library


Lizzie, in period Regency dress, looks demurely over her shoulder as she stands in a beautifully grand hallway.
This is a photo from a few years ago when I took part in the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, where the novel is set. Also, I paid a visit to Lyme Regis and jumped – carefully – off the infamous steps on the Cobb which are the setting of the climactic scene in the book.

Persuasion (Jane Austen) 

My comfort is often escapism; fantasy, historical fantasy, or historical fiction are my go-tos. However, the book to which I return at least every year is Persuasion. Like many, I first read Jane Austen’s novels when I was in my teens, but I still find more every time I reread. She is the finest writer for her use of language: the closer I read, the more amazing I find her work. Her language creates an intricate, layered and fascinating world of manners, class, and moral decisions — and it is funny too.

Other readers over the centuries have likewise turned to Austen in stressful or dark times. Winston Churchill read Austen during the Second World War and admired her work as an escape when he was ill with pneumonia: “What calm lives they had, those people!” he wrote, “No worries about the French Revolution, or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic Wars. Only manners controlling natural passion as far as they could, together with cultured explanations of any mischances.”

Austen’s characters are funny and complex, and she is such a great observer of character. Humour is the best for cheering oneself up and, always, I love to laugh at a snob – they are the funniest characters to read in a novel of manners – and Sir Walter Elliot in Persuasion is one of the finest, and silliest.

Austen went through dark times too and I believe it is wrong to say her work is unaffected by the wars that continued throughout her lifetime. Her worlds offer much-needed stability and order. She wondered if Pride and Prejudice was “too light and bright and sparkling”, but sometimes that is needed. Conversely, Austen completed Persuasion whilst she was dying. It was published posthumously and thus it is one of the least polished of her works; it is less “bright and sparkling” but a poignant and moving story of two people reuniting after years apart. It examines disappointment, heartbreak, and regret; but, most of all, it offers hope.

Lizzie Dawson, All Souls College Library

Heather Barr, St Edmund Hall ‘Teddy Hall’

The first full week of October this year is National Libraries Week 2021. It is also Oxford University’s “0th week” – the week before the start of term in which we welcome students (new and returning!) to Oxford and begin to prepare for the new academic year. With this in mind, I have been reflecting on my own time in libraries at Oxford – as an Undergraduate at Lady Margaret Hall (2015-2018, English), a Graduate at St Hilda’s College (2020-2021, Medieval English Literature), and as a Graduate Trainee Library Assistant at St Edmund Hall.


Shelved, leather bound books.
Books in St Edmund Hall’s Old Library.

Books books books…


Like most people, the first thing I think when someone says “library” is “books!”, and like most English students, the second thing I think is “ooh let me see”. I highly doubt that anyone will be surprised to learn that I have always loved books – reading them, talking about them, buying them… even just being around them. Of course, Oxford as a city and University is a book-lover’s dream come true. With more than 100 libraries containing over 12 million printed items (and much more besides), the opportunities to read and research are incredible. Yet the sheer volume of what is available can be a little overwhelming. Two pieces of advice, however, really helped me.

First: always factor in book-finding time! This was probably the most important thing anyone said to me as an undergraduate. Especially in the first term, you find yourself juggling a whole new set of commitments, and adjusting to the restraints on your time. “Get that book” deserves its own portion of time in your day, and factoring in that time will mean less running from shelf to shelf in a panic! Second: if in doubt, ask. Often we don’t want to ask a question because it seems silly, or it’s something we think we should know the answer to. Luckily, librarians are there to answer precisely those questions! Coming fresh to librarianship from being a student, I’m really looking forward to supporting all library users however they need it.


Spaces and places

Image of library book shelves in a medieval church.
Teddy Hall Library, Church of St Peter-in-the-East.



Libraries are not just home to books, of course, but to a wide range of resources and facilities – from e-journals to medieval manuscripts, from colour printers to overlays to aid reading. They are also important spaces for humans. I certainly would not have enjoyed my degrees had I not felt so at-home in my college and faculty libraries. I would also highly recommend making a pub-crawl-style bucket list of libraries to which you have access! They all have something different to offer. A surprise favourite of mine has always been the Social Sciences Library – modern, comfortable, and conveniently close to the Missing Bean coffee shop!


Now, I’m very lucky to come to work everyday in the beautiful setting of Teddy Hall’s Library: the deconsecrated church of St Peter-in-the-East. The core of the existing church – the nave, chancel, and crypt – was built between 1130 and 1160, and the building grew substantially in the next 400 years. In fact, the Lady Chapel is believed to have been donated by St Edmund of Abingdon (the Hall’s namesake) in c.1220, during his time as a lecturer at the University. It was in 1970 that St Peter-in-the-East opened as Teddy Hall’s library. It is a truly wonderful space, complete with stained glass windows and desks tucked away up in the church’s tower.

While I was an Undergraduate, I volunteered as an Ambassador for the English Faculty. This was my first introduction to a side of libraries in which I have become increasingly interested, and which I look forward to exploring more during my time as a trainee: outreach and access. Libraries are hubs of intellectual activity, and important places – as I have said – for resources and people alike. I hope I can use this year to learn more about how we can make Oxford’s libraries as welcoming and outward-facing as possible, so that they are spaces in which everyone feels they have a place.