Library Ergonomic Equipment and Assistive Technology

The Social Science Library has a range of ergonomic equipment, furniture and assistive technology, designed to help you work more comfortably and efficiently in our library.

Let’s take a look at what we have on offer:


The library has 7 height-adjustable desks (5 electronic, 2 manual).

A height adjustable desk located in the east side of the Social Science Library

Two are located in our reading room area which you can reach by going around the corner from our Issue Desk and then turning right to go past the rows of bookshelves.2 height adjustable desks located in the Quiet Study Room in the Social Science Library

Three are located in our Quiet Study Room.

1 height adjustable desk located in our Silent Study Room in the Social Science Library

One is located in our Silent Study Room.

A height adjustable desk and ergonomic chair behind the main computer area in the Social Science Library

One is located behind our main computer area and has a computer on it, for your use.

An ergonomic chair in the Social Science Library

Standard adjustable chairs are available in our two Study Rooms and at desks equipped with PCs. Library staff are happy to fetch or move these on request for you. We also have ten ergonomic chairs available for your use, one of these is pictured above.

Assistive Equipment

The DaVinci Pro’ CCTV/OCR magnifier on a desk in the Social Science Library

The library has a ‘DaVinci Pro’ CCTV/OCR magnifier, which is kept in the south-west area of the library, near the microfilm reader and microfiche reader. This device can display high-definition enlarged images which can be of benefit to readers with low vision. It also has an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) mode which can take snapshots of written text and convert them to audio speech. Please ask library staff for assistance and guidance with the device. A full instruction manual can be obtained from the Issue Desk, and there is a video introducing the device’s main features.

Image of the hearing loop sticker on a glass pane at the Social Science Library Issue Desk

A hearing induction loop is fitted in the middle of the issue desk, the position indicated by a sticker on the front of the desk.

A group photo of the SSL book rests, coloured acetate sheets, magnifier, Lumie desk lamp, desk lamp, ergnomic keyboard and light touch keyboard.

The following equipment is available to borrow from the issue desk for use in the library:

  • desk lamps (including 2 Lumie daylight lamps)
  • magnifiers (suspended hands-free)
  • coloured acetate overlay sheets (red, green, orange, blue, yellow, rose & aqua)
  • headphones
  • book rests
  • slim ‘light touch’ keyboard
  • ergonomic keyboard (recommended for readers with conditions such as RSI)

Ask Issue Desk if you would like help with locating, using any of these items. Also see our web page on the ‘Social Science Library for Disabled Readers.’

Our Resource of the Month choice for May: MISSY (Microdata Information System)

Each month, one of our Subject Librarians chooses an electronic resource which they feel will be of interest to you.


May’s Resource of the Month has been selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics and Sociology



Laptop on a table with the word MISSY on the screen. To the right of it is a coffee cup and to the left of it is a pad and pen.

John’s choice is MISSY (Microdata Information System). It was chosen because it improves the accessibility of key economic statistical datasets and the use of tools such as SPSS and Stata.

Resource Overview

MISSY is part of the service infrastructure of the German Microdata Lab. It’s an online service platform that provides structured metadata for official statistics. It includes metadata at the study and variable level as well as reports and tools for data manipulation and analysis. It covers datasets such as;

EU – LFS (European Union Labour Force Survey)

EU – SILC (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions)

AES (Adult Education Survey)

CIS (Community Innovation Survey)

SES (Structure of Earnings Survey)

A further purpose of Missy is to ensure these datasets comply with the principles of FAIR data being Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable.

Where can you access the resource

MISSY can be accessed directly from its website platform or via the Data and Statistics for Social Sciences subject guide.


Our Book of the Month choice for May

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

Image of John Southall (Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics and Sociology) sat in the SSL Data Area


May’s book of the month was selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics and Sociology.



Image of the cover of the book False economy: a surprising economic history of the Word. A rossette is next to it, which says the words 'Book of the Month' on it.


False economy: a surprising economic history of the World

Alan Beattie

Penguin Books, 2010

Available at HC51.BEA 2010 and as an eBook via SOLO.

Why was it chosen?

It was chosen because of the way Alan Beattie – Financial Times world trade editor – combines economic history, psychology and political analysis to identify the factors that predispose economies to sickness or health.

Book Overview

False Economy takes a look at the many and varied factors that shape contemporary societies and economies and what effects these factors have had on economic success. The author weaves together the economic choices, political choices, economic history, and human stories, that determine whether governments and countries remain rich or poor.

He also addresses larger questions about why they make the choices they do, and what those mean for the future of our global economy. False Economy is a lively and lucid book that engagingly and thought-provokingly examines macroeconomics, economic topics, and the fault lines and successes that can make or break a culture or induce a global depression.


“This Lively book is a quirky, selective history of the world emphasizing economic endowments and incentives.” Foreign Affairs

Each chapter is themed – cities, religion and so on – and the individual stories are mesmerising.” Financial Times.

How can I access it?

This title is available as an eBook via SOLO. It is an electronic legal deposit item, which means it can only be viewed from a Bodleian Libraries reading room PC. A hard copy can also be found on our New Books Display Area (around the corner from our Issue Desk), which is for library use only. It is usually shelved at HC51.BEA 2010.

Image of an open book with the pages curled to form a love heartWhat would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

Term Time opening hours start on Tues 19 April

Two hands holding up an alarm clockOn Tuesday 19 April, our Term opening hours will begin. The library will be open:

Monday – Friday  9:00 – 22:00

Saturday  10:00 – 18:00

Sunday  11:00 – 19:00

We will be closed over the Easter holiday period as follows:

Fri 15 April – CLOSED

Sat 16 April – CLOSED

Sun 17 April – CLOSED

The Library will re-open on Monday 18 April and our opening hours on that day will be from 9am – 7pm.

Changes to Bloomberg Access

Bloomerg terminal in the SSL Data AreaThe SSL currently provides a fixed point terminal for Bloomberg Professional – the financial services database. From Monday 16 May, this access point will be relocated to the Sainsbury Library at the Said Business School. Similar databases such as Refinitiv Eikon and S&P Capital IQ will continue to be accessible from the Social Science Library.

Any reader who wishes to use Bloomberg from 16 May will need to email  Details on visiting the Sainsbury Library are provided here.

If you have any questions/feedback, please contact us at