Take some time out from your studies in our new Wellbeing Corner

Comfortable seating area in the SSL on a table is a jigsaw puzzle, colouring books, pens and puzzle books

Need a break from your studies? Why not spend some time in our new Wellbeing Corner. Located in our comfortable seating area behind our library PCs, you will find:

  • mindful colouring books, with colouring pencils
  • a quick crossword book
  • a sudoku puzzle book
  • a word search book
  • a jigsaw puzzle for you to complete

Please feel free to use any of the materials in the library but do return them to the coffee table, for others to use, after use.

The back view of a person sat reading a book on an electronic device

Want to improve your wellbeing by reading? Explore the collection of online self-help books recommended by the Oxford University Counselling Service book recommendations:




Help the library and win an Oxford River cruise for two!

Close up on hands typing on the keyboard of a laptop,

  • Do you have a reading list and don’t know where to start?
  • Do you want to find your readings on your reading list more quickly?
  • Do you have difficulty in finding essential readings on your reading list?

Help us in helping you by taking part in a 20 – 30 minute review on your experience in finding resources from your reading list and enter a prize draw for an Oxford River Cruise for Two!

The Survey closes on Friday 8th March.

Note that this survey is intended for University of Oxford students on taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (including MPhil, MSc, MSt degrees) in social science subjects supported by the SSL.

Green Action Week (19 to 23 February) Pop-up Book Display

The SSL are proud to support Green Action Week!

This week (19 to 23 March) the University’s Environmental Sustainability team is hosting the 2024 Green Action Week – a week full of exciting events that empower and celebrate environmental action.

The week aims to enhance networking and exchange of ideas, engage students and staff with research, promote environmental action, raise awareness, encourage wellbeing and celebrate with colleagues.

Green Action Week offers a full and exciting programme of environmental events and opportunities delivered by over 30 partners across the University. From departments and colleges to SU, students’ societies, volunteer groups and suppliers.

Want some tips on how to be Green?

Take a look at our pop-up book display around the corner from our Issue Desk.

Here are a few of the titles on display:

Go lightly : how to travel without hurting the planet / Nina Karnikowski. 2021






Things you can do : how to fight climate change and reduce waste / Eduardo Garcia. 2022




Living plantfully : your guide to growing, cooking and living a healthy, happy & sustainable plant-based lifeLindsey Harrad. 2022



Further reading from our collection:

No one is too small to make a difference / Greta Thunberg.  2019.  SSL shelfmark: GE195.7.THU 2019



How bad are bananas? : the carbon footprint of everything / Mike Berners-Lee. 2010.  SSL shelfmark: GE196.BER 2010



Less is more : how degrowth will save the world / Jason Hickel.  2020.  SSL shelfmark: HC79.E5.HIC 2020



Wilding : the return of nature to a British farm / Isabella Tree.  2019.  SSL shelfmark: QL83.4.TRE 2019



Our Resource of the Month for February: Sociology Collection

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

John Southall sat next to a computer in the Social Science Library.

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

An open laptop on a desk. On the screen are the words 'Sociology Collection.' To the left is a notepad and pen and to the right a cup of coffee.

John’s choice is Sociology Collection. It was chosen as it has extensive historical coverage and provides regularly updated indexing of core sociological journals based upon the “Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms.”


The Sociology Collection is provided by Proquest; an information database platform vendor specialising in full text, abstracts and indexes.

It provides a single entry point to ‘Sociological Abstracts’, ‘Sociology Database’ and ‘Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts’ (ASSIA). Each database may be searched together or individually and offers coverage of the international literature in sociology and social services. It provides abstracts, indexing and full-text coverage of journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations and working papers, including full-text from hundreds of leading sociology journals.

Where can you access the resource

Sociology Collection is available to access via SOLO. A Single-Sign-On (SSO) is required to access this database, as it is restricted to Oxford University students and staff members.


Our Book of the Month choice for February

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.

John Southall in the Social Science Library selecting a book from the shelves.

February’s Book of the Month was selected by John Southall Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics and Sociology.

Front cover image of the book 'The arrow impossibility theorem' On the top is a rosette with 'SSL Book of the Month' on it.


The arrow impossibility theorem

Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen

Columbia University Press, 2014

JF1001.MAS 2014





It was chosen because of the way it assesses a ground breaking innovation in the history of welfare economics, voting theory, and collective choice.

Book Overview

Kenneth J. Arrow’s “impossibility theorem” was a watershed moment in the development of the Social Sciences, demonstrating that there is no voting rule that satisfies the four desirable axioms of decisiveness, consensus, non-dictatorship, and independence.

In this book Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen explore the implications of Arrow’s theorem. Sen considers its ongoing utility, exploring the theorem’s value and limitations in relation to recent research on social reasoning, and Maskin discusses how to design a voting rule that gets us closer to the ideal – given the impossibility of achieving the ideal. The volume also contains a contextual introduction by social choice scholar Prasanta K. Pattanaik and commentaries from Joseph E. Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow himself, as well as essays by Maskin, Dasgupta, and Sen outlining the mathematical proof and framework behind their assertions.


The pioneers of social choice theory give us lively, enjoyable, and stimulating lectures and exchanges of ideas. Their views, more than sixty years after the publication of Kenneth J. Arrow’s theorem, are of paramount interest to anyone aware of the difficulties of collective decisions.”

Marc Fleurbaey, Princeton University

“How vital it is to understand the ideas behind Kenneth J. Arrow’s impossibility theorem if we want to design reasonably fair ways of coming to consensus decisions that take equitable account of individual preferences. This book is a marvelous introduction to the theorem, a keystone in the theory of social choice.”

Barry Mazur, Harvard University, author of Imagining Numbers

How can I access it?

We have two lending copies and one library use only copy of this book. One of our copies is currently located in our New Books Display Area (around the corner from our Issue Desk). Its shelfmark is JF1001.MAS 2014 It is also available as an eBook. For the eBook, access it from a Bodleian Library computer or use it remotely, by logging on to SOLO with your SSO.

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.

Calling all students on courses supported by the Bodleian Social Science Library!

View of the River Thames. The river is lined by trees on both sides. To the right is a footpath. To the left are moored boats.

  • Do you have a reading list and don’t know where to start?
  • Do you want to find your readings on your reading list more quickly?
  • Do you have difficulty in finding essential readings on your reading list?

Help us in helping you by taking part in a 30 – 45 minute review on your experience in finding resources from your reading list and enter a prize draw for an Oxford River Cruise for Two!

Want to learn more? Contact pinelopi.flaouna@bodleian.ox.ac.uk by 20 February 2024

Note that this survey is intended for University of Oxford students on taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (including MPhil, MSc, MSt degrees) in social science subjects supported by the SSL.

Take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

The SSL supports the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which will be taking place from Friday 26th to Monday 28th January 2024.

Join the world’s largest garden wildlife survey and help build a picture of how UK garden birds are faring.

To take part, follow the simple steps below:

An infographic of a calendar with the words 'Choose an hour between 26 and 28 January.' An infographic of birds feeding from bird feeders with the words 'Only record the birds that land in your patch' under it. An infographic of birds and a timer with the words 'Record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time' under it.

To find out more go to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch homepage.

An infographic of a robin. Next to the robin are the words 'RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Book Display'

To help you brush up on your bird spotting skills and learn how to encourage birds into your garden, we’ve created a book display. Find the display around the corner from our issue desk, on top of the new journals display area.

Feel free to take a book and read it in the library but please return to the display after use.

A photo of the SSL 'RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch' book display.

Take control of your references: find out more about reference management

Infographic of a person reading a book, with question marks next to them. Above are the words 'Want to find out more about Reference Management.'

Formatting your text citations, footnotes and bibliography correctly for your essay or thesis can be a chore. Using reference management software makes it easier and saves you time.

There are a number of options to choose from:

  • EndNote
  • Mendeley
  • RefWorks
  • Zotero

To find out more about the different software available, how they work, and which will best suit your needs:

A infographic of a person holding a question mark. Next to them, in a circle, are the words 'RefWorks', 'Mendeley', 'Zotero' and 'Endnote.' Above are the words 'Consult our Reference Management Subject Guide.'

The Bodleian Libraries Reference Management Subject Guide, includes comprehensive information on different reference management software, including the pros and cons of using each one.

An infographic of a person stook next to a large screen. On the screen are the words 'Bodleian iSkills - Attend a free Reference Management Training Session.'

Attend one of the upcoming Bodleian iSkills Reference Management training sessions:

Referencing: Choosing and using software for referencing (Face to Face)

Fri 9 February, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Referencing: EndNote (Face to Face)

Fri 16 February, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Referencing: EndNote (Online)

Wed 21 February, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Referencing: RefWorks (Online)

Wed 13 February, 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Referencing: Zotero (Face to Face)

Mon 12 February, 1.30am – 4.30pm

Referencing: Zotero (Online)

Wed 28 February, 10.00am – 11.00am

Click on the session title links above to book a place. For a complete list of Bodleian iSkills training sessions see here.

Open laptop on a desk with the words 'Cite Them Right' on the screen. Next to it is a pen, pad and a cup of coffee.

Explore Cite Them Right, an online platform designed to advise students on how to reference correctly across eight referencing styles. Based on the best-selling book in its 12th edition, by Richard Pears and Graham Shields, this programme is trusted by institutions globally, and accessed by thousands of students daily.

Cite Them Right gives examples and generates citations from a choice of 7 referencing systems for print and electronic formats. The citations can be copied into your work or emailed. The referencing systems are Harvard (author-date), APA, MLA, MHRA, OSCOLA, Vancouver and Chicago. Citations can be created for a very diverse range of sources, including books, journals, digital resources and websites, audio-visual material, unpublished material (theses, manuscripts, etc.), financial & scientific reports, genealogical sources (wills, censuses, etc.), legal material, government and other official publications, and other forms of communication sources (email, Twitter, graffiti, etc.).

Where can you access the resource?

Cite Them Right can be accessed via SOLO.

An infographic of two people at a desk, one with a laptop and one taking notes. A calendar is next to them. Above are the words 'Book an appointment with your Subject Consultant.'

You can also get advice on reference management from your Subject Consultant. Find out their contact information here.

Vacation loans are due back on Tuesday 16 January

Person holding a large pile of book, stood amongst book shelves.

Term-time borrowing starts 1st week Hilary Term

Our vacation borrowing period comes to an end on Tuesday 16 January, and loan periods will operate on term-time rules.

Please bring back to the library any items you originally borrowed on or before 26 September 2023 for return or to re–borrow, as these items have now reached their maximum renewal period of 112 days (16 weeks).

To see how long you can borrow books for, visit: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/borrow.

The borrowing period for individual items will also be displayed when you are signed in to SOLO.


An example of what a loanable item that is on place in the shelves looks like on SOLO (the Oxford University Libraries catalogue)