Booking a Discussion Room at the SSL

Do you need somewhere for your study group to meet? Do you have an online meeting with your tutor and need somewhere to talk without disturbing others? Then you might want to book a discussion room at the SSL! We have 2 discussion rooms – one large and one small – available to be booked by members of the Social Sciences Division (and students of Economic and Social History) for academic, University of Oxford-related purposes. They are the only places you can undertake a phone call or group study session in the SSL and so are very popular – booking is usually necessary! The small discussion room can be used for groups of up to 4 people, and the large can have groups of up to 10.

How to book a discussion room

To book one of the rooms, you first need to check the booking calendars for the date and time you require. You can do this by scanning the QR code outside the discussion rooms, or visiting the calendars on our website. We have a different calendar for each of our bookable rooms.

Image of the SSL booking calendar as it appears on our website

You can book up to 2 hours before the session, or as far in advance as you would like. Once you’ve checked the room you want to book is available, you can fill out our new online form, also found on our website. It asks for some personal information such as your email address in case we need to contact you regarding your booking, and what department you are from so we can verify you are a member of the Social Sciences department. You then fill in the date and time you require, and there is a link to check the calendars in case you have forgotten or want to double check your slot.

Image of the SSL room booking form. Text says: I have checked the room is free at the requested day and time; What date would you like to book the room for? When would you like the session to start? When would you like the session to finish? What would you like to name the session?If you’re unable to fill out the online form to book the room, you can also email the SSL (ssl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk), telephone us on 01865 271093, or speak to a member or Library Staff at the issue desk. Please not, your booking is not confirmed until you recieve a confirmation email from the library.

Using the Room

Both rooms have a boardroom layout with a whiteboard and LCD projector, and there are markers and a remote available to borrow from the issue desk. Additionally, they both have power sockets and ethernet points. The large discussion room has a television and video/DVD player in addition to this.

When using the room, the same library rules apply as in our other study spaces.

  • No drinks other than bottled water unless they’re in a Keep Cup
  • If you want to eat something, either visit the cafe upstairs or enjoy a break on one of the picnic benches outside
A photograph of our small discussion room. 3 library users sit around the table with a laptop and books and another library user stands by the whiteboard talking to them.

photo (c) John Cairns

If the room is not in use and there are no bookings on the calendar, then you are free to use the room until the next booking. We ask you to be considerate when using our discussion rooms as staff are not able to clear each group out before the next session, so leaving promptly when your booking is complete or before the next group is due to arrive is much appreciated.

If there are any problems with the discussion rooms, such as faulty equipment or a booking query, staff are more than happy to help! If you have any questions, drop us an email at ssl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or come and talk to us at the issue desk.

Accessing the SSL from Monday 6 September

Student sat studying at a desk in the SSL

photo (c) John Cairns

From Monday 6 September, the Bodleian Libraries will be stopping Space Finder and the requirement to book a time slot to use libraries and reading rooms for all readers. No time slots from that date will therefore be available on Space Finder. This change applies to the Social Science Library.

The Click and Collect borrowing service will also be stopping.

We will still:

  • Strongly encourage readers to wear face coverings in our library spaces
  • Request readers scan the NHS Test and Trace QR codes displayed in our entrance area
  • Encourage all library users to limit close contact and respect others
  • Maintain an increased level of cleaning in our library

Visit the Bodleian Libraries Service Updates webpage for all the latest information

What does it mean when you make an Open Plan Desk Booking at the SSL

When you book a study space via Space Finder, you have a number of options you can choose. One of them is for ‘Open Plan Desk Booking‘:

When you choose this option it basically means you can sit at any study space in the library that doesn’t have a PC at it or isn’t a Height Adjustable Desk (see photo below for an example of one of our Height Adjustable Desks):

A photo of a height adjustable desk.

The study spaces you can choose from are listed below:

The seating located around the corner, to the left of our issue desk.

A photo of our open plan seating area to the left of our issue desk. Desks are large tables.

The seating at the back of the library, opposite St Catherine’s College (except the Height Adjustable Desks located in this area).

A photo of the desks at the back of the library. All desk have partitions screens.

The partitioned seating in front of the Central Graduate Study Room.

A photos of the desks in front of the Central Graduate Study Rooms. There are individual spaces in a row and all are partitioned on all sides.

The seats in either of our Graduate Study Rooms (except the Height Adjustable Desks located in these rooms). At the moment these two rooms are open to anyone to use and not just Social Science Graduates.

Photo of desks in the EGSR. Large desks that have a partition down the centre, height adjustable seating.

Photo of desks in the Central Graduate Study Room. Large desks with no partitions.

If they are not booked by a group, you are welcome to use either of our Discussion Rooms.

Photo of our Small Discussion Room, showing students participating in a group study session.

photo (c) John Cairns

There are also some individual desks along the west side of the library, opposite the St Cross Building (though do note they don’t have power sockets).

Photos of individual desks, spaced out along a wall/windows adjacent to the St Cross Building.

You can also use our Study Carrels. Do note that occasionally some of these may be booked but this is clearly displayed on the door to each carrel.

Photo of our study carrels. Small individual study rooms.

Once you’ve chosen the area you want to sit, look out for the ticks in green boxes and red no-entry symbols.

Sit at a desk space with a tick in a green box.

Photo of a notice on a desk, which has a white tick in a green box and the words Please take a seat.

Avoid the red ‘Desk not in use’ spaces. This ensures everyone is adequately spaced apart.

Photo of a sign on a desk which has a red no entry symbol on it and the words Desk no in use.

Finally clean your study space before you start work and also before you leave.

Cleaning stations are located close to all seating areas. Help yourself to the materials located there (returning after use) and do let library staff know if supplies are running low.

Photo of a cleaning station. A table which has cleaning supplies on it for use in the library.

 

SSL Reading Rooms to open from Monday 17 August

From Monday 17 August, readers will be admitted to the Social Science Library to use our study spaces and consult our onsite collections.

Access to the library is strictly by advance booking only, to ensure the continued safety of our staff and readers.

To book a desk space, including desks with PCs, height-adjustable desks and study carrels, please visit our bookings page, select the category of workspace you would like to use and make a booking for the date(s) you wish to visit the library.

You can book workspaces from a minimum of one day to a maximum of two weeks in advance.

You will be able to book a whole day (currently 10am-4pm), and can arrive and leave at any point during the day.

After submitting your request, you will receive a confirmation email containing important information on the new arrangements in place in our libraries. Please read this carefully.

For more information on the re-opening of Bodleian Libraries Reading Rooms, please visit: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/reading-rooms.

 

Take a Break

Here at the SSL we would like to encourage all readers to take regular breaks and study in healthy balance and moderation.

Here are our top tips for taking a break!

WALK

A walk can help to stimulate your brain, allowing you to study far more effectively. Exercise is proven to improve your mood through the release of endorphins, helping to relieve stress.

The SSL is surrounded by so many green spaces.

From the University Parks, to the Magdalen College Deer Park, to even Holywell Cemetery, there are plenty of nearby green spaces to explore!

We’ve created a map of our favourite lunchtime walks.

Feel free to pick up a map and discover somewhere new during your break.

Or why not recommend your favourite walk to us?

CHANGE SEATS

Working at the same desk on the same seat all day can sometimes hinder effective study, so why not switch it up? You’d be surprised how physical perception can affect your perspective on work. Even something as simple as moving to a different desk, or seat, can help!

There are a variety of different study spaces in the SSL.

Why not try the comfy seating area, located to the right of the Issue Desk?

Or why not use your break to travel to a new library? Library hopping is a great way to break up your work and refresh your mind with a new location.

 

Coordinating breaks with your friends allows for social interaction which will break your own internal monologue and give you a chance to relax and focus on something outside of work.

If you want to chat with your friends and not leave the Manor Road Building, why not use the Manor Road Common Room, located on the first floor just past the Manor Road Cafe?

You can even eat in the Common Room.

FOOD & DRINK

Studying while hungry or dehydrated can make it much more difficult to focus and process information. Luckily there are spaces nearby to eat and drink.

Manor Road Café 

Open Monday to Friday 8:00-17:00

Missing Bean Café

(St Cross Building) 

Open Monday to Friday 8:00-16:00

Don’t forget if you use your KeepCup you can bring your drink into the library!

How do you take breaks? Give us your suggestions!

Welfare and Wellbeing

At Oxford we are committed to the mental health and wellbeing of all our students.There are a number of services available which provide support to readers during their studies at the University. Advice is available from your college, department, central University services, fellow students and the Student Union.

Click here to find out more about the support available.

Library PC and WiFi Access Points Upgrade: Work taking place in the Library the week of Mon 9th December

We are planning some improvements to our library PCs and Wi-Fi access points. For the PCs, increased memory and processing power will result in faster loading times and the ability to better handle our diverse range of programmes. They will also be sustainably built, take up less space and have an ergonomic design. New Wi-Fi access points will be mounted on our ceilings to improve the reliability and strength of our Wi-Fi signal.

The PCs in our main computer area will be replaced on Monday 9 to Tuesday 10 December. Work will be carried out to each desk in turn, so there will always be some PCs available for use in this area. Additional PCs can be found in our our Information Skills Training Room.

During this period we will also be replacing the 2 Quick Search PCs in our library entrance area and the 4 adjacent to our journal and statistics shelving.

Also on the week of 9 December, work will be carried out in the library to add new access points to our ceilings to improve the Wi-Fi signal. The work is scheduled to take place from Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th. Disruption should be kept to a minimum as the noisy work will take place outside of library opening hours.

 

Lighting Testing and PC Upgrade: Work taking place in the Library on Thurs 5 December

Our lighting is being tested on Thursday 5 December from approximately 4.30pm onwards. The work will involve switching off sections of lights for 2-3 minutes at a time. These areas will remain illuminated by emergency lighting at all times, so disruption will be minimal.

The PCs in our Information Skills Training Room will be replaced on 5 December with upgraded models. The room will be inaccessible during the period of work. Alternative PCs can be found in our main computer area (behind our Self Issue machines).

 

Library PC and WiFi Router Upgrade (December 2019)

We are planning some improvements to our library PCs and Wi-Fi routers. For the PCs, increased memory and processing power will result in faster loading times and the ability to better handle our diverse range of programmes. They will also be sustainably built, take up less space and have an ergonomic design. New Wi-Fi routers will be mounted on our ceilings to improve the reliability and strength of our Wi-Fi signal.

The work will be taking place in December, full details are as follows:

The PCs in the Information Skills Training Room will be replaced on 5 December. The room will be inaccessible during the period of work. Alternative PCs can be found in our main computer area (behind our Self Issue machines).

The PCs in our main computer area will be replaced (except for the Bloomberg and Eikon PC in our Data Area) on Monday 9 to Tuesday 10 December. Work will be carried out to each desk in turn, so there will always be some PCs available for use in this area. Additional PCs can be found in our our Information Skills Training Room.

Also on the week of 9 December, work will be carried out in the library to add new routers to our ceilings to improve the Wi-Fi signal. The work is scheduled to take place from Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th. Disruption should be kept to a minimum as the noisy work will take place outside of library opening hours.

 

Not sure where to study in the SSL? Find out more about our study spaces

Not sure where to study in the SSL? We have a variety of study spaces/seating for you to choose from. We also have different volume levels assigned to our study spaces, so you can easily find a silent space or somewhere you can talk. Read on below to discover the different options and then all you have to do is decide what suits you best.

Prefer to study with your friends? Does being surrounded by other people studying help you get down to work?

Our open plan seating might be your best choice. We have 2 options available:

A large open plan seating area on the south side of the library. Floor to ceiling windows ensure lots of natural light. The desks are roomy which means you can spread out your study materials. Desks are equipped with devices to lock your laptops to, ethernet and power sockets (either above or below the desks). This area of the library is designated a Silent Zone (silent study, no conversations)

Our second area of open plan seating is located on the east side of the library. These desks are partitioned, to allow for a degree of privacy. Again there is plenty of natural light from the windows adjacent to the seating. Desks are equipped with power and ethernet sockets. This area of the library is also designated a Silent Zone (silent study, no conversations)

Is being surrounded by others distracting for you? Do you prefer a space where you can be completely on your own or with only a few people nearby?

Our study carrels, individual partitioned seating or individual study desks will be your best choice:

We have 10 study carrels. Two are double carrels and the rest are single. All are sound proofed, have power sockets and Wi-Fi. All have over head lighting and are equipped with desk lamps. The carrels designated for general use operate on a first-come, first served basis. See our guide to study carrel etiquette.

If the study carrels are all in use, there are individual desks situated on the west perimeter of the Library, overlooking the car-park, which are also helpfully removed from distractions and noise (turn right at the end of the Issue Desk and then go left past the Discussion Rooms to reach this area). Note that these desks do not have power sockets. This area of the library is designated a Silent Zone (silent study, no conversations)

photo (c) John Cairns

The alternative is the study area at the back (north) of the library (running along from in front of the Central Graduate Study Room towards the East Graduate Study Room) this is a partitioned seating area for quiet individual study. Half of these seats have been designated a laptop free zone. We request that readers do not use a laptop or a device with an external keyboard at these seats. Tablets and other devices with silent keyboards may still be used. The seats in this area are clearly labelled. All desks in this area have power and ethernet sockets. This area of the library is designated a Silent Zone (silent study, no conversations)

Looking for a space to have a discussion, give a presentation or engage in group work? Our Discussion Rooms will suit your needs.

photo (c) John Cairns

The small room comfortably seats 8 and the larger room seats 16.  Both rooms are equipped with whiteboards and projectors. Marker pens, board rubbers and remote controls for the projectors can be borrowed from the issue desk. Ethernet and power sockets are also available. Both rooms are equipped with dimmer switches, so you can choose the light level you require. These rooms can be booked in advance by members of the departments in the Social Sciences Division for academic-related purposes. If they are not booked, please feel free to go in and use them. These 2 rooms have been designated a Discussion Zone: Discussions, presentations, group work and conversations are permitted

Are you a Social Science Graduate student and want a dedicated area to study? Do you want plenty of desk space to spread out? Our 2 Graduate Study Rooms will be a good choice for you.

The Central Graduate Study Room is equipped with white boards and all desks have power and ethernet sockets. A Manor Road IT printer is also located in it. The room contains two electronic and one manual height-adjustable desk. Windows along the back wall provide natural light. This room has been designated a Quiet Zone where brief, low volume conversations are permitted.

The East Graduate Study Room contains desks with partitioned seating and power and ethernet socks. The room contains a standing desk and an electronic height-adjustable desk. Widows on 2 sides provide natural light. This room has been designated a silent zone (silent study, no conversations).

An alternative space is the Q-Step Centre Teaching Lab. The room is used for teaching Quantitative Methods from 1pm – 6.15pm every weekday of the teaching term (Weeks 1 – 8). Outside of these hours the room is accessible to all Social Sciences graduate students. Undergraduate students who attend Q-Step sessions and who wish to practice on these PCs may be registered to use the room on request: ask a member of Library staff.

Forgotten your laptop or would prefer to work on a proper computer with desk space? Our computer area or Information Skills Training Room will be a good choice.

Our main computer area is equipped with 23 PCs, this includes a dedicated Data Area with PCs containing specialist software.

The Information Skills Training Room offers 20 PCs, LCD projector and screen. It is occasionally booked for training sessions but if it is free, you are welcome to use it. This area is normally less busy than our main computer area. All the monitors and keyboard are housed within the desk, so lift the covers of the desks to access them. This room is equipped with a dimmer switch, so you can choose the light level you require.

Prefer to be more relaxed and sit in individual comfortable seating? Our comfortable seating area will suit your needs.

There are 8 blue comfortable chairs on the south side of the library next to the open plan study area. There is plenty of natural daylight and a power socket available under the coffee table in this area.This area of the library is designated a Silent Zone (silent study, no conversations)

We also have a range of ergonomic furniture for you to use:

The Library has 7 height-adjustable desks (5 electronic, 2 manual) and 6 fixed height standing desks in the following locations:

 

Electronic Height-Adjustable Desks

  • 1 at the end of the Reader PCs Area (also equipped with a PC)
  • 2 in the study area on the east side of the Library
  • 1 in the Central Graduate Study Room
  • 1 in the East Graduate Study Room

 

Fixed-Height Standing Desks

  • 3 in the study area on the east side of the Library
  • 1 at the end of the partitioned searing area outside the East Graduate Study Room
  • 1 in the quiet study area on the west side of the Library, outside the Q-Step teaching lab
  • 1 in the East Graduate Study Room

Manual Height-Adjustable Desks

  • 2 in the Central Graduate Study Room

Ergonomic Chairs

The Library also has 10 RH Logic ergonomic chairs in the following locations:

  • 2 in the study area on the south/southwest side of the Library
  • 2 in the Laptop-free zone / partitioned seating area
  • 5 in the study area on the east side of the Library
  • 1 in the Reader PC area (with the height-adjustable desk)

Standard adjustable chairs are available in the Graduate Study Rooms and at desks equipped with PCs. Library staff will fetch or move these on request.

Look out for signage indicating the volume level for a zone:

 

Silent Zone: Silent study, no conversations

Main seating areas & East Graduate Study Room

 

 

Quiet Zone: Brief, low volume conversations permitted.

Central Graduate Study Room

 

 

Discussion Zone: Discussions, presentations, group work and conversations are permitted

Large Discussion Room and Small Discussion Room

 

 

 

Feeling lost in the Library? Look out for our maps, guides and signs

If you are struggling to find a book, room or service in the Social Science Library, look out for these sources of help:

Library map – consult the large map in the Library entrance area or pick up a map from the Issue Desk to use in the library.  You will also find the map on the ends of the shelves in the main aisle of the library and as a PDF on our website.

Signs – look out for these signs to point you to the different rooms in the library.

Plan of the bookshelves – use this to find the general location of your book (and see how far you need to walk…)

Stack end signs – these tell you the range of shelfmarks on that side of the shelves.

How to…Understand shelfmarks poster – if you have ever wondered what the letters and numbers in the shelfmark of your book actually mean, then take a look at this poster.  It also explains how books are ordered on the shelf, eg the first line of numbers are whole numbers and so the order is 1, 2, 10, 15, 150, 1200 …

Library staff – we are always happy to help.  You can find us at the Issue Desk, or out and about in the library replacing books on the shelves.