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

 

 

 

Work taking place to replace lighting in the library (18 March to 12 April)

Over the Easter vacation, work will be continuing to replace our fluorescent ceiling lights in the SSL with energy efficient LED lights. This will take place from Monday 18th March to Friday 12th April. The area the work will be carried out in is the section of books located to the rear of the library (between the two Discussion Rooms and the Q-Step Teaching Lab). See red outlined section below:

While the work takes place, this section of the library will be unavailable to readers. This will also include the individual study desks adjacent to the book shelves along the west wall (see blue block within the red outline section above).

Note that sections of this overall area will be made available again as the work progresses.

Library staff will operate a fetching service for books located in the above area. Readers should go to the Library Issue Desk to request material.

The work will involve some noise disturbance at times. However, we are hoping to restrict this to between 9am – 10am each morning. There may be some additional noise disturbance between 1pm – 2pm.

The LED light fittings use less than half the amount of electricity of the old fitting. This is part of a University of Oxford Estates Services project to improve lighting efficiency throughout the Manor Road Building.

With such a positive outcome for the library we appreciate your understanding while the work takes place.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to email us.

 

Central Graduate Study Room: quiet discussion allowed

Central Graduate Study Room

With the busy exam period over, quiet discussion is now permitted in the Central Graduate Study Room again.  Following feedback from the Social Science Library Committee, this room was temporarily designated a quiet study area during Trinity Term, but has now reverted to a space for both quiet study and quiet discussion.  The East Graduate Study Room remains a quiet study area.

Central Graduate Study room designated quiet study area in Trinity Term

Central Graduate Study Room

Following feedback from the Social Science Library Committee, both the Central and East Graduate Study Rooms will be designated as spaces for quiet study during Trinity Term. This is to reflect the additional need for quiet study spaces in the run up to the examination period. The Central Graduate Study Room will revert to a space for both quiet study and quiet discussion at the beginning of the Long Vacation.

Central Graduate Study Room: quiet discussion allowed

Graduate Study roomWith the busy exam period over, quiet discussion is now permitted in the Central Graduate Study Room.  Following feedback from the Social Science Library Committee, this room was temporarily designated a quiet study area during Trinity Term, but has now reverted to a space for both quiet study and quiet discussion.  The East Graduate Study Room remains a quiet study area.

Central Graduate Study Room designated quiet study area in Trinity Term

Graduate Study roomFollowing feedback from the Social Science Library Committee, both the Central and East Graduate Study Rooms will be designated as spaces for quiet study during Trinity Term. This is to reflect the additional need for quiet study spaces in the run up to the examination period. The Central Graduate Study Room will revert to a space for both quiet study and quiet discussion at the beginning of the Long Vacation.

New wall thermometers in the library

Thermometer in seating areaWe have some new, easy-to-read, wall thermometers in the library, thanks to the University’s Environmental Sustainability Team and Green Impact.  See if you can spot all seven of them!  They indicate whether the temperature is ideal, warm or hot and will help us with our ongoing efforts (with the Estates Department) to reduce overheating and maintain a comfortable temperature.

Laptop-free Zone Trial

Partitioned Seating 2 - USE FOR BLOG

Following feedback from several sources, we have decided to trial a Laptop-free Zone in the Library for the duration of Trinity Term 2015.

Although readers who prefer to work without/away from laptops tend to be in the minority (see the results of our “Quiet Study Area Survey 2014”), we feel it is important to provide them with at least one space in the library where they can work separately from other readers who do wish to use laptops.

For the purposes of the trial we have designated the 18 partitioned seats outside the Central Graduate Study Room on the North side of the Library as a Laptop-free Zone (see photo above) and 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 will be clearly labelled during the trial period.

Don’t forget that ear plugs are available to buy from the library issue desk for 20p to help you work in peace and quiet.

If you have any comments regarding the trial, please contact us via email, on our Facebook page or via Twitter

Thanks!