WISER sessions coming up

WISER: Looking things up: reference sources online
Friday, 2nd May 2008 (week 2), 12.30 – 1.30, OUCS, Banbury Road.
This session will introduce some useful online reference resources such as biographical sources, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and handbooks for questions requiring quick answers.
Mat Andrews and Judy Reading.
Book at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/itlp/courses/detail/TZWS
Full programme at: http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/training
All enquiries to: usered@ouls.ox.ac.uk

WISER sessions this week

WISER: Electronic resources.
Friday, 25th April 2008 (week 1), 12.30 – 1.30, OUCS, Banbury Road.
An introduction to the networked databases available through the Oxford Libraries Information Platform (OxLIP) interface. Available databases include indexing services, electronic journals and other full text services, online reference tools, statistics and library catalogues. We will also discuss how to access online resources from outside the Oxford network.
Emma Sullivan and Judy Reading.
Book at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/itlp/courses/detail/TZWB
Full programme at: http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/training
All enquiries to: usered@ouls.ox.ac.uk

Increased use of the library in Trinity Term

Every year we see a marked increase in use of the library in Trinity Term, at times almost up to 100% capacity, due to students throughout the University needing study space in the run-up to exams. The VHL is not the only library that experiences this, but perhaps because for most of the year we are quite quiet it feels like more of a contrast, and leads to complaints every year from Americanists who suddenly struggle to find somewhere to sit and work in the VHL during this period.

In previous years we have tried to balance the conflicting needs of our readers with minimum intervention, by designating the first floor study carrels as priority desks from which non-Americanists may be asked to move if the library reaches capacity and someone needing to use our collections cannot find anywhere to sit. We have seen this as the simplest system for us to manage, and the fairest one to all readers, as intervention is only necessary if there is no alternative free seat. However it hasn’t always worked as well as we might have hoped, and so this year we have decided to try setting aside the first floor study carrels for Americanists only during Trinity Term. During this period therefore, please only use these desks if you are in the library to use our collections.

We understand that our readers have conflicting needs and opinions, and would very much like to hear from you about this. Let us know what you think about the new system as opposed to the old, or any other ideas or views you have about how best to manage our busy time of year. Comment on this blog post, or on the VHL’s page on Facebook, or let us know your thoughts by email or in the comments book at the desk. Hopefully together we’ll be able to make Trinity Term in the VHL more harmonious this year!

‘Web 2.0 for Historians’ guide

You may have noticed I’m rather fond of web 2.0 things. It speaks to my not-so-inner librarian – organisation and sharing of knowledge. I seem to have spent a lot of time lately talking to people about how libraries can use web 2.0 to enhance our services, and now, in conjunction with the History Faculty Library, we have produced a guide to web 2.0 tools for Historians, which we hope will be useful to some of you! It covers many different websites and tools that can help you organise, discover and share your research and content on the web. The guide is now available at the HFL and here in the VHL, with the other electronic resources guides by the microform readers.

Saturday opening update – now starting 1st week

We have just found out that there is an animal rights demonstration happening this Saturday (19th) and University Security is advising all departments around South Parks Road to shut. We will therefore not be able to be open then after all, so our Saturday opening hours will begin from the following Saturday (26th).

Apologies for this!

Saturday opening

Starting from this Saturday (19th April), the VHL will be open on Saturday mornings from 9am-1pm throughout Trinity Term, thus giving you all four more hours per week to spend in our delightful company!