What to expect when using the VHL Click & Collect service in Michaelmas Term 2020

If you are planning on using the VHL Click & Collect service to access reading material, read this blogpost for further information, and advice on how to plan for your visit.

Selecting your book

To start requesting titles, you will first need to request a title via SOLO. Log in to your SOLO account, using your Single Sign-On information. Your name will appear at the top of the page.

Titles which you can select via Click & Collect will have a green Request button next to the Location Items information. You will need to visit the individual owning library in order to collect/borrow the item.

Please note that if the title is located as the BSF or the Vere Harmsworth Library Stack, then the item will be a non-loanable stack request, and you will need to consult the item in the library, via a booked reading room slot.

An example of Click & Collect – press the green Request button.


Once you have requested your item, your request will be sent to the relevant library staff, who will search for, and select your required title.

Once this has been done, you will receive an automated Holds Notification Email, which will alert you that your item is ready to be collected, and include a link, so that you can book your collection slot.

Booking a slot

In line with wider Bodleian policy, readers are required to use a booking system to book collection slots at the VHL.

Use this link to book your space at the VHL.

The time slots for Click & Collect are from 12:00-16:00, on weekdays only.

If you are nominating a person to pick up your items for you (see below), add their name to the Notes field.

If you have requested more than one title via Click & Collect from the same library, you don’t need to book seperate time slots for each item. So long as the library staff have been able to select your item, and you have received a Holds Notification Email to confirm your book is available, you will only need to make use of one time slot booking.

For more information about the wider Click and Collect service,, visit the Bodleian Libraries website on using Click & Collect.

Arriving at the VHL to pick up your book 

You may arrive at any time during your allocated study slot. Please follow all social distancing guidance and signage when entering the building. If there is a queue, may be required to wait in the foyer, or outside the building.

Upon arrival outside the building, please follow the below steps:

  1. Enter the Rothermere American Institute foyer, via the door marked Entrance (on your right as you approach the building – see image below).

The library is through the glass doors door, on the left side of the foyer (see below). Keep to the right hand side as you enter through the doors.




2. Tap your Bodleian card against the card reader on your immediate right, to activate the access gates (see below).

3.  Please enter the library one person at a time. If library staff are busy with an enquiry  at the library desk, you may be asked to wait before the access gates, or in the RAI foyer.

4. Once the library staff member at the desk confirms that they are available to deal with your enquiry, please confirm that you are here to collect a book.

5. You will be asked to show your Bodleian card, so that the staff member can confirm your collection time, and find your item. Display your card either through the Perspex screen, or by placing your card on the desk, and then stepping away from the desk area and stand behind the line marked on the floor.

6. If there is a long queue of readers wishing to enter the library for reading room spaces, you may be asked to come back later to collect your material, when the enquiry desk is quieter.

Upon entering the library, you will need to register with library staff at the enquiry desk (pictured above). Please stand behind the line on the floor, when speaking with staff. 

Collecting your item

Once library staff have checked your card, they will be able to locate your book/s from behind the library enquiry desk area.

After verbally confirming with you that they have the correct book/number of books under your name, the staff member will need to scan your library card, either through the Perspex screen, or via the gap near the desk ledge.

At this stage, library staff will check the title/s out to you, and confirm the return date.

What if I miss my collection slot?

You can rebook a collection slot at any point via the link in your Holds Notification Email (see above). Your title will stay on the Hold Shelf for at least 7 days before being returned to the open shelves or passed on to the next request.

If you are struggling to organise a time to pick up your book, please email us as soon as possible so that we can assist you.

Nominating another person to collect your book

If you need to self-isolate, you may find that you cannot collect your book in person from the VHL. You can nominate another person, such as a friend or family member, to collect your book for you (this is called “collection by proxy”).

When you book your time slot, add in the name of your nominated collector in the Notes field. This alerts library staff that another person will be coming to collect your book.

Your nominated person will need to bring photo ID with them when they come to collect your book/s.

If you are unsure, feel free to contact us beforehand.

Leaving the VHL after collecting your book

You should leave the VHL after library staff have handed your your requested book/s.

  1. Leave the library one at a time, keeping to your right, as you go through the security sensors.
  2. Use the card reader on the wall directly in front of you (on your immediate right as you turn to face the library doors) to activate the security gates and exit the library through the library doors.
  3. Exit the RAI foyer via the exit immediately on your right.

When exiting the library, please be aware of your fellow readers and others in the building, and follow social distancing signage and guidance at all times. There may be a rush of readers exiting the library, and you may be asked to queue as you leave.

Returning books to the VHL

When returning books at the VHL, readers will be asked to put their items directly into a blue crate. The crate is located immediately on the right as you enter the library, on the ground next to the library desk. Readers do not need to make a reading room booking, or use the access gates in order to return their books.

A blue box, labelled Returns, is on the floor of the library. A set of glass doors are on the right of the image, and the library desk wall on the left.

Our returns crate is next to the library enquiry desk, as you walk through the glass doors.

After a quarantine period of 24 hours, the book will be removed from your account. Bodleian libraries will be extending it’s grace period on library fines from the lockdown period across Michaelmas Term, so the extra period of time on your account will not affect you.

Readers may also return their books via the Returns Hubs based at the Social Science Library in the Manor Road Building, or the Sainsbury Library at the Saïd Business School.

Please note that if you cannot physically return the books yourself, you may ask a friend or family member to return the books for you. If this is not possible, please visit the Bodleian Loans Returns webpage, which provides further information and return options for readers.

Continue reading

OLIS unavailable: 18-20 September

News from OULS:

OLIS (www.lib.ox.ac.uk/olis), Oxford University’s online library catalogue, will be unavailable from 5pm on Friday 18 September – Sunday 20 September inclusive (estimated timing) while the server is fitted with a new and faster disk array.

SOLO (http://solo.ouls.ox.ac.uk) will be available throughout. Please note however that it will not be possible to check library holdings, place stack requests or reservations or to access patron records during the downtime.

Where libraries use self-issue systems, these will also be unavailable.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this essential upgrade.

Search Oxford Libraries Online (SOLO) – a new way to search Oxford library catalogues

An announcement from OULS:

On 1st October, Oxford University Library Services is introducing new search tools that provide enhanced and easy access to its many resources.

SOLO: Search Oxford Libraries Online http://solo.ouls.ox.ac.uk/
OLIS, the library catalogue, still exists but is now overlaid with powerful search software, SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online). SOLO will search across OLIS, as well as the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) and other catalogues and e-resources collections so that your search results will be more comprehensive. Facets provide many additional links and there are options to email results, save results for bibliographic management packages, save searches and create search alerts. SOLO search results link to OLIS so that when you find the item you want, you will be able to place a stack request or a reservation. SOLO also allows for seamless linking to full-text journal articles. An “Articles and Databases” tab gives you a quick overview (no more than 30 results per database searched) of journal articles, abstracts or bibliographic references in many subjects. Use this if you just want a sample of search results but go to OxLIP+ if you want to do detailed searching of the 800+ e-resources and databases.

OxLIP+ http://oxlip-plus.ouls.ox.ac.uk
From OxLIP+ you can look for a resource by title or by subject, as before, but you can also search for a database by a word in its title or description. Selective databases can be cross-searched, thus allowing you to pick and choose databases from Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Medicine for truly interdisciplinary searching. Ask your local librarian for assistance with the many new options on offer.

OU E-journals http://ejournals.ouls.ox.ac.uk
OU E-Journals, already familiar to most of you, is still available as a separate search service and is your easiest way into a full-text ejournal. Oxford now has over 28,000 titles! Use Single-Sign-On (SSO) to have access to the full range of resources and services. No more need for VPN or Athens – just logon using your SSO account (which is the same as your Herald email userid & password)!

Please use the TELL US WHAT YOU THINK screen on SOLO to tell us your views and send in suggestions.

The homepage on all reader PCs will default to SOLO from tomorrow (1st October).