It looks like the problem that was affecting stack requests for books in the VHL stack has been fixed. Please do let us know if you continue to have difficulties so that we can both get books up for you and also report back to the Systems Team to make further adjustments if it turns out more work is needed.
Welcome back to anyone returning to Oxford after the summer! If you have been away, you may have missed the fact that over the summer, the Bodleian Libraries moved to a new library system. There is now a new version of SOLO which will allow you not only to search for books, journals and other resources, but which you can also use to place stack requests, and check and renew your loans. The old OLIS interface is no longer available, either for searching the catalogue or for these functions.
There is an online guide available to help you both with searching SOLO and with managing your account: http://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/solo
The online guide includes step-by-step instructions and video tutorials on:
- Logging on
- Placing stack requests and reservations
- Renewing your books
Using the e-shelf
If you need more help, the Bodleian Libraries are also running training sessions throughout Michaelmas Term. See http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/training/solo-workshops for more information and dates.
Resetting your password (for library PCs, wireless network, SOLO for non-University members)
You can now reset your library password yourself using an online form at: https://register.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/rescue.
New system bugs
As with any new system, there are a few things which aren’t working smoothly yet. Our systems team is working hard with the software supplier to get everything fixed as soon as possible, but in the meantime you may come across the following problems:
- Stack requests for books in the VHL stack: Some readers are currently unable to place requests for books in the VHL stack via SOLO. If you find this affects you, please ask us and we will place the request on your behalf.
- VHL stack displaying as ‘remote store’: Please be assured that our stack has not moved! VHL stack books are still on site, even though on SOLO they will say ‘remote store’. We hope to be able to change this.
- VHL books displaying as loans, even when they’re not: Many of our books now say ‘standard loan’ on SOLO. Unlike other libraries, this does not mean they are borrowable! We hope to be able to change this too.
- Problems ordering multivolume works: There have been difficulties placing stack requests for books which have multiple volumes or journals. If you are having difficulty, please ask staff and we can put the request in for you.
- E-shelf data: Any records which you saved to your e-shelf should have migrated, but a few went astray on the way. If you are missing your e-shelf data, let us know and we can ask the Systems Team to restore it for you.
If you come across any other problems, or are having difficulty using SOLO, please do ask us and we will do what we can to help you!
The various bugs and glitches with the new library system and SOLO are gradually getting sorted out. Here’s an update on things that have been fixed and things that are still problematic:
Hold (stack) request notifications: You should now receive emails when your stack requests arrive at the reading room. This should help with the problem of knowing when to expect things, as SOLO no longer gives you an expected arrival date/time. In general, the standard advice is that requests take 24-48 hours to arrive, but with the notifications you will now know as soon as they do, whether they take longer or (hopefully usually!) shorter than that.
VHL stack requests: These are still not fully working, but progress has been made and I’m hopeful you will be able to put in requests ‘properly’ via SOLO soon. In the meantime, we will continue to fetch things up using the manual request slips.
VHL stack location – “remote store”: All stack books from all libraries, regardless of location, are listed as being “remote store” on SOLO. Please be reassured that if you see “remote store” for a VHL book, it is not remote at all, but is in fact in our stack here on-site.
Hold (stack) requests for multivolume works: It is not currently possible to request more than one volume of a multivolume work via SOLO. We can override this from the staff side, so if you want more than one volume of a work let us know and we will place the request for you.
e-shelf data: This has now been migrated, however there are reports of a few people who still can’t see their old data as the systems failed to match properly. If this applies to you, then please let a member of library staff know and we will ask for your data to be migrated to you.
Otherwise, things are working ever more smoothly. If you do come across problems using SOLO/placing hold requests etc, please let us know or report them using the feedback link on SOLO itself. If you’re having difficulty finding your way around SOLO in the first place, then take a look at the online guide or ask us for help.
If you’re finding SOLO difficult to use, and are struggling to find things, then help is at hand! As well as the online guide, the Bodleian Libraries are running training sessions on using SOLO for readers – details as follows:
WISER: Finding Stuff on SOLO
This hands on workshop will focus on search techniques for finding books, journals and other Library materials in print and online using SOLO. The session will also cover placing requests and reservations using SOLO, book renewals and using the SOLO e-shelf and saved searches.
Dates: This workshop will run on the following dates (you only need to attend one session).
- Tuesday 9 August 14.30-15.30 at the Social Science Library
- Wednesday 24 August 10.00-11.00 at the Radcliffe Science Library
More dates will be added over the summer, please check http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/training/solo-workshops for more details.
Who may attend: All Bodleian Libraries and College readers may attend but please book your place.
Booking: Booking for these workshops is essential. Please book your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the date of the workshop that you wish to attend.
In addition to SOLO not currently allowing stack requests for books from the VHL stack, we’ve also discovered that stack requests are not always working to request books from the Bodleian stacks to the VHL. The problem here is that the VHL is not listed as one of the possible pick-up locations, and unfortunately this means that we can’t override this for you from the staff side. I have reported this and we hope it’ll be fixed soon, but in the meantime I’m afraid you will need to go to another library or reading room to consult Bodleian material.
This problem doesn’t seem to be affecting oversize books, which continue to only be available to be requested to the VHL.
There is also a separate problem where some readers are not able to place any stack requests at all, despite always having been able to do so. This is also being investigated, and the good news is that staff can override this block so please ask us to place stack requests for you if you find you are not currently able to do so yourself.
If you do come across this, or any other problems with stack requests to the VHL, please do let me know.
The bug which has been preventing readers from renewing their books online via SOLO has now been fixed. If you see the ‘renew failed’ message from now on, it means that there’s a genuine, library-specific reason why you can’t renew, eg, limits on number of renewals, restrictions on renewing overdue books.
Fixes are still being worked on for the various other bugs, and we’ll update as and when things get sorted out. Don’t forget, if you are experiencing problems with SOLO, please report them either to us or use the feedback link on SOLO itself. If you need guidance on how to do things in SOLO, again feel free to ask us or take a look at the online guide.
It’s come to our attention that stack requests aren’t working on the new system for books kept in the VHL stack. I’ve reported it and it is being investigated, but in the meantime the only way to call up our stack books is the old-fashioned manual way. If you would like to see a book kept in our stack, then please come into the library or give us a ring/send us an email to give us the details so that we can go down and fetch it for you.
I’m afraid this does mean that we are not able to send VHL stack books elsewhere in the Bodleian Libraries for consultation until the problem is fixed, so if you do want a book from our stack you will need to come into the VHL to read it.
It also looks as if VHL stack books are not displaying their location on SOLO (which may be the reason the requests aren’t working!). As a general rule, anything published pre-1920 will be in the stack, but do ask if you’re not sure – we can see the location on the staff side.
There are various other bugs currently causing problems on SOLO as well – summary as follows:
- Renewals: It’s currently not possible to renew your loans or your stack requests via SOLO. Staff can do so on your behalf, so please ask the relevant library. Fines are generally being waived across the system while everything settles down, and no stack requests are going back to the stacks until at least Monday 1st August.
- Stack requests for multiple volumes of the same work (books and journals): If you try to request more than one volume of a work, you will get a message saying you already have a request and won’t be able to request subsequent volumes. Again staff can get round this, so please ask us to place the requests on your behalf.
- e-shelf: e-shelf data has still not been migrated. Don’t worry, your saved records have not been lost, it’s just taking them longer than we thought to transfer the data.
- Visibility of stack books already called up to reading rooms: SOLO is not displaying properly when stack books are already out from the stack, which means it’s hard to know when you place a request either whether it’s available or not, or if it’s already in a reading room, where it is so that you can go and consult it there.
- Estimated delivery times: SOLO does not tell you when you place a request when to expect it at the reading room. The idea was that you would be emailed when your books arrived, but this is not working properly yet either. You can always check the status of your request by logging in to SOLO and looking at your account. As a general rule, books take 24-48 hours to arrive in the reading room from the stack.
All of these are known about by our systems people and by the software developers, who are working to fix the bugs as soon as possible. If you are having problems with any aspect of SOLO and the new system, please do report it either to library staff or via the feedback link on SOLO (top right, next to ‘help’).
The new, improved version of SOLO has just gone live! You will now be able to make stack requests, check your loans record and renew books all within SOLO.
How do I…?
The SOLO online guide includes instructions on how to do all of these things, as well as guidance on how best to search. The Libraries are also running several training sessions to help readers learn their way around SOLO – details available at: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/training/solo-workshops
Logging on to SOLO
If you are a University member, you will need to log on to SOLO using your Oxford single sign-on account. Remember to log off when you are finished so that no-one else can access your record! You will still need your library card barcode and password for logging on to PCs in libraries or accessing the Bodleian Libraries wireless network.
If you are not a member of Oxford University, but have a Bodleian Libraries’ readers card, you will log on to SOLO using your library card barcode and password.
If you can’t remember the password that goes with your library card barcode, you can reset it online yourself at: https://register.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/rescue.
It is now possible to reset your own library password, to use to log on to library PCs, the Bodleian Libraries wireless service, and (for non-Oxford University members from tomorrow onwards), SOLO to place stack requests and check your record etc. You can do this via an online form at https://register.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/rescue. There is an online guide available to walk you through the process at: http://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/library-password, but staff will still be able to reset passwords for you if you have problems with this method.
As part of the final preparation for the new system coming in tomorrow, SOLO will need to be taken down at 3pm this afternoon until 9am tomorrow morning. If you need to find material while SOLO is out of action, please check COPAC, or ask staff for help. Alternatively, a good tip for the VHL if ever SOLO is down is to search the Library of Congress’s catalogue. It won’t tell you whether we have a book here but the shelfmark would be the same if we do, so it will at least point you in the right direction on our shelves!