Alain Locke Collection: New titles!

Brown shelves containing a range of books that make up the 2023 Alain Locke Collection. In the middle of the image, above the books, there is a poster with a portrait of Alain Locke

The full display of the 2023 Alain Locke Donation.

The new selection of titles for the Alain Locke Collection are now available and on display in the Vere Harmsworth Library!

Readers will be able to see the new selections on the Ground Floor of the Library. This area, as part of our agreement with the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS), will be dedicated to displaying and promoting the Collection. Alongside the titles are primary works by Alain Locke and items related to African American political history from our Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive.

A four by four grid of book front covers. These books are a selection of titles from the 2023 batch of

You can see above a selection of some of the titles that have been selected above. You can view the full list here.

About the collection

In spring 2021, the VHL and RAI agreed to create the Alain Locke Collection with support from the AARS. Named after the first African American Rhodes Scholar, the collection aims to focus on research monographs in the areas of African American history, politics, biography and culture, alongside notable gaps in material not produced by commercial publishers.

The Bodleian is committed to providing students and researchers with world class access to resources to enable them to fulfil their scholarly ambitions. We are therefore hugely grateful to the AARS for pledging a gift of $25,000 over five years supporting the Alain Locke Collection. This supports our intention for the VHL to become a leading centre for the study of African American history, politics, and culture.

The establishment of the Alain Locke Collection will allow the VHL to expand the purchase of African American focused research monographs, without affecting expenditure on other research areas. It will build on the VHL’s current holdings and run alongside the continued intake of research monographs via the legal deposit agreements and e-book packages. It will allow the VHL to identify and address potential gaps in some of the older materials. Most significantly, it will demonstrate our commitment to representing African American history and culture within our collections.

Current students and researchers can recommend titles to be purchased for the Alain Locke Collection by contacting the Vere Harmsworth Librarian (bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

If you have any further questions about the Alain Locke Collection, or the display, please contact Bethan Davies. To find out more about supporting the Vere Harmsworth Library and the Alain Locke collection please contact the Vere Harmsworth Library (vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

 

New AKS Books for 2023

Each year, the Association of American Rhodes Scholars generously pays for the library to purchase approximately £3000 worth of books in memory of Frank Aydelotte (first American Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships), Paul Kieffer (President of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, 1957-1969), and Courtney Smith (second American Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships) in order to develop the breadth and depth of the VHL Collections.

The 2023 AKS Books

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The collection for 2023 is now available and can be found on the ground floor of the Vere Harmsworth Library, next to the Alain Locke Collection. All books in the AKS Collection are loanable.

Selections from previous years are shelved as part of the main collection. The books currently on display separately can be identified by the ‘AKS’ shelfmark prefix.

A list of acquisitions for 2023 can be found on SOLO by searching for ‘AKS’ in the shelfmark (limit to the Vere Harmsworth Library) or on our LibraryThing page.

We are grateful as ever to the Association of American Rhodes Scholars for funding these purchases and for their ongoing support of the library.

If you have any further questions about the AKS Collection, or the display, please contact Bethan Davies. If you have any further questions about working in the Vere Harmsworth Library, please email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Say hello to an improved SOLO (August 2023)

Frontpage of SOLO showing the search box and at the top options to Browse, get help, do a new search.

[The following has been shamelessly borrowed and adapted from the original HFL blogpost. See their blogpost for guidance on using the new SOLO with Radcliffe Camera and Old Bodleian collections.]

Today (24 August 2023) we upgraded to a new library system. Most of the changes are ‘behind the scenes’ but we have also taken the opportunity to make some changes to some aspects of SOLO. For instance, we have made it easier for you to discover and locate physical copies of books and be able to tell whether you can borrow or consult a copy within a specific library.

Below are some key changes which are of interest to historians. See also the full list of changes and guidance on using SOLO (LibGuide).

[TIP = Please clear the cache in any web browsers you have previously used to access SOLO to ensure you are viewing the latest version.]

Easier to see all copies of a book held in the VHL

You will now see all copies listed under Vere Harmsworth Library where there are multiple copies of an item on the site.

A screenshot of the SOLO catalogue, showing that the VHL has two copies of the book Gilded by Deborah Davis.

This example shows that two copies of the same title are held in the VHL.

 

You will now need to sign into SOLO to see borrowing options 

If you are not signed into SOLO you will only see whether an item is available or not, rather than whether an item can be borrowed or for how long. It is always best to sign first as you get a better service from SOLO.

Once signed in you will now see loan periods personalised to you 

The terminology for loan policies has also been improved to make it clearer how long you can borrow the book for. (e.g. 7 days; 2 days etc). Please note that you can only borrow from libraries where you are a member, for example, the Bodleian Libraries and your college library.

Take the two copies of Gilded: how Newport became America’s richest resort by Deborah Davis (2009) shown in the example above If we click on each individual copy, we can see one title is a lending copy (Loanable) and one copy is not (Use in Library Only).

A screenshot of SOLO, the Library catalogue, showing that one VHL copy of Gilded by Deborah Davis, is available to borrow as a Vacation Loan.

An example of a loanable copy – in this example, available to borrow for the Vacation period.

A screenshot of SOLO, the Library catalogue, showing that one VHL copy of Gilded by Deborah Davis, has the status Use in Library Only.

The same title, but now showing a non-lending copy, with the status Use in Library Only.

 

Check for available copies before requesting from offsite 

To try to help you avoid reserving and waiting for a book out on loan when there are copies already available on library shelves for you to fetch immediately, we have added this additional message to SOLO:

 Before requesting, check for 'item in place' copies - it will be quicker for you to fetch it from the shelf than to wait for a request

Auto-renewals 

Bodleian Libraries lending copies will auto renew for up to 112 days – unless somebody else places a hold. Find out more about the Bodleian Libraries’ borrowing policy.

Book already on loan? Place a hold request!

If you want to borrow a loanable Bodleian Libraries book (which another reader already has on loan) we recommend you place a hold request via SOLO If you don’t place a request, the book will continue to renew automatically for the original reader.  

If you have a book on loan, you will be notified via email if it has been requested.

Alternatively, look for another copy, including one which can be used in the library (Use in Library Only).

Request a VHL Stack item

You can also use the hold request to get books from the Vere Harmsworth Stack, including historical material and theses. You will receive a notification once the book has been moved to the VHL Staff Desk, and is available for you to consult. Note that you will need to read any Vere Harmsworth Stack titles in the Reading Room only.

A screenshot of SOLO, the Library catalogue, showing The tour of James Monroe, President of the United States, in the year 1817, by Samuel Putnam Waldo. The Location information shows the the item is from the VHL Stack. There is a Green Request Button and a Blue Scan and Deliver button.

A VHL book currently held in the VHL Stack – use the green Request button to place a hold on the title and read it in the Reading Room. Or, use the Blue Scan and Deliver button to place a Scan request.

More information how to use SOLO is at SOLO LibGuide.

LibraryScan streamlined with Scan & Deliver service 

The LibraryScan service has now been streamlined with the existing Scan & Deliver service (for items in offsite storage) into a new integrated service. If scanning is an option for any type of item you will now just see the ‘Scan & Deliver’ button.

The Scan & Deliver request form has been improved, particularly the wording on how much you can have scanned (not the whole book!) including advice that you can ask for the index or table of contents in addition to your final choice of chapter.

Requesting items from other libraries, beyond Oxford

If we do not hold an item in Oxford it is now really easy to request an item from other libraries, beyond Oxford. Simply click on ‘Need more?’ from the menu at the top of the page and fill in the form.

Help & support

If you need any help, please do get in touch with library staff who will be more than happy to help you. Here is how you can contact us:

Your feedback matters

We have undertaken extensive testing of the new version of SOLO, gathering feedback from 80 students using the system in real-world situations, and consulting widely on the borrowing changes (see link above). However, we recognise that not everything will be perfect from the start, and development will continue. We are using this feedback form to gather feedback on the changes to SOLO, which will help us make further improvements.

Celebrating Alain Locke: A new collection for the VHL

In spring 2021, the VHL and RAI agreed to create the Alain Locke Collection with support from the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS). Named after the first African American Rhodes Scholar, the collection aims to focus on research monographs in the areas of African American history, politics, biography and culture, alongside notable gaps in material not produced by commercial publishers.

The Bodleian is committed to providing students and researchers with world class access to resources to enable them to fulfil their scholarly ambitions. We are therefore hugely grateful to the AARS for pledging a gift of $25,000 over five years supporting the Alain Locke Collection. This supports our intention for the VHL to become a leading centre for the study of African American history, politics, and culture.

This ambitious vision the VHL will be achieved by enhancing our current collections through the focused and strategic purchase of African American research material, including valuable electronic database collections which will support students and researchers in their studies. Reflecting our commitment to maintain and promote our African American-based collection, this vision sits within the current strategic aims of the Bodleian Libraries and alongside the work of the RAI, whose mission is to promote ‘greater public and academic understanding of the history, culture and politics of the United States’.

About the Collection

The collection will be created through consulting bibliographies recommended by the Frederick Douglass Book Prize Board (Gilder Lehrman and Yale); recommendations by Professors Eddie Glaude at Princeton and Henry Louis Gates at Harvard; and gaps identified by the VHL Librarian.

The establishment of the Alain Locke Collection will allow the VHL to expand the purchase of African American focused research monographs, without affecting expenditure on other research areas. It will build on the VHL’s current holdings and run alongside the continued intake of research monographs via the legal deposit agreements and e-book packages. It will allow the VHL to identify and address potential gaps in some of the older materials. Most significantly, it will demonstrate our commitment to representing African American history and culture within our collections.

Front covers of 40 books from the Alain Locke Collection. A link is provided below with a full list of the titles.

You can see above a selection of some of the titles that have been selected for our first intake for the Alain Locke Collection. You can view the full list here. 

About the display area

Readers will be able to see the first selection for the Alain Locke Collection on the Ground Floor of the Library. This area, as part of our agreement with the AARS, will be dedicated to displaying and promoting the Collection. Alongside works by Locke, on display are items related to African American political history from our Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive. These items show the breadth of the Archive.

A photograph of the display area with Alain Locke Collection in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any further questions about the Alain Locke Collection, or the display below, please contact Bethan Davies. To find out more about supporting the Vere Harmsworth Library and the Alain Locke collection please contact Jenny Haimes

New e-Resource – Black Authors, 1556-1922: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia

[Item originally posted on on the EFL blogpost]

Black Authors, 1556-1922This online collection consists of 550 fully searchable works written by Black authors from Africa, the Americas, and Europe, and spans from the mid-sixteenth century to the early twentieth century. The collection is remarkable for the diversity of its content and contains texts that fall within a wide range of genres, including autobiographies, essays, letters and poems, as well as examples of more unusual genres such as maps and sheet music.

The archive may be browsed by author, genre or subject (such as agriculture, economics and trade, education, government, health, law and crime, literature, philosophy, politics, and slavery and race relations). It is also possible to narrow down search results within a given subject as each is further divided into several subtopics. The archive can also be searched by place of publication and by publisher.

Individual authors include Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho and Bethany Veney.

The Bodleian Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University. This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers.

Purchase of this resource was partly funded by the Drue Heinz Fund.

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

What to expect when using the VHL Reading Rooms in Michaelmas Term 2020

If you are planning on booking and using the VHL study spaces, read this blogpost for further information, and advice on how to plan for your visit.

Booking a slot

In line with wider Bodleian policy, readers are required to use a booking system to book spaces at the VHL. Pre-booking is mandatory and walk-in requests for study spaces will be politely rejected by library staff.

A screenshot of the Bodleian Library Space Finder webpage. Note that this example includes our new Browse & Borrow service options – please ensure you select the right option for your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use this link to book your space at the VHL.

For more information about the wider Bodleian reading room policies, and for further information on the booking service, visit the Bodleian Libraries website on using library reading rooms.

The booking slots for the VHL are:

Weekdays: 9:30 – 13:00; 13:30-17:00; 17:30-21:00

Saturday: 10:00- 12:30: 13:00 – 16:00

Sunday: 11:00 – 13:30: 14:00 – 17:00

You may book for more than one slot across the day if you wish.

Spaces will be available one week in advance of the advertised dates.

You can choose to book a Desk space or a Reader PC space. You cannot book two spaces at the same time, and move between the PC/Desk.

You may use the notes field if you wish to provide further information to the librarians before your slot, such as if you wish to use a microfilm reader.

Please note that study spaces at the VHL, and across the Bodleian Libraries are very heavily booked up, and we are trying to make as many spaces available as safely possible. Do not make a study space booking if you are not intending on using it. Please be considerate of your fellow readers.

Arriving at the VHL for your study slot

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 for a study space booking.

5. You will be asked to show your Bodleian card, so that the staff member can confirm your place on the Reading Room register. 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. The library staff member will confirm your study slot booking, and the times of your registered study slot. They will also inform you of the main guidelines you need to follow whilst using the library. If you are studying for more than one slot, you will then be given a red library ticket (see below for further information on library tickets).

7. If you have a stack request, or Click & Collect material which you need to collect, inform the library staff member, so that they can provide you with your items. 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.

Selecting a Desk or PC Study Space

Available spaces within the VHL have been marked out by library staff in advance. Available spaces are socially distanced from other readers, and located to ensure the least amount of contact between readers.

Available spaces are marked with a green tick sign, which reads “You may sit here”. Unavailable seats are marked with a red “Do not sit here” sign.

You may use any available desk or PC Reader space in the VHL, so long as the seat is marked with the green tick sign and there is not a red Library ticket left on the desk.

PC study spaces are available on the Ground Floor only. Desk spaces are available on all floors of the library.

The Reader PCs are located on the Ground Floor. You can sit at any of the PCs with a green tick sign.

Once you have selected your desired space, please use the nearby cleaning materials to wipe down your desk area or reading room equipment before using the space for your studies.

If you are having problems with your chosen study space (such as your PC/electronic plugs are not working), inform the library staff as soon as possible for their assistance. If your study space is found to be unusable, staff may move you to another free space, but we do ask for you to wipe down your previous study space before moving.

Displaying your library ticket 

If you are going to be studying at the VHL for more than one time slot (so for example, a morning & afternoon slot), you will be given a red ticket by a member of staff on your arrival. The ticket is to ensure that other library staff do not incorrectly ask you to leave before your booked slot times have ended, and to avoid them disturbing you when asking other readers to leave. Please keep your red ticket clearly visible on your desk, with the side with text facing upwards.

Staying for more than one time slot? Make sure to keep your red ticket displayed!

You do not need to leave the library in between any of your booked slots, but you may leave the library at any point for meals or other reasons. If you are planning on leaving the library and returning, please leave your red ticket on your desk, to make sure other readers do not use your space in your absence.

When you have finished studying for the day, please return your ticket to the enquiry point when you leave. Do not take your ticket home with you.

Using the reading room during your slot 

Social distancing guidelines and cleaning material 

Any reader using the library study spaces will need to follow the guidelines set out by the VHL. These are created in consultation with the Rothermere American Institute and the wider Bodleian libraries policy.

Readers will be required to wear a mask at all times whilst in the library, and wider RAI building. Readers must also maintain a 2 meter social distance between themselves and others using the building. There is a limit of one person down each library shelving bay.

If you require help from a library staff member, consider using Library Chat or email, instead of speaking 1-1 with a member of staff, to reduce unrequired contact.

There are cleaning materials located around the library on each floor, to allow readers to clean their study spaces and any reading room equipment they use whilst at the VHL. There are also hand sanitisers located near reading room equipment, and in wall dispensers around the building.

If you have any feedback on the social distancing/one way system, or feel that more cleaning material should be made available, please inform library staff by email. We are more than happy to consider your feedback, and reflect on what we can do better.

Moving around the library

A one-way system is in place around the building to encourage social distancing and to avoid unwarranted contact between people using the building.

Upon entering and exiting the RAI foyer, use the separate Entrance and Exit doors. Please keep to your right as you enter or exit the VHL via the glass doors and library access gates.

There is only one staircase which connects the Ground Floor to the Mezzanine level, from which you can access the other floors. Please be aware of other readers using the stairs and give way at the signposted points (pictured below).

If you need to continue to the floors higher than the Mezzanine level, use the stairs immediately on your right (see above image). You should only use these stairs to go up.

To travel to lower floors from the First/Second Floor towards the Mezzanine, please use the stairs located closest to car park, and RAI foyer. These stairs are opposite the stairs you used to enter the building. You should only use these stairs to go down (see below).

On the First and Second Floor, a one way system is in place around the library shelves. To travel towards the area of the building closest to the cark park and where the stairs for travelling downstairs are located, please walk on the side of the floor closest to the Mezzanine and the large glass windows looking onto the garden.

To travel towards the area of the building furthest from the car park and where the stairs for travelling upstairs, please walk on the side of the floor furthest from the Mezzanine, next to the windows facing South Parks Road.

Please limit the number of people down each library shelving bay to one.

In order to exit the building, you will need to go downstairs (using the stairs located closest to the carpark and RAI foyer), and then walk parallel to the Mezzanine study spaces and large glass windows looking onto the garden. Remember that you may need to give way to others before using the staircase which connects the Mezzanine to the Ground Floor.

There is signage clearly displayed around the library, to show readers the correct routes using the one way system, and clarifying where to give way to others.

Please be aware of others as you travel around the building. You may need to stand to the side, or leave a library shelving bay, in order for others to use the building in the safest way possible.

If you have any feedback on the one way system, or feel that more signage should be displayed, please inform library staff by email. We are more than happy to consider your feedback, and reflect on what we can do better.

Bathrooms and breaks

Bathrooms are located on the First Floor of the library, on the side closest to the car park.

The bathrooms include two unisex toilet cubicles (with individual sinks and hand drying facilities) and one disabled bathroom. Please be aware that others may be using the bathrooms, and give way to readers leaving the bathrooms as a priority. Hand sanitiser is available in a wall dispenser next to the toilet entrances.

Readers may leave the library at any point, including for meals. If you are going for a long period of time, you should take your personal belongings with you. If you have been given a red library ticket to show you have more than one study booking, leave the ticket on the desk.

If you are planning on re-entering the library, please inform the library staff as you leave. You will be asked to show your card when you re-enter the library so staff can confirm your slot.

Browsing 

Any reader with a booked reading room slot may browse the open shelves for VHL and RSL material. Please follow the wider social distancing guidelines and visible signage when travelling around the reading room. There is a limit of one person down each library shelving bay.

PCAS machines and other reading room equipment

Any reader with a booked slot may use the PCAS machines for scanning, copying and printing. The two PCAS machines for the VHL readers are located on the Ground Floor, on the side opposite the enquiry desk. Please use the available cleaning material to wipe down the machines before and after you use them.

If you wish to use the microfilm reader, please make a note of this on your booking. The library staff will make sure that the reader is available for you to use. Please use the available cleaning material to wipe down the reader before and after you use it.

The VHL also has accessibility equipment available for readers to use. Please ask at the enquiry desk if you would like to use any of the equipment, and the library staff will sign them out to you. Please use the available cleaning material to wipe down the equipment before and after you use them.

Leaving the VHL at the end of your study slot

You may leave the VHL at any point before the end of your study slot. Library staff will alert relevant readers in the library 15 minutes before the end of each of the allocated time slots. (So for example, staff will warn readers at 12:45 if their booking will end at 13:00). This is to give readers enough time to collect their belongings and clean their study spaces/reading room equipment before leaving.

If you have booked for more than one time slot across the same day, please keep your red ticket clearly visible on your desk, with the side with text facing upwards. Library staff will be checking tickets as they alert readers, and will not disturb you.

When you have finished your reading room slot, or have received a 15 minute warning from library staff, please complete the following steps.

  1. Pack up your belongings.
  2. Use the nearby cleaning materials to wipe down your desk, PC or any other reading room equipment that you have used.
  3. Leave any library materials that you will not be borrowing on your desk, or nearby library trollies.
  4. Bring your red library tickets downstairs with you and leave them on the Enquiry Desk. Please do not take the red tickets with you. 
  5. Leave aside some time if you need to return stack requests or check out books from the enquiry desk.
  6. Leave the library one at a time, keeping to your right, as you go through the security sensors.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. You may need to wait for others to finish using cleaning material before you can use it. There may be a rush of readers exiting the library, and you may be asked to queue as you leave. If you need to return a stack request or check out books at the enquiry desk, you may be asked to wait until a queue of readers have left, before staff can assist you.

We hope you have a productive and positive experience at our libraryIf you have any questions or feedback about using the VHL reading room, please contact us at: vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

New service: Paying VHL fines online!

Do you have fines and can’t get to the VHL Enquiry Desk? Do you not have the physical cash to pay?

No problem! Readers can now pay their fines online. 

Visit the weblink at https://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/product-catalogue/libraries/vere-harmsworth-library . Enter the amount you wish to pay, and then click “Shopping Basket” near the top of the page.

 

Please note that payments made must be a minimum of £2, and there will be a 1.5% charge on any Credit Card transactions.

You may also pay off your fines in person at the VHL Enquiry Desk.

Any further questions, please email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.