Archive for the ‘News’ Category

October Headlines and announcements

01/11/2013

October is usually one of our busiest months, made to seem even more so by the stark difference between the beginning of Term and the quiet of the previous few Vacation months.

This year has been no different; Term proper started on the 14th of October, but before that was the excitement of Freshers’ Week, and the OIL Open Day.

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The Open Day was well-attended, but may have suffered somewhat from its placement at the end of a busy week in that not many people stayed on after the initial presentations took place. Members of the Library staff took turns in introducing themselves and giving a brief talk on various aspects of the Library; Dawn Vaux introduced the library itself, Dinah Manisty discussed electronic resources, Emma Mathieson the South Asian collections, Gillian Evison introduced herself as the Bodleian’s Head of the Oriental Section, Minh Chung gave a brief overview of the Window on Korea collection, and Kate Guest told the new readers about the Library’s Social Media presence, while other colleagues endeavoured to get as many new readers’ cards registered as possible.

We also had a special appearance from Tim Kirtley, the Librarian at Wadham College, who talked briefly about that college’s Persian collection, which is open to any Oriental Institute readers who wish to use it upon application. There are forms at the OIL front desk for anyone wishing to apply to use this resource.

After the talks there was some time for new users to get to grips with SOLO, PCAS and other scary library-related acronyms, as well as a presentation on the new Library Assistant resource in the office, and some lovely Middle Eastern sweets courtesy of Dinah. We hope that our new readers found the session useful and informative, and are, as ever, very happy to answer any questions that readers bring to us.

Meanwhile, in other news:

For those of you who may have missed the original posts, there is now a way of paying library fines online via the University’s shopping pages http://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/browse/product.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=2049. We hope that this will be popular with readers.

On Wednesday 30th October, we had a visit from a Korean television crew who were reporting on the Window on Korea section in the basement, which is sponsored by the National Library of Korea, and is now one of the biggest Korean studies collections in the UK.

Finally, and just because we can, another shameless plug for our Mystery Object Competition, which can be found on our Facebook Page. The object itself is near the office on top of the card index, if anyone wishes to have a look at it in the flesh (well, concrete) as it were. Keep those entries coming in!

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September news

02/10/2013

The days are shortening; Oxford is filling up… this can only mean one thing: Term is almost upon us!

Rest assured we have used the last month of the long summer wisely! September saw another of our regular (and increasingly epic) book moves – redistributing the Library of Congress books to make room for more as they are added to our collection and reclassified from the old sequence.

Kate once again undertook this move single-handed, but as she is only with us on three afternoons a week it took almost 3 weeks to complete. We are reassessing how we can logistically manage the next move when it becomes necessary to do another so that it does not run on for quite so long!

Meanwhile, the shelf-labels are up to date, and most items are not far from their previous locations, although some will have shuffled around corners. We hope that readers will get used to the new homes for their old favourites reasonably quickly, but do check the shelf labels and ask us if you cannot find things.

As a result of this move, the reclassification for the summer stalled somewhat, but the number of books reclassified during July and August ran to 379 individual shelfmarks; 427 items in total.

Stay tuned for an exciting October, highlights of which will include:

The OIL Open Day on Friday 11th October,

A whizzy new online tool for Freshers (and everyone else),

AND… the OIL Mystery Object Competition!

August headlines and reminders for September

02/09/2013

Hello!

As usual, this time of year has not been one where news has been particularly forthcoming, given that the Library is very quiet  with only a small number of readers, largely postgraduate students and visiting scholars.

Accordingly, a look back on the Facebook page shows most of the activity around the announcement of the birth of Lidio’s daughter Rosa at the beginning of the month! Other than that, our Facebook content has mostly consisted of alerts that SOLO – which has been undergoing some work this summer – has been up, or down, or up again, but at least one regular reader has told us that this is actually really useful, so we will continue to use the Facebook page to keep everyone informed if there are any further problems.

Kate has been valiantly reclassifying the BP section, as mentioned in last month’s post, and is happy to announce that she has reclassified 427 books – representing 379 shelfmarks – since counting began at the beginning of July.

For the next couple of weeks there will be a small book-move taking place, with the space made by the last few months of reclassification re-distributed, so we apologise for any banging around which might happen . We’ll try to keep it down, but sometimes books fall over without warning and the resounding “BONG!!” from the metal shelves is rather loud.

A quick reminder about some closures coming up:  we are closed next Saturday, Monday and Tuesday (September 7th – 10th) for St Giles Fair. Reminders will be posted on Facebook nearer the time.

June news: Special edition – the Grand Opening of Window on Korea

28/06/2013

Friday 21st June 2013 saw the Grand Opening ceremony for the Window on Korea (WoK) collection at the Oriental Institute Library. This is a new collaborative project which sees the Bodleian Libraries liaising with the National Library of Korea, to consolidate our existing Korean collections along with a generous gift of over 3,000 new books on Korean subjects – to be added to by further donations over the next four years – in a newly-refurbished area of the Oriental Institute Library basement. The National Library of Korea also provided some of the funding for the new multimedia seminar room which was built in the basement last summer.

As regular readers of this blog will know, the preparations for this event have been going on for almost a year, beginning last summer with the removal of the Middle East Centre books to the Book Storage Facility so that we could make room for the new seminar room in the basement and re-organise the shelving for the WoK books, which have been arriving at the library since the end of 2012.

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A monumental last push took place over the last few weeks, with several members of staff including Dinah Manisty, Dawn Vaux, Angela Arnold and Ha Yea Riley getting as much of the cataloguing and acquisitions work finished as they could, and the Bodleian Porters did a sterling job of moving boxes across Oxford so that OIL staff could make sure that the books were processed and on the shelves ready for the opening.

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The Window on Korea collection was officially opened by Mr Kim, Kab Soo (Director of the Korean Culture Centre, UK), and Ms Kim, Nam Sook (Deputy Director, International Cooperation and Public Relations Team, The National Library of Korea). They were welcomed by Deputy Bodley’s Librarian Richard Ovenden and Professor Ian Walmsley, the University’s newly-appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research

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Presentations were also given by the Bodleian’s Head of Humanities, James Legg, and Dr James Lewis, University Lecturer on Korean History, whose speech remembered his initial introduction to Korean studies by the then Keeper of Oriental Collections, Dr Adrian Roberts.

The event was well-attended by many staff from the library and the wider Bodleian Oriental Collections,( although your humble blogger was sadly absent due to a prior appointment.) and has been hailed by all as a great success, and a testament to the hard work of Minh Chung and Ha Yea Riley (who dressed in a stunning traditional Korean costume for the event) as well as Angela Arnold and all the Oriental Institute staff who have been preparing for it for the last few months.

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As a nice final touch, at the beginning of this week we were delighted to discover that the opening had made the news in Korea!

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=001&aid=0006330192

Acknowledgements: thanks to everyone who sent pictures and words to enable me to write this in absentia, especially Gillian Evison, Ha Yea Riley and Angela Arnold for the photos and Jonathan Acton for his concise account of the speeches! KG

April Headlines

01/05/2013

It’s been pretty quiet round here for most of April, with Vacation taking people away, but we have not been entirely idle!

Readers will notice that there have been more additions to the Window On Korea collections in the basement, with more books being moved to OIL from the Book Storage Facility, and new additions coming in every week from our offices at Osney Mead, where they are being processed as fast as humanly possible.

The Library of Congress books on the ground floor at OIL have undergone one of their periodic shufflings to make room for more reclassified and new books. Most will not have moved very far, but do check the end-of-shelf labels if you can’t find something where it used to be!

Now that Term is back in full swing, staff and readers should begin to get more used to the Short Loans procedures for the books kept behind the desk; we hope that this system will enable us to keep that collection as current as possible (after all, what better argument for removing a book if we have evidence that nobody has looked at it for a year, or two?), and also to keep track of items more easily.

A reminder to any who missed the earlier announcements that fines from across the Bodleian Libraries can now be paid in any of the Bodleian Libraries – including OIL – so if you have outstanding fines which you wish to clear do feel free to pay them here! Other charges, for example to replace lost books, should still be paid to the charging library as we can’t administer those.

And finally, the sun seems to be shining more often these days (dare we suggest that it might actually be spring?) and readers are, of course, welcome to open windows if they feel they are not getting enough fresh air. The handles are pretty easy to use, but do alert staff if any come loose!

Oh, and one more thing: a huge THANK YOU to our fabulous readers who have taken us to over 400 “Likes” on the Facebook Page! We hope that our posts on the unreliability of SOLO and other matters are useful and informative, without being too intrusive.

March Headlines

27/03/2013

Happy Easter!

As we are closed after today (Wednesday 27th) until next Tuesday, and as your humble blogger is off that week, I am posting the March edition of our News a couple of days early.

March has been a busy month, and not just in terms of reader numbers, which were quite high as the end of term approached, dropping off noticeably once the vacation started.

For one thing, we have now implemented Short Loans for the “Apply Staff” books, see previous post on this blog for details. One further comment on this, however: there was some confusion about readers with yellow cards which are reference only, and after a bit of experimentation we can happily say that we can loan Short Loan books to these types of card, although obviously only to be used in the Library. Overnight loans for readers with a reference only status would still not be allowed unless under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the librarian.

As well as this change, there has been the wider Bodleian Libraries change of policy over fines. Since March 18th we have been able to take payment of fines from any Bodleian Library, rather than just for our own. Some restrictions apply; for instance we would not be allowed to take payment for a lost book from another library, but we hope that this facility will make it easier for readers to clear any fines they have in one place, rather than wandering all over Oxford, and it is likely to be especially useful to final year students who need to pay off fines in order to graduate.

Meanwhile, back at OIL, we have a new member of staff in residence. Dr Gillian Evison, the head of the Oriental Section, has moved into the office behind the staircase after a reshuffle in the Central Bodleian. Anyone who was in the library last Friday may have encountered the movers, who were very professional, especially when it came to manipulating large and awkward pieces of furniture through our somewhat cramped front office without taking chunks out of the walls. We bid Gillian welcome to OIL, and hope that she settles in to her new home with as little drama as possible!

Finally, an update on the Window on Korea collection, which is still being catalogued and sent to the Library in manageable batches. The photos show the current state of the books awaiting processing, some as-yet-unpacked boxes, and the shelves downstairs at OIL which are slowly filling up both with the new books from the National Library of Korea and with older sets of Korean books which have been moved from the Book Storage Facility. Please do remember that, while the new books belong to OIL and are therefore able to be lent to readers, the books belonging to the Bodleian are still only to be used in the Library. They will have a “Ref.” prefix on their labels to make this distinction clear.

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Phew! Well, I did say March had been busy! Anyway, Happy Easter to those of our readers who observe it, and to everyone else, enjoy a few days off!

 

February headlines

01/03/2013

Hello! Welcome to the monthly digest of news and announcements for February.

It’s been a busy month in terms of readers but a quiet one for news; the various projects which are ongoing are still ongoing.

The Window on Korea books continue to be delivered in small batches – this is due to there being one (very busy) person cataloguing them prior to their being sent and one other (equally busy) person processing them and labelling them, and also the fact that we have a finite number of boxes and room in the van – but they are still arriving and there are still many more to come. We urge patience for those of you who are waiting for things; there is just no space anywhere to completely unpack the entire 5000 book collection in one lot!

The reclassification project has turned a corner – literally – in that we have now reached the back wall round by the BP166s. We are planning a minor book-move to shuffle up into the vacated space from this terms’ work, but it will happen after the end of Term and we will try to make as little noise as possible. For anyone wishing to find the books previously shelved in the area recently reclassified, most of them are now in the corresponding BP161.2 section in the Library of Congress section, although some others are in different places. Please check SOLO for specific items.

There are exciting developments in the pipeline for next Term, including a change to the way fines are administered within the Bodleian Libraries and the retirement of a very iconic piece of stationary from the Library desk. Watch this space…

January Headlines

06/02/2013

Belated happy new year to everyone!

Well, here we are in 2013, all rested after the Christmas break and raring to go…

The start of Term has seen an influx of new readers as students of other subjects find themselves required to find books which we hold. This is often the case at this time of year, and we welcome everyone as usual!

We also welcome a new member of staff to the library: Kenan started here in January and will be working almost-full-time hours. He’s still undergoing training at the moment but we are already noticing the difference that having an extra pair of hands makes, especially when we are busy.

Our ongoing Window on Korea project is still ongoing. The majority of the books are yet to be processed – 6,000+ in total arrived at the end of last year and need catalogue records before they can be sent here – but there is progress! Keep an eye on the shelves downstairs for the ever-expanding KSL section…

Elsewhere, we did a bit of moving over the Christmas Vacation to accommodate the growing Library of Congress section and to fill in empty space left in the BPs by the reclassification project. Most things will still be in roughly the same place, but some will have crept slightly further south; the shelf-end signs have been updated to show the shelf mark range in each bay along the eastern wall of the library (opposite the windows). As ever, do ask us if you have trouble finding anything!

One last thing: a polite request to everyone to please return books you are no longer using to the shelves – or one of the replacement points – so that others can find them! Our most frequent enquiry during Term is about books which say “Available” on the system but are nowhere to be found. Obviously, if you are using a book, then by all means do keep it on the desk, but please be mindful of the needs of others, especially when deadlines are looming!

November Headlines and Christmas Matters

06/12/2012

A bit late with this post, sorry! This is what happens when the month starts at a weekend…

November at OIL was its usual hectic self, bringing the rest of Michaelmas Term and the accompanying hive of activity, not to mention a run on the photocopiers towards the end of the month when people started gathering things to do over the Christmas Vacation.

In the Library we have been busy too, the KSL material for Korean Studies has been moved to the basement after re-labelling and a new consignment of books is being catalogued ready to be added to that as part of our Window on Korea project. These will be arriving gradually over the next few months; keep an eye on the shelves, or on SOLO! The Korea Room in the basement has also been in use (apologies to the group of students I barged in on last week!), which is excellent.

Our bit of reorganisation, moving the PLs and other small collections so that new metal shelving could be put in place has now been accomplished, and the new shelves look as if they have always been there, which is really the whole point of the exercise.

One of our regular book-moves to fill up gaps created by Kate’s reclassification project has been going on over the last few days. Do ask if anything has moved and you can’t find it! In most cases things have just shuffled along a bit, or possibly round a corner. Shelf labels will be updated when we have finished moving things.

Meanwhile, the Graduate Research Skills Toolkit session last week at IT services was well attended, and colleagues said that people were pleased to be given the chance to learn more about the various tools which are available for Orientalists.

Further afield, there have been a few problems with book deliveries due to large parts of Oxford being submerged last week, but the Porters soldiered through as best they could and the delays were minimal. Fingers crossed that we don’t get too much snow, or this may become a problem again.

Christmas Matters:

Vacation Lending is now in effect, and books borrowed at the moment are due back on the 14th January.

The Library closes for the Christmas break at 5pm on Thursday 20th December. Unfortunately, due to staff leave, we will not be open the preceding Saturday, 15th December, or on Saturday January 5th. Otherwise, we will reopen on Wednesday 2nd January and weekday opening hours will be as normal, 0915-1900.

Season’s Greetings from all at OIL!

Shuffling the PLs…

14/11/2012

Dawn has asked for a quick blog post about a minor shuffle which is occurring this week, so here goes.

The PL section (nearest to the office and the New Books Display, see photo below) is being moved off the wooden shelving which it currently occupies and placed on the bottom shelves of the tiers where the LC collection are shelved, which are (mostly) empty.

This is a temporary measure, in advance of some new shelving which will be going up within the next few days. Once that is in place the books will be put back in their accustomed places, just on better shelves! As ever, if you can’t find anything, just ask!