Archive for the ‘People’ Category

November headlines and announcements for December

29/11/2013

OIL has seen a change in our staffing this month, as we welcomed Hannie Riley from the Chinese Studies Library, who is now with us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while our own Kenan goes to CSL. Hannie will be responsible for the cataloguing of some of the Korean materials which have come to us as part of the Window on Korea project, as well as working on the desk.

We have had a reasonable response to our Facebook Mystery Object competition, which is now closed for entries. An announcement will come during 8th week as to who has won the top prize of the £10 Blackwell’s voucher, and who has won the runner-up, chocolate related prize. We are able to divulge that someone actually found the correct-ish answer!

We’ve also had a sudden rush of new likes on the FB page, which has taken us to 538, which is amazing! Hopefully we are getting the balance right of not posting too much and spamming everyone’s timelines. Luckily, SOLO has been behaving, so we’ve not been posting every five minutes like we were over the summer…

While we’re on the subject, we should urge people to book for the Research Skills Toolkit session for Orientalists which is on Wednesday 4th December . It’s only a couple of hours and you may find something very useful!

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Looking forward to December, the Library will close for the Christmas holiday on Friday December 20th at 5pm. This is the same day that the rest of the building closes. We re-open on Thursday 2nd January.

Vacation loans for library books start next Monday, 2nd December, and will take you though to the Tuesday of 1st Week of Hilary Term – January 21st. Any renewals made on or after Monday will also take this into account. 

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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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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

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!

 

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!

October Headlines

01/11/2012

Wow, that went by quickly!! After the tranquillity of September, October always seems like a mad rush, but entirely in a good way, I can assure you!

The return of established students and the arrival of the new intake of undergraduates and postgraduates is always an exciting time. Our Library Open Day on 5th October was a great success, with many new and known faces visiting the library to take advantage of the free sweets and (hopefully) listen to the various subject specialists and yours truly talking about what the library has to offer in terms of support for the courses run by the faculty and also (me) encouraging people to get involved in the Social Media activities of the Library.

We very much enjoyed meeting everyone and hope that the experience was helpful. It certainly has felt a bit less fraught here in the first manic weeks of term and we have wondered whether that was because people felt less nervous of us! I am pleased to report that the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/oiloxford) now has 282 “likes”; not quite the 300 by the end of the first week that I had hoped for, but still pretty good!

Elsewhere the work has now been completed on the Window on Korea multimedia room in the basement. We have yet to set up a formal booking procedure for the room, so for now it’s probably best just to ask in the Library if you need to use it, but we will let you know when we have something more official set up.  The nice brass plaque has been attached to the wall, and we have moved some of the Korean Studies books to the KSL (Korean Studies Library) section, which is round the corner in the basement where the Middle East Library books used to be. A large consignment of new Korean books is on its way as well, as yet we do not have a definitive date for when these will arrive.

The photos are from our Open Day. We all especially like this one of Jonathan modelling the t-shirt!

On Shelfmarks, and why they are important

18/10/2012

As our new intake of students are finding out, shelf-marking at OIL is not always straightforward. This is an historical problem, and not one confined just to our library – for an overview of the situation at the Bodleian, I recommend the excellent Bodleian press-marks in relation to classification by G.W. Wheeler, (shelf mark – 2960 d. Oxf. 1.13) written in 1916 but still a valuable source for anyone wishing to understand why the systems used by the Library are so complicated.

But I digress. At OIL the problem arises mostly from the fact that our books have arrived here from several different sources and are subsequently classified in several different ways. This is reflected in the labelling systems we use, for example the collection upstairs contains black labels made of tape with white numbers, which follow a loose version of the Library of Congress Classification, and also the white-labelled books which follow the “Oxford” version of the Library of Congress Classification, developed for use by the Bodleian and other libraries. (There are many books on this subject on SOLO; but believe me, it’s not really that important that readers know how it works in any detail).

In the Library there are also (deep breath) books from the former Oriental Reading Room, reference books from sections including those downstairs, and in the basement there are several more schemes in use including the Hebrew section, numerical classification for the Syriac and other small collections, as well as the Indian Institute books which use their own scheme (which was designed to be used in the building which just finished being the History Faculty Library).

Most of the abovementioned are fairly easy for us to tell apart, and therefore when someone asks us about something from the basement we can usually say where it will be with some authority.

Where the confusion arises is with the ground floor collections, which mirror each other fairly broadly, especially in large sections like BP and PJ. It is VERY IMPORTANT when asking us about these that readers write down the whole shelf mark!! I know it’s a pain, and they’re long, and sometimes they make no sense, but if we’re given a shelf mark that’s written “PJ 6416… [I lost interest here]” we can’t give you accurate information about where the book is. We WANT to help, but we need more than just the first two elements of the shelf mark if we are going to do so.

There is also an ongoing programme of reclassification taking place, which means that the books with the black labels are gradually being relabelled and added to the new LC section. At the moment the BPs are being done, and all new books are also being added to LC.

In short, do feel free to ask us if you can’t find something, but PLEASE try to give us as much information as possible!

Thank you.

End of an Era

08/06/2012

June 8th 2012 marks the sad end to an era at the Oriental Institute Library as we say goodbye to James Fishwick, who is leaving us for pastures new (and free lunches) at Magdalen College.

James has been working at OIL since April 2009. He was originally employed to help with the retrospective cataloguing of collections not already on SOLO, and has since taken on the mammoth task of the Indian Government Publications (see the rolling stacks in the basement for an idea of scale!).

As well as his general library duties, which have involved manning the issue desk and organising the bookmoves – including the successful amalgamation of the collection from the New Bodleian Reading Room in September 2010 – James has been responsible up to now for this Blog and for the administration of the Library’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

He has also greatly contributed to the social side of the library: the provision of a slow cooker for mulled wine greatly enhanced the last couple of Christmas parties, and his innovative use of old copies of the staff newsletter, Outline, redundant Library Guides and the backing paper from barcodes and label protectors as Christmas decorations in the office will long be remembered.

We wish him every success in his new post at Magdalen, and will miss the cataloguing advice and the cheerful enthusiasm with which he approaches every aspect of his work, but are anticipating that the cake and biscuit supply may go a little further from now on (sorry James!).