Archive for the ‘Re-organising the Library’ Category

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.

IMG_1745

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.

IMG_1085

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

IMG_1088 IMG_1091

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.

WOK Stuff 119

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.

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…

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!

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.

Building Works in the OIL Basement

18/07/2012

As those of you who are still around will no doubt be aware, there are works afoot in the Oriental Institute Library basement at the moment.

As stated last week on our Facebook page, the works started on Monday, 16th July, and are expected to last for about four weeks.

The older books from the “S” collection – the ones we used to have to fetch up from the locked stack — have been sent to the BSF, with some being sent for boxing beforehand. They have a status of “Temporarily withdrawn” at the moment, but will be available for ordering in the same way as the other BSF books in the near future.

Meanwhile we are also moving out the Arabic Fiction collection formerly housed in the Middle East Centre Library. This is to make room for an exciting project, of which I am not at liberty to disclose details as yet. The books from the MEC will still be borrowable, despite being housed at the BSF, although this will not happen right away. At some point before the beginning of Michaelmas Term there should be a switch thrown somewhere by one of the people who make Circulation work, and thereafter books ordered up from this collection will be allowed to be taken out of the library for the usual loan periods, depending on whether it is Term or Vacation. We will post more details of when the MEC books become available for borrowing nearer the time.

In the mean time, we hope that those few of you who are still hanging on are not too disrupted by the noise or the sight of librarians wheeling dollies of boxes around the library! Do inform us if you have any problems and we will endeavour to assist.

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!).