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!

 

Goodbye to the yellow folder!

13/03/2013

Readers who regularly use the “Apply Staff” books on the shelves over the issue desk at OIL will be all-too familiar with the above item, used to sign out books for use in the library. However, after many years of loyal service we are retiring the yellow folder in favour of a new procedure which will bring things more in line with other libraries and enable us to keep better track of the most used items.

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Starting next week – Monday 18th March – books with an “Apply Staff” status will be lent to readers on a Short Loan, for three hours at a time. After 4.30 pm this will extend to an overnight loan, with the books being due back at 9.30 am the following day.

This will not only make it easier for us to track them down if they are needed by others, but will also mean that we will be able to gather statistics about usage, which will help in the long-term to keep the reserve collection as up-to-date and relevant to our readers’ studies as possible.

Please note that Short Loan books should still NOT be taken out of the Library during the day even if they are checked out to you, unless under exceptional circumstances. We would prefer them to remain within easy reach of the other users of the Library for the benefit of everyone. Short Loan books will accrue fines of 50p per hour after the initial loan period expires. Books borrowed on Saturday (which obviously can be taken out of the building) will be due back on Monday at 9.30 am.

The photo shows our former colleague James, modelling the Apply Staff collection.

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!

Brill Online Islam Workshop

11/01/2013

Eagle-eyed readers will probably have noticed the posters around the Library for next week’s workshop, but just in case you haven’t…

Next Wednesday, 16th January, there is a workshop on The Brill Online Islam Package as a Research Tool at the Radcliffe Science Library from 1400-1600. The package includes many useful resources including the Encyclopaedia of the Quran online, the Index Islamicus and the Bibliography of Arabic Books online.

Places are limited, and attendees will be given a token which allows FREE access to Brill’s extensive online resources for 7 days, which is a real incentive.

Email Dinah Manisty (dinah.manisty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) to book a place.

Brill notice

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!

New Electronic Resource on Trial!

21/11/2012

Al-Manhal (trial)

Al Manhal offers a wide variety of electronic publications; eBooks (4522 titles divided into10 collections), eJournals (250 eJournals divided into 9 collections on Humanities and Social Sciences subjects) , eReports (Daily, weekly and monthly news and analyses reports) and eDissertations (Databases of Masters and Ph.D dissertations from the Arab World’s leading Universities). It currently holds rights to over 63,483 publications from the most well renowned publishers regionally.

Al Manhal’s powerful search and discovery tools for Arabic language content include: Full-text search; Contextual linking; Highlighting and annotating; Personal bookshelves; Automatic citations.

You can access it from the front page of OxLIP+ under New Resources and Trials.

Alternatively from OxLIP+ >Find Database>subject>Middle Eastern Studies/Islamic Studies

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We are currently focusing on new titles ( mostly academic titles ) and the period we cover so far for books is as per the graph below, but our strategy for phase 2 is to add high value titles regardless the publication year.

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!

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.