Trinity Term is a busy and stressful one for everyone, and as every year (like all other Oxford libraries) we are seeing a lot more people than usual coming into the library. It's wonderful to see so many people using the library, but please note the following minor points to help everyone get through the term without further adding to the stress levels!
Reserve shelf system
We operate a system whereby if you wish to hold on to books to come back and use either later the same day or the following day, you can bring them down to our reserve shelf at the enquiry desk and leave them there to pick up later. Please do not therefore leave piles of books on desks if you want to hold on to them; any books left on desks at the end of the day will be cleared and reshelved.
If you use the reserve shelf, please make sure that you fill out a green slip for the books with your name and the date of the day that you leave them. If you want to hold onto a book for several consecutive days, you must update the date on the slip each day. This is how we know whether to leave or reshelve the books! You cannot post-date this slip to hold onto something for a few days hence; if you won't be back for a couple of days please leave the book for reshelving so that it may be more easily found by other readers.
Please also note that this system is not staff-mediated, and we cannot guarantee that your book will still be there for you when you return if other students are looking for it.
This system is only for VHL library books. Please do not leave books from other libraries on this shelf. Space is limited and if you have borrowed books from an Oxford library then you are responsible for them and should not leave them unattended.
There are seven areas throughout the library where books may be left for reshelving, marked with green dots - three on each of the first and second floors (by the stairs, and in the middle), and a trolley by the photocopier on the ground floor. If you have finished with a book, it would be a great help if you would return it to one of these areas so that it may be more easily found by others. Please do not attempt to reshelve books yourself! Any books left on desks will be cleared and reshelved each day.
If you are looking for a book that is not in place on the shelf, please check the reshelving areas first - it is most likely that the book will be there if it is not in use by another reader. Do let us know if you cannot find a book even after checking all the reshelving areas.
We aim to reshelve all books by the end of the following day (excluding Saturdays). Please ask staff if you are having difficulty finding books or journals.
First floor study carrels
As the notices say, the individual study carrels overlooking the mezzanine on the first floor are reserved in the first instance for named DPhil students connected with the Rothermere American Institute. If the carrel-holder is not working there, you are welcome to use the desk, but please be aware that you may be asked to move if they turn up and want their desk. Reserving these carrels is only available to RAI DPhils. All other desks are first-come, first-served!
Second floor quiet (no laptop) area
The desks by the windows on the second floor are designated as a quiet area with no laptop use permitted. We appreciate that pressure on desks this time of year makes it difficult to find a space to work, but please do try not to use laptops at these desks unless you are really unable to find anywhere else to sit. The need for this quiet area is also greater this time of year as the library is so much fuller.
Taking a break
The common room of the RAI (on the lower ground floor) is available to library users, but please be aware that offices and seminar rooms are nearby and keep noise to a minimum to avoid disturbing others. Likewise the garden is overlooked by libraries and offices, so if the weather is nice enough to sit outside, please keep the noise down!
There is a water dispenser available in the common room, but the kitchen facilities are restricted to RAI staff and fellows. Unfortunately there is no cafe or vending machine or other provision of food/beverages at the RAI; the nearest place to purchase food or drink is the Alternative Tuck Shop at the bottom of Mansfield Road. It should go without saying, but please don't eat or drink (other than water in closed bottles) in the library itself.
We are aware that our wireless network is rather flaky at the moment. We are waiting for a replacement router which should be installed in the next week. Until then, apologies if you are having trouble connecting (or staying connected) to the wifi in the library. If you are having problems, try connecting to an alternative network (see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/vhl/services for more information), try again later, or use one of the library PCs.
Many thanks for your consideration. We wish you a productive term and all the very best to those of you taking exams! If you have any comments, questions or problems, please do speak to a member of library staff or contact us through whichever means you prefer. We are very happy to help!