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Alice And Susan
Alice And Susan
Alice And Susan
Alice And Susan
Alice And Susan
Alice And Susan
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Alice And Susan


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Showcase presentation about the Bodleian Social Science Library's trainee project - reclassifying the thesis section of the library.

Showcase presentation about the Bodleian Social Science Library's trainee project - reclassifying the thesis section of the library.

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  • Introduce – Alice and Susan - SSL
  • 2400 theses – open shelves (library use only) Social Science post-graduate Not complete collection of all Social Science theses, but often consulted by readers Not all on catalogue – old 1920s-80s ones not catalogued, less used, more cramped on shelves
  • WHY The SSL Thesis section had become messy and hard to navigate, for both readers and staff. We identified two main reasons for this. The first was THE SHELFMARKS When the SSL opened in 2004 we only collected Economics thesis’. These were kept in the reference section, and classified under library of congress in keeping with the rest of the library with a Refz 5053 subject heading, followed by the department, the year and the author. As new departments started depositing with the SSL, the thesis were moved out of the reference section. This left the first two cutters redundant and as the number of degree titles continued to grow, the remaining relevant cutters just didn’t give enough information. Our initial idea for making the area more user-friendly was to reclassify using a specifically designed system. The other problem was we identified was THE HOUSING As the section expands on a yearly basis, there was no uniformity to the way the thesis’ were housed. Some were in plastic holders, some in cardboard boxes, and some just placed directly on the shelves. This made the area look untidy, and given its size, overwhelming for readers. To make the area look more inviting we decided to re-process and re-house the section as well as reclassifying it.
  • HOW Our first step was a planning meeting with our Librarian in Charge, Reader Services Librarian and Senior Cataloguer where we outlined our plans and specified the resources we would need. Next, we set about designing the new shelfmark. We started by taking an inventory of all the thesis already in the section and making a spreadsheet with details on departments, course titles, degree levels and the existing shelfmarks. We then used this to identify what fields needed to be included in our new bespoke shelfmark, and how best to order them. Here it was time for another meeting with the LIC and Cataloguer – this time to confirm our shelfmark design. The final order we settled on was: DEPARTMENT DEGREE TITLE DEGREE LEVEL YEAR AUTHOR Our last ‘planning step’ was to record this new process in the SSL staff manual for future staff to refer to. Hopefully this will ensure that the uniformity we’ve created will be maintained
  • Re-space shelves to fit oversize theses – initially bottom 4 rows, but then 5 as not enough space. Trial classifying and processing – 1 shelf x no of shelves – 3 hours per shelf x 35 = 105 hours! New boxes well spaced, left gaps for 3 years’ growth Difficult to maintain uniformity (multiple people involved) – stick to guides and checking what’s on shelves before doing anything Do catalogue theses first and then move on to uncatalogued if have time – old AEC, SPSW SAS + ASS – now going to do these first
  • Working with other – team for planning but also RSC staff, other cataloguer, senior assistance in charge of ordering stationary, library assistant to help process, assistant’s supervisor for permission Having written/photo documentation so people can consult as necessary (shared network drive and printed version). Letting people know about changes. Agreement on tasks and uniformity of results Meeting goals of project within library setting (ie ensuring access and spacial limits) and other tasks – eg SPSW want these cataloguing so they have been moved up priority list. Conclusion: Better understanding of how the library works and the roles of library staff – very helpful as part of traineeship.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Reclassification Project
      • 2400 Oxford University theses written by Social Science graduates, housed in the main open shelves of the SSL
    • 3. WHY
    • 4. HOW - planning
      • Meet with librarian in charge and senior cataloguer
      • Create new classification and processing system
      • Update staff manual and make processing guide
      • Alter shelving, reclassify theses and start processing!
    • 5. HOW - action Easy to access re-spaced shelves Clearly labelled Growth space
    • 6.