Hello – I’m Emma Huber, and I’m the Librarian – this is Ross, the IT Manager and… The point of today is to supplement the information you’ll be getting from your departments with some key points to remember. If you bear them in mind, they should help you to hit the ground running next week.
The information resources available at Oxford are vast. It is crucially important to be able to access them effectively if you are to get the most from your course of study. The session today is a general introduction to Oxford’s libraries, which will help you to discover the resources which will be of most use to you, and will suggest how you might use Linacre College library, as a distinctive part of those resources. However, the way you use them will naturally be dependent on the nature of your study, and I cannot recommend strongly enough that you attend seminars on information retrieval held in your departments! There are almost certainly unknown unknowns you should know about!
You have probably already gathered that there is no central university library in Oxford. A number of larger libraries are however gathered under the “Bodleian Libraries” umbrella. All members of the university are entitled to use these libraries, and they have some common policies, such as a shared copying and printing system. Examples are the Social Science Library and the Radcliffe Science Library. At the other extreme, college libraries are restricted to members of that college. However, there are also a large number of other libraries, which do not fall under either of these headings. Admission policies in these libraries vary, but it is easy to check if you are entitled to access them on the Bodleian library website, so don’t assume you can’t access a library just because it isn’t currently on your library list. See the Bodleian website for more details.
All of the libraries mentioned so far have certain things in common. They all use your University Card as a way of administering access to library services, and they all use the University’s union catalogue, SOLO. You can also access databases and journals anywhere on the University network and beyond, if you are using SSO.
This is a database of the University’s library holdings and your key way of locating information resources. It includes all Bodleian, University and College libraries. The simple search still allows you to restrict your search to a particular library, via the drop down list. Any problems, and you can use the SOLO live help for instant results. The advanced search allows you to be more precise in your search terms and to restrict searches to particular date ranges etc.
What is less well known is that you can log in to SOLO to renew your books online, to request a book that is out to someone else (this means when the book is returned it will be held for you), to request that a book be brought up from the stacks and to check your loans history. There is also an e-shelf, where you can export records to citation management software such as Endnote. You sign in using your SSO login (usually lina0000). If you are away from Oxford, logging in to SOLO also gives you access to databases and journals that would otherwise be restricted.
Access to databases and journals… OxLIP+ is your gateway to information databases. If you know the database you want, then put in the title in the search box. It is also well worth exploring by subject – specialist librarians have listed key resources by subject area, and it is an excellent way to discover new databases. Databases vary greatly in the way they allow you to search, access and print information, and sometimes common features, such as printing, can be far from intuitive. Don’t sit there fuming, or assume that the function isn’t available – ask a librarian! Services librarians may be able to provide include: Tuition on the use of a particular database Solving a problem, such as an apparent inability to print, for you, and getting back to you with the solution Conducting a complex search on your behalf, and getting back to you with the results I am happy to provide these services here at Linacre, time allowing, and there is no harm in asking your departmental librarians, who are likely to have more expertise in the databases relevant to your subject. I would also say that if you use a database a lot, it is well worth reading through the documentation and help materials that most provide. This will tell you how the data is put together, how accurate it is and so on, which will help you do more precise searching, and will crucially help you to interpret the results that you get back.
OxLIP+ is also your gateway to electronic journals, and again you can search or browse by subject. Do remember you have to search for a journal title and not an article The search results provide a link to the location of the electronic journal, usually on an external site. They also indicate if print copies of the journal are available in Oxford. Electronic journals can be read online or downloaded and printed. Please note that saving or printing an article in copyright terms is the same as photocopying it. You must not download and save/print whole issues!
We’ve talked about the many different and world-class libraries and resources in Oxford. With so much to choose from, how does Linacre fit in? Linacre members choose to use the library for many different reasons: Collection this is small, but don’t rule it out. We are currently in the middle of a project to update the collection with books in support of taught masters courses. If this applies to you, please get in touch with reading lists and recommendations. We are particularly looking for core texts needed again and again, as these benefit most from our generous lending policy. We also have books on academic writing and how to write a thesis. You can take books out for a month at a time, and renew online as often as you like – you just need to bring the book into the library once a year for checking. This is far more generous than other Oxford libraries. Support if you are struggling to get hold of a book, we might be able to buy it for you, or ensure that a university lending library obtains it. We can also help with databases as mentioned earlier Place to work Library has high spec computers, wi-fi access and study desks – it suits many people as a quiet place to work. We also have a bookable group-study room. Leisure We have books on the UK, Oxford and local area, novels, knitting patterns… Convenience The library is a handy place for popping in to check your email, printing out an article over lunchtime, or if your department is closed at the weekend. It is open 24/7 and you check out and return books yourself, at any time to suit you.
Please help yourself to a copy of our handy library guide, which gives details about the collection and our lending policy. It also has a plan of the library to help you locate the book you want. These will also be handed out during the formal induction session on Wednesday. In a nutshell, you check out the books yourself – take the opportunity to locate the machine on your right as you leave the library. You just need to scan or type your university card number, and then scan or type the barcode number which is stuck into the front of each book. When you return a book, post it through the letter box under the self-issue machine. I scan it back into the library when I am next in the office. If you return it shortly before it is due back, you may still receive an automated reminder. Don’t worry about this unless you continue to receive them. We don’t charge fines and it just means I haven’t been back into the office since you returned the book. Don’t put the book back on the shelf! It will not be scanned into the library, and if someone else removes it, you will be held responsible and could be billed for the replacement cost. If you want to keep the book, you can renew it online, scan it out again on the machine, or email the library. I’ll now hand over to Ross who will give you some tips for using the computer facilities in the library.
To finish up with the more social side of the library, do join us on Facebook. The Facebook page has widgets for SOLO and OxLIP, as well as links to other resources. It also has a list of recent acquisitions to the library, including the book swap. You might also like to look at the library website, where I list books recently purchased for each course – useful to see what we have that might be relevant for you. Do please suggest books for the library – it’s an important part of ensuring that the collection is up-to-date and relevant. Just email me or use the suggestions book. Finally, the book swap, which is on the spinners by the library office, is a great way to find something different to read. It’s fun to have some leisure reading in the library, and it’s very interesting to see what other college members have been reading. Bring in a book that you have enjoyed, and swap it for a book that someone else has enjoyed! It’s very simple, and new additions get listed on Facebook, so you can check that out before coming in.
Thank you very much for listening. I hope I have painted a picture of the information resources available in Oxford, and I hope the Top Tips will prove useful. Do let me know how we can improve this session to benefit next year’s students. Do please also get in touch. It is very helpful to me to know what the information needs of Linacre students are, and I look forward to getting to know you all over the course of the year. A reminder of our contact details is on the screen.
2011 top tips for accessing oxford's information resources
Top Tips for Accessing Oxford’sInformation ResourcesAnd How Linacre College Library Fits InEmma HuberLibrarian
Introduction Oxford University has: ◦ Over 100 libraries ◦ 11 million volumes ◦ Hundreds of thousands of databases, electronic journals and ebooksTop Tip 1: Attend the induction session in your departmental library
Oxford Idiosyncrasies No central university library Bodleian Libraries group has shared policies Other libraries – departmental, faculty, collegeTop Tip 2: Explore smaller libraries – see www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/libraries/libraries/
Common Features Library Card Library Catalogue Access to electronic databases and journals