An update from Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian
The following is an update on a number of activities underway at the Bodleian Libraries and in particular on changes underway in the Radcliffe Camera, the Gladstone Link, and the Old Bodleian Library.
Following several meetings in the past two weeks with members of Congregation who had asked to learn more about the Bodleian’s plans for the future of the Central Bodleian, we have identified a number of issues that we shall be addressing over the next several weeks and months:
- The Classics Faculty has expressed a strong desire to retain periodicals, many of which contain editions of texts and reproductions of primary source materials, in the Lower Reading Room. We are working with a team of Classicists to review Classics collections to modify the plans, returning some journals and selectively weeding the existing stock to accommodate them.
- A recurrent concern about the Gladstone Link, a sign of its popularity, is that readers are using books, with the result that these books are unavailable to others who are looking for them. We are therefore considering the introduction of a slip system (similar to that used for open shelf material in central Bodleian reading rooms). There is also a strong wish to have the books in the Gladstone Link arranged in classified order. The history books will be classified to the Library of Congress Classification Scheme, and we are considering whether to classify the remainder of the stock. We are also looking at the options for providing additional staff assistance in the Gladstone Link.
- The issue of security of the collections has been raised over the past few months. We are conducting a thorough review of security across the libraries, and will introduce additional measures if appropriate as the review takes its course, to ensure that readers can access the materials they need.
- Consultation with student leaders has confirmed that the highest priority extended service for students would be Sunday hours, and the Bodleian has committed to opening the Central Bodleian, including the Camera and the Old Bodleian on Sundays during term time.
- The desire for more consultation and communication is one of the points raised in feedback sessions with readers. Consultation throughout this process remains of vital importance and we will be using a variety of channels to solicit ideas and responses to proposals and to keep people informed about the rationale for change and the specific details. The Bodleian website and the HFL website will remain key resources for updates on the project. Dates in October for discussion with members of Congregation and with students are being identified and will be published at the start of Michaelmas Term 2012.