Update on library services for students

- 3 June 2020

Dear Oxford Students,

Further to my message to you sent on 11 May, I have some updates for you on the availability of Bodleian collections and services.

The current range of services which the Bodleian has been delivering during lockdown remains in place, with continued additions to eResources being made every day, and the extended online personal support provided by our subject librarians and curators. You can access these services via the online resources summary.

The Bodleian Libraries will automatically extend any Bodleian Libraries items on loan until week commencing 12 October 2020. Fines will continue to be waived for all items. If you have items on loan and would like to return them before then, we will be in touch in the coming weeks with more information on this process. If you are not returning to Oxford, we will make it as easy as possible to return items, regardless of your location. More information on loan returns will be posted over the coming days.

I know that for many of you, the closure of our physical libraries is a serious impediment to your research and studies. We are doing all we can to prepare for the reopening of them, following the rigorous guidelines established by Public Health England and University protocols for reopening buildings. This is part of a systematic process, implemented by the University, that is being delivered in a measured and phased way to ensure the safety of staff and students. We are as anxious to be able to provide these collections and services as you are!

Here are the most important activities we have been planning and preparing in order to make more collections available to you:

First of all, from 15 June we have been working hard to make over 1.5 million eBooks available from the HathiTrust Digital Library as part of their Emergency Temporary Access Program, which makes digital versions of books that are currently inaccessible in our libraries available to Oxford students and researchers. Access will be possible both from the HathiTrust website and from SOLO, but it will take a few weeks from 15th before all the material is available. We will post details of how to access this material on 12 June.

In addition, we are planning to restart our Scan and Deliver service from 22 June (depending on our ability to access buildings safely), but again, not all collections will be accessible instantly on this date, as they are spread over 30 buildings, each of which must be prepared and made safe.

Additionally, we shall be launching a mediated scanning service for special collections from 22 June, aimed at supporting Graduate Students and ECRs in particular.

In early July we are planning to make books available for loan once again, via a 'Click and Collect' service. We will share more details of this with you later in the month.

Our Reading Rooms will take longer to prepare for reopening, but we currently aim to be able to begin this process before the end of July.

Following the University’s overall intention, we are working to have as full a Library service as possible ready for Michaelmas Term 2020-21, with our libraries, collections and services as open as they can be, with social distancing in place.

If you are a finalist and have books to return, we are putting arrangements in place for you to return your loans.

In the meantime, please let me, or your subject librarian know if you have further questions. 

Richard Ovenden, OBE
Bodley’s Librarian
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