Request items from closed stacks

Many books in the Bodleian Libraries are kept in bookstacks (storage areas inaccessible to readers). These items will appear on SOLO with the status "Closed Stack" and can be requested to your choice of library or reading room, including the Social Science Library, by placing a Hold (Stack Request).

Please note that material ordered from the stacks may not be removed from the library.

See the SOLO LibGuide for full instructions on how to place a Stack Request.

Additional information about the Bodleian Libraries' Closed Stack Request service can be found on the Bodleian Libraries website.

Stack requests and the SSL

Which items can be requested to the SSL?

Most items can be requested to any library which operates a Stack Request service, although exceptions apply for very large, fragile or rare materials. If the "Social Science Library Desk" appears as an option in the Pickup Location drop-down menu, the item can be requested to the SSL.

The majority of items which appear on the catalogue with the location "Bodleian Library" and the status "Closed Stack" may be requested to the Bodleian Social Science Library.

Can I take Stack Request books out of the library?

Books from the stack can be requested an unlimited number of times for use within the library, but can never be taken out.

How many items can I request?

All readers with Bodleian cards can place a maximum of ten holds at a time. Additional items may be ordered once the first ten have been processed, although the maximum number of requests which may be held at any single pickup location, including the SSL, is ten.

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SOLO and stack requests

SOLO won't let me request an item. Why is this?

Usually this is because the item is not in Closed Stacks, and is already available on Open Shelves in a library. Look out for the SOLO error message "Item or like copy is on shelf. Cannot place hold request." You do not need to place a hold on this item: simply visit the library where the book is held.

If the book is a Closed Stack item and there is still a problem with making a Stack Request, contact the library for help.

I have received a notification to tell me that my Stack Request has been cancelled. Why is this?

A reason for the cancellation should be provided in the Hold Request Cancellation Notice which has been emailed to you. Please read this carefully to establish why the request has been cancelled. Ask a member of library staff if you would like further explanation. Often requests are cancelled and reordered to ensure that the correct item which matches your request is delivered to the library.

Is it possible to request an item which has already been requested by another reader?

Yes: you can place a hold on the item as normal. The item will be delivered to the library or reading room of your choice once the other reader's request has expired. You can also visit the current location of the item and request a secondary consultation if the item is Awaiting Collection on the reserve shelves in the reading room.

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How long do stack requests take to arrive?

The length of time taken to deliver books from the stacks varies depending on the distance they must travel. Most items will, on average, arrive within 24 hours.

Items requested on Saturday or Sunday, or during closed periods such as Easter or Christmas, may take longer to arrive.

Saturday Deliveries

Stack request deliveries take place on Saturday mornings during term time. Items from remote storage ordered between 10.30am  and 7.30pm on Friday will now be delivered on Saturday morning.

Saturday deliveries are made to:

  • Old Bodleian Library (Upper RR and Lower RR)
  • Radcliffe Camera
  • Radcliffe Science Library
  • Social Science Library
See the Bodleian Libraries' delivery schedule for further details.

How will I know when my stack request has arrived?

If the library has your current email address, you will receive an email notification when the requested item reaches the SSL.

How long are items held in the library?

These books are then kept for you behind the issue desk, initially for a period of one week, although they can be renewed indefinitely so long as they are not requested by another reader.

You will receive a courtesy email the day before your stack requests lapse. Items that are not renewed will be returned to the stacks.The Bodleian Libraries introduced courtesy email alerts to inform readers that their requests are about to lapse. Readers will receive an e-mail notifying that there books should be renewed or they will be returned to the stacks.

How do I renew a Stack Request?

Stack Requests are renewed in the same way as books borrowed from the library. Sign in to SOLO, and click on "My Account". Stack Requests at the SSL will appear in your list of Loans, with the Location Social Science Library Desk. For more information on renewals, see the SOLO LibGuide.

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Finishing with stack requests

I've finished reading my Stack Request for today, but I want to consult it again: what should I do?

Return the item to the Issue Desk and let the library staff know that you wish to keep it to read again another day. They may advise you that your books are approaching their renewal date and will be happy to renew them for you.

I've finished reading a Stack Request item altogether: what should I do?

Return the item to the Issue Desk and let the library staff know that you have finished with the item. They will ensure that it is returned to the Closed Stack.

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Library Closing Time 

A bell is rung 20 minutes before library closing to alert readers that the library will soon close. Please return Closed Stack books to the desk and check out books for loan in good time before the library closes to avoid queues building up at closing time. 

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