7 - 22 July 2011: Important information about book ordering

15 July 2011

Transition to a new integrated library system at the Bodleian Libraries

Update: 4pm Friday 15 July

Due to factors beyond the control of the Bodleian Libraries, the scheduled implementation of the Bodleian’s new integrated library system (ILS), the replacement to OLIS, has to be delayed until Friday 22 July 2011 at 9am. We had previously hoped that the work would be completed by 18 July and we very much regret the inconvenience to our users caused by this extended period of downtime. We are working hard to minimise any disruption.

Our extensive collections of electronic journals and databases continue to be available, as do most special collections consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room at the Radcliffe Science Library.

During the additional four days when book ordering from closed stacks and other functions that depend on the availability of OLIS system are unavailable, please consider using some of the supplementary services that we have put in place to assist readers. We will continue to offer ‘Just-in Time’ services to provide alternative copies to readers, wherever possible. This service has been well used during the past week, and we encourage you to make use of it.


Over the last year and a half, the Bodleian Libraries have been preparing to move to a new library system which will provide enhanced catalogue, circulation and acquisitions functionality for readers and staff. This transition will take place over July and will impact book ordering.

Service alterations during the transition

From 5pm on Thursday 7 July to 9am on Friday 22 July, while the new system is being installed, we will be operating a limited ordering service from all other closed stacks and, although it will be possible to search for materials using SOLO, the catalogue will not be updated. Readers planning a visit to the Bodleian Libraries during this period are advised to order material held in closed stacks before Thursday 7 July at 5pm.

During the transition, all Bodleian Libraries will remain open the usual vacation hours. Books and journals on open shelves in libraries and reading rooms will be available, the resource discovery system SOLO will be live and electronic resources will be available as usual.

It will be possible to order most Special Collections materials currently held in the Radcliffe Science Library and those in the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House stack manually for consultation locally. Readers planning a visit to view Special Collections during this period in July are advised to contact Special Collections at: scrr@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Supplementary services during the transition

In order to support readers and provide the most comprehensive service we can during this transition, the following have been put in place.

The Gladstone Link (previously the Underground Bookstore, in Radcliffe Square) will be open to readers from midday on Tuesday 5 July. This allows open access to a large number of items that were formerly kept in closed stacks.

A dedicated support team will be available to find alternative copies of materials unavailable during the transition. Readers with immediate needs during this period are encouraged to contact the team directly using the request form which will be live from Thursday 7 July on this page.

Alternatively, readers should seek assistance from reading room staff who will refer on queries where necessary. We will make every effort to source an alternative for consultation. Contact move@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for more details about the downtime.

We undertook an intensive evaluation process and selected the Aleph product from Ex Libris because of its ability to deliver the robust functionality that we required, in conjunction with the sophistication to deal with the devolved federal structure of our collegiate library system. The Bodleian Libraries and Ex Libris have worked closely for several years: SOLO currently uses an Ex Libris product to provide a single discovery and delivery interface for collections throughout the collegiate University. The implementation of the new system will result in a more robust ‘back-end’ for use by library staff while reader access to our collections will also be enhanced. Further improvements to the system are scheduled following this implementation.

We believe the installation of new system will be another major step forward in our development as we work to improve speed of access to our collections in print and online and to undertake projects which will equip Oxford with a University library system fit for the twenty-first century.

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