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A day in the life of an Oxford subject librarian. Isabel D. Holowaty History Librarian, Oxford University Library Services. 22 June 2009. In next 50mins…. My job. What is OULS and how does it differ from CUL Do subject librarians add value to collections and services?

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a day in the life of an oxford subject librarian

A day in the life of an Oxford subject librarian

Isabel D. Holowaty

History Librarian, Oxford University Library Services

22 June 2009

in next 50mins
In next 50mins…
  • My job
  • What is OULS and how does it differ from CUL
  • Do subject librarians add value to collections and services?
  • What is our relation to the academic community and colleagues?
  • Challenges
  • The Future
  • Questions
oxford university library services ouls
Oxford University Library Services (OULS)

2000: Integration of 30+ libraries (BOD, Dependents, Faculty & departmental libraries)

“The mission of OULS is to provide the most effective university library service possible, in response to current and future users' needs; and to maintain and develop access to Oxford's collections as a national and international research resource.”

“OULS aims to match the ambition of the University and contribute to its pre-eminence.”

“OULS will draw strength from its roots and vigorously uphold traditional scholarship, while pioneering and developing modern practices of information management and delivery.”

Source: OULS Strategic Plan 2009/10 to 2014/15, v 2.4 June 2009

before 2000

Politics

Faculty

Education

Dept

xxx

Faculty

xxx

Faculty

xxx

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Physics

Maths

Xxx

xxx

History

Faculty

Theology

Faculty

English

Faculty

Philosophy

Faculty

Chemistry

xxx

College

Library

College

Library

College

Library

College

Library

College

Library

College

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

Library

College

Library

College

Library

Before 2000

In common: readers, collections, catalogue, e-resources

Different: admissions, services, equipment, charges, suppliers, policies & strategies, IT, levels of provision & support, etc.

readers experience
Readers’ experience

“I think all the libraries in Oxford should be advertised more widely - I have heard that there are over 100 libraries in Oxford, and most students probably use less than 5% of the study space available to them. It would be nice to know more about different libraries which I could work in, as it would be nice to maximise the facilities available to me and use different libraries for a change. “

Reader Comment OULS Survey 2009

  • Varying admissions policies, opening hours, loan entitlements, fines, photocopy charges, etc. = inconsistent & confusing
  • Multiple induction sessions = duplication or gaps
  • Multiple copying cards = confusing
  • Who looks after Faculty / subject interest in the BOD + dependents?

“Efforts should be concentrated on consolidating library facilities across the whole university - I frequently find there are several copies of a book I need listed on OLIS, but cannot get hold of any of them because they are in libraries I cannot use. OULS librares should become more integrated and provide better access to students across the whole university, not just those studying a course at each specific faculty.”

Reader Comment OULS Survey 2007

a faculty librarian s experience
A Faculty Librarian’s experience
  • Closest to students and Faculty but difficult to stay informed of BOD collections, services, etc.
  • No influence in BOD services & collections to help coordinate local de-duplication, change of open-shelf collections, etc.
  • Jack of all trades: Personnel, H&S, Budgeting & Financial administration, IT, Conservation & Preservation.
bodleian library staff s experience
Bodleian library staff’s experience
  • Difficult to help readers make most of Oxford collections.
  • Largely uncoordinated open-shelf collections.
  • Less aware of reading lists; Faculty / students’ needs.
  • Difficult to liaise and consult with readers.
since 2000
Since 2000
  • Technical Services
    • Centralised training & cataloguing standards
    • Reviewing workflows in all libraries
    • Recommended selection of providers
    • Agreed shelf-ready standards & local-variant of LCC
  • Centralised IT, H&S, Personnel, Conservation, etc.
  • Reader Services
    • Standardising opening hours, admissions, loan policies, fines, charges, equipment, library rules, etc.
    • Centralised production of guides
    • Co-ordinated inductions & information skills training

Process of integration is still ongoing!

ouls in 2009
OULS in 2009

OULS in 2009

history faculty library basics
History Faculty Library basics
  • 85,000+ books
  • Busy lending library (120K+ loans p.a.)
  • Library provision for History Faculty UG and PG degree courses
  • Reading List provision
  • Teaching collections
bod basics
BOD basics
  • Legal Deposit Library
  • Central BOD: 3 separate buildings & multiple reading rooms
  • 86%+ in closed stack, much off-site
  • 8 million+ books
  • Reference-only
  • Several dependent libraries
effect
Effect
  • Better bargaining power with providers
  • Policies more consistent
  • Processes more efficient
  • Sharing of best practice & resources
what do i do
What do I do?
  • Site library management of History Faculty Library & Wellcome Unit for History of Medicine Library
      • Personnel, admin, finances - with support from central OULS services
      • Strategy, services, operations, etc. – as part of HUMS Management, etc
  • Collection Management for British & Western European Collections (HFL & BOD), US History Collections (VHL) and History of Science & Medicine (RSL, Wellcome Unit for History of Medicine Library
      • Manage Library Materials budget
      • Select / claim books, journals
      • Trial & publicise new e-resources
  • Liaison with History Faculty staff and students
  • Enquiries
  • User education
  • Contribute in OULS-wide work & represent OULS Humanities

Large single subject & site librarian

1 Faculty (102 postholders, 1,700 students)

ouls committees
OULS Committees
  • Secretary, Research & Learning Services Strategy Group (RLSSG)
  • HUMS Management Group
  • BOD Reader Services Management Team
  • Committees on Library Provision in History, History of Art, African & Commonwealth History
  • Hums rep on
    • Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)
    • Guides Working Party
history faculty committees
History Faculty committees
  • Faculty meetings
  • Undergraduate Studies Committee
  • History of Science, Technology & Medicine Committee
  • Disability Working Party

Also work closely with Faculty’s Graduate Office, Administrator and IT Officer.

it is 7 55am
It is 7:55am…

Book selection: Alerts, catalogues, book reviews, etc.

History Collection Policy in a nutshell

HFL: Buy if on reading lists + important new titles

BOD: Claim if publishes less than 1 year ago. Buy rest.

What period & geographical coverage, what topic?

How scholarly and substantial? In what language?

Who is the publisher? Is the price right? Does OULS already

have a copy? Do we really need it?

Review Standing Orders & journal subscriptions

Buy recommendations

Transfer titles between libraries holding Legal Deposit

History Collections: http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/libraries/subjects/history

e mail
E-mail
  • Finalised orders & claim UK and US titles
  • Go through 39 new e-mails of which…
    • AHDS History alert on a new digital collection
    • 2 new enquiries from an academic and German student
    • from RSL about an expensive recommendation for History of Science
    • request from an academic to meet and plan embedded information skills training in new graduate course in MT 2009
    • Webmaster reporting that the RSS news feed is set up
    • Latest list of journal in Upper Camera for review
  • Check RSS feeds on iGoogle
  • Check latest expenditure reports
humanities management
Humanities Management
  • Reports from committees (Deputies Group, Security, Strategy, ORA, IT Library operations
  • Humanities Lending Library
  • Retro-classification to LCC
  • New e-resources
  • Admin and Finances
  • Update, discuss, question, decide
  • policies, processes, workflows, etc.
  • Share best practice
  • Exchange ideas/problems
  • Gather and pass on information,
  • questions, etc.

Recent agenda items:

Standardisation of lost book policies and procedures

Agreement reached about joint purchase of Cambridge Histories Online

Twinning of Hums libraries

information skills

Thesis Fair May 2009, Examination Schools

Information Skills
  • WISER (Workshop in Information Skills & Electronic Resources)
  • Plus tailored sessions:
    • UGs: Freshers’ induction, Thesis Fair, Thesis Info Skills
    • PGs: Inductions, tours, Information Fair, Info Skills
    • Academics: Inductions, tours, Canapés with Clio
  • Forthcoming: talk to University Research Facilitators forum on what support OULS can give to researchers

http://www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/history/services/training

History Info Skills Stats 2008-9:

96 sessions attended by 1284, of which 519 came to Information Skills and

19 “booked” the History Subject Librarian.

liaison with the faculty
Liaison with the Faculty

Committee on Library Provision in History

Membership:

Faculty Postholder (chair), head of OULS Humanities Libraries, History Librarian, Deputy Librarian of HFL, students and academics reps, Faculty Administrator, and college libraries

Purpose: Forum for discussing library provision in History

Recent agenda:

Finances, Collection Policies, E-resources updates & desiderata, Digitisation Project of Document Packs, HFL services, OULS Survey, OULS Estates

Action Points: e.g. create HFL Short Loan Collection

Also decide which agenda items to go Humanities CoLP and Faculty meeting

liaison with colleagues
Liaison with colleagues

Meeting in History Faculty with RSL colleague

re History of Science Collection Policy

promoting collections
Promoting collections
  • New resource: Documents on British Policy Overseas
    • Write blurb for Metalib and add subject keywords
    • E-mail colleagues & Faculty
    • Post as news item on web
    • Add to research guides (print & online)
    • Add to HFL “plasma screen”
    • Organise training session
  • New books displays in URR, UCam and VHL
  • Posters, bookmarks (for distribution in HFL, BOD, VHL, etc.)
more e mail
More e-mail
  • Head of Humanities Libraries circulates draft Library Services improvement paper.
  • Enquiry from academic about an ejournal subscription.
  • Receive agenda of next User Education WP meeting.
  • Send draft RLSSG minutes to RLSSG chair.
  • Asked to participate in and circulate survey of OULS copying and printing services to Faculty & students.
  • Receive draft reading list of new Special Subject.
  • Send list of exhibits for Global Lincoln exhibition (VHL) to BOD Exhibitions.
  • Schedule meeting with HFL Deputy to discuss restructuring possibilities over Long Vacation.
by the end of the day
By the end of the day…
  • Ordered / claimed new books & fine-tuned open-shelf collections
  • Started drafting a new Collection Policy document
  • Monitored & adjusted Library Materials expenditures
  • Stayed informed in subject area
  • Answered enquiries from readers and colleagues
  • Delivered a training course & planed new user education programme for graduates
  • Liaised with Faculty formally & informally
  • Promoted collections and kept historians informed
  • Managed site library
slide28

History Librarian

OULS in 2009

do we add value to collections services
Do we add value to collections & services?
  • Support scholarship by using our subject expertise to maintain collections which meet the demands of academics, students and the academic community at large and within the budgetary constraints given.
  • Recognisable and approachable human interface between Faculty and Library.
  • Promote Library services & collections.
  • Train and guide users in the use of electronic resources.
  • Manage & train library staff and future generation of library managers.
  • Represent Oxford to outside world by e.g. answering complex research enquiries.
challenges
Challenges
  • Communication & logistics
  • Knowing your colleagues and reaching consensus within OULS
  • Standardisation while preserving local practice in each subject / site where required
  • Knowing what readers want
  • Estates strategy
indispensible tools
Indispensible tools
  • Colleagues
  • IT
    • share and publish diaries online
    • networked PCs throughout OULS
    • Web Outlook
    • Shibboleth
    • RSS feeds
  • Communications
    • Voicemail as e-mail
    • Cordless phone
    • Good staff intranet
    • Searchable staff directory
the future
The Future
  • Depository
  • New Bodleian Library refurbishment
  • New Humanities Lending Library
  • Scan-to-Desktop-on-demand
  • Online ILL
  • New LMS
  • and more