If you have read this blog for a while, you know the affinity that I have for Dinand Library. Dinand is readily easy to navigate (when you spend as much time in there as I do, you know it better than your dorm room) and one building houses all of the volumes. Spill-proof mugs of tea are allowed (to any prospective freshmen – this is a must!); the library stays open until 1 o’clock (not that I’ve ever procrastinated that much. Um. Well, there was this one time…), and you can claim a carrel for a day (even though it’s kind of bad form and will annoy other students).
Well, as much as I adore Oxford, I’m beginning to think that the libraries are a bit out of control. Don’t misunderstand me; I love books and I think that a well-stocked library is the most beautiful place in the world. However, when you have to go halfway across the city just to find one book only to find out that this one library is closed for the day, it can be kind of annoying. Let me explain with an example that might have happened to me.
Firstly, let me explain the library situation at Oxford. Oxford University has many libraries dispersed throughout the campus. The most recognizable ones are the Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera. Borrowing is not allowed from those two institutions (why, you ask? Tradition.). Then there are faculty libraries that are divided by sections. There’s the English Faculty Library, the History Faculty Library, etc. Borrowing is allowed from these. Then you have the specialized libraries, like the Rothermere (American Studies), Taylorian (Linguistics and Languages), and the Sackler (Classics). Again, borrowing is allowed from the specialized ones. Then you have the individual college libraries. The plus side to having all of these libraries is that your book is most certainly somewhere in the city. The problem is just finding exactly where that is.
So here’s my story: I suppose that I could’ve gone to the Bodleian and just read my books there, but I wanted to borrow them because I’m going to use them for the rest of the term. One of my books was only available in the Taylorian. All right – that’s not a big deal. So I found out where the Taylorian is located, and I walked there this morning. Well, there are several Taylorian libraries. There’s the Linguistics one, the Modern Languages one, the one with Modern Languages and Linguistics, and then there’s the main Taylorian. Are you with me? I registered my library card, and then I asked the librarian where this particular book would be. She replied, “Up the stairs.” So I went up the stairs. And up the stairs. And up some more stairs. Guess what I found? A locked door. I went back to the librarian and said, “The door is locked.” “Oh! You’re an undergraduate?” “Erm. Yes?” “I thought you were a graduate student. Okay, then you can’t access that floor; I’ll have to go get the books for you.” Pros: 1) Delivery to your desk. 2) Apparently, I look like I’m 25 and can pass for a graduate student. Cons: I’ve been waiting a while for my book. Hmmmm..
On the other hand, I did find the Taylorian, which is a beautiful library. I think that I’m going to make this my study library. It’s along the lines of the library in “Beauty and the Beast.” And, best of all, I’m surrounded by Anglo-Saxon texts!
In other news, I can charge my camera battery and download my pictures now. YAY! I’ll be posting lots of photos soon. And, I will soon be riding my bike around Oxford; it’s almost ready. YAY!<< Older Entries