Christ Church Library at Oxford Univertiy in Oxford was beautiful. I went in knowing I was going to be impressed by the collection as it is one of the top most prestigious universities in the world and very old. It has the benefit of age and prestigious alumni and with that comes amazing special collections. We saw a few peices such as Queen Elizabeth I prayer book, a book explaining how to be a chivilarous knight and a 1st edition of The Origin of Species.
What impressed me most though was the library’s attitude of their role in University Life at Oxford. Students work very hard to attend Oxford and as a result feel a great pressure to succeed. The course load is heavy and the library tries to eliminate some of this stress as much as possible.
If a student needs a book that the library does not have the librarian will walk to the local bookstore, purchase the book, catalogue and process it within 45 mins.
During exam times the library tries to do some fun things to give the students a little break such as providing cake and ice cream.
There are only about 450 undergrads and 200 postgrads which allows the library staff to get to know the students well. They are able to suggest items for them that they think the student would like. They also know if something is wrong and a student does not show up for a few days or in tears.
I loved the library’s attitude toward their service role in the University. The head librarians was a delight and you could tell he had a reall passion for the students and the special collections.