Copyright training

Copyright and teaching: Keeping on the right side of the CLA

The University of Oxford purchases a CLA Higher Education Licence which permits copying of most copyright material.  This short session will explain the specific requirements for sharing material and how you can protect yourself, your department, and the University from copyright infringement.

22/02/18 – 12:30-13:30

Copyright and research data 

Sometimes we want to share our data and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we want to use others’ data, and sometimes we can’t. This session will help you navigate copyright issues with particular reference to research practice and research data, looking at initiatives such as open data licensing and Creative Commons.

01/03/18 – 12:30-13:30

The IT Learning Centre Team

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ERASMUS 2018-2019 for Library Trainees (3 posts)

We are inviting eligible students from European universities to apply for placements under the Erasmus + mobility programme for Library school student (undergraduate or postgraduate level) or students with a strong experience or interest in working in libraries

Please note

Given the high level of responses, we will only answer to students who are library school students or have a strong interest/experience in library work.

Job Description for Erasmus students at The Oxford University Language Centre

Planned period of engagement:

One full Oxford University Term (either 1 October to 7 December 2018 or 7 January to 23 March or 22 April to 22 June 2019). Some flexibility allowed in dates. 

Number of working hours per week: 30 hours

About the Language Centre

The Oxford University Language Centre provides language learning services for all members of the University and its employees through the provision of taught classes, access to its library and study areas, language exchanges and independent study opportunities.  The library’s collection includes audio, video and computer assisted language learning resources as well as books in 200 languages. The library is a lending library using a self-issue/return machine.

The 10 classrooms are on three floors and teaching during term time takes place from 9.00 – 20.00 Monday to Thursdays and 9.00-19.30 on Fridays. Further details about the department and its activities can be found on the website: . Information about previous trainee post can be found here:

 Traineeship title: Library Trainee (with some IT and administrative duties)

Language competence of the trainee

  • We require the trainee to have reached at least level B2 in their English language competency before the start of the traineeship. The student will have the opportunity to take part in weekly Academic Writing and Communication Skills classes at the Centre. Please note that these are not general English as a foreign language classes, but specialist classes for existing university students.

Detailed programme for the traineeship period

Support the Librarian (about 80% working time)

A learning programme will be organised, including visits to other Oxford libraries and a weekly theme (circulation, acquisition, cataloguing etc..)

  • In charge of the library during the librarian’s lunch hour and any other time in the librarian’s absence.
  • Give library tours to students and staff
  • Register new readers on library system, help readers find material and assist them in the use of audio-visual equipment and the self-issue machine
  • Shelve and reorder library material
  • Process the returned items on the self-issue/return machine and help with usage statistics
  • Process new items for circulation (shelfmark, label, barcode and RFID tag)
  • Evaluate language learning material (print and online)
  • Sharing of experience on the Language Centre blog and personal blog
  • Any other tasks requested by the Librarian.

Support the Modern Language and the Academic English Directors (5% working time)

  • research and collate material
  • Any other tasks requested

Support the Departmental and the OPAL Administrators (10% working time)

  • Accompany members of staff to conferences/events and provide information to potential students
  • Create timetables, update the student database, send out emails
  • Help the courses administrators during busy registration periods, by entering student data in the database, photocopying and filing.
  • Any other tasks requested by the Administrators

Help the IT Officer (5% working time)

  • Helping with the Centre’s VLE
  • Helping with the Centre’s VLE (virtual learning environment) language exchange, and the website.
  • Any other tasks requested by the IT Officer

Knowledge, skills and competences to be acquired by the trainee by the end of the traineeship

  • To obtain a good working knowledge of a higher education specialist library and the tasks done by library assistants and the librarian
  • To improve English language skills, both written and oral,
  • To gain an understanding of the IT and administrative functions of a university department

Working hours

  • The student will not be expected to work more than 30 hours per week. Typical working days will be 9 am to 4 pm with a one-hour lunch break with occasional flexibility in working hours (for example in the librarian’s absence).

Person specification

  • Library school student (undergraduate or postgraduate level) or a strong interest in working in libraries
  • You must be eligible to work or study in the UK, and proof of eligibility will be checked on arrival.
  • A good command of spoken and written English (at least level B2) and a good telephone manner
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Windows with accurate and fast keyboard skills and proficiency in using email and the internet
  • Evidence of attention to detail and ability to work unsupervised
  • A patient, cheerful and courteous manner appropriate to the varied user base of the centre
  • Ability to present a professional and positive image of self and the department at all times
  • Ability to lift,carry and file books and papers to a weight of approximately 5kg. Training is provided in safe manual handling.
  • Punctuality in order to ensure the handover of duties between rotas


  • Interest in language learning and/or the ability to read in a foreign language other than English and native language.
  • Previous experience of working in a lending library or similar environment
  • Familiarity with searching online library catalogues and using a library system (circulation, cataloguing)

How to apply

To apply, please write a letter of application and send a detailed CV[1] (mark your email “ERASMUS/Library Assistant post”) to: and let us know which Oxford University term is of interest to you

Please note

Given the high level of responses, we will only answer to students who are library school students or have a strong interest/experience in library work. We will also not provide certificate of sponsorship for non-EEA/EU students.

 Interviews will be carried out by skype or phone.

As this is a rolling programme of internships, there is no deadline for applications, but it is recommended that candidates apply for post as early as possible.

We are unable to offer financial remuneration to interns, but we offer the opportunity to take part in our English for Academic Studies and English Academic Writing courses. The intern is responsible for finding and funding their own accommodation and their own living costs. For up-to-date lists of house shares and room rental in Oxford, daily info and Gumtree are popular local sites.

[1] A CV (or curriculum vitae) is a list with dates of the main relevant events in your life so far. Include details of your education, any qualifications you have, and your employment experience, together with any other information which helps to show how you meet the selection criteria.

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Training for Modern Languages research

Bodleian iSkills: Effective database strategies for Modern Languages research (Tue 30 Jan 12.00-13.00 and repeated Thu 1 Feb 10.00-11.00)
(Note dates and times have been changed from original schedule)
A practical introduction to searching for scholarly materials to support your research, focusing on building a search to fit your research question, using relevant databases and evaluating your results.
Who is this session for? Postgraduates, researchers, academics and anyone interested in the topic.

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New year new Tutors new doors!

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to a new language centre!

We have quite a few new Tutors coming to work for us:

For English, replacing Deborah Mason, Mariama Sheriff

For German, replacing Claudia Kaiser, Cornelia Wiedenhofer

and for French, replacing Sophie Turner, Emilie Hauzay, Amandine Lepers and Géraldine Gruchet.

In the library, Pavel Samec, a Master’s student in librarianship from Prague will be helping me this term thanks to the ERASMUS scheme.


And we have new doors, doors that work! There are still issues with them but we hope they will be resolved soon.



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Training for studies and research

Research Skills Toolkits in Week 1

Are you using the smartest tools and strategies to get your research organised? Need to brush up on your IT and information skills for research?  Why not come to a Research Skills Toolkit? These free 2-hour workshops introduce key software and online tools for your research, hone your searching and information skills and introduce you to subject specialists. Topics on offer include: finding articles, papers, conferences and theses;   keeping up to date and current awareness; using Endnote to manage your references; manipulating images using Gimp; managing your thesis with word; analyzising data with Excel pivot tables; podcasting with Audacity; plagiarism and how to avoid it; your thesis, copyright and ORA; finding highly cited journals and measuring research impact.

Each toolkit is subject specific to a Division. Choose one of the 2-hour sessions listed under your area of study, and book your place!

Medical Sciences 15th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place
17th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place
Social Sciences 16th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place
18th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
MPLS 16th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
18th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place
Humanities 15th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
17th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
19th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place


Or visit for list of dates and times.

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My Erasmus+ Graduate Traineeship

I always thought: When I grow up, I’ll know what I want to be. However – even though I started feeling more or less grown up over the course of my studies – there were so many different things I found interesting that I never really thought: This is exactly what I want to do. On the contrary, in almost every student assistant job and internship I found something I liked about the work and what I really thought was: Wouldn’t it be nice if I could pick the best parts for myself and combine them?


After my studies in English philology and linguistics I wanted to gain some more experience abroad before entering the working world so I started looking for internships online. I finally found the Oxford University Language Centre’s advertisement for a “Library Trainee (with some clerical duties)” on At first I thought: Well, I’m not eligible anyway since I’m not a library school student – but working in a library actually is on my list of interests, as is language learning and teaching, as is university administration. I even have previous experience of working in a lending library from an internship at a library in France and, having recently finished my Master’s thesis, I’m also quite familiar with the customer perspective on libraries. The internship thus seemed to tick a lot of boxes on my personal list of interests – and thus seemed like a possible answer to my above-mentioned question. I was therefore all the more excited when I received the good news that I had been selected for the internship!


I had never expected work in a library to be boring but some people might think so, so I would like to make it clear anyway: It’s not. The 11 ½ weeks I’ve been here now serve to prove that. The tasks I had/got to do at the library and the Language Centre in general amounted to the considerably long list summarised below:

First and foremost I assisted the librarian, Lucile Deslignères, with the daily tasks in the library such as processing new items for circulation and (re-)shelving library material. I was also in charge of the library during Lucile’s lunch hour and while she was away on a business trip.

Other common tasks were helping readers and tutors find material in the library and on SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online), giving library tours, and registering new readers on the database (ALEPH). I really enjoyed this part of the job where I got to interact with people and help make their work easier.

However, I equally liked assisting with administrative work including usage statistics and finance-related tasks. I also updated the database of past final examinations at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages in physical form (printed and as recordings on CD) and online (available on WebLearn, the university’s virtual learning environment), and read the text for the recording of the 2017 German listening comprehension task. I also carried out some research tasks such as looking for new language learning material (e.g. German films on DVD) and compiling a link list with information about languages for the Language Centre’s language resources online. In addition, I checked that all CALL (computer-assisted language learning) material in the library works and that the database is up-to-date.


Apart from directly library-related work, I also moderated the Language Centre’s Language Exchange Network online, i.e. checking and approving/denying entries in the online forums (if necessary, contacting users about incomplete entries) and writing posts in the network (e.g. useful links). In addition, I transferred all physical entries (on paper slips) from the old Language Exchange board to WebLearn (with the help from two work placement students) and worked together with the Educational Technology Advisor (Christina Hell) on how to maintain and improve the network.

During my first week at the Language Centre, I also got to accompany the Departmental Administrator (Christine Mitchell) to an information fair and helped inform potential students about the Language Centre’s offers.

In order to learn a bit more about the work done at the Language Centre, I got to do some work shadowing as some members of staff kindly explained to me what they’re working with: the Courses Administrator & Communications Officer (Charlotte Manning), the Administrative & Finance Assistant (Avalon Floyd), and the IT Officer (Martin Hurajt).

Finally, I got to attend an OLIS (Integrated Library System of the University of Oxford) staff training and Lucile kindly arranged for me to visit two other libraries in Oxford. I also took part in a weekly Communication Skills class at the Language Centre and sat in on German language classes taught by different tutors.


Of course, not all of these tasks were mentioned in the role description for the internship in such detail. It stated, however, which knowledge, skills and competences I was supposed to acquire. While compiling the list of my tasks, I mentally ticked off these points and can now confirm that I definitively obtained a good working knowledge of a higher education specialist library and broadened my understanding of the administrative functions of a university department.

Speaking of lists and ticking boxes, I said at the beginning of this text that I would like my future job to tick as many boxes on my list of interests as possible. Now that I know how varied the work of a librarian can be, I really feel that this is an actual possibility for me. At the same time, the internship has likewise strengthened my interest in higher education administration. The plan is thus as follows: I will try to work my way sideways into librarianship (since I still haven’t studied library and information science at university), top up my student assistant-experience of university administration – and then eventually find the job combining both fields! I’m therefore convinced that my internship here in Oxford has been an important step on my personal career ladder and I’m grateful for having been given this opportunity!

Last but not least, I would like to thank the above mentioned people and everyone else at the Oxford University Language Centre, in particular, of course, Lucile, for the help, support, and kindness I encountered during my internship and for passing on their knowledge and experience!

Lina Sophie Spinger, Michaelmas Term 2017


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Week 9 language courses available for personal and academic development

The Language Centre is offering a series of intensive beginner short courses for those who wish to learn a new language or refresh their skills. The programme is similar to that covered in the Michaelmas LASR and EAS courses and short course participants will be offered first refusal for Hilary term places.

The Language Centre has space on the following courses available during Week 9:

  • Modern Foreign Language Short Courses 4-8 December: Languages available include beginner’s Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
  • EAS Academic Writing: Key Issues in Academic Writing, (Group 2) 4-8 December. Email for further information.

Classes will be held at the Language Centre, fees must be paid prior to the start of the course and coursebooks may be required.

For further details on these courses, visit the Language Centre website or call 01865 283360.

Click here to register!

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