Welcome to the Library!

James A. Gibson Library

Welcome to the Library!

Libraries exist to help make the world a better place by advancing knowledge. Our physical and virtual doors are open to you, whether your interests are in amoebae or zombies (or anything in between).  The Library is the prototypical transdisciplinary institute, welcoming aspiring artists, politicians, accountants, scientists, teachers, doctors, journalists, environmentalists, lawyers, social activists… anyone who comes here to read, learn, study, think, escape or dream. Libraries inspire us to seek out new ways of thinking.

In 25 short years the Internet has thrown academia’s traditional scholarly communication systems -- developed over the course of 500 years -- into turmoil.  Books and journals, long the dominant knowledge containers, are now juxtaposed with new digital vessels, which ‘publish’ research much, much faster.

Why have a Library when we have the Internet? Libraries are critical social institutions, particularly now. Our current mission is to create a scholarly communication system for the digital age. In doing that we face numerous unanswered questions and need solutions to a vast array of issues. Librarians contribute our skills and values to that mission, working in collaboration with professors, scholarly societies, publishers and technologists. Our goal is a system which will ensure that knowledge is created, disseminated and preserved for current and future knowledge seekers.  Because digital information behaves in entirely new ways from analog information, our practices must evolve accordingly.

If we were building a new knowledge dissemination system from scratch in 2014, we would leverage the power of the Internet to facilitate widespread, immediate access to new knowledge. But knowledge creation is a complex undertaking. Entrenched intellectual, political, historical, sociological and economic practices do not easily make way for the “new.”  For example, traditional academic reward systems (peer review, tenure) are slow to legitimize new forms of digital scholarship and commercial publishers are not ceding their economic dominance to start-up open access publishers.

The committed and talented staff in the James A. Gibson Library work hard on your behalf to advance teaching, learning and research at Brock by:

  • Providing access to scholarly information resources of the highest possible quality
  • Empowering our users to find, evaluate and use information effectively
  • Ensuring learner-focused library services and facilities
  • Collaborating to create and develop the digital research infrastructure

In the age of digital information, no Library is an island. In addition to serving you at the  local level we also leverage the power of the Internet at the network level, as members of OCUL, Scholars Portal, CRKN and CARL.

Barbara McDonald (@bjmcd2)
Interim University Librarian (2014/15)
James A. Gibson Library, Brock University

e: bmcdonald@brocku.ca  t: 905.688.5550 x3949 |skype: mcdonb1  

July 1, 2014

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