Brock builds relationship with St. Catharines and Thorold Public Libraries

The newfound relationship between Brock and the St. Catharines and Thorold Public Libraries is one for the books.

On Thursday, Sept. 5, a membership drive held in the Learning Commons resulted in nearly 50 municipal library cards being issued on campus.

Mark Robertson, University Librarian at Brock, said the relationship stemmed from “a realization that we serve different purposes while having shared interests,” as well as meeting the University’s strategic plan mandate of enhancing the life and vitality of communities across the Niagara region and beyond.

“We met in the summer and looked for potential intersections,” said Robertson. “It was a no-brainer to have them come set up a table and issue cards.”

Both the St. Catharines and Thorold Public Libraries agree they complement what the Brock University Library offers — a contrast of academic and leisure with the commonality of being a welcoming space equipped with resources.

“Libraries have evolved,” said Joanna Spera, Manager of Circulation Services for the St. Catharines Public Library. “It’s important for us to go out into the community and reach our members, and Brock is a huge part of our St. Catharines community.”

She said Thursday’s event has led to talks with the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts to host another membership drive.

“I’m hoping we can do this annually or maybe even more often,” said Spera.

One of the most rewarding moments of the day, she said, was running into a Brock student who previously worked for her while he was in high school.

He now works as a student employee in the Brock Library and is considering pursuing a career in the field.

The membership drive also evoked strong emotions for Thorold Public Library staff Joanne DeQuadros and Rebecca Lazarenko.

“Both Rebecca and I did our undergraduate degrees at Brock, so it was great to come back and relive some of our memories while also seeing how much has changed,” said DeQuadros, who works as the Chief Librarian. “It was a great opportunity to connect with students, staff and faculty while showcasing the services and resources we offer. We’re looking forward to discussing future partnerships between Brock and the Thorold Public Library.”

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