News

  • Open Access Week – October 22-28

    The Theme of the 2018 International Open Access Week is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge”.  As Brock University Library staff were planning for OA Week, the question arose; “What is this theme trying to get across … what does it mean?”

    Nick Shockey, Director of Programs & Engagement, SPARC describes the theme as follows: “This year’s theme reflects a scholarly system in transition. While governments, funders, universities, publishers, and scholars are increasingly adopting open policies and practices, how these are actually implemented is still in flux. As open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community.”

    A key concept in this year’s theme is equity.  By definition equity is “the quality of being fair and reasonable in a way that gives equal treatment to everyone.” (Collins Dictionary, 2018) It is reasonable and perhaps ethical to say that everyone, especially individuals in an academic environment should have access to knowledge.  Moves toward open knowledge are gaining momentum, such as incentives for researchers to share their work openly and awareness surrounding the importance and benefits of publishing in an open format is growing. However, much work still needs to be done. Universities are still paying publishing giants exorbitant fees to provide students, faculty and staff access to thousands of paywalled journals. Shockey raises some interesting questions in his blog; “How do we ensure sustainability models used for open access are not exclusionary? What are inequities that open systems can recreate or reinforce? Whose voices are prioritized? Who is excluded? How does what counts as scholarship perpetuate bias? What are areas where openness might not be appropriate?” Advocates and supporters of Open Access are actively addressing these concerns through ongoing conversations and initiatives to continuously increase inclusive, accessible scholarship.

    Brock University is taking steps to support and promote Open Access. Learn more about Open Access, O.A. platforms and scholarly communication at Brock University.  For more information on International Open Access week visit: www.openaccessweek.org.

    Blog post by Alicia Floyd.

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  • Open Access Week, 2018

    Brock Library will celebrate International Open Access Week – Oct. 22-28 – with events highlighting the need to develop systems of sharing research which are open, inclusive and equitable.

    Please join us as we explore and celebrate the importance of open access to scholarship:

    Monday Oct. 22
    Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel — 10:30-11:30 am, Library Learning Commons: come spin the wheel and win a prize!

    Tuesday Oct. 23

    Movie screening & discussion (popcorn will be provided):
    Paywall: The Business of Scholarship — multi-faceted exploration of the high financial and social costs of scholarly publishing
    9-11 am, Library Classroom B

    Wednesday Oct. 24

    Movie screening & discussion (popcorn will be provided):
    The Internet’s Own Boy — The story of programming prodigy and open activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26
    10am-12pm, TH253

    Thursday Oct. 25

    Webinar: Exploring Open Educational Resources — 12-1 pm, ST1126

    Friday Oct. 26

    Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel – 10:30-11:30 am, Library Learning Commons: come spin the wheel and win a prize!

    We will also celebrate Open Access Week by announcing the winner of the Brock University Award for Open Access and the Brock Library OpenCon Scholarship. And be sure to check out our displays and information about open access in Library and Learning Commons display cases.

    For more information, contact Elizabeth Yates, Liaison and Scholarly Communication Librarian, at eyates@brocku.ca

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  • Lockers for graduate students still available

    The Library has thirty-eight (38) lockers on the 6th floor set aside for graduate student use.

    Applications are still being accepted for 2018/19 and lockers assignments are valid until August 16, 2019.

    Keys are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis so, apply today!

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  • On Display: Voyage of Discovery: French, Italian, German, and Hispanic & Latin American Cultures

    The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures has mounted a display in the Learning Commons and Thistle hallway showcasing various aspects of French, Italian, German, and Hispanic and Latin American Cultures.

    Viewers are encouraged to choose an image or artifact from the exhibit which they find intriguing or beautiful, and share why in a submission to dbielicki@brocku.ca. Prizes will be awarded for winning submissions (pick-up in MCA-240).

    The MLLC display runs from September 24 to October 5, 2018. Submission deadline: October 5, 2018.

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  • On Display: The World Remembers

    For 12 hours each day for 61 days, the names of those killed in the First World War will scroll across video screens in Niagara and around the world. Sadly, it will take from now until Remembrance Day to recognize the more than one million men and women killed on both sides of the conflict.

    The project is now running on the Matheson Learning Commons digital art wall. Learn more.

     

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  • Brock University Award for Open Access – Now Open!

    Nominations are now open for the Brock University Award for Open Access, which will recognize a member of the Brock community who is a champion of open access. Relevant qualifications could include a demonstrated record of openly sharing research, participating in projects or platforms advancing open access, or conducting research into open access.

    The award includes a grant of $2,500 which may be used either:

    • to pay an article-processing charge for an open-access journal
    • as a donation to a non-profit open scholarship platform.

    Applications are due Oct. 1, 12 pm.

    Questions?

    Contact Elizabeth Yates, Liaison and Scholarly Communication Librarian ~ eyates@brocku.ca ~ x4469

  • What’s New in the Library for 2018-19

    Welcome new students, and welcome back to those returning! There are a few exciting changes to tell you about in the Library this year:

    Water Fountains

    Thanks to generous support from BUSU, new water fountains which include a water bottle refill stations were installed on library floors 5-10.

    Desktop Computers

    Over the summer, all of the Library’s public workstations were replaced with brand new computers. We hope you enjoy this upgraded technology in all of our spaces this year!

    Microfilm Reader

    We have a new microfilm reader located on the 5th floor. This is a significant upgrade to our previous models with much better usability. Please see our staff at the Access Services desk if you would like to learn more about it.

    Sports Equipment For Loan

    Beginning in September, you can borrow a soccer ball, a football, a flying disc, or a skipping rope from the Library. They are located on display in the popular reading area.

    If you have any questions about your research or anything else library-related, we are always here to help. You can email us at libhelp@brocku.ca, call us at extension 4583, or come to the Library and chat with us in person.

    We are glad to have you back and looking forward to a great 2018-19 academic year!

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  • 3D printing. Not as scary as you think!

    Alex came into the space several times before, but this time he was on a mission.  Determined to solve a design problem for his robotics class, he came to the makerspace to work through some possible solutions using 3D printing.

    As usual we wanted to encourage Alex not to simply download something online but to figure out how to ideate and design his solution.  We encourage this to ensure that students are learning innovative design skills through the process of 3D modelling and printing. Alex shares in his own words how he solved his design problems through the process of 3D modelling and printing:

    I am building a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot for both my robotics class and my machine learning class. I wanted a robot with complex behaviours; one that can learn from its environment. I decided to swap out the low-caliber NXT “brain” that comes with simple programming software, a few MB of RAM and six AA batteries for a BrickPi.

    My problem was that I had to power the Raspberry Pi along with the motors. The motors get powered by 12V NiMH batteries, but these would drain quickly if they also had to power the Raspberry Pi. To counter this, I purchased a heavy-duty portable phone charger. Now this problem was that none of the LEGO pieces fit around the battery nicely without having a lot of space leftover. he closest fit meant that there were an even number of holes in my LEGO pieces, but most of them come with an odd number. This made much of my design asymmetric.

    I stumbled upon a blog written by a person who designed 3D printed lego parts; he had designed one for is Raspberry Pi camera along with other parts (like ball bearings among other things). I was fascinated and downloaded the models. I knew that Brock offered 3D printing services at the Makerspace which I had peeked into a few times before to see what was happening. They recently moved to a larger space and have plenty of printers. I asked to print the part I had downloaded, but they told me I had to design it myself since it was a creative space and they wanted to encourage learning. I offered to learn and they introduced me to TinkerCAD, an online 3D modelling program.

    I ended up using  Fusion 360 by Autodesk and designed the camera case myself. It was a steep learning curve which often involved having dozens of tabs open. I finished one design,was proud of myself, yet I had the whole weekend to consider my work.  I probably designed 6 or 7 cases before I was happy with the final design. I decided I wanted my phone charger and NiMH battery cases to be the same dimension on the outside (with different lengths) so that they would be closely compatible with each other. When I came in the next day, I discovered that my print turned out wonderfully. All of the holes were perfectly sized and when I went to check that all of the sides were compatible, everything fit snugly and perfectly.

    One of the greatest advantages of 3D printing the case was that since the battery is the core of the robot, I now had a large surface with lots of connections and that was sturdy. I also designed it so that the holes were odd-numbered so everything was compatible! I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the wonderful patience and support of the people at the Makerspace. In particular, I really appreciated their willingness to let me print several copies and point me in the right direction when I needed help.

     

    Alex Van de Kleut

    Brock University, 2019

    Neurocomputing, BSc Honours

    Applications of neuronal structures to machine learning algorithms and artificial general intelligence.

     

    It will be exciting to see how Alex approaches problem solving now that he has gained literacy in technology surrounding 3D modelling and printing.  

    Written by

    Tabitha Lewis

    Categories: Makerspace, Testimonials

  • Workshops for New Students

    3D printers, rare books and your own personal librarian – if this piques your interest, then this workshop is for you! Learn more about these and the many services and resources that are available to you at the James A. Gibson Library.

    Attendees will receive credit towards the CWC Personal Growth Domain – register today @ https://experiencebu.brocku.ca/events?query=library

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  • Now Available @ Brock University: Lynda.com

    Brock University students, faculty and staff now have unlimited access to Lynda.com, a leading online, self-paced learning platform. Learn more.

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