News

  • What’s New in the DSL for Fall 2020

    The Fall 2020 term is set to be a very unique experience. The Digital Scholarship Lab at Brock University is working hard to put together some great new things for you to check out.

    Workshops

    We’ve posted a full schedule of workshops for the term. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about R, Visualizations, how GIS works, or even how to create a bibliography for your paper, we’ve got your covered. Our completed listing can be found on ExperienceBU.

    Contest

    Design a Visualization Banner

    We talk a lot about visualization as a cool way of presenting your findings, and we spend a good amount of time teaching people how to use visualization software, now we want to see what you can cook up. For the first time ever we are holding a design a visualization contest. If you’ve created a visualization in one of our workshops, or for some work you’re doing for a class or project, we want to see it. The winner will get a gift card and their work will be highlighted on the DSL visualization wall (once it’s safe to go back to campus of course)

    Interested? Find the Full details and Submission Form on our website.

    Podcast

    STDS Logo

    Did you know that the The Digital Scholarship Lab has a podcast? It’s called “Steering the Digital Scholarship” and it chronicles the work we’ve been doing with the lab. It features interviews with different people on campus doing digital scholarship work and features lots of nautical puns. Find more information on the Podcast Homepage or subscribe directly via RSS. We are also listed on Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

    Be sure to check our website throughout the term.  We keep adding more tutorials and resources there to help you explore and learn about digital scholarship.

    Best of luck with your classes!

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  • Changes Coming to Kanopy Streaming Video Service

    Due to unsustainable rising costs, Brock University Library will be switching our access model for Kanopy streaming video service to mediated mode beginning on September 8. 

    Until now, Kanopy has been in “Patron Driven Acquisition” mode. In this model, the entire Kanopy catalogue was open, but after a certain amount of viewing of a title, a 1-year lease of the film costing $150 was automatically triggered for the library. 

    Kanopy costs have grown steadily over the years, but have increased dramatically since March 2020, finally leading us to make the difficult decision to mediate access. 

    What does mediated access mean for you? 

    • Beginning on September 8, only titles the library has licensed in Kanopy will be openly available—of which there are over 400! You can see a list of currently licensed films and their expiry dates here. 
    • We will continue to license Kanopy films by request for course instruction and focused research. After September 8, requests can be submitted directly through the film’s page in Kanopy.

    Good news! We still have access to thousands more films: 

    The library subscribes to several other film collections, covering a breadth of content including popular movies, Canadian documentaries, and theatre productions. A full list can be found on our new Streaming Video page. 

    Brand new in August 2020, the library has added Audio Cine Films to these collections, which includes films from studios like DreamWorks Animation, Pixar Animated Studios, Walt Disney, and more. 

    Our sincere thanks for your understanding as we make this change 

    We understand how popular streaming video has become, and how valuable it is as a learning resource, particularly in our challenging COVID-19 circumstances. We regret having to make this change. However, Patron Driven Acquisition and its growing costs are not sustainable. Mediating access will allow us to sustain our budget, and ensure we continue to have the capacity to lease Kanopy and other streaming video titles for purposes that need them most: course instruction and focused research. 

     

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  • Welcome and Welcome Back!

    What’s new? We’re so glad you asked. Our team has been hard at work refining Library online services and supports to serve you. We encourage you to keep up with changes to our usual services and resources by reading our Library Services and Resources Amid COVID-19 webpage.

    If you are new to Brock – in any capacity, we invite you to peruse our Discover Your Library orientation site.

    Over the summer, Access Services staff developed and rolled out a print materials pickup service to instructors, graduate students and post doctoral researchers. Keep an eye on our website for details about the expansion of this service to additional user groups this term.

    While not brand new, we are pleased to announce the library scanning service has resumed. Open to all in the Brock community, making a request for a pdf scan of a chapter from a print book or journal article is easier than ever. Learn more about requesting a scan via Omni.

    Instructors at Brock are now able to self-upload their course reserve readings to Ares. Step-by-step instructions as well as video demonstrations are available for faculty interested in trying this out.

    When the Brock University Smart Start Team moved their programming online, we followed suit and offered our Top 10 Tips for new students. As orientation continues, all Library extra-curricular learning opportunities are posted on ExperienceBU. Among the myriad listings, we invite you to embark on your own Library Quest, take a mid-week Library Yoga break, develop your citation management competencies with Zotero, and get introduced to Vector Design for CNC.

    Brock University Library is now a member partner of HathiTrust and has signed onto its Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS). ETAS provides electronic read-only access to approximately 30% of our in-copyright print collections. In addition, over 4 million worldwide public domain items already accessible in HT. The service is available to all current Brock University faculty, students, and staff. Learn more.

    For the immediate future, the Archives & Special Collections is closed to the public. However, the staff of the Archives is still working.  Direct any questions or needs to archives@brocku.ca.  They will do their best to assist you.  You can also find many of their digitized materials in the Brock University Digital Repository.

    During the pandemic, Archives staff have been creating digital exhibits featuring some of the collections and records that we have in the Archives.  See some of the rich history that we have in our collections.

    In March, the Archives and Digital Scholarship Lab Teams started to collect stories, questions/answers, photos, videos, and other materials that chronicle the pandemic in the Niagara area.  To contribute to this project and have your experiences and thoughts preserved into the future, go to our COVID-19 in Niagara website and add your stories.

    The Digital Scholarship Lab in conjunction with the Map, Data & GIS Library invite you to learn from their expertise with their Fall Workshop Series. In addition, both the DSL and MDGL invite you to get ‘hands-on’ by plotting your hometown and entering the Data Visualization Contest.

    Our Makerspace Team invite you to take a virtual tour of their new facilities. Workshops will continue online for the fall term and their website features a new FAQ.

    Stay up-to-date by keeping an eye on the website and our social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for any changes or expansion in services as the term progresses.

    The Library Team wish you all the best for a successful start to the fall term.

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  • Instructor self-serve option now available for reserves

    Brock University instructors are now equipped to directly add online course materials to Ares, the Library reserve system.

    While the Reserve Team remain ready to receive and process your requests as usual, the self-serve option gives flexibility to instructors who wish to do this work themselves.

    Step-by-step instructions are available to guide users through the process, and demonstrate two options:

    • beginning with the details for the resource in Omni, signing-in, and following the ‘Add to Reserves’ link
    • direct uploading within the Ares system.

    Video tutorials are also available. All materials linked from Omni or uploaded directly to Ares will get a final check for Copyright compliance, and will then be active for students.

    Questions? Please email reserve@brocku.ca

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  • Scanning service for print collection resumes

    Brock University Library is pleased to announce that we are resuming our scanning service – and it’s easier and more convenient than ever. You can now request a scan of a book chapter or journal article right from within Omni, the Library’s academic search tool.  

    This service is available, free of charge, to all current Brock students, staff, and faculty.  

    When looking at a book or print journal in Omni, simply click on ‘Request a Scan’ and provide us the details about which chapter or page selection you wantOur team will pull the book from the shelves, scan your requested section, and email you within a few days. That email will include a link – click it, log in with your Brock ID and then download the PDF.  

    Please remember that we must abide by the guidelines in Brock’s Fair Dealing policy, which generally means one chapter from a book, one article from a journal issue, or up to 10% of the total work.  

    Note: Books available electronically through Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service are not eligible for ‘Request a Scan’. 

    Learn more about our scanning service and other supports.

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  • Brock joins HathiTrust to get students and faculty back to the books

    Library access to digital items such as online journals, electronic books, music and video has been relatively straightforward during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what about the millions of printed books lining the shelves of libraries?

    Brock University Library recently added a print pickup service and has now launched HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which provides electronic access to roughly one-third of the print books housed in Schmon Tower.

    This new service is based on an approach called controlled digital lending (CDL), which is the digital equivalent of traditional library book lending. It means a library like Brock’s can lend out a secured digital version in place of a physical book in its collection.

    In order to adhere to copyright laws, a library can only offer as many digital copies of a book as it physically owns. Digital rights management (DRM) technology is used to ensure a consistent “owned to loaned” ratio. If a digital copy is borrowed, the physical copy must not be lent out at the same time. So if a library owns two copies of a particular book, it could lend out two digital copies while the physical books themselves are inaccessible.

    “We are thrilled to be reconnecting students, staff and faculty with so many of our books that are otherwise inaccessible during COVID-19,” said Mark Robertson, Brock’s University Librarian. “This is especially crucial for members of our community who may be geographically dispersed during the shutdown. This is good news for teaching, learning and research at Brock.”

    Earlier this month, Brock Library became a member of HathiTrust, an organization focused on the preservation and improved access of print materials. Founded in 2008, it now provides legal access to more than 17 million digitized books and other material.

    Membership provides the opportunity to activate HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which is available when situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic block traditional access to printed books.

    With this service now active, Brock students, faculty and staff will have CDL access to the approximately 30 per cent of the University Library’s books which are in HathiTrust’s digital library.

    “Activating ETAS allows us to provide digital access to works in our collection with a matching copy in HathiTrust, for as long as our physical collection is inaccessible,” said John Dingle, Acting Head of Collections for Brock Library. “Once the Library’s physical spaces have fully reopened and regular access to the print collection items is restored, our ETAS access will end.”

    For step-by-step instructions on how to use HathiTrust ETAS to access Brock-owned books and a full list of services and resources available during Brock’s COVID-19 response, see the FAQ section on the Library’s website.

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  • Course Reserves and the Challenge of Commercial E-Textbooks

    Ever since we closed the doors to our physical space in March, Brock University Library has been working diligently to provide alternative access to our print and physical collections. The latest developments on this front have been the launch of our book pickup service and the HathiTrust emergency digital collection. As we get closer to September, we are turning our attention to course reserves. Normally, a significant portion of course reserves would be print copies of textbooks, but the realities of the pandemic mean that we cannot offer any physical print reserves. To support instructors and the students in their courses, we have been exploring digital alternatives for print copies of textbooks. 

    The E-Textbook Challenge 

    When it comes to providing digital access to textbooks, however, the Library is hindered by the textbook publishers. Simply put, most textbooks are not available to libraries in any format other than print.  Most of the major textbook publishers  Pearson, Cengage, Houghton, McGraw Hill, Oxford University Press Canada Textbooks, Elsevier Imprints, Thieme  simply do not sell e-textbooks to libraries. This means that for courses that have adopted textbooks from these publishers, students who do not purchase the textbook have no alternative access to the textbook contents. 

    How the Library is supporting Instructors 

    We work with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including: 

      • Posting individual book chapters or excerpts and scanned copies of the content, subject to copyright limitations. Copyright permission will be sought where feasible in cases where the excerpt falls outside of fair dealing guidelines. 
      • Linking to content from the library’s existing collection of electronic resources (e-books, journal articles, streaming media, and other digital materials) or acquiring new content whenever possible. 

    Efforts will be made to secure online materials that are free from digital rights management restrictions (DRM) in order to ensure unfettered student access. DRM includes limits on the number of users that can access a resource at any one time, as well as limits on copying, printing and downloading. 

    The easiest way to get started with your course reserves is to submit your reading list on the Library’s course reserves webpage. If you have questions about how the library can support your course, email the Reserves team at reserve@brocku.ca. To ensure we can meet demand, we encourage submission of your reading list before August 4th, 2020. 

    If, as you prepare for your courses, you have questions about the finer points of copyrightplease see our Copying for Teaching & Educational Purposes website for guidance and support.  

    With thanks to the University of Guelph for starting the conversation about the challenges of e-textbooks.

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  • Library supports Brock’s new Open Access Policy

    With Brock becoming the 12th university in Canada to adopt an Open Access Policy, the Library is here to support researchers in making their work openly accessible. 

    The policy, recently adopted by Senate, calls for Brock researchers and scholars to deposit an electronic copy of their academic journal articles into the Brock University Digital Repository, an online collection of scholarly output produced by the Brock community and managed by the Library. 

    Researchers can submit work themselves to the repository or use a Library service called Support for Sharing Your Work – complete a form, attach your articles and Library staff will deposit them on your behalf. 

    More information about the open access policy, including answers to frequently asked questions and an opt-out form, can be found on the policy webpage. 

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

     

     

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  • Featured Collection: Anti-Black Racism and White Privilege

    We are in the midst of a civil rights uprising.

    As Brock’s Director of Human Rights and Equity, Leela Madhava Rau notes, “Systemic racism, and specifically anti-Black racism, is being named as a root cause of inequities with which people have been living for centuries… People are in the streets demanding nothing less than total change: not only the ability to live their lives without the ever-present threat of violence, but the opportunity for everyone, regardless of identity, to participate fully and equitably in societal structures.”

    Many are stating the desire to learn, listen, read, and reflect. To that end, we are highlighting a selection of books, ebooks, and streaming videos on the topic of ‘Anti-Black Racism and White Privilege’. While our print collection remains inaccessible at this time, we encourage you to seek out local booksellers and public libraries.

     

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  • Making the move from print to digital book displays

    Something we miss about being on-site is the opportunity to bring you monthly thematic book displays. We enjoy the creative outlet of curating them and, as the books fly off the shelves, we know you are reading our selections.

    Now that we are working at home, we’ve come up with a new plan to bring you virtual displays of e-book titles that you can read right now.

    Each month, we’ll share a link in our social media channels to a featured collection within Omni. First up for May, a collection of titles related to Food. It’s an eclectic grouping of titles around the business, chemistry, history, culture and psychology of food as well as food activism.

    We hope you look forward to each new collection and, find a title or two that pique your interest.

     

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