News

  • 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!

    Categories: Main

  • 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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  • Brock Libraries Joins International Open Advocacy Organization

    Brock Libraries has joined SPARC, an international advocacy organization working to advance open access, open data and open educational materials.

    Brock is now among 200 academic libraries in North America working with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition to promote open access to scholarly articles, the open sharing of research data and the creation and adoption of open educational resources on their campuses. Joining SPARC aligns with the Library’s Strategic Plan, particularly our focus on “transforming the mechanisms of scholarly communication and strengthening research dissemination through partnerships at Brock and beyond.”

    Brock Libraries will benefit from the expertise of SPARC leaders as we continue to work on advancing open scholarship and teaching initiatives on campus; the membership will also enhance the participation of Library employees in the global open community.

    Questions? Contact Scholarly Communication Librarian, Elizabeth Yates ~ eyates@brocku.ca

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  • New Scholars Portal Books Platform Now Live

    Scholars Portal is pleased to announce the full release of the brand new Scholars Portal Books platform.

    Highlights of the new platform include:

    • Significantly improved browsing and searching
    • PDF chapter downloads if copyright allows
    • Ability to choose only Brock University subscribed titles

    Scholars Portal Books provides access to a wide range of scholarly digital texts on a single platform. Most of our content is from academic publishers, and is available to Ontario universities that have purchased ebooks with perpetual access rights. Some collections on the platform are available to universities across Canada, some are available to Ontario colleges, and some are open access or public domain and available to all.

    For more information please contact your Liaison Librarian.

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  • Publish, Don’t Perish: Tips for Evaluating Journals

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

    Library Workshop July 3, 2-3 pm, TH253 – EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

    So, you want to make sure you publish your research in a “good” journal? Join Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates and Library employees for a presentation highlighting strategies for evaluating the quality and relevance of academic journals. Participants will hear suggestions for maximizing the reach of their research via open access publishing and will learn tips for avoiding predatory publications.

    Register

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  • Scholars Portal Services Unavailable Canada Day

    Due to an upcoming planned power shutdown at the University of Toronto, ALL Scholars Portal services will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, June 30th at 5 p.m. until Sunday, July 1st at 5 p.m.

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  • On Display: Indigenous Artifacts

    In celebration of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), an exhibit of First Nations, Métis and Inuit handiwork is on display at the Thistle entrance to the Learning Commons. Please stop by and view these works of art.

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  • Library Open Access Publishing Fund open for applications

    The Library Open Access Publishing Fund, an educational opportunity designed to encourage interest in open access publishing, is now accepting applications for 2018-19.

    The fund assists Brock University faculty, librarians, staff, and students in paying article processing charges levied by some open access publishers. Grants will be awarded up to a maximum of $1,500 CDN.

    Please carefully review the fund’s Terms and Conditions before applying.

    Questions? Contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates at eyates@brocku.ca or X4469.

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