Articles by author: Evelyn Smith

  • 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 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 – 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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  • Adding custom Brock backgrounds to Microsoft Teams

    With all of us working and learning from off-campus, you might be missing familiar library and campus spaces. We are. But fear not, we’ve found a way to get a little bit of Brock onto your screens during Microsoft Teams meetings and lectures.

    We’ve pulled together some favourite images of the Library as well as the Brock campus for you to experiment with.

    While Microsoft plans to roll out a customization option for Teams later this month, if you’re like us and just can’t wait, here are the step-by-step instructions:

    Install Custom Backgrounds in Microsoft Teams – Windows Users

    1. Find an image you want to use. Some of our favourites are below.
    2. Right click on your Start button and open the ‘Run’ command window. Copy and paste the following folder address:
    3. Shrink the Upload folder to one side of your screen then open your downloads folder (with the images) on the other side. Drag the downloads over to the Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads file.
    4. Launch Teams, go the calendar option and click “meet now”. You will be in a meeting with yourself.
    5. From the meeting bar, click on the ‘more actions’ three dots -> Show background effects and then scroll through the images until you find your chosen background. Check it off, then hit “Apply”.

    Install Custom Backgrounds in Microsoft Teams – Mac Users

    1. Find an image you want to use. Some of our favourites are below.
    2. Close or minimize all programs and go to your desktop.
    3. Visit your system library by following these steps:
      1. Finder bar on your Mac
      2. Go To
      3. Library -> Application Support -> Microsoft -> Teams -> Backgrounds -> Uploads
    4. Shrink the Upload folder to one side of your screen then open your downloads folder (with the images) on the other side. Drag the downloads over to your Upload folder.
    5. Launch Teams, go the calendar option and click “meet now”. You will be in a meeting with yourself.
    6. From the meeting bar, click on the three dots -> Show background effects and then scroll through the images until you find your chosen background. Check it off, then hit “Apply”.

    Images for download:

    Library Book Stacks

    Isaac Brock statue & Schmon Tower

    Retro Brock Bus

    Brock blossoms

    In the Archives

    Archives reading room

    Brock aerial shot

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  • Please continue reading

    Today you may have received a notification that your book is due back – don’t worry, that was just a placeholder date. It’s not due back now, and it won’t be due back until it’s safe to come on campus again. So please continue to read your library books or, store them until we re-open.


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  • New tutorial helps researchers identify & claim their work

    Did you know that ORCID® is the most widely used method for researchers to assert their online identity? 

    new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) notes that ORCID “has become a de facto standard” in higher education and government sectors, with more than 60 per cent of researchers in those fields reporting using an ORCID iD to digitally identify their research. 

    ORCID – Open Researcher and Contributor ID – is what’s called a researcher identifier: a unique numeric identifier that persists over time.  Your ORCID id distinguishes you from other researchers and compiles a record in one spot that supports all of your professional activities – including career development, promotion and tenure processes and research funding applications. 

    The Brock University Library supports the use of ORCID and now offers a step-by-step tutorial which will help you sign up for this important research tool. 

    For more information, contact Liaison and Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates ~ 


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  • Access to e-resources temporarily enhanced

    As university libraries close their physical spaces amid COVID-19, publishers and information providers have been stepping up to meet the unprecedented demand for electronic resources.

    The Brock University Library has created a guide to point you to these e-books, e-journals, and other resources.

    Additionally, our Frequently Asked Question page is available to answer your questions about your library account, course reserve readings, instruction sessions, consultations with librarians, and more.

    If you have questions, please continue to email us at, or chat live with one of our operators on Ask Chat. 


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  • Celebrating trans authors on Trans Day of Visibility 

    Brock Library is celebrating Trans Day of Visibility – marked on March 31 annually — by highlighting books by trans authors in our collection. 

    Because Trans Day of Visibility highlights the accomplishments of trans people in all spheres, we want to specifically recognize the contributions of transgender authors to literature and scholarship. These titles represent a diversity of genres and topics, ranging from poetry to memoir, history to romance. Many of the authors spotlighted are Canadian, including Gwen Benaway, Vivek Shraya and Ivan Coyote. 

    Several of these titles are available as e-books for you to read from wherever you are. While the Library’s print books are currently unavailable due to public health measures during the pandemic, please tuck this list aside to check out in future. 

    This year’s theme for Trans Day of Visibility is “surviving, thriving” (#TransThriving). We hope that reading the words of trans authors enriches your own knowledge and encourages you to help the trans community survive and thrive. 

    For more information about this occasion, please check out Trans Student Educational Resources. 


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  • Library Hours & Services Adjusted

    [Updated March 30, 2020]

    On March 13, 2020, Brock University suspended all face-to-face classes and exams for the remainder of the term. Brock University has restricted campus access to essential personnel only. There is no access to Brock University Library’s physical spaces and print collection at this time, and until further notice. The Library, however, continues to remain operational, with a shift to online services and support.

    No doubt, you have questions about how to access library materials and services – we have made a Frequently Asked Questions page to address these.

    For general inquiries, email us at, or chat live with one of our operators on Ask Chat. 

    You can also directly contact one of our service points: 

    Users can continue to directly contact their Liaison Librarian for research support, which can be accommodated online or via telephone. 

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