Learning Commons

  • Honouring Indigenous Women and Girls

    This month’s featured Omni Collection is intended to honour and remember the lives of Indigenous Women and Girls in recognition of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s Sisters In Spirit Day. Browse and borrow from the print collection displayed next to the Ask Us desk and head online to view the Indigenous Women on Film sub-collection of documentaries.

    The collection also acts as a complement to The Canadian Library, a grassroots art installation project that acts as a memorial to all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people. The goal of the CLP is to wrap 8,000 books across Canada in fabric prints that reflect First Nations, Métis and Inuit as a testament to the lives lost. Before each book is placed on the gallery bookshelf in the library, the name of one of the MMIWG2S+ is written in gold along its spine.

    Brock Library is hosting three drop-in wrapping events in Learning Commons Classroom B (ST230). While no RSVP is required, registering on ExperienceBU and checking in at the events, will provide participants with credit toward their co-curricular record.  Sessions will be held on Monday, September 25 (2:30-5pm), Friday, September 29 (1:30-4pm), and Monday, October 2 (1:30-4pm).

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    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Treasures from the Shickluna Shipyard Dig.

    Back in 2018, a research team led by Brock University archaeologist and maritime historian Kimberly Monk received federal funding to excavate the Shickluna Shipyard site in downtown St. Catharines.  The team’s discoveries and insights form the basis of a stunning new display hosted in the Library and Learning Commons this fall.

    The exhibit is comprised of two parts which, when combined explore the evolving cultural landscape which we refer to as the Shickluna Shipyard site. The Changing Human Landscape on Twelve Mile Creek (displayed at the south entrance to the Learning Commons), sets the scene of the dig and characterizes the sites’ earliest occupants. Uncovering Historic Landscapes at the Shickluna Shipyard: A Multi-Component Archaeological Site is displayed inside the library, and explores the history of the site after 1891.

    Although the on-going project is focused on Shickluna, and the over 60 years of shipbuilding that took place at the site, the exhibit recognizes the breadth of human history that has shaped this landscape over time. The next phase of fieldwork will explore deeper and adjacent contexts. Follow the project, and new developments on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

    Stop by and view the exhibit which runs until October 16.




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    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Fall wellness book club registration now open

    Registration is now open for the fall 2023 Wellness Book Club.  This term, we will be reading a book all about the promises and the darker side of wellness culture.  Described as “a clear-eyed exploration of what wellness can actually offer us,” The Gospel of Wellness is written by a journalist who has tried nearly every wellness trend: the ‘clean’ eating, the detoxes, the boutique fitness classes, and more.  Rina Raphael argues that, rather than alleviating stress, the wellness industry creates unrealistic and costly burdens on consumers.

    The Book Club is hosted by librarian, Justine Cotton, who is passionate about the positive impact of reading and community.  You can contact her with any questions about the Club at jcotton@brocku.ca.

    Members will receive a copy of the book and a wellness care package.  Meetings will be held virtually during the month of October and participants may choose to participate in a research study on the benefits of reading “for fun” on stress levels in university students.

    Register here: https://bit.ly/fall23wellnessbookclub

    *maximum 10 participants

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    Categories: Learning Commons, Main

  • Architecture

    This month and next, the Library presents you with a collection related to something we all experience everyday and, probably take for granted: our built environment.  

    Among the curated titles, this newest featured collection lets you:

    Explore the Architecture collection online, and in print on the display shelves next to the Ask Us desk.  

    For resources related to Brock’s built environment including scale models of the campus, check out Architecture in the Brock University Digital Repository.

    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • The Barbenheimer craze

    Today (July 21), marks the release of two biopics in movie theatres. Barbie, a comedy, features the doll and her partner Ken on a voyage of self-discovery after their expulsion from “Barbieland”. Oppenheimer, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, is the story of the nuclear physicist who was the head of Los Alamos Laboratory, which was instrumental in the development of the first-ever nuclear bomb.

    Many moviegoers are making a double feature out of the two films, which have become known as “Barbenheimer.”

    The Library has compiled a featured collection of Barbie and Oppenheimer e-books and print titles. You can find the print volumes atop our Badger Books shelves on the main floor.

    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Exhibit: The A. & C. Black Twenty Shilling Book Series

    Select titles from the A. & C. Black Twenty Shilling Book Series are featured in our latest exhibit in the Library and Learning Commons.  The series consists of ninety-two high-quality travel books illustrated in colour by various artists and published from 1901 to 1921. The print runs for these books were limited – typically to 3000 copies or less. Decades later, this scarcity has made the books quite collectible.

    As passionate travellers, David Murray and Elizabeth Surtees of Niagara-on-the-Lake fell in love with these books. For over 15 years, they assembled a complete collection of the 20 Shilling Book Series. In December, 2022, they donated their collection to the Brock University Archives and Special Collections with a wish to share the resource with the Brock community.

    View this very special exhibit in the Library and at the south entrance to the Learning Commons until late-July.

    Categories: Archives, Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • Print and virtual collections in support of Indigenous History Month

    In June, we commemorate National Indigenous History Month to recognize the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

    The Indigenous Collection at the south entrance to the Matheson Learning Commons features many new titles including Our Voice of Fire: Memoir of a Warrior Rising by Brandi Morin, Permanent Astonishment by Thomson Highway, and Run as One: My Story by Errol Ranville.

    More print and e-books as well as films by and about Indigenous Peoples in Canada are available in two recently updated Featured Collections via Omni.

    Beyond Library resources, the Brock and wider communities are invited to learn and participate in 20 workshops hosted by Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre. Read more about them and get registration links in this article from the Brock News.



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  • Staff picks: our favourite books & films

    Do library workers read all day as the old trope goes? No. But in our off time, watch out. We’re serious about our books.

    This month’s featured collection comprises some of our favourite fiction – old and new, as well non-fiction on topics as diverse as animated film production, indigenous culture, and the enduring mystery of the life, loves, and violent death of one of Canada’s most famous artists.  A sub-collection of our favourites on film includes romance, comedic mystery and even a cold war classic.

    Explore this month’s featured collection of staff picks online and in print next to the Ask Us desk.

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    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons

  • New exhibit features student artwork to highlight the vital role of pollinators 

    Butterflies, moths, and bees are the feature in latest Brock Library exhibition, located in the Learning Commons display cases. Displaying a number of vibrantly coloured pinned specimens, the exhibit aims to highlight the role pollinators play in sustaining our local ecosystems and encourages onlookers to help promote and protect pollinator populations. 

    The exhibit is curated by Brock Studio Art and the History of Art and Visual Culture (double major) student Mari Brint and Library Engagement Assistant Sara Nixon, displaying insect specimens and artwork prepared and created by Brint.  

    Inside of an exhibit display case. On display are pinned, taxidermy butterflies and moths presented on canvas panels. The background features a colourful field of flowers and interpretive text panels.

    The exhibit features a collection of pinned moths and butterflies prepared by Brock student, Mari Brint.

    Mari has always had an interest in insect taxidermy and bug pinning when visiting museums and butterfly conservation gardens, but only recently took up the practice,After my final studio courses, I felt that I needed to take a step away from my traditional and preferred medium of painting and try something new to branch out and explore new creative mediums. During that time, I discovered the processes involved with preparing moths and butterflies for pinning and display, and began researching the ways in which I can help with the conservation efforts of insects”, says Mari.

    Participating in the Brock University Seed Library is just one way that community members can get involved with pollinator conservation efforts. The Seed Library offers free access to seeds to grow gardens at home, including several varieties of flowers that help sustain pollinator habitats, and subsequently support increasing populations of butterflies, bees, and moths.  

    Anyone can “borrow” from the Seed Library, free of cost. Interested community members can visit the Ask Us Desk on the Main Floor of James A. Gibson Library to browse the seed catalogue to select up to five packets of seeds (per person, per day). Ideally, participants will harvest seeds and return them to the Seed Library after a bountiful season of growing.  

    Growing gardens of pollinator-friendly plants, no matter the size, can help local pollinator populations thrive. “Butterflies and moths are not only a beautiful part of the natural world but one that needs our help in the cultivation and protection of their habitats,” says Mari. 

    To learn about growing your own pollinator gardens, the Library has also curated a featured book collection as a compendium to the exhibit. The Featured Collection, which can be found both online and at the book display case by the Ask Us Desk, offers hardcopy and e-book titles that dig deeper into the topics of pollination, gardening, growing food, as well as our relationships to plants and bugs, and more. 

    There are lots of ways to get involved in protecting our local pollinators here at the Library! Be sure to visit the Learning Commons this spring to view the exhibit, borrow the Plants and Pollinators book collection, and borrow from the Seed Library. 

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    Categories: Learning Commons, Main

  • Plants and Pollinators

    Our April Book Display embraces the spring season by digging into the colourful world of pollinating insects, plants, and our relationships to them – as well as the practice of growing plants and food. Featured both online and in-person in the Library, this collection aims to help reconnect us to the nature that surrounds us. Learn about the how to plant a butterfly garden in your own backyard , the history of human’s relationship to flowers, the future of the world’s rarest foods, and so much more.

    This collection is presented alongside a special exhibit on display in our Library and Learning Commons display cases. Curated by Brock Studio Art and the History of Art and Visual Culture (double major) student Mari Brint and Library Engagement Assistant Sara Nixon, the exhibit explores the role pollinators play in our local ecosystems, and how we can help butterflies, bees, and moths thrive in our own gardens. A particular highlight of the exhibit, are several taxidermy butterfly and moths specimens, as well as artwork, created and prepared by Mari Brint. 

    Visit the Learning Commons on the Main Floor of the Library to explore both the Book Display and Exhibit spaces.

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    Categories: Featured Collections, Learning Commons