Library Resources & Services Amid COVID-19

Brock University Library has developed a number of online and in-person services and supports in response to the global pandemic. Our focus has been on access to electronic resources and virtual help and instruction, along with limited access to study space and moderated access to our print collection.

Access Collections: Library Pickup Service

We are happy to announce a pickup service for print materials will begin on July 16th.

We’re committed to keeping our community and staff members safe. We have designed a library pickup process that allows both our staff and users to maintain physical distance and implemented safe handling and cleaning protocols in consultation with Brock University officials and in accordance with Niagara Region Public Health recommendations.

How You Can Help
  • When picking up library material, please respect the signage and markers regarding physical distancing and traffic flow.
  • Wear your face covering while in University common areas and the library pickup area.
  • Once you have picked up your items, leave the pickup area promptly.
Quarantining Returns
  • All circulated materials have been renewed until January 7, 2021 and will continue to be renewed until it is safe for everyone to return to campus. You do not need to return items at this time.
  • If you do choose to return library materials in conjunction with picking up your requests, please use the book return slot in the Schmon Tower lobby. Please do not bring returns into the library.
  • Based upon research conducted for the REALM (the RE-Opening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) Project, we are adopting a quarantine period of 7 days for returns before they are processed by staff.

The pickup service is available to all current students, faculty and staff of Brock University.

All regular loan books and print materials are available to request. DVDs from the Library’s collection for focused research or instruction purposes are also included. Omni records for eligible items will have a ‘Request for Pickup‘ link. (Please see: How to make your request, below, for detailed instructions)


The following print materials are not available to request:

  • items on reserve
  • print journals
  • maps and atlases
  • any book held by the Brock University Library for which there is an electronic equivalent in the Hathi Trust.

Please note, the option to request items currently on loan to someone else (recalls process), is not available at this time.

  • Search Omni for the item(s) you want.
  • Place your request using the Request for Pickup link in the bibliographic record. To see this prompt, ensure you are signed in.
  • shows the link to click to request a book for pickupLibrary staff will gather your items and sign them out to you.
  • You will receive an email with instructions for onsite pickup at the James A. Gibson Library. Please wait until you receive this email before you come to campus, otherwise, it may not be ready for pickup.
  • We will hold your requested item(s) for 2 weeks, after which they will be returned to the shelves. The item(s) can be requested again if still needed.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to pick up items, please email us at

Service Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 12noon, 1pm-4pm

  • Wearing a mask or face covering is required in the pickup area as per Brock’s campus-wide policy.
  • Before arriving on campus, you must complete the Self-Screen Survey 2020 for COVID-19 Risk.
  • Enter campus via the Rankin Family Pavilion and follow the entry process – you will need your Brock Card to gain entry to campus. If you don’t have an ID card, follow these instructions to submit a photo and have a card created for you. In the meantime, give your Brock ID number to the staff at the desk.
  • Indicate that you are entering campus to pick up items from the Library.
  • Enter the library using the entrance in the Schmon Tower/ Rankin Family Pavilion. The Thistle entrance is closed.
  • Please use the floor markings in order to maintain 2 metres (6 feet) distance from fellow patrons and library staff. entrance to the libraryPhoto of waiting line in the library
  • If you choose to return items, please use the return slot in the lobby. Returns are quarantined for 7 days before check-in.

Access Collections: Scanning Service for Print Collections

The scanning service is available to all current Brock students, faculty, instructors and staff.

Scanning requests can be made for single book chapter or journal article or similar fair dealing amount, subject to copyright.  Please note that Omni records for eligible items will have a ‘Request a Scan’ link. (Please see: How to make your request, below, for detailed instructions) 


The following print materials are not available to scan:

  • items on reserve
  • items held in Archives and Special Collections or in the Instructional Resource Centre
  • maps and atlases
  • any book held by the Brock University Library for which there is an electronic equivalent in the Hathi Trust.
  • Search Omni for the item(s) you want.
  • Place your request using the Request a Scan link in the bibliographic record. To see this prompt, ensure you are signed in.
    Request a Scan image
  • Library staff will notify you by email when the scan is ready and include the download link. You can expect your scan within 3-4 business days. 

Access Collections: Hathi Trust

Brock University Library is 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.

The easiest way to access Brock items in HathiTrust is by searching in Omni, our academic search tool. When a print item is available via HathiTrust, you’ll see the following:

Click the link that says “HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service” and you will be taken to the item’s page on the HathiTrust website. Click on “Temporary Access” on that page, and “Check Out” on the page that follows.

You can also access Brock digitized titles directly from the HathiTrust website. Click on the yellow log-in button and choose Brock University as ‘partner institution’. Then enter your Brock id and password.

Important notes:

  • For each copy of an item in our collection, one simultaneous checkout is allowed. The checkout period is 1 hour, with unlimited renewals, unless another user is waiting to read the book.
  • As per the terms of agreement with Hathi Trust, items available online through ETAS are not eligible for the library’s curbside pickup service.

Access Online Collections

Almost all of our library databases are available to search from off-campus. Exceptions to this include Datastream and Bloomberg.

View our guide to off-campus access.

In short, you can log-in to our proxy server before you start your research.

When searching Omni, select Available online under the Availability facet to limit your results to resources that are available online. For more help with Omni see Omni Search Tips 

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.

View the guide we’ve created to connect you to these e-books, e-journals, and other resources.

There are a couple of ways to access online reserves.

Option 1: Go to our Course Reserves and Exams page and follow the instructions for logging in and finding the e-reserves for your course.

Option 2: Your instructor may have integrated Course Reserves directly into your Sakai Course; look for the Library Course Readings section there. 

Access to Study Space

As of September 28th, 45 bookable, physically-distanced, individual study spaces are available exclusively to Brock University students in the Matheson Learning Commons (Library main floor).

Learn more about this service and make your booking.

Course Support

Although the Library building is currently closed, the Course Reserve Service is open online!

The Reserve Team is ready:

  • to work with you to identify materials in our extensive digital collections that support course reading lists
  • make the best efforts to acquire or license a digital alternative to the print materials you need as our physical collection is currently unavailable
  • enable access via the Ares course reserve system to any content that exists in a digital format, such as e-books, journal articles, streaming media, and other digital materials
  • ensure that all materials posted in Ares are copyright and AODA compliant and will do its best to negotiate copyright clearance for any items that exceed these

Please contact More information can be found on the Course Reserve Services page.

This is a great opportunity to see if Open Educational Resources (OERs) might be right for your course. There are thousands of textbooks and other resources that have been developed by other educators and made freely available for reuse and can be adapted for your course. 

We have a guide to Open Educational Resources that help you get started in finding the resource for your course. For further assistance, reach out to your Liaison Librarian. 

The library also has access to many e-books, some of which might be an appropriate resource for your course. Finally, many vendors have opened up access to their resources temporarily during the crisis. For further assistance in understanding your options, get in touch with us at 

Your Liaison Librarian continues to provide instructional support in an online environment and can work with you to figure out the best way to integrate the appropriate learning outcomes into your course.

Please refer to our Teaching & Learning Support page for further details, and contact your Liaison Librarian directly. 

Research Support

We are continuing to process and fulfill requests for electronic items (e-books, e-journals) as per usual. If you are a requesting a print book, we will see what alternatives are available, and attempt to provide access when we can. Please continue to use RACER for your ILL requests. 

While the Archives & Special Collections are closed, there are a number of resources that have been digitized and placed online in the Library’s Digital Repository.

Here you will find – archival records, digitized books and Brock University records.  You can also find many older books online at  For specific questions, email

The Map, Data & GIS Library is closed at this time. However, there are many resources available online. Many of our historical Niagara maps are digitized and available through the Library’s Digital Repository

Our most popular collection, Niagara air photos, are largely digitized and viewable using the Niagara Air Photo Index Should you require air photo coverage that is not digitized, please contact with specific photos of interest and we will do our best to scan and deliver them in a timely manner.

GIS related queries should be directed to Sharon Janzen

Your Library Account

Until it is safe for everyone to return to campus, there is no need to return your borrowed items. Rest assured, any late fees that may have accrued during this time will be waived and all regular loans have been renewed to January 7, 2021.

If you choose to return your books, procedures are in place to do this safely. Please follow these steps:

1.   Complete the self-scan survey prior to coming to campus.
2.   When you arrive, enter at the Rankin Family Pavilion (base of the Schmon Tower).
      Note: Wearing a mask or face covering is required as per Brock’s campus-wide policy.
3.   Tap your Brock ID card at the Welcome Desk.
      Note: If you don’t have a Brock ID card, follow these instructions to submit a photo and have a card created for you. In the meantime, give your Brock ID number to the staff at the desk.
4.   Head to the book drop slot just to the left of the stairs to Brock Central and deposit your items.

Based upon research conducted for the REALM (the RE-Opening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) Project, we are adopting a quarantine period of 7 days for returns before they are processed by staff.

If you are graduating or otherwise leaving the University, you can mail your item(s) to: 

Brock University Library
1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
Catharines, ON
L2S 3A1
Attn: Library Services.

If you have specific questions about returning your book, ask us at

Contact Us

We are happy to accommodate research consultations online. You can continue to find and get in touch with your Liaison Librarian by email, or directly book an appointment if you already know who your Liaison Librarian is.


Contact us via email at