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’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.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Photo of waiting line in the library

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 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 4 business days.
    Please note, service times may vary dependent on reduced staffing levels.

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.

Financial Databases:
Datastream is currently unavailable.
Bloomberg Market Concepts online training and certification modules are available free of charge to students until December 31, 2021.

Bloomberg Disaster Recovery has been set up by the Goodman School of Business which enables remote access to Bloomberg Terminals for faculty or students who require access for teaching or research purposes.

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 

There are a couple of ways to access online course readings:

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

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

Access to Study Space

As of July 19, 2021, Fifty (50) bookable, physically-distanced study spots are available exclusively to Brock University students in the Matheson Leaning Commons (Library main floor).

Learn more about this service and make your booking.

Course Support

Our Team is ready:

  • to work with you to identify materials in our extensive digital collections that support course reading lists
  • enable access via the Ares Course Readings Management 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


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.

The Library works with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including:  

  • Creating an online course pack through Ares by:
    • 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.
  • Using an existing e-book in the relevant subject area from the library’s e-book collection or requesting that the library purchase one. Many academic e-books are not considered textbooks and are therefore available to purchase.
  • Adopting an open educational resource (OER). OERs are freely available educational materials, including textbooks, that are openly licensed to allow for re-use and modification by instructors. Our Liaison Librarians can work with instructors to help find the right OER for your course.

Please contact More information can be found on the Course Readings 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. 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

March 1, 2021: Print Interlibrary loan service will resume March 8, 2021.

Please note that, due to the COVID-19 and library closures, interlibrary loan users may see delays or cancelled requests. As a result, print Interlibrary Loans will be most useful for those engaged in long-term research, rather than those with an immediate need for materials.

We continue to process and fulfill requests for e-journal articles and e-book chapters as per usual. Please continue to use RACER for your ILL requests. 

Beginning April 27, Archives & Special Collections are open to the Brock University researchers (faculty and graduate students) by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To schedule an appointment, provide at least 24-hour notice and follow these procedures

The department is currently closed to the wider public.  Archives staff will make every effort to address your research needs remotely.

Many digitized materials from the Archives can be found in the Brock University Digital Repository. Included are archival records, digitized books and Brock University records.  You can also find many older books online at  For specific questions, please 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

Please return your books via the drop slot in the Schmon Tower lobby/Rankin Family Pavilion just outside the east entrance to the library.

  • 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.
  • Indicate that you are entering campus to return Library books.
  • Please return your books in the drop slot in the lobby.

Images of the book drop slot in the Schmon Tower Lobby

Other return options for students no longer in the Niagara area:

  1. Drop off your Brock books to your closest university library when they re-open. They will be returned to Brock on your behalf.
  2. Ship your returns to us by mail at:

James A. Gibson Library
Brock University
1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way,
St. Catharines, ON
L2S 3A1

  • Renew by signing in to Omni with your campus id and password.
  • Open the ‘My Loans’ menu item.
  • Select specific items for renewal or renew all.
  • Contact if you require assistance.
  • Please note: some items may not be renewable due to another user request, or if you have outstanding fines over $20.00.

View our ‘How to Renew’ graphic.

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