Profile: Beryl Ivey Library Team

Top Marks for Beryl Ivey Library

There is a reason that Brescia’s Beryl Ivey Library achieved top marks in the 2011 Globe and Mail University Report. It has a dedicated group of staff members who are committed to providing an innovative centre that provides customer service par excellence.


Led by Heather Campbell, Library Instruction Co-ordinator, a group of library professionals (Kate Norton, Heather Campbell, Adrienne Roode, and Emma Swiatek) work together to deliver much needed instruction to Brescia students across a wide range of academic needs, including information literacy, critical thinking skills, research methods, and proper citation.

And the Library is increasing its contact hours exponentially. Last year, library staff met with 1,014 students in 53 sessions between September and April. This year they taught 1,550 students in 80 sessions during the same time period. Library training doesn’t get any better than this, nor does this level of care. These information sessions are tied to curriculum delivery and have resulted in a student body that is more confident in their approach to materials and assignments, as is evidenced in our National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results.

Fully 70% of Brescia fourth-year students reported in their NSSE surveys that they had written at least one paper of 20 pages or more in length, compared to 59% of those in our comparator groups. The experience of researching and writing these major essays was definitely enriched by library staff at Brescia.

As well as teaching students within the classroom setting, this energetic team also provides The Clever Researcher Blog – an online forum available 24/7 – to answer frequently asked questions when students need them the most. To date, more than 2,000 students have accessed this invaluable site. Little wonder is it that Brescia’s library and its powerful staff receive such high praise from internal and external sources.

And the icing on the cake is another niche program – The University Student Toolkit (a.k.a. the Fundamentals of Academic Success Certificate), which has as its end result a certificate that is of value on students’ co-curricular transcripts and resumes alike. Administered by Kate Norton, Library Instruction Co-ordinator, this program focuses on a variety of essential skills for today’s first-year students, including exam preparation, note taking, intercultural competence, time management, the research process, avoiding plagiarism, grammar tips, and more. Some modules are taught in a class-room setting, while others are offered online. All are very popular, with more than 80 students registered this year alone, many of whom will complete all modules, thereby earning a certificate.