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“The mission of the Bishop’s University Library is to provide library resources and services which support the instructional and research programs of the University.”


The Library Learning Commons provides study and research support for the students, staff, and faculty of both Bishop’s University and Champlain College, Lennoxville Campus. The library also offers modified services to the local public. The present building, built in 1959, and renovated in 2018, accommodates over 950 users and is completely wheelchair accessible.

The Library Learning Commons provides a variety of individual and group study spaces, as well as classrooms and meeting rooms. The building also houses the Information Technology Services Helpdesk, the Writing Centre, the Teaching & Learning Centre’s Sandbox and the student-run Student Success Centre. The McConnell Agora is the location of academic happenings, serving the campus-wide community as a venue for public discourse. The Library Café is where students can relax, chat with friends, and enjoy a small meal or a beverage. A digital video production studio and editing stations permit the creation of multimedia projects. Listening stations provide access to the extensive assortment of records and CDs in the music collection. Other equipment includes printers, scanners, and banks of computer workstations (PC and Mac). The service hours are posted online.

The Library Learning Commons houses a collection of nearly 270,000 physical items, including books, journals, sound recordings, movies, and other non-print materials. The library catalogue and most of the library’s electronic resources, such as e-books, e-journals, and databases, can be searched through the online discovery tool Sofia. Also available through Sofia are two resource sharing services used to borrow material from non-Bishop’s libraries: Network Loan and Interlibrary Loan. The Network Loan service allows users to request materials from any other Quebec university libraries directly from Sofia. This is made possible because Bishop’s Library is a member of the Partenariat des bibliothèques universitaires du Québec (PBUQ). The PBUQ’s mission is to promote cooperation between university libraries in Quebec and to develop projects, activities, services, and platforms to better meet the needs of the university community in the province. The instructions on placing this type of request are found on our Interlibrary Loan guide (under the Network Loan tab). Bishop’s students, staff, and faculty can place requests via Interlibrary Loan to access additional resources from worldwide libraries outside the province of Quebec.

Throughout the year, general library orientation sessions are conducted. Reference librarians provide field specific bibliographic instructions sessions for groups. Individual assistance is available in-person at the research assistance desk and remotely by phone, email, or chat. An appointment can be made with a librarian for extended research consultations. Librarians have created guides and study aids for research in academic disciplines taught at Bishop’s University. For a brief introduction to the various types of guides, see the Library Guides description.

The Bishop’s Library Learning Commons houses several archives. The Eastern Townships Resource Centre  (ETRC) Archives is devoted to the conservation of the archival heritage of the Eastern Townships of Quebec for the purposes of research and teaching. The ETRC also manages the United Church of Canada’s Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytery Archives and the Presbyterian Church of Canada’s Quebec Presbytery Archives. The Quebec Diocesan Archives has holdings from the Anglican Church of Canada dating from 1793.

The Bishop’s University Archives consists of documents which give evidence and information about the University’s history, organization, function, and structure. The Old Library serves as the consultation room for the University Archives and houses special collections of books, pamphlets, newspapers, and maps pertaining to the history of the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada, and special volumes concerning Bishop’s University. The Old Library may also be used simply as a quiet study hall.

History of the Library Learning Commons

The first room specifically designed to house the University’s library was built in 1909, forming the upper floor rear wing of McGreer Hall. In 1959, a new library building, named in memory of John Bassett (1886-1958), was erected on the grounds near McGreer Hall. Extensions were added in 1971 and 1990 to cope with the growth in collections and undergraduate enrolment.

The original library wing in McGreer Hall was restored in time for the Sesquicentennial celebrations in 1993-1994, when this space was renamed “Old Library.” In the 2010s, an extensive, collaborative exercise was started to reimagine the library. The now named the Library Learning Commons reopened its doors in the autumn of 2018, following a complete internal redesign and renovation. Bishops Library Learning Commons received the 2019 Prix Architecture de bibliothèques et de centres d’archives du Québec award.

The navigation on the left-hand side of this page offers direct links to further details on the Bishop’s University Library services.