Mission Statement and Overview

Mission Statement and Overview

“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 John Bassett Memorial Library provides study and research support for the students and faculty of both Bishop’s University and Champlain College, Lennoxville Campus. The present building, built in 1959, and expanded in 1970 and 1990, accommodates over 610 users, with seminar rooms for group study.

The library’s facilities include a reference room, an I-Mac computer lab, language lab, music room, periodical reading room, map room and 11 seminar rooms for group study.  Wireless internet is available throughout the building which users can access with their own laptops.  In addition, 15 laptop computers can be signed out at the Circulation Desk for library use.

The Library’s holdings of over 600,000 items, including books, microforms, and audio-visual materials are accessed through the online catalogue.  In addition, the Library subscribes to over 20,000 periodical titles including online periodicals which can be searched using over 100 indexes and databases.  Research and study are further supported by collections of Canadian Government documents, and Maps.  In-house resources are augmented by an Inter-Library Loan network.

General Library orientation sessions are also conducted.  Reference Librarians provide bibliographic instructions sessions throughout the year, for specific groups of users in one field of study or on specific topics. Online study guides are available for research in many disciplines.

The Archives and Special Collections, located in the Old Library of the McGreer building (a previous home of the Library), houses collections of Canadiana and historical Eastern Townships material, as well as selected items from other special collections and the Bishop’s University Archives. The room also serves as a reference room for the United Church, Quebec Sherbrooke Presbytery.


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

John Bassett was President of the Gazette Printing Company. He was a trustee from 1939 until 1958, and Chancellor of the University from 1950 until 1958. In politics a strong and active Conservative, he was throughout his tenure as Chancellor the University’s principal counsellor in financial matters and in relations with the Union Nationale government.