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OCAD U Library 2016 Winter: Reference Services

Winter 2016 edition of the Dorothy H. Hoover Library newsletter

Reference Services

OCAD U Pop-Up Bookmobile Library

In 2008, the Dorothy H. Hoover Library was able to engage consultants Scott Bennett (Yale University) and architect Perry Dean Rogers (Partners Architects) to explore new avenues for services and space planning.  The resulting report, title "Enacting a Learning Mission" provides an exciting new template for the OCAD U library in meeting the diversified information needs of creative researchers in the new information age. 

Although the library has achieved many of the report's recommendations, the document offers many challenging new directives; one of the most demanding being the need to constantly re-vision traditional approaches to libraries and librarianship by:

  • reconsidering the expectation that “they” will come to “us";
  • building different relationships with students, faculty, and staff;
  • occupying workspace beyond the library building both in virtual space and in the classroom and
    studio space where students and faculty spend most of their time (Bennett and Rogers, 17,18).

To meet this call, OCAD U librarians have looked to the past in order to better prepare for the future.   Although this seems like a dichotomy, we feel that librarianship's rich history of meeting the information needs of researchers can help guide us in the new knowledge economy. 

One playful attempt to help occupy space beyond the "bricks and mortar" library and build different relationships with the OCAD U community has been the establishment of an OCAD U "pop-up" bookmobile library. Although this initiative may seem like a slightly ironic take on the time-honoured public library tradition of the "bookmobile," it pays sincere homage to the practice recognizing its vital importance in providing access to information. In the days before the internet, the book mobile offered an essential means of bringing books, periodicals or audiovisual materials to people in their own home communities.  In this light, librarians served as prescient innovators in providing access to information using mobile technology! To learn more about this fascinating history, feel free to view the peer-reviewed library sciences literature on bookmobiles using our Summon Search .

Look for the Dorothy H. Hoover pop-up bookmobile throughout the Winter 2016 term.  We plan on offering the service in support of curricular initiatives, special programming, guest presentations or campus social occasions and will offer a selection of subject-specific titles from the OCAD U library collection based on the theme of the event .  Most books displayed will be able to be signed-out from the bookmobile with a valid OCAD U ID card. 

To book the pop-up bookmobile for your event, contact:


Reference Services

York Township bookmobile, about 1948 (image credit: Toronto Public Library)

Did you know that the first bookmobile in the the Toronto Area was launched in 1948, proving that librarians were innovators in providing access to information using mobile technology! For more information see: History of the Toronto Public Library 

Virtual Reference

OCAD University has been a member of the "Ask a Librarian" service since September 2012.  To find out more, view About Ask

We thought that you might be interested to have a snapshot of our participation:

June 1, 2012 - May 31, 2013: (participation began in September)

  • OCAD U users submitted 155 questions
  • OCAD U operators answered 232 questions

June 1, 2013 - May 31, 2014:

  • OCAD U users submitted 178 questions
  • OCAD U operators answered 209 questions

June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2015:

  • OCAD U users submitted 148 questions
  • OCAD U operators answered 210 questions