The BC Teachers’ Federation is calling the latest budget freeze on education spending the beginning of a ‘second decade of cuts’ to B.C. schools.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced education spending would remain at $4.7 billion per year until the 2014/15 school year, with an additional $165 million doled out during that period for the Learning Improvement Fund, the government’s yet-to-be announced-solution to the removal of Bills 27/28 after the B.C. Supreme Court rule them unconstitutional last year.

Although no actual cuts to education spending are being made, the Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) says not keeping up with inflation will force districts to cut programs and services to the tune of $100 million this year in order to balance their budgets.

“A whole generation of students have grown up going to school in larger classes without adequate support and a lack of specialist teachers to meet diverse needs,” BCTF President Susan Lambert said in a press release issued by the union this afternoon.

“Now we’re looking at another three years of ongoing cuts and increasing demands on teachers to fill the gaps and meet students’ needs.”

Lambert says school spending would need to increase by $130 million per year to keep up with inflation, and says the $165 million for the Learning Improvement Fund won’t cut it.

“The LIF amounts to mere pennies per day per child,” Lambert says in the release. “This is a massive theft of educational opportunities from the next generation of BC kids.”

Read complete article here.

By Katie Hyslop February 21, 2012 04:21 pm – The Hook Education Blog

Katie Hyslop reports on youth, education and poverty issues for The Tyee and others.

(c) The Tyee Newspaper

UBC Library is proud to be part of Celebrate Research Week at UBC, which takes place March 2-9, 2012 and highlights research excellence across UBC’s faculties, departments, schools and partner institutions. As a #research partner at UBC, the Library connects faculty and students with local and global information resources, and enables new forms of knowledge creation, dissemination and exchange.

In addition to the events listed below, UBC Library will announce the winner of the 3rd Annual Innovative Dissemination of Research Award at the Celebrate Research Week Gala. Established by the Library in 2010, this award focuses on new and innovative ways of communicating and disseminating knowledge. 

We are proud to support this year’s Celebrate Research Week with the following workshops, discussions, open houses and other events at our Vancouver campus:

Event Description

Systematic Review Literature Search

  • Mar. 6 | 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. | $20
  • Woodward Library
  • Computer Lab
  • Workshop

Librarians from our Life Sciences branches will host this all-day workshop for those planning or beginning a systematic review, or wishing to improve on locating and managing a comprehensive literature search. Open to post-graduates, researchers and research assistants.

Morning and coffee breaks included, but please bring your own lunch.

Scholars’ Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Appropriate Use of Copyrighted Material

  • Mar. 6 | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Room 256
  • Workshop
Develop an understanding of use permissions for copyrighted materials and licensed material, author’s scholarly rights and publisher agreements. Information covered is ideal for researchers, instructors and faculty.

Current Awareness Tools for Business Researchers

  • Mar. 8 | 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Canaccord Learning Commons, Angus Building
  • CLC 222 
  • Workshop

Designed for graduate students at the Sauder School of Business, this workshop will cover how to set up alerts for: business and finance news; articles in your research area; the latest issues of important journals and business books at UBC Library. 

Celebrating the Research Commons: Evolving Spaces and Services for Graduate Students

  • Mar. 8 | Noon – 1 p.m.
  • Koerner Library
  • Room 216
  • Discussion

In collaboration with campus partners, UBC Library was recently awarded a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Grant to develop two new services as part of the Koerner Library Research Commons (now under development).

Come to this session to hear more about these new services, new spaces being considered, and to contribute to our planning process.

Some of the proposed services include: 

  • an Interdisciplinary Research Exchange, designed to connect graduate students across campus and facilitate discussion of shared research interests;
  • a Thesis/Citation Formatting Support service, which will provide workshops and specialized assistance to graduate students as they work on their theses.

Your Research goes Global with cIRcle

  • Mar. 8 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Dodson Room (302)
  • Discussion

UBC’s digital repository, cIRcle, makes papers, dissertations, student projects and webcasts available to the world as online open resource.

As part of Celebrate Research Week, cIRcle is holding an informal discussion on the merits of adding your scholarly research to a digital repository. Hear first-hand feedback from faculty, students and librarians who have used cIRcle to propel their research. 

As of the end of February, there were more than 39,600 items in cIRcle. Explore cIRcle for your #research needs. 

UBC Library Digitization Centre

  • Mar. 8 | 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Room 103
  • Open House

Our new Digital Initiatives Unit is a key part of the Library’s digital agenda.

Its goal is to create sustainable, world-class programs and processes to make collections and research accessible beyond UBC. 


Google announced yesterday that before the end of 2012, you will be able to buy augmented-reality smart eyeglasses from the search giant. The Android-powered glasses will have an onboard camera that monitors in real time what you see as you walk (or, heavens preserve us, drive) down the street. The lenses will then overlay information […]

The only real spending boost for B.C. public schools in the coming year will be a modest, previously announced fund to help teachers deal with special-needs students in their increasingly diverse classrooms, according to budget documents released today.

But apart from that new learning investment fund, which will distribute $30 million next year and a total of $165 million over three years, the basic grant for public education is expected to remain relatively flat for three years at an annual $4.7 billion a year. Average spending for K-12 schools will grow at only 0.6 per cent next year, down from 1.1 per cent during the previous two years and 4.8 per cent between 2005-06 and 2008-09.

The post-secondary sector faces similar restraints.

In delivering his budget today, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon urged the 60 school districts – especially 17 in and around Metro Vancouver – to reduce costs by sharing more head-office functions. Districts now spend about $840 million a year on administration, operations, maintenance and transportation services and could expect savings of three to eight per cent by following the Health Ministry’s approach to shared services, budget documents suggest.

It’s advice school officials have been hearing for years.

In addition, school districts, universities, colleges and others in the public sector are being told to sell surplus properties to raise money for other projects. A recent government review identified more than 100 surplus properties and estimated that disposal of some could produce a net gain of about $700 million. Falcon said 40 per cent of those properties are in the education sector and proceeds could help finance other capital projects.

As expected, the budget offers no money for a pay hike for B.C. teachers, whose union recently proposed a 15 per cent increase in a three-year deal. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association have made little progress during almost 12 months of bargaining, and a government fact finder is expected to report by Thursday on whether a negotiated deal is possible.

“Let me be perfectly clear,” Falcon stated in his budget speech. “We are not prepared to borrow money to pay for public-sector wage increases today and send the bill to our children tomorrow.”

The post-secondary sector also received a tough message, with government calling for reductions in administrative budgets by $20 million in 2013-14 and $50 million in 2014-15. Savings must come from travel, executive overhead and support services, but not classrooms, the minister said.

“The province will work with universities, colleges and other institutions to help ensure that front-line programs are not affected,” he told the legislature. “And we believe (this) one per cent cost reduction is very achievable.”

As in the K-12 sector, the average annual increases for post-secondary are shrinking – to 1.6 per cent a year in the coming three years from 3.4 per cent during the past two years and 6.5 per cent between 2005-06 and 2008-09. Annual spending for post-secondary is about $5 billion.

Overall, education will consume a smaller percentage of annual government spending at 26.8 per cent in 2012-13 compared to 27.6 per cent two years ago.

Written by: Janet Steffenhagen

Click here to read the entire article. 

An article about the Freedom to Read exhibit at UBC Library appears in the Smithers Interior News.

Join UBC Library as it celebrates the freedom to read with an exhibit of banned and controversial books. The exhibition takes place from February 4-14 on the second-floor foyer of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and from February 15 to March 3 on the second floor of Koerner Library.

Come check out the show and find out more about the freedom to read.

Are you looking for additional ways to keep current with the latest literature in your field?  Did you know that you can set up alerts within many resources available through the library that will notify you about new content in your research area?

In support of Celebrate Research Week, the David Lam Library is offering a Current Awareness for Business Researchers workshop on Thursday March 8 from 9.30-11.00am in the Canaccord Learning Commons, Rm 222.

In this workshop, we will cover how to set up e-mail or RSS alerts for:

  • Latest business and finance news
  • Articles published in your research area
  • Latest issues of important journals
  • Business books at UBC Library

We will also look at how to use RefWorks as current awareness tool.

This session is for graduate students at the Sauder School of Business.

Register for the session here:

Photo: Martin Dee

Articles about a petition to open the Irving K. Learning Centre on a 24/7 continual basis have appeared in the Ubyssey, UBC’s student newspaper, in November 2011 and February 2012. The story also was also featured on the site of News1130.

The Learning Centre is currently open on a 24/7 basis during exam periods.

We have had many inquiries about “Journal of Chemical Education” from the American Chemical Society. Finally, access has been restored.

Link from here and enjoy!

Creating a National Reading Strategy for Canada:  About the National Reading Campaign

The National Reading Campaign is about creating a reading strategy for Canada. It is about engaging Canadians in exploring what a Canadian reading plan would look like, and what we would expect the key outcomes to be. In short, it is a campaign to incorporate and promote reading as a central feature of 21st century Canadian citizenship.

The National Reading Campaign had its beginnings in 2008, when a coalition of readers, parents, writers, editors, librarians, bookstore owners, teachers, publishers and distributors came together to assess and consider the changing reading habits of Canadians. Learn more about the Reading Coalition here.

The first forum, held in 2008, proposed that a National Reading Campaign be developed over the course of three Reading Summits. The first Summit was held in Toronto in 2009, the second was held in Montreal in 2011 and the third will take place in May 2012 in Vancouver.

Why do we need a National Reading Campaign?

Becoming a reader is at the very heart of responsible citizenship. But as we find ourselves caught in the fierce updrafts of an information hurricane, we often lose sight of what reading — as an intellectual activity — contributes to our sense of self, our cultural awareness, our capacity for self-expression and, ultimately, our notions of engaged citizenship and the collective good. Reading, after all, is about so much more than a technical act that allows us to communicate, consume media and perform the activities of daily life. To be literate is necessary, but it is not enough.

Read more about the Summit here.

~information and links from the National Reading Campaign website

One of the largest private film collections in Canada, which provides a fascinating document of rural B.C., will be housed and preserved by UBC Library thanks to a generous donation from the Halleran family and the support of community partners including Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

The Halleran Collection, valued at $750,000, consists of about 250 nature-oriented video programs produced in British Columbia over the decades – first by Mike Halleran and then by his son Terry.

These shows, known collectively as the Westland series, were broadcast by the Knowledge Network from 1984 to 2007. They examine a broad range of issues associated with forestry, fresh water fishing, endangered species and ecosystem restoration. The donation also includes an extensive library of 2,000 source tapes.

Terry Halleran donated the bulk of the collection to UBC Library, and the remainder was purchased. Halleran was introduced to the Library by Don Laishley, a UBC alumnus and member of the Library’s Advisory Board.

“We took a lot of pride in what we did. It wasn’t always easy, but we believed in environmental education,” says Halleran. “UBC Library was the obvious choice for us, considering the long-standing relationship between our series and the expertise UBC faculty and students brought to the table.”

Halleran notes that the Westland programs have been used as teaching tools in classrooms at UBC and elsewhere since the 1980s. The programs also feature some former UBC faculty members.

“We anticipate that with increasing interest in natural resource management, environmentalism and sustainability, this collection will be of considerable interest to a variety of researchers at the University and the broader community,” notes Chris Hives, University Archivist.

Columbia Basin Trust is providing $100,000 to support the acquisition and digitization of the Westland series tapes. “We’re delighted to contribute towards preserving the collection and making it available to all to study, reflect on and simply appreciate,” says Neil Muth, CBT’s President and CEO. “Thanks go to UBC for organizing this and to Terry Halleran for donating a huge portion of the collection.”

Other community partners that provided funds to support the purchase of the collection include the Okanagan Region Wildlife Heritage Fund Society, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

Halleran would like to recognize the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund and the British Columbia Conservation Foundation for their support with the preservation and management of the Westland series in advance of its transfer to UBC. University Archives staff have begun preparing an inventory to enable access to the Halleran Collection.


About UBC Library

UBC Library is a high-ranking member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). It has 21 branches and divisions, and is the largest library in British Columbia. Its collections include more than 6.3 million volumes, more than 875,000 e-books, more than 883,000 maps, audio, video and graphic materials, and more than 165,000 serial titles. The Library provides access to expanding digital resources and houses an on-site Digitization Centre. For more information, visit

About Columbia Basin Trust

CBT delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit or call 1-800-505-8998.


Glenn Drexhage

Communications Manager, UBC Library

Tel: 604-827-3434



Rachel Lucas

Columbia Basin Trust

Tel: 1-800-505-8998



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