UBC Okanagan librarian Lori WalterChanges to the scholarly publishing landscape have been significant and rapid – as a result, the work of librarians such as Lori Walter, Scholarly Communication Librarian at UBC Okanagan, has become essential for researcher and student success.

With the launch of the innovative UBC Okanagan Writing and Research Centre and its embedded location along with the Centre for Scholarly Communication, Walter is focused on providing seamless service to the entire campus for writing, research and scholarly communication. 

“We want to deliver a responsive, integrated program of services to meet the needs of the campus in one physical (and virtual) place,” Walter says. “Our goal is to support scholars at all levels as they communicate their ideas to their peers and to the community at large.” 

Walter, who has a background in both scholarly communication and writing instruction, sees everyone at UBC Okanagan – undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctorates, faculty and staff – as writers who participate in scholarly communication. Her role is to help this community of scholars through education, resources and direct support. 

Before coming to UBC Okanagan, she worked with faculty and graduate students in the Nursing Research Office at the University of Alberta, and was managing editor of the International Journal of Qualitative Methods. Walter has also taught writing courses at Mohawk College in Ontario and at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Navigating key areas of change will present exciting opportunities, as well as challenges, for the Writing and Research Centre and the Centre for Scholarly Communication. Scholars are met with new possibilities for the communication of their ideas as online and remote learning continue to grow; the drive for open access to publicly funded research increases; and the ability to use social media to disseminate research develops. 

The Writing and Research Centre and the Centre for Scholarly Communication offer one-on-one consultations, online resources and workshops to support excellence in academic communication. The teams will collaborate with their counterparts at UBC Vancouver, sharing resources and expertise.

“Writing and research is an iterative process and the new Writing and Research Centre reflects the reality of how students work. Students will be able to receive help and find resources throughout their research and writing process – from proposing a topic to polishing a final draft, and all the stages in-between.”

Three B.C. First Nations have received funding from UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Museum of Anthropology to preserve their oral histories, traditions and culture. The latest recipients of the Aboriginal Audio Digitization and Preservation Program (AADPP) include the Tsilhqot’in National Government (Williams Lake), the Hupacasath First Nation (Port Alberni) and the Yuuł ʔtłʔath First Nation (Ucluelet). The AADPP – now in its second year – provides matching funds for B.C. Aboriginal organizations to convert audio cassette tapes to digital formats for preservation and access. Each recipient is awarded up to $10,000 and the project seeks proposals bi-annually from within the province. Project partners also include UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and the First Nations Technology Council.

For the Hupacasath First Nation, the funds will result in connecting their own resources with those held by the American Philosophical Society’s Centre for Native American and Indigenous Research. This Philadelphia institution is digitizing its holdings of Hupacasath materials and has reached out to the community to co-curate this digital collection. These materials, recorded by ethnographers and linguists who visited the Alberni Valley, are from as early as the late 1880’s.

The Tsilhqot’in National Government hopes to preserve their traditional knowledge gained from their elders – a critically important task, especially as most of these teachings are passed orally from generation to generation. Their digitization work consists of approximately 400 cassettes. The AADPP funding will enable the Tsilquot’in language committee to continue its work on language projects.

The Yuuł ʔtłʔath First Nation’s digitization project also focuses on digitizing language materials. They plan to use AADPP funding to purchase a new computer that will enable them to not only to digitize, describe and preserved their audio materials, but to produce new language learning materials using the appropriate orthography.

staff member with equipment

Gerry Lawson (MOA) works with a community member at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.

The AADPP will welcome representatives from each community to the University of British Columbia for an intensive, week long audio digitization training program this coming October. The training, held at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, provides opportunities for recipients to get hands-on-training and advice for implementing in-house digitization programs.

For more information about the AADPP and previous recipients, please visit the Indigitization website.


Program Contact:
Sarah Dupont
Aboriginal Engagement Librarian
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
sarah.dupont@ubc.ca | 604.827.0342

Gordon Yusko
Assistant Director
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
gordon.yusko@ubc.ca | 604.822.2298 

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