Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: From Apple Pies to Astronauts: A Chronology of Alphabet Books with Aphorisms, Amusements, and Anecdotes!

The exhibition, curated by UBC Master of Library and Information Studies candidates Sarah Bagshaw and Laura Quintana, under the supervision of Professor Kathie Shoemaker, offers a selection of English language alphabet books from the late 18th century to the present day. These books illustrate the changes in alphabetic education for young children in England, the United States, and Canada. The authors and illustrators who created these books were influenced by the political and social contexts of their worlds. As both printing and publishing changed and advanced, so too did the alphabet books being produced.

The exhibition, featuring materials from RBSC’s historical children’s literature collections, including the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature and the B. Roslyn Robertson Collection of Children’s Literature, contains many familiar favourites still enjoyed by children today. As well, there are many that may be unknown treasures that are sure to delight.

From Apple Pies to Astronauts is on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from February 27 through April 30, 2017, and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. A complete catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. The exhibition is free and open to the public, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

We hope to see you there and that you will enjoy learning about alphabet books and those that created them!


Freedom to Read Week runs February 26 to March 4, 2017. The annual event encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Attend one of the FTRW events hosted by UBC Library.

Freedom of Expression in the Post Truth Era: Open Mic Event

Date & Time: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 12:30PM – 1:45PM

Location: Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, level 2 foyer.

Freedom of Expression is a charter right in Canada and is a fundamental value of professional groups such as librarians, archivists and journalists, who promote transparency, public accountability and the broadest possible access to information. However, we are seeing an erosion of these values in public life, through steps to censor scientists and public servants, to retract, hide or ignore information that does not conform to partisan views, and to treat the free press as a public enemy. This is a symptom of “post-truth” politics, in which sentiment and personal belief have more influence than facts, and facts are openly manipulated. As fake news, Orwellian newspeak and “alternative facts” flood our media streams, how do we continue to make sense of our world? How do we hold public figures accountable for their actions?

This open mic session invites the UBC community to speak up on what freedom of expression means in this post-truth era.

Bring your thoughts, arguments, poems, and stories.

Register for the event.

Freedom of Information Request Workshop

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 12:30PM – 1:30PM

Location: Woodward Library Computer Lab – Room B25

Learn about the process of filing Freedom of Information (FOI) or Access to Information (ATIP) requests in BC and Canada. Topics include finding out if the information you need is already publicly available, structuring your request so it can be answered efficiently, and knowing your information rights under FOI laws. Session led by Greg Kozak, UBC iSchool adjunct faculty.

Register for the workshop.

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