Visit us for research help, to see our  collections, or to find a place to study. At Xwi7xwa Library everyone is welcome!

Looking for streaming video at Xwi7xwa Library? We’ve got a couple of tips to search the library catalogue to find what you’re looking for:

First you’ll want to login to the library website using your CWL:

  • To look for a particular title, at the basic search, enter a keyword (use AND, OR, NOT or “a phrase”) and include the following in your search string: video and online and xwi7xwa.
    Example: To find The Pass System, enter: “pass system” video and online and xwi7xwa
    search window for UBC library catalogue


  • To browse what’s available, at the basic search, enter the following: video and online and xwi7xwa. You can then filter your results by selecting “video recording” under the content type on the left hand side of the screen.
    search window for UBC Library catalogue


Once you’ve picked a title, you can then select the orange online access button on the right to view your item.

Photo credit: Paul Joseph, UBC Brand and Marketing.

Community members living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) have been the focal point of countless scholarly research studies and surveys over the years. Up until recently, this research has remained largely out of reach to participants and community organizations, locked away in journals and other databases that require paid subscriptions to access. Community members have said they would benefit from access to that data for evaluating program and service effectiveness, for example, or for grant writing.

The recently launched Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal (DTES RAP), a project led by the UBC Learning Exchange in partnership with UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, is designed to change that.

The DTES RAP provides access to research and research-related materials relevant to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside through an easy-to-use public interface. The portal was developed in consultation with DTES residents and community organizations through focus groups and user experience testing, and in collaboration with a number of university units.  

“I’ve noticed how people’s eyes light up when I talk about this project – it resonates with so many different people at the university and in the community,” says Angela Towle, Academic Director of the UBC Learning Exchange.

For members of the UBC community, the DTES RAP serves a variety of purposes. As an instructional tool that uses open-access resources, the DTES RAP can be used by librarians in reference work and supporting class assignments. Researchers will find the portal useful in amplifying the reach and impact of their work and, with support from the DTES RAP team, in meeting open access requirements. The portal can also help minimize demands on community time from researchers undertaking new research projects within the DTES by providing a reliable, primary information source. For students interested in learning more about the DTES community, the portal is an excellent first stop to enable proactive learning.


The DTES RAP website homepage.


The DTES RAP makes innovative use of UBC’s open access digital repository, cIRcle, in the back-end and relies on cIRcle’s infrastructure and services for content processing and reuse permissions. Currently, 50% of the total items in the DTES RAP comes from cIRcle. Through the UBC Co-op program, each term a student librarian is hired to scour cIRcle for relevant content and tag it to appear in the DTES RAP. Student librarians also contact authors who have copyright to relevant materials and offer to work with them to add those materials to cIRcle. However, the DTES RAP also curates relevant external materials and provides links to those items in their originally published locations. These records can include descriptions of items that cannot be archived in cIRcle because of copyright issues whereby full text is not available.

“We want these items to come up in our DTES RAP search results so that people know the materials exist,” explains Aleha McCauley, project lead for the DTES RAP and Community Engagement Librarian at UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The DTES RAP describes these kinds of items as “Restricted Use” but also offers help in accessing those items via a button that appears next to inaccessible items. “We also include forms of public scholarship such as clear language summaries, in an effort to respond to community feedback that there was a need for alternate forms of research aside from the traditional article,” says McCauley.

“This project takes a nuanced approach to open access that recognizes that providing public links to academic articles is not enough,” says Towle. “We are exploring different ways to address these barriers including help materials, different genres and formats, workshops, outreach and a researcher directory.”

To support access, the Learning Exchange and UBC Library hired Nick Ubels to pilot a unique new role in the Learning Exchange. Ubels offers one-on-one support, along with workshops and demonstrations of the DTES RAP in action to bridge that gap.

“As we continue in this work, we’re constantly learning more about how best to meet community information needs,” says Ubels.

The DTES RAP was created as part of the Making Research Accessible Initiative (MRAi), a sustained collaboration that kicked off in 2015 between the UBC Learning Exchange and UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and has been guided by a steering committee that includes the UBC Office of Community Engagement, the UBC Knowledge Exchange Unit, the UBC School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies (iSchool), Simon Fraser University Library, and the Vancouver Public Library.

Visit the DTES RAP to start exploring, and subscribe to the newsletter for updates about this project and ways to participate in its development.

For more information about workshops, demonstrations or one-on-one user support for DTES RAP, contact Nick Ubels (

It was October 2019 and the first round of Open Educational Resources Fund grants hadn’t yet been awarded, but Erin Fields, Open Education and Scholarly Communications Librarian, and her student team were ready to get started with Open Education Resource (OER) publishing.

“[That project] was a really great test case for us to figure out what kind of support a faculty member would need to go from some Word documents with content to an actual published text,” recalls Erin Fields, Open Education and Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Erin Fields, Open Education and Scholarly Communications Librarian at UBC Library.

Creating an open text is no simple task, but for some faculty and instructors, it’s the best solution when the resources they need for their courses don’t exist.

“We just could not find [a text] that really fit the objectives or the spirit of my course. So, rather than giving students a stack of references to sift through, I decided to develop my own textbook,” says Dr. Chelsea Himsworth, Assistant Professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and lead author of  The Mission, the Message, and the Medium: Science and Risk Communication in a Complex World. “When I saw how much the students loved the textbook I was hooked! So I went back to the library so I could get the training and mentorship I needed to expand and improve the textbook on an ongoing basis. The library also opened my eyes to the world of OER. This led me to a successful grant application to improve my text and prep it for public offering.”

Amanda Grey, Open Education Student Librarian at UBC Library.

Fields’ student team helps faculty and instructors through the entire phased process, helping with copyright standards, Creative Commons licensing, metadata, and more using PressBooks as their online publishing platform, with access provided by BCcampus.

Since then, the library has created a catalogue of open texts from UBC, ranging in subject matter from chemistry to French language studies. Working alongside Fields, Open Education Student Librarian Amanda Grey has played a large role in the success of the open textbook initiative and handles much of the daily support for the library’s PressBooks projects.

“Erin and Amanda are amazing professionals. They were always accessible via Zoom and email,” says Dr. Somayeh Kamranian, Sessional Instructor in the UBC Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies and lead author of Let’s Read French Books. “They were present, in all the aspects of creation of this textbook.”

With most UBC classes now online, the demand for Open Educational Resources has only increased, along with an appetite for collaborative projects. Laboratory Manual for Introduction to Physical, First British Columbia Edition involved faculty and subject matter experts from UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, for use in first year physical geography courses.

“It was a fantastic example of what you can do across institutions when you work together,” says Fields, adding that it also illustrated how open education can support instructors engaged in remote learning.

For those considering the plunge into Open Education Resource (OER) publishing, UBC Library has plenty of resources available including The Open Textbook Publishing Guide, as well as two upcoming webinars that introduce participants to the open text publishing process. Faculty and instructors interested in booking a consultation can contact Erin Fields ( for more information.


The feature photograph of this collection, showing students being vaccinated against polio in the 1950s, illustrates the culmination of a concerted effort to eradicate a debilitating disease that had affected Canada since the early 1900s (Canadian Public Health Association). While this photograph is from the BC Archives Photograph Collection editions of the Ubyssey from this time document advances in Polio research and frequently contain announcements of polio vaccinations being held on campus. Shortly before this period, treatment of polio could lead to the patient experiencing a full recovery. As polio often makes it difficult to breath, iron-lungs were an essential tool in successful treatment (Haynes, 2006).


Vaccination and successful treatment did not necessarily end the troubles presented by polio. Those who recover from polio may experience post-polio syndrome years later. The following photograph, from UBC Reports, shows researchers at the UBC School of Rehabilitation Medicine assisting a patient with post-polio syndrome to perform leg exercises to help recover her ability to walk.

Researchers at the UBC School of Rehabilitation Medicine help a woman suffering from post-polio syndrome with leg exercises, 1987. Further details are available in the full article.


Cholera is another condition that has affected people globally for almost two centuries (World Health Organization 2019). Open Collections contains accounts of cholera outbreaks throughout the world, and especially in the settlement of the western parts of the Americas. BC Historical Books is a good collection for exploring these first hand accounts; where the disease hits swiftly and often with deadly effect. BC Historical Newspapers also provides “in the moment” stories of outbreaks and their effects locally and around the world. By the time the following report was published in the BC Sessional Papers, it was clearly understood that contaminated drinking water was a major vector for the spread of the disease.


Other reports from the BC Sessional Papers indicated a risk of infection disease being transmitted to the province through increased international steamship traffic to the province. Indeed, there are accounts throughout Open Collections of ships and their passengers being quarantined, either at sea or designated quarantine stations. Ensuring overseas passengers were vaccinated against infectious diseases was another precaution taken. The Chung Collection contains numerous vaccination cards of overseas passengers as well as travel and immigration regulation pamphlets from steamships.


Of course, in the times of COVID-19, it’s hard to talk about infectious diseases without considering the 1918-19 flu pandemic. The BC Sessional Papers again are a good source for reports on the state of the epidemic, including the 1920 Report of the Provincial Board of Health, which includes statistics on the pandemic and especially its devastating effect on the indigenous people of British Columbia. More concise information on the flu pandemic in British Columbia can be found in the journal BC Historical News, 1992, 25(4) including the ever appreciated photograph of people wearing masks. BC Historical Newspapers contains frequent reports on the state of the pandemic, but perhaps more intriguingly, also has advertisements for products promising relief from the flu.

Advertisement for Minard’s Linament, promising relief from the flu, in the 1922-03-17 edition of the Creston Review. Gin Pills were another popular remedy for kidney troubles following a bout with the flu.


Finally, no article on disease in British Columbia, however brief, would be complete without mention of the devastating effect of smallpox on the province in its early history. Although the disease ravaged the province on many occasions, the 1862 smallpox epidemic remains the most infamous for the horrific death toll it inflicted on the province’s Indigenous inhabitants. BC Historical Books Collection contains many eye-witness accounts of this epidemic. One example is from “Blazing the trail through the Rockies : the story of Walter Moberly and his share in the making of Vancouver”, where Walter Moberly recounts several encounters with Indigenous people and entire villages suffering from the disease as he traveled along the Cariboo Road in 1862. We will leave you with the first section of this account, which can be read in its entirety by following the link provided with the image.

Account by Walter Moberly of an encounter with an Indigenous person suffering from smallpox in 1862. The passage can be read in its entirety here (page 47 on, page 55 on the carousel):

Works Cited

Canadian Public Health Association. “The Story of Polio” Accessed October 8, 2020 <>.

Haynes, Sterling. 2006. “Frontier Medicine in the Chilcotin Region of B.C.” In British Columbia History, 39(1), 10-11. <>

Foster-Sanchez, Maria., Spaulding, William B. 2020. “Smallpox in Canada”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed October 20, 2020 <>

Open Scholarship in Practice

Join us for a week of webinars and workshops exploring the practice of open scholarship — from new tools that can increase the reproducibility of research, to new pedagogies that become possible when students and faculty members become co-creators engaged in meaningful, generative knowledge creation. Hear from UBC colleagues who are incorporating “openness” in innovative ways to enhance teaching, research, and public impact.

Working in Public: Generosity and the Knowledge Commons

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

Featured Keynote: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English Michigan State University

Working in public, and with the public, can enable scholars to build vital, sustainable research communities, both within their fields, with other scholars in different fields, and with folks off-campus who care about the kinds of work that we do. By finding ways to connect with a broad range of publics, in a range of different registers, and in ways that allow for meaningful response, we can create the possibilities for far more substantial public participation in and engagement with the humanities, and with the academy more broadly. This talk explores the ideas in Professor Fitzpatrick’s influential book, Generous Thinking, and will focus on the challenges posed by working in public and the skills required to develop more publicly engaged scholarship.

Co-sponsored by the UBC Library and the UBC Public Humanities Hub.

Register Here »

Building a Foundation: Open Research Data as a Pillar of Open Science

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

This session will provide an introduction to Open Research Data (ORD) in the sciences. You will learn about the importance of ORD to the unfolding Open Science movement; the benefits ORD can bring to you, science, and society; and the cultural challenges we face in translating vision into practice. If you are interested in taking the first steps to make your data open, we will provide you with a toolkit to get started!

Register Here »

Emerging Perspectives in Open Access Book Publishing

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

Open Access monograph publishing is a rapidly expanding and evolving strategy for making scholarly work globally accessible. Universities, academic publishers, libraries, and scholarly organizations are developing new initiatives, partnerships, services, and business models to support open access options for authors of scholarly monographs, textbooks, and academic books. This event will explore the opportunities, challenges, and experiences of OA book publishing from the perspective of authors, series editors and publishers. You are invited to join a panel discussion of UBC faculty and publishers that will address their motivations for “going open”, as well as the processes, impacts, and changes that OA is bringing to academic book publishing.

Register Here »

Publishing As Open Pedagogy: OJS & Pressbooks

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

As open education continues to gain traction in higher education, many are looking for ways to expand their integration of open approaches beyond merely the inclusion of open materials. Open publishing is beginning to emerge as one pathway towards greater engagement in openness in the classroom. This panel will introduce participants to five people working in various capacities to support student publishing through Open Journal Systems and PressBooks, two open source publishing platforms that allow for open dissemination of student-created, instructor-supported content.

Register Here »

From Project Plan to Release – Publishing an Open Text

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

As more faculty engage in the development of open educational resources (OERs), the publishing of open texts has increased. Open textbook collections are growing and the opportunity to engage in developing this content is becoming more accessible to faculty interested in educational publishing.  But with these new opportunities comes a need to better understand: how you go from a plan to a fully published open text?

This webinar provides a phased approach to publishing an open text. The session will cover:

  • Determining the Project Scope and developing a plan,
  • Developing an Accessibility, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan,
  • Developing a text outline, design and style guide,
  • Developing a release plan and peer review process, and;
  • Developing a post-release plan, including collection of impact data.

This session will also provide you with templates and guides for your text project, in addition to outlining the supports and services available at UBC.

Register Here »

Publishing an Open Text with Pressbooks – The Basics

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

Pressbooks is a powerful and popular tool for creating open educational resources such as textbooks. Whether you are looking for training for yourself or your research assistants, this training will cover the basics of how to use Pressbooks to create and enhance content. By the end of this session participants will be familiar with:

  • Pressbook layouts and organization
  • Developing and structuring chapters and parts
  • Embedding content, including images, videos, and other media materials

BCcampus Open Education has created a self-serve instance of Pressbooks. This is available for instructors and staff from post-secondary institutions in British Columbia and the Yukon. Create an account at:

Register Here »

Building Digital Exhibits with Wax

Date: Friday, November 6, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Location: This event is online. Registrants receive the link 24 hours before the event.

This workshop will introduce Wax, a tool for creating minimal Digital Exhibits without complex infrastructure.

Register Here »

The latest UBC Education Library Collection Spotlight highlights both Halloween picture books that can be found at our branch as well as reintroducing the popular Mythical Creatures Digital Colouring book from the “Colour Our Collections” section of the UBC Library website.

From the colouring book:

“Strong in early zoology texts, the collection includes Polish naturalist and physician Jan Jonston’s richly illustrated seventeenth-century texts on animals.”

This particular colouring book was originally released in February 2019 but it pairs well with this year’s Halloween online display.

Please click on the title or book cover to take you to the record in the UBC Library catalogue.

Halloween Picture Books:

The Scarecrow / written by Beth Ferry; illustrated by the Fan Brothers
“All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing. He saves the tiny baby crow. Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons?”


That one spooky night / written by Dan Bar-el; illustrated by David
Huyck. (2012)
“Three strange tales filled with shivery fun occur on a dark, spooky night and include the stories of a broom that goes in search of a witch, mermaids who swim in a bathtub and a house party that turns unexpectedly batty.”


Yo ho ho, Halloween! / by Pam Muñoz Ryan; illustrated by Edwin
Fotheringham. (2016)
“Halloween is coming! This year, Tony Baloney wants to stand out in the crowd at the school Halloween parade. But can he keep his costume intact until the day of the parade?”


Leah’s mustache party / by Nadia Mike; illustrated by Charlene Chua.
“At Leah’s moustache party, everyone gets in on the dress-up fun, even Grandma!”


This is the house that monsters built / by Steve Metzger; illustrated by
Jared Lee. (2016)
“Using the building verse of the original nursery rhyme, a mummy, a skeleton, a zombie, and other monsters create a house.”


Black and bittern was night / [text by] Robert Heidbreder ; [illustrations
by] John Martz. (2013)
“When skeletons take over a small town, the grown-ups call off trick-or-treating, but the kids in town vow to save the day.”

Duck, duck, dinosaur: perfect pumpkin / written by Kallie George ;
illustrated by Oriol Vidal. (2017)
“Duck-and-dino siblings Feather, Flap, and Spike visit the pumpkin patch together to find the perfect pumpkin to decorate for Halloween.”


Trick-or-treat, smell my feet! / Lisa Desimini. (2005)
“When twin witches Delia and Ophelia cook up a mischievous spell for Halloween, a mysterious ingredient causes the potion to backfire.”


The walking bathroom / words by Shauntay Grant; art by Erin Bennett
Banks (2017)
“It’s Halloween and Amayah doesn’t have a costume to wear to school. She dressed as a ghost for the last three years in a row, witches are overdone, and fairies are not her style. She wants to be something different, something creative, something no one else in the world has ever been in the history of Halloween.”


The ghosts go spooking / Chrissy Bozik; illustrated by Patricia
Storms. (2015)
“Little ghosts go trick-or-treating by ones, twos, and up to ten in this spooky and fun-filled take on “The Ants Go Marching.”


Jazlyn J & a screen of a Halloween / written by Renná Bruce ;
illustrations by Janet Shultis; illustration colouring and page design by
Kevin Strang & Whitney Strang. (2014)
“Jazlyn J and her friends through their Halloween was ruined. They had no idea it would turn out to be one they would never forget!”


Me and my dragon: scared of Halloween / David Biedrzycki. (2013)
“A boy tries to find the perfect Halloween costume for his pet dragon, so they can go trick-or-treating together.”


The graveyard hounds / by Vi Hughes; illustrations by Christina Leist.
“When the dogs in town lose their barks, Mike and Annie set out to solve the mystery.”


Boo! / by Robert Munsch; illustrated by Michael Martchenko. (2004)
“It’s Halloween, and Lance decides to paint his face to make it the scariest ever. He makes his face so scary that when the adults answer the door they fall over in fright!”


One terrible Halloween / Mary Labatt. (2002)
“Sam: Dog Detective is bored. There are no ghosts in her house, no monsters, no mysteries! Luckily, Halloween is only a week away; soon Woodford will be crawling with vampires, goblins, mutants and witches.”

Have you exhausted all of Netflix’s offerings, and looking for a different kind of film? Are you a theatre-buff missing the experience of live productions? UBC Library subscribes to Drama Online, an award-winning digital resource designed for literature and drama courses, and which includes high-quality video of theatrical productions. Take a look and explore:

  • The RSC Live Collection: The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best.  Made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world, the RSC produces an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.

The Drama Online collection also includes e-books, playtexts, and images of productions from around the world, including classic and modern plays. The platform allows you to browse by theme, genre, or period, or browse by material type, making it an indispensable resource for literature or theatre students, or anyone interested in the art and craft of theatre.

Image:”Dress Circle Level, Prince of Wales Theatre,” by Can Pac Swire is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Are citation practices fair to Indigenous scholars? Who scholars cite, how scholars cite, and what sources are considered authoritative to cite can validate and legitimize knowledge or oppress knowledge. Frequently, Indigenous ways of knowing (oral teachings and histories in particular) are delegitimized in academia by citational politics. In this session, learn more about “citational politics,” the existing templates for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and about the current initiatives at X̱wi7x̱wa to further legitimize citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers in academia.

Participants will be able to:

    • Discuss the concept of “citational politics,” including how Indigenous traditional knowledge is devalued in academia through dominant citational practices and how we can challenge these practices
    • Recognize and create existing templates for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers
    • Be aware of current initiatives at X̱wi7x̱wa Library and elsewhere to create a Chicago style template for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

When: October 22 at 3PM-4:30PM PST

Facilitated by Bronwen McKie: A student Librarian at X̱wi7x̱wa Library and a senior MASLIS candidate at the UBC iSchool. Bronwen’s values of community, collaboration, and equitable access to information guide her professional interests in scholarly communication & publishing and reference and instruction librarianship. Bronwen also enjoys writing, staying active and planning vacations she can’t afford. She is a settler of Welsh heritage, but was born and raised in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia).


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