The staff of the David Lam Library are moving back to their offices in the new Canaccord Learning Commons on Monday January 31. During the week of January 31, we will be moving in, setting up equipment, and retrieving our book and journal collection from Koerner Library. Staff and student assistants will finalize and train on activities at the new Service Desk, which will be jointly operated with Sauder Learning & Technology Services.

We anticipate that we’ll open the new Canaccord Learning Commons to our users on February 7 or 8. This date depends on some additional sprinkler work which has delayed completion of the space. Soon after our opening, we’ll be inviting students, staff and faculty to attend a small open house in the Learning Commons to celebrate this spectacular and functional new space.

A copyright fee increase set by Access Canada will add considerable costs to coursepacks created at universities. UBC currently spends about $650,000 on copyright fees. The fee increase is predicted to increase UBC’s copyright expense to almost $2 million.

The previous copyright agreement ended December 31, and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is appealing the new tariff increase. Any outcome is likely to speed the adoption of digital reading lists and digital reserves where possible, at Canadian universities.

However, many materials are not available electronically, and in some cases, copyright laws and licence agreements prohibit creating e-reserves without additional payment. The issue is complex and in transition.

For now, a hybrid solution to provide students with reading materials may be the best one. A single central reading list can be created for each course, making it easy for students to understand how to access their readings. For items that can be digitally accessed, a link will lead students to the reading; library staff frequently provide this kind of linking. Other items might be kept in print reserve in the library, or provided via a coursepack. Although this solution is not perfect, neither is the world of publishing, and today’s students are capable of understanding this complexity, providing their reading list is kept in a central place such as their course management system website.

Following this route will keep the cost of coursepacks down, and allow students to access many materials at home 24/7, leading to greater student satisfaction and success.

For details about UBC’s approach to the copyright issue, please see the UBC Library’s Copyright webpage.

For further information see
Copyright fees could force universities to embrace digital age
, published in the Vancouver Sun on December 30.

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre recently launched its Small Business Accelerator Program. The SBA initiative was originally conceived by David Lam Management Research Library librarian Jan Wallace during her term as interim director of the IKBLC. The concept began with a visit from an economic development officer from Nelson, BC, who was seeking assistance in strengthening the business skills of entrepreneurs in the region. Over the past two years, staff at the IKBLC have been developing the portal, and testing it with community members throughout the province.

Based on industry research guides created in the David Lam Library at Sauder School, the SBA features dozens of guides on researching small businesses in BC, as well as interactive tools for would-be entrepreneurs to communicate with each other, and for other subject experts to add information to the portal.

IKBLC Community Services Librarian Aleha McCauley is leading a team who will visit communities across BC to teach secondary market research skills to community members, just as the David Lam librarians teach those skills to business students at Sauder. President Gregg Gordon sees building learning communities as a core mission of libraries today. In his blog, Gregg says, “Librarians have a wealth of knowledge and specifically know:
• How to research & evaluate content
• How to use different resources for different purposes
• How to determine validity and appropriation
• How to think critically.”

Rather than making libraries irrelevant, the overabundance of information today makes it more important than ever for students to access the skills and knowledge of librarians to learn to manage information – both to save time and to acquire the best information available.

Together with library collections and services, library space is a key core mission. Libraries today are hubs for a variety of uses, from teamwork and collaboration to building a sense of shared mission among users. The Canaccord Learning Commons, currently under construction at Sauder School, is a good example of how we are expanding the notion of the library beyond its traditional borders – incorporating new technologies and innovative physical spaces.

Thanks to Lindsay Ure for pointing out Gregg’s blog.

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