Yifei Zhang (张艺菲) is the summer intern student at the Asian Library this year. She will work from July 3 to August 3 under the supervision of Jing Liu, Chinese Language Librarian. Let’s learn more about her.

Give a brief introduction of yourself. 

I am Yifei Zhang from China. I worked for four years in government department and involved in routine archive management and financial affairs. I am currently a Master student studying in the Library and Information Management program at the University of Hong Kong.

Why are you interested in the internship with the UBC Library?

UBC Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Canada, and the Asian Library houses the largest research collection in Asian languages in North America. Internship in such an excellent academic library can help me to get not only about the most advanced academic library management experience, but also allow me to understand how Asian culture is transmitted through the library. It is worth mentioning that the architectural features of Asian style and the beautiful working environment are also why I am interested in the UBC Asian Library.

What are your expectations towards this five-week internship?

I hope to acquire more practical work experience in this multicultural library and further develop myself in the field of modern academic librarianship through understanding the outreach activities and inter-relationships of the different functional groups in library, understanding the role of librarians and learning the current trends in academic libraries.

Japanese Language Librarian

Asian Library, UBC Library | Vancouver Campus

Full-Time, Ongoing

Anticipated Start Date: September 1, 2018 


The University of British Columbia Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Canada and consistently ranks among the top university research libraries in North America. UBC Library has 14 branches and divisions, two campuses (Vancouver and Kelowna), one off-site hospital library, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a multi-purpose teaching and learning facility.

The Library’s collection of over 7M items includes 1.4M ebooks, 229,020 electronic journals, 850,000 maps, audio, DVD/video and graphic materials, and 1,703 bibliographic and fulltext databases.

More than 300 knowledgeable employees – librarians, management and professional staff, support staff and student staff – provide users with the excellent resources and services that they need to further their research, teaching and learning.  The UBC Library Strategic Plan 2015-2017 can be viewed at http://about.library.ubc.ca/strategic-plan/  To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Why work with us.


The Asian Library is a hub of scholarship, learning and community connections, where research meets community.  The Asian Library’s collections, totaling over 684,000 volumes across Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indic languages, provide key resources in support of teaching and research of Asian studies. The Council on East Asian Libraries consistently ranks UBC among the best in the world—#1 in Canada and #12 in library holdings across North America.  The Asian Library’s rare and special materials further distinguish it as a top-tier research library.  For more information about the Asian Library, please visit us at http://asian.library.ubc.ca/.


Provides reference, information services and collection development in support of Japanese studies. Assumes responsibility for liaison with scholars working with Japanese language materials. Provides instruction and assistance in the use of information resources. Supervises the handling of Japanese materials. Acts as liaison with the Japanese specialists at the University and the Japanese-Canadian community. Participates in selection, configuration and presentation of electronic resources in Japanese languages. Participates in the development of library policy, procedures, and services as required. Works collaboratively with library colleagues to strengthen system-wide practices and initiatives. Participates in library committees and contributes to the university’s goals, including those related to diversity and inclusion. May be required to work evenings or weekends. Performs other assigned duties and related projects.

WORKING relationships:

Reports to the Head, Asian Library. Consults with library colleagues, faculty members, Digital Initiatives and the Library Development Office, as necessary. Works with the Technical Services staff on the cataloguing and processing of Japanese language materials. May supervise the work of library support staff and student assistants.



  • Graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science.
  • Excellent proficiency in reading, written and spoken Japanese, as well as an excellent command of spoken and written English.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the Modified Hepburn Romanization System.
  • Ability to write professional reports and to deliver presentations.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with a strong track record in working collaboratively with colleagues and supervisors.
  • Demonstrated interest in issues facing libraries and academic institutions such as open access, digital scholarship and metrics.
  • Strong computer skills, including word-processing for English and Japanese.
  • Knowledge of current collections trends and databases related to Japanese Studies.
  • Demonstrated understanding of Japanese Studies bibliography and resources.
  • Experience handling a budget for collections, projects and/or programs.
  • Demonstrated ability in creating, planning and carrying out projects, both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Experience with electronic information technologies and their applications to reference, as well as knowledge of best practices in online learning pedagogies.
  • Ability to adjust to and accommodate changing demands within Libraries and academic institutions.
  • Evidence of active participation in professional or community organizations. 
  • Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.  Takes initiative in learning about language and issues relating to equity and diversity.
  • Ability to recognize and appreciate the contributions of colleagues.
  • Models and demonstrates good communication through active listening and appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback.
  • Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experimenting with and improvising new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.


  • Working knowledge of Chinese or Korean.
  • Advanced degree in Asian Studies.
  • Experience with collections development for both print and electronic resources.
  • Knowledge of RDA, AACR2, LCSH, LC Classification.
  • Experience using LibGuides
  • Experience using OCLC.
  • Experience with digitization projects.


Reference, Instruction and Liaison Services

  1. Develops and participates in instructional programs related to the Japanese language collection and the use of information sources. Undertakes specialized instructional programs for both undergraduate and graduate learners. Prepares guides and handouts in electronic and paper formats and organizes user groups on the advanced use of electronic resources. Participates in Library orientations and bibliographic instruction programmes for new students, faculty, and staff.
  1. Provides comprehensive reference and research services in Japanese studies. Develops web resources to support and extend reference services. Assists users in locating Japanese materials from other East Asian collections in North America as well as Japan and facilitates inter-library loans when required.
  1. Acts as liaison between the Asian Library and the Japanese specialists at UBC in matters concerning the Japanese collections and Library services and other units in the Library System in matters concerning Japanese materials.
  2. Translates Japanese into English and English into Japanese within the framework of the services and practices of the Asian Library.

Digital Projects

  1. Works with Digital Initiatives on the selection and implementation of digitization projects.
  2. Provides guidance to scholars and students on data analysis tools relevant to Japanese Studies and digitized collections.
  3. Continually builds on expertise in this area through a combination of self study and professional development opportunities.

Rare Books and Special Collections

  1. Works closely with colleagues in Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) on projects concerning Japanese language rare and archival materials.
  2. Collaborates with RBSC colleagues on collection development issues.
  3. Coordinates the digitization of rare materials in conjunction with RBSC.

Technical Services, Collection Development and Management

  1. Selects material for the Japanese language collections and both print and electronic material from the collection for storage, according to curricular and research needs of faculty and students. Suggests new print and electronic serials titles based on faculty needs and monitors and evaluates the Japanese language periodical collections. Assists in the development of collection policies.
  2. For electronic material in Japanese, works with the Head and other library staff to create access and resolve user support issues, which may include licensing, systems configuration, presentation and evaluation.
  3. Selects monographs and serials in print and electronic format. Consults with the Head and the AUL, Collections Management in cases of expensive and rare materials.
  4. Identifies Japanese language materials that should be moved to a storage facility, or weeded from the collection.
  5. Administers the Japanese Government Publications Depository Programme and scans the new shipments before they are sent to other divisions for processing. Maintains and facilitates access to the Japanese special collections.
  6. Assesses, selects, and processes Japanese materials received through gift or exchange. Handles book donations from individuals or organizations. Performs monetary evaluations as required.
  7. Maintains and facilitates access to the Japanese special collections.
  8. Keeps up with literature and research developments in support of the Asian Library. Maintains expertise in electronic information resources and technologies and assists in the acquisition and application of Japanese software for technical services.
  9. Advises and assists regarding Japanese monographs and serials for binding.
  10. Manages the Japanese book funds and monitors expenditures to ensure consistency with the allocations. Assesses, selects and processes materials received as gifts or on exchange.  Does monetary evaluations as required.
  11. Works closely with Technical Services staff regarding acquisition and cataloguing of Japanese materials.

Community and Professional Engagement

  1. Organizes community engagement activities or events related to Japan or Japanese Studies. Creates project plans for these activities, including budgetary planning.
  2. Contributes to branch-wide initiatives, working together with the Head and other language librarians.
  3. Prepares or curates book displays or exhibits on Japan or Japanese Studies.
  4. Serves as liaison with the Japanese-Canadian Community.
  5. Actively participates in professional associations and bodies related to Japanese studies librarianship.


This position will be filled as a full-time, ongoing position. If eligible and qualified, the successful applicant may be appointed with a confirmed appointment. Otherwise, there will be an initial three-year probationary appointment.  Normally, such an appointment is reviewed by the end of the second year of the appointment, and a recommendation is made at that time to grant or not to grant a confirmed appointment.

Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

We are seeking applications from Librarians with up to 5 years of experience.  However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Applications will include: a detailed and current curriculum vitae; and a letter of application that includes a statement of citizenship/immigration status and indicates the candidate’s education, training and work experience in the areas listed above.  

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/careers-postings/faculty.php by midnight on July 24, 2018.

Register now to join one of our four book clubs, set to run in 2018.
Chinese language librarian, Crystal Yin, tells Ming Pao newspaper about the new Asian-language book clubs offered by the Asian Library and alumniUBC.

This October and November, attend new Chinese and Japanese-language book clubs, created in partnership between Asian Library and alumniUBC. The events are an opportunity for alumni, current students, and other interested community members with advanced fluency in Chinese or Japanese, to form ties with others in their respective literary communities.

Each book club offers a separate meet and greet and discussion at a cost of $10 per person for both events. The cost includes a copy of the book distributed at Session 1 and light refreshments. More information can be found on the Asian Library’s website.

Chinese Language Book Club

Book selection:《中外文學交流史 中國-加拿大卷》Literary Interactions between China and Canada by Dr. Lai Fong Leung
Discussion facilitator: Dr. Lai Fong Leung, MA’76, PHD’86


The book Literary Interactions between China and Canada is one of the 17 volume project “Literary Interactions between China and Foreign Countries” produced by Shandong Education Press. This 450,000-word book is the first work to explore the topic and it lays the foundation for future studies. The book, largely based on primary sources, recreates the ethnic Chinese community as a cultural community from the mid-19th century to the present.

Session 1: Meet and Greet

Monday, October 24
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
UBC Asian Centre
(1871 West Mall, Room 604) 

$10 | Register online

Session 2: Discussion

Monday, November 21
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
UBC Asian Centre
(1871 West Mall, Room 604)


Japanese Language Book Club 

Book selection: ねむりNemuri by Haruki Murakami
Discussion Facilitator: Kazuhiko Imai, MA student in the UBC Department of Asian Studies

Japanese-language book club

Haruki Murakami is an internationally acclaimed author best known for dissolving boundaries between the fantastical and real. Yet this short story is rather intimately psychological, while the surrealistic feel is unquestionably present in the backdrop. Accompanied by interpretive illustrations by a German artist Kat Menschik, this short story, ね むり Nemuri (“Sleep”), was revived in 2010, after Murakami himself reworked the original version published more than twenty years ago.

Session 1: Meet and Greet

Tuesday, October 25
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
UBC Asian Centre
(1871 West Mall, Room 604) 

$10 | Register online

Session 2: Discussion

Tuesday, November 22
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
UBC Asian Centre
(1871 West Mall, Room 604)


The Daily Hive highlights a number of Library spaces as ideal study spots at the University.
The Kelmscott ChaucerHave you ever been curious about what we do or what we have at Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library (RBSC)? Interested in seeing the famous Kelmscott Chaucer in the flesh or a medieval bible from the 13th Century?
Join our weekly open house/hands-on show-and-tell for an introduction to our space and our unique materials and collections every Wednesday at 11:00 am.
The event is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. No need to RSVP, just drop in to learn what RBSC is all about.
Rare Books and Special Collections is located on the 1st floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver campus.
For more information or to book visits for classes or large groups, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-0645 or rare.books@ubc.ca.
All classes should be booked at least a week in advance. No pack sacks, overcoats, food, drink, or pens are allowed in the seminar room. Lockers are provided.
Rare Book and Special Collections Tour



Shirin Eshghi is the new Head of Asian Library, holding past experience in librarianship with this branch. As a previous UBC graduate student, Shirin considers herself an advocate of the Asian Library, having benefitted from its resources during her studies. She brings a valuable perspective to her work, as her experiences as a prior student help to inform growth and development at this branch.

Enhancing Research at UBC

Shirin was drawn to librarianship as a career because of an appreciation for a range of academic disciplines: her background is in Modern Japanese Literature. Shirin appreciates that in her new role she draws on a cultural studies perspective to frame her work. As Head of Asian Library,  she has the opportunity to support and enhance research across different faculties.

Community Outreach and an International Perspective 

A key priority of her role moving forward will be to draw in an international perspective: Shirin will share the value of the Asian Library collections as it extends to a number of faculties and areas of research. A lesser-known fact about Asian Library is the wide variety of scholars and researchers the branch supports, as well as the branch’s involvement in community events, digitization projects and teaching and learning at UBC.

New Programming at Asian Library

Some new programming to look out for in the fall at Asian Library will include an alumni supported bookclub, which will expand on the branch’s aspirational goals to support life-long learning and language learning. Another goal is to create a space at Asian Library for intercultural communication. Library culture is also a priority moving forward for Asian Library: staff are supported to grow in their roles and engage with the wider UBC community.

Get to Know Shirin

A little known fact about Shirin is that she is a self-professed ‘trekkie’: she is a fan of the recent Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond, in particular the character of Commodore Paris, a military commander played by Persian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. Shirin appreciates that the Star Trek series brings together different cultural communities in pursuit of a common goal, and develops strong, diverse female leads.

You can find Shirin in her office at the Asian Library, or possibly catching a moment of calm in beautiful Nitobe Gardens, a favoured spot at UBC.

Congratulations Shirin!

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





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