Woodward Library’s new front entrance, which has been under construction since the end of December, has reopened as of August 8. A new front entrance was built to improve accessibility for disabled or handicapped visitors.

woodward space

The course reserves section has been considerably minimized, and a new space full of natural light created. It offers 33 study spaces and tables, a bar height counter and lounge chairs for comfortable studying. The space is already attracting students and Aleteia Greenwood, Head of Woodward Library, predicts the space will be jam-packed once the school year starts again. 

woodward space 

In addition to the new student-focused space, Greenwood says one of the most-needed new improvements was the creation of a consultation room for librarians. “We have faculty members and researchers that do consultation and research work with librarians, so this room is a perfect space for these meetings.” The new room is adjacent to the study area, and can be booked by librarians for consulting projects. 

The new study area also features the new Seed Lending Library cabinet which offers seeds for use. The seeds are available to anyone – for more information on the Seed Lending Library visit their website

Be sure to check out the new study space!


BQ962 U537 C3565 2016
李叔同 : 在爱和自由中行走 / 粲金居士著

DS777.533 M3 S86 2016
1937 : 万里猎影记 / 孙明经著

ND1049 Z3 A35 2016
赵无极中国讲学笔录 / 孙建平編

PL2947 C59 A6 2016b
人和吞食者 : 刘慈欣最具代表中短篇小说集 / 刘慈欣著

Z1003.5 C6 W45 2016
淘书路上 : 韦泱淘书札记精选 / 韦泱著


BF1868 K6 C464 2016
新 역 의 향기 : 쉽고 정확 한 통변 / 정 숙정 지음

DS904 T624 2016
국보, 역사 로 읽고 보다 / 도 재기 지음

ND1063.4 K52 2016
인물 로 보는 한국 미술사 / 김 성진 엮음 (v.1-3)

PL966.2 C46 2016
조선 후기 의 일기 문학 = A study on diary literature in the late Chosun dynasty / 정 우봉 지음

WB55 K6 Y35 2016
일차 진료 한의사 를 위한 보험 한약 입문 / 이 준우 지음


PK2098 S2324 C55 2016
Cheelen : stories / by Bhishma Sahni

PK2098.32 A484 A67 2016
Antheen talash / novel by Karuna Pande

PK2659 B44616 C86 2016
Chup di awaaz / by Kanwal Bhatti

PK2659 C232 P37 2016
Parian sang parwaaz / stories by Harkirat Kaur Chahal

PK2659 F333 K53 2016
Khasma noo khane / by Balwinder Singh Fatehpuri

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The Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection Prize, established in 2015, is awarded annually to the best research paper featuring the collection. We spoke with Mariah Dear, a fourth-year UBC student and the second winner of the prize. Mariah is majoring in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice and will graduate in May 2018.


What made you want to write a series of poems instead of a traditional research paper?

I’m minoring in English literature, and as much as I love to write academic essays, I much prefer writing of the creative kind! I love poetry – I considered doing Creative Writing in some facet for my undergraduate degree – and am the president of UBC Slam Poetry, the main poetry hub at UBC. I have been trying to work on and improve my poetry for ages, and this seemed like a fun and quirky new topic to write on, all while getting to apply for a prize.


You wrote ten poems with ten accompanying images. How did you select the images that you wrote about?

I selected the images by pure instinct. I didn’t look through the complete collection (there are hundreds of images) – but instead, I looked at probably around 100 or 150 of the images and selected the ones that grabbed me at first glance. Most of those were unique for some funny or unique reason – I was intrigued by some of the humorous postcards.


Do you have a favourite spot or branch in the Library?

My favourite spots in the library are anywhere by windows. I love to be around books but I thrive on natural light. I find I can’t get anything done in the basement, but when I’m spread out on a table looking out onto campus, I get a lot done.




The rural rush hour (1919) by L. M. Glackens, courtesy of UBC Library’s Open Collections.

The Rural Rush Hour, by Mariah Dear

this is they type of croquet
I always knew

fat and crazy and normal

wild and made out of bent wire

I like it frantic and happy
like the courting when it is done

the ladies let their hair fall
the goats chew their white hats

nana bakes a pie and everyone eats
it on their laps in the cramped backyard


croquet postcard

New and ingenious idea for croquet (1867), courtesy of UBC Library’s Open Collections.

Men Will Flirt,
And So, Let Us Make Hoops of Them!, by Mariah Dear

three sassy women
stand like sisters with small sinister smiles
and tap the balls through arches
of dress pants and leather belts

three sassy women
hear the low moan humming
deep in the throats of these respectable figures
and they know that if they say it with just the right
infliction these men will eagerly be bridges

Mr. Stafford, darling, would you stand with your legs just there?

and he does,
and the women grin and bludgeon the balls
so pristinely through the arches, they are good
at sport, so we know that when the red and yellow
crack into these grinning men’s shins
it is no goofy accident

three sassy women
win their match and head inside for
a glass of wine and prepare the men
some tea


About the collection

The Arkley Croquet Collection contains more than 1,400 items from the 1850s to 1950s. The collection includes oil paintings, watercolours, illustrations and fine art as well as photographs, prints, books, advertisements, comics and other materials related to croquet. The images show the rise in the game’s popularity in England and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection also offers a fascinating glimpse at gender roles, as croquet was one of the first games that men and women played together.

Dalhousie University’s School of Information Management has recognized Heather Berringer, UBC Okanagan’s Chief Librarian, with the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award. This annual award honours a member who has made an outstanding contribution to Library and Information Management. 

The objects within Open Collections are beautiful, often rare, and allow connection with history as only primary sources can. As your humble blog correspondent, I am consistently struck with how different things were, yet what we are interested in, our concerns, and struggles are the same. This week, let’s see what the past has to tell us about how to live our lives.

Facts and figures relating to Vancouver Island and British Columbia showing what to expect and how to get there by Joseph Despard Pemberton. I moved to Vancouver about a year ago, and am always interested in different historical perspectives on this place.

This section of a book containing Chinese medicine formulas could be exactly what you need! It may have been brought by or for the Freemasons.

The Traité Général des Pesches, et histoire des Poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui ont rapport aux arts et au commerce contains everything one needs to know about fish, fisheries, and everything connected. I’ve never gone further than a hook and line, maybe this is the time to obtain to a fishing boat?

This set of correspondence regarding a herring shipment from the Chung Collection proves that sometimes, life is just paperwork.

This letter from the History of Nursing in Pacific Canada reminds me that it’s always the right time to write a letter to someone I care about.

When we last met, we had found a photo of an old growth forest:


Scrolling down on this screen reveals the metadata* attached to the item:

I want to continue my search, and so I’m going to look at the area called “Subject”, here listed as Forestry; Logs; Cedar trees. To start out, I’ll use “Cedar trees”, since we’re looking for photos of the forest, not specifically logging.

For the search, I’ll go back to the home of open collections: open.library.ubc.ca (Starting at the “home screen” will ensure that my search will be a clean slate.)

See how I’ve put the subject that I’m looking for in quotation marks (“”)? This ensures that I’ll get things with the entire phrase, not just cedar or trees.

With this subject, I’ve got 546 results, that I can peruse at my leisure.

Let’s try a different strategy: our own search terms! Generally this is the first option that people use, which is why our tutorial started in other places.

The original question was for old growth forests, so I’m going to use these direct words. To formulate my query, I will try to get as narrow of a result as possible at first, just to see what’s out there.

For a specific query, I will use

forests AND “old growth”

I don’t need all of these words to be in the same place, or a specific order, in my search results, so they are separated. However, I do want *all* of these words, so I’m using an AND within my query.

After searching, I find that there are 1711 objects, many of which are texts:

As I scroll through, I’m finding mostly objects from BC Sessional Papers, which are interesting and may help expand my knowledge for future searches, but are not what I’m looking for now. Let’s see what a search for just forest turns up:

I’ve filtered to look only at still images, and we have 489 photos. If this were my search, I’d scroll through, and then look at the subjects of another photo that fit what I was looking for. Because “forest” is a broader term than “Cedar trees” that we used above, these photos aren’t as close of a fit as we would like- it’s worth the time to find the words that work for the system you’re using.


Thank you all, and happy searching!


*metadata: a set of information about the object, used in this instance for access to the object


This week on the blog, we’ll use Open Collections to search for some images. @VanBigTrees submitted this question on Twitter:

Let’s get started!

First, we’ll go to Open Collections at https://open.library.ubc.ca/

From here, we can start a search a few ways. Today, we’ll explore using the collections, and next week, we’ll work with keyword searches. First, let’s select the “Browse by Collection” button to see if there are any collections that might be helpful to us:

I chose to scroll through these collections and open up the Capilano Timber Company Fonds:


Since I’m looking for photos of old-growth forests, a logging company might feel counter-intuitive. One strategy among many is to search for the opposite of what you’re looking for: a logging company would need documentation of what was there before they cut it down.

This is the front page of the collection: Here you can see dates, subjects, and if you scroll, a brief overview of the collection. Since I don’t know what’s here, I’m going to search all the items in the collection; type an asterisk (*) in the search bar.

Here is the list of everything in the collection- all 151 items. Since I’m looking for images of forests, I’ll see what my options are in the “Subject” field over on the left hand side.

The most common subject, “Cedar Trees”, sounds like a good place to start. I’ll select that and then scroll through the images.

I like one entitled “Capilano Cedar”

An old-growth forest photo!! Come back next week for the next stage of the search: using subject terms and keywords.

recognition awards

UBC Library is pleased to announce that Hyunjoo Eom, Felicia de la Parra and Barbara Towell are the 2017 recipients of UBC Library Recognition Awards. The annual Library Recognition Awards program was developed to acknowledge the many ways in which Library staff contribute to their workplace through creativity, innovation, excellence and customer service.

The awards were presented at the annual Library Recognition Luncheon at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on June 27, 2017. Congratulations Hyunjoo, Felicia and Barbara, and thank you to their nominators!

employee awards

Hyunjoo Eom, Barbara Towell, interim University Librarian Melody Burton, and Felicia de la Parra.


Hyunjoo Eom

Hyunjoo Eom (Korean Collections Support Assistant, Technical Services) earned the Employee Excellence Award for her impeccable work ethic and attention to detail. All of her nominators emphasized the level of trust they have in her work, and her passion and commitment to the Library.

“It was remarkable to witness Hyunjoo’s total dedication to the daunting task at hand and to observe the grace with which she carried out her duties. She never complained, criticized or dramatized. Her competence as a cataloguer was sought after to solve the numerous cataloguing problems which arose,” says one nominator.

Hyunjoo worked diligently on a cataloging project over several years – inventorying thousands of materials, updating and fixing records, and helping move items. As a direct result of her work, UBC Library’s Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indic language, Indonesian, Tibetan and Persian collections have been greatly improved!

Felicia de la Parra

Felicia de la Parra (Library Assistant, Rare Books and Special Collections) is this year’s Unsung Hero. Felicia’s can-do attitude makes her a great team leader, and she is always striving to improve unit processes.

Felicia is a natural morale booster. She shows constant consideration and concern for colleagues, checking in to make sure they are thriving on both personal and professional levels,” says her nominator.

Always going the extra mile in contributing to the workplace, she has served on the various committees within the Library and is constantly working to make the workplace better for her colleague. Whether planning events or recognizing coworkers, Felicia’s care and understanding in her interactions with staff, students and community members make her an exemplary award recipient.

Barbara Towell

Barbara Towell (e-Records Manager, Records Management) received the Innovation Award for her work in educating colleagues in the Library and across the University. Barbara has consulted with units across campus to provide training in records management policies and procedures.

A colleague notes: “Even after my high initial expectations of someone in her field, I was impressed by Barbara’s focus, detail orientation, and organization. I have no doubt the same level of professionalism is shown to the units across campus Barbara meets with to consult on this same work.”

Barbara’s work on developing educational resources and training materials for records management procedures has established the Records Management Office as a key unit on campus. Her innovative ways of working with colleagues across campus make her a perfect fit for this year’s Innovation Award.


Upgrades to the third and fourth floors of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre are complete and opened to library users during the spring session.

The upgrades, which began in February 2017, include new flooring, additional study spaces, improved lighting, upgraded furniture and additional electrical outlets (with USB chargers).


The upgrades have been popular with students. “I like this new seating by the windows,” says Heather, undergraduate student in the Faculty of Education who studies regularly at IKBLC, “It’s nice to have more natural light.”

Fourth-year Psychology student Nithia enjoys the new, more user-friendly study spaces, “The higher tables and chairs are much more comfortable — I slouch less. And the new usb ports are very convenient.”

The renovation is one of several projects planned for 2017 to improve UBC Library spaces and services for UBC students.  

“Every effort was made during the renovation project to minimize disruptions and maintain available study space for students,” says Julie Mitchell, Assistant Director, Student Engagement, IKBLC, “We’re so pleased with how the renovations turned out and to see students already enjoying the upgraded spaces.”

Be sure to try out the upgraded study spaces for yourself! 


UBC’s Xwi7xwa Library has collaborated with The Ray and Millie Silver Aboriginal Library in Abbotsford to make their own unique cataloging system for Aboriginal materials.

The Ray and Millie Silver Aboriginal Library has more than 2,000 materials for community members and children in the Abbotsford School District, but children and teachers in the district’s 46 schools have been unable to easily access materials in the library as not all of the materials were catalogued.

student reading

The beginnings of a journey

In December 2016, Loraleigh Epp, a library tech, started to reorganize and revamp the way the materials in the library were organized. Epp considered cataloguing the materials using the traditional Dewey Decimal system – common to public libraries. However, the system is challenging in the way it organizes and represents Aboriginal materials.

“We started the journey,” says Epp, “by doing research on the Brian Deer classification system, a unique cataloging system specifically designed for Aboriginal materials.” Canadian Kahnawake Mohawk librarian Brian Deer, one of the first Indigenous librarians in Canada, created the system in the 1970s to organize Indigenous materials. As part of her research, Epp discovered that UBC’s Xwi7xwa Library used a modified Brian Deer system in their library, so she contacted the librarians to get some insight.

UBC Librarians Ann Doyle, Sarah Dupont and Library Assistant Eleanore Wellwood welcomed Epp and showed her how they had modified the Deer system for materials at UBC.

“The Brian Deer classification system arranges items together on the shelves in a way that better reflects relationships from an Indigenous worldview,” says Sarah Dupont.

For example, the Musqueam First Nation and Sto:lo First Nation are geographically and culturally close, but if the materials are catalogued alphabetically, Musqueam and another nation, such as Mohawk, located in Ontario, would appear together on a shelf. When conducting research about Indigenous peoples, materials about close neighbors may contain content that is relevant to both groups. Musqueam and Sto:lo are both Coast Salish nations and have a stronger geographical tie of culture and language than with alphabetically close nation such as Mohawk. In this way, the Deer system makes things easier for users browsing the shelf, and it also aims to solve some of the problems created by cataloging with a colonial perspective.


Making materials more accessible

With help from Xwi7xwa, Epp was able to re-catalogue her materials and input them into the school district’s online catalogue at the same time. The materials are now accessible and searchable from any of the schools in the district, meaning children and teachers can find the materials easily.

Epp especially wanted to modify the system to reflect “how the public and staff would look for it.” For example, in the Brian Deer system, Indian Residential Schools is a heading under “Education.” Epp chose to pull Indian Residential Schools and the National Truth and Reconcilliation Commission into their own categories to better reflect how users might search for these materials, particularly teachers and the public.

Now that the library has been reorganized, community members and elders are using the materials for language literacy and education.

Currently the majority of community members using the library are elders, says Epp. “There are tears in their eyes when they see their language in a children’s book.”

Dr Silver and family

Dr. Ray Silver and some of his family members, at the opening of the library.


Next steps

The Mamele’awt Community Aboriginal Centre, which houses the library, is open to the public. People wishing to check out materials do not need a library card and the general public is encouraged to use the library.

Epp says improving the catalogue is an ongoing effort, and that the next step will be to improve the subject headings for materials. The library is also hoping to bring more community users into the space by offering programming, such as story times for young children.


ray silver

Dr. Ray Silver, Xéy’teleq

For more information on the Ray and Millie Silver Aboriginal Library, named for Dr. Ray Silver, Xéy’teleq, and his wife Millie Silver, visit their website, or the Mamele’awt Community Centre (3277 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford, B.C.).

For more information on how Xwi7xwa organizes their library materials, visit their website. Xwi7xwa librarians Ann Doyle, Kim Lawson and Sarah Dupont published a paper in 2015 discussing the organization of materials at Xwi7xwa:


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