The exhibit, located in the David Lam Management Research Library and Level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre runs until the end of the year.
The exhibit, that runs October 10 to November 15 on the Level 2 foyer of IKBLC, celebrates Jim Wong-Chu, a well-known Asian-Canadian historian, editor, author, and poet.

 

UBC Library’s Seed Lending Library is helping to build community and foster lifelong, home-grown learning both on and off campus.

Established in 2017 by Reference Librarian Helen Brown and Education Librarian Wendy Traas with the help of a UTown@UBC grant, the Seed Lending Library allows anyone to “borrow” seeds free of charge from two library locations on the Vancouver campus, the Woodward and Education libraries. Members can borrow a variety of high-quality vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that are well-suited to local growing conditions and later, as the summer gardening season comes to a close, they are encouraged to return seeds from their crop to the library to promote local seed sharing.

One of the Seed Lending Library’s early adopters, Lisa Zhu discovered the resource while studying in the Education Library as a student and has been delighted at how much the library has allowed her to experiment with her community garden plot in East Vancouver. “Being an avid gardener, it has been a great way for me to try new varieties of plants,” Zhu explains, “I don’t have to buy the seeds, I can just borrow them so it’s super low-barrier and low-risk.” This year, among other vegetables, Zhu is growing swiss chard, kale, beans and several varieties of tomatoes.

Lending Library sees significant growth in use

The Seed Lending Library has seen significant growth in use and popularity since its establishment in 2017. In 2018, the library saw a 240% increase in borrowing year-over-year and a huge increase in seed donations after the 2018 seed saving season.  Zhu isn’t surprised by its popularity, “I feel like right now in Vancouver, there are a lot of people who are super interested in local food, food security and want to grow their own food.”

Collection contributes to research and learning

For Dr. Susan Gerofsky, Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Department of Education whose work focuses on mathematics education and environmental education, the Seed Lending Library has been critical to her work in UBC’s Orchard Garden. Gerofsky saw the potential of the garden to become a place where teacher candidates could get experience teaching in outdoor classroom spaces, “There was really nowhere for teacher candidates to get hands-on experience in creating a school garden and stewarding it or in teaching their curricular subjects with the garden as a co-teacher,” she explains. Today, the garden hosts 25 teacher candidates every year during their 3-week Community Field Experience, eight Saturday workshops between October and June and several Summer Institutes. Work in the garden is also generating research, with more than a dozen Master’s theses, PhD dissertations and graduation projects based in the garden.

Carrots grown in the Orchard Garden. Photo credit: Susan Gerofsky.

About 50% of the seeds used in the Orchard Garden are borrowed from the Seed Lending Library. “We bring students to the Seed Lending Library to introduce the idea of the sharing economy as well as why it’s important to let some plants go to seed,” says Gerofsky, “We see this collection as very much in the same spirit as the Orchard Garden. It’s about building community and sharing resources; where you might have thought there was scarcity, there’s really abundance.”

The Seed Lending Library is just one of the many ways that UBC Library is actively fostering opportunities for meaningful engagement and knowledge exchange with campus and community members. Says Education Librarian Wendy Traas, “It is really exciting to see how inviting this non-traditional library collection has been to a variety of community members. Local residents have used it as a way of learning in the garden as a family, and teacher education students have borrowed seeds to support experiential, outdoor learning. The Education Library also has a great collection picture books and teaching resources, so it’s a one-stop shop for all ages to learn about plants, gardening, lifecycles, and more.”

Learn more about the Seed Lending Library.

UBC Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop have collaborated to present an exhibition that captures the continual impact of iconic Asian Canadian Jim Wong-Chu.

The exhibit runs October 10 to November 15 on Level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, located on the UBC Vancouver campus.

Jim Wong-Chu (1945- July-11-2017) was a well-known Asian-Canadian historian, editor, author, and poet. Born in Hong Kong, Wong-Chu came to Canada in 1953. He attended the Vancouver School of Art (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) from 1975-1981, majoring in photography and design. From 1976-1981, Wong-Chu was involved with the Vancouver Co-op Radio Program on culture and assimilation, Pender Guy Radio Program while working at the Vancouver School of Art.

Considered one of the first Asian-Canadian authors who gave voice to the Asian Communities in the times when the support for the Asian arts was difficult to obtain. Jim Wong-Chu dedicated much of his time to compile a literary anthology, “Many Mouthed Birds” to showcase the richness of Asian-Canadian literature. During 1995 and 1996 Jim Wong-Chu co-founded the Asian Canadian Performing Arts Resource (ACPAR) and became one of the founders of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) where he helped many young Asian-Canadian writers to succeed by editing and finding publishers for their works. Jim Wong-Chu along with Mishtu Banerjee, Mo-Ling Chui, Grace Eiko Thomson, and Winston Xin​ formed the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, as an organization that endeavoured to explore the diversity of Asian Canadian life and culture and promote the discussion of relevant issues and concerns within and beyond the Asian Canadian communities.

UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations.

Roberto. Photographed by Mihailo Subotic

This summer, students may see some unfamiliar faces on campus, and deliberately so. UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away.. to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations. The exhibit aims to bring the campus and Vancouver communities a little closer together and facilitates portrayals of spirited and resilient individuals from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), by displaying their portraits and stories as shared during their visit to the barber.

2 Paycheques Away.. is the brainchild of Vancouver-based barber and musician Alysha Osborne. In her early teens, Osborne learned that her stepmother had run away from home and ended up in Vancouver in her early twenties, addicted to heroin and working as a prostitute in Vancouver’s DTES. Osborne struggled to reconcile how someone she admired so much and who was a beloved family member, mentor, and parent had lived that life. “I came to realize that my stepmother and I were not that different, and that I, with just a little worse luck, could have landed in the same spot,” she explains.

Giving back to the community

Osborne was working in Gastown and had been wanting to give back to the DTES community for some time, but was unsure how she could contribute in a meaningful way. “The idea for 2 Paycheques Away.. came to me during a trip to the North American Hair Awards. I was watching all these pictures going up on the screen and I put two and two together and had an epiphany/meltdown. I turned to my husband and said: ‘I know exactly what I want to do’.”

When Osborne returned to Vancouver, she reached out to portrait photographer Mihailo Subotic, whom she met working in the same building, about the idea. “I explained to Mihailo that I wanted the pictures to be real with no special lighting or crazy editing so you could just really see the people. He showed me the work of a couple of photographers he knew that used a similar style and understood exactly what I was looking for.”

Rebuilding bridges and relationships

The two began capturing community members during their trips to the barber and learning more about their individual stories — stories of people like Roberto who lost his sense of smell when a grenade detonated near him during his home country of El Salvador’s civil war and moved to Vancouver in 1983 or Angie, from Six Nations, Ontario who moved to Vancouver to join two of her brothers and try something new.

The project was eventually developed into a book where it caught the attention of a friend of Subotic, Melany Lund, who also happened to be a circulation assistant at UBC Library. “My friend’s ears perked up when I told her about this project,” he says, “She came to the book launch and suggested we get in touch with Rare Books and Special Collections because it was so unique.”

Mihailo Subotic and Alysha Osborne

Bringing 2 Paycheques Away.. to campus

The library acquired a copy of the book for the university’s rare books collection, but saw an opportunity to do more. Inspired by the UBC Learning Exchange’s two-way learning model that ensures knowledge also flows from the community back into the university, Katherine Kalsbeek, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections and Aleteia Greenwood, Head of the Woodward Library proposed an exhibition of photographs and stories in UBC Library spaces. Their backgrounds and experiences informed their interest in using UBC spaces as a platform to open minds and shift perspectives. “Hosting this exhibition on campus allows these stories to reach a broader audience and reach people who might not see them otherwise,” says Greenwood, “The Library is committed to meaningful engagement and knowledge exchange with the community.”

Osborne and Subotic are just as thrilled to bring their work to UBC, “Young minds change the world and we want them to see these photos and know these people,” says Osborne.

Osborne and Subotic are grateful for the awareness that working on the project has brought them and hope that the exhibit helps to broaden that awareness. “We’ve learned so much about the issues and problems that the DTES community and neighbourhood is facing,” says Osborne, “We hope this exhibit will help raise that kind of awareness on campus.”

 

The exhibit will run in the Woodward Library and Ike’s Café in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre until the end of 2019 and will move downtown to the UBC Learning Exchange in early 2020.

View the 2 Paycheques Away.. book in the library’s collection.
Copies of the book are also available for purchase at the UBC Bookstore.

For those of you in rural or northern communities, or wherever you are for that matter, please note this ongoing series of podcasts.

http://ruralroutespodcasts.com/?cat=206 *

Many of these could be the starting point for community conversations held at or facilitated by local libraries.

Here are summaries of three recent episodes:

  1. Rural Media:

“Media industry is in trouble. For a long time now it has been shedding jobs and converging into ever larger corporate entities where profits outweigh any residual sense of responsibility to small communities for whom a local paper is often a necessity. Are there solutions? In this episode we will bring you interviews with journalists working a community owned paper . . .” **

  1. Islands and their universities:

“Islands are often perceived as being at a disadvantage compared to their mainland counterparts. And sure, there are some tough issues that are at least somewhat unique to islands. However, there is also plenty of evidence of the potential for unique successes, partially because island geographies necessitate doing things a little differently. Universities located on islands tend to have a different relationship with their communities, often working together to find new, appropriate ways of approaching those old island challenges. . .” **

  1. Community First Tourism Development

“Developing rural tourism is a complicated process fraught with pitfalls, but, when done right, it provides economic and social benefits to rural communities. In this episode we talk to researchers and practitioners about tourism development in Newfoundland and Labrador, Scotland, Denmark, Alberta, and BC. . .”**

*Rural Routes is a Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development and Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation initiative.

This show is supported through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connection grant.

** Source: Rural Routes Podcasts © 2016

The 2018/19  Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) call for community submissions is now open.

The deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018.

 

Early and different this year

We are seeking more “organic” community-focused requests, without imposing a pre-determined list of available workshops.


Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) is a collaborative approach to building on the capacities of rural, remote and Northern British Columbian communities. LIRN BC is listed as a project of the BC Rural Network, established in 2004.

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is proud to partner through LIRN BC with government and non-government organizations to provide and facilitate workshops to promote community learning and collaboration in rural and northern communities.

LIRN BC can bring trainers and facilitators to your community to deliver a learning event for residents.

The annual call for “Expressions of Interest” (EOI) occurs each year.  In 2018 the timing and structure of asking for applications has changed.

 

In responding to the call for EOIs, applicants are asked to tell us about your community and its challenges, and identify workshop topics that will help your community move forward. If your agency is selected, you will be contacted by a LIRN BC partner who will work with you to design and deliver a learning event that meets the needs of your community. Successful applicants would be expected to provide publicity support, venue and refreshments.

Click here to download the 2018 Expressions of Interest document.

The current LIRN BC partners are:

  • Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC (ANHBC)
  • BC Healthy Communities (PlanH Program)
  • UBC Library, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Society of BC
  • PeerNetBC
  • Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC)
  • Vantage Point
  • Volunteer BC
  • YouthCo

For further information please contact Sarah Huebert  (shuebert@sparc.bc.ca) at the Social Planning and Research Council of BC.

 

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