UBC Library Changes to hours

UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will be closed on Thursday, January 9, 2020. Due to a water leak, the heating system has been turned off. No library materials have been damaged or are in danger.


The building is scheduled to re-open on Friday, January 10 at 6 a.m. for regular operating hours.

The following classrooms will be closed for cleanup work January 9 – 12 inclusive:

Closed: Lecture theatre 182. Rooms 155, 156, 157, 158, 185, 192, 193 and 194.

Room 191 and the lecture theatre lobby flooring will require restoration work beyond January 12.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Visit feline and canine themed exhibits at multiple branches of the library throughout January and February.

Fish Physiology series co-editors Drs. Colin Brauner and Anthony Farrell.

When Fish Physiology was founded in 1969 by UBC Zoology faculty members Drs. William S. Hoar and David J. Randall, there was no intention of continuing the series beyond six volumes. 50 years and 37 titled volumes later, the peer-reviewed monographic series is regarded as the leader in the field of fish physiology and a must-read for anyone interested in this domain, from senior undergraduate researchers through to mainstream university, government and industry employees.

The series is a frequently used resource at UBC Library and continues to be shepherded by UBC faculty members, Drs. Anthony Farrell and Colin Brauner, who were both graduate students of David Randall and have carried the successful series forward as co-editors, with Farrell joining in 1992 and Brauner in 2004.

A unique approach to integration and synthesis

Fish Physiology is unique in that its individual volumes have little in common except for publisher imposed length and general structure, with each volume representing the views of individual specialists on a particular subject. This thematic approach was taken very deliberately, explains Dr. Farrell, “We look at developments in the field and ask ‘What do we need to tell our colleagues?’. Over time, the series has morphed from being an encyclopedic resource about fish to a more applied and functional one, delving into interactions with the environment.” Among the subjects that have been discussed in Fish Physiology: Biology of Stress in Fish, Hypoxia (Oxygen deficiency), Organic Chemical Toxicology of Fishes and in the most recent volume, the effects of Carbon Dioxide.

Once a topic is established, the series editors bring on guest editors who are widely acknowledged as world leaders in their respective areas of expertise, enabling each volume to bring together intellectual contributions from the very best authors for the selected topic. “Beyond quality control, what Colin and I are most focused on is integration and synthesis” says Dr. Farrell, “What we try and do in a volume is say ‘Here is the big picture on this topic, here’s the supporting data from the thesis we are presenting and if you want to dig any deeper, here are the references… thereby allowing readers to move on to that next level of information gathering.’”

Fish Physiology series co-editors Drs. Colin Brauner and Anthony Farrell with Science Librarian Sally Taylor.

A leading resource in the field

“The series is available in print and online, and is a heavily-used and cited resource,” says Sally Taylor, Science Librarian at Woodward Library. “There are more than 200 chapter downloads per year from the UBC community alone.” Articles in Fish Physiology are often cited more than primary publications, making it the primary medium that authors in the field aspire to publish in. “The series has come to have such a legacy and prestige that we are finding that people are very excited to be asked to serve as guest editors or contributors,” says Dr. Brauner.

In 2020, Dr. Farrell plans to retire and a new series co-editor will join Dr. Brauner, UBC alumnus Dr. Erika Eliason, Assistant Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who is highly respected in her field. Dr. Eliason is the first female editor for the series in its 50-year history.

Farrell and Brauner are optimistic about the future of the publication beyond their tenure. Says Brauner, “We know we have found the right person for the task.”

 Access Fish Physiology in UBC Library’s collections.


This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to create and deliver responsive collections.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.


When she’s not working as a Communications Coordinator for the Faculty of Science at UBC, you can find Silvia Moreno-Garcia writing, whether its writing book reviews for NPR or her column with The Washington Post or working on material of her own. The UBC alumnus’ fourth novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow, was published by Penguin Random House in August 2019 and was named one the best books of 2019 by NPR, The New York Public LibraryBookRiot and Tordotcom. In this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore, the Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey.

We spoke with Silvia about her new book, how she approaches her research and her love of interlibrary loans!

Tell us about Gods of Jade and Shadow and how it came about.

Gods of Jade and Shadow is a fantasy novel that takes place in Mexico in the 1920s. A young woman releases a Maya god of death from his prison and must help him retake his throne. It’s a quest story that took a long time to gestate and it’s my fourth novel.

Can you shed some light on your writing process? Do you do your research first, then write?

Generally, yes, because I’m doing a lot of historical research – at least that’s been the case with the last couple of books I’ve worked on. So I’ll have to page through books and papers for a few months before I can feel confident enough to start writing. But things always change. There’s a skeletal frame and I may fill some holes while I’m doing the work. Research might not end until the first draft is done and run in parallel if I need it.  

How did you do research for the book? Did UBC Library’s resources inform your work in any way?

I use UBC Library’s InterLibrary Loan service quite a bit. Often the Mexican books I need are not here but they can be obtained by getting them from universities in California that have extensive Mexican and Latin American collections. I also use the online databases frequently to look at journal articles, anything from codices to Mayan glyphs. The hardest thing to find are newspaper articles from certain time periods, pre-internet. It’s relatively easy to get newspaper stories from the 20s and 30s – you can look at the archives of the New York Times, for example – but for Mexican newspapers it can be nearly impossible. The 60s-70s is like a black hole.

I also like finding weird books at random. You never quite know what might be on the shelves of a library, especially when it comes to really old books.

What are you reading right now?

That changes like the tide because I review books for NPR and have a column with The Washington Post. So the thing I’m reading for review right now is Labyrinth by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Umit Hussein, which is about a musician who loses his memory and which the publisher calls “Borgesian.” For my own pleasure I’m reading James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss, a 1970s  hard-boiled noir about a private investigator trying to find a missing man and going from seedy location to seedy location in his quest.

Follow Silvia’s writing on her website.

Public Knowledge Project


UBC Library is playing a pivotal role in improving the quality and reach of scholarly publishing, serving as one of six development partners in the Public Knowledge Project, a not-for-profit multi-university initiative that develops (free) open source software and services to make open access a viable option for journals.

Founded in 1998 and currently based out of Simon Fraser University, the Public Knowledge Project is perhaps best known for its Open Journal Systems (OJS) software, currently used to publish over 10,000 open access journals around the world. The free journal management and publishing system assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions through to online publication and indexing. The project is supported by a group of librarians, scholars and developers in various capacities at a number of universities worldwide. 

“We feel the work PKP does is so important, that it is worth investing both our money and our time,” says Bronwen Sprout, Head, Digital Programs and Services at UBC Library who serves as PKP Preservation Network (PKP PN) Coordinator, providing guidance and leadership relating to PKP’s digital preservation service for OJS journals. The PKP Preservation Network is a critical complement to the OJS software that works with a network of partners to create a “dark archive” of journals distributed across the globe. In order to ensure that journals preserved in the network are available to the reading public long after their original website is gone, a network of eight partners stores identical copies of each issue, mitigating against loss from natural disaster or human activity.

A critical platform in open scholarly communications infrastructure.

In addition to OJS, PKP develops Open Monograph Press, a management system for peer-reviewed scholarly monographs, the Open Conference system, a free online publishing tool that allows researchers to host conference websites, manage submissions and post conference proceedings, and Open Harvester Systems, a free metadata system that allows researchers to create searchable online databases. PKP also supports research that explores broader areas of scholarly communications and training services to help new publishers build their skills and knowledge in the PKP software.

Allan Bell, Associate University Librarian, Digital programs and services at UBC Library, chairs the PKP Advisory Committee, which oversees the project’s finances and strategic directions. “What started out as a small research project at UBC has grown into one of the most important platforms in the international, open scholarly communications infrastructure.  As a non-profit, university based academic-led project, PKP needs to demonstrate that it operates efficiently, effectively and responsibly, and the Advisory Committee ensures that happens.”

The Public Knowledge Project was most recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, part of the Open Publishing Awards at #Force2019.

Learn more about the Public Knowledge Project.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to advance research, learning and scholarship.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

This year’s Fall UBC Library and Alma Mater Student Society (AMS) Food for Fines Campaign raised a total of $6,942.00 across the Point Grey and Okanagan campuses.

Now in its sixteenth consecutive year at UBC, the Food for Fines campaign waives $3 in Library fines for every food item donated, to a maximum of $60. The program began as a joint initiative to support disadvantaged members of the community, and has become an integral source of the AMS Food Bank’s food reserves to support UBC students in need.

Non-perishable food items were collected at circulation desks and then distributed to the AMS Food Bank.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s campaign!

Please note that members of the community are welcome to donate goods year-round at the AMS Food Bank and Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

Visit the AMS Food Bank website for more information

TDM Seminar Promo Image

UBC Library has organized two speakers for a seminar to discuss Text and Data Mining (TDM) of Library Licensed Electronic Resources. This event will be moderated by Sheldon Armstrong, Associate University Librarian, Collections.

Speakers and topics:

  • UBC Counsel Michael Serebriakov will discuss the various aspects involved in negotiating TDM rights in Library licensed electronic resources. He will also incorporate into the discussion the role of Canadian Copyright vs contract law.
  • UBC Digital Scholarship Librarian, Ekatarina (Eka) Grguric, will present the UBC Library’s Research Guide to help UBC Researchers navigate how to perform TDM on Library licensed electronic resources. The Guide acts as a central list detailing resources where and how TDM can be performed, and maintains up to date contact information for support services.

Learn more about the seminar

  • Date: Thursday, November 28
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m
  • Location: Presentation Room, Research Commons, Level 5, Koerner Library
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.
Without the Library is a student profile series, that welcomes the unique stories of UBC students and showcases how the Library helps shape their academic success and campus experience.


UBC Library’s Scholarly Communications & Copyright office is now offering a new service to help UBC Vancouver instructors clear copyrighted course and teaching materials quickly and easily.

The syllabus service allows for instructors to upload course readings/syllabi directly into the Library Online Course Reserves system (LOCR) which is integrated with the Canvas Learning Management Platform and ensures that materials conform with Canadian copyright law and existing UBC license agreements and policies.

The service was introduced to help UBC Vancouver faculty meet Canadian copyright law and Fair Dealing Requirements. Any distribution of published works to students that infringes on copyright can expose both faculty and the University to legal jeopardy. The library’s goal is to make copyright compliance as streamlined and easy for UBC faculty as possible.

“We continue to take every possible step to support faculty in their teaching efforts, and ensure they remain knowledgeable and compliant with Canadian copyright law,” says Allan Bell, Associate University Librarian, Digital Programs and Services.

The service, which launched in August 2019, is already seeing significant use. “I believe this service will be very useful for everyone teaching courses at UBC,” says Christina Hendricks, Academic Director at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, “It is an incredibly convenient way to ensure students get easy access to course materials available through the Library.”

A similar service, Mediated Course Reserves at UBCO, has been available to Faculty at UBCO since April 2018. The service connects faculty directly with librarians on the Okanagan campus, enabling them to submit class reading lists through a simple online form. “This service is really about helping faculty get this part of their teaching streamlined, says Kim Buschert, Faculty of Management Librarian at UBCO, “We see a lot of benefit there.”  Faculty at UBCO will soon be able to upload course readings/syllabi directly into the Library Online Course Reserves system (LOCR) integrated with Canvas.

Learn more about the Syllabus Service and processing timelines at UBC Vancouver.

Questions? Contact permissions.office@ubc.ca.

Learn more about Mediated Couse Reserves at UBCO.

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