The Strategic Framework will guide the future work and strategic direction for the library, in alignment with the UBC Strategic Plan.

UBC Library is pleased to announce that Sarah Blay, Katherine Hill, Paul Lesack and Lorne Madgett are the 2019 recipients of UBC Library Awards. Each year, the Library Awards Program shines a light on those employees who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, innovation, leadership, excellence and a dedication to customer service through their work.

The awards were presented at the annual Library Recognition Luncheon at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on May 28, 2019. Congratulations Sarah, Katherine, Paul and Lorne, and thank you to everyone who participated by submitting nominations.

Sarah Blay

Sarah Blay (Program and Administrative Assistant, Koerner Library) is the winner of our newest award, introduced this year. The 2019 UBC Library Leadership From Within (aka the Gumption) Award recognizes employees who do not have supervisory responsibilities. Recipients of this award consistently demonstrate leadership through their ability to inspire engagement in others, while exemplifying the Library’s values. They step up to fulfill a need either themselves or by motivating others or teams.

Sarah brings a welcoming team approach and works from a place of inclusion. She ensures everyone in the Research Commons space knows each other and feels welcomed and included. She also stepped up to help out when others were unexpectedly away at a crucial time.

Katherine Hill

Katherine Hill (Circulation and Office Manager, Woodward Library) earned the Employee Excellence Award, which recognizes a Library employee who consistently demonstrates their commitment to making an impact on the Library by making it a better workplace for all through living our values and behaviors.

In everything she does, Katherine works to create an exceptional workplace environment. She is known as a go-to person across the Library, sharing her knowledge widely and helping colleagues in other units get up to speed. She brings patience, creativity, humour, and solution-oriented support to each workplace experience.

Paul Lesack

Paul Lesack (Data/GIS Analyst, Koerner Library) is the winner of the Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes a Library employee or team who keep our libraries running, delivering its services, collections and operations. Their efforts help UBC Library to effectively deliver the stellar service that users have come to expect.

Paul has become the backbone of critical support for UBC’s complex network of campus-wide interdisciplinary data need. His unsung work can be seen at the core of many research projects, including his work with the Vancouver Aquarium to create digital, manipulatable versions of the original paper maps. These maps have become essential to researchers who are currently working to daylight once hidden streams.

Lorne Madgett

Lorne Madgett (e-Resources & Access Library Specialist, Collections Services) is the winner of the Innovation Award, which recognizes a Library employee who has demonstrated new ways of performing existing processes or has introduced a new library service or program that is beneficial to Library employees and/or users.

Lorne has demonstrated the ability to work with people at all levels of the organization and supply chain, earning the respect and loyalty of his unit members, other technical services staff, branch liaisons and Library administration. His curiosity and desire to problem solve inspires an unhesitant quest to ask questions and find answers through peers, online tools and other experts.

The post 2019 employee Recognition Award winners announced appeared first on About UBC Library.

The Puban Collection, one of UBC Library’s collections of rare books, was gathered by Chinese physician Junshi Yao during the 1940s and 1950s. This year we’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of the collection’s acquisition by UBC. Spanning 45,000 volumes, the collection is one of the primary resources for Chinese studies in North America.

The post UBC Library: Home to rare books, found nowhere else—thanks to UBC donors appeared first on About UBC Library.


Construction and demolition work will begin in the Asian Library on Thursday, May 2.

Access to the upper floor of the Library will remain restricted. Essential items in the library’s collection have been relocated to the lower floor to facilitate use, while all other material has been moved off-site and will be inaccessible for the duration of the construction.

Room bookings for meeting rooms will be suspended due to noise transfer to the rooms throughout construction.

The renovation, which is expected to be completed in the late Fall of 2019 will allow for better service delivery, study spaces, and programming spaces for the Asian Library as well as several improvements for the collection.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to improve spaces and services for faculty, students and the community.

Any questions about the renovation can be directed to Shirin Eshghi, Head, Asian Library.

The post Construction to begin in the Asian Library on Thursday, May 2, 2019 appeared first on About UBC Library.

The Book of Kells facsimile no. 349, on display at UBC Library.


The Ridington Room in the Music, Art and Architecture (MAA) Library at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre has added a new permanent installation that will be of interest to anyone with a penchant for medieval illuminated manuscripts. The Book of Kells facsimile, which was acquired by UBC Library’s Rare Book & Special Collections in 1990, had previously been housed in UBC Library’s Vault, but now resides in a secure, purpose-built display case, accessible to the UBC community.

The original Book of Kells, which is held on permanent display at Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland, is a 9th Century manuscript documenting the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin. Named after the Abbey of Kells, where it was kept for centuries before moving to Trinity College, the manuscript is divided into four volumes.

The Ridington Room in the Music, Art and Architecture Library at UBC.


UBC Library’s facsimile of the Book of Kells was produced by Swiss publisher Faksimile-Verlag Luzern in 1979 using cutting edge technology of the time to photograph the original pages and produce a limited run of exact copies. UBC Library’s copy, no. 349, is accompanied by a presentation book from Vancouver’s Book of Kells Committee, which formed in 1987 in order to purchase the item through donor support. The original Book of Kells Committee consisted of 14 members who together raised $16,000 from 340 local donors. A plaque attached to the display case celebrates those who offered their support.

The Book of Kells is available to view during the MAA Library’s regular hours of operation. Check the website to find out more.

Food For Fines Spring 2019


This year’s Spring UBC Library and Alma Mater Student Society (AMS) Food for Fines Campaign raised a total of $2,278.00 across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

Now in its sixteenth consecutive year at UBC, the Food for Fines campaign waives $2 in Library fines for every food item donated, to a maximum of $30. 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


Librarian Ursula Ellis and researcher Kirsten Marchand.

UBC librarians are expert searchers, organizers and analyzers — and this unique set of skills is making them indispensable to medical research at UBC.

In the spring of 2018, The Canadian Institute of Health Research funded twenty-two grants through the Opioid Crisis Knowledge Synthesis Operating grant. This $1.85 million dollar grant aimed to address the pressing evidence needs of knowledge users within the context of the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy and help tackle the most urgent elements of the opioid crisis, including opioid-related mortality rates.

Librarians make grant applications more successful

UBC researchers received six of the twenty-two grants awarded nationally. Of those, five received some kind of librarian support. “The literature tells us that librarians’ involvement makes grant applications more successful, particularly in the area of systematic reviews,” says Aleteia Greenwood, Head of Woodward Library. “It is gratifying to see that this held true in this particular competition.”   

A systematic review, and similar review types such as scoping reviews, provide a complete, exhaustive summary of current evidence relevant to a research question. Systematic reviews help researchers identify inconsistencies and gaps in diverse evidence to define future research needs. Surfacing the relevant literature can be a challenge and it is in this area that librarians are able to make a significant impact.

Researcher Kirsten Marchand consulted the expertise of librarian Ursula Ellis to conduct a scoping review exploring how principles of patient-centered care can be applied to the treatment of people with opioid use disorder as a complement to pharmacological treatment. “Our team of health care providers, advocates and researchers was already doing work in this area of patient-centered care, but we had never done a systematic review on the topic,” she says, “Ursula was extremely helpful to us at the proposal stage, walking us through the mechanics of building a search strategy to demonstrate feasibility. She was instrumental in the refining and framing of our research question and identifying key search terms.” Once the project was funded, Ellis continued to provide support on the project, helping to tweak and refine the search strategy. “We are so immensely grateful to Ursula,” says Marchand, “I feel that her work with me went beyond providing education and support, she was really making scientific contributions in helping to think through our study design and research question.”


Dr. Jan Klimas and his team at the BC Centre for Substance Use turned to librarian Dean Giustini for his expertise in search strategy when putting together a systematic review looking at patient characteristics that are predictive of whether someone will go into prescription opioid addiction when they are prescribed opioids for pain for the first time. “Dean’s contributions were essential in moving our project forward,” he says, “He helped us refine which search terms would best pick up studies about predictive factors. This is a very tricky thing – these are not clinical trials. The types of studies we were looking for are not well-indexed and can be difficult to surface.”

UBC librarians offer customized workshops and training for researchers

When putting together a realist review that explores how online solutions might help improve the system of care and decrease opioid-related mortality, Dr. Mohammadali Nikoo on behalf of Addictions and Concurrent Disorders (ACD) Research Group led by Michael Krausz reached out to librarians Helen Brown and Vanessa Kitchin for support. “Helen helped us in the proposal stage in creating a search strategy and once the project was underway, Vanessa demonstrated a mock literature review for our team, helping us get an idea of what we needed to do. She’s been available for consultation throughout the project— it has been a very positive experience for us.”

“UBC librarians are helping to surface knowledge that might remain hidden or require significant resources on the part of the researcher,” says Lea Starr, UBC Associate University Librarian in charge of Research. “This allows researchers to demonstrate that the research undertaken will have an impact, and will directly correspond to the need.”

As for future research, Marchand, Klimas and Nikoo all consider librarian consultation an integral part of the research lifecycle and plan to build librarian consultation into future research. “In this new era of fast-paced information that is emerging, I think the librarian’s role is becoming more and more important,” says Nikoo, “We are looking forward to more collaboration in the future.”

To arrange for a systematic review consultation, please complete this form and send it to your subject librarian.

Attend one of UBC Library’s monthly Systematic Review workshops.

UBC’s Emerging Media Lab (EML) has a new hub, right in the heart of campus. Established in 2016 as an experimental space where faculty, students, and staff from all disciplines could collaborate with industry and community, the lab made its mission to evolve learning by creating tools and techniques using emerging media including Augmented, Mixed, and Virtual Reality.

Now, in its newest location in Room 183 on Level 1 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the lab is hopeful that the new space will attract a larger and even more diverse group of users and continue to be a truly interdisciplinary space.

Students and faculty in EML space


An emerging media lab for everyone.

“The Library has this sense of belonging to everyone, a sense of inclusivity,” says Saeed Dyanatkar, executive Producer at the Emerging Media Lab, “If you have a Library card, it doesn’t matter which department you’re from, you can use it. This is how we want people to feel about the EML — it is a huge step forward for us.”

The implementation of an Emerging Media Lab is a natural fit for UBC Library. Julie Mitchell, Assistant Director, Student Engagement, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre explains, “Challenging traditional views of libraries as repositories for the printed book, leading academic libraries are at the forefront of providing technology-enabled spaces to support learning and research. The EML@IKBLC project was a priority for the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as it creates space for interdisciplinary interactions and provides tools to explore new technologies, with the potential to transform education and research practices at UBC.”

Student using Virtual reality equipment


At the heart of what drives innovation at the EML is the opportunity to experiment and the permission to fail, with more emphasis on learning and process than output. As Faculty in Residence, Dr. Matthew Yedlin describes it, “Failure is a learning experience. Here at the EML, we don’t want to have the perfect anything. You have to fail to be creative.”

The new IKBLC location, composed of two rooms: a public multi-station lab and presentation space and second room that can be used as a meeting room, demonstration space or development area was made possible through a collaboration between the EML, UBC Library, and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. The Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) provided funding to assist in the purchase of equipment for the lab. The equipment is maintained by UBC IT.

The new lab in IKBLC will function as the EML’s public-facing space, welcoming questions from 9 to 5 on weekdays, offering lab time for classes and faculty members as well as regularly designated demonstration time. In addition to student employees, the space will also be staffed by some of CTLT’s student Learning Technology Rovers. The original Emerging Media Lab, located in the Neville Scarfe Building will remain, but will be used solely for development work and student projects.

Student and faculty in EML


A place to challenge assumptions.

Samantha Peng, graduate student in Journalism and student employee at the EML is particularly interested in how the new location might help challenge assumptions about who can benefit and learn from emerging technology. “Because I don’t have a coding background, I was really intimidated about getting started at EML,” she explains, “But once I started, I realized that projects require many different people with many different skill sets. I think this new location might help counteract the idea that the lab is only for Computer Science students.”

Fifth-year Electrical Engineering student and EML volunteer Serena Chao identifies this unique interdisciplinary experience as one of the features of the EML that has contributed to her learning. “My learning in my degree is mostly hardware-based and so the software-based work I do at the EML has helped me get a more well-rounded perspective. But it’s being able to work and collaborate with people in different faculties that I value the most; it has allowed me opportunities to collaborate over and above what is offered through my program.”

William Beltran, third year Cognitive Systems student and student employee at the EML looks forward to fielding more questions and queries from fellow students. “The great thing about this new space is that it allows for more people to pop in and ask questions. We’re more accessible.”

Visit the EML’s new location and explore in-progress and recently completed projects at an upcoming showcase on March 26.

Food For Fines Spring 2019

Reduce your UBC Library fines by donating non-perishable food items – $2 in fines paid for each food item donated (up to a maximum of $30). Donated cans are accepted at branch circulation desks from March 18 to April 1, 2019.

All donations go to the UBC AMS Food Bank on Campus and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank which provide food relief for students in need, including non-perishable foods, supplies and information about additional resources on- and off-campus.

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