For the fifteenth consecutive year, UBC Library and the Alma Mater Student Society are running their annual Food for Fines Campaign.

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 October 23 to November 6, 2017.

All donations go to the UBC AMS FoodBank 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. Last year’s Food for Fines Campaign raised a total of $3,600.

Image of a Bella Coola canoe, digitized by the United Church Archives in 2010, after receiving BCHDP funding.

In 2016 the BC History Digitization Program awarded more than $150,000 to 16 different community groups in B. Projects have included digitization of community newspapers, photographic collections, and church and museum archives. In total, the BCHDP has awarded more than $1.7 million dollars since its inception.

BCHDP is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 funding period. Applicants can receive up to $15,000 in funds for their projects, and can submit for multi-year projects. New this year, thanks to an investment from UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, successful 2018-2019 applicants will have the option to host their collections on Arca, a provincial collaborative repository platform, for three years.

The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is a partnership between the Province of British Columbia and its post-secondary libraries. BC ELN’s purpose is to develop, promote, and maintain system-wide mechanisms that allow post-secondary libraries to cost effectively meet expanding information needs of the province’s learners, educators, and researchers. Arca, made possible by a partnership between BC ELN and its partner libraries, and initiated with seed funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, is a collaborative initiative to support the development and implementation of digital repositories at BC post-secondary institutions.

Applications are due by December 11, 2017. Information about the program and the application process is available on the BCHDP website.

For more information and to view images of past projects, please visit the B.C. History Digitization Program.

University Librarian Susan Parker was recently featured in The Ubyssey.

We are working on solving a mechanical issue with the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Please call the IKBLC Library Circulation Desk at 604-822-8149 before picking up your material to ensure it has arrived.

Thank you for your patience.


Update: As of October 17 this issue has been resolved. 

spelling bee poster

Join us for the 8th annual United Way and UBC Library Spelling Bee on Wednesday, November 15. 

UBC faculty, staff, and students are invited to create a team of 4-10 people and compete for glory in this annual cross-campus event to raise awareness for the United Way.

  • Date: Wednesday, November 15
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: 4th floor Golden Jubilee Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (1961 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C.)

Team entry fees are by donation, with all proceeds going to support UBC’s annual United Way campaign.

Download the 2017 Spelling Bee poster. For more information, or to register your team, please contact Harry Young (, 604-822-3977).


This Fall, The Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication is seeing unprecedented student traffic.  Opening a week earlier than in past years, the Centre has been almost fully booked every day since opening on September 18. Students are able to book appointments up to 10 days in advance.

The CWSC is focusing on an appointment-based model rather than a drop-in model. “We are now able to ensure a ‘reserved’ time for students to discuss their writing,” says Julie Mitchell, Assistant Director of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, “This prevents long wait times for students and also maximizes the time and talents of our peer writing consultants.”

The Centre, located in the South pavilion on the third floor of the Chapman Learning Commons, in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre provides free support to all writers at UBC, from one-on-one writing consultations to workshops, events and thesis bootcamps. “We work with all writers on campus,” says Rebecca Shaw, the CWSC’s Program Manager, “Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to connect with us at all stages whether they are struggling with their assignments or if they are confident writers and want a second pair of eyes or to discuss their writing process with a peer writing consultant.”

The most popular service offered at CWSC is the writing consultation, a 25-minute (50 minutes for Grad students) one-on-one appointment where students work with peer writing consultants to improve their writing, shape their writing process, and meet their goals.

“Our aim is to develop writers beyond a single assignment,” says Shaw, “Our peer writing consultants have been trained to support students from across a variety of disciplines, working with students to develop writing goals and strategies.”

The Centre is beloved among students and often appears in guides under “Campus Essentials”, like the Ubyssey’s most recent Guide to UBC. “I love the Centre,” writes one student, “It’s the best resource at UBC.” Writes another, “I have a lot more confidence in my writing now. I got great constructive criticism and clear direction to further develop my paper.”

Shaw and her team also run a full schedule of events and workshops that enable students to learn and practice strategies for writing the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) Exam, develop better academic writing habits and learn how to keep their thesis-writing on track.

Learn more about the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication and how it might benefit you at

UBC Library is launching Visualizing the World: A Maps and Geographic Information Systems Speaker Series this fall.

The first talk, scheduled for October 26 at 11:30 a.m. in the Dodson Room at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre features a talk by cartographer Anton Thomas.

11:30 Mingling

12:00 Talk


Three years ago, Anton picked up a set of color pencils and began drawing North America. State by state, city by city, he wanted to pay tribute to this vast and beautiful continent by way of pictorial map. Without any idea how long it might take, he stumbled into an extremely dense and lengthy project: The North American Continent. Now, three years and 600 cities later, it is on the verge of completion. In this presentation Anton will explore methods, techniques and the story behind the map – including its peculiar origins right here in Canada. We will take a tour of the map, unpacking its contents while examining some of the interesting dilemmas one comes across in such a project. Selecting content for an expansive pictorial map is a thrilling but windy road – a search for harmony between the creative freedoms of art and the geographic truth of cartography.

Hand-drawn maps are less common than they once were, but their aesthetic qualities are as evocative as ever. Even for those who do not feel they excel at drawing, picking up a pencil is a great way to further connect with a visual task. This presentation will explore and demonstrate a range of techniques Anton has developed over the years drawing pictorial maps. With a particular focus on pencil (color and lead) and fineliner pens, he will look at sketching, layering colors, linework, materials and tools, projections, maintaining geographic accuracy and more. He will also include some practical ideas on connecting further with the region you are mapping, whether through music, film, food or otherwise – especially useful when traveling to the region is not possible. To feel more absorbed in the character of a place assists the creative process and has many positive spinoffs. After all, no amount of research can quite tell us what a place feels like. By using our senses as a guide, we can access something of its experiential character – hugely valuable for any cartographer.


About Anton Thomas:

Anton Thomas is a cartographer and artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Using primarily color pencil and fine-liner pen, he specializing in hand-drawn pictorial maps. For the past three years he has been drawing an extensive map of North America filled with a diverse range of content, including almost 600 cities and towns. Each of these are composed of real skylines and landmarks. Inspired by several years he spent traveling the US and Canada, this map: The North American Continent, was featured on National Geographic’s Best Maps of 2016 and is on the verge of completion.

Register for the event.

Library catalogue to undergo routine maintenance and will not be available between 10:15 p.m. and midnight on Saturday September 30.

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