Reduce your UBC Library fines by donating non-perishable food items – $3 in fines paid for each food item donated (up to a maximum of $60). Donated cans are accepted at branch circulation desks from October 28 to November 12, 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.

 

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’s Xwi7xwa Library is developing its collection of music by Indigenous artists. Known for its extensive and unique collections that focus on Indigenous peoples in British Columbia, the library has been focusing efforts to acquire recordings made by current musicians as well as recordings of publicly available archival material or more traditional materials, such as Métis fiddle music.

“Music, and songs specifically, is embedded in all Indigenous cultures, and in many, is a significant means of transmitting language, history, and cultural knowledge, “says Adolfo Tarango, former Acting Head, Xwi7xwa Library.

As Karleen Delaurier-Lyle, Information Services Librarian at Xwi7xwa explains, the process of acquiring the collection has been a thoughtful and deliberate one. “We started off by identifying Aboriginal Music Awards or Indigenous Music Awards. We prioritized Canada, but didn’t limit our search to exclude the United States, New Zealand and Australia to get a sense of artists we should be including in the collection.” The collection includes music by artists such as A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq and The Jerry Cans.

 

Made up of CDs, the collection allows library users to access album art and accompanying liner notes, which often provide significant information about the music. Sarah Dupont, Head of Xwi7xwa Library, notes that “while some might view CDs as a less popular playback format these days, we are starting with them as they are easier for libraries to acquire through regular acquisition processes and, importantly, at community events. ‘Collecting’ digital streaming music formats poses challenges we are seeking to overcome, but we recognize that many emerging and established artists are only distributing on these platforms.

The collection is meant both for enjoyment and for scholarly research, providing immense value to research in a number of fields including music, fine arts, art history, political science and beyond. “What I find really exciting about this collection is the way that music and in particular, a lot of the contemporary stuff, can really spark a renewed interest in language revitalization and preservation,” says Tamis Cochrane, Access Services Assistant.

Cochrane created a playlist from the collection for the Xwi7xwa library’s luncheon last fall.

Listen to the playlist:

Learn more about the collection at Xwi7xwa Library.

Portrait of Chinese men and women, Vancouver. Between 1900- 1909. Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, UBC Library.

BC Library’s Chung Collection has been added to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Canada Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value.

Showcasing the most significant documents of our heritage, UNESCO’s Memory of the World program is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and wilful and deliberate destruction. It calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia all over the world for posterity, the reconstitution of dispersed or displaced documentary heritage, and the increased accessibility to and dissemination of these items. The Canada Memory of the World Register highlights exceptional works and documents that reflect the wealth and diversity of Canada’s documentary heritage.

In being added to the Canadian register, the Chung Collection joins a short list of Canadian works and documentary collections including the Canadian Pacific Railway Company Fonds, The Vancouver Island Treaties and Witnesses of Founding Cultures: Early Books in Aboriginal Languages (1556-1900).

About the collection

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection was donated to UBC Library by the Chung Family in 1999. The family added a second significant donation to the collection in 2014 and has continued to donate items over the years. Inspired to start collecting by an illustrated poster of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s steamship R.M.S. Empress of Asia in his father’s tailor shop in Victoria, Dr. Wallace B. Chung amassed more than 25,000 items over sixty years. The collection consists of textual records, maps, artefacts, books and other materials and focuses on three main themes: early British Columbia history and exploration, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and early immigration and settlement, with a particular focus on the Chinese experience.

“UBC Library is proud to be the home of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection and I am thrilled to see it receive this well-deserved national recognition,” says Susan E. Parker, University Librarian, “This collection is stewarded by the library and actively engaged with by our faculty, students, and staff and by the broader community. We are honoured that Dr. Chung has entrusted UBC Library to ensure this history is preserved and available for research and learning.”

“One of our core mandates at Rare Books and Special Collections is to collect and preserve materials that directly relate to the history of British Columbia and its place in the world,” says Krisztina Laszlo, Archivist.  “The Chung Collection is critical in understanding this history; it documents a story that is relevant not only to the people of Canada, but is of global importance.  For example, in preserving materials related to the Chinese diaspora and their struggles and triumphs in the New World, they teach us all lessons of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity.”    

The Chung Collection is housed in Rare Book and Special Collections in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library and is available to scholars and members of the public in British Columbia and beyond. Weekly drop-in tours are held every Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Read the announcement from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Learn more about the Chung Collection.

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections has welcomed its 10,000th visitor!
The Lillooet Room, part of the Chapman Learning Commons in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, has been renamed the Antonio and Marissa Peña Learning and Events Room.

 

One hundred and six years of British Columbia’s governmental papers are now available to anyone with a wifi connection and a device. The British Columbia Sessional Papers, an annual collection of selected papers tabled in the Legislative Council of British Columbia and the Legislative Assembly is now publicly accessible through UBC Library’s Open Collections.

The collection contains materials that document the political, historical, economic and cultural history of British Columbia and includes official committee reports, orders of the day, petitions and papers presented, records of land sales, correspondence, budgetary estimates, proclamations, maps, voters lists by district, and departmental annual reports.

The multi-year project began as a collaborative endeavor in 2014 executed by five provincial institutions, collectively known as the BC Government Publications Digitization Group. The group made up of representatives from UBC, the Legislative Library of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia aims to increase access to primary source materials.  The project was then carried out by UBC Library thanks to a grant from The British Columbia History Digitization Program and materials provided by the Legislative Library of British Columbia.

Improved accessibility facilitates research

The collection, which now includes over 4,000 items in total, highlights the cultural, economic, social and political atmosphere of their historical era and are being used for research in multiple fields.

“Annual reports within the Sessional Papers have helped answer reference questions about the history of public schools in British Columbia, road and infrastructure policies of the 1940s and 1950s and relations with the provincial government and First Nations Peoples,” notes Susan Paterson, Government Publications Librarian at UBC Library. “The project has also been used by researchers outside of UBC including Canadian federal departments, law firms, and independent researchers.” Digital Projects Librarian Eirian Vining confirms the relevance of these papers to broader researchers: “We also see a lot of genealogists using these materials because of the voter lists contained within them.”

Andrea Lister, Editor of British Columbia History Magazine uses the records regularly for fact-checking and appreciates the increased accessibility, “The collection allows researchers, regardless of location, access to records that allow for analysis of the political, historical, economic, and cultural history of British Columbia.”

An eye to preservation

The project has also enabled UBC Library to better preserve the collection. “This collection is not easily browsed,” says Vining, “So, now it can be accessed more frequently and more widely without the worry of wear and tear.”

The collection is well-used with more than 17,000 item downloads and more than 860K item views since its launch and is being used by researchers globally including France, the U.S., Germany, China, Russia and the Ukraine.

Explore the British Columbia Sessional Papers collection through UBC Library’s Open Collections. 

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.

UBC Library’s annual Senate Report (2018/19) is now available. Read our highlights from the past fiscal year which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, creating and delivering responsive collections, inspiring with innovative spaces and services, and stewarding the organization.

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