Most of the collections at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) are kept in what’s known as the Vault. This climate-controlled storage space is one of Hiller Goodspeed’s favourite spots to uncover hidden treasures, as he goes about his job as a Circulation, Copying and Shelving Assistant: “Just in shelving and retrieving items, I often stumble upon books, maps and photographs that I didn’t know that we had. I discover new things in the Vault all the time.”

Hiller came to UBC as a student in the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program at UBC iSchool, before taking on a position as a shelving assistant at RBSC in 2015. After graduating the following year, he was hired into his current role.

“I work for the most part at the circulation desk at Rare Books, and so we get students, scholars, and researchers from all over the world. I have had great conversations with people who are knowledgeable and passionate about their subject of study,” he says. “People come here and do an informal residency, where they will go through a whole collection. They will tell you bits and pieces of what they’re doing each day, as they’re packing up. It’s fascinating.”

His journey to UBC started when he bought a one-way ticket to escape the heat and humidity of Florida, and made a new home in the Pacific Northwest. He lived in Portland, Oregon, working as a designer and illustrator for three years before enrolling at UBC, moving further north. But working at UBC Library hasn’t meant he’s stopped designing—in fact, the Library has become a source of inspiration.

“I do a lot of freelance illustration work, for all kinds of people,” he says. “I think a lot of my ideas for drawings and art in general come from conversations I overhear or have myself, things I observe and, like I said, going through the Vault. Inspiration comes from everywhere and definitely working at the library has an influence on me.”

Recently, Hiller teamed up with Google Hardware Store to design elements of a pop up shop in based in Chicago and New York. “What started out as one email turned into a three-month intensive project. It was a great project to work on, and it’s always a nice complement to library life because it’s quiet here—very orderly and structured—and then at home, my desk is covered with pencils and pencil shavings and I’m drinking coffee and it’s kind of like a disorderly artist studio. The two pair very well together.”

Some of Hiller’s artwork is also currently on display in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as part of new exhibition, curated by the Music Art and Architecture Library & Rare Books and Special Collections to showcase a selection of their 2018 acquisitions.

Learn more about the exhibition and about RBSC on our website.

asks

The Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

 

Starting January 21, 2019, UBC Library users will be able to pick up materials ordered through the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) from any UBC Library branch, including UBC Robson Square and the BC Children’s & Women’s Hospitals (BCCW) Study and Learning Commons, as well as UBC Okanagan Library.

Previously, materials ordered through ASRS have only been available for pickup at the circulation desk of the Music, Art and Architecture Library in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC). After this change goes into effect, you will be able to choose a branch pickup location when you place an ASRS order using the Library’s online catalogue, and retrieve your materials from the circulation desk of your chosen branch.

You can also continue to pick up your ASRS materials from IKBLC by selecting “I.K. BARBER circulation” as your pick up location. If IKBLC is selected as your pick up location, your items will typically be available for pickup within approximately 15 minutes, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday), and after 30 minutes at all other opening hours. For all other Library branches, materials may take up to two full business days before they become available to pick up. Please also take note of your chosen branch’s opening hours, as these may vary.

In the Library catalogue, items that are stored in ASRS can be identified by the Location field.

For items in the Library’s catalogue that are marked “I.K. BARBER LIBRARY ASRS storage (branch use only)” and “XWI7XWA ASRS storage (branch use only)” be aware that these items will be available to pick up from any branch, but they will be used only in the chosen pickup branch and must be returned by the end of the business day.

You can continue to submit all ASRS requests using the Library’s catalogue, and requested materials will be held for 3 days at your chosen pickup location. When you submit your request, you will also now receive an email notifying you that your requested items are available for pickup.

Learn more about Library storage and ASRS on the Borrowing Services website.

Fernando Murillo worked as a Graduate Student Peer for Thesis and Dissertation Support at UBC Library’s Research Commons from September 2017 to July 2018, where he taught workshops and offered one-on-one consults.

He completed his PhD in the Faculty Education at UBC this past summer, and is now looking forward to joining a small, private university in Santiago, Chile, where he will be opening a new line of research on the study of education. From this new position, he will be able to continue the work he started at UBC and have opportunities to collaborate with professors and colleagues from UBC at an official institutional level. 

What were you doing before you came to UBC?

Before I came to UBC I was living in Chile, my home country. There, I worked for the national government in public policy making at the Ministry of Interior. I also worked as a curriculum consultant for a university that was transitioning to a competency-based curriculum. I think that, perhaps, part of that experience helped me in navigating and making decisions about the direction of my doctoral work at UBC.

What has been the most interesting part of your role at UBC Library?

One of the most interesting aspects of my job with UBC library was that it gave me the chance to meet and work with students and faculty from across the university and from so many different fields. You get to hear about work being done in areas you otherwise would have never come across, and one inevitably learns from that exposure.

Did anything surprise you about working for the Library?

Perhaps because of past experiences I always had the image of libraries being very serious and quiet environments. Instead, I felt welcomed into a genuinely caring and thoughtful group of people, and I am thankful that the people at the Research Commons trusted us—sometimes more than we trusted ourselves—to do the job and also try out new ideas.

What advice would you give to new student employees at the Library?

Don´t be afraid to bring your personal experiences to the workshops and one-on-one consultations. One of the reasons why students feel at ease coming to the library for help is because they can ask questions and get answers from their fellow graduate students, without feeling intimidated. Students seeking help can relate a lot better when they see someone approachable and who speaks from personal experience.

The Kelmscott Chaucer
Have you ever been curious about what we do or what we have at Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library (RBSC)? Interested in seeing the famous Kelmscott Chaucer in the flesh or a medieval bible from the 13th Century?
 
Join our weekly open house/hands-on show-and-tell for an introduction to our space and our unique materials and collections every Wednesday at 11 a.m.
 
The event is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. No need to RSVP, just drop in to learn what RBSC is all about. 
 
Rare Books and Special Collections is located on the 1st floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver campus.
 
For more information or to book visits for classes or large groups, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-0645 or rare.books@ubc.ca.
 
All classes should be booked at least a week in advance. No backpacks, overcoats, food, drink or pens are allowed in the seminar room. Lockers are provided.
Rare Book and Special Collections Tour

The ASRS is currently experiencing service delays due to a power interruption. Please call the IKBLC circulation desk at (604) 822-8149 before picking up material.

 

On behalf of everyone at UBC Library, we wish you the very best during this holiday season. Thank you to all of our library patrons, supporters, and colleagues who have helped us achieve so much this year. I invite you to watch our animated video below where we have illustrated some of our physical branches to give you a glimpse of the many locations across our library system. All of our locations, departments, and units do incredible work to make this library truly exceptional.

Take a look through some of our highlights from the last fiscal year in our 2017/18 annual report.

I hope to see you in 2019!

 

 

Susan E. Parker
University Librarian

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will be closed from Friday, December 28 through Saturday, December 29, 2018 due to a health and safety requirement while the fire alarm control panels are replaced, as part of scheduled maintenance.

The building is expected to reopen at 6 a.m. on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

David Lam Library and the Canaccord Learning Commons (CLC) will be closed from Saturday, December 22, 2018 to Tuesday, January 1, 2019 as the UBC Sauder building will be closed for the holidays.

On December 24, limited support will remain available from staff and librarians at David Lam and CLC via email during the day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by contacting Irene Trebic (irena.trebic@ubc.ca) or Kimberly Fama (kimberly.fama@ubc.ca).

The Library is expected to reopen at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Please refer to the Library Hours and Locations to make alternative plans.

Rendering of the Chapman Learning Commons renovations.

 

The Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) on Level 3 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will be closed for renovations starting Wednesday, December 19, 2018. The Lillooet and Dodson Rooms will not be available to book during this time.

There will be no changes in access to the Music, Art, and Architecture Library and the CLC Help Desk.

The space is expected to reopen in late February / early March, following the midterm break (February 18-22).

Please refer to the Library Hours & Locations to make alternative plans.

 

UBC alumus Lindsay Wong is getting a lot of attention this fall for her new book The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. The gut-wrenching and beguiling memoir details Wong’s coming of age in a dysfunctional Asian family whose members blamed their woes on ghosts and demons when in fact they should have been on anti-psychotic meds. Wong’s story is a witty and touching account of the Asian immigrant experience and a harrowing, honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness. The book was a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Hilary Weston Prize for Non-Fiction.

We spoke with Lindsay about her writing process, her time at UBC’s Creative Writing Program, how she came to find her unmistakable dark, comedic voice as well as her experiences at UBC Library. Spoiler: she was almost hit by lightning in front of the Koerner Library! Read on to learn more.

What inspired you to write your memoir?

I think I fell into memoir, or maybe the genre just grabbed me. Anyway, I blame the sorting hat system in UBC’s Creative Writing Program, where they assign us to classes based on our admissions portfolio. Memoir just felt like a very necessary and painful thing to do (like root canal surgery). Writing the manuscript was a means for me to understand who I was in relation to my family and to make sense of the severe mental illness that surrounded me.

Did you write your memoir for a particular audience?

Mostly, I wrote the memoir for myself, as this would be a book that I would have desperately needed and wanted being CBC (Chinese Born Canadian) growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver.  But I do think that mental illness has never been explicitly addressed in Asian immigrant writing in North America, as it’s such a taboo subject in our culture. I hope all readers, not just Chinese-Canadians, connect to the universal themes of mental illness and dysfunctional family relationships in the book.

Tell us about the statement: “We would eventually learn that we could not run away from ourselves” and why it’s a reoccurring theme throughout the book.

There’s a motif in The Woo-Woo about migration and diaspora and running away. My family flees extreme poverty in Hong Kong, and when they arrive in Canada, they’re always running from ghosts (which represents mental illness and various other issues). My character, too, is always trying to run away from herself, by first running to Honolulu then all the way to New York City. I wanted to show that there was this intergenerational cycle of frenzied physical relocation that almost every member of the family attempts, yet it never works. All the members in my family are always trying to outrun “ghosts”, each other, and themselves. Essentially, the Wongs and their extended kin are trapped.

Can you share how your writing process while at UBC evolved and how your decision to change the tone of your book came about while at Columbia University?

As a younger writer, I was definitely more serious in tone, and I didn’t quite have a sense of humour. I was still finding my voice, and as a writing student, you tend to think that all literary writing has to be serious in order to really matter. When I moved to New York City, there was an emphasis on humour and comedic writing in our workshops, and I think one naturally tends to develop an absurdist point of view in order to survive the subway system in New York City. While I was studying at Columbia, there were also three suicides. It was a difficult and competitive place. Anyway, once I allowed my subconsciousness to flow, I was able to find my voice, and the writing came naturally.

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

I only wrote 1-2 character sketches about my grandmother and my aunt while I was a UBC Creative Writing student, so most of my research was done through phone or in-person interviews. I did not need to use the library’s resources for the memoir at the time. But I did use the printer and photocopier every few days, especially during graduate school application season. I broke the printer at Koerner Library trying to print out my application for Oxford and I was later wait-listed. Does that count as a library resource? (Our answer: Yes, it absolutely does! Learn more about UBC Library’s Pay for Print services.)

Did you have a favourite study spot at UBC Library while you were a student here?

I’d find an empty corner to study at Koerner Library in one of the quiet upper levels or sometimes I’d write my essays in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and drink 3-5 chai lattes in Ike’s cafe. Those lemon poppy seed muffins were addictive. True story: I was almost struck by lightning right outside of Koerner Library!  It was around 10 p.m., I had a first-year Women’s Studies paper due the next day, and I was leaving the library to make the long trek back to Totem Park. All of a sudden, I was blinded by very hot, intense white light and knocked backwards. I landed on my butt a few feet away and my skin and hair felt fried!  It was all very weird and confusing, but then I saw lightning splashing everywhere. I survived.

Follow Lindsay’s writing on her website.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library

Info:

604.822.6375

Renewals: 

604.822.3115
604.822.2883
250.807.9107

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia

Spam prevention powered by Akismet