Recommendations by UBC Librarians

In light of this challenging time, we have compiled recommendations from a handful of UBC librarians for you to watch, read and listen from home. The resources can all be found in UBC Library’s online collections.

National Film Board picks

UBC Library NFB Campus recommendations

UBC Library’s National Film Board (NFB) Campus is a favourite film archive of Evan Thornberry, GIS Librarian at Koerner Library, and Sara Ellis, Art Librarian at the Music, Art and Architecture Library. “One of the most genuinely Canadian films I found was Helicopter Canada,” says Evan, reminiscing about his move to Canada, “For those of you who want to go back in time to 1966 and take a narrated flight across Canada, this is your movie”.

On April 22, Sara celebrated National Canadian Film Day by travelling back in time through a series of short films from NFB Campus. Her favourites include: Begone Dull Care (1949), Neighbours (1952), Lines Horizontal (1962) and Flamenco at 5:15 (1983).

Indigenous literature and film

UBC Library Indigenous literature and film recommendations

Sara Ellis, Art Librarian recommends Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013), “It is just as easy to immerse yourself in chapters on eating wild strawberries and leeks, as it is to read about how lichen grows on rocks or how estuaries can be restored to support the return of wild salmon populations,” she says.

Karleen Lyle-Delaurier, Information Services Librarian at Xwi7xwa Library, is also taking this time to explore Indigenous history through Daniel Heath Justice’s Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. “This book gave me a chance to explore history, identity, place, sexuality, time and so much more through the author’s articulation of how these concepts relate to Indigenous literature,” she says.

Rhymes for young ghouls / Les Films Seville present a Prospector Films production; a Jeff Barnaby Film, is serious as it should be given the topics it touches on, but leaves room for humour and love and I finally get to see an Indigenous female lead,” shares Karleen.

Family-friendly picks

UBC Library family-friendly recommendations

“If you are a Totoro fan, you might enjoy Mirai of the Future, “ says Tomoko Kitayama Yen, Japanese Language Librarian at Asian Library, “The reason why I loved the famous animated film, Our Neighbor Totoro, was I so enjoyed the little girl, Mei. This film features a four-year old boy, and is supposed to have described the child extremely well. I haven’t watched this yet, but I will very soon!”

From outdoor science experiments to infographics of the solar system and picture books, Wendy Traas, Acting head of the Education Library, shares three of her favourite family-bonding resources:

Looking for more recommendations? UBC Librarians are here to help.

 

As the UBC community transitions online courses and a period of remote work due to the COVID-19 situation, UBC librarians and library staff have been working to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are getting the support they need to continue their research, teaching and learning while physical locations are closed.

Increase in demand for support from subject librarians

UBC subject librarians, who are available via email and for online consultations, have seen an increase in demand for support. For Bianca Chui, a UBC History honours student in her third year, Japanese Studies Librarian, Tomoko Kitayama Yen was particularly helpful in helping to find resources for research, “Librarians are like wizards in finding information – I was struggling to do research on a project and Tomoko was so helpful in helping me to comb one of the databases. Librarians have also helped answer my questions about returning books during this time and about resources available for streaming through the AskAway chat app and I am very grateful to them for their help.”

Librarians supporting students, faculty and staff in the Medical and Allied Health Sciences are seeing an increase in demand for their expertise as researchers move away from lab or practice-based research to systematic and literature reviews. Librarians are also working to provide asynchronous and synchronous lectures to support research courses which have been moved ahead in the academic year.

Providing timely support to make course materials available online

As courses transition online, the library is providing support in making course materials available through the Library Online Course Reserves system, which is integrated with Canvas, ensuring appropriate copyright considerations and licensing permissions.

Dr. Kim Snowden, Instructor at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice utilized library support while transitioning her classes online. “I had to scramble to find readings that would normally be found in a course pack and to find online media to stream. The library has been so fast in helping me get those materials online and providing guidance about what I can do in terms of copyright, which can be a minefield.” Dr. Snowden is also exploring alternative Open Access options for course materials, “Erin Fields (Liaison Librarian and Flexible Learning Coordinator) has helped me to think a little differently about accessibility and pivoting into blended learning in my classes.  The support has been enormously helpful and I don’t think I could function without the upkeep that is happening behind the scenes at the library to ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Transitioning to online programming

Both the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication and the Research Commons are now offering online programming, from one-on-one consultations to workshops and webinars. “We are seeing a huge surge in attendance in our online workshops,” says Eugene Barsky, Head, Research Commons. “We have gone from an average of about 10 attendees per workshop to about 60.” UBC students and researchers can take advantage of workshops on developing foundational digital and computer literacy skills to mastering Data Analysis and management software tools.

The Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication continues to offer online one-on-one writing consultations and workshops and has launched two new online writing communities to help mitigate social isolation and help the UBC community stay motivated and connected. Every week, students, researchers and faculty gather for a few hours to write alone—together.

Increase in demand for web archiving and deposits into cIRcle

As information on the COVID-19 situation floods our online environment, librarians in Digital Initiatives are working with researchers to identify sources of web content that are important to retain for research purposes. This includes health, news, and policy information for communities throughout British Columbia as well as information specific to the UBC community.

There has also been a significant increase in requests to deposit material into cIRcle, UBC’s digital repository for research and teaching materials. For, Dr. Benjamin Cheung a Lecturer at UBC’s Department of Psychology and faculty supervisor to the Psychology Student Association’s Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, cIRcle has allowed him to help students showcase their research during this unprecedented time. “PURC is a major annual event and features the work of almost 100 students,” he explains, “We’re immensely proud of all the work they have done and wanted to find a way to showcase it. Many of them are applying for grad school and so cancelling the physical conference meant that some presenters were concerned about its implications for listing the event on their CV.” 

Cheung reached out to his subject librarian Sheryl Adams and connected with Tara Stephen-Kyte, Digital Repository Librarian who facilitated the depositing into cIRcle. “Making the research available through cIRcle means that it has a DOI (Digital object identifier) and this allows students to include it on a CV so that adjudicators are able to access and evaluate it,” says Chung who plans to incorporate this as part of PURC moving forward, “Without Sheryl and Tara’s guidance, there is no way I or the PSA would have figured this out on our own.”

Working to supplement the library’s robust electronic collections

While physical branches are temporarily closed, making the print collection inaccessible, the library is working to source electronic versions of print materials for teaching and research to supplement its already robust e-collections. “We have been moving towards an e-preferred model for ebooks since 2015 and have been at the forefront in finding workable solutions with publishers,” says Ellen George, Humanities and Social Sciences/Collections (Monographs) and Acquisitions Librarian. “We purchase large e-book packages from some publishers and with others use an Evidence-Based Acquisitions (EBA) demand or patron driven acquisition model which provides access to a deep collection of content and allows us to purchase e-books based on usage data.” The EBA model also enables libraries more control over and knowledge of anticipated costs. “This approach helps us better forecast and plan our budgets,” says Kat McGrath, Renewals & Collections Librarian, “It has also helped us maintain a balance between acquiring e-journals and monographs so that our collections are balanced and cross-disciplinary.”

“The Library has already been investing for some time in many of the tools, resources and services that are helping support the transition to online teaching and learning,” says Dr. Susan E. Parker, University Librarian, “The past weeks have demonstrated how university libraries are prepared to flex in order to support student, faculty and staff in their work during this challenging time.”

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The UBC Library Research Commons has launched Geodisy, an open-source tool that allows users to search online for Canadian research data through map-based discovery. After UBC Library was named the successful recipient for the Research Data Management (RDM) funding call from CANARIE in November 2018, the team at the Research Commons worked in collaboration with partners at UBC Advanced Research Computing (ARC), McMaster University, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, Scholars Portal, University of Saskatchewan, and Portage Network to create a more robust version of their originally proposed federated geospatial data discovery tool.

The resulting software is an innovative solution to a unique problem faced by researchers across disciplines. “There is an increasing demand for geographic components in research, but most repositories allow for only text-based searching. We realized that discovery could be improved by providing a map-based search alternative,” says Mark Goodwin, Geospatial Metadata Coordinator at the Research Commons and core member of the Geodisy team.

“Visualizing data is being recognized as a powerful form of discovery. While map-based search portals are becoming common, most are focused on a particular domain or subject area. Geodisy is intended to be useful to a wide variety of users in different subject areas, including climate change, public health, community development, conservation, or any other research area that is tied to geographic location,” says Eugene Barsky, Principal Investigator for Geodisy and Head of the Research Commons.

Answering more complex research questions in a fraction of the time

As a current doctoral student in the UBC Faculty of Forestry, Ira Sutherland has already found Geodisy helpful in his work, which uses GIS and historical analysis to investigate critical sustainability questions. His research focuses on how the historical management of environments in British Columbia have contributed to problems seen today, like wildfires, collapsing salmon stocks and the depletion of First Nations cultural resources. “Compiling large amounts of historical spatial data, as I do, would not be possible without tools like Geodisy and open data initiatives,” says Sutherland. “With increased data availability, researchers like me will be able to answer more complex questions concerning sustainability and do it in a fraction of the time.”

Screenshot of Geodisy results page.

With Geodisy, users can simply adjust the map or draw a box directly it to bring up relevant records in an area of interest. Currently, Geodisy users have access to content from Scholars Portal Dataverse, a publicly accessible data repository platform, which houses data from dozens of Canadian institutions. Thanks to additional funding from Canada’s New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO), the Research Commons will be working with the team at the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) to expand Geodisy’s content and further integrate it with the FRDR national discovery service.

“This impressive tool is an example of one of the many ways UBC Library and academic libraries in general are playing a critical role in the development of a national digital research infrastructure ecosystem,” says Dr. Susan E. Parker, University Librarian. “Through our work with bodies like the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) and The Portage Network, the library and the expertise we offer is making a deep impact in the Canadian post-secondary research landscape.”

Get started using Geodisy by visiting geo.frdr.ca or download the software from UBC Library GitHub. You can also learn more about the benefits of Geodisy through an upcoming webinar, hosted by Portage Network. Register now for “Introduction to Geodisy an Open-source Spatial Discovery Platform” on May 5, 2020, at 10 a.m. (PDT).

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

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UBC Library users now have access to more than 5,000 books that offer historical perspectives on sex, sexuality and gender through Part III of Gale’s ‘Archives of Sexuality and Gender’. Complementing the recently-acquired LGBTQ History and culture since 1940, the digital archive contains nearly one million pages of unique and rare content that was previously banned and provides a window into how sexuality and gender roles were viewed and how they evolved over centuries.

Part III of the archive includes three unique collections:

The British Library’s Private Case Collection comprised of printed books that were originally held separately from the Library’s main reference collection from the 1850s to 1990 on grounds of obscenity.      

The Kinsey Institute for Sex Research Collection – Special Subjects Units from Sex Research: Early Literature from Statistics to Erotica:  This collection is a portion of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey’s original library, which he used to study human sexual behavior from multiple perspectives.   

New York Academy of Medicine Collection: A collection of rare and unique books covering a variety of subjects from sex education to erotica, manners to medicine.

The material in the archive covers a wide array of fields, providing multiple perspectives in research areas such as medicine, biology, anthropology, law, the classics, art and erotic literature.

New opportunities for teaching and research

Dr. Joy Dixon, Associate Professor and Associate Head of UBC’s Department of History is thrilled about what access to this collection means for her research. “My own work on the history of religion and sexuality in late 19C and early 20C Britain is given an enormous boost by access to the Private Case materials in this collection – there are a whole series of rare pamphlets in there that aren’t accessible anywhere else. Chapman Cohen’s 1909 Sex and Religion: studies in the pathology of religious development is one of the texts I am really looking forward to working my way through.”

She’s also excited by what access to the collection means for UBC students: “The collection offers incredible resources for students, and allow us to see how the understanding of sexuality has changed over time. There are materials in all the collections that would make a wonderful basis for an honours thesis or a primary source analysis/research paper.” 

Keith Bunnell, Reference and Collections Librarian, Humanities & Social Sciences Division echoes this excitement, “Because this resource is now offered by UBC, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria means that is it now opened up to all British Columbians,” says Bunnell “Everyone in BC can access this material regardless of academic affiliation.”

Explore Archives of Sexuality & Gender, Part III.

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

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

 

Resources and services for UBC Library users

As the UBC campus community transitions to online classes, UBC Library offers expert help and many services that library users can access online. We encourage you to take advantage of these services, listed below.

Current students, faculty and staff should review off-campus access using EZproxy protocols before trying to connect to any of the library’s online resources from off-campus. Computers using a UBC wired or wireless network connection are automatically authenticated. 

Online Resources

General searching – When searching for books, journals and more, the library’s Summon search tool provides information about articles, books, journals and other materials held by UBC Library.

Books and Media – Find e-books, government reports, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, maps, musical scores, microforms, and more in the Library Catalogue.

Indexes and Databases – Find databases by subject or via an A–Z list.

Journals – Search titles and abbreviations of journals subscribed to electronically by the UBC Library and access links to the full text.

Open Collections – Search digital resources created and maintained by UBC Library, including photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more.

If you are experiencing difficulty accessing online resources please contact us.

Renew Materials

Renew materials online – Renew books and more through your MyAccounts page. Should you have trouble renewing your loans or have any questions regarding fines, please contact us via the Assistance Form. Note that the library has cancelled late fees from March 16 until the situation changes.

Librarian Consultations

Subject librarians with expertise in specific areas are available to UBC students and instructors for consultations. Once you identify a librarian, you can schedule an appointment with them via email.

Not sure which subject librarian to contact? Contact your branch by email and we’ll point you in the right direction:

David Lam Library: lam.ref@ubc.ca

Biomedical Branch Library: bmb.library@ubc.ca

Education Library: ed.lib@ubc.ca

Koerner Library: hssd.library@ubc.ca

Law Library: law.library@ubc.ca

Music, Art and Architecture: maa.library@ubc.ca

Rare Books and Special Collections: rare.books@ubc.ca

Research Commons: research.commons@ubc.ca

Woodward Library: wd.ref@ubc.ca

Xwi7xwa Library: xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca 

Research Help

Research Guides – Search subject and course guides that compile useful databases, digital library collections, and research strategies.

Find useful information to help you get started with your research, including a library skills tutorial, assignment calculators, information on academic integrity, writing support, skills for class and life, and more.

You can use our chat service, AskAway. The chat service is staffed by UBC Library, but at peak service times or off-hours, you may be connected with a librarian from another academic library.

Ask for library help using the online reference assistance form appropriate to your campus: Vancouver and Okanagan.

Rare Books & Special Collections, UBC Archives and the Records Management Office (RMO) will be closed Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

RBSC librarians and archivists will be working remotely and may still be able to assist with reference questions submitted  through the RBSC contact form or by sending an email to rare.books@ubc.ca or to a specific librarian or archivist. Inquiries for University Archives can be sent through the contact form. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

UBC.ca continues to be the most up-to-date and authoritative source of information about the University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Student using walkstation

 

The Chapman Learning Commons has added a walk station to its active workstation located on Level 3 of IKBLC. The new treadmill desk is a pilot project created in collaboration with UBC Recreation. It is a welcome addition to the two stationary bikes and an adjustable-height desk.

The active workstation is well-used by UBC students. Since their introduction, the stationary bikes have clocked more than 1000 kilometers per month. “It is encouraging to see the uptake on the active workstations in IKBLC,” says Julie Mitchell, “they have been used almost non-stop since we installed them.”

Given the popularity of the active workstation bikes in IKBLC (a SEEDS project), UBC Library and UBC Rec partnered to purchase a treadmill desk to add another active workstation option in the Learning Centre. “The Office of Physical Activity within UBC Recreation works to reduce sedentary behavior and get people moving on campus,” says Alyssa Reyes, Manager, Physical Activity at UBC Recreation, Our desire to contribute to providing students with tools that meet their needs and lowers barriers is what spurred the collaboration with the library. Physical activity can come in a variety of ways and we want to help show others that sometimes movement can come in unconventional ways!”

Student using walkstation

UBC student Feyannie Hung gets moving on the new walkstation. Learn about her experience trying the walk station for the first time on our Instagram Stories.

The project addresses UBC priorities around wellbeing and active living, while also providing a direct way to enhance the student learning experience at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and will serve as a prototype for future active workstation initiatives on campus.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to inspire with innovative spaces and services.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

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