David Lam Library and the Canaccord Learning Commons (CLC) will be closed from Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4 p.m. to Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at 10 a.m. for upgrades to the front area carpets.

The Library and Learning Commons are expected to reopen at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 25, 2019.

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

Woodward Library will be undergoing space improvements from Tuesday, February 19, 2019 through Friday, February 22, 2019. These improvements will result in furniture refreshment on levels 2 and 3 and space improvements on level 1.

There will be significant noise disruptions on Levels 1 through 3 during this time, and library users are encouraged to use the study spaces on the Garden Level. Access to the library’s collections, information desk and computer lab will remain available. 

The Library is expected to be fully accessible at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Please refer to the Library Hours and Locations to find additional study spaces across campus.

Three years ago, Wendy Traas moved from Toronto, where she worked as a Liaison Librarian at the University of Toronto Mississauga, to Vancouver to take on the role of Reference Librarian at UBC’s Education Library. “BC is beautiful, and I really wanted to live somewhere beautiful. It was also the perfect role for me. I felt like Education was a great fit for what I had done before, because I’d also worked at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.”

At UBC, she works primarily with the teacher candidates who come through the Faculty of Education, as well as graduate students and educational researchers. “We do a lot of instruction in the library. In the orientation sessions that we run, students come into the library, and we want to get them immersed in our collections and give them a chance to explore what we’ve got.”

One of the most interesting parts of her role, she says, involves working closely with other educators and picking up new instructional strategies and ways to use emerging technologies. “This place is rich for those kinds of experiences and I really get recharged just hearing about other academics’ work and other fun and innovative projects.”

This year, she was able to use augmented reality (AR) as part of the Education Library’s instructional programs by setting up with unique AR targets designed to engage students in key collections and resources. The project was a successful collaboration between the Chapman Learning Commons, iSchool, and the Education Library.

“We’re also excited about community engagement with the library,” says Wendy, referring to innovative programs like the Seed Library and the Young Learner’s Library (YLL).  The Education Library is in process of developing the YLL into a flexible, multi-purpose area that addresses both a need to support joint Library/ Faculty of Education programming as well as a need to have a space that is welcoming and appropriate for local caregivers and kids. As it continues to develop, in both physical features and programming, it will also serve as a model for teacher candidates of what a contemporary school library learning commons could look like, as well as opportunities for rich learning experiences for iSchool GAAs with an interest in Children’s Librarianship as well as alternative practicum placements for Education students.

Although Wendy isn’t new to UBC anymore, she has plenty of helpful advice to any librarians who are just coming on board. “New hires should get in touch with all the other new librarians because they should know that they’re not alone,” she says, adding that she appreciates the support network that exists at UBC.

Learn more about the Education Library’s initiatives.

Wendy Traas is one of UBC Library’s 2018 Employee Recognition Award winners, receiving the Innovation Award for her outstanding work. Read more about the awards and this year’s recipients.

Experience history at the tip of your pencil crayons with our new 'Mythical Creatures' themed digital colouring book.

For a 24-hour period beginning on Friday, February 8th at 5:00 pm (PST), the following discovery services will be unavailable:

UBC Library’s third-party discovery provider is moving these services to a new data centre. UlrichsWeb will also be down for the same time period.

The Catalogue and the Summon discovery service will continue to function, but linking will only work for results that point directly to the item on the Provider’s site. Results pointing to the Citation Linker / UBC eLink will not work.

Users who encounter a problem with the Citation Linker or the eJournal Portal during this time, are encouraged to look for a Resource Page under the “Indexes & Databases” tab on the Library Homepage that points to the publisher’s or the database site. Please note that not every publisher or database has a Resource page. Users can also use direct article links on Google Scholar during this time, but not UBC eLink.

For additional assistance, please contact your nearest library branch, or report the problem via the Help Form. Reports sent through the Help Form will be sent a response the following week after the outage.

Apologies for the temporary inconvenience.

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.


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.

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