The conclusion of University Librarian Ingrid Parent’s presidency of IFLA and an update on the LibQUAL survey are highlighted in the Fall 2013 issue of the CPSLD Newsletter

Other news covers the digitization of Canada’s oldest feminist periodical, the acquisition of the oldest book in UBC Library’s collections and more.

The Library’s submission begins on page 29 of the newsletter, which is published on behalf of the Council of Post Secondary Library Directors, British Columbia.

Ingrid ParentIt has been an exciting year at UBC Library, and I am pleased to share a few highlights with you. Much of our work provides us with an opportunity to connect, learn and grow with our users and community partners. Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.

The Library continues to advance in the digital world, thanks to the digitization of several important collections. In the spring, the Irving K. Barber learning Centre announced a grant for the B.C. Aboriginal Audio Digitization and Preservation Program, an important initiative that assists B.C. Indigenous organizations in converting audio cassette tapes for preservation and access. On the opposite end of the spectrum is one of the oldest items in our collection, a medieval manuscript book recently acquired by the Library that provides research and learning opportunities for students and scholars.

Changing campus needs regarding teaching and learning guide the direction of UBC Library, and it was with great excitement that we partnered with the Faculty of Education to launch UBC’s first LOOC. Other changing user needs informed decisions to consolidate services into one-stop service points, as well as renovate key spaces in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. 

Recognizing the achievements of researchers, scholars and community members brings us great satisfaction, and so I was pleased this year to present the inaugural winner of the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on B.C. The Library also awarded the fourth annual UBC Library Innovative Dissemination of Research Award, and four students received GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Awards.  

It was a busy year for the Library’s community involvement, both at the local and international level. I was honoured to have served as the first Canadian president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). My presidency, which concluded this year, provided me with an opportunity to showcase UBC and Canadian accomplishments to the world, and to bring international learnings back to the campus. We were happy to host the 2013 Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance Annual Meeting at UBC Library, and welcome several international visitors throughout the year, including City University (London), Copenhagen Business School and Shanghai Municipal Archives. 

I was appreciative of the opportunity to host a book and film launch in celebration of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, and to recognize one of our most generous supporters. This exceptional collection is one example of the extraordinary resources available to Library users and community partners.

Finally, UBC Library once again partnered with the UBC Alma Mater Society to deliver the 11th annual Food For Fines Campaign. The program raises funds for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and UBC’s AMS Food Bank to support disadvantaged members of the community. I am grateful for the continued generosity of Library users in supporting this important program. 

Best wishes to you throughout the holiday season, and a very Happy New Year.


Ingrid Parent

University Librarian

University of British Columbia


Photo: Martin Dee

A pioneering offering from the Faculty of Education and UBC Library is enabling UBC students, staff and faculty to hone their digital literacy skills.

The two units have introduced the University’s first LOOC, or local open online course, as part of UBC’s Master of Educational Technology program. This course, called M101, helps users “acquire, maintain, refine and promote” digital literacy skills. These are grouped into topics including Mining (research), Meshing (idea creation) and Mobilizing (generating value from information and knowledge).

The LOOC is open to all members of the UBC community who have a campus wide login (CWL). M101 is self-paced, and users can build their skills in any area, and in any order, that they wish.

As the name suggests, a LOOC is a localized form of a MOOC – or massive open online course. MOOCs have been a big topic in online education recently; indeed, UBC’s first MOOC – which it launched in January 2013 with Stanford University – attracted more than 130,000 registrants. “A LOOC is a way of attaching this phenomenon of massive learning to a well-defined peer community,” explains David Vogt, Graduate Advisor for the MET program. He adds that the project could be expanded to all B.C. post-secondary campuses in the future.

Vogt feels that the LOOC effort is a good fit with UBC’s flexible learning initiative, which focuses on technology-enabled learning. “A lot of flexible learning has to do with the University’s understanding of how it can be flexible,” says Vogt. “I see this from the other side – how do we enable our learners to be more flexible?”

The project received a grant from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund in spring 2013. Work began in April, and the LOOC was opened to co-authors of content, including UBC librarians, in July. The first set of students from the MET program will be able to contribute as of this September. “The idea is that we’ll get all of these online graduate students in education offering content for the LOOC as a fundamental part of their learning experience,” says Vogt, also the Director of Innovation Strategy for UBC’s MAGIC lab.

Nicole Christen, a MET student who is researching adult participation in online communities, looks forward to being a project participant and contributor. “The main benefit of this particular LOOC is its ability to be regenerative and remain current, in terms of content, through student participation,” she says.

Vogt hopes that M101 will eventually offer online “badges, ” which would mark another first for UBC (badges can be used to recognize a learner’s new or enhanced skill set). And that could prove to be a powerful incentive. “In this age where employers of all kinds are really looking for added value from new employees, digital literacy knowledge and skills are going to be a slam dunk combination,” he predicts.

Erin Fields, UBC Library’s Teaching and Learning Librarian, notes that the LOOC offers benefits for a range of audiences. “The LOOC is providing an experimental space that pushes content creators like librarians to become confident in the immediacy of information creation and co-creation,” she says. “For students and the UBC community, the LOOC is filling a large information gap. It provides education in an area that isn’t currently addressed in a campus-wide way, and allows for the community to engage in information and conversations about social network technologies while growing digital skills.”

Fields, who has organized a group of six UBC librarians to develop LOOC content, is excited about the initiative’s potential. “This is a huge benefit for UBC Library, as it allows us to partner in a truly forward-thinking project,” she says. “It opens a discussion that may not have been possible before now.”



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