map of vancouver

1983 Land Use: City of Vancouver,” from the Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department Land Use Maps collection, courtesy of UBC Library’s Digital Collections.


In this month’s issue of LibFOCUS, the focus is on campus and urban planning. We celebrate the groundbreaking of a new Library facility, award a book prize for a bio of a renowned local architect, provide walking tours and explore land use maps from decades past. 

Paddle created by Keith Point,

Paddle created by Keith Point, of the Skowkale First Nation in Chilliwack, who also descends from the Musqueam First Nation.

The latest issue of LibFOCUS features Aboriginal (Un)History Month activities – this year’s theme, “Honouring Our Journeys,” celebrates journeys that have been emotional, spiritual and educational; personal, community and institutional; and historic, contemporary or moment-in-time. Highlights includes exhibits at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, book displays at Library branches, online resources and more.

Disaster Print, 1854, from the Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection.

Disaster Print, 1854, from the Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection.


The latest issue of LibFOCUS celebrates the Library’s connections to the community, including the launch of the annual Community Report and a listing of Asian Heritage Month activities. Highlights include Preservation Week’s personal histories, a new exhibition of illustrated historical menus, a screening of the documentary Passage of Dreams: the Chung Collection and more.


Welcome to UBC Library’s fourth annual Community Report, which highlights some of the inspiring and innovative ways that UBC Library has engaged students, staff, and community and faculty members during the past year. The theme guiding this issue is sustainability, one of the central issues of our time. As the UBC Sustainability site notes, “Sustainability at UBC isn’t just a word to define – it’s a term that defines us and how we interact with the world.”

Sustainability is also a key commitment in Place and Promise, UBC’s strategic plan – and we wanted to show some of the ways that the Library is supporting economic, environmental and social sustainability at the University. Our efforts include contributions to Better World Books, physical and digital preservation programs, digitization projects on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, a technology training program for international students, and initiatives that support open and unfettered access to knowledge.

In the spirit of sustainability and engagement, the Community Report is being published solely online – we encourage you to post comments and share our stories.

Enjoy – and let the conversation begin!

Anne Lama, UBC Library’s Conservator (left) and Chelsea Shriver, Student Librarian, prepare for a book exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections.
Credit: Martin Dee


Anne Lama may be a Conservator at UBC Library – but you could also call her the book doctor. “We have the same goal,” says Lama, comparing herself to a physician. “Preserve our patients from disease, and limit medication and surgery, if it is possible.”

Since arriving at UBC in 2013 after a decade-long stint at the National Archives in France, Lama has been developing a comprehensive preservation and conservation strategy to safeguard the Library’s vast physical collections. That’s no small task, given the challenges of working with finite materials. Paper and cardboard, after all, degrade. Leather covers dry out. Aging newsprint turns yellow and eventually disintegrates.

In response, Lama has been busy training staff across the Library system in preservation and mending techniques. She’s also worked with Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives to ensure a high level of collections care, and planned a range of public and staff-related activities to celebrate Preservation Week, an annual spring event. A top priority moving forward is the establishment of a conservation lab in Woodward Library.

“Anne’s contributions are already making a huge difference in terms of staff training, programs and the development of facilities for conservation,” says Alvan Bregman, Head of Technical Services.

The need to preserve collections for generations of scholars, researchers, students and lifelong learners also extends to the digital realm (indeed, managing collections in a digital context is one of the Library’s key directions in its strategic plan). Dizzying changes in formats and software can make it difficult to keep electronic assets – ranging from e-books to archival items – from disappearing into the digital ether.

In response, UBC Library began formulating its digital preservation strategy in 2011. Since then, it has worked with Artefactual Systems, a Metro Vancouver company, on an open source digital preservation system to help ensure that University publications, databases, theses, data sets and other types of digital collections endure.

The Library is also involved in other initiatives, including a collaborative project with Simon Fraser University and the University of Alberta that could lead to a Western Canadian preservation “backbone” and, ultimately, a national digital preservation network.


Join the conversation: The Library also depends on its users to help care for its collections. What steps can you take to ensure that Library materials are maintained for generations to come?

image of bridge

The Alexander Suspension Bridge, from the Uno Langmann Collection.

The latest issue of LibFOCUS highlights special collections and unique resources, including photo collections, rare books and maps. Highlights include the recently donated Uno Langmann Collection of B.C. Photographs, a tribute to longtime Library employee and supporter Suzanne Dodson, and more.


image of humpback whale

Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, taken by Jennifer Rae Kinyak, courtesy of the Phylo Project.

The latest issue of LibFOCUS looks at research in various forms, from games and films to books and webcasts. 


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