UBC students, faculty and staff now have remote access to more than 80 UBC Library computer workstations for academic instructional use. Users can connect, using CWL and password to desktop computers in four UBC Library labs.

Access to these workstations, which include PCs and Macs, is especially critical to those who require specialized software and high-performing machines to pursue their research.

“It is hugely impactful for students to be able to access high power machines that they likely wouldn’t be able to access or afford otherwise — especially at this time,” says Eka Grguric, Digital Scholarship Librarian, “Access to the right tools at the right time is critical to student success.” 

Among the computers available are the seventeen powerful machines located in the Digital Scholarship Lab in the UBC Library Research Commons which boast a comprehensive list of specialty software. “Even providing access to something like Oxygen XML editor is a show of support to under-resourced projects on campus that are used to provisioning their own tools,” she adds.

Evan Thornberry, Map and GIS Librarian is pleased that students now have access to the six computers located in the GIS Lab in the Research Commons. “Many of the software available on these computers cannot be easily provisioned on personal computers. With the virtual machines, we are able to provide access to specialized proprietary software like Esri’s ArcGIS 24 hours a day.”

Users can also gain access to more than 40 Mac public computer workstations and nearly 200 PC public computer workstations across several library branches.

“Being a student is difficult enough with the challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has introduced to the new academic year.  Providing remote access to library computer labs allows us to honour the library’s strategic direction to provide technology-rich spaces that enable experimentation and encourage creative approaches for our faculty and students,” says Allan Bell, Associate University Librarian, Digital Programs and Services.

Access remote computers at UBC Library.

Learn more about the software available in the UBC Library Research Commons’ Data/GIS Lab.

Learn more about the software available in the UBC Library Research Commons’ Digital Scholarship Lab*

Learn more about the software available in the Woodward Library lab.

*Due to licensing restrictions, Adobe Creative Cloud software is not available remotely.

As of September 15, 2020, UBC Library is eliminating daily overdue fines on books, journals and audio-visual (AV) materials for all library users. This policy shift will help users make the most of the library’s extensive physical collections without the added worry of incurring fees on items that aren’t in immediate demand.

Due to COVID-19, it is currently not possible to borrow Course Reserve loans, Interlibrary loans, and electronics such as laptops and other equipment from the library; however, when loans for these high-demand items resume, overdue fees will continue to apply.

Fines for materials that are overdue and have a recall placed on them will remain. Fines on recalled items start the day the item is overdue, not the day the recall was placed. Fines for materials deemed lost will also remain in effect.

For books, journals and AV materials that are not listed as Course Reserves, library users will receive an email reminder three days prior to the item’s due date. An overdue notice will be sent by email after one day and again at 7 days overdue. No fees will accumulate during this time. Once an item is 28 days overdue, it will be deemed lost and a lost charge notice will be sent. If the item is returned, the lost charge will be dropped.

For more details on the new fee structure, please visit the library’s Loan Policies and Fines webpage.

The space will be available Monday-Saturday, include access to desktop computers, printing and scanning and be organized to ensure safe physical distancing at all times.
UBC Library’s annual Senate Report (2019/20) is now available. Read our highlights from the past fiscal year which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, creating and delivering responsive collections, inspiring with innovative spaces and services, and stewarding the organization.
GIScience is a new UBC Library Research Commons workshop series (July 30 to August 14) for graduate students who want to develop their digital scholarship skills.

As part of our efforts to make our collections more easily accessible during this time, UBC Library is excited to announce our participation in the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS).

Through this service, UBC students, faculty and staff will have access to nearly 750,000 digitized items from UBC Library’s print collections, as well as continued access to more than 6.7 million public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries that provides access to a digital preservation repository with lawful access to more than 17 million digitized items. Earlier this spring, HathiTrust introduced its Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which allows students, faculty, and staff from eligible member libraries to have online reading access to materials that are physically unavailable due to restrictions accessing print collections during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service is a huge benefit for UBC Students and Faculty continuing their research and studies, providing digital access to approximately 750K items held in UBC Library’s print collections unavailable anywhere else,” says Sheldon Armstrong, UBC Library’s Associate University Librarian, Collections.

How does this service work?

  • Only those books that HathiTrust has verified as belonging to UBC Library’s print collections will be accessible through the service.
  • While the ETAS is operational, physical copies of UBC Library books held in ETAS will not be available for order through UBC Library’s Materials Pick-up service. The number of copies available through HathiTrust for each book coincides with the number of print copies UBC Library owns in its print collections.
  • When checking out an item, users will have 60 minutes of access to the book during any session. If users remain active in the book during any session, access time will be extended.
  • HathiTrust enables reading access to the book online, within a web browser. Books checked out through HathiTrust cannot be downloaded in full; however, individual pages may be downloaded.
  • Only UBC Library students, faculty, and staff are permitted access to eligible items when logged-in to HathiTrust.
  • Once access to UBC Library’s print collections is fully reinstated, access to in-copyright materials through this service will end.

How to access the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

  • The Library has incorporated HathiTrust ETAS links to digitized copies of print titles into its catalogue.
  • Click on the orange Online Access button in a record for an item, this will lead to a CWL Authentication login page. Once the login is successful (duo authentication is required), the user will proceed to the title in HathiTrust ETAS.
  • Click on either “Catalog Record” or “Temporary Access.”
    • If more than one volume or copy has been digitized, “Catalog Record” will need to be clicked first. From the following screen click on “Temporary Access” (the Institution where the digital copy was created will be listed).
    • If only one item has been digitized, “Temporary Access” appears right away, and you can click there immediately.
  • From the next screen a yellow banner at the top of the screen will read “Access to this work is provided throught the Emergency Temporary Access Service.
  • Click the “Check Out” button.


  • From anywhere on the HathiTrust website, click the yellow LOG IN
  • Find and select “University of British Columbia” in the list of partner institutions.
  • Log in with your CWL login and password.
  • When you have successfully logged in, you will be returned to the HathiTrust website.
  • Enter your search terms in the search bar and select the “Search HathiTrust” button to submit your search.

Get started by visiting the HathiTrust website now. If you have questions about the service or require support, please contact Sheldon Armstrong (sheldon.armstrong@ubc.ca).

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

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

The Library has launched an on-campus pick-up service to enable UBC students, faculty and staff to access items in the collection that are not available in electronic formats.

UBC Library’s Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) has been busy creating new and innovative resources for UBC students to access online. Located in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Chapman Learning Commons puts an emphasis on peer-led, student-driven initiatives and shared-decision making. Through their programs and services, they strive to enrich academic support and enhance the experience of all UBC students.

Get the support you need through one of the following new services.

Practice for your online exams

With exam time fast approaching, the CLC has released a new self-enrollment course for UBC students who want to practice taking different types of online exams. The CLC’s Exam Prep Canvas Course is available to all students through self-enrollment through Canvas.

Become familiar with Proctorio, Lockdown Browser, Webwork and more to feel confident with online exam technology, just in time for the start of exams. CLC Online Assistants will also be available to help with pre-exam tech checks and troubleshooting.

Enroll for the course on Canvas.

Get help with your academic support questions

The CLC Online Assistants are trained peers ready to help answer student questions about academic support, learning technologies and online exams (including Canvas, Collaborate Ultra, Zoom, and more). They are available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm through email and video chat.

Reach out with your questions.

Register for Learning Skills Workshops

In June, the CLC launched a new online workshop series for students that offers skills training for the online learning environment. The series covers topics like finding work-life balance while remote learning, giving group presentations online, time management best practices, and developing online communication skills.

New dates are being added throughout the summer, so check back often.

Sign up for a workshop.

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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