Without the Library is a student profile series, that welcomes the unique stories of UBC students and showcases how the Library helps shape their academic success and campus experience.

UBC Library has undertaken a series of stakeholder surveys and consultations to update our strategic plan. These have resulted in the UBC Library Strategic Plan (2015 – 2017). The Library’s plan is informed by Place and Promise: The UBC Plan and by the needs and views of the diverse communities we serve. 

We invite you to explore the Goals and Key Actions of our plan through each of the five strategic directions.


Over the past five years UBC Library has aligned our priorities with current and future trends. Check out our Community Report: Year 5 for an update on our transformation in discovery, learning, collaboration and research. 

Stories reflect key milestones resulting from the Library’s five-year Strategic Plan (2010 – 2015). Find out how the Library is:

Students studying


The July issue of LibFOCUS, UBC Library’s e-Newsletter, highlights the third annual Community Report. The report features stories related to our five key strategic directions; video introductions from David Farrar, Provost and VP Academic, and Ingrid Parent, University Librarian; as well as significant achievements and headlines from the past year.


students studying

UBC Library’s third annual Community Report highlights a busy year as we implemented a Library-wide change management plan and completed our third year of the Library’s Strategic Plan

Our stories this year reflect how these changes impacted our users, communities and staff, and highlight milestones that were achieved as part of our commitment to remain a top North American research library. The report features stories related to our five key strategic directions; video introductions from David Farrar, Provost and VP Academic, and Ingrid Parent, University Librarian; as well as significant achievements and headlines from the past year.

This year we have produced an online-only publication. Browse the report, explore the infographics, watch the videos and enjoy.


Community Report | Year 3 


Questions or comments? Submit feedback to library.communications@ubc.ca.


@UBC Library Twitter

At a library research conference last November, presenter Willie Miller discussed his study that focused on the use of Twitter by members of the Associated Research Libraries (ARL). Miller examined the most successful accounts in terms of engagement, and ranked @UBCLibrary – managed by the Library’s Communications and Marketing team – as one of the top three influential accounts in North America. UBC Library was the only Canadian institution in the study’s top 10 list.

View the presentation at “ARL Klout study: significance of Twitter in academic libraries” and learn more by visiting the conference website (2012 IUPUI University Library and School of Information and Library Science Joint Research Conference – Indiana University). 

Read more from UBC Library’s Community Report (2013).


Student reading

A student enjoys the Great Reads collection at Koerner Library.

Calling all reading fans: popular fiction has a new home at UBC Library. The Great Reads collection was launched in 2011 by Shannon Simpson, a co-op student who conducted research with colleague Bailey Diers on student reading habits when she was asked to develop a collection of popular titles for Koerner Library. The research showed that UBC residents were craving popular fiction, including bestsellers, pop culture novels and Canadian fiction.

The results flew in the face of popular perceptions regarding young people’s reading habits. For instance, nearly 50 per cent of undergraduates dedicated three hours per week to leisure reading. Further, 97 per cent of respondents preferred reading print books; only 39 per cent expressed an interest in e-readers.

“Looking back, the research was essential to getting Great Reads off the ground and provided the evidence that such a collection had the potential for success,” says Simpson, now the Manager of Content at the Palmerston North City Library and Community Services in New Zealand. “I’m using the experience from working on the Great Reads collection and evidence-based librarianship to find other ways to continue to enrich people’s lives.”

The success of the Great Reads pilot at Koerner led to the project’s expansion – UBC Library users can now browse Great Reads titles at Woodward Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Patrons can expect to see subject-themed reads from each branch (such as science and medicine-related titles from Woodward Library), and the possibility of the Great Reads collection expanding to other library branches.

Jo Anne Newyear-Ramirez, Associate University Librarian for Collections, is interested in exploring tailored programming over the coming year, including selections based on campus initiatives, holiday/seasonal themes and notable months (such as Asian Heritage Month, which takes place in May). 

Read more from UBC Library’s Community Report (2013).

Explore a series of infographics that outline some of the Library’s key facts and figures over the past year. 

How we spend $ on Library resources

Anatomy of a donation

Promoting UBC Library through…

UBC Library users have access to…

How can we help you?

View and read community newspapers dating from 1865 to 1924


Visit our Facts and Figures page for more information.

Read more from UBC Library’s Community Report (2013).

Awards program logo

When Ingrid Parent first started as University Librarian at UBC, one of her goals was to establish a staff recognition program at the Library. In 2012, that goal came to fruition with the launch of the Library Staff Awards Program, designed to acknowledge the many ways in which staff contribute to their workplace through creativity, innovation, excellence and customer service.

The program is a way of applauding employees and a tribute to those who serve the Library and UBC; it also helps support the Library’s aim of fostering an exceptional workplace by honouring and recognizing the talent and contributions of its employees.

“Every day at UBC, the work that staff does contributes to making the University a world-leading research and academic institution, as well as a great place to work,” says Alex Bayne, Director, HR Integrated Strategies. “Acknowledging the contribution of our colleagues through small gestures or through formal recognition goes a long way towards creating a caring and respectful workplace.”

Image of Anne Miele Image of staff member Image of staff member
Winners of the Library’s inaugural staff awards program, left to right: Anne Miele, Ernie Dick and Paul Lesack.

Paul Lesack, recipient of the inaugural Innovation Award and a Data/GIS Analyst at Koerner Library, was nominated for a collaborative project that uses emerging technologies to develop a new service for UBC students and the broader community. Working with the Vancouver Aquarium, he scanned old paper maps into interactive versions with geographic data. The project began as an effort to help geography students, but has also been used to assist scientists and city planners. By turning this resource into an interactive tool, Paul also addressed issues of sustainability and collections preservation.

The Library’s first Unsung Hero Award was presented to Ernie Dick, whom co-workers highlighted as someone with a phenomenal memory for procedures, work processes and people. Dick, a Library Assistant at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, received multiple nominations that described him as an invaluable team member and a pillar of the Library. 

Anne Miele, recipient of the Employee Excellence Award, was described as someone who goes the extra mile for Library patrons and her team members. Her nominator expressed appreciation for the positive energy and sense of humour that she brings to the workplace. “I work with a great group of folks who are all very supportive of me and each other,” said Miele, a Reference Assistant with Woodward Library, when she received the award. “These awards show commitment to the Library and University, and that the worth of our work is valued by all.”

“Publicly acknowledging the dedication and hard work of deserving employees brings with it many benefits,” adds Keith Kawa, Director of Human Resources for UBC Library. “However, recognizing the contributions of employees on an everyday, informal basis is, in my opinion, even more important. Feeling valued by their supervisor in the workplace is central to high employee motivation and positive morale.” 

Read more from UBC Library’s Community Report (2013).

For the past nine years, UBC Library and UBC’s Alma Mater Student Society (AMS) have run the Food for Fines campaign, an initiative to support the AMS Food Bank and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Library users who wish to reduce their fines can donate non-perishable food items – $2 in fines are covered for each item donated, up to a maximum of $30.

Increasing numbers of donations highlight the generosity of the UBC campus; last year’s donations totalled more than 3,100 items collected at branches, and more than $6,300 in fines were waived.

Donations are split evenly between the two food banks once the campaign is completed, usually in early November. “Donations received from the Library provide a substantial part of our food bank inventory,” says Emilia Moulechkova, Coordinator for the AMS Food Bank this past year. “This enables us to keep up with the growing demand for our service and ensures that campus communities have access to food as a right, not a privilege.” 

Read more from UBC Library’s Community Report (2013).

infographic depicting cans of food


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