The appointment of Susan Parker as the new University Librarian was recently covered by the Association of Research Libraries News.
susan Parker

Ms. Susan E. Parker. Photo: Don Leibig, UCLA Photography


In September 2017, UBC will welcome Susan E. Parker as University Librarian for a five-year term. Ms. Parker currently holds the role of Deputy University Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles where she leads operations, human resources, assessment, budgeting, strategic planning, capital project planning and fundraising.

Ms. Parker will take over leadership of UBC Library at a pivotal time as the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan comes to a close and the library develops new strategic priorities in alignment with UBC’s new strategic plan. At UCLA, Ms. Parker led the processes behind the library’s strategic plans for 2006-2009 and 2012-2019.

“Susan Parker’s reputation in the library community is one of solid competence and professionalism,” said Melody Burton, Interim University Librarian. “We are thrilled to have her join UBC Library at this particular time.”

Ms. Parker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and American Literature, a Master of Arts in History, and a Master of Library Science with a specialization in academic librarianship. Her research interests include leadership in academic libraries and higher education, organization theory, and the concept of “credible optimism” emphasizing the importance of positivity in the pursuit of realistic and sustainable goals.

“Being named University Librarian at UBC is an honour, and the highlight of my career,” says Susan Parker. “I look forward to partnering with UBC’s excellent library staff, students, and faculty as we continue to develop and deliver outstanding services, scholarly resource collections, and welcoming library facilities for the UBC community.”

In July 2016 Melody Burton stepped into the role of Interim University Librarian, in addition to her role as Deputy University Librarian. Over the past year Ms. Burton has been focused on a “domestic agenda” to build relationships on campus and set the table for the next University Librarian.

“I wish to express my gratitude to Ms. Melody Burton for her service as the Interim University Librarian since July 2016,” said Dr. Angela Redish, UBC Provost and VP Academic pro tem. “Her work has been integral to the continuity of the library’s strong leadership over the past year.” 

Ms. Burton will continue in this interim role until September 1, when Ms. Parker joins UBC.


Read the full announcement from the Office of the Provost and VP Academic.


Season’s greetings from UBC Library.

The year end is a wonderful time to reflect on what we’ve achieved this past year and to share our 2016 plans with our colleagues.

We started the year celebrating the Library’s 100th anniversary. From guest lectures to special events, we honored this special milestone with faculty, staff, students, and donors. We have several other events and activities scheduled to mark the closing of the centennial, including an exhibition of the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs at Presentation House in the spring, the publication of a Golden Scrapbook from one of our library emeriti, and a Library time capsule curated from branch staff.

We received positive media coverage about several rare and special acquisitions in the first quarter of the year. These included our 800-year-old Papal Bull (which drew a visit from Archbishop Michael Miller from the Archdiocese of Vancouver to our campus) and two early works of Oscar Wilde (Teleny, Des Grieux).

In the fall, we launched our Open Collections portal, a new digital portal that provides researchers with a single access point to the Library’s digital collections. If you haven’t yet had a chance to explore our portal, I would encourage you to do so using this discovery tool.

In October, we officially opened the Library Preservation and Archives (Library PARC), our second on-campus storage facility. Designed to provide more than 2,200 square metres of collection storage, the facility is capable of holding about 1.6 million volumes. Library PARC also houses a campus-wide records management service, a small book cleaning station, a reading room and a staff work area.

Provincially, we funded a number of community-based programs through the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Twenty-four communities received funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, which provides matching funds to undertake digitization projects that will result in free online access to our unique provincial historical material. Three aboriginal communities received funding to preserve their oral histories through the Indigitization Program, which provides up to $10,000 in matching funds for Aboriginal organizations to conduct digitization projects.

UBC Library is also working with UC Davis, the California Digital Library, Harvard University and Ohio State on the Pay it Forward project, exploring faculty and student perspectives on open access publishing fees and financial models.

Lastly, 2015 marked the end of the Library’s five-year strategic plan. The 2010 – 2015 Plan – initiated as one of my first duties as University Librarian – generated a great deal of accomplishments and achievements, and highlights the commitment of our Library staff. This year’s Community Report gives a broad overview of what we’ve achieved in those short five years.

Looking ahead, the campus has several leadership transitions underway. To remain agile to these changes, we launched a two-year Strategic Plan last month to reflect our current priorities. We look forward to sharing our progress on these priorities in the year ahead.

Our activities, services and programs are not possible without the support of our colleagues, donors and partners. For this, I thank you and hope to see you at our events next year or to hear from you via email or by phone.

Until then, happy holidays.


Ingrid Parent

University Librarian


UBC’s Annual Review is now available as an online-only publication. Highlights include Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian, becoming the first Canadian to be appointed as the President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

To read more about this story, proceed to the Milestones tab and select August 2011.


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