In recognition of UBC’s Centennial year, UBC Library and emeritus Tom Shorthouse are excited to announce the release of Golden Scrapbook: The Centennial Update 1965-2015. This extensive publication maps 50 years at UBC Library, highlighting personal accounts from University Librarians, milestones in the library’s history, and anecdotes from library employees past and present. Complimented by colour photographs of library employees, library spaces and events from the past 50 years, the scrapbook profiles the growth and development of the library, and follows the Scrapbook for a Golden Anniversary produced in 1966, also compiled by Tom Shorthouse, and published by the Morriss Printing Company.

View the Scrapbook

Read the digital version of the new Golden Scrapbook below. Hard copies of the publication will be available to borrow from the library beginning in early October, and a one copy will be held permanently in the University Librarian office wing. One copy will also be placed in the Centennial time capsule. To make an appointment to view the scrapbook in advance of the availability of the circulation copies, please email Jasmine Devonshire.




Thank you to Tom Shorthouse for his extensive work compiling content, as well as to George Tsiakos for project support, and Erwin Wodarczak for fact checking.

Email Library Communications with questions

Student Profile on Roxanne Kalenborn

UBC Library offers work experiences to undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of roles, from book shelving to assisting with reference questions, conducting assessments of library web resources, and helping with collection development projects.

Roxanne Kalenborn, a current graduate student in the UBC Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree program, has held many positions at the Vancouver campus of UBC Library since 2015 including:

Roxanne also has the distinction of being an inaugural winner of the 2016 Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection Prize.

We spoke to Roxanne about her experiences working with various library departments and her advice for students interested in roles with UBC Library.


What was the most interesting part of your roles with UBC Library?

Coming from an undergraduate background in History and now as a graduate student in Library and Information Studies, my experience with academic research thus far had been mostly limited to those subjects. During my work as a Student Reference Librarian, I gained exposure to other academic disciplines through the questions patrons would ask. I particularly liked the questions I got at the David Lam Library concerning marketing trends and product research.

What has surprised you most about the Library?

Before I worked for the Library, I had no idea just how many services and resources are available beyond books, movies, and electronic resources. I think it is really neat that students can check out everything from headphones to Arduino boards and even iPhone chargers. It shows that libraries can provide so much more to patrons than traditional materials, in a way that serves modern students’ needs.

Of the Library’s six aspirational values, which one most describes your experiences as a student employee and why?

One of the best parts of having a variety of roles within the UBC Library system was gaining experience in many different departments. This was great because these roles suited both parts of my personality and work style. Being an extroverted introvert, I’ve enjoyed positions like providing reference, where I get to interact with students and know that I helped someone that day.

On the other hand, in the positions where I digitize materials and write online content, I love getting to dig into a project and feel ownership over it. In all of these positions I have felt supported by my supervisors and coworkers, which I think speaks to the library’s aspirational value of community.

How will your work experiences help your career? Has it influenced the direction of your career or specialization of your work?

I came to graduate school from a background working in history museums. My goal in earning a MLIS degree was to gain skills and experience in the digitization of special collections. Working at the Digitization Centre has only affirmed that I made the right choice to come to UBC for my career path. However, as I got my positions with the Small Business Accelerator Program and the David Lam Library, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much I enjoy business librarianship and providing reference, and I like the thought of helping someone start their own business. It has inspired me to think about possibly launching my own business where I can work with institutions like libraries or museums to provide historical research content to their exhibits or publications.

What advice would you give to other UBC students interested in working for the Library?

I would tell other UBC students interested in working for the Library to be open to trying jobs in a variety of departments. I came into graduate school completely focused on a digitization path, but based on my positive experiences with reference and business librarianship, I now feel that I would be really happy working in one of these capacities after I graduate, which I would not have discovered if I hadn’t branched out.

Explore other student profiles.
Look for a student job at UBC Library.

Download this profile (549kb) 

Not your typical day to day

Join the University of British Columbia Library, a leading institution in North America. Find out more about who we are, what we do, and why you should work with us.



Shirin Eshghi is the new Head of Asian Library, holding past experience in librarianship with this branch. As a previous UBC graduate student, Shirin considers herself an advocate of the Asian Library, having benefitted from its resources during her studies. She brings a valuable perspective to her work, as her experiences as a prior student help to inform growth and development at this branch.

Enhancing Research at UBC

Shirin was drawn to librarianship as a career because of an appreciation for a range of academic disciplines: her background is in Modern Japanese Literature. Shirin appreciates that in her new role she draws on a cultural studies perspective to frame her work. As Head of Asian Library,  she has the opportunity to support and enhance research across different faculties.

Community Outreach and an International Perspective 

A key priority of her role moving forward will be to draw in an international perspective: Shirin will share the value of the Asian Library collections as it extends to a number of faculties and areas of research. A lesser-known fact about Asian Library is the wide variety of scholars and researchers the branch supports, as well as the branch’s involvement in community events, digitization projects and teaching and learning at UBC.

New Programming at Asian Library

Some new programming to look out for in the fall at Asian Library will include an alumni supported bookclub, which will expand on the branch’s aspirational goals to support life-long learning and language learning. Another goal is to create a space at Asian Library for intercultural communication. Library culture is also a priority moving forward for Asian Library: staff are supported to grow in their roles and engage with the wider UBC community.

Get to Know Shirin

A little known fact about Shirin is that she is a self-professed ‘trekkie’: she is a fan of the recent Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond, in particular the character of Commodore Paris, a military commander played by Persian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. Shirin appreciates that the Star Trek series brings together different cultural communities in pursuit of a common goal, and develops strong, diverse female leads.

You can find Shirin in her office at the Asian Library, or possibly catching a moment of calm in beautiful Nitobe Gardens, a favoured spot at UBC.

Congratulations Shirin!

UBC Okanagan librarian Lori WalterChanges to the scholarly publishing landscape have been significant and rapid – as a result, the work of librarians such as Lori Walter, Scholarly Communication Librarian at UBC Okanagan, has become essential for researcher and student success.

With the launch of the innovative UBC Okanagan Writing and Research Centre and its embedded location along with the Centre for Scholarly Communication, Walter is focused on providing seamless service to the entire campus for writing, research and scholarly communication. 

“We want to deliver a responsive, integrated program of services to meet the needs of the campus in one physical (and virtual) place,” Walter says. “Our goal is to support scholars at all levels as they communicate their ideas to their peers and to the community at large.” 

Walter, who has a background in both scholarly communication and writing instruction, sees everyone at UBC Okanagan – undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctorates, faculty and staff – as writers who participate in scholarly communication. Her role is to help this community of scholars through education, resources and direct support. 

Before coming to UBC Okanagan, she worked with faculty and graduate students in the Nursing Research Office at the University of Alberta, and was managing editor of the International Journal of Qualitative Methods. Walter has also taught writing courses at Mohawk College in Ontario and at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Navigating key areas of change will present exciting opportunities, as well as challenges, for the Writing and Research Centre and the Centre for Scholarly Communication. Scholars are met with new possibilities for the communication of their ideas as online and remote learning continue to grow; the drive for open access to publicly funded research increases; and the ability to use social media to disseminate research develops. 

The Writing and Research Centre and the Centre for Scholarly Communication offer one-on-one consultations, online resources and workshops to support excellence in academic communication. The teams will collaborate with their counterparts at UBC Vancouver, sharing resources and expertise.

“Writing and research is an iterative process and the new Writing and Research Centre reflects the reality of how students work. Students will be able to receive help and find resources throughout their research and writing process – from proposing a topic to polishing a final draft, and all the stages in-between.”

Allan ChoAcademic libraries traditionally serve as the hub of campus experience – building collections, providing research support to students and faculty, and offering information literacy instruction. Allan Cho, Community Engagement Librarian, seeks to expand that experience by integrating the Library into the broader aspirations of UBC, including outreach beyond the campus walls.

One of many community partnerships is his work with the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS) and its annual explorASIAN festival, which celebrates Pan-Asian culture – from Near East to Far East. “With UBC’s emphasis on intercultural understanding and engagement, it’s a natural fit for the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – as a conduit for collaborative programming with explorASIAN – to provide a platform for new and emerging artists from the Pan-Asian community to showcase their work,” says Cho.

In addition to explorASIAN, Cho approaches partnerships with a co-programming model in mind, resulting in a diversity of programs such as Mexico Fest and Aboriginal (Un)History Month. “We’ve become a launch point for generating exciting programs that have drawn a lot of interest from the community.”

Cho’s role also involves working collaboratively with campus partners such as alumni UBC, the Centre for Community Engaged Learning, UBC Learning Exchange and e@UBC to build on the strong connections these groups have with their community constituents. And now with an enhanced focus on community engagement at the University level – UBC recently hired Pascal Spothelfer, VP, Communications & Community Partnership, and Deb Zehr, Director, Community Partnership – such connections will take on even more significance.

Cho looks to this with enthusiasm. “There’s great promise for the Library’s role in UBC’s community engagement efforts.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJacky Lai, Archives and Circulation Assistant, was thrilled by an opportunity to work on the outstanding Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. Lai, who has worked at multiple Library branches as a student worker and then staff member, is responsible for developing and maintaining an inventory of the collection. He is also heavily involved in processing albums in the collection – stabilizing and cleaning pages, and ensuring that the collection meets the Library’s preservation standards.

Several weeks ago, Lai was explaining his role to Langmann family members. “They were surprised to find out my ‘special’ cleaning tool is a simple eraser. They saw a before-and-after shot of one album page and were blown away by the power of an eraser!”

After meeting Uno Langmann in person for the first time, Lai was captivated to hear the famed art collector speak passionately about what the collection means to him. “I think it’s very important to understand the meaning behind our work,” says Lai.

As he continues his processing and preservation efforts, Lai looks forward to enhancing the accessibility of this special collection for the public. Select items in the Langmann Collection will be available digitally this summer – Library users can also visit Rare Books & Special Collections to see the photos in person.

“We have regular visits from researchers around the globe who use our collections for their research. The Langmann collection is a very good example of how the Library continues to strengthen its community engagement efforts – we already have classes scheduled for students in the upcoming fall/winter terms to use the collection!”

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia

Spam prevention powered by Akismet