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Wednesday afternoon, July 15, marked a milestone for UBC Library’s automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) – otherwise known affectionately as the Library robot.


That’s because the one millionth item was loaded into the ASRS on that day. A ceremonial title was used to commemorate the special occasion: A Management Plan for the University of British Columbia Research Forest, a UBC thesis by Peter R.W. Sanders. This tome was chosen for its UBC connection and as an homage to Irving K. Barber, a longtime professional forester and the donor whose generosity led to the construction of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, which houses the ASRS.


UBC Library is the first Canadian library to install an automated storage and retrieval system, and it remains one of the largest library-specific systems in North America. It holds books, maps, records and more, and features four GPS-guided robotic cranes that retrieve items from more than 19,000 bins in a racking system that is about 45 feet high, 60 feet wide and 160 feet long. During UBC’s busy winter session, about 200 requests for ASRS items are received from Library patrons each day. 


The ASRS is located on level two of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, adjacent to the Library Circulation Desk.


Ernest Dick, Library Assistant, loads the commemorative one millionth title into the ASRS. Photo by Jill Pittendrigh.

Ernest Dick, Library Assistant, loads the commemorative one millionth title into the ASRS. Photo by Jill Pittendrigh.






An article about an upcoming UBC conference on Malcolm Lowry – one of B.C.’s most famous resident-writers – appears in The Globe and Mail newspaper. The piece mentions the Malcolm Lowry Collection, now on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections.

You can view the article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bcs-beauty-inspired-author-to-write-and-put-the-bottle-down/article1223984/.

A showcase about one of B.C.’s most famous resident-writers is on display in Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC). The exhibition of UBC Library’s Malcolm Lowry Collection coincides with the Malcolm Lowry Centenary International Conference, held at UBC from July 23 to July 25 (more information can be found at http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/mmota/lowry.htm).


Lowry (1909-1957), a British poet and novelist, was perhaps best known for his novel Under the Volcano, completed while he and his wife Margerie lived in Dollarton, B.C. The RBSC exhibition examines Malcolm Lowry through four overlapping perspectives: his life, his work, Under the Volcano and the Malcolm Lowry Collection – the largest collection of material in the world related to the author. It includes archival material generated by Lowry, as well as material from those who knew and studied him. The exhibition is curated by UBC Ph.D. student Mark Diotte, and will be on display until September 30, 2009. For more on the collection, please visit www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/AZ/PDF/UV/Malcolm_Lowry_fonds.pdf


RBSC is located on the first level of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver campus. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays noon to 5 p.m. during September.






Stunning images from one of the most remote regions on earth are on view at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, thanks to a photo exhibit entitled Antarctica: Passion and Obsession. The exhibit features works from Pat and Rosemarie Keough, self-taught photographers and a well-travelled husband-and-wife team.

The show is located in the Learning Centre gallery on level two, to the left of the UBC Library circulation desk. It runs until September 15. For more information, please see https://blogs.ubc.ca/ikblc/2009/07/antarctica-passion-and-obsession-photo-exhibit-gallery-in-ikblc-posted-july-13-2009/.

If you like UBC Library Vault (www.ubcvault.ca) and its exceptional images, then you’ll be thrilled to hear about the launch of Canvas Treasures. The UBC Library Development Office is offering the Vault’s images in large formats, using archival-quality inks that are printed on premium canvas. The images are taken from UBC Library’s rare books, archives and special collections, and are accompanied by descriptions highlighting their distinct features. More information can be found at http://www.ubcvault.ca/canvastreasures/.

You are invited to join us for an upcoming event to celebrate the launch of the Canvas Treasures project. The gathering will be introduced by Ingrid Parent, UBC’s new University Librarian. The keynote speaker is Dr. Evan Kreider, a former Professor at UBC’s School of Music and a specialist in Spanish Chant Manuscripts, who will talk about a dazzling manuscript housed by UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections. This gem features 208 pages of liturgical music, compiled by the Catholic Church and published between 1575 and 1625. Some of the lyrics are said to have come from famous poets. UBC Library is home to the first digitized copy of this exquisite work – more information can be found at http://ubcvault.ca/catalog/detail.php?image_id=377.


A reception and accompanying music will give attendees a chance to socialize and network with alumni and members of the UBC community. All canvases featured during the event will also be displayed for two weeks in the gallery space on the second floor of the Barber Centre and available for public viewing. They will be for sale as well.  Proceeds support the growth and care of UBC Library’s collections.

Make sure to join us on Thursday, September 3 for the launch of the Canvas Treasures project. The event takes place from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lillooet Room on level three of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, located at 1961 East Mall on the UBC Vancouver campus.

Please RSVP to library.development@ubc.ca or Ivy Chong, UBC Library Development Office, at 604-827-3402.





UBC Library is featured in the latest issue of the BCLA Browser – you can view the entry here: http://bclabrowser.ca/index.php/browser/article/view/67/98

The Summer 2009 issue of Friends, UBC Library’s newsletter, is now available at http://www.supportubclibrary.ca/newsletters/UBC-Friends_Summer-09_FINAL.pdf.

An article on Ingrid Parent, UBC’s new University Librarian, appears in the July 2009 issue of UBC Reports. You can view the article here:


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