Small businesses across British Columbia now have a free, comprehensive resource to boost their business-planning efforts and foster an online community of information and support, thanks to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia.

The Small Business Accelerator, which launches today at, is a new gateway to business information for small firms and entrepreneurs throughout the province. It’s also a valuable tool for public and college libraries, community development organizations and other agencies to support their clients.

A highlight of the SBA is its range of research guides that provide tailored information for specific industries. The site features 36 in-depth guides, developed with the expertise of UBC business librarians and library students, which cover sectors ranging from alternative energy to Web development, landscaping to restaurant retailing, and much more.

Visits to B.C. communities by the Learning Centre’s Director and the Community Business Services Librarian provided the Learning Centre with valuable feedback that was used to help shape the SBA during its development. In the new year, the librarian will visit organizations throughout the province to provide site training and outreach.

“We’re honoured to offer this free service for British Columbians who have started, or are looking to start, their own businesses – especially those in rural and remote parts of the province,” says Sandra Singh, director of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. “The site is an invaluable resource, built with the expertise of business librarians, to help entrepreneurs from communities across the province access the right information for effective business planning at any stage of development.”

“Anyone interested in exploring the possibilities of opening a business in B.C. will find a wealth of information on the site, no matter what stage of business planning they are in,” says Petra Mauerhoff, manager of College Library Services at Cranbrook’s College of the Rockies. “Even business students working on hypothetical cases for their course work will get great use out of this offering.”

“I’m really impressed with the SBA so far. What it means to rural would-be entrepreneurs is that they’ll have access to information that everybody takes for granted in large metropolitan areas,” says Larry Jones, a business analyst with Community Futures Terrace, which supports small- and medium-sized companies and community economic development. “This is going to level the playing field quite a bit.”

The site also serves as a venue for an online SBA community, where those who create content for B.C. businesses – such as libraries, economic development agencies and others – are invited to share resources and expertise.

Small business is vital to the economic health of British Columbia. According to a 2010 profile, small businesses accounted for 98 per cent of all businesses in the province in 2009, and employed more than one million people.

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Glenn Drexhage
UBC Library/Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Tel: 604.827.3434
Cell: 778.378.0174

Lorraine Chan
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2644
Cell: 604.209.3048

Serials Solutions, the vendor, recently issued a press release about the adoption of its services by UBC Library.

You can view the release here.

UBC gains $900,000 federal award for unique Chinese Canadian history web portal

A bilingual website featuring the legacies of Chinese Canadians who helped shape this country will soon be a reality thanks to an ambitious project led by the University of British Columbia and a $900,000 grant from Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP).

The CHRP award was announced today by Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary of Multiculturalism, during a visit to UBC’s Vancouver campus to mark the beginning of a workshop for CHRP grant holders across the country. From August 10-13, workshop participants will discuss resources and strategies for collecting and preserving historical legacies, as well as ways to improve their respective projects through collaboration.

The web portal, called Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Stories from a Common Past, will launch in 2012 and provide a one-of-a-kind bilingual site with English and Chinese resources for students, researchers and others wanting to learn more about the oft-ignored Chinese experience in Canada.

The initiative includes other important innovations such as an online virtual experience, portable interactive kiosks and a searchable database of digital material created by CHRP-funded partner organizations.

“Through this project, we will ensure that all Canadians, now and into the future, have access to the work of those organizations that have completed historical recognition projects,” said Stephen Owen, UBC’s Vice President External, Legal and Community Relations. “We welcome the support of the Government of Canada toward UBC’s goals of promoting intercultural understanding and expanding knowledge through new technologies.”

“Chinese migrants came to what is now British Columbia over two centuries ago, engaging with First Nations peoples at the same moment that the first migrants from Europe arrived,” said Henry Yu, project lead and associate professor in the Dept. of History. “In other words, long before Confederation, the Chinese were part of the founding peoples of what would become Canada. This project will reshape the way all of us understand Canada, and reclaim the forgotten histories of peoples who have long been ignored in Canadian history.”

“This project stands out for its community engagement and its collaborative nature,” said Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian. “UBC Library is grateful for the CHRP funding, and proud to help lead this ambitious and necessary effort to assist researchers and students of all ages in discovering the valuable contributions of the Chinese Canadian community to our country and our culture.”

The UBC-led project emphasizes connecting younger generations to the stories of earlier generations. UBC undergraduate students will help collect, interpret and assemble materials for school programs. It follows an earlier CHRP-funded project that involved UBC students interviewing Chinese Canadian elders about their experiences during the times of the restrictive Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Immigration Act.

“Already, we have seen the life-changing transformations that can occur when a student conducts an oral history interview with one of their grandparents or an elder in their family,” said Yu. “They come to understand who they are in a whole new way, and often appreciate the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before them.”

Other project highlights include a digital archive that preserves material from partner organizations; portable kiosks that will appear in cities including Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Kamloops; and promotion of the website and digital materials for Grade 5-12 students. The site will also feature the Chinese Head Tax Register, a digital database developed at UBC that includes more than 96,000 records.

This collaborative project features a host of on- and off-campus partners, including Simon Fraser University, UBC Library units – including the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections, cIRcle (UBC’s digital repository) and the Asian Library – as well as the Department of History, the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese-Canadian Studies (INSTRCC), the Critical Thinking Consortium, the Great Northern Way Campus and the Learning Exchange. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Applied Science, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the Museum of Anthropology and the Faculty of Arts will be involved in mobile interactive kiosk design.

For more information and sample materials, visit

Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Stories from a Common Past

The Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past web portal is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary project led by the University of British Columbia. Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), the project will serve as a valuable mechanism of communication and collaboration between UBC, Simon Fraser University and community partners.

For more than 200 years, migrants of Chinese heritage have traveled to Canada to live, to work, and to raise their families. Many have called a variety of places home before coming to Canada, but once here, they formed vibrant communities that have significantly shaped Canadian society.

Until now, there has never been a one-stop web portal dedicated to collecting, digital archiving, accessing and distributing information about Chinese Canadian history. The UBC-led project involves the coordination of an array of academic units that are each at the forefront of their fields. It brings together the outstanding expertise and resources of a wide range of on- and off-campus partners, including local civic institutions, and non-profit organizations. The initiative aims to create:

1. A bilingual (English and Chinese) website for Chinese Canadian history.

2. A digital archive that preserves digital material created by partner organizations funded by the CHRP in a searchable database.

3. Workshops in the summer of 2010 and 2011 that will be attended by participants from local community organizations and other organizations across Canada that are receiving CHRP funding. These workshops, along with community engagement events across the country, will also help promote the process of digital collection and preservation, and share insights gleamed from the summer workshops.

4. Promotion of Grade 5-12 classroom use of both the portal website and the digital materials through the creation of learning resources and teaching materials that will use CHRP created materials, embedding the material within a rethinking of the role of Chinese and First Nations peoples in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and in building Canada. The project aims to create 500 copies of teaching guides for the use of the downloadable web resources that can be accessed for free at the UBC website.

5. Virtual experiences that will appear in different forms on the portal website and within portable interactive kiosks, to be launched in early 2012.

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Glenn Drexhage
UBC Library
Tel: 604.827.3434

Lorraine Chan
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2644
Cell: 604.209.3048


Ralph Stanton, Head of UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, has been appointed as a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board. This board is an independent tribunal of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

You can view the press release about the announcement here:

Electronic collections featuring community newspapers, B.C. history, fossil specimens, medical artifacts and works by renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman will all be a mouse click away, thanks to a community initiative from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia.

You can view the full press release here:

On April 15, 2008, an event was held to celebrate the new, permanent home of the exceptional Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection. The event was held in the Golden Jubilee Room at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

You can view the press release here:

And you can view the Chung Collection website here:

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC celebrated its official opening on April 11, 2008. Hundreds of people attended this special event, marking a historic day for UBC Library, UBC and the province of British Columbia.

You can view the press release here:

Vancouver’s Sam Martz, a retired businessman and golf aficionado, has given his entire book collection of 4,730 golf books valued at about $450,000 to UBC. The collection, dating back to early 19th-century editions, covers all aspects of golf including club histories, the genesis and art of the game, course architecture, instructions and even poetry with rare finds such as Poems on Golf, by Robert Clark, 1867.

According to Ralph Stanton, the head of Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library, this is the biggest collection of golf books in an academic library in the world. The next closest candidate appears to be the Arthur W. Schultz golf collection at the University of Chicago, which numbers about 1,600 books. Martz is aware of only two other bigger golf book collections – a public one at the United States Golf Association, and a private one owned by an executive at a sports, entertainment and media company.

Also notable is the condition of the books, described by Stanton as “superb.” Significant elements of the collection will be catalogued and available for viewing by summer 2008. A few of the rarest books include:

History of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club St. Andrew’s, by Harry Sterling Everard; first edition, 1907

The Reminiscences of Golf on St. Andrew’s Links, by James Balfour; first edition, 1887

Poems on Golf, by Robert Clark; special presentation edition, 1867

Chronicles of the Blackheath Golfers, by W.E. Hughes, first edition, 1897

Keep Your Eye on the Ball and Your Right Knee Stiff, by Harry Roy Sweny; first edition, 1898

Martz, 81, still plays golf regularly. He began caddying in Montreal when he was about 10 and started collecting golf books in his 30s. He donated his collection to UBC Library because he wanted it to go to an organization where it would be maintained and protected for generations to come.

This major donation opens up new opportunities for scholars and will be of benefit to those studying the sociology of sport, urban planning and golf course design.

Glenn Drexhage
Communications officer, UBC Library
Tel: 604-827-3434

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