The Report of the University Librarian to the Senate
underlines the many ways in which UBC Library is meeting the diverse needs of its users. You are invited to explore its contents and participate in the life of the Library.

UBC’s rich Olympic legacy is on display for those wanting a closer look at the athletes and academics who have helped shape Canada’s role in the global sporting event.

The Olympic Legacy Exhibit, undertaken by UBC Library, University Archives and Public Affairs, features an array of images and documents that focus on UBC’s sporting history, with exhibits of medalled athletes, athletes turned scholars, UBC research, influential alumni and sports teams, and multicultural traditions. Material is provided by University Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections, Public Affairs, Musqueam Indian Band, cIRcle (UBC’s digital repository), and Athletics and Recreation.

Highlights include photos of Quene Yip, described as “UBC’s first Chinese-Canadian Sport Star,” and Harry Warren, a Rhodes Scholar and sprinter who in 1928 became the first UBC athlete to compete in the Olympics. (Warren also participated in the Great Trek, an event held in 1922 to spur completion of the Point Grey campus, and went on to become a UBC professor.)

Various influential teams are featured, including UBC’s “Cinderella Rowers,” a four-man crew that won the gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, despite having trained for a mere nine months. Also on the roster is the UBC-based 1964 Olympic hockey team, established by the late Rev. Father David Bauer and UBC Sports Hall of Famer Bob Hindmarch.

Behind-the-scenes figures include veteran UBC and Olympic swim coach Tom Johnson; Doug Clement, a former Olympic athlete and coach who became a sports medicine pioneer; and Bob Osborne, a founder and long-time director of UBC’s physical education faculty who played and coached Olympic basketball.

Among the featured scholars are Andrei Krassioukov, an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of Medicine; Margot Young, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law; and Bob Sparks and Rob VanWynsberghe, both of the School of Human Kinetics.

Meanwhile, the multicultural aspect of the Games will be illustrated by displays of Chinese-Canadian soccer players (courtesy of the Chung Collection, located at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections) and Q’aysca:m, a stone-carved female figure who played an important role in Musqueam sporting culture.

The exhibit is at the Learning Centre Gallery, located on level two of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, adjacent to the circulation desk.

For more information, please contact Jessica Woolman at 604-827-4275 or, or visit

Steps to Success: the Sequel

Once again, we’ve heard your concerns, and once again we’re responding.

The 2009 LibQUAL survey, conducted at UBC Vancouver, provided UBC Library with another excellent overview of its users and their needs. It also reinforced some concerns that were identified in the previous survey, conducted in 2007 at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

In 2009, the key themes from respondents were access, content, and better physical and virtual spaces. 

Respondents identified areas to be addressed, including: 

  • the difficulty in using the Library website to find resources and information about the Library system
  • collections gaps
  • the need for more group study spaces, individual quiet learning spaces and up-to-date equipment.

As a result, we’ve been busy making improvements to our resources and services.

To address collections gaps, the Library has added specialized collections and discovery tools in the fine arts, music, humanities, social sciences, life sciences, sciences and medicine. Examples include:

  • more than 53,000 new e-books
  • nearly 1,000 replacement copies obtained for missing books
  • the addition of discovery tools, such as ASTM standards, LGBT Life, Business & Company Resource Center, International Monetary Fund Statistical, Canadian Newstand (230 newspapers), Archivision, Education Full Text, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers from 1715 to present and more.
  • the purchase of e-journal archives: Nature from 1869, Lancet from 1823, China Academic Journals from 1994, Sage Deep Backfile, Web of Science from 1900 and more.
  • added e-book collections: Oxford Scholarship Online – Music Collection, Springer e-books 2005-2009, ChinaMaxx, ebrary (more than 36,000 e-books) and more
  • digitized more than 11,000 retrospective UBC theses and dissertations
  • digitized 1.6 million pages/images/titles, including unique local collections from Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives

To improve the findability of traditional materials, the Library:

  • implemented an inventory of Koerner Library to identify “not on the shelf” items
  • removed 75,000 under-used duplicate books from Koerner to create space for the integration of humanities and social sciences titles from their previous location in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • moved Music Library LP recordings to the automated storage and retrieval system to make room for new books
  • improved finding aids on the Library website for Rare Books and Special Collections
  • added more than 500 catalogue records for British Columbia maps

To improve the findability of electronic resources and Library information, the Library:

  • implemented a single search box to make it easier to find e-resources
  • added 60,000 records for electronic journals and 235,000 records for e-books to the catalogue
  • enhanced records for the music recordings collection
  • enriched the catalogue with a “Tables of Contents” index to 220,000 English-language print books – especially useful for finding individual essays and chapters in collections and anthologies by different authors

To address customer service gaps, including teaching and learning gaps, the Library has:

  • taught 1,421 classes on information resources and tools to more than 32,000 participants
  • worked with student focus groups to improve services at UBC Okanagan
  • improved access to multimedia technology, as well as IT help, by staffing the Chapman Learning Commons with a student team trained in learning technology support
  • accelerated delivery of interlibrary loan materials via the ILL Post-to-Web program
  • created teaching tutorial, assignment guides and new subject guides
  • introduced a self-service hold shelf in Koerner Library
  • presented an interdisciplinary workshop targeting graduate students and faculty that helps researchers keep up-to-date with new research in their field.

To improve space and equipment needs, the Library has:

  • renovated the inspiring Field Reading Room at UBC Okanagan for quiet study
  • opened the Learning Centre 24/7 a week earlier, before exams begin
  • added 200 group and individual study spaces in the Learning Centre
  • added flexible furniture in the Lillooet Room for teaching and learning
  • expanded weekend hours at UBC Okanagan and open hours at Robson Square
  • added 12 Macs at the Learning Centre, 44 computer workstations and 10 laptops at UBC Okanagan
  • increased security and removed graffiti at Koerner Library

 Significant additions or improvements are also planned, including:

  • the creation of a data/GIS Lab and the implementation of GIS services in Koerner Library
  • the configuration of EZproxy single-solution remote access for all UBC library users to be deployed in mid-2010
  • a new Library homepage design to be deployed in January 2010
  • equipment and signage for Rare Books and Special Collections and Woodward Library
  • a “Find Me” feature on the Learning Centre website to assist students in locating members of their study group within the facility
  • a new Canaccord Learning Commons for the David Lam Library

UBC Library has boosted its e-journal holdings, in response to students and researchers who have been asking for more extensive collections.

As a result, the Library has been busy adding e-journal backfiles for the past 18 months, resulting in more than 2,900 titles from well-known publishers that cover a wide range of disciplines.

Below are some of the highlights – thank you for your inquiries, and if you have other requests or questions about our electronic collections (which include journals, books and databases) please contact Jo Anne Newyear-Ramirez at

E-journal additions

Annual Reviews (18 titles back to 1932)

BioOne.2 (61 titles)

Cambridge University Press (Journal of Fluid Mechanics Digital Archive 1956-1996)

Elsevier: Agriculture & Biology (118 titles); Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology (140 titles); Cell Press  (six titles back to 1974); Chemistry (104 titles); Environmental Sciences (88 titles); Immunology & Microbiology (73 titles); Lancet (back to 1823); Neuroscience  (80 titles back to 1974); Medicine & Dentistry (341 titles back to 1907)

Chronicle of Higher Education

Emerald press (120 titles back to 1994)

JAMA (1983) and nine archive journals (1925)

Lippincott Definitive Collection (312 titles back to 1916)

Nature (1869)

Psychiatry Legacy Collection (six titles from American Psychiatric Publishing to as early as 1844)

Oxford University Press (55 titles back to 1878)

Sage Deep backfile (445 titles)

Springer Journal Archive (926 titles back to as early as 1873)

Wiley (Angewandte Chemie International Edition 1962-1997)

Thieme Medical Publisher: Medical Archive (23 titles back to 1953); Synlett (1989-2008); Synthesis (1969-2008)

The verdict is in – and the winner of UBC Library’s latest iPod contest is Stephen Yoon, a fourth-year science student at UBC.

The contest, held during the fall 2009 semester, asked users to comment on a new and improved search tool that the Library is implementing. A beta version has been available on the Library’s homepage since September. Since then, we’ve invited comments from users to see how we could make the tool even better in locating materials across the Library system.

As an incentive, the Library offered an 8GB iPod Touch to the person who provided the best comments – and the lucky candidate turned out to be Stephen, who spends most of his days studying at Woodward Library.

He’s also taking some elective courses in music and arts, and he found the search tool to be highly helpful in finding resources outside of his regular discipline.

“The new website is easier to use,” he said. “It’s nice that it has different icons for audio and books. Also, when I only want the books from a certain location because I am nearby, I could simply click the location from the left sidebar,” he said.

“It’s nice that there’s an image of the cover so I could easy find the book I need. Lastly, I love the fact that I could select the books in a certain language. This new website is nice! Thank you.”

Thank you in return, Stephen – and congratulations!

cIRcleA couple of years ago, UBC Library’s Hilde Colenbrander challenged a student from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies to determine the amount of Olympics-related research and teaching on the UBC Vancouver campus.

The resulting report was striking, as it highlighted all sorts of material from an array of departments and faculties: Education, Law, Economics, Political Science, Medicine, Geography/Urban Studies, Psychology, the School of Population and Public Health, to name a few. Graduate and undergraduate activities were included, as was a listing of UBC courses on the Olympics.

So there’s no doubt that a wealth of valuable Olympics-related work exists at UBC. But that leads to another issue: how can so many disparate items be made easily available in one spot?

Enter Tara Stephens, who joined the ranks of cIRcle – UBC’s online storehouse for the University’s teaching and research output – in October 2009. Stephens, who previously was a Reference Librarian for Humanities and Social Sciences, will focus on gathering as much of UBC’s Olympics material as possible to store in cIRcle. Contributions are voluntary; the goal is to make the content universally available and have the project serve as a long-term UBC legacy.

Stephens has been busy networking with the campus community and tracking Olympics/Paralympics-related events and people at UBC. She’s also struck up a great working relationship with the UBC 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Secretariat.

UBC Library launched cIRcle more than two years ago, and Colenbrander serves as its Co-ordinator. To date, the repository hosts more than 16,000 items and more material is added daily. The biggest proportion of submissions in cIRcle consists of theses and dissertations, but there are many other items, including webcasts and podcasts. cIRcle is also an “open access” repository, meaning that its contents are freely available to users around the world.

Its Olympics-inspired appointment is indeed opportune. In Place and Promise, UBC’s new strategic plan (, one of the action items under “Research Excellence” calls for the development of “a campus strategy for making UBC research accessible in digital repositories, especially open access repositories.” Given such support and cIRcle’s rapid growth, the effort to share UBC’s research and teaching legacies – Olympic and otherwise – with the world is well-underway.

For more information, please visit

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