At its most basic, copyright means the right to copy. Owners of copyright are the only ones allowed to copy their works or give permission to others to copy their works.

But while the definition may seem simple, copyright issues are often complex, and the landscape is undergoing major change. At UBC Library, we’re committed to keeping you up to date with the latest developments, thanks to our copyright site. If you have questions, or would like to know more about copyright, make sure to visit the site – it includes information on the Copyright Act, the Access Copyright issue, copying and scanning at UBC, a licensing database, the Google Book settlement and more.

In March 2010, UBC Library completed its third LibQUAL survey, which assesses user satisfaction with our services, collections and spaces. This helps us compare current perceptions of services with those from earlier surveys.

UBC Library took significant steps to respond to gaps identified in 2009. This latest survey identified new issues, and we have continued to make improvements. Here are a few examples of our efforts.


You told us you would like improved navigation of our websites.

The Library:

  • launched Summon, a new discovery tool, to make it easier to find new resources across collections.
  • launched a new interface and access portal for subject research guides.
  • created online tutorials for the David Lam Library website.
  • converted online inventories of archival collections to PDF format to make them more findable via Google.
  • made it easier to find UBC theses and dissertations by including cIRcle items in Summon.
  • is revamping the Xwi7xwa Library website to make information about courses with Indigenous content, First Nations languages and Aboriginal resources easier to find.

You told us you valued our teaching to help you with your research. We have continued to enhance our teaching and learning services by customizing content to better match your information needs.

The Library:

  • revamped the instruction module for ASTU 150 (Arts Studies in Research and Writing) to focus on resources in the Arts.
  • reviewed and updated all online instructional materials.
  • taught classes to help further your interdisciplinary studies. For example, medical students learned about business information resources.
  • embedded a “Library Research Skills for Biologists” tutorial in Vista for 3,500 students.
  • joined other campus services to create a one-stop referral and support centre in the Chapman Learning Commons to help you with academic, technical and directional questions.
  • programmed cross-unit training classes for staff to enable a broader knowledge base.


You told us you would like more electronic and print materials.

The Library:

  • bought more e-books in business, science and engineering.
  • bought the Adam Matthew digital collection, emphasizing research materials in the arts, humanities and social sciences for undergraduates (collections include “America, Asia and the Pacific”; “Confidential Print: Middle East”; “Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History” and more).
  • bought the SAE Digital Library collection
  • made Books 24×7 more accessible online
  • prioritized the cataloguing of international resources – including the most important collections in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and  Punjabi.

Student Learning Spaces and Equipment

You told us you liked the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) for study and socializing. But you’re also concerned about overcrowding and the lack of quiet spaces in the Library system.

The Library:

  • designated a Graduate Research Room in IKBLC for Art History graduate students.
  • dedicated zoned quiet and silent study spaces in the new Canaccord Learning Commons at the Sauder School of Business.

You told us you would like more computers with newer software and easy-to-use tools.

The Library:

  • updated software on Mac multimedia workstations in the Chapman Learning Commons.
  • opened the multi-purpose GIS/Research Data Lab in Koerner Library.
  • installed a scanner in the Learning Centre (north wing).
  • renovated the Woodward Library Garden Level and replaced 20 computers.
  • opened the Canaccord Learning Commons and replaced 18 computers.


You told us it was difficult to find books and materials in the stacks.

The Library:

  • completed inventories of collections in Koerner Library, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Education Library and other branches.
  • started to identify “hidden” collections and develop a plan to make them more visible.

You told us you valued easy-to-use tools.

The Library:

  • improved self-serve checkout machines.
  • offered a post-to-Web service for document-delivery articles.


You told us the Library’s service could be more visible.

The Library:

  • provided onsite drop-in reference services
  • published articles in student newsletters, local newspapers and other publications.
  • reached all incoming medical residents through a systematic liaison program.
  • exhibited students’ creative works at the Asian Library “Identiverse” event and the Art History Graduate Symposium.
  • engaged new partners in the Community Historical Recognition Program.
  • continued to run the BC History Digitization Program.
  • launched the Small Business Accelerator program.

These are some good steps. But we always want to know how UBC Library can serve you better. Thank you again for participating in the LibQUAL 2010 survey – and if you have feedback, comments or questions, please contact us at

Margaret Friesen

Assessment Librarian

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





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