Library:About UBC Library

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Overview

Learning, knowledge, research, insight: welcome to UBC Library, a leading institution in North America, ranked 22nd in the Association of Research Libraries’ 2014 Investment Index. The Library has 15 branches and divisions, including on- and off-campus locations and its Okanagan campus location.
Whether you are on campus for a day or just stopping by, the Library has much for you to explore. As the second-largest research library in Canada, our collections include more than 7 million items. From the exceptional Chung Collection exhibition, to beautiful art in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, to guest access for computers and electronic resources, there is something for everyone.


Facts and Figures

In 2014-2015, UBC Library:

  • Saw over 3.8 million visits to its branches and more than 9.5 million visits to the UBC Library website
  • Answered over 113,000 questions at its service points, including over 51,000 reference questions and over 12,000 via virtual interactions (including online chat and email)
  • Facilitated more than 300,000 loans to UBC student, faculty and community borrowers
  • Provided more than 12 million e-book and e-journal downloads

UBC Library Collections include:

  • Over 7 million items (print and electronic)
  • Access to more than 2.1 million e-books
  • Access to more than 370,000 journal titles
  • Over 5.3 million microforms


Strategic Directions

The collections and services provided by UBC Library directly support its strategic directions and goals. Find out what the Library is doing to enhance student learning, accelerate research, manage collections in a digital context and engage with community. All figures for 2014/15 academic year, unless otherwise stated.


Enhancing Student Learning

Goal: Actively partner with faculty in curriculum design, teaching critical thinking, digital literacy and information fluency

  • Librarians and library staff taught over 32,000 participants in more than 1,300 classes on topics including: information literacy, citation management, thesis formatting, copyright, social media, and using digital collections.

Goal: Provide new technologies to enhance student learning and productivity, wherever users are

  • Library branches provide access to a variety of technologies including more than nearly 600 computer workstations, as well as laptops, camcorders, projectors, SMART boards, scanners, voice recorders, audio mixers, speakers, and more for students to borrow.

Goal: Develop user-centered spaces and services to promote informal learning, study and reflection, collaboration and dialogue

  • The Library offers 27 student-bookable study rooms, each of which can accommodate 4 to 9 students and some of which are equipped with SMART boards and LCD monitors
  • Over 4296 tutoring and coaching interactions took place at Chapman Learning Commons in the 2013/14 academic year.

Goal: Expand support for Aboriginal students and encourage all students to learn about Aboriginal issues and perspectives

  • Home to Xwi7xwa Library, the only Aboriginal branch of a university library in Canada.


Accelerating Research

Goal: Increase the impact of UBC research by making it widely available in open access digital repositories

Goal: Establish a research commons, including specialized services to enhance research productivity

  • In fiscal year 2014/15 Research Commons staff delivered 112 workshops on bibliographic citation tools, interdisciplinary research exchange, and thesis formatting to more than 900 participants


Managing Collections in a Digital Context

Goal: Implement a comprehensive digitization program to provide unlimited online access to materials of research and teaching value

  • UBC Library has digitized more than 30,000 UBC theses as part of the Retrospective Theses and Dissertation project. When combined with the Electronic Theses and Dissertations program, UBC Library provides full-text access to more than 41,000 UBC theses.
  • Since 2006, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre’s BC History Digitization Program has awarded more than $1.2 million in support of 144 digitization projects.


Engaging with Community

Goal: Actively support the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and all Library branches in their community engagement initiatives

  • Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is a partner on the Indigitization project which provides a toolkit for “conservation and digitization of First Nations community information resources.”

Goal: Increase the Library’s global presence

  • Effective 1 December 2012, UBC Library and Peking University Library have signed an agreement that “involves the exchange of staff and expertise related to cataloguing and conservation, especially for Asian materials.”


Key Highlights

  • Features the first automated storage and retrieval system in a Canadian library, with a capacity of more than one million volumes.
  • Holds the first book published in B.C., a legal work that was the personal copy of David Cameron, the one-time Chief Justice of Vancouver Island.
  • Has digitized more than 30,000 UBC theses as part of the Retrospective Theses and Dissertation project. When combined with the Electronic Theses and Dissertations program, UBC Library provides full-text access to almost 37,000more than 41,000 UBC theses.
  • Holds the extensive archives of Douglas Coupland, one of Canada’s most renowned authors and an internationally recognized visual artist who popularized the term “Generation X.”
  • Is home to Xwi7xwa Library, the only Aboriginal branch of a university library in Canada.
  • Houses the outstanding Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, a designated national treasure.

For a complete listing of on- and off-campus Library branches and divisions, please visit the Hours and Locations page.