Library:Help for Community and Visitors

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Download the 2017 Guide to Library Services for the Community and Visitors(PDF)

Whether you are on campus for a day or just stopping by, the Library has much for you to explore. 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.

Getting Started

UBC Library

UBC Library is the second largest research library in Canada and includes 15 branches and divisions including the UBC Point Grey campus and off-campus locations at Vancouver General Hospital and the UBC Okanagan campus.

The Library's collections include more than 7.8 million items in print and electronic format, not including print and electronic journals and series subscriptions, microform, documents, maps, archived materials, media and other items.

UBC Library also has the largest biomedical collection in Western Canada and the largest collection of Asian language materials in the country. It is a depository library for publications of the governments of BC, Canada, Japan and the United Nations.

For more information, see our Facts & Figures

Showcase Collections

  • Videomatica Collection. Make it a Videomatica night! With access to more than 28,000 DVDs, 4,000 VHS titles and 900 Blu-Rays, including cult favourites, Hollywood blockbusters and foreign films, there's no shortage of interesting titles to view. Select your movie list at: videomatica.library.ubc.ca
  • The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection contains thousands of artifacts chronicling early B.C. history, immigration and settlement, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. This free exhibition is open to visitors.
    • Located in Rare Books and Special Collections, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Level 1, Vancouver, B.C.
    • Visit chung.library.ubc.ca for hours and more information.
  • Digital Collections. Explore history from the comfort of your home, thanks to a range of digital collections created and maintained by the Library. Collectively, these document a diverse range of people, places, activities and events, and serve as an important online resource for historians, genealogists and other researchers. Start searching at: digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca

Library services

  • Enjoy our latest selection of newspapers: *Community users can access a number of multi-lingual newspapers and publications to keep updated on global news and to discover international treasures. Start your multilingual search online at guides.library.ubc.ca/newspapers
  • Great Reads collection. Discover new non-fiction and fiction books as part of the Library’s Great Reads collection. Available at multiple branch locations, explore genres such as Canadiana and popular best-sellers. Browse online: greatreads.library.ubc.ca
  • Kids books: The Education Library offers a range of books for children, including eBooks, award-winning books and themed books on topics from dinosaurs to fairytales. Learn more at: education.library.ubc.ca.

Library Cards & Borrowing

If you wish to borrow only a few items, it may be more convenient for you to place an interlibrary loan request at the public or academic library where you are a member.

People unaffiliated with UBC who wish to borrow UBC Library materials or use fee-based UBC Library services such as interlibrary loan may be eligible for one of the following UBC Library Cards.

Library Cards

Community Borrower Cards for individual members of the public

Institutional Borrower Cards for businesses, corporations, and government departments

Visiting faculty and students (These cards do not provide remote access to online databases beyond this list.)

Apply at the Library Cards Desk, Walter C. Koerner Library (604.822.3869), or at the Okanagan Library in Kelowna (250.807.9107).

Borrower Services

If you have any Library card inquiries, please call 604.822.3869.


Online Access

In UBC Libraries

UBC Library computers require users to log in. Community members and public users can obtain guest access IDs from the circulation desk at the branch they are visiting. Government issued photo ID is required for a guest access ID.

While guest-access ID users, community borrowers and alumni can access most electronic resources (databases, ejournals, ebooks, etc.) from UBC Library computers, there are some resources that are restricted to current students, faculty and staff. Here are some major ebook providers that have this restriction:

  • Books 24x7
  • EBL (eBook Library)
  • MyiLibrary
  • CLE Online (Continuing Legal Education)

Note: While ebrary ebooks can be read by anyone on a library computer, some functionality (for example, saving to a Bookshelf) is restricted to current students, faculty and staff.

CLICK HERE for a list of Patron Groups and their access permissions.

From home

The UBC catalogue, research guides and many other open access resources, listed below, are available from anywhere. However, remote access to most databases is restricted by license agreements to current UBC students, staff and faculty.


  • The Library offers many open-access resources, available to anyone, regardless of whether they have a library card. Visit resources.library.ubc.ca for a listing of those available to all on- and off-campus.
  • Explore a range of digital resources created and maintained by the Library. Collectively these document a diverse range of people, places, activities and events, and serve as an important online resource for historians, genealogists and other researchers. Visit our Digital Collections portal to start exploring.
  • cIRcle is the University’s online repository, that features some 40,000 articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, multimedia and audio-visual materials, and more. Learn more at circle.ubc.ca.
  • The Webcast program at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre provides high-quality learning and research-based lectures on an open-access platform. Visit the Webcasts portal.
  • UBC Library has a licence for a research tool called RefWorks (a web-based citation management program). This includes access for alumni as well as current students, faculty and staff. Please see the RefWorks guide for more information.


Assistance

Reference assistance and attendance at the Library’s workshops and training sessions are available free of charge.