Faculty, students and staff have asked a number of questions related to UBC Library’s decision to consolidate its services and collections. Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions are provided below; we will continue to add to these as updates become available.
If you would like to ask a question related to the Library’s changes, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Library Changes” in the subject line.
- There are a number of changes that the Library is undertaking. What are the changes?
- Why is the Library making these changes?
- How is the Library seeking campus consultation for these changes?
- How will faculty and students find library materials if they are moving from one branch to another?
- When will we know whether the St. Paul’s and Hamber hospital libraries will remain open?
- Are these changes unique to UBC Library?
- What is the timeline for the changes?
- What is the best way for me to stay updated on these changes?
- How do I ask a question, make a suggestion or voice my concerns?
UBC Library is combining some of its services and collections to be more efficient. We chose to limit the consolidation to select locations and collections where use of print materials and services have changed significantly. By moving collections, service points, and staff, the Library can continue to offer a high standard of service, accessibility to materials, and longer opening hours.
Branches that are affected include:
- Robson Square Library – closed as of August 31, 2012
- Music Library – proposed move to Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
- St. Paul’s Hospital Library – proposed closure
- Hamber Library (Children’s and Women’s Hospital) – proposed closure
- Woodward Library – include Science/Engineering and reimagined as an Integrated Sciences Library
- Koerner Library – construction and renovation for service points and staff space
- Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – construction and renovation for service points and staff space
Why is the Library making these changes?
Academic research libraries worldwide are facing rapid technological change and shifts in how users access information and create knowledge in the digital age. In response, UBC Library is combining services and collections to meet user demand for new services and spaces.
Factors affecting the decisions included internal reviews of core services (such as reference and circulation services), declining circulation numbers, staff infrastructure (in particular, attrition and retirements), space requirements and prudent planning that falls within the University’s budgetary requirements and framework.
The Library will engage with library users to ensure our vision is inclusive of their needs. Various working groups have been struck with campus representation at the table. Engagement with various stakeholders will continue throughout implementation of the changes. A student communications strategy has been finalized and external communications on the Library changes is being shared through this website, through social media channels (#librarychanges) and PR outreach activities.
UBC Library is working to ensure that its online catalogue reflects the most current locations for its collections. If a particular collection is in transition, physical signage will redirect users to its new location. Liaison librarians will also provide updates to faculty members as needed.
UBC Library is working with the Faculty of Medicine to identify a new service delivery model for St Paul’s and Hamber libraries. A working group has been struck and consists of representatives from the Faculty of Medicine and UBC Library. This group will explore various service models – including virtual services, additional ways to access our collections and resources, and funding possibilities – and report to the Faculty of Medicine and the University Librarian. Further details will be communicated to the campus community as they become available.
Academic research libraries never stay static as they always remain responsive to faculty and student users. UBC Library has made other changes in previous years, including reductions in branches (the closure of Social Work, Macmillan and Math branches), reductions in circulation at the larger branches and reductions in technical services. With 12 separate branches at UBC, the cost of a decentralized system is high. Other academic research libraries are undergoing similar changes, including Harvard and UC Berkeley.
Library changes began in June 2012, although many of the changes taking place were internal discussions, consultations and working committees being struck. A timeline for construction and renovation and collection moves within different library branches will be communicated on the Library website, through the Library’s social media channels, and through physical signage at affected Library branches.
Bookmark this website or follow us on the Library Twitter feed (#librarychanges) and on our Library Facebook page. Library users with limited access to computers will also find temporary directional signage at affected Library branches as needed. When in doubt, please ask for more information from our circulation or reference desk staff.
How do I ask a question, make a suggestion or voice my concerns?
Share your thoughts with Library management by sending us an email at email@example.com – include “Library changes” in the subject line. All emails are redirected to senior management for review. If you would like a direct response, please remember to include your contact information so we can follow-up with you by phone or email.