Oct 26, 2012 / 5:00 am
The library at UBC-Okanagan has just finished receiving a major upgrade, thanks to a $1.4-million makeover.
The upgrade includes increasing student seating by 25 percent and the addition of new amenities designed to enrich the student learning experience.
“A campus library needs abundant resources and the latest learning technologies for our students to achieve academic success,” says Deborah Buszard, principal and deputy vice chancellor of UBC’s Okanagan campus.
“These renovations enhance the process of discovery and research. We have also created a space that is more comfortable and conducive to learning.”
The make-over is being applauded by students who acknowledge the library's role as an intellectual hot-spot.
"The role of the library and learning commons is to enhance student engagement in their academic and university endeavours which ensures their success at UBC’s Okanagan campus,” says Abdulrahman Alnaar, a fourth-year political science student.
“The improvement to the Library Learning Commons’ physical, social and technical environment has been phenomenal."
Buszard calls the UBC library a superb public resource and she hopes people from the wider community will be encouraged to use the campus library and its access to titles, e-books, digital collections and reference materials.
In spite of this latest upgrade, the library still faces more challenges. There are now 8,000 students using the library, which was originally built to accommodate 3,500.
“We have taken a significant step, but the job is not yet done,” says Buszard.
Officials are planning a major expansion for the library, but will need help from the community.
Buszard says since the expansion is considered an unfunded capital priority not covered by provincial grants, there is an urgent need for donors.
“An expanded library presents an excellent and significant opportunity for philanthropy. We welcome the participation of like-minded individuals and corporations who share our educational philosophy. Our students deserve the very best and we are working hard to provide them with the tools they need.”
The renovations have resulted in a number of significant changes to the Learning Commons and the general operation of the library including:
- A single service point that combines circulation and reference
- More seats
- An additional quiet reading room similar to the Field Reading Room
- Additional group study rooms
- Self-service checkout
- Self-service holds and reserves
The library at the Okanagan campus is part of a larger network of 21 branches and divisions, including on and off campus locations. That means users of UBC's library have access to:
- More than 6.3 million volumes
- More than 875,000 e-books
- More than 165,000 serial titles
- Nearly 5.7 million digital collections (pages, images)
- More than 5.3 million microforms
- More than 883,000 maps, audio, video and graphic materials
Alnaar says students are acutely aware of both what they have achieved and how much further the effort needs to go for a bigger and better library.
“The new renovations and the extension of our library will ensure the cultivation of increased collaboration between students, which is always a great thing academically and socially."
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