Lead Through Strong Connections and Collaborations

LibraryLooking for information from previous years? Check out past highlights below!

The Okanagan Library regularly and purposefully establishes partnerships with campus and community collaborators in order to advance the University’s strategic initiatives and take our passion and expertise outside the Library’s walls. In 2017, our community partnership initiatives included our partnership with the National Network for Equitable Library Service, launch of the Library’s new podcast series, and growth of projects such as the Innovation Library collaboration with the Okanagan Regional Library, and the Okanagan Region Historical Digitization Project (ORHDP). On-campus and inter-campus projects such as the Inclusive Technology Lab partnership with the Disability Resource Centre and records management program collaboration with the UBC Records Management Office have also led to expanded opportunities for shared engagement, and we look forward to exciting work in 2018 with both new and existing colleagues.

National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) Partnership

In 2017, the Okanagan Library continued to partner with UBC Okanagan’s Community Service Learning (CSL) program and NNELS to provide students with an opportunity to volunteer on campus, and have Canada-wide impact. Through this partnership, students read and record children’s books using the Library’s recording studio, creating audiobooks to add to the NNELS online collection. Individuals from across Canada with perceptual disabilities can then access the audiobook files through their public library.

“This was an unexpected reprieve from my regular studying! I really enjoyed this project.”

“Learning about who has access to books and who needs access was really interesting.”

“I plan to be an elementary teacher, and this seems like really relevant work experience.”

Frequencies logoFrequencies Podcast Series

During this year’s Science Literacy Week, the Library launched its Frequencies podcast series, wherein UBC researchers discuss their research in a new, accessible format. Each season will revolve around an emerging topic or current event, with each episode tackling the issue from a different perspective. The first two seasons were released in 2017:

  • Season 1 – In Science: For Science Literacy Week 2017, Frequencies explores the connections between science and society: the implications of scientific research on our culture, how scientists communicate their ideas, and how our society responds.
  • Season 2 – Open Access: There are many ways to make academic research and resources freely available, but complex challenges face us in capturing, sharing, and communicating them. Season 2 of Frequencies celebrates Open Access Week 2017 by exploring some of these issues in greater detail.

Okanagan Region Historical Digitization Project

The Okanagan Region Historical Digitization Project (ORHDP) is an initiative that promotes access to unique historical resources currently maintained in a wide range of repositories throughout the Okanagan Valley. The digitization project will ultimately provide online access to scanned copies of these local resources worldwide on a 24/7 basis and has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the Okanagan community. Many of the organizations approached to participate were quite small – with commensurate budgets – and have neither the time nor the technology to conduct this digitization work. Overall, they recognized an alignment with their mission, which includes a principled commitment to contributing to the public trust of historical materials, considered this a welcome hand of assistance in the form of resources and expertise, and saw the project as a valuable opportunity for their archive to reach a much larger audience.

In 2016, the project proposal garnered donor support. UBC archivists on the two campuses worked collaboratively through late 2016 and early 2017 to conduct a pre-digitization survey with interested institutions/organizations, and develop a clear understanding of what has been digitized, current platforms used to access any digitized materials, level of descriptive information (metadata) available, and priorities for preservation.

Then, in Summer 2017, student digitization teams were trained and began the site-based work of digitizing and uploading identified collections to a web-based portal which utilizes the provincially recognized Arca platform. This portal, aptly named “Digitized Okanagan History,” will officially launch in early 2018, featuring selected holdings from 11 repositories throughout the Okanagan Valley. Over 30,000 digital assets have been collected as part of this initiative; approximately 3,000 will be available on the launch date with the rest being loaded to the platform incrementally as the necessary processing and metadata work is completed.

This unique initiative positions UBC Okanagan as a regional leader in digital preservation.

Records Management

In November 2016, UBC Okanagan Campus Library proposed to phase in a service-based records management program aimed at reducing risk, increasing statutory and policy compliance, and stewarding the campus’ archival record.

The formation of a records management Community of Practice for campus administrators has been a success. In total, nine meetings have been held, and the group has representation from thirteen different units. This realizes the goal of establishing a channel for both communicating guidance and receiving input.

A list of candidate units for records review services based on reported risk profiles has been developed and two pilot projects were undertaken by the Records Management team this year:

  • A tailored electronic records review service piloted with a single unit. Services delivered to this unit through the pilot include a department-level information management policy, new electronic folder schema, implementation plan, and customized naming convention. Building on the success of the pilot, the Records Management team has begun digital readiness work with eight more administrative units; and
  • A records storage program pilot launched, providing participating units with full-service records storage for paper records. This pilot helped to develop successful records storage workflows, which will transition smoothly to the increased capacity afforded by the move to the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC).

The team is also working on two additional projects, both of which rely on strong cross-campus collaboration with colleagues in Vancouver:

  • Creation of an Online Payment Tool (OPT) Digitization Policy Development Committee, which will articulate the functional requirements of a digitization program that would permit the recognition of a scanned image as the authoritative record, and allow the destruction of the paper referent; and
  • Creation of a Digital Transfer Tool Working Group, which will develop an effective means to transfer digital records to archival custody.

Front of UBCO Library

The Okanagan Library regularly and purposefully establishes partnerships with campus and community collaborators in order to advance the University’s strategic initiatives and take our passion and expertise outside the Library’s walls. In 2016, our community partnership initiatives included growth of projects such as the Innovation Library collaboration with the Okanagan Regional Library, the Leader in Residence program, and the One Book Kelowna initiative in addition to the new Okanagan Region Historical Digitization Project. On-campus and inter-campus projects such as the Inclusive Technology Lab partnership with the Disability Resource Centre and records management program collaboration with the UBC Records Management Office have led to expanded opportunities for shared engagement, and we look forward to exciting work in 2017 with both new and existing colleagues.

Leader in Residence Program

Leader in ResidenceIn June 2016, the Library’s Leader in Residence (LIR) program featured Pilar Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Library Journal’s 2014 “Library of the Year,” Edmonton Public Library. With over 50 in-person attendees from the Okanagan and beyond, and over 1,000 online views of Pilar’s LIR presentation “Making a Difference: A Community-Led Service Framework for Libraries,” which was archived in cIRcle, UBC’s institutional repository, 2016 marked the most successful LIR event to date.

The Library’s 2017 LIR program will host Terri Tomchyshyn, winner of the 2014 Canadian Library Association/Alan MacDonald Mentorship Award and Senior Evaluator, Department of National Defense in Ottawa.

One Book Kelowna

Fall 2016 marked presentation of the second One Book program organized by UBC Okanagan Library. The program expanded in 2016 to involve two new partners, Okanagan Regional Library and Okanagan College, in an effort to bring programming to a larger segment of the local population. A diverse series of events focused on author Alix Hawley’s award-winning book All True Not a Lie In It.

A program opening at the Okanagan Regional Library’s Kelowna branch, boasted fiddle music and a warm introduction by last year’s One Book author, Michael V. Smith, and concluded with Hawley presenting on her research and writing process.

At Okanagan College’s Centre for Dialogue, a later event featured a panel discussion about the pleasures and perils of writing historical fiction. Beginning with an introduction to the history behind All True Not a Lie In It by Okanagan College professor Howard Hisdal, the event continued with a brief reading from each of the authors and a discussion of the writing process, dealing with historical (in)accuracies and the distinction between creative fiction and non-fiction.

The final event at the Third Space Café featured Dr. Margo Tamez from UBC Okanagan’s Indigenous Studies program speaking powerfully about her experience of reading the novel. Hawley wrapped up the series with a reading from the sequel (expected to be released in 2018) and answered questions.

Okanagan Region Historical Digitization Project

Digitizing photographsIn 2014, UBC Okanagan began to consider the possibility of establishing a regional digital collection of historical collections related to southern British Columbia. Further investigation and consultation revealed many interesting, unpublished collections residing in a number of Okanagan locations including archives, museums, historical societies, and other organizations. In many cases, these institutions and organizations are very small, understaffed, and lack the financial resources and staff expertise necessary to enhance access to their important historical resources through online means. In addition, there are significant complications involved in relocating the collections to UBC Okanagan for purposes of digitization. From this reality evolved the idea of an “itinerant digitization” project wherein a skilled student digitization team would transport digitization equipment to locations in the Okanagan Valley and provide digitization services in situ. The only requirements on the part of partner organizations are access to space and electricity, as well as permission to allow open, online access to the digitized collections via a project portal.

In 2016, this project proposal garnered donor support. UBC archivists on the two campuses are working collaboratively to conduct a pre-digitization survey with interested institutions/organizations, and develop a clear understanding of what has been digitized, current platforms used to access any digitized materials, level of descriptive information (metadata) available, and priorities for preservation.

In Summer 2017, student digitization teams will be trained and begin the site-based work of digitizing and uploading identified collections to a web-based portal. This unique initiative positions UBC Okanagan as a regional leader in digital preservation, and strengthens links with the Point Grey campus as UBC’s University Archivist has committed a study leave year (July 2017-June 2018) to take an active role in managing the project and developing its future phases.

Records Management

UBC’s Okanagan Campus Library conducted an extensive survey of campus administrative records in 2015/16 to determine the extent to which these records are being managed in a principled and defensible way. A total of 66 units were surveyed; in early 2016, the collected data was analysed by the Chief Librarian, the Records Management Office in Vancouver, and two graduate student assistants.

The analysis identified three areas requiring remedial attention: response to risk, treatment of compliance obligations, and cultivation of the University’s archival record.

As the campus hub for professional practice in information management, UBC Okanagan Campus Library launched, in August 2016, Phase 1 of a service-based records management program, which will reduce risk, increase compliance with statute, internal policy, and business need, and ensure the long-term preservation of the campus’ archival record.

The program is designed around a strongly articulated desire across units for leadership and a decisive course of action from a point of authority, and will primarily consist of the delivery of services: education, support, advice, and procedural resources for campus units, with units retaining final responsibility for their own records management activities.

To date, in Phase 1, the Library has:

  • formed a Community of Practice among administrators across academic units to create durable communication channels and establish feedback mechanisms for resource development;
  • used the data collected in the records survey and compiled a list of candidate units for prioritized records review services based on reported risk profiles; and
  • provided select tailored records review services to units according to risk priority which will result in classification, scheduling, disposition, and archival accession recommendations.

Phase 1 will continue into early 2017, with further program phases rolling out in later 2017 pending funding approval.

2014-15 has been a significant period of collaboration for the Okanagan Library. From community and industry partnerships such as the Innovation Library collaboration with the Okanagan Regional Library and the development of the STAR facilities located in the Library, to on-campus and inter-campus initiatives such as the rimes portal creation with ORS, Inclusive Technology Lab partnership with the Disability Resource Centre, or records management work described immediately below, the Library is encouraged and excited by the prospect of growth through developing closer relationships with its stakeholder groups, and hopes to surface additional opportunities for shared engagement in 2016.

Records Management

In 2015, UBC announced the creation of a centralized Records Management Office (RMO) to provide records management services and advice to UBC departments. The RMO, based on the Point Grey campus is part of the University Archives and operates under the general direction of a steering committee that includes UBC Okanagan’s Chief Librarian.

On the Okanagan campus, the current state of records management is largely unknown. Accordingly, in late 2015 the UBC Okanagan Library, with the administrative support of the Okanagan Leadership Team and the operational support of the university records managers in the RMO, began a campus-wide records survey comprised of brief interviews with those responsible for maintaining records in selected units and offices, as well as general measurement and analysis of records maintained. As of December 31, 2015, Library representatives had completed 23 such interviews and more will be held in early 2016 in order to generate themes and recommendations. 
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UBC Okanagan One Book

In October 2015, the UBC Okanagan Library ran the first One Book UBCO program. One Book programs, which encourage one community to read, experience, and discuss a book together, have been popular across North America in the last decade and have been held by numerous academic institutions.

The One Book UBCO selection for 2015 was the recent fiction title Progress, by UBC Okanagan author Michael V. Smith. In addition to an online forum, four in-person events were held over the course of the month, including several presentations by UBC Okanagan faculty members, and a popular event finale featuring a reading and discussion with the author, which took place at the UBC Innovation Library in downtown Kelowna. 

Leader in Residence Program

In October 2014, the Library’s Leader in Residence program featured Margaret Haines, University Librarian (now emeritus) at Carleton University. Margaret spent several days at UBC Okanagan and participated in a wide variety of activities, including a public lecture discussing Carleton’s major library expansion project. Participants were in attendance from many partner institutions including Thompson Rivers University, Okanagan College, Okanagan Regional Library, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Interior Health Libraries, BC Cancer Institute, Westbank First Nations SnƏcwips Heritage Museum, and Penticton Public Library. The Leader in Residence program will be repeated in June 2016, when we will welcome Pilar Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Library Journal’s 2014 “Library of the Year”, Edmonton Public Library.

In September 2013, the UBC Okanagan Library launched its “Literally” campaign to raise awareness of library services. This campaign quickly evolved into the #MORELIBRARY campaign, discussed further in the section of this report that addresses the creation of dynamic learning and research spaces.Over the course of the past year, the Library welcomed many guests from the Vancouver campus in order to discuss system issues and provide opportunities for concentrated, in-person work with counterparts from Point Grey. These have been extremely successful in building cross-campus relationships and leading conversations about shared services and efficiencies.

UBC Okanagan Library Partnerships Within Region

On October 31, 2013, an official memorandum of understanding between UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College (OC) was signed to formalize the onsite reciprocal borrowing agreement. With this agreement in force, students, faculty and staff can use an existing institutional identification card to borrow from the partner institution (i.e.: UBC students, faculty and staff can use a UBC card to borrow from OC libraries, and OC students, faculty and staff can use an OC card to borrow from UBC libraries). While borrowing between campuses has been taking place for many years, it is hoped that the “one-card” model will facilitate the process.

In February 2013, the Library’s Leader in Residence Program brought a significant Canadian library leader to our campus. Ernie Ingles, Vice-Provost and Director of University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies spent several days at UBC Okanagan and participated in a wide variety of activities, including a public lecture discussing the future of academic libraries. Participants were in attendance from many partner institutions including Thompson Rivers University, Thompson-Nicola Regional District Libraries, Okanagan College, Okanagan Regional Library, Kelowna Museums, Westbank First Nations, and Penticton Public Library.

Over the past year, the Library has been working to prepare its October 2014 program, which will feature Margaret Haines, University Librarian at Carleton University. As Carleton has just completed a major library expansion, we hope that the experience she has to share will be of interest to many on our campus.