Download the 2017 Guide to UBC Library Services for Alumni (PDF)

Visit the Library

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. For tours of the Library, contact

Library Card

UBC Library invites you to stay in touch and connect with us. Alumni who come to the campus may search the Library's catalogue, connect to online article indexes and electronic texts, consult books, journals and other materials, attend a training session, and obtain basic information and reference assistance, all free of charge. Use the Library's resources to pursue your own goals for learning or to develop new research skills.

The Library is pleased to offer free community borrower privileges to UBC alumni who have obtained the Alumni Association ACard. Community Borrower Library Cards normally cost $120 per year.

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

Where to obtain your ACard

Apply for your free ACard from the UBC Alumni Association:

Then, bring your ACard to the Library Cards Desk at Walter C. Koerner Library, or to the Okanagan Library in Kelowna along with one piece of government issued photo ID. Your card will be activated, registering you as a Library borrower.

In addition to free Library privileges, the ACard entitles you to discounts on other campus services. For more information, contact the UBC Alumni Association.

Please note that these Library privileges are for Alumni Association members' personal use only, and may not be transferred to other family members or used for business purposes.

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 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
  • 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.


Reference assistance and attendance at the Library’s workshops and training sessions are available free of charge. Alumni are welcome to attend many of the other library training sessions. Attendance at some subject-specific sessions may be limited to students and faculty.

Classes for groups of alumni can be arranged, for a fee. For further information contact the UBC Alumni Association.