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Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at the University of British Columbia: Successes.. Yuen, Eleanor 2009

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 1 "Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at the University of British Columbia (UBC): Successes and Challenges" by Allan Cho, Ann Doyle, Dean Giustini, Kim Lawson, Teresa Lee, Jo-Anne Naslund, May Yan-Mountain and Eleanor Yuen  Abstract        One of the core values of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library system is responding to the diverse needs of international scholars and lifelong learners. In step with UBC's strategic planning document Trek 2010 (UBC, 2006a), the UBC Library places an emphasis on creating an environment of learning within the university for students and faculty from an array of cultural, linguistic and social backgrounds. In this paper, library staff explore how the UBC libraries support diversity through the provision of i) multilingual collections, ii) information literacy and community outreach programs, and iii) preservation, digitization and research projects.        Drawing on these three themes, the work of six UBC library branches will be highlighted. Staff from the Asian Library, Education Library, Humanities and Social Sciences Division, Life Sciences Libraries, Xwi7xwa Library, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will discuss their experiences of working with Aboriginal students and scholars, immigrants, pioneer families and international scholars and cultural exchange students. The paper emphasizes the importance of communication, building relationships, and connecting communities. The authors also examine some of the current challenges and opportunities in providing library services and programs to multicultural populations.  Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  2 Introduction        The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada is located on the traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nations people. These lands have been places for learning dating back to the early days of the Musqueam whose youth were instructed here in their culture, history and traditions and who, in turn, shared their knowledge with new generations of learners.  Today, this tradition of learning continues as students from across the province and from diverse communities and backgrounds come to study at UBC.  An integral part of UBC Library's programs and services is responding to the needs of diverse learners as they engage in academic, cultural, linguistic and research activities. The UBC Library is Canada's second largest research library and houses over 5.4 million volumes. The Library maintains more than 250,000 electronic books, the largest biomedical collection in Western Canada, and the largest Asian language collection in Canada. Over 300 library staff work in 20 branches and divisions, of which three are located at UBC Vancouver’s teaching hospital locations and two are at the Okanagan and Robson Square campuses. These UBC campuses play an important part in the Library's services to its diverse clientele; however, for the purposes of this paper, discussion will be limited to UBC Vancouver. According to UBC’s Trek 2010 document, the university’s priority is to "prepare students to become exceptional global citizens" (UBC, 2006a). This involves raising global awareness and increasing international learning opportunities. In 2007, the total number of students enrolled at UBC Vancouver was 43,579 (35,860 undergraduate, 7,719 graduate) and at UBC Okanagan 4,132 students (4,000 undergraduate, 132 graduate). International students from over 140 countries composed 11.8% (5,663 Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  3 students) of the student body (UBC Facts and Figures, 2006b). The Trek 2010 document includes nine strategic goals for Aboriginal learning. With the First Nations House of Learning and Xwi7xwa Library, the focus is on recruiting and retaining Aboriginal students, faculty and staff; expanding academic offerings; promoting research to benefit First Nations; educating the university and wider community about Aboriginal concerns; and developing international liaisons (UBC, 2006a).        The experiences of library staff in six UBC libraries represent what might be considered culturally-responsive library services.  A short description of these UBC libraries and the programs they offer follows. The Asian Library collects materials in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, Indonesian, Tibetan and Vietnamese languages.  While its collection is comprehensive in its range of subjects, it is especially strong in the humanities and social sciences. Rare books and special collections such as the Puban collection and the archival materials on Asian Canadians are some of the unique items in its 540,000 volume-strong collection. The Education Library, housed in the Faculty of Education's Neville Scarfe Building, serves the needs of teacher candidates in secondary, elementary, native Indian teacher and international teacher education programs. Graduate programs supported by the library include adult education, counseling psychology, fine arts education, higher education, international education, language and literacy education, mathematics and science education, school psychology, special education, and technology education. Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  4 The Humanities and Social Sciences Division (HSSD) is located in the Walter Koerner Library.  It collects books, journals, government publications, electronic resources, maps and atlases, and microforms that support the study, teaching, and research needs of students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences. The Life Sciences Libraries (LSL) comprises Woodward Library on the Point Grey campus and three hospital libraries: Biomedical Branch Library at Vancouver General, St. Paul’s Hospital Library, and Hamber Library (Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia). A wide range of subject areas is covered by the LSLs, and include biology, botany, dentistry, forestry, land and food systems, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmaceutical sciences, and zoology. Woodward Library’s Memorial Room is home to the William C. Gibson History of Medicine and Science Collection, a special collection of over 5000 volumes. Xwi7xwa (pronounced whei-wha) means echo in Squamish and the Xwi7xwa Library holds this name to emphasize Aboriginal perspectives and scholarship in its collections and services. As part of the continuing development of Aboriginal education at UBC, this new library branch (2005) has a mandate to make resources more accessible to Aboriginal people and to play a key role in promoting First Nations cultures and philosophies. The Xwi7xwa Library collections support UBC's Aboriginal programs from law to linguistics, health and human services, education, social work, forestry and fine arts. However, at present there is a particular strength in education. The Library provides information services regarding Aboriginal issues and subjects to students and faculty, other members of the University community, and Aboriginal communities and individuals. The newest branch in the UBC Library system is the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC). Opened in March 2008, the IKBLC has a mandate broader than any Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  5 single branch library as it is responsible for providing people throughout British Columbia with the means to connect with the national and international communities. In addition, the Irving K. Barber Learning centre works to create an interdisciplinary environment to bring people, knowledge, and innovation together and to develop solutions for life challenges in the new millennium.        How library services are provided to a diverse UBC community leads to a discussion of the UBC Library’s collections, community outreach activities as well as preservation, digitization and research projects. The services and programs include forging relationships with faculty, staff and students, engaging in respectful and caring interactions with community groups, and facilitating open communication with all members. Most importantly, the UBC Library works closely with students, scholars, Aboriginal people, immigrants, pioneer families, international and cultural exchange students in building culturally-responsive information services. Diverse Collections—Multilingual AND Multicultural          Building diverse collections that reflect the social, cultural and economic fabric of British Columbia is congruent with the mission of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC). The highlight of IKBLC's Rare Books and Special Collections is the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, which was donated to UBC in 1999.  The collection consists of 25,000 items valued at $5 million dollars (Griffin, 2008), and is designated a national treasure by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board. It covers three main aspects of BC history: 1) the voyages of discovery to the Pacific Northwest of the Americas; 2) the Chinese experience in Canada including early immigration, the BC gold rushes and the building of the CPR railway; and 3) the Canadian Pacific transportation system including the CP railway, CP international shipping and CP BC coast shipping. Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  6        The centrepiece of the Chung Collection is a four-metre long model of the CPR luxury ocean liner Empress of Asia, the pride of Canada's maritime fleet in the early 20th century. In 1990, Chung heard that a builder's model of the ship had ended up in a basement north of Toronto. After 30 years of neglect, it was rusted and had missing parts but Chung said he could still see the beautiful lines of the original model had not been damaged. Made by Fairfield Shipbuilding of Govan Scotland, the shipyard that built the Empress of Asia, the model was built to show Canadian Pacific Steamships what the ship might look like once completed. Chung was told that the model would take three years and $35,000 a year to restore, and he decided to do the work himself. Chung never imagined it would take more than 4,000 hours of labour over six years -- two years longer than his education in medical school. As Dr. Chung says, "This is a B.C. boat.  I hope it shows people what hardships Chinese people went through before they reached the stage they're at today" (Griffin, 2008).  About the donation, Chung believes, "It really tells us what it means to be a Canadian. Even though we were badly treated initially, we now have landed in a very fortunate position. That story is told in all the artifacts and documents" (Griffin, 2008).        Other items on display in the Chung collection include ceramics, tourism and immigration posters, a photograph of the first Chinese person born in Canada and the diary of cabinet minister Hector Langevin, in which he identifies Burrard Inlet as CPR’s western terminus. In May 2008, a librarian archivist was hired to catalogue the Chung Collection using software, digitization techniques and standard cataloguing systems.        In the Asian Library, collecting and processing family and personal archives is an ongoing activity supported by owners of the material and various academic units. The Ron Bick Lee Archives are primary source materials that contribute to an Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  7 understanding of early Chinese settlers, their economic contributions to BC and the impact of the social institutions they established as well as the role they played in PRC and Taiwanese politics. Eleanor Yuen's research about Chinese Canadian name forms and the six Guangdong counties from which most pre-1967 immigrants came from serves as a core reference service especially for those interested in the roots of Chinese Canadian families (Yuen, 2006).          Another rich resource in the Asian Library is the Japanese-Canadian newspaper collection. Tsuneharu Gonnami, a retired Japanese librarian, described these pre-WWII publications in detail. Thanks to the efforts of Gonnami and several other British Columbians, these rare titles have been preserved on microform for future generations. A book entitled Historical Materials of Japanese Immigration to Canada [Kanada Iminshi Shiryo] edited by Gonnami and Norman Amor (2001) documents this collection.        An emphasis on language collections in the Humanities Social Sciences Division has resulted in the development of specialized collections of Italian, German, French, Spanish (which also cover Latin America) and Slavic (Russian, Polish) materials. To better serve foreign language scholars, the librarians supplement their knowledge and expertise in these languages by pursuing coursework and other graduate studies.          The Official Languages Act designates English and French as the official languages of instruction in Canadian schools (Government of Canada, 1985). To support the work of UBC students and faculty, curriculum materials in Canada's official languages are collected by the Education Library. In addition, there are curricular documents about the teaching of French and English, other heritage languages and those of the Pacific Rim. Such linguistically-diverse collections are important in the Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  8 provision of culturally-responsive library services at UBC Library.         However, in addition, collections that include visual and literary representations of diverse cultures, ethnicity and race are also important. The Education Library's children's literature and curriculum materials are selected to represent the Canadian mosaic and to address issues of stereotyping, bias and misrepresentation. In 1991, it was noted by faculty and library staff that there was an absence of visual and literary representations of African and Black people in the children's and young adult books found in the Education Library. Together they worked together to remedy this gap. The African and Diaspora Children’s Literature Project began, and children’s and young adult books were selected to tell stories of individuals of African descent and present images of black children, adults and families. The African and Diaspora Children’s Literature Project Wiki was created to share these resources with the community and to invite their input.        Similarly, the Xwi7xwa collections are intended to reflect Aboriginal perspectives, experiences and scholarship. Materials are selected from a wide arena, including Aboriginal publishers, communities, organizations and professional associations. Materials highlight Aboriginal writers, illustrators, as well as practitioners and professionals in various fields, such as, law, medicine, and education. Xwi7xwa Library also emphasizes materials that support language revitalization and cultural resilience within Aboriginal communities. While the focus is on BC, Xwi7xwa Library has an international scope through the Indigenous issues that are shared globally and through its network of international Indigenous scholars.       Recently, a joint Xwi7xwa-UBC cataloguing proposal to develop a First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) Indigenous Thesaurus was authorized by the MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress. The project fills a gap in terminology and Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  9 conceptual language that is used to describe local Aboriginal cultures, interests and contemporary Indigenous scholarship. The Indigenous thesaurus is being developed to serve local Aboriginal nations, names, places and concepts as well as Indigenous scholarship. This resource will enhance access to UBC print and digital collections and help First Nations/Aboriginal communities to develop libraries, cultural centres and repatriation projects.        Another library unit that welcomes a culturally and linguistically-diverse clientele is the Life Sciences Libraries (LSL). In addition to serving visiting scholars from the biomedical community and international/exchange students, the LSLs play a role in meeting the information needs of foreign-trained health professionals residing in Vancouver and its surrounding area.        Given their specialized training and a desire to obtain Canadian licensing, foreign- trained doctors, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, and other health professionals rely on the LSLs as a source of textbooks and study space, as well as licensure information and exam materials. In response to frequent inquiries about medical licensure, a guide was created by the LSL librarians to help international students prepare for their oral and written exams. LSL librarians work to ensure that appropriate exam study materials, always in high demand, are kept up-to-date and made available at Woodward Library and at the hospital branches. Community Outreach Information Services        Community outreach takes many forms at the UBC Library, and includes activities such as public readings, celebratory events, exhibits, webcasts, consortium agreements and collaborative partnerships. The UBC Robson Reading Series involves the Bookstore, the Library at Robson Square and the IKBLC, and features writers and Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  10 new voices from varying backgrounds and cultures. In fostering the next generation of Canadian writers, the Library provides outreach to the community and shares its resources with learners.        In the past year, the first novelist to read at the Musqueam Reading Room was Wayson Choy, whose award-winning novels about Vancouver's Chinatown during the 20th century include The Jade Peony (1995), All That Matters (2004), and Paper Shadows (1999).  Other featured authors were Rawi Hage, author of Deniro's Game (2006), a novel about the Lebanese civil war; Eden Robinson of Haisla descent and author of Monkey Beach (2000) and Blood Sports (2006); and Madeleine Thien, a Vancouver-born author of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants, widely celebrated for her works of fiction, Simple Recipes (2001) and Certainty (2006).        Serendipity is an annual event collaboratively organized by the Education Library, the Faculty of Education and Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable.  This past year Serendipity 2008 featured a “Celebration of First Nations Writers and Illustrators of Children’s Books” at the First Nations House of Learning with special talks by Richard Van Camp, Leo Yerxa, Julie Flett, and Nicola Campbell. The Lieutenant Governor General, the Honourable Steven Point, opened the event, and members of the local community and educators as far away as Haida Gwaii attended this remarkable celebration.        The annual Open House/Asian Heritage Month Celebration is one of many community outreach activities hosted by the Asian Library. In January 2008, a reception “Honoring Master Wong Tao” was held, and work is well underway to partner with St. John’s College on UBC’s Centennial celebrations and fundraising efforts. Currently, there are exhibits in the Asian Library, the largest one exceeding eighty square feet in the lobby, built around themes related to Asian Canadians. They engage Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  11 both international visitors and local viewers.        Other community outreach endeavours include: Eating Global Vancouver (2006, 2007), two amusing and popular videos, created with a team of history students; the image gallery on irregular Chinese migrants; workshops hosted on Japanese art; and public performances in the Asian Library by Korean and Japanese music students. Occasionally, UBC has staged international social functions at the Asian Library. In 2004, a memorable reception for Princess Takamado of Japan was held during which she presented the library with a set of books on Noh masks, a history of Japanese advertisements and early 20th century women. Through its community outreach efforts, the Asian Library nurtures a commitment to the community and fosters the creation of knowledge.      As the Asian Studies programs develop, so does the reach of the Asian Library. Its membership in international library consortia bring some collection-sharing responsibilities; however, there are numerous benefits such as subscription privileges that include extended interlibrary loan agreements, staff development opportunities, and gifts (e.g., from the Japan Foundation) and donations (e.g., from the Korea Foundation). As a member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), South Asian Microforms Project (SAMP) and the Southeast Asian Microforms Project (SEAM), UBC Library users can borrow from collections of unique research materials such as newspapers, foreign official gazettes, government records, documents, and microform sets in Asian languages free of charge.        Since 2003, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre has sponsored live webcasts of lectures and other events. The archived webcasts are freely available through our Multimedia Repository and via video sharing programs on the web.  Webcast content reflects programming with a multicultural flavour. In the Diabetes Forum 2006: A Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  12 Public Forum and Live Webcast, (UBC Faculty of Medicine & IKBLC, 2006) as well as the Diabetes Research 2005: A Public Forum and Webcast, (UBC Faculty of Medicine & IKBLC, 2005), the discussions included health information about how diabetes affects different ethnicities. In the SK Lee Enchanted Evening Concert Series, Sangha at Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Gardens in Vancouver Chinatown was featured together with a special performance by Sangha performers, and Indian classical improvisational traditions of music. In April 2004, the Learning Centre taped UBC's Special Honorary Degree Ceremony with the keynote address by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.        Another Learning Centre partnership that is underway involves the Arts Co-op Program, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and UBC's School of Library Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS). This project supports the Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) in New Aiyansh, Nisga’a territory, in the design of its archives. SLAIS faculty is supervising an archival co-op graduate student working on the project, and a Xwi7xwa librarian is providing consultancy on cultural protocols and other considerations.        Through the provision of reference, research and outreach services, the Xwi7xwa Library supports onsite and remote development of Aboriginal community libraries, archives and resource centres.  A project supported by a community research grant with the Mowachaht and Muchalaht First Nations and the UBC Department of History called Reclaiming the Past for Tomorrow: Indigenous Narratives and Knowledge Repatriation is developing a community resource centre at Tsaxana. Kim Lawson serves in the community visioning process and as a trainer to take inventories of the books, artifacts and documents.        The key to building culturally-responsive library services depends on including students in the development process. Their participation and insights in the design and delivery of library services not only provides an intellectually-stimulating Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  13 learning environment but enables the library to partner with future scholars and professionals. SLAIS students engage in projects as interns, professional-experience students, peer mentors and volunteers.  The Asian Library and SLAIS, for example, have created a Multicultural Committee, and the increase in SLAIS students with proficiencies in Asian languages is noticeable.  Many conduct their “professional experience” and work as “co-op librarians” at the UBC Library and participate in a wide array of specific projects.  The First Nations House of Learning was instrumental in creating the First Nations Curriculum Concentration at SLAIS. It established an Aboriginal scholarship in honour of Gene Joseph, Xwi7xwa’s founding librarian. Eight Gene Joseph scholars have graduated as librarians and archivists, and all were mentored at the Xwi7xwa Library. As well, Xwi7xwa has partnered on a grant from the Canadian Library Association, to develop a brochure and website to recruit Aboriginal people to librarianship, and to educate the broader community about library and information services for Aboriginal people and the unique parameters of Indigenous librarianship.        Community relationships are built by UBC librarians in a number of ways, such as making pancakes at community breakfasts or canoe paddling with student longboat teams. Reference librarian Kim Lawson is recognized as a leader in Aboriginal librarianship and for her work in designing culturally-relevant information services. Her collaborative work on the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (First Archivists Circle, 2006) created pathways between different frameworks for identifying, interpreting, and assessing knowledge systems. Her masters’ thesis was entitled Precious Fragments: First Nations Materials in Archives, Libraries, and Museums (2004), and she is active in organizing and convening conference sessions as a means of sharing her knowledge and expertise. Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  14       In addition to readings, events, collaborative projects and mentoring, teaching is another effective means of outreach at the UBC Library. The librarians in the Life Sciences Libraries (LSL) teach information literacy skills to foreign-trained health professionals within the context of several professional programs at UBC, namely the International Dental Degree Completion Program (IDDCP), International Medical Graduates of BC (IMP-BC) Program and the Canadian Pharmacy Practice Programme. Library instruction is well-integrated in these programs and designed to give participants an understanding of how to find and evaluate research evidence to support clinical decision-making in the 21st century. LSL librarians focus their teaching efforts on the biomedical databases and key sources of information from which to cull the “best evidence” as well as ways to critically appraise information in the evidence-based literature. Preservation, Digitization and Research Projects        At UBC, several digitization projects demonstrate how librarians, researchers and publishers are using information technologies to meet their common goals of knowledge preservation and dissemination.  Since its 1957 inception, community engagement and outreach initiatives have been integral to programs at the Asian Library. The Library has a print copy of the Chinese Times from 1914–1992, the oldest Chinese newspaper in Canada. This singularly important archive for researchers, students, and community members chronicles major events in Canada, China and Hong Kong that have affected Chinese immigrants. It constitutes a piece of Canadian history not found in government records, mainstream media and other publications published outside the Chinese community. In 2007, in collaboration with Simon Fraser University (SFU), UBC began to digitize the newspaper as part of the Multicultural Canada digitization project. Now available online, it will soon be searchable by English Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  15 keywords at the article-level.        In the spirit of preservation and access, the promotion of Chinese language historical materials is regularly undertaken. In 2000, the Historical Chinese Language Materials in British Columbia ( project was launched with the Institute of Asian Research and SFU (Yuen, 2003). These collections include four shelves of 142 clan association publication titles, and family archives of major pioneers. The Utah Genealogy Services Centre recognized the unique research value of this collection, and agreed to fund the digitization of 142 titles in the collection starting in 2009. An important preservation project completed in 2000 is the facsimile edition of the sixteen-volume set of Kanada Iminshi Shiryo (Historical Materials of Japanese Immigration to Canada) with some content translated into English (Gonnami, 2001). In 2006, a private donor matched funds from the UBC Library to provide online access to the community section of Ming Pao (1994–), one of three major Chinese newspapers in Canada.        In a recent article in the Technical Services Quarterly, Shu Liu, Metadata Librarian of the Morgan Library at Colorado State University, reported her experience in developing a prototype of a learning object depository of select archival materials from the “Historical Chinese Language Materials in British Columbia” (Liu, 2007). In 2003- 2004, Liu worked under the supervision of Eleanor Yuen, Head librarian at the Asian Library, as a graduate student. The project provides a perspective of the UBC Library’s efforts to support learning and research by digitizing archival materials, and suggests that librarians can take more proactive roles in technology initiatives.        The Xwi7xwa Library's digitization plan enhances preservation of and access to its unique collections. Through a partnership with the UBC Archives, the Memory Project is digitizing the Indian Education Newsletter. This newsletter was published by the Indian Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  16 Education Resources Centre under the direction of the British Columbia Native Indian Teachers' Association (BCNITA) from 1970-1977 and represents a significant historical record of Indigenous education in BC. Freely-available through the Xwi7xwa and UBC Archives websites, and via the UBC Library catalogue, this digitization project will serve as an important research and curriculum resource for Aboriginal programs and other coursework related to Indigenous education. The Aboriginal Health Project is a digital project involving Woodward Biomedical Library, UBC Institutional Repository's cIRcle and Xwi7xwa Library. Four library partners have identified areas for collaborative teaching and learning within Aboriginal health and future plans include exploring ways to build digital collections relevant to Aboriginal health and well-being. Intercultural Library Services – Some Challenges        Numerous visitors from China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and North America spend time touring the UBC libraries. Drawn to our special collections, community outreach programs and the expertise of the subject specialist librarians, visitors have included librarians, artists, principals, teachers, university administrators, government officials, scholars and interns from around the world. Exchange students from Asia and Europe who are funded by their universities come to Vancouver to learn about multicultural life and to experience the work environment at a large university research library.          In the following narrative, May Yan-Mountain, Technical Services Assistant in HSSD, presents her interactions with a Master's candidate form Osaka University. As a Japanese exchange student, he conducted research on pre-1900 Canadian history, and experienced challenges that most international students face in using a large academic Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  17 library system. Here, May expresses her views as a member of the library staff:          “During 2007, a Master's candidate from Osaka University was regularly visiting the Humanities and Social Sciences division at the Walter C. Koerner Library to search for pre-1900 British Columbia related materials included in defending his dissertation. His progress was slow as most of the information he needed was stored on microform and he had to scan the contents of endless rolls of microfilm and sheets of microfiche to determine relevancy.           As he frequently travelled to and from Canada and Japan for his studies, it became a challenge for me to help him with his work. At one point, it was necessary to refer him to a reference librarian. While I was able to assist him with certain technical aspects, I couldn't help him much in terms of the content of his research. The student stated that what he had collected at UBC was mostly census data about ethnic origins and that he was short on historical primary documents. In addition, the university where he was studying in Japan may have had a subscription to JSTOR but it did not include coverage of the “Journal of Social History,” which would have enabled him to check the exact source for emigrations from Britain during the early 1850s and statistical materials on First Nations in the same period. He did not think such sources would be available on any freely accessible websites nor would such information be reliably presented in Wikipedia.         Shortly after the student returned to Japan, he sent me an email thanking me and the HSS staff for making his research successful and saying that his stay in Canada was a valuable experience. He talked about the relationship between UBC and Osaka University libraries with one of his supervisors. On hearing the student's recommendation, his supervisor expressed interest in future collaborative initiatives between the two libraries. From UBC’s perspective, it certainly opens another door for international and multicultural outreach initiatives.”          In the Education Library, similar challenges are encountered in teaching international students and teacher candidates. Multilingual library staff with knowledge of Spanish would have helped when visiting Chilean principals and secondary science educators came to UBC. The ability to speak Spanish would have been useful in collaborating with Tec de Monterrey faculty in support of a joint online Master of Educational Technology degree.         That said, library support for the international doctoral degree program between UBC and Kasetsart University in Thailand was aided considerably by a Thai-speaker at the Education Library. Further multilingual handouts are being considered to explain basic library procedures and to describe the organization of materials in the Library of Congress Classification system. Meeting other linguistic challenges include helping international students structure their catalogue and database searches, and use Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  18 synonyms and variant English terms, either more specifically or generally as required. Moreover, finding relevant international research literature on education issues and topics can be a problem since some online databases exhibit a North American content bias. Even more challenging, and of great significance, is the need to collect more materials to help advanced English speakers improve their spoken and written skills. International graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants need this support and the library's ability to offer culturally-responsive library service is hindered without it.        Library services relating to Indigenous knowledge and in support of Aboriginal communities face unique challenges as well as the multilingual ones described.  First Nations in Canada have a unique relationship with the federal government as self- governing nations. The self-determination interests of First Nations are represented in UBC's course content and Aboriginal programs, and in the research goals of Indigenous faculty, students and community researchers.  Many Aboriginal researchers are bridging traditional knowledge systems with academic traditions. Culturally-responsive library service supports the idea of respectful research, which can revitalize culture and heal communities (Lawson, 2004). Their concerns and innovative approaches shape many reference encounters and are incorporated into library instruction, such as Xwi7xwa’s workshops on “Finding Aboriginal Perspectives.” Conclusion As a major academic and research library in Canada, the UBC Library provides a range of responsive services and programs in support of international students, scholars and intercultural partners in the community. In building on its history of providing services to varied groups, the Library assumes a vital role in supporting and highlighting the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the province. The Library is also an Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  19 important multicultural stakeholder and furthers the university's vision to reach out to and reshape thinking in the community, especially in terms of race, indigenity, ethnicity and culture. In the 21st century, the UBC Library is building its reputation as a culturally-sensitive organization and continually working toward the provision of high-quality library services for its varied user groups. Eleanor Yuen et al.,  Dimensions of Responsive Multicultural Library Services at UBC  20 Bibliography African and diaspora children's literature project wiki. (2006). Retrieved July 5, 2008, from Amor, N. L., & Gonnami, T. (2001). Historical materials of Japanese immigration to Canada. Tokyo: Fuji Shuppan. Assembly of First Nations. (1990). Towards linguistic justice for First Nations. Ottawa: Education Secretariat, Assembly of First Nations. Choy, W. (1995). The jade peony.  Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. Choy, W. (1999). Paper shadows: A Chinatown childhood.  Toronto: Viking. Choy, W. (2004). All that matters.  Toronto: Doubleday Canada. Da han gung bao = the Chinese times. (1915-). Vancouver, BC. Eating global Vancouver: Green Lettuce Restaurant. (2006). 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