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UBC Publications

Golden scrapbook : the centennial update 1965-2015 2017

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Compiled by Tom Shorthouse
 A fifty-year chronology of the many aspirations, challenges and
achievements—large and small—which witnessed the
University of British Columbia Library successfully
adapt to a formidable and changing landscape.
Tom Shorthouse
assisted by George Tsiakos, Megan Brown, and Molly Kumar
Jack Mcintosh and Janice Kreider
Reference and Pictorial Support
Chris Hives
Katherine Kalsbeek
Erwin Wodarczak
Chelsea Shriver
Production Direction
Linda Ong
Becky Potvin
Art Direction and Design
Jasmine Devonshire
Cover image
Main Library, 1969, University of British Columbia Archives
At the conclusion of the original publication celebrating the UBC Library's
first half-century, University Librarian Basil Stuart-Stubbs, made the following
By far the most exciting event in the Library's history fell appropriately in the
year of its fiftieth birthday. In February 1965, a long-time friend of the Library,
Mr. H. R. MacMillan, presented the University with three million dollars, to be
used exclusively for the purchase of books. This was the largest gift of uncommitted funds ever received by a university library. Its effect will be to triple the
collection to over two million volumes within a decade, thus assuring a solid base
for graduate scholarship.
Harvey Reginald ("H.R.") MacMillan
At the end of fifty years, the University of British Columbia Library can look
back with satisfaction and forward with cheerful anticipation. Its future seems
assured, for it has been blessed with ample funds for books, an administration
aware of its importance and sympathetic to its need for expansion, and a well-
trained and energetic staff. Few libraries can make such a claim, with or without
an anniversary to use as an excuse for self-appraisal.
And that is where our continuation of that story begins.
As part of the library's one hundredth anniversary celebration, the sequel
edition 1965  2015 has been prepared for the enjoyment of current library
employees, as well as the broader community. This scrapbook will also be placed
in the UBC Library Centennical time capsule, to be opened in 2115.
 This sequel follows the same basic format as the original: some reminiscences
composed for this occasion by current and former librarians and staff, news items
and statistics from minutes, reports and newsletters over the years, and - interestingly - a chronological collection of both serious and amusing excerpts from
'Biblos', a staff publication produced between 1964 and 1973. This unique magazine, founded with encouragement from the new 'Chief (who occasionally contributed both light-hearted and informative material himself) has served as a useful
barometer of staff concerns and observations during that short but critical period. It
succeeds well in capturing the flavour of those transformative years.
Our wide-ranging and detailed story follows an established pattern. Each
named decade (eg. THE SEVENTIES) is followed chronologically by major
activities occurring during each year of that decade, incorporating text extracted
from various published sources: Biblos, UBC Library Bulletin and The University
Librarian's Annual Report to the Senate.
Interspersed throughout the text are illustrative plates consisting of treasures
from 'The Vault'; photographs of many staff members whose noted contributions and awards are referenced (some of these people have also submitted mostly
light-hearted recollections); appreciations of generous donors whose extraordinary contributions the Library forever celebrates; descriptions of various festivities
marking key accomplishments, social happenings, and campus events as well; and
detailed coverage of some long-sought milestones we reached during our second
fifty years.
Each University Librarian from Douglas Mclnnes forward has kindly
furnished documentation highlighting notable activities during his/her tenure. For
reference purposes, the whereabouts of these reminiscences and the particular
details of those years are located as follows:
Basil Stuart-Stubbs, 1964-1981 [pp. 4-118]
Douglas Mclnnes, 1981-1989 [pp. 119-168]
William Watson, acting: 1989-1990 [pp. 169-183]
Ruth Patrick, 1990-1997 [pp. 183-259]
Heather Keate, acting: 1994, 1997 [pp. 259-261]
Catherine Quinlan, 1997-2007 [pp. 261-325]
Peter Ward, pro tern: 2007-2009 [pp. 325-329]
Ingrid Parent, 2009-2016 [pp. 329-End]
Libraries and the wide range of services they are able to provide today are the
result of many technological developments which made their appearance during
the 1960s.
It was a pivotal time.
Until then, people entering the field could expect to spend much of their
working lives carrying out manual procedures, necessary of course but extremely
labour-intensive. Nearly everything involved paper records of some kind: handwritten in Kardex files for the receipt and management of subscriptions;
typewritten for monographic ordering, cataloguing and book circulation. For
each title, card sets had to be produced, detailing its bibliographic elements and
shelving location. These sets were printed, carefully sorted in prescribed configurations and filed temporarily above a rod in catalogue drawers by teams of
employees, then checked for another level of staff for accuracy before being
dropped into place.
A sample entry from UBC Library Bulletin, no. March 1972 illustrates a
familiar issue. "There are three main reasons why cards may be missing from
the public catalogue. 1. There is a backlog of filing which should be current in
about six weeks, with 30 people currently filing 13/4 inches of cards every day.
2. The printer lost several hundred stencils. These are now in the process of being
replaced. 3. In order to find reviser-time to check marked books to reduce the
number of marking errors, it was necessary to have the final check of card sets
done by lower LAs rather than LA IVs, and the occasional card may not reach its
proper file."
For staff members, valiantly coping with a deluge of international publishing
and extensive collection building to support expanding university programs, some
technological breakthrough couldn't come soon enough.
It was during the mid-sixties that the computer and automation began making
an appearance and libraries and librarians eventually came to welcome the vast
array of possibilities they presented. Readers will discover in the opening portions
of this scrapbook early aspects, both serious and comic, of the workplace revolution under way and a preview of the profound information explosion, then
waiting in the wings.
As mentioned in the excerpt from the original Scrapbook, it had all begun
with H. R. MacMillan's magnanimous 1965 donation of three million dollars to
support the growth of UBC's library collection. This amount, extrapolated to its
2015 value, equals 23 million dollars! Not surprisingly, at the time it represented a
significant game-changer in the Canadian library world.
Life at the Top
Basil Stuart-Stubbs ~ University Librarian ~ 1964-1981
University Librarian: Basil Stuart-Stubbs
Born in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1930, Basil and his family moved to
Vancouver when he was sixteen and he began his post-secondary education at
UBC, graduating in 1952 with a BA (Honours, Philosophy). Following this, he
embarked for Montreal and the librarianship program at McGill University. At its
completion in 1954, he joined the staff of the McGill Library and was employed
there for two years, involved mostly with reference work. Returning to Vancouver
in 1956, Basil was hired by UBC Library and for the next eight years served in a
succession of library positions - as a cataloguer, a serials manager, the overseer of
collections development, a librarian in the Special Collections Division and later,
its head. A major accomplishment in that position, was successfully negotiating, in
collaboration with poet Earle Birney, the compilation and purchase for UBC of
the world-renowned Malcolm Lowry collection. And, in 1964, at age 34, he was
appointed University Librarian.
A genial and soft-spoken man of keen intellect who preferred to step back
from the limelight, Basil exhibited however a fierce commitment to libraries and
to the world of publishing. During his seventeen years at the helm of the UBC
Library, he was instrumental in the founding of the Alcuin Society (1965), dedicated to 'the lovers of books, the book arts, fine printing and reading', which
presented awards for excellence in book design. He helped found several serial
publications: Canadian Literature and PRISM International and, of vital importance to working librarians, Canadian Books in Print. In 1971 he assisted in the
formation of UBC Press. In the following year, during the UNESCO Year of the
Book, he convened the first-ever conference on western regional publishing which
resulted, two years later, in the establishment of the Association of B.C Book
Publishers. And in 1978 he helped found the Canadian Institute for Historical
Micro-Reproductions, an initiative that made available thousands of early printed
Canadian books, and was a project which years later he identified as his proudest
achievement. Rowland Lorimer from SFU remembers, "He went about in a quiet
and unassuming way, working on things that were surprising in their effectiveness and really quite revolutionary in their impact. He didn't assume, like many
did of his age and generation, that books are created elsewhere, but rather that
books are created everywhere they are given the opportunity to be created". In a
later part of his career Basil became an advocate for the controversial proposal to
establish public lending right legislation to compensate Canadian authors for their
works in Canadian library collections, observing, "As performance is to music,
reading is to the book." This concept eventually came into effect in 1986. Andreas
Schroeder has commented, "His memory will always be backlit by his courage to
be a librarian who understood that, without writers, libraries wouldn't exist."
In terms of library management, Basil Stuart-Stubbs followed a philosophy perhaps best-described as 'quiet trust'. He was not a micromanager and
was determined to hire good people, make clear what he expected of them and
then let them get on with it. His door was always open, and staff felt comfortable
addressing him informally as 'Baz'.  Paul Whitney observes, "Basil was accepted
by his faculty colleagues as a scholar peer, something my friends in academic
libraries tell me isn't always the case for university librarians. He was genuinely
interested in people and was skilled at drawing them out by quietly asking the
right question". He often enabled staff to participate in things they didn't expect
to be involved with and enthusiastically supported the concept of specialist librarians.  It was a time marked by an enormous growth in staff, collections and the
establishment of branches. There was only one branch when he was appointed
University Librarian, and thirteen when he vacated the position. There were also
forty-four faculty reading rooms. By then, staff had become involved routinely in
bibliographic instruction, and were participating in the early stages of employing
computer technology for both information retrieval and operational efficiencies.
Beyond the campus, Basil had been instrumental in establishing TRIUL,
which brought the libraries at UBC, UViC and SFU together to jointly develop
collections and services, and as well, the creation of a BC Union Catalogue.
He also oversaw the setting up of an interlibrary lending network for provincial universities and colleges, frequently acted as an adviser for both federal and
provincial governments and worked with the National Library Advisory Board,
the Canada Council and the BC Arts Council. Installed earlier as a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Canada, he was awarded the Canada Medal in 1967, the Order
of Canada in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal in 2012.
In the remaining portion of his working life (1981 to 1992) Basil served as
Director of the UBC School of Librarianship, Archival and Information Studies.
He passed away in May of 2012.
In his last months, he wrote a thoughtful letter to a gathering of retired staff
with whom he had worked: "I try to visualize all of you—librarians, library
assistants, archivists, systems analysts and programmers gathered in one place—
probably the size of a hangar—and I am staggered by the breadth and depth of
knowledge you represent. You are a national treasure."
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 196411965 September
"It was not possible to tell whether all of those who entered the libraries came to
use or borrow books, but it is obvious that with just over 2600 seats in all libraries,
competition for a place to study was keen. At any time of year, the need for
seating is acute in every corner of the campus. Prior to examinations, librarians
are witnesses to the sorry sight of students wandering about the library in search
of a vacant place." - p. 6
"Much has been written in recent years about the massive increase in knowledge
in our century and its effect on society. It has been aptly called the 'information
explosion'...In this situation the librarian has become less the mere caretaker of
books and more the specialist in the retrieval of information - pp. 7 8
"Computers seem to offer another solution to the now immense problems of
storing and retrieving information, and the hope exists that electronic equipment
can to some extent replace or diminish the need for librarians. The evidence so
far does little to support the hope.. .The day will probably never come when we
can press a button and get the answer."- p. 9
Biblos, 1966: 2.4 (January)
All rumours to the contrary, 1965 has been a most rewarding and outstanding
year for Library personnel, and we feel that now is the time for our battling
'B's' [Basil, Bill and Bert] to take a bow - for battling on our behalf that is. It is
astounding to realize that within our staff of 225 there have been 70 promotions
during the past six months alone, and it takes little mathematical genius to figure
out that this is a tremendous percentage and deserves a vote of thanks.'
Acquisitions Division [on the results of large-scale purchasing abroad with the H.R.
MacMillan funds]: 'Some of the books bought have been processed, but most of
the large shipments are now on the high seas. So the problem of finding more
shelving is becoming more acute as the ships come closer. Moreover there is a
backlog of untyped orders, and any systematic claiming of unfilled orders has
become a figment of our imagination.'
Catalogue Division: 'In January 1965 we had 10 professional cataloguers, 19
non-professionals and 5 unfilled positions. One year later we had 15 professionals,
26 non-professionals and 4 unfilled positions.  Consequently, one of our major
problems was training new staff.' A milestone was the completion of the reproduction of a full card catalog for the Woodward Library and the Biomedical
Branch. By the end of 1965 almost every section of the Catalog Division was
completely clothed with books. Emergency measures, such as having our professional catalogers spend half their time on LC cataloguing, are only a temporary
solution. Additional staff is essential if we are to cope with even more material.'
Circulation Division [on the newly-installed I.B.M. Charging system]: Oddly enough,
we began punching book cards on April Fool's Day. Then we went nearly crazy in
August and September preparing the badges for students and faculty. But the good
effects of the system are now being felt. Our I.B.M. loans-list contains well over
700 items and there is considerable increase every day. The system provides us
with daily statistics, overdue notices, call-ins and a variety of useful data.'
Kathy Kent displaying a new circulation terminal
'The Main Library collections inventory, May 10  14: A massive task! Over 100
library staff members took part. A colourful week—gay sports clothes and blue air
as the voices of the faithful murmured call-numbers throughout the stacks. For a
few days, Circulation looked like a bargain basement during a 9:00 a.m. sale.'
Sedgewick Library: A change of name from 'The College Library'. ' We used the
new system to tell which titles needed duplication and purchased 4,500 additional copies in an experiment which completely by-passed the order file and
provided call-numbers for each title received. (To our knowledge, that was the first
purchase of its kind made in the world).'
Woodward Library: 'We are expecting at any time to receive the first of 7,000
volumes from the Sinclair Collection in the history of science, purchased with
special funds provided by Mr. MacMillan.' ' The first literature searches submitted
by the library to the National Library of Medicine MEDLARS program have
been carried out with a fair measure of success.
Asian Library: 'The first complete catalogue of the P'u Pan Collection was
Government Publications: 'We are now custodians of the microform collection
plus related equipment: 7 microfilm readers, one microfiche, one microprint
and one microcard reader. We are eagerly anticipating the delivery of a 3M
reader-printer...We have become adept at changing blown bulbs... During 1966
we hope to complete the reorganizing of the Canadian provinces and the U.N.'
'The Fine Arts Division has now completed its first year in its new home. We still
think longingly of our curtains and fireplace, which made for a certain coziness in
the old quarters...Miss Dwyer insists on buying the largest and heaviest tomes for
the collection. A recent trip to Los Angeles yielded a Spanish missal which weighs
48 pounds.'
Melva Dwyer
Special Collections: 'The division continues to expand its collections in all areas. New
additions include the Lewis Carroll collection of books by and about Carroll, a
gift from the class of '25. Also recently acquired are the papers from the Inverness
Cannery operation. The collection of papers from such B.C. industries is a field
we hope to explore further'
Serials Division: 'The days of Kardex are numbered. In response to the ravages of
automation, the faithful old companion is due to open her trays and yield the pristine treasures of her maidenhood to what is callously known as 'progress'. Instead
of the tender ministrations lavished by each Library Assistant over every card, a
cold computer will check on all serials material and efficiently print lists which will
accurately record the information. But will the spirit of tenderness remain?'
The reported average librarian's salary at UBC is $7,467 annually.
Biblos, 1966: 2.5 (February)
'Most of the librarians have heard about Leonard Freiser, Librarian at Toronto's
EducatiCentre Library and his xerox duplicating service for schools and students.
Mr. Stuart-Stubbs recently talked with him about the problems of Xerox and
copyright. Mr. Freiser reported that he was not being sued, that none are presently threatening legal action, and that the Board of Education's solicitor, after
reviewing the situation, advised him to continue the copy service.'
About half a dozen persons regularly audit the Wilson Listening Room, checking
- they say - our contributions to culture. This is something that changes greatly, it
seems, with the weather. One of our regular checkers, BSS, has noted that when
the weather turned bad a week or so before Christmas exams, everyone put aside
the bop and Beatle records and started spinning Chaucer and Shakespeare. Now
the weather is good again and our clientele are back to the lighter things, at least
until the March winds do blow'
Doug Kaye ~ Head, Wilson Listening Room
'The Librarian wishes to thank the anonymous admirer who gave him, as a
Christmas present a fine copy of Kanyanamella's "Ananga-Ranga: or Indian
Art of Love" translated by Tribidnath Ray, M.A., B.L. with a foreword by Dr.
Gerindrashekhar Bosc.with an appreciation by the Hon. Mr. P. Chakravarti,
Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court. In order that the wisdom distilled in this
fascinating tome will not be lost to other staff members, the Librarian will permit
reprints of particularly enlightening and useful passages...'
Biblos, 1966: 2.6 (March)
(A recent exchange at the Reference Desk)
Student: I expect you've had sixty students asking about exercise. We all have to
Librarian: No, I haven't.
Student: There's nothing in the card catalogue.
Librarian: Oh? If you didn't find anything under Exercise did you look under
Physical Education?
We have lots of books on the subject.
Student: No...
Librarian: And the Education Index will help you with periodical articles. I'm
sure you'll find something in physical education journals.
Student: ...We all have to do some aspect of it.
Librarian: What aspect do you have to do?
Student: Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Librarian: (the light coming on) Oh. You meant "exorcise".
Biblos, 1966: 2.7 (April)
'Mr. Stuart-Stubbs, Mr. Watson and Mr. MacDonald recently attended an automation conference in Quebec. Talk was of punched cards, programming, IBM
listings and hard work, as various Canadian universities presented proposals,
systems and uses for automated control of routine and repetitive operations in
libraries. Most impressive was the work done by Laval University. They have
just listed the prototype of a completed programme—a listing of the periodicals
in their Medical Library. The latter may be sorted and retrieved under at least
fifteen different captions and combinations like title, place, periodicity, subject
headings, language, holdings...'
From the UBC Safety and Security Committee. 'Several matters are presently
being investigated, chief among them being the very thorny problem of ventilation for the Reserve Book Room. At present it has none to speak of. Sorry,
the more general problem of ventilation throughout the entire building is not a
legitimate concern of the Safety Committee. Please remember the existence of
this committee the next time you bump your head on a low beam or trip over
something that should not be there. Just stagger or crawl up to the desk marked
'Graham Elliston' in the Serials Division and report.'
A remembrance. 'The day the commissionaire went into the Sedgewick Library to
see what all the noise was about and found twelve white leghorn chickens flying
about and four sheep. His was the job of rounding them up, much to the joy of
the students and the staff behind the desk.'
Biblos, 1966: 2.8 (May)
The Bindery. 'It would be difficult to write of the Bindery without a few short
lines on the background that its Head brings to the department. Percy Fryer
learned his craft at a time when a seven-years apprenticeship was only the first
phase of becoming a master-craftsman, and when one left home at 6:30 in
the morning not to return until 10:30 at night...The Bindery can take pride in
the approximately 20,000 books it has processed this year, at the unbelievably
low cost of under $3.00 per volume, the numerous signs and other aids if has
provided for desks, walls and doors to guarantee the more efficient operation of
the Library.'
Percy Fryer
The Bio-Medical Branch at VGH. 'The range of information sought is considerably
broader than the confines of traditional medicine. For example: "Does shaving
of the upper lip cause a deterioration in eyesight?" Or, how's this: "Please supply
immediately full information re: dress, duties, etc. of the bride's father."
Melodrama in the Executive Suite
'Early in January I received the call. It was brief, cryptic, somewhat enigmatic.
The Librarian wanted to see me. Something about an assignment. A personal
favour. Would I come over that afternoon? I swayed slightly. Could we be doing
another 'Scrapbook'? My God! Perhaps it was the fiftieth anniversary of The
Morgue. But no, that was impossible. The Morgue was gone. Or was it...? My
mind raced over the possibilities. Had the MacMillan cheque bounced? Had
something in Special Collections turned out not to be 'Something Special'? Then
slowly, very slowly, it began to sink in. Assignment! That spelled danger, intrigue,
something beyond the call of routine reference service. I managed a grim smile.
Maybe this was what librarianship was really all about...He was in his office,
looking just the way I knew he would: tough and confident. Except for his mouth.
It was moving, moving, moving. He was trying to stop it, but I knew that he
couldn't. I leaned forward to catch what he was saying. Something about budgets,
faculty requests. Every now and then some strangled reference to a (?) 'meeting
room' (?) Obviously, things were out of bibliographic control. And then, suddenly,
without explanation, a paper was thrust into my hand. I opened it carefully
and glanced over the contents. So that was it! He lit a match to destroy it, but I
stopped him. Maybe he could read microprint, I couldn't. 'Reading Rooms' he
said. 'This is a list of reading rooms. Go out and find what's in them.' And there
were tears in his eyes.' After five months I think I know why.
Scattered in small pockets, within a radius of one-half mile from the Main
Library, lie twenty-six departmental collections, and almost all of them have
growing pains. Today—22,000 volumes, 530 journal titles, quantities of report
items. Tomorrow—Who knows? Maybe the world! I knew my duty. Find the
pattern. Solve the riddle. Armed with a detailed questionnaire, I penetrated the
faculty strongholds...' - Tom Shorthouse
Tom Shorthouse
Biblos, 1966: 2.9 (June)
'Commencing with the Fall term, all students will be permitted to use the stacks.
Lengthy considerations have been given to this matter and the division heads
concerned feel that this change of policy toward first and second-year students
will be of great benefit to them, without seriously affecting the interests of other
groups. Everyone must show a Library card'.
Jack Wasserman, Vancouver Sun, reports that H.R. MacMillan's response to
thanks for his philanthropy to the UBC Library: 'Well, I decided to put my money
into books. They can survive any amount of bad management.'
'People keep asking, "Who are all those well-dressed strangers at coffee in the staff
lounge?" Well, no, they're not exactly secret service infiltrators. They are specifically writing programs in COBOL for a Honeywell computer being installed
this week, replacing an IBM 1401.(COBOL means Common Business-Oriented
Language. Computers work when you write 'programs' that their insides can
interpret.) In this case, the applications involved include payroll, accounting,
purchasing, the Registrar's records, library circulation and accession lists. Future
applications will include acquisitions and serials processing.'
The Fine Arts Gallery. 'In recent years the Gallery has been expanding rapidly, organizing more and more of its own exhibitions, working more closely with various
academic departments on campus, and engaging guest lecturers. For instance,
last year the exhibit of African Art was organized with the cooperation of the
Anthropology Department and Museum. This year, the exhibit of Japanese maps
came from the library's Special Collections division, and a lecture tour of the
maps was given by Basil Stuart-Stubbs.'
'In 1965/66 it cost $2,721,216 to operate the Library. Of that amount, $873,300
went to staff, $1,613,087 was spent on books, $55,098 on binding, and $179,731
on supplies and equipment.'
Biblos, 1966: 2.10 (July)
Miss Ng, [on a book-buying trip to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan] ' With the
sudden boom of Far Eastern libraries in America and other places in recent
years, competition for materials in Asian languages is getting greater and greater
while sources of supply are becoming fewer and fewer—until a situation has been
reached which could aptly be described by the Chinese saying, "Too many monks
sharing too little congee", meaning demand far exceeds supply. But what a golden
opportunity for book sellers! In a single month a certain Mainland Chinese book
agent in Hong Kong had twice raised his prices, and yet, when I hesitated to
not buy from him just a moment too long, the books were gone to other eager
buyers...Some local Librarians made it clear they did not welcome book-hunters,
and whenever possible they would grab the books for their libraries, usually at a
10% discount. I did not fare well in grabbing...'
Biblos, 1966: 2.11 (August)
From the Poetry Corner (Current Affairs Division)
[Dedicated to all those staff members who lived through book-buying expeditions
this year]
'Upon command they rise and go
Where the golden bookstores grow -
Where beneath a foreign sky
Many sets do anchored lie.
And watched by dealers, clutching notes,
In many a shop they hang their coats.
In rain and sun they ventured out,
East and west they scoured about,
Seeking rich goods near and far,
Some delightful, some bizarre.
Sending home the myriad prints -
And growing chaos ever since.
(Author unknown)
Biblos, 1966: 2.12 (October)
A new addition to Special Collections.
'The William Bennett Memorial Library, a collection of Communist material in
the English language. Named after the founder, this library was built up in private
homes which were assumed to be centres of the Communist Party in B.C.'
'The question comes up again. "Why do you think the Library lost so many
clerks and Library Assistants last year?" Replies varied, the most positive reason
being 'poor salary'. Other gripes include 'no unemployment insurance', 'being on
hourly staff, 'poor ventilation and lighting' and 'lack of incentive to progress'...
Consequently, the library is used by many as a stepping-stone - a place to gain
experience or to work for a few months while looking for something better in the
way of promotion and/or salary' The result: a program for the total reclassification of non-professional staff has begun. 'BSS and Bill Bell hope to convince the
Personnel Office of the uniqueness of library clerical work. The success of this
would firmly establish career positions in the Library for non-professionals and
facilitate improvements in library conditions.'
How some downstairs staff view the role of some upstairs administrators:
'See Baz. Baz is Librarian. Run, Baz, Run. Baz listens. Baz thinks. He thinks up
things, things impossible for people to do. Then he tells people to do them. This
is called policy-making. He also talks to people. This is called image-making. One
day the Library may not work. Run, Baz.'
Inglis (Bill) Bell. ' At an early age, he demonstrated a decent appreciation for geography by shaking the prairie dust off his sneakers. Staff recruited from East and
South confirm his geographical discernment in encouraging their acceptance
of a position at UBC. Assists the Librarian in preparation of the annual budget
and is responsible for operating expenditures. In his position as Chancellor of the
Exchequer, he is regarded by some as Santa Claus and by others as a pinch-fist.
He admits to being Santa Claus'.
Robert (Bert) Hamilton. As Assistant University Librarian (for collections), his
responsibilities can be summed up as administrator in charge of junk mail, reference services, and surveyor of book funds. The Bibliographers are under his
direction and they help him from committing too many purchasing gaffes.'
Robin (Bob) MacDonald. A Vancouverite, started back in '49 as an IBM machine
operator and found out that, by chance, he had fallen into something that might
catch on. It did, and in 1965 he joined the Library as the systems analyst. Because
a large part if his time is spent in various parts of the library, he is hard to locate.
An earlier Biblos publication carried a suggestion that a long string should be tied
to his leg.
Anne (Brearley) Piternick, retires as head of the Social Sciences Division
and joins the faculty at the School of Librarianship
Biblos, 1966: 3.1 (date unknown)
'The Library and the School of Librarianship have received a grant of $75,000
from the Donner Canadian Foundation to make the first thorough study of
library use patterns in a large academic community, and to use - for the first time
- extensive data collected by a computer-based circulation system in the planning
and management of library operations. Basic to this work will be the conversion
of the shelf-list to machine readable form.'
'The Library representative on the Safety and Security Committee has changed
his name from Graham Elliston to Georgina Detwiller and is now operating out
of the Sedgewick Library'
Graham Elliston
Georgina Detwiller
'University of British Columbia Library:  a plan for future services' authored by
Basil Stuart-Stubbs and Bill Watson has been published. This preliminary report
consists of a systematic survey of library requirements for all faculties up to
1974/75 and a proposed system for meeting them.'
A Report on departmental reading rooms at U.B.C. has been published. By
revealing the location, approximate size of the individual collections, their
processes and procedures and the users thereof, it serves as a basis for the discussions which are now under way to decide the future of this "no-man's land".'
A new hiring designation: Stack Level Attendants. 'Their job is to shelf-read, tidy shelves
and re-shelve well, give answers to directional questions, etc...However
there is a limit to the kind of general informational advice they can provide. As
Attendant: "Can I help you?";
Student: "No. I'm looking for myself".'
From the Government Publications Division, on its new 3M Filmac 400 Reader-
Printer. 'It's a sad fact that you can impress people more by pressing the print
button on this machine than you can by compiling a ten-page bibliography'.
The first locally computer-produced reference work appears: 'Serials in the
University of British Columbia Library. Section 1: Check-list of currently-received scientific and technical serials' The success of this book can be judged by
the fact that even now we are receiving requests from libraries all over Canada,
not only for it but also for Sections  2 and 3 which have never been compiled'.
'The Student-Library Committee was formed during the summer of 1966 by
the President of the Alma Mater Society, Peter Braund, and the University
Librarian.The founders anticipated that it would act as the official spokesman
for the student body in respect to library matters. Apart from student orientation, some of the more important matters dealt with to date include student
behaviour and discipline and seating capacity. With respect to the former, it was
taken as inevitable that occasional breaches of peace and quiet would occur and
that, consequently, some machinery for dealing with offenders would be required,
if individuals could be identified... The Library's seating capacity breaks down
as follows: Main Library - 1,970; Branch libraries - 995; Reading rooms - 839.
The majority of the student body is prevented from using any of the latter seats
as they are under departmental control, or are open only to faculty or graduate
students. A student member of the Committee is in negotiation with the Dean of
Science regarding the possibility of opening science buildings in the evenings for
study purposes. Such a move would make available some 4000 classroom seats.'
'In order to find a solution to the problem of teaching great numbers of students
how to use the library to the best advantage, a Working Group on Orientation
has been formed.  During registration week about two thousand students voluntarily took tours of the Library, but tours alone are only a partial solution. So far,
no system used by any large library has been completely successful. Some universities give courses, others have slide showings with or without a sound tape, but
most systems break down under the pressure of numbers. Before any major revision of UBC's orientation program is undertaken, a questionnaire will be circulated in order to sample student opinion on the effectiveness of the present
The submission of poetry (usually light) was encouraged by the Biblos staff. An
'Into Sedge wick, gaily tripping,
Pencils dropping, raincoats dripping,
Purses falling, tempers ripping,
Stolen notebooks tightly gripping,
Going down to talk a lot.
Smiling sweetly, loudly thundering
Laughing, smoking, suavely blundering,
Here are all the hippies wond'ring
If their hair will grow or not.' (Author unknown)
Biblos, 1966: 3.2 (November)
As part of their research during the year in the History of Medicine and Science
course, small groups of first-year medical students set up a series of displays,
such as the one on 'Medical Quackery' which started November 24th in the
Woodward foyer. Two displays scheduled for the following week are 'The History
of Dental Extractions' and 'The Origins of the Hippocratic Oath'.
Biblos, 1966: 3.3 (December)
'On December 12, 1966, the announcement was made that Miss Geraldine
Dobbin has been promoted to the newly-created position of Systems and
Information Sciences Librarian. In this capacity, Gerry will be involved in accelerated plans to automate library routines, a consequence of the Donner Canadian
Foundation grant.'
'The Union Proclamation of 1866, uniting the colony of British Columbia and
the colony of Vancouver island, has been printed in facsimile by UBC with a
historical note by Margaret Ormsby, Head of the History Department. A copy
was included with each copy of the UBC Library annual report.'
Anyone who's been towards the back of Room 766 and wondered about a
large camera-like machine assembled there can stop wondering. It IS a camera!
Specifically it is a 1015-D Itek Project-A-Lith Platemaster, intended to assist the
Catalog Division in producing catalog cards more efficiently. It has been leased
for a trial period of three months.'
' In July, the UBC Library became a full member of the Center for Research
Libraries, the most ambitious and successful cooperative venture yet undertaken
by American research libraries...Its principal activities are two-fold: The deposit
into a common pool of infrequently used library materials held by participating
institutions, in order to reduce their local space needs and The cooperative and
centralized purchasing, cataloguing and housing of infrequently used library
research materials that are not adequately available to the participants,'
News Notes:
♦ A computer-based system for lending books was implemented in October.
♦ Collection development via 'blanket orders' was introduced.
♦ Three branch libraries opened: Social Work, Fisheries, and Mathematics.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 1965166
'Some visionaries have dreamed of recording the contents of all books in a form
of information storage which will be suitable for computer manipulation and
retrieval on demand. The same problems of recording the information exist as
in the case of microform, but the problems are multiplied a thousand-fold. It is
a plain fact that such an approach, were it even desirable, presumes a degree of
technology, a sophistication of indexing, a proliferation of machinery, and an
economy of operation which will not exist for decades, if ever' - p.6
As collections reach and pass the million-volume mark, the physical arrangements
required for mere storage preclude the possibility of equally convenient access to
all items in the collections... Storage must then be contemplated, and this could
take the shape of a cooperatively owned and operated warehouse library, to
which the least active volumes of all collections could be moved.' - p.7
Biblos, 1967: 3.4 (January)
'Dr. Robert B. Downs and his entourage are at the start of their 1-o-n-g trek
across Canada and will be spending approximately one week per province visiting
the various academic libraries. The week of January 30th will be B.C.'s chance to
show their wares.'
'Developments in the library system over 1966 can be viewed in terms of two
general considerations. One of these concerns the kind of normal development
which takes place in any dynamic institution - change of many kinds: change
in order to keep abreast of technological advances; change which is a function
of growth and size; change to introduce new services and meet new demands;
change through experience in making better use of available resources; change
for the betterment of staff welfare.
The other, which is related to the first and can not always be distinguished from
it, involves the regular day-to-day coping with unusual circumstances - in our case
the inundation of library materials into a system with limited funds for space, staff
time, equipment and supplies...Systems analysis and design, and what is usually
referred to as 'automation' has been applied to some of today's work and has
looked towards the problems of the decade ahead. Projects already begun or are
under consideration hold promise of previously unavailable information for better
management of library resources...'
The Acquisitions Division. 'To outsiders we are becoming known as the division-
that-moves-its-furniture-frequently. This activity is not entirely recreational, the
fact of the matter being that the Order File is growing so rapidly it is crowding
us into a corner. Fortunately, when we automate this spring we expect to replace
it with a computer-typed list of orders...On Floor 7 where unprocessed books are
stored and long before the Civil War collection could be processed, our traveling
cohorts started buying more collections which soon filled all the available shelves
and overflowed onto the floor...'
The Catalogue Division. ' In 1966 we managed to add more new books to the collections than in any previous single year, 34% over 1965...Only the searching staff
and the 'other editions' cataloguers are up-to-date with their work. We have too
many books for the markers to mark, too many uncatalogued titles for the cataloguers to catalogue, too many books for the typists to to type cards for, too many
typed cards for the checkers to check, too many checked cards for the filers to
file...and so it goes'.
[From Lori Brongers] 'Latest rumours have it that moving-day for Forestry/
Agriculture will be around cherry-blossom time, and when your favourite book
on orchids is no longer in the Main stacks, but nestled on olive-green shelves in a
sky-lit room several thousand feet away'
Lori Brongers
Law Library. 'Prior to 1964' Law had no card catalogue, other than a shelf-list,
and we depended on a makeshift rotating file which displayed major monographic titles under specified subjects. In the past year, the Catalogue Division
has provided us with card sets for about two-thirds of the those titles acquired in
that earlier period. All the circulating volumes so displayed have been moved into
the last remaining classroom in the building. The result: better working space for
staff, and better control of the collection...The result of our inventory last spring
became a cause celebre in the Ubyssey as, reporting a large number of missing
volumes, it tended to make book thieves out of all future lawyers, Moral: Do not
publish the result of inventories. [Years later, Dean Curtis send a postcard from
England which displays a photograph of 1,200 volumes, chained to the bookcases
in the Hereford Cathedral Library, with his handwritten note: "Learning something new every day. Perhaps you should try this and the 'Canons of Legal Ethics'
will not disappear again."]
Special Collections. 'In the summer, the Library acquired a valuable collection
of manuscripts of Pre-Raphaelites, including the works of such writers as the
Rossetti's, William Bell Scott, Ruskin, etc'
Canada's Centennial Tear had arrived. 'The library has not yet decided on its 'centennial project'. It has been suggested, therefore, that we adapt the 'Miss Library
World' contest (announced on the staff-room notice board) and select UBC's own
'brighter image of librarianship'. Candidates must be beautiful, talented, clever,
witty, cheerful, enthusiastic or rich. The prize remains to be seen. It may be a ride
on the Confederation Train, a fairy trip to the Parliament Buildings, or...Fill out
your ballots. Select the person who has made the most impression on you, and
give her Lasting Fame...' [There was no subsequent report of a winner]
Biblos, 1967: 3.5 (February)
'The Working Group on Orientation has submitted a report on future demands
for orientation, reference, information desk and advisory reader services. A
second committee has been appointed to review the report with an eye of implementing as a much as possible in light of our present resources.'
'The Dean of Arts and Baz are trying to establish a study centre and library facilities for sixteen blind students presently on campus. The major obstructions,
space and money, are being worked out. The library is anticipated to house books
in braille, recordings of otherwise printed material, and recorded and listening
'Beneath Circulation lies a large dark hole called 'Mysteria' wherein have accumulated government publications duplicates, triplicates, etc. After some negotiation, several institutions were found to be interested in acquiring various sets from
among the treasures. Some were even willing to pay for them. Estimates indicate
that some 50  75,000 volumes may be stored there.'
'The long-awaited Anglo-American Cataloging Code has officially made its
appearance at the UBC Library but most people are still wading through the slim
volume. Then what?'
[From a meeting of Canadian university librarians at UBC in February to
discuss reducing how to avoid needless duplication of research material] 'Systems
for electronic transmission of printed material—in particular, the LDX Long
Distance Xerox and Telecopier—were found to be too inefficient and expensive
at this stage of development. Until alternative methods for the efficient sharing of
materials have been developed, libraries must streamline their present interlibrary
loan procedures to guarantee maximum service. Such a system, on a national
scale, and through the National Library, would require: 1. That all academic
libraries keep the union catalogue at the National Library in Ottawa up-to-date
recurrent accessions; 2. That all. Canadian libraries have Telex...'
'For almost a year, Rita Butterfield, Head of Acquisitions and BSS have been
struggling to turn that dream of a 'Canadian Books in Print' into a reality...
defining a Canadian book as one 'written by a Canadian citizen, resident or expatriate, in any language and published in Canada; or written by a Canadian but
published abroad but distributed in Canada by a Canadian agent; or any book
bearing the imprint of a Canadian publisher'. With a bit of luck it will make its
debut at Expo and at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt.'
Rita Butterfield
[Frances Woodward, reporting on maps held in Special Collections] 'The purpose
of this collection is to gather together material for the study of the historical
cartography of North America, primarily Canada. This includes geographical
knowledge prior to Columbus' discovery and continuing up to the completion
of the map of North America as we know it in fairly recent times. Some of our
earliest maps are facsimiles of the maps of Great Britain by Richard Haldingham
in Hereford Cathedral, dated about 1289, and the Gough Maps in the Bodleian
Library Oxford, circa 1360. We also have a facsimile of the much publicized
Vinland maps, circa 1440. The oldest separate original map would appear to be
Ortellus' map of Tartary from the 1588 Spanish edition of his 'Theatrum Orbis
Frances Woodward
Frances remembers fondly working with Joan Selby who "was an avid traveller,
happy to go off on exciting and often potentially dangerous trips on her own, with
a 9 lb. backpack".
[on Roland Lanning, hired in 1926, retired in 1965] 'His extraordinary service
(especially building and maintaining the serials collection which was in jeopardy
of being dismantled during the 1930s) was noteworthy for stinginess with funds,
a personal tightfistedness having been accentuated by the Depression years, when
the Library had very little money.' [From the original "Scrapbook": At his retirement it was possible to estimate that he had personally supervised the acquisition
of about a quarter of the Library's collections, that quarter being the invaluable
scholarly periodicals. His knowledge of his specialty still astounds and confounds
his colleagues... for it involves outstanding powers of memory, familiarity with
a score of languages and an uncommon breadth of learning. But the man is so
much more than a memory bank. His wry humour, distilled in a crabbed script
on tiny scraps of paper, is the delight of all who are fortunate enough to discover
the scribbled fragments in their mail, in books, or even in the card catalogue.' -
pp. 39-40
Roland Lanning
Anyone interested in learning about library automation is likely to be discouraged by the fact that most of the literature on the subject falls into at least one
of three categories: the unreadable, the irrelevant and the uninspiring. In view of
the nature of our material, avoidance of these obstacles will not be easy; however,
"possunt quia posse videntur"... The chief advantages of the computer are the
speed, flexibility and consistency which it can introduce into existing library functions. Students and scholars will use this system not only to locate books and
documents in the library, but also to gain access to the University's total information resources through 'touch-tone' telephones, tele-typewriter keyboards,
television-like displays and quickly made copies. The users of the network will
communicate with each other as well...'
Biblos, 1967: 3.6 (March)
'Dr. Malcolm MacGregor, as the Director of UBC residences, would like to place
small collections of basic reference tools and general reading material in the four
residence centres. Miss Dwyer, Mrs. Selby and Mr. Hamilton have volunteered
their services in compiling an appropriate list.'
'The Fine Arts Gallery was packed to capacity for a fashion show by students
of Fine Arts 438... The highlights of the show were the clothes modelled by
Theco and designed by Evelyn Roth (Circulation Division staff member). It was
undoubtedly the far-out look but definitely 'in'. Swinging to the sound of psychedelic music, E.R.'s bat costumes were really something in purples and hot pinks.
Likewise the rain outfit which she designed and modelled in clear plastic...'
Evelyn Roth
A brief review of the new IBM 1030 circulation using punch-cards:
[Some advantages]
♦ There is time-saving for the user and the library staff working under less
♦ There is a new ability to measure real use and demand for materials and to
order extra copies...
♦ The system is accurate, orderly, fast, and involves no filing...
♦ Overdue notices are compiled daily and automatically supplies each user's
name and address...
♦ Other listings can be produced: loans returned; loans renewed...
[Some disadvantages]
♦ The once-a-day printout of loan records is both quickly out-of-date and
inadequate for short-term loans, such as reserves.
♦ Telephone renewals are not easily accommodated and have had to be
♦ [Operating in conjunction with the University Tabulating Centre] means
that responding quickly and efficiently to problems and changing situations
is hampered.'
An application to the B.C. Labour Relations Board by the Library Assistants
Association (UBC) in 1966 for recognition as a bargaining unit had been rejected
for the reason that, without the inclusion of all non-professional staff, it was "not
appropriate for collective bargaining."
To this end, the Association gave its full support to the Librarian's Office in a
successful bid for re-classification...'
[from a letter received by the Acquisitions Division] We thank you for your order,
No. 66-0000 for one copy of Gusev: 'Protection Against Radiation'. Our overseas
publisher reports that this edition is out-of-print and that only a paperbag is available. Would you please let us know if you are interested...'
Mansell Information Publishing (UK) announced it would be printing the
National Union Catalog displaying the 16 million index cards which represent
Library of Congress holdings in Washington. 'It will run to 610 volumes, each
704 pages, and will weigh one-and-a-half tons when finished in about ten years.'
Biblos, 1967:3.7 (April)
'Paint brushes are making time at Brock Hall as preparations are under way to
turn half of the old alumni Association's space into a library for blind students
on campus. Supported by a number of organizations, this area will have student
seating, tape and record playback equipment, and a braille collection. This latter
feature has been contributed by Mr. John H. Crane, whose brother was the first
blind student to attend UBC
'The tentative budget for 1967/68 has been divided up as follows: salaries, 50.8%;
supplies & expenses, 7.39%; books, 39.76%; binding, 1.82%.Total: $3,164,386.
The MacMillan money is quickly coming to an end, so this year we will be back
to the budgeted allocation of funds. Book selection will tend to cater to undergraduate demands: multiple copies of more popular titles will be preferred over
obscure foreign language material for individual research.'
From Woodward Library. 'The collection of rare and important books in the history
of science and medicine, purchased from Dr. Hugh Sinclair of Oxford, yielded
a fine selection of the works of Florence Nightingale. These include her best-
known work, 'Notes on nursing: what it is, and what it is not'...There is in the
foyer of the library a display of 'Nightingalia', a small sample of this remarkable
From the Asian Library. 'The P'u-pan collection owes its existence to one man - the
owner and collector, Mr. Yao Chun-shih. The name P'u-pan was chosen for his
library because it was to be the famous ancient capital of the legendary Emperor
Shun, to whom Mr. Yao's surname was traditionally traced...To protect the books
from the approaching Japanese army, he moved the best part of the 45,000
volume collection to Macao; for this reason it is occasionally called the 'Macao
collection'.Those that were left in Canton were subsequently destroyed by the
invading army in 1939... The collection reached the library in February 1959,
in 112 crates...It is unfortunate that the library cannot afford to provide more
protection for a collection of such value. Since its arrival, it has been shelved in
the same room as the rest of the Asian collection where no proper temperature or
humidity control is provided...'
Tung King Ng
'The Marjorie Smith [Social Work] Library will soon move to new quarters
within Graham House. This will involve abandoning the shower in the present
library, but we will be gaining a swimming pool. In either case, if someone turns
on the wrong tap all our troubles will be washed away' [Beverley Scott, a later
Branch head remembers: 'Stacking was put into the former swimming pool area.
However, all was not well. The walls in that area were not well built and moisture
crept in. Along with it came mildew which threatened some of the material".]
George Freeman
Head, Marjorie Smith Library
Biblos, 1967:3.8 (May)
'With the increasing number of cards in the card catalogue, students and faculty,
etc. are having more and more trouble finding the information they require. In an
attempt to eradicate this problem, the Library is entertaining thoughts of splitting
the catalogue into two sections - one giving an alphabetical listing of subjects; the
other of authors and titles.'
'Originally in 1958/59' the Sedgewick Library was conceived as a sort of
expanded reserve collection, serving only first and second-year students. All
titles would be duplicates of titles already held in the Main Library. Within six
years, Sedgewick had altered its goals to serve all undergraduates in Arts and
Commerce, as well as lower-year students in most faculties. Many titles unique
to Sedge were acquired, but no record of these appeared in the Main catalogue
after 1964. Transfers from Main to Sedgewick were becoming more frequent
and expensive to process...In spite of the expense involved, it seems desirable
[to integrate] the files...The Main Catalogue would become a full-campus union
'To the uninitiated, preparing exhibits may seem to entail nothing more than
the straightforward placing of books or objects into a case, with the appropriate
labels affixed : much as a kindergarten pupil fulfills his 'show and tell' exercises.
But anyone who has seen such superb exhibits as 'The History of the Douglas
Fir in B.C.', as prepared by Helen Allan, or the highly informative double-display on the history of the microscope, and one on the history of phrenology, or
the magnificent 'Florence Nightingale Memorial', so impressively assembled by
Barbara Gibson, can easily believe reports on the staggering number of hours
preparatory research in the readying of materials...'
Biblos, 1967:3.10111 (July I August)
'Mr. Norman Colbeck has been patiently awaiting the completion of renovations on the old Social Sciences mezzanine in the Ridington Room, where he and
his collection will live happily together. Meanwhile his book-stock is on the high
seas, having been jointly purchased by UBC, Simon Fraser and the University of
[Born in London and largely self-educated, as a frequent visitor to the British
Museum, Mr. Colbeck was hired to manage the Rare Book Room of Foyle's
Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, in 1923. Four years later he launched his own
bookshop in Bournemouth, specializing in 19th century British authors, where
he resided until his retirement. In 1967, he was persuaded by a friend, Professor
William Fredeman, to donate his remarkable collection to UBC, with the understanding he would serve as its onsite curator. In May 1987, the University
awarded him Degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causae) in recognition of his
unique contribution to education and scholarship.]
Norman Colbeck
'BSS has been asked by the University administration to prepare a brief on the
effects of a reduced book budget on staffing and in the development of the collection. It does not appear that the University will be able to maintain the level of
expenditure after the MacMillan funds run out.'
'The future of microforms was discussed. The collection is quickly outgrowing the
equipment and area available to it and, unfortunately, the 'tight-money' situation
does not enable us to acquire the necessary equipment at this time.'
'It is possible that in 1968/69 all Reading Rooms will be administered by the
Library. In the meantime it appears that a short course for the training of reading-room staff will be set up.'
'Rita Butterfield and Ture Erickson have been making some survey on the use
of reserve books, with mind-shattering results. It appears that only about fifteen
per-cent of reserve books really have to be on reserve.'
Biblos, 1967:3 (September)
'From Bill Bell comes word of pay increases for student assistants, who will now
earn $1.30 per hour...'
'Circulation systems, like quarterbacks, need to be backed up. The possibility
of installing a small computer to take over when the system 'goes down' is
being considered. If some inexpensive answer can be found, it would no longer
be necessary to to revert to the manual system whenever the machine gets
'If you sometimes suspect that the Circulation System doesn't really remember
everything that goes into it, have a look at the massive print-out of loan transactions for the last term. Bob MacDonald has come up with approximately 9,000
pages of items that circulated...'
[The following poem addresses persons of the feminine gender who had begun
arriving to work in decidedly unconventional office attire]
Great cries of woe and indignation
'Gainst certain formal allegation
That skirts have reached such dizzy heights
To almost disappear from sights:
For legs do not a picture make
That bulge or knob or worse still gape.
So let's remark with great dispassion:
Discretion is the HEIGHT of fashion.
Pat LaVac
'The Federal Science Secretariat has announced that a study of scientific and
technical information in Canada is being undertaken. Briefs, including existing
services and projected improvements, have been requested from all 'interested
parties'. Rein Brongers is Chairman of the committee dealing with UBC, so if he
looks harassed, that's why...'
Cross-reference discovered in the card catalogue:
Upcoming Library displays:.. .'from the new Arts One pilot project: Themes of
the first term will include war, specifically World War I, the Russian Revolution,
and Vietnam...'
Biblos, 1967: 4.1 (October)
[Note of encouragement from the Biblos editorial staff] A publication should
always be written with a particular clientele in mind...Communists see clearly that
people tend to like best what they have written themselves. Therefore, the more
people contribute to a newsletter, the greater will be its popularity. So anyone who
refuses to write for Biblos is a bourgeois running dog of imperialist reactionaries!'
A committee of life sciences deans, other heads and librarians have interviewed
several candidates for the position of Woodward Bio-medical Librarian and hopes
to select a new head within a month.' [Anna Leith was eventually chosen]
Anna Leith
'When all divisions have outlined the kinds of statistics being kept, an attempt
will be made to establish those which are most important and to introduce some
degree of uniformity'
'The chief librarians of the western university libraries have suggested that [the
Downs Survey of Canadian university library resources] be used as a basis for
informing the to the strengths of collections in their libraries so
that unnecessary duplication and competition in buying can be minimized.'
[Note from the Main Library Processing Division] 'Everyone is most welcome
to visit the key-punch room for a very valid reason - it mercifully interrupts
our work. Just ascend to the 8th floor, then follow to where emanates the inevitable noise...The reader mechanically senses codes punched on tape or cards
at the speed of 730 per minute, and converts each code into a series of electrical impulses which are sent to the code translator, converting the impulses into
mechanical action causing the key-levers to operate...'
A study group of the Science Secretariat of the Privy Council have visited UBC
to examine present scientific and technical information information services
and to assess the future requirements of scientific and technical in personnel in
industry, universities and government.'
[From the Fine Arts Gallery, on the basement floor of the Main Library] '
Coming from November 2 to November 18: 'Maxwell Bates and Eric Metcalfe:
Drawings and watercolours by two Victorian artists'.
More on-the-job poetry...
'Twinkle, twinkle, Dynamac,
Self-propelling power-pack.
Oh, the energy you burn
Making catalog wheels turn'. *
*[Dynapac Rotating Company continues to produce high-quality
products for the sign and display industry
Its motto: 'You dream it. We rotate it'].
'Where have all the flowers gone? Ask Suzanne Dodson. A new building is being
constructed in Victoria to house the Provincial Museum, and she has been asked
to do some paintings of flowers to be used on displays when the new building is in
operation. These portraits will vary in size and shape but the flowers themselves
will be done close to life-size. She believes that this is the best way to give the
observer an accurate impression of the flower.'
Suzanne Dodson
Here is Suzanne thirty years later, this time displaying another talent
at the carillon keyboard, housed in the Ladner Clock Tower.
[From Tung King Ng, division head Asian library, on conferring with Raymond
Chu, of the East Asian Library, University of Toronto] 'We discussed what we
could do with our very limited facilities, and decided to begin with the compilation of a union list of Canadian holdings of Chinese rare books, gazetteers and
periodical literature in archaeology'
Even more poetry, this time from Al, Alf and Len, Library commissionaires...
While studying:
The three of us do try our best
To make for you a place to rest
And make it easy for you to digest
The thoughts you get from the library chest,
While studying.
[from Hans Burndorfer, head of the Music Library, newly-established in 1967]
The library is very handsomely furnished, with green carpeting, dark wood and
black stacks, pleasant diffused lighting, display racks for journals, and a built-in
display case for manuscripts and other rarities. A reader-printer and Xerox
machine are available, and also an electric piano for playing scores.
Hans Burndorfer
Biblos, 1967: 4.2 (November)
'This month has been a bad one for librarian blood-pressures. The odour of sanctity and censorship arose from City Hall yet again, and one member of staff could
have made a good thing out of her unexpurgated copy of a certain magazine.'
'Further to the work done by a committee last year, a group consisting of Bill
Bell, Lois Carrier, Ture Erickson, Diana Kent, Anna Leith, Doug Mclnnes, Sue
Port and Joan Selby will meet to consider the desirability of setting up a "general
information division" responsible for the maintenance of the Information Desk
and general orientation.'
Lois Carrier
Diana Kent
'Due to rising costs, Woodward Library in the past few years has been managing
to exist on only 3,600 paper-clips per year. However, this year, because of
an unfortunate error, only 400 paper-clips have been ordered. "Boxes" and
"Cartons" are apparently not the same thing at all. Wilhelmina Engelbretzen
is quoted as saying, "This is the most barbaric thing I have ever heard of.
Blockading the Gulf of Aqaba had nothing on this. How do they expect us to
keep our nylons up?" In spite of the apparent hopelessness of the situation, spirits
are high and a strong resistance movement is already under way..." [Submitted
with tongue in cheek, Lynda Moss]
[Excerpt from the invitation to the upcoming Christmas party]
'... As a result of a new rule from the President's Office (ie. under-21's shall not be
present when liquor is served on campus) no alcohol will be served. But you can
smoke as much (and whatever) you like!..'
'It is said that the main concern of librarians is to get books to people. My point
is that the main concern of the library administrator is just to get to people. The
administrator is not there to make the computer work, but to make the people
work with the computer and, particularly, with one another'
—Basil Stuart-Stubbs
Biblos, 1967: 4.3 (December)
Mr. Stuart-Stubbs contributes a limerick of his own on making his way to work
from his on-campus home:
As my bicycle weaves in and out of them
I creep up behind and then shout at them.
I could use a bell
And a hooter as well,
But I'd much rather scare the hell out of them'
More from Basil:
[Rules of-thumb to keep in mind when contemplating the purchase of a library
computer system]
A moral:
The first mission of a good salesman is to sell. Experts they may be,
but experts with a motive.
Another moral:
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
The truly knowledgeable man knows what he doesn't know. The person
with a smattering of knowledge can make a lot of trouble in the area of
Another moral:
If you are going out on a limb, be sure no one is going to saw it off.
Better to operate a double system for a while than to be without any.
J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Head of the Cataloguing Division, on matters dear to his heart:
A search of the published literature on catalogue use studies reveals that, while
filing rules have been troublesome for many years, no study to ascertain the
patron's approach had been made. A study has been undertaken here with the
hope that any consistent pattern of patron use, as revealed by the study, might
influence our filing rules, or - at the very least - influence our orientation procedures. On the basis of the results, there are three major aspects of the catalogue
which must be stressed to its users.
1. Filing is word by word. That is 'New York before Newark'; or, as catalogers
are wont to say, 'Nothing before something'.
2. The completed works of an author file before the individual's works.
3. Cutter numbers are decimals...
The new UBC filing rules will reflect patron expectations:
♦ The majority know that initial articles, including French ones, are ignored
in filing.
♦ The majority of users are not aware of umlauts; they look for Muller
among the Mullers...
♦ A majority of users look for compound surnames inter-filed with titles
rather than immediately after the first part, used as a simple surname.
♦ The majority expect each letter of an initial heading to be filed as a
separate word; i.e. IBM comes after T am a camera' and before
T beat the system'...
♦ Although compound hyphenated words, such as <ground-water> are
considered as two words by the majority, UBC will follow the new ALA rule
which files compound words as one word...
J. Macree (Mac) Elrod
[Closing staff in Main often spoke of their apprehension about encountering
potential stragglers remaining in the darkened stacks. Here is a lighter side of it.]
"After-hours in The Castle:
Five past midnight and all is still,
No sound to break the empty chill
Of darkened hall and shadowy stair,
Where hung the hot and fetid air.
Now shadows crawl in hungry packs
Around the dim and lonely stacks,
Reaching in the murky gloom
For some forgotten soul to doom.
But no one prowls in frantic quest .
'Tis night, the library lies at rest.
But hark! What sounds now fill the halls,
Of dragging steel and soft footfalls?
Is it Marley's ghost of Christmas lore?
Or maybe the phantom of Ruddigore?
But stay, what kind of ghostie is this?
No wraith of the night but a substantial miss,
With Bonny pink cheeks and hair in a scarf?
Why really, it's one of the housekeeping staff...
—Pat La Vac
Biblos, 1967: 4.4 (January)
A further look backward at 1966: some additional details:
'The biggest challenge was the inundation of library materials into a system
with limited funds for space, staff time, equipment and supplies. ' [Years later,
addressing the issue, Basil recalled: "We tried to persuade Dr. MacMillan that the
money should be invested and used for the Library over a long period of time,
but he insisted that we needed the books now and that, if we waited, they would
either be unavailable or too expensive for us. He was right, of course."]
'Systems analysis and design and what is usually referred to as 'automation'
has been applied to some of today's work, looking towards the problems of the
decade ahead'.
Work commenced on a detailed plan for future services, involving, in the first
tier, the creation of specialized library divisions to support various faculties.
Of top priority: a Library Administration & Technical Services Building, an
Undergraduate Library, an Applied Science Library, an Education Library. Also
recommended but non-priorized was a Physical Sciences Library, a new Law
Library, a Map Library and a new Social Work Library.
A revision of procedures for appointments, classifications and salaries came into
Appointments previously made by the UBC Personnel Office now fell under the
jurisdiction of the Board of Governors. There was also a revised classification and
salaries schedule for Clerks and Library Assistants.
[An observation on another challenge to collections staff] 'In the UBC Library
the five bibliographers are hard at work coping with mania - or bibliomania of
a different order. The faculty rage for books is boundless and the wherewithal to
acquire them unprecedented.'
News Notes:
♦ The UBC Library collection passed the 1 million volumes mark.
* The average librarian's annual salary rose to $8,495.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 1966167
"Every year in the life of a library, when viewed in retrospect, contains events
which are marks of progress , and the past year has had more of its share of
these. But in the process of events were hidden the portents of future difficulties,
difficulties so grave as to cast a shadow over the promising aspects of the library's
growth. It now seems that the library is entering a period when it will be hindered
in the performance of its functions by severe limitations of space." - p.21
"Hours of service are frequently a subject of complaint for students and comment
in the Ubyssey." - p. 21
Biblos, 1968: 4.5 (February)
'20,000 Canadians have received Centennial Medals to commemorate the
one-hundredth anniversary of acknowledgment of meritorious service in a certain field. The UBC Library has cornered three: Basil Stuart-
Stubbs, Robert M. Hamilton and Les Kalinski.'
[On the creation of offices in the north wing of the Main Library] 'The baronial beamed ceiling has been discovered to provide marvellous acoustical effects:
a paper-clip dropped in one room can be heard dinging throughout the wing.
Private conversations are best held elsewhere.'
Biblos, 1968: 4.6 (April)
[Some results of the Downs Committee survey] 'UBC Library showed up well in
the evaluation, but the application of accepted standards reveals that we are still
half as large as we should be. We receive 417 of the 545 periodical titles on the
Checklist and rank second to the University of Toronto on reference titles... A
$7,500 minimum salary for librarians should be established...UBC is 25 volumes
short of the 50 recommended for each full-time student...$150 million should be
expended on Canadian university libraries in the next ten years'.
'The Senate Library Committee wants a faculty newsletter, and the Library needs
some kind of weekly bulletin. Graham Elliston is working with BSS in developing
these publications.'
'One of the functions of the Extension Department is to to conduct off-campus
credit courses throughout the province. So far this year we have loaned out 2,400
volumes, as far afield as Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories. Last year we
had two students serving with the Canadian Forces in Europe. The rule of thumb:
if we can mail a book to a student and receive it back in four weeks, we provide
the service...The Extension Library is the principal source of plays for reading
by provincial amateur theatre groups. It is most fortunate in having the talents of
Sheila Neville who has worked in amateur theatre since her early formative years,
playing Indians and shooting gophers on the prairies of Saskatchewan.'
[On the establishment of a proposed Association of British Columbia Librarians]
ABCL attempts to stimulate and increase public interest in professional library
service. It has set a minimum standard salary for professional positions advertised
in its Newsletter, and will not accept advertisements in which salaries fall below
this level. It is continually engaged is spirited correspondence regarding the hiring
of unqualified persons to fill professional positions, and makes vigorous protests to
bodies advertising for a 'librarian', when what is meant is a 'library assistant...'
[From the Vancouver Sun] There will be music in the air at the University of BC
next year. It will be provided by a new $160,000 clock/bell tower whose chimes
will mark the start of morning classes, the noon-hour break and the end of the
day. The 140 foot tower is a gift from Vancouver lawyer Leon Ladner. Equipment
for the clock and carillon are on order. The tower will be located in front of the
Biblos, 1968: 4.7 (May/June)
[Canada Council news] ' Evelyn Roth, Fine Arts Division, has received a grant
to enable her to attend a three-week summer workshop on "Intermedia and the
Environment'...This is the second year of the Workshop which is open to practising professional architects, senior architecture and planning students and
dancers. The aim is to explore a new range of experience in avant-garde environmental arts and to evaluate the environment through more intuitive modes of
perception. Architects find that a freeing of the body and movements can lead to
heightened spatial awareness...'
'During the past few weeks, the Humanities Division shared the main concourse
with at least four pigeons and two swallows. A couple of the pigeons took up
permanent roosting privileges for about a week, moving into the Science Division
from time to time for a change of scene...'
[Winner of first-prize in a library-wide limerick contest.]
'Our Catalogue Chief, as a trial,
Parted Author' from 'Subject' with style;
Though sad to report,
United we sort,
Alas, now divided we file!'
(Claudia Kerr)
Biblos, 1968: 4.8 (July I August)
[On the new divided Card Catalogue] 'It has been refiled: 1. In the Author/Title
file, all entries under a man's name are interfiled by title, whether he is author,
joint-author, editor, etc. 2. In the Subject file, all subject entries are filed behind
a guide card for that entry. New cards have the subject-entry ticked in red on the
tracing, rather than typed. Divisions of subject-entries are interfiled alphabetically
whether they are dash (-) or comma (,). These are followed by chronological
Note received by an Overdues Circulation staff member: T think you will find that
I returned the book some time ago... If I recall correctly, this book was approximately a hundred years old, and I noticed on using it that the spine had become
seriously weakened. (Well, wouldn't yours be too?) Therefore, when I returned it
I trussed it up with cardboard and a string and put a note with it concerning its
'The Pope and the population explosion are not the only topics of conversation
amongst the library staff. The catalogue explosion is rapidly taking over as the
number one concern, with no artificial method of contra-expansion in sight.'
Elsie (De Bruijn) Wollaston
Elsie recalls receiving an urgent call while working in the east to head west
immediately and apply for a job opening that had come up at the UBC Library.
She had just had a severe buzz-cut to make the Ontario summer bearable and
thought it unwise to appear looking like a marine recruit. So she appeared as
shown in a red wig, made of what was glowingly advertised as "Real Dynel!"
Biblos, 1968: 5.1 (September!October)
'The Humanities Division has moved - doubtless with a sigh of relief, but also
with some regret at leaving the three-ring circus in the Main Concourse. The
Humanitarians have taken up residence in a nifty antique-gold workroom along
the northeast corner of the Ridington Room, and Joan Selby, former Queen of
the Main Concourse, now has her own private office...'
Joan Selby
[Trouble with new machines in the photocopy department] One student, temporarily rendered speechless upon being sprayed by black ink, did not appreciate
this Jackson Pollock effect. Several students have been severely short-changed.
Many, after having paid, were refused service, and a few have received a veritable
jackpot in five and ten-cent pieces...'
'During the last few months, a great deal of material has been coming into the
library from Local 116 of the University Employees Union and the Canadian Union
of Public Employees (C.U.P.E.) regarding the possibility of the staff unionizing...'
Biblos, 1968: 5.3 (December)
At present the Crane Library serves eighteen blind or near-blind students—
the largest single group now attending university in Canada. By next fall their
numbers will have risen above fifteen. Although it has been open for less than a
year, its reputation outside the province is growing fast, and loan requests now
come in from all across Canada.'
Note: in this year the Information and Orientation Division was created.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 196711968
'It is customary to give over to a discussion of the collections the earliest chapter
of the annual report. This year, however, the inadequacy of the Library's physical
accommodations far outweighs in importance the state of the collections.' - p.3
'The Library should not be forced into a position of supporting reading rooms at
the expense of neglecting the development of services and collections in its largest
branches.' - p.7
'The dimensions of information today are such that it is becoming increasingly
difficult for the individual to gain access to the material he requires without the
intervention of an information specialist.' - p.l 1
'Regrettably, the University has not been able since [the MacMillan donation] to
maintain anything approaching the level of spending on collections necessary to
the development of a university with growing ambitions in research and graduate
study, and with increasing numbers of undergraduates.' - p. 12
'In its fourth year of operation, the computer-based book lending system is still the
largest of its kind in the world, and has afforded benefits to library staff and users not
to be obtained by manual systems...What is particularly impressively the fact that so
much has been accomplished with a staff of two systems analysts, two programmers,
and eleven machine operators.' - p.21
Biblos, 1969: 5.4 (January)
[from an open letter to the Library staff from Basil Stuart-Stubbs]
'Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of the 5th century B.C. wrote:
"In the same rivers we step and we do not step; we are and we are not"
By this he meant that everything in the universe is in a state of change
at all times and that things are not as static as they seem. Certainly his
observation would hold for the Library, wherein change is a constant
process and the end of every day sees a different library.
It is clear that the Library is increasingly successful in fulfilling its role in
the educational process. Statistics testify to that, if simple observation of
library use were not enough.
In a cooperative venture such as this, everything is achieved by and
through people.The reports in this issue of Biblos tell your own story.
The accomplishment is there and it is yours, individually and commonly.
From all directions I hear words of appreciation for your effort, and I
take this opportunity to add my own.'
A revised edition of A Plan for Future Services', originally issued in 1966, is
published. "Progress has been made toward the decentralization of library collections and services, and at least some of the libraries proposed in earlier documents have come into existence. Yet there is a need today for additional libraries,
made all the more urgent by recent new projections which indicate that the
University's enrolment, unless limited, could rise to over 34,000 by 1973-74..."
[from the Bibliography Division at years-end, 1968] 'The BYB fund allocation
(ie. currently-published titles available in the budget-year) came off relatively well,
being cut by less than 12%, whereas many others - especially in the areas of reference and research - were slashed without mercy. However, the general atmosphere
of poverty had a depressing effect on the bibliographers, so that they tended to be
almost miserly in their buying habits - scrutinizing all additional purchases with a
sceptical eye and recoiling, almost in fright, from periodical back-files.'
[from the Cataloguing Division] 'The brief-listed storage collection (formerly
known as "backlog" or "ZZ"s) has been reduced from 31,000 volumes from a
high of 60,000... As many as 40,000 cards have been filed in the public catalogue
in one month...'
[from Serials] 'Valentine's Day, 1968, marked the inception of the automated
check-in system... Due to the switch to the computer, Kardex died, gone with
April wind.'
[from the Bindery] A five-week binding schedule was inaugurated: all previously unbound material is passed back to sender, bound... This achievement was
accomplished through hard work and the use of many four-letter words like darn,
gosh and golly.'
[from Asian Studies] The way in which most of the P'u-pan books are shelved
without the protection of folders has been criticized by visiting East Asian
librarians.What they did not know was that if all our Chinese stitched volumes
were to be cased, about 8,672 folders would be needed, costing approximately
[from Government Publications] A few trips away in 1968...helped people keep
their proper sense of perspective as they gasped about in their airless atmosphere.
Business increased at an alarming rate and all worked madly staving off the
student advances - platonic and otherwise...'
[happenings during a memorable year at Law] 'The frequent appearance of
dogs in all parts of the building...the pleasure of regularly meeting a Labrador, a
retriever, a bulldog and a St. Bernard pup, who stands 48 inches in his stocking
feet...Sandwiches on reserve - the only recorded example we've heard of
Egg-salad on Rye circulating with Salmond on Torts...A resolution of students to
voluntarily ban smoking in one of the reading rooms. Result: business as usual'.
Biblos, 1969: 5.5 (February I March)
[A letter forwarded to the Acquisitions Division from Queen's University Library]
'Your order of October 28, 1968 has been received. The book you need is a
counter-revolutionary biography of the common enemy of the people, Chiang
Kai-chek. This book has long been out-of-print permanently. We are therefore
returning you the order herewith.
At present, this lackey of U.S. imperialism still illegally occupies our sacred territory, Taiwan, and is engaged in counter-revolutionary activities in every possible
way, committing towering crimes against our compatriots. The 700 million
Chinese people, armed with Mao Tse-tung's thought are determined to liberate
our Taiwan.
Yours very truly, Guozi Shudian,  China Publications Centre'
A riddle: When is a student not a student? Answer: When he is storming the
beaches at Spanish Banks. Which brings us to the student who checks his symbol,
a foot-long construction spike, complete with cement bulb at its end. Symbol of
what? Protest against the proposed road.'
Biblos, 1969: 5.6 (April)
'You may have noticed that a red phone has been installed on the card catalogue
cabinet behind the information desk. This is not a 'hot-line' to Moscow. The
phone is connected to an Orrtronics 773.20 repeater with an Echomatic tape
cartridge containing general information about how to use the author/title and
subject card the evenings and the weekends, when there is no one
on the information desk...'
[from the Library Assistants Association] 'The Executive has met with representatives of C.U.P.E. with a view to finding out more about this organization. This
does not necessarily mean that the Association is contemplating union affiliation,
but an exchange of views is always healthy and [we] will continue to explore any
avenue which might add to the betterment of the Library Assistant in the system.'
Biblos, 1969: 5.7 (May/June)
'The Woodward Memorial Room is the oak-panelled library of your dreams.
Besides a Gobelin tapestry, it sports a balcony, a huge chandelier, carpets and soft
leather chairs. It also contains books [including] two incunabula: Jean Gerson's
"Opera Omnia" of 1494, and "Sermones notables de tempores et de Sanctus" by
Albertus Magnus, printed in 1481...'
'Hidden in a dank, windowless corner of the Main circulation office, is the exiled
interlibrary loan department of Simon Fraser University.  Unknown to many, the
three staff members unobtrusively accomplish monumental amounts of work,
with only an occasional whimper...Their duties involve searching for and xeroxing
articles for faculty and staff at SFU, University of Victoria and BCIT, as well as
locating and shipping books...'
Biblos, 1969: 5.8 (July I August)
[from the editorial introduction] It has been a good year from your editor's
point-of-view.. As the library staff expands and the lines of protocol are formed,
communication between departments, groups and classifications seem to grow
more remote and impersonal. We have attempted through the year to bridge
these gaps, if only in a small way...'
Biblos, 1969: 6.1 (September)
'In previous years it had rarely been possible to get special merit bonuses for
supporting staff, but this year several such bonuses were awarded. It is to be
hoped that the continuing of this procedure will be an added incentive for the
non-professional...The gradual re-classification of the supporting staff over the
past 5 to 6 years has resulted in positions being more accurately classified and has
almost reached the point where there is no backlog to be adjusted.'
'On October 7, the Property Committee of the Board of Governors will make
a critical decision regarding the future of library facilities at the University. It
will determine the site of the proposed new Sedgewick Library. Locations being
considered: behind the Main Library, either side of the lawn in front of 'Main', on
the lawn in front of the Mathematics building, underneath the Main Mall...Basil
Stuart-Stubbs has been a solid supporter of the Matrix concept [ie. a two-story
underground structure] because he feels it solves many problems at once... It is
well known that money for expansion on the campus is very short. On one of the
Senate reports, the proposed library rated ninth as a priority by many senators...'
[on problems with the wholesale production of borrowers' cards] 'Pictures were
the cause of most of the upsets and many of the laughs. Since four photos were
taken on the same frame, they were occasionally glued to the wrong card. The
final blow to an already bewildered co-ed is ending up with an intense-looking
engineer firmly glued to her card. Of course, it did provide an opportunity to
meet another potential coffee date.'
Biblos, 1969: 6.2 (October)
'Do you need some information on the Pathon Kings of Delhi, or the temples
of North India? Perhaps you want to learn a little 'Hobson Jobson' [The term
describing Anglo-Indian colloquialisms such as Punch, Pyjamas and Pondicherry]
If so, the three hundred books which recently arrived from the Shastri Indo-
Canadian Institute are for you: a co-operative effort of the University of Toronto,
McGill, UBC, the National Library and the Indian Government...'
'In August 1967, the first architect's plans were drawn for doubling the capacity
of the Woodward Library, and in November 1968 the noise started.  By March
or April of next year we are told that the noise will be but a dull memory and
we will have moved into 35,000 square feet of beautiful new space. Space for
200,000 volumes, 1,000 students and lots and lots of space for staff...'
[from the Map Library] Maureen Wilson and her two satellites Gwen Gregor and
Nora Williams have been joined by Janet Taggart who is TALL. This is a great
relief to the two small satellites as some of our map cabinets resemble freezer chests,
and it was an awful strain on modesty, not to mention gravity, to have to drive (literally) into one of these for a map...'
I.1 ell
Maureen Wilson
'Most memorable reference question of the month: A mini-skirted frosh arrives
at the Information Desk with a big smile and a handful of cataloguing cards. 'I've
taken out the cards for all the books I want', she says. 'Now what do I do?'
[Rein Brongers on returning home from Delft, Holland and his first library
conference] At the end, a touch of smugness about conditions on this continent where at least librarians speak one language - in more ways than one - and
where the road to increasing interlibrary cooperation should therefore be shorter
and smoother than the Old World - where, not only countries but libraries within
countries, have gone their own way for so long.'
Rein Brongers
News Note:
♦  Lockers have been installed in the Main Library to deter theft.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 196811969
'It is in the nature of libraries that they are subject to constant change. Every
hour sees something added, something taken away, and although some days are
marked by more noteworthy happenings, the evolution of a library can be read
only through the measurement and interpretation of small events...The broad
aim of a university library is simply to serve the interests of its parent body, and it
does this by acquiring, listing, preserving, retrieving, loaning and providing information from recorded manifestations of man's mind, hand and heart. In most
respects, the UBC Library is progressing at a better than satisfactory rate. The
picture is badly marred however by a critical shortage of space...' - p. 1
'In 1965/66, supported by the far-sighted and unprecedented gift of Mr. H. R.
MacMillan, the library spent $1,613,087 on books and periodicals. Since then
the trend has been in a contrary direction. This bibliothecal game of snakes and
ladders has not been easy for either faculty members or librarians to play. New
programmes needing heavy and immediate support have often gone wanting, and
faculty members - particularly in the humanities - have watched many purchasing
opportunities pass them by...' - p.21
'Since 1956, Walter Lanning had been the Director of the Curriculum
Laboratory.. .always the third heaviest used Library on campus. For this Mr.
Lanning deserves much credit. If the name sounds familiar, it is because his sister
Mabel and brother Roland have also been long-time members of the Library
staff. In fact, this trio has contributed the amazing total of ninety years of service
to the University through its library...' - p.32
'The University of British Columbia Library is almost unique among large
university libraries in having successfully operating automated systems for the
acquisition and lending of books and periodicals. The transference of routine
operations from staff to machinery has not been the sole result. Perhaps more
important have been the benefits to the users: the simplicity of borrowing books,
the ease in reference in many locations to library records such as loans, order files
and current periodical titles, formerly hidden behind the scenes.' - p.33
In August 1968 the Library was saddened by the passing of Mr. PA. Woodward,
whose generosity made possible the construction of the Woodward Biomedical
Library, and thereby a great improvement in in library service for students and
faculty in the life sciences. - p. 33
Mr and Mrs. FA. Woodward
'In two or three years' time, thousands of books will have to go into storage. The
library staff, who cannot be put into storage, must continue to work under steadily
more crowded conditions. Technical services, for example, now has one hundred
and fifty employees working under a seven-foot ceiling in an overcrowded, badly
lighted and heated area which was meant to be used only for book storage.
Others do but even enjoy the comparative luxury of a window' - p.35
Alice One Hundred
The Alice One Hundred Collection celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first
publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. The collection covers
every aspect of the nineteenth-century writing for children under the nom de
plume "Lewis Carroll" by the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
The core collection of almost 500 items dating between 1858 and 1965
was created by Robert Dennis Hilton Smith, a well-known bookseller based in
Victoria, B.C., over a seven year period. Smith's original collection was rich in
first, early, and limited editions, and included more than 200 editions of Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland, usually accompanied by Through the Looking Glass,
featuring the work of more than 80 illustrators. The collection also included
translations, parodies, and imitations of Carroll's works; some 50 editions of other
books by Carroll; some 60 books about Carroll; 25 musical and dramatic versions,
films and recordings; 15 collections and selections; and 20 miscellaneous pieces.
Smith's collection was purchased in 1965 by UBC's graduating class of 1925, led
by Stanley T. Arkley (B.A., 1925, LL.B., 1976), and was subsequently donated to
UBC Library in celebration of their 40th anniversary.
Over the years, Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) has continued
to add to its Alice collection. In the mid-2000s, Robert Eighteen-Bisang, a local
collector of, and one of the foremost authorities on, vampire literature and
mythology decided to turn his attention to Alice and Lewis Carroll, dedicating a
year to finding and filling gaps in RBSC's contemporary Alice holdings.
RBSC continues to acquire American, British, and Canadian editions
of Alice, with a special emphasis on fine press books. In 2015, in honour of
the 150th anniversary of Alice, RBSC sponsored an exhibition entitled The
Illustrated Alice: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
and curated by children's librarian and Master of Arts in Children's Literature
student, Kristy Woodcock. The exhibition featured, among other highlights, a
Salvador Dali-illustrated version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the first
edition of Alice illustrated by John Tenniel (1866), a nineteenth-century facsimile
of Lewis Carroll's original manuscript, and a calf-bound set that bears the
original Alice's (Alice Liddell Hargreaves) signature.
Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
With a proem by Austin Dob son. London: William Heinemann, 1907. Alice, book 81
TH6 wI
f          '■**!>
Carroll, Lewis. 77z£ Nursery Alice" Containing Twenty Coloured Enlargements from TennieVs
Illustrations to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with Text Adapted to Nursery Readers: Cover
designed and coloured by E. Gertrude Thomson. New York: MacMillan and Co., 1890.
Alice, book 102
  ^/Ae tbrei/e/itied
Biblos, 1970: 6.5 (January I February)
Review of some 1969 events.
Acquisitions Division: 'Some experimentation with a microform approach to the
on order/processing printout was conducted. Cartridge microfilm and microfiche were both tried, but no decision has yet been made on the adoption of this
Science Division: 'We stepped into the computer age by serving as 'search editors'
for the new Canada-wide SDI [Selective Dissemination of Information] service
of the National Science Library.. .which alerts its subscribers to the existence of
recently published papers in their specific fields of interest.'
Law Library, on finally classifying its collection: 'Graffiti discovered on the wall of the
old Law Building, 2001 A.D.: Writing this from under a pile of catalogue cards,
somewhere in the Faculty of Law. They are stifling, stifling. We hear that more are
coming tomorrow, but it is no longer possible to separate fact from fiction. The
building is filled with ominous whispers from many other mounds of cards. None
of us sees much of the outside world anymore. When we laugh we laugh alone,
and always at cruel bibliographic jokes...'
The Law Library staff
Sheila Porter recalls: "Throughout the latter '60s it was common for students and
staff to hitchhike to and from campus. One day, late for an appointment, I
got into a car on Chancellor Boulevard, and soon after, realized I had made a
mistake. Little did I know that my earth-angel Dean Curtis at Law recognized me
and, concerned, followed the car until I managed to get out. He then picked me
up and drove me to my destination. I shall forever be grateful for that".
Sedgewick Library: 'The most important change of the year came with the Board of
Governor's approval of plans for a new Sedgewick Library. The consulting architects have paid careful attention to the overall design to ensure that it is both a
highly aesthetic as well as highly functional building. Equal attention is being paid
by 'environmental psychologists' to lighting, colour schemes...'
Basil Stuart Stubbs & Tare Erickson contemplating a model of the new Sedgewick Library
Reading Rooms Division: ' Taking stock of our domain, we found that we had a total
collection of well over 25,000 volumes, most requiring cataloguing, and about
800 periodicals to transfer to the library system. Also, that no two Reading Rooms
were alike in the service offered, scope of collections, staffing, accommodation or
policy. Five were larger than some of our Branch libraries, and one fitted into an
8x10 room.'
Special Collections Division: 'We acquired such a vast collection of manuscripts and
records during 1969 that several tons had to placed in commercial storage. The
largest category of papers—records of British Columbia fishing companies'
Circulation Division: 'On November 24, the automated system (including branch
libraries) recorded 17,870 transactions! When you realize that in little more than
one year previously, 10,000 per day was cause for excitement.'
Biblos, 1970: 6.8 (August)
From Paul Thiele. 'Its lunchtime, and everywhere else on the campus things come
to a stop, while people eat, enjoy the sun, shop, browse and generally do anything
that's different from the routine for which they get paid...The scene at Crane is
the reading onto tape of the entire reading list for first and second year English,
and a large number of the volunteer readers in the three recording studios are
members of the library staff who give up one lunch time per week or spend an
hour after work...'
Biblos, 1970: 7.1 (October)
'Something should be done to brighten the 10:00 a.m. coffee blues...On the first
Monday after pay day, there will be a table set aside in the corner of the lounge
for the purpose of displaying - and possibly selling - anything that anyone in the
Library has made: ie. leatherwork, clothes, jewelry, pottery, etc...There will be no
discounts or charges, so you may set your own prices.'
Staff organizations functioning and looking for volunteers: Administrative
Resource Committee, Ombudsman Committee, Staff Room Committee, Biblos
Committee, Staff Travel Committee.
'The newest member of the Humanities staff has been very busy this month, on
October 15, Les Karpinski gave a lecture for the Archeological Society of B.C.:
"Invention and Development of the Alphabet and Middle Eastern Archeology".
On November 1st he is to give another lecture: "Palmyra, Syria"...'
'History displays at Woodward Library this month and next: [Topics]: dental
instruments, early surgery, antibiotics, childbirth, leprosy, plastic surgery, contraception, the Red Cross, smallpox, surgical instruments, quackery, polio.'
Biblos, 1970: 7.2 (November)
News Note:
* 'The staff of Humanities is about to celebrate the publication of volume 2,
which completes Maria Horvath's 'Doukhobor Bibliography' with a dinner
at the Goulash House.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 196911970
'Specialization and decentralization of library collections and services, under a
centralized administration, was the story of the sixties. At the beginning of this
new decade, the Library is no single entity but a network of dispersed and specialized units, containing a million and a quarter volumes and a wide variety of other
materials essential to learning and research. Increase in size, however, is not the
only measure of progress. As evidence of its growing importance and utility, the
Library could point to a 320% increase in borrowing, compared with an increase
of 79% in student numbers in the same period.'
'It is now difficult to conceive of the Library without the modern copying
machine. Yet a decade ago, the best the Library had to offer was a single unit
which produced an imperfect and impermanent copy at a cost of 35 cents. In
1969/70, nineteen machines, mostly coin-operated produced 1,588,805 copies
in libraries across the campus. Their importance in interlibrary sharing is made
clear by the fact that almost twice as many requests are now filled with copies
rather than original materials.'
'Some problems remain to be solved: A lag in time between the shelving of
newly-processed books and the filing of catalogue cards has developed, which is
traceable to the inability of the present preparation staff to keep up with production rates. Ways must be found to shorten the time it takes to bind and rebind
materials. It would be better for the work processes, the individuals concerned
and the expanding collection itself if the Processing Divisions could be moved
into other space, better adapted to their work.'
'To a greater and greater extent, individual libraries are participating in so-called
networks, realizing that although the world's information resources can be held
by no single library, any group of users can represent a vast range of needs. In
the interests of utility and economy, UBC Library and other libraries must move
closer together in the next decade'
'During the nineteen-sixties it was frequently speculated that the physical volume,
the book, was destined to disappear. At the beginning of a new decade, this seems
far from likely. It is now commonly recognized that the centuries-old format as
many advantages in convenience of use, portability and economy.' - p.34
'The eventual integration of the technologies of electronics and photography
could result in cassettes carrying libraries of fundamental readings, playable on
devices as convenient and cheap as a transistor radio.' -p.35
Biblos, 1971: 7.4 (January I February)
[from the Asian Studies Division] 'The story behind the question A new Asian
studies library?' easily became the highlight of our activities in the past year. What
a relief it would be to the Main Library and our division if the plan of moving the
Sanyo Pavilion here and reconstructing it into a two level building could come true!
In the meantime however, space is still our most pressing problem. Our 'underground' collection of 20,000 volumes alone is larger than the total holdings of some
UBC branch libraries!'
[from the Acquisitions Division] 'Increasing nationalism in Canada, combined
with evidence of a protectionist attitude on the part of the federal government,
indicate that libraries are in genuine danger of having their effectiveness reduced
by the creation of barriers to the best source of supply...'
[from the Catalogue Division] Current acquisitions continue to reach the shelves
with a minimum of delay... When the cards will reach the catalogues is a different
matter. While filing is reasonably current, the delay in printing and typing of cards
means that items listed in the authority file may not be listed in the public catalogue
for up to ten months...In an effort to short-circuit this whole problem, cards are now
being ordered from Richard Abel in those cases where our practice and LC are
totally compatible...'
[from the Circulation Division] We had to decide which books to move into
Woodward's new storage area...It was determined that about 50,000 volumes could
be: if we took books which have not been borrowed for ten years, or have been in the
library since 1965 and have never been borrowed...'
[from the Curriculum Laboratory] Despite practicum pile-ups, sorting shelf backaches, endless cards to file and rush books to process, there have only been three
of our ten stalwarts leave...Talk of an Education Library remains talk...'
'In order to live up to our image as a Fine Arts Division, Buildings and Grounds
was prevailed upon to paint us orange and mauve instead of the usual cream and
grey. A real touch of gaiety has resulted...'
[from Gifts and Exchange Division, on advertising unneeded journal duplicates] The obvious reason for going through all the trouble, instead of simply
destroying them, is that we believe they could be invaluable to so some libraries
for filling in gaps and replacing missing issues...'
[request received by the Interlibrary Loan Division] Author: Smith? (not sure
of spelling/ Title: unknown, but think subject is "love"/ Date: sometime before
[from the Law Library "Alice went on growing and growing and very soon had
to kneel down on the floor.. .She put one arm out of the window and one foot up
the chimney and said to herself...'What will become of me?'" With six hundred
students of enormous vitality and only 323 seats in the building, we are rapidly
approaching the heady phenomenon called ecological collapse. No, that is not
a cocktail party you hear whenever you phone. It might just be another soccer
game by the shelf list. Honest.'
[from the Mathematics Library] 'The President Gage Teaching Collection is now
on display, representing our share of Professor Gage's Master Teacher Award
which he donated to the UBC Library. It contains interesting and appropriate
reading for budding mathematicians...'
Biblos, 1971: 7.5 (March/April)
[contribution from a male librarian] When I first joined the profession, our
library always put books on male chauvinist pigs under SWINE- BREEDS. Since
being liberated we have added a cross-reference to MEN'
'What doth it profit a woman, my dears,
To acknowledge a man as one of our peers?
Good heavens, my loves, they might even suppose
That for years we've been leading them 'round by the nose.
We've rocked the cradle and ruled men's careers,
With patient smiles and occasional tears.
And honest, dear Libby, I'd sooner not switch:
I'd rather be-guiling than digging a ditch.
—Pat LaVac (over thirty and female)
Pat LaVac, poet and dedicated editor of "Biblos"
Biblos, 1971: 8.2 (November)
'Many of the library, office, clerical and technical employees at UBC have
expressed the need to be represented by an effective, responsible union. In the
expectation of achieving this objective, several open meetings have been held
with the Office and Technical Employees Union (OTEU). It is a member if the
Canadian Labour Congress, the BC Federation of Labour and District Labour
Council and represents approximately 4,000 people, employed by such organizations as BC Hydro, Macdonald's Consolidated, MacMillan Bloedel...'
'The Medical Library Association (Pacific Northwest Regional Group) met at
Woodward Library...Fifty-five delegates crowded into the Memorial Room to
hear Anna Leith and William Fraser. The scarcity of regional service (except in
BC) and lack of government support surprised the Americans who think of us as
'What must be a first for Cataloguing—in fact, the Library—we have a report
that a wedding was performed by Mac Elrod, an ordained minister, during a
coffee break on Tuesday, the second day of November. The bridal party was last
seen heading towards the coffee room.'
Mac Elrod has lots of memories. " I thought of myself as the dose of salts that
UBC took to cope with the MacMillan backlog."; discovering after an intensive
investigation that "our fastest card filer was so because he had been tossing out
cards he hadn't finished filing at the end of his shift"; "As an American transplant,
it took me a few months to learn that in Canada (as opposed to the U.S) silence
usually meant lack of consent rather than consent. As a result, many changes
were made during that earlier period, much to the distress of some cataloguers."
Other developments this year:
♦ Circulation exceeded 2 million loans.
♦ The collection totalled over 1.5 million catalogued volumes.
♦ Concerns were raised with regard to the extent of photocopying, including
some voices agitating to make photocopying copyrighted material illegal.
♦ Extreme inflation in the cost of book materials.
♦ Dealing with increasing amounts of machine-readable statistical
information, plans were drawn up to establish a Data Library, operated
jointly with the Computing Centre.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 197011971
'The next major addition to the system will be the Sedgewick Library, scheduled for completion during the summer of 1972. Excavation began on November
19, 1970, and by the end of August 1971 the basic structure of the building had
been completed. Its design had already attracted the attention of the architectural
profession, and was one of twelve building projects, selected from two hundred
and nine, to win a design award from the Canadian Architects Yearbook. In
conferring the award, the judges spoke of the new library as a "most impressive solution to a very complex problem" and "possibly the most interesting and
prescient of all the projects submitted.' - p. 2
'On March 22nd, 1971, the Provincial Secretary accepted from the Consul
General of Japan , a centennial gift to the people of British Columbia: the
steel girders of the Sanyo Electric Company's pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka.
A committee has been established to raise the funds necessary to re-erect the
building at UBC as an Asian Studies Centre which would house the Asian Studies
Division, now located in the Main Library' - p. 3
'In awareness of a trend to more interdisciplinary work, and seeing in it a particular challenge to library service, the Library formed a task group to discover ways
and means of accommodating scholars whose interests are outside the scope of
traditional disciplines.' - p. 7
'Through its Science Division and Woodward Biomedical Library, UBC is cooperating with the National Science Library in providing access to a variety of
bibliographic tape services. Fourteen faculty members and graduate students in
eight departments subscribed to this programme for the selective dissemination
of information and individual 'profiles' relating to specific literature interests were
drawn up and compared to the collection of data tapes. The printout has carried
out a preliminary screening, short-listing references possibly deserving closer attention.' - p.8
'Ultimately, the collections at the public universities and colleges must be viewed
as a single, decentralized resource for higher education in the province. In British
Columbia, the university libraries are contributing to the development in Ottawa
of the National Library's Union Catalogue, which will eventually be directly
accessible by computer terminals.' - p. 17
Among large research libraries in North America, UBC is almost unique in
having no dormant backlog of uncatalogued materials in European languages,
but only currently purchased materials in process. That this has been achieved
with little increase in staff and in some of the worst working conditions at the
University is testimony to the quality and character of the personnel.' - p. 18
Biblos, 1972: 8.4 (January/February)
[the University Librarian, on annual reports] 'Personally, I prefer Biblos' account
of the Library year. It has more personality.. .contains different information and
is closer to reality. One gets a better idea of the diversity and complexity of the
system of libraries...'
[from the Acquisitions Division] 'One of the results of the last Parksville
Conference was a decision to study the feasibility of creating a common
ordering/processing system to be used jointly by the three universities...'
'The Bibliography Division is not so much a division as a state of mind. It is
not so much a library operation as it is a lone mental state involving decision or
'The last of the backlog created by the spending of the MacMillan largesse was
cleared away early in the year, with a major assist from library school cataloguing
students who were heard to say 'they never told us cataloguing would be like this.'
[from the Fine Arts Division] 'Our new staff member, Charlie Checkpoint, is very
efficient. Not only does he detect library books, but will also herald the departure of umbrellas, cameras, coinage, key chains and some purses. Most of our
students are good-natured about this, but there are some who get embarrassed or
[from the Law Library] 'The Great Leap Forward last year was the long-needed
and little-expected expansion of our working space from 540 to 1700 square feet.
We are most grateful to the Faculty of Law for agreeing to this basic alteration in
the original plan of the building and for footing the bill.'
[from the Prebindery] '1971 was not a good year [involving] a strike by Brown
Bros of Kelowna, a commercial firm selected by the University to bind some
library material...Brown closed its business and two thousand partly-bound
volumes had to be returned, sorted and re-shipped to another bindery for
[from the Science Division] 'Our scheme of forty-dollar subsidies for new
subscribers to the CAN/SDI computerized current awareness service brought in
quite a number of new customers.'
[from Crane Library] 'The Federal Government, under the Local Initiatives
Program, provided a grant of $28,000 so that we could hire 'professional' readers
- broadcasters, actors and teachers - to record books in the evenings and on
Biblos, 1972: 8.6 (May)
As some of you may know, 1972 has been proclaimed by UNESCO as
International Book Year. In order that Canadians may participate most effectively
in this world-wide effort it has planned a 'Penny-a-Book' campaign, based on the
slogan "To Read is to Be",The Library Assistants Association is hopefully going to
put money boxes at the turnstiles...'
'The fourth meeting of the three University libraries touched on a great many
areas, including a proposed regional code of on interlibrary lending, a proposal to
establish an archive of recorded sound, new regulations governing the copying of
theses and dissertations, production of an index to B.C. newspapers...'
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 1971/1972
'The test of a successful library is that its patrons can gain access to the items they
need when they need them. Unless measures are taken to reverse present trends,
the Library will begin to fail that test more and more frequently, either because
materials are at an inconvenient distance, or because they have not been acquired
in the first place.' - p. 1
'It should be noted that unlike scientists, humanists and social scientists rely to a
great extent on being able to browse and scan in the stacks, and that by consigning
their working collections to storage, serious harm is being done to the quality of
their work. Further, the whole operation of moving books to storage, of changing
location records, and of retrieving items is a non-productive use of staff time and
thus of university funds.' - p. 5
'In a survey of information requests at reference stations, divisions responded to
an impressive total of nearly one hundred and forty thousand inquiries in eight
months, pointing to an extrapolated annual total of over two hundred thousand
responses during the academic year' - p.7
'The Crane Library, now internationally known as a pioneer organization in library
service to the blind and partially-sighted at institutions of higher learning, was the
recipient of a grant from Canada Manpower's 'Local Initiatives Project', which
enabled it to step up its programme of recording instructional materials.' - p.9
' In the immediate future, the Library hopes to install a terminal connected to the
U.S. National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE system, which will permit the
terminal operator to conduct on-line searches of medical and related literature.'
'Copying machines, viewed by almost everyone as one of technology's happiest
boons, continue to be viewed by publishers and authors with a variety of
emotions ranging from alarm to anger. At issue is whether or not the liberal
unregulated use of copying machines, particularly by educators, directly results
in a loss of income to authors and publishers. Clearly, where there are instances
of copying substantial portions of textbooks for large classes, there must be a loss,
assuming that if the machine didn't exist the textbooks would have had to be
purchased.' - p. 12
'No part of the library's collections pose greater problems than do the journals.
The community of users is divided in its attitude. Some favour the idea of never
circulating periodicals, so that they can always be found on the shelves. Others say
that periodicals should be treated no differently than books and made available
by everyone on equal terms...A further reduction in loan periods would improve
the prospects for all users, particularly if faculty members and graduate students
would cooperate by returning borrowed items on their due dates,' - p.20
[Questions being raised with the B.C. Library Commission, and now by the
Tri-University Libraries (TRIUL) Organization] 'Will the University, at a time
when its revenues are declining, be expected to pay additional amounts to support
a provincial library? Will the Library be expected to allocate more of its resources
to the network, at the expense of services to students and faculty? Or will the
provincial government finance the components of the network with special
subventions, perhaps based on the contribution made by each participating institution?' - p.24
Biblos, 1973: 9.5 (January I February)
[from the Bibliography Division] 'The constant concern throughout 1972 has
been the rising peril caused by increasing prices for books and periodicals loaded
onto a stationary or receding book budget. Many programs are going into the
red, notably the European blankets and serials...'
[from the Circulation Division] 'It is fortunate that summer session was fairly
quiet as it gave the new people a chance to learn how to deal with the new
mini-computer which had been installed to replace the card punches. As the
new system was being debugged, the procedures changed so there were more
lessons, and more lessons, and more lessons...'
[from the Law Library] 1972 was the year that Burt Reynolds (in his celebrated
all-together) was prominently displayed in a showcase, that the First Annual Law
School Tricycle Race roared to a Monza finish in the main reading room, that
fleas (from dogs?) resulted in the closing of the building for fumigators, and that
activist female students painted WOMEN on the faculty washroom and forced
their male professors into nervous and perfunctory visits for several days...'
Tom Shorthouse remembers unexpectedly finding himself in the position of
"loading a big black bleeding lab belonging to a well-known campus radical into the
back of my station wagon, and heading off to a veterinary hospital with the two of
them in tow, after a dogfight that broke out beside the Law Library card catalogue".
[from the MacMillan Library] ' A turnstile was installed and, after many misadventures, became reasonably functional, once the boys became reconciled to
waiting for it to open instead of striding over'
'1972 was the year it all came true for Sedgewick. In the last few days of
December, Sedge staff and books were moved to the new building, after six years
of planning and a 1972 filled with delays, hope and excitement. The students'
reactions to the new building have been positive and we're pleased to see how
quickly everyone has settled in and is feeling at home.'
Sedgewick Library
Sedgewick Library was named for beloved professor Garnet G Sedgewick, the
first head of the English Department at UBC. Retiring in 1948, for thirty years
he had celebrated the works of Shakespeare and Chaucer and the impact of his
lectures was legendary. Ture Erickson recalls that the floor-to-ceiling windows,
installed to introduce natural light to what was otherwise an underground library,
were a potential hazard, should distracted patrons inadvertently run into them. So
a selection of Shakespeare quotations which evoked images of glass and mirrors
were affixed to each pane, providing both a deterrent to injury and a memorial
honouring Dr. Sedgewick.
Happy With Their New Workplace
From left: Keith Bunnell, Jeannette Pyrch, Judy Atkinson,
Joan Whitney, Julie Stevens, Ture Erickson
Biblos, 1973: 9.6 (March)
'It's spring - the trees are in leaf, the days are getting longer. It's a time for new
ideas, new resolutions, new beginnings. Your fellow library workers who comprise
the editorial staff are just as susceptible to this feeling as anyone else and we feel
that the time has come for a change... And so, with this issue we announce regretfully our intention to resign...We would like to pass the torch on to newer and
fresher hands. We ask that other members of the staff come forward and take our
places - you will find it an interesting and rewarding experience.'
NOTE: Biblos ceased publication with this issue.
We now continue the Library's odyssey with excerpts from UBC Library Bulletin (Library
Bulletin), backtracking to January.
Library Bulletin 1973: 091 (January)
'Mr Stuart-Stubbs met onjan.19 with the Flexible Work Week Committee, the
Library division heads, the Library Administration and Administrative Resources
and Ombudsman Committees to review the latest developments in proposals for a
library flexible work week.'
'The Recycling Committee asks: that you please save large envelopes and use
labels to readdress them; that you save letters and notices printed on one side only
and use the reverse for scratch paper; that you refrain from using aerosols, in the
belief that they dispersed poisons too widely...'
'No new subscriptions to periodicals will be authorized unless the requisition
presented is a accompanied by a title (or titles) in the same field and equivalent
cost recommended for cancellation.'
'The newly constituted ISBD [International Standard Bibliographic Description]
which has already been adopted by Canadiana...and the Library of Congress, is a
major step forward in international library cooperation. The UBC Library will be
adopting it as soon as LC copy begins to arrive...'
Library Bulletin 1973: 092 (February)
'The TRIUL Task Force on Cataloguing, composed of the head cataloguers of
the three BC provincial libraries! has obtained a grant under the federal Local
Initiatives Program (LIP) to complete a general index of the LC classification
schedules...The merger of the indices of the individual schedules will provide
library users with a subject approach for general browsing in the stacks...'
Library Bulletin 1973: 093 (March 14)
'The Administrative Services Librarian has undertaken the job of writing a
general introduction and manual for staff in the library. This is a mammoth task
and will include everything from the explanation of library jargon to that of
unemployment insurance benefits.'
Library Bulletin 1973: 094 (March 23)
[from the University Librarian] ' The news that the University is experiencing
financial difficulty is now widespread, and I am writing to tell you how this situation will affect the Library in the coming year. The source of the University's
troubles can be traced to diminishing enrolments which have a double effect. In
the first place, the University collects less money in fees and thus suffers a drop in
income;  and in the second place, the government reasons that if there are fewer
students the University should need less money for operating purposes, which
further decreases its revenue...I want to make it clear that I am satisfied that the
University Administration is doing the best for us that it can. In fact, we can
count ourselves lucky that our budget has not been comes to this: there is
nothing to spend for new staff, more student assistance, more of anything. Where
supplies and equipment are concerned, we will be buying less...A review of hours
of public service is being undertaken, and it may be that there will be changes
in the schedule which will result in economies...Everyone can help by adopting a
parsimonious attitude toward the use of supplies, postage and copying machines...
The spectre of unemployment is bound to rise in some people's minds. There is
no need for concern on that score. There will be no layoffs. That is a matter of
simple, definite policy...'
Margaret Friesen remembers: "I walked into Basil Stuart-Stubbs office one day
and he told me he was being asked to write yet another proposal to the Ministry
of Education for a post-secondary Interlibrary Loan network in B.C. He was
reluctant to do so, having already written about a dozen to both Socred and
NDP governments. I suggested something like, Just dust off one of your previous
proposals and change the date'. I don't know if that is exactly what he did, but
shortly after the funding came through."
Library Bulletin 1973: 095 (April)
'The Administrative Resources Committee decided to recommend that all job
descriptions and postings of vacancies should carry a standard notation that
the position is open to both male and female applicants, except where there is a
compelling reason to limit a position to one sex or the other, in which case the
limitation will be stated.'
Library Bulletin 1973: 099 (July 31)
Acting upon a recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Working
Conditions on Floor 7, the Library has acquired a wet-globe thermometer which
'combines air temperature, humidity, wind and thermal radiation into a single
reading that is related to human responses in a meaningful way'. It is intended to
use this thermometer in determining the nature of working conditions in areas
which become uncomfortable during warm weather'
'The form of address 'Ms.' has been used more and more frequently in library
communications originating from the Library Administration, the Branches
and the Divisions. It has been brought to the attention of the Administrative
Resources Committee that staff members are not of one mind on the use of
"Ms.' Some would indeed prefer to have their marital status undefined, but
others would prefer to be known as 'Miss' or 'Mrs'. The ARC recommends
that all forms of address be omitted and that staff should be referred to only
by their names.'
[on the combination of the dollar devaluation and the cost of books] 'This is
a tale of gloom. It is felt that the staff as a whole will be interested in recognizing the immense problems facing the Library and the new stumbling blocks
which must be overcome if we are to maintain a normal, healthy growth of the
Library Bulletin 1973: 100 (September)
[from a letter to Steve Johnson, Serials Head, from the National Library of
Australia] 'We have recently received a copy of your Canadian Serials Directory,
1972, which we have studied with much interest and admiration for your find
work. The information for these titles is quite remarkable in its fullness and depth.
It makes quite fresh departures in the variety of information it supplies and sets
an admirable example...'
Authors writing under pseudonyms have objected to their real names appearing in
the CIP (Cataloging in Publication) on the back of the title page. Because of this, LC
has announced that it will now be entering these works under pseudonyms and will
revise previous main entries accordingly..'
[A reminder to staff of certain provisions in the Labour Relations Act ]
'Section 4(1) No employer or employers' organization, and no person acting on
behalf of an employer or employers' organization, shall participate in or interfere
with the formation or administration of a trade union...
Section 5(1) Except with the consent of the employer, no trade union and no
person acting on behalf of a trade union shall attempt at the employer's place
of employment during working-hours to persuade an employee of the employer
to join or not to join a trade union. The Library Administration is abiding by
Section 4(1).'
Library Bulletin 1973:101 (October 9)
An architect was appointed for the Library Processing Centre at last week's Board
of Governors meeting. This marks on further important stage in the development
of a good working environment for the technical services staff, housed for the past
decade in the seventh floor stacks.'
[notice received from the University Administration] 'We are pleased to advise
you that the President has confirmed that Monday December 24th and Monday
December 31 st will be considered in the following manner: The University will
remain open but under departmental arrangement and each member of the staff
will be entitled to either of these days, but not both, as a holiday'
Library Bulletin 1973: 103 (November)
'Smoking from cigarettes, pipes or cigars does bother some people.
Representations have been made to the Administrative Resources Committed that
they request people to refrain from smoking during library meetings. The point
made was that people are obliged to attend and have no option, even if they find
smoking disturbing...'
Library Bulletin 1973: 104 (December)
'We have been informed by the Director of Campus Mail that one of the requirements of the new postal system is that each delivery must have a street address.
2075 Wesbrook Place has been allotted to the University, and the postal code is
V6T 1W5...'
News Notes:
* Woodward Library was connected to MEDLINE.
♦ The Library bindery ceased operation.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 197211973
'On January 3, 1973, the new Sedgewick Library opened its doors. In the space
of a few days thousands of students had made it their preferred place of work.
Thus ended more than a decade of seating shortages for undergraduate students
which, at its worst in the nineteen-seventies, had seen them wandering hopelessly
through overcrowded libraries and finally setting to work on floors and in stairwells.' - p. 3
'During the year, the Main and Sedgewick Libraries introduced FEEDBACK,
a simple system wherein students ask questions or make complaints on slips of
paper, place them in a box, and return to read a reply which is posted, with the
question, on a bulletin board placed conspicuously in a major traffic path.' - p.9
All library divisions and branches have offered to compile "interest profiles" for
groups of faculty members and graduate students, and for some individuals.
Each month these profiles are run against the records of books catalogued by the
Library, and personalized listings of new materials are produced. By the end of
August, seventy-two such profiles had been constructed, and new profiles were
being added at the rate of a dozen a month.' - p. 10
'The mounting costs of periodical subscriptions has called for special measures.
A system for limiting the number of subscriptions was devised: no new subscriptions were authorized unless a title or titles in the same field and of equivalent
costs were cancelled. This approach has forced the examination of some multiple
subscriptions and others of marginal interest or low frequency of use.' - p. 18
'The installation of a Library mini-computer in July of 1972, combined with a
changeover in the Data Processing Centre from one computer to another, brought
about period of re-programming and the upgrading of systems. The new equipment has opened up the possibility of an on-line system for for the direct entering
of acquisitions and serials information, beginning with the processing systems of
Main, Woodward and Law' - p.20
'The Systems staff, with bibliographer Steve Johnson, contributed to a project of
national significance: Under contractual agreements with the National Library
of Canada and the University of Toronto Press, it created the database and
the proof typeset copy of the Canadian Serials Directory - an immense work,
bringing together the first exhaustive information source regarding Canada's periodical literature.' - p.20
'Through interlibrary lendings, UBC's dependence on other libraries has
increased. This was attributable to such factors as a reduction in acquisitions of
new books, and the assignment to graduate students of thesis topics for which the
Library is not adequately stocked.' -p.22
'Three divisions of the Library began, with permission of Board of Governors, an
experiment in the modified work week. The Board also approved a Study Leave
policy of appointees other than faculty "to pursue study or research of benefit to
the individual and the University' - p.25
Library Bulletin 1974: 107 (March 28)
[on the report of the Senate Committee on Academic Building Needs] 'It was
not convinced of the need for a Science Library until beyond 1980, but assigned
fifteenth place to a Storage Library...'
Library Bulletin 1974:108 (May 28)
'UBC has been chosen as a depository for the Canadian Arctic Gas Study
Group's brief on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline...We will be only library in B.C.
to have this material...'
'UBC Library has been awarded a research contract to conduct a national/international library loan survey...The results will be used by the Task Force on the
National Union Catalogue. This will probably require a year to perform...'
Library Bulletin 1974: 109 (July 4)
[telephone inquiry received] 'Where is Watergate at UBC?'
An answer began, after a slight pause. 'The Walter Gage Residences are located...'
Library Bulletin 1974: 110 (July 22)
[Steve Johnson's summary of one ALA session he attended on what lies ahead for
libraries] 'Librarians had better gain education in the field of technology, or else
they will have to rely on outsiders who - lacking library training - may misdirect
the development of the library or take it over. Technology is coming inevitably
and it will prove to be cheaper in the long run.'
Stephen Johnson
Library Bulletin 1974: 111 (September)
'The architects for the Library Processing Centre have been instructed to produce
preliminary drawings, now that the schematics and the site have received Board
of Governors' proposals. Plans call for a low-profile structure to be built just
beside the sunken garden at the south end of Brock Hall...'
'TRIUL (Tri-University Libraries) has proposed a consider the
need for the feasibility of a province-wide library catalogue system.'
'With the approval of the Senate Library Committee, the Library has begun a
policy of suspending the borrowing privileges of seriously delinquent borrowers...
The policy will apply to faculty as well as to students, but with the provision that
the University Librarian will be informed when a faculty member is nominated
for suspension...'
'Last January, at the request of some librarians, the Library began to encourage
an exchange of librarians between divisions, on either a temporary or permanent
basis...permitting staff to broaden their the present non-growth
period, in which opportunities for advancement are limited...'
Library Bulletin 1974:112 (October)
A pilot project has been implemented to consider the use of COM (Computer-
Output-on Microform) microfiche as a method of providing on-order and in-process information within the library. The project is an early, experimental step on
what may be a spiral staircase leading to COM catalogues throughout the UBC
Library System...'
[on the new AUCE contract] 'It is understood that seniority is not the only criterion for promotion, although we would always prefer to hire one of our own
experienced staff members where ability and qualifications are at least equal...'
Job-splitting is certain to improve library service - through better use of work-
time, through individuals' developing new skills, and - a legitimate end in itself -
through increased job satisfaction...'
Library Bulletin 1974:113 (November 1)
'The Collections Division has concluded an agreement with the University's
Finance Department whereby the Library will be able to sell its surplus books
through the Gifts and Exchange Division and deposit the receipts into one of its
own accounts...A special embossed seal, indicating that the book in question has
been discarded by UBC libraries, will be applied to the title page...'
Library Bulletin 1974: 114 (November 19)
A notable collection of Russian pre-Revolutionary historical material has been
donated to the Library and will become part of Special Collections...'
'November 12th to 14th was a filing blitz in the author/title catalogue from M
to Z. "Blitz" is a dirty word meaning a group of people (in this case 22 Revisers,
Typists and Catalogue Maintainers) doing extra work. A blitz results when something goes wrong and a backlog develops...'
[Leah Gordon reports in] The flexible work week has been a fact of life in LC
Cataloguing for well over a year now. I'm afraid that I have by now been virtually
conditioned in my response to the question "And how do you like the flexible work
week?" A bell rings in my tiny mind and I immediately begin spouting commercials for it, designed to convince everyone that it's the only way to work...I get much
more work done in the longer day, and my personal life seems much fuller...'
Leah Gordon
[on the same topic, Doug Mclnnes observes] 'In some divisions there is the
tendency to prefer working the extra time each day in the early morning hours
rather than the end of the day. Since most public service desks aren't open until
8:00 or 8:30, the extra time may be less useful than it would be in late afternoon...'
Library Bulletin 1974: 115 (December 3)
[From Basil Stuart-Stubbs] ' All staff members are invited to submit in writing,
either to their division or branch head, with a copy to the University Librarian,
or directly to the University Librarian, any comments, suggestions, or proposals
relating to resource allocation, policies or procedures within the following broad
areas: collections, public services, technical services, systems, personnel services,
buildings and environment, equipment...'
Library Bulletin 1974: 116 (December 10)
[Gerry Dobbin, on the 1973 edition of 'Serials Holdings'] 'Countless volunteers,
conscripts and student assistants dredged up 20,000 possible omissions in the first
stage of this job. The librarian in charge whittled them down to a mere 13,000...
The final total may be expected to top 9,000...'
Gerry Dobbin
[message from the University Director of Personnel 'The Canadian Union of
Public Employees, Local 116, have complained that certain persons in the Library
have been carrying out duties which were normally done by members of their
union...The items which they mentioned specifically were 'the emptying of waste
baskets' and 'general cleaning up'. We have told the representatives of Union 116
that we will bring this matter to the attention of the Library staff and ask their
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 1973/1974
'For the University of British Columbia Library, and for most other academic
libraries in North America, the decade of the sixties was one of progress. It
now seems that the seventies will be characterized as a decade of paradox, in
which libraries simultaneously wax and wane...The reason for this situation is
now familiar to everyone: it is inflation, a condition which is simply imposed on
libraries and all institutions in the public service, and over which they have no
control. Yet they must contend with it and attempt to balance user requirements
against resources...Although the staff has remained at roughly the same strength
for four years, an additional million dollars has been required for salaries. Over
a hundred thousand dollars has been added to the collections budget, but accessions have plummeted.' - p. 1, 3
'On the other side of the coin, use and demand continue to increase annually. In
seven years, student numbers have grown by 16.7%, while loans have soared by
99.8% more loans, exceeding 2,300,000 per year...Many factors have contributed
to the steady rise in the use of the Library: better and larger collections, changing
in teaching methods, computerized borrowing procedures and more borrowers.
But certainly a prime factor has been the increased accessibility and service made
possible by the creation of branch libraries.' - p. 4
'In these beginning years of their development, computer-based information
service warrants separate attention. It is not yet an alternative to traditional
library service, but a supplement to it. It is not cheap. The services tend to be
invisible to most users since they are primarily used by graduate students, faculty
members, research staff and professionals working at a high level of specialization... In the future computers will be more and more commonly used for
searching the literature in all fields, and by persons with fewer personalized needs.
Indeed, access to information about the Library's own collections will be eventually provided this way. As the computer is used more frequently in the library
context, it should be assimilated, not isolated. - p. 7,8
Among types of publications, the cost of journals, and especially academic journals, is rising most swiftly. In 1966/67, periodical renewals consumed 7.6% of
the acquisitions budget. This year, it will require 29.9% to pay for subscriptions
...Ultimately many journals may reach the point where they will be forced to
discontinue. Some have welcomed such an outcome, maintaining that much that
has been published has contributed less to the advancement of knowledge than to
the advancement of careers. Others have decried the possibility, seeing journals as
the best means of bringing recent learning to public attention. - p. 9, 10
A backlog in card production and filing, deriving from the swift growth of
the collections in the late sixties, was finally eliminated and workloads in the
processing divisions are diminished. Staff positions have been transferred to the
public service sector where, as has been shown, demands are mounting.' - p. 12
At the housekeeping level, the computer assists the Library in maintains massive
files of constantly changing records, and in making those records more widely
accessible. Unfortunately, the costs of on-line systems which would eliminate
print-outs are prohibitive, even if all the software and hardware problems could
be solved. A compromise solution with which the Library is now experimenting
is computer output microform, or COM...Economics is so firmly on the side of
COM that it is clear it will play an increasingly significant role in the creation and
dissemination of library records.' - p. 12
'The brute fact is that among the Library's branches, only the recently completed
or yet to be completed Woodward, Sedgewick, Law, Education and Asian Studies
Libraries will be able to contain their collections beyond 1980.' - p. 15
As the academic year drew to a close, the new union [Association of University
and College Employees, Local no. 1] and the University moved closer to an agreement on a contract which provided a significant increase to salary scales, an extension to vacations and a reduction in hours of work, as well as other provisions and
benefits... Librarians, with their faculty colleagues, also expressed their concern over
their worsening economic position by participating in discussions within the Faculty
Association regarding the possibilities of collective bargaining.' - p. 16
'It is difficult to be optimistic about the state or future of the Library. The issue
is squarely one of costs versus expectations. If the costs are not met, the expectations will not die, but they will be adequately satisfied. This is much to be
Library Bulletin 1975: 118 (February)
[One report from a survey on the availability of collections space] 'The
Curriculum Laboratory will have exceeded full working capacity by the end of
the year. More shelving can be erected only at the expense of readers' seats, or by
rearranging the layout in such a way as to interfere with traffic in the Education
[On the opening of the new Law Library] 'Planning for the expanded Law
facility began in 1968, and during the intervening years the major part of the
collection was catalogued and a classification scheme adopted. As a result, the
UBC Law Library is one of the few in Canada to be completely catalogued. It is
presumably the only one in the world with a poured concrete circulation counter!'
'The post office announces that mail addressed to 'China', 'Nationalist China' or
such other variations won't get across the Pacific. Only two forms of address are
acceptable: for the mainland - 'The People's Republic of China'; for Nationalist
China - 'Taiwan' or 'Formosa'.'
Library Bulletin 1975:119 (March)
[New administrative teams are set up to explore special issues: Task Force on
Binding, Task Force on Library Security, Task Force on Collections, Task Force
on Extended Services] 'Volunteers are needed. Any people interested in serving
should submit their names to Mr. Stuart-Stubbs...'
Library Bulletin 1975: 120 (April)
'The Library's operating budget will be increased by $321,262 in the fiscal year
1975/76 - approximately a 5% increase over last year...'
[Some new filing rules] 'Compound words, when hyphenated or written as two
separate words should be filed as two words, eg. co-operating, tri-quarterly, epoch-
making are filed as two words... Initialisms should be filed as a word if the letters
are unbroken by punctuation or space, whether the Initialisms is pronounceable
or not. If the letters are broken by spaces or punctuation, file letter by letter...'
[From an overview of the development of working spaces for the UBC Library]
'In March 1973, in response to a complaint about working conditions from a
Library staff member, an Inspector of Factories inspected the 7th floor and, in a
letter to University President Gage, he condemned it. He advised that the area
could not be made satisfactory and asked that alternative space be provided,
requesting that the matter be given top priority...'
Library Bulletin 1975:121 (May)
'The Main stacks, by common consent, are in a mess. There is no way that they
can be put in good order before summer school without the cooperation of the
entire staff of the Main Library.  Therefore, in true democratic fashion, every staff
member in the Main Library will be asked to read and put into order a portion
of the stacks. Everyone, from the University Librarian down, or up, depending
how you view the organization, will be receiving a memorandum asking them to
inspect a specific number of shelves.'
'The Task Force on Overdue Policies completed its report in March...Under the
new system, overdue material requested by another borrower will be subject to
a fine of $1.00 a day, up to a maximum of $25.00. The fine will accrue from
the due date, not the date of the request. If there have been no request, overdue
materials will not be subject to fines...'
'For the curious, we have 22,877 current subscriptions. The figures discount
multiple subscriptions in single locations, so in fact we have even more.'
'The 1975 annual report of the Cataloguing Division has been circulated to
other divisions. A marvellous misprint on page 4 (presumably a misprint) has staff
"morals" improved by unionization, flexible work weeks and increased participation in decision-making...'
Library Bulletin 1975:123 (July)
[About circulation, acquisitions and serial order files] 'Up until now, the Library
has retrieved them in the form of printouts, produced by University computers,
after the information has be sorted and arranged according to Library needs.
Under the new system, the computers' output will detour to Com Consultants, a
local data processing firm, which will reproduce the information on microfiche...'
Library Bulletin 1975:124 (August)
[Re: the proposed new Processing Building] 'The latest from the Users
Committee is that it will likely be built beside the Woodward Library. This is not
final. So little is. In any case, it is now estimated that $80,000 will be required to
duplicate existing searching tools should the move occur'
'Speaking of the Big Time, the Crane Library has gained a most distinguished
and highly qualified new member for its team of voluntary readers. University
President-Emeritus Walter H. Gage signed up on the day of his retirement and
has begun reading at a demanding pace. His first book is a difficult task - a study
on thermaodynamics...'
[Cross-referenced in the catalogue] Lunatic, Sir Humphrey, see Gentleman,
Francis, 1728-1784
Library Bulletin 1975: 125 (September)
At its meeting of September 2nd, the Board of Governors approved a site for
the Processing Building at the north end of Parking Lot C, directly west of the
Woodward Library. While this is not as close to the Main Library as the Users
Committee would have preferred, it is not so far away that major inconvenience
will result...It is expected that much of the design work that has been done for
a building across the East Mall from the Main Library can be utilized for the
approved site...'
[On coping with problems resulting from LC's decision to retain old subject headings ,while superimposing new subject headings for current publications] 'The inconsistency began to haunt people at LC and elsewhere. There was talk of stopping
superimposition and entering all headings according to the new Anglo-American
Cataloging Rules. This came to be known as 'desuperimposition'... LC is still
discussing alternatives, putting it off again to 1979 or 1980. The three most widely
accepted alternatives are: closing the existing catalogues and starting fresh; linking
old and new forms of entry with 'see also' references; and filing all cards behind a
guide card, under the new form, without changing the entries on the old unit cards.'
Library Bulletin 1975:126 (October 6)
'Machine Readable Cataloguing (MARC) will soon be the standard. A recent
article explains. "Using the MINIMARC System and a Mini-MARC format in
the mini-full range ( one which tagged 504 bibliographic notes separately from the
other notes, and which subfield-coded the 260 imprint statement), it would be possible
to do the same thing'".
Library Bulletin 1975:127 (October 31)
'Sixty years ago: In 1915/16, the Library's budget for all purposes - building, salaries, collections, supplies and expenses - was $7,452.01'
A meeting of division heads was called October 28th by the Chief Librarian at
which the present crisis in card catalogue maintenance in North America was
discussed. (In case you hadn't noticed, there was a crisis happening. It manifests
itself as Author/Title catalogue drawers bristling with unrevised filing, outrageous filing errors below the rods, and in unluckier libraries, yards and yards
of cards waiting to be filed.) It was the expressed consensus of the meeting that
the decision to close off our card catalogue should be made and that a concrete
proposal of alternatives should be presented...The possibility of the closure
based on imprint date 1975, with 1976 publications listed in the new alternative,
was mentioned...The Chief Librarian and the Assistant Librarian for Technical
Services seemed to feel that Computer Output Microfiche (COM)...took advantage of automated methods, and was both financially and technologically possible
in the short run...'
'This summer the National Library announced they they would undertake to
oversee a Canadian CIP project.. .which will be built on a foundation laid some
years ago by the three British Columbia libraries...'
'The World of Chess and Its Literature' is the current display in the fifth floor
case outside the Ridington Room. Nick Omelusik has provided books written by
world champions from 1966 to the present day...'
Nick Omelusik
Library Bulletin 1975:128 (November)
'Can you have a library without money? Yes, you can, but it gets tough. As of
November 6, in addition to a freeze on ordering books, we have been forced to
place a freeze on hiring at all levels, and on ordering of all but essential supplies
and equipment. There will be other economies as well: in binding of serials and
the cancellation of periodical subscriptions. In the meantime, use your pencils
down to the stubs.'
'The Special Collections Division is trying to collect any materials published by
the various political parties for the upcoming provincial election. They would like
to get campaign literature, letters from candidates and other political junk mail
from all the different ridings...'
'For the past three months we have been blessed with shipments of fresh shrimp
at bargain rates. These goodies are the result of the hard work of Bev Richards
in Periodicals, assisted by Dilma Huggett, Preparations, and volunteers in each of
the divisions...'
Library Bulletin 1975: 129 (December)
'In future, all journals will be given what is called 'plush-flush' [i.e. cardboard]
binding instead of the traditional Class A binding. This is an economy measure...'
'On December 2, 1974, the UBC Library became part of the Federated
Information Network (FIN). The project was intended to allow greater access to the
UBC collection for the users of the lower mainland public libraries and, in return,
to provide easier access for UBC users to the resources of the public libraries...'
"An examination of monthly paid invoices reveals that UBC is now paying an
average of $14.20 for each book. The average cost of a periodical subscription
now runs to between $37 and $38 a year." - LRTS, p. 7
"In the future technology may offer new options for the storage and retrieval
of information, involving such things as computer storage of full texts, and the
recording of collections on video tapes or discs. It is not possible for the Library
itself to develop such technology, but it can and will adapt and exploit it as soon
as it is possible and sensible to do so. This also presupposes that authors and
publishers will be willing to accept revolutionary approaches to the recording and
dissemination of knowledge. Whatever developments take place, it seems likely
that no single medium will replace the conventional printed newspaper, magazine,
or book, and that the reader will continue to be faced, as he is now, with a diversity of media." - LRTS, p. 17
News Notes:
♦    A strike by AUCE support staff was staged over several days in the fall.
The new Law Library received less than a stellar reception from ever-vocal future
lawyers who resented the raw concrete walls, the drab carpeting (grey), a lack of
lower windows on the top floor and no windows on the bottom floor. They held a
name-the-library contest. Some entries: Archie Bunker, The Grey Eminence, The
School in the Grey Flannel Suit, Dorian Grey, Bleak House, Point Grey, Edifice
Wrecks, The Symbolic Grey Area of the Law, The Grey Hole of Calcutta.
The most checks on the publicly- posted list was garnered by The Three-Story
Dilma Huggett remembers, some years later, discovering unfamiliar bugs on the
bottom floor of the Law Library. Professionals labelled them 'firebrats', notorious for feeding on the glue in book bindings and therefore happily lodged at a
banquet-in-waiting. After the fumigators finished their work, human food in all
public parts of the library became outlawed as well.
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 197411975
'To have arrived after sixty years at a collection of one and two-third millions of
physical volumes, and more than two and one-quarter millions of items in other
formats, has required an immense collaboration effort on the part of faculty
members, librarians, university administrators, governments, foundations and
private donors. Virtually every item in the collection represents a choice, a decision made, an amount provided, and an amount expended. What is truly amazing
is that so much has been accomplished in the past decade.' - p.2
'In the following areas, UBC Library contains the largest Canadian university collection in: British history, Anthropogeography, Anthropology, Sociology,
English Literature, German Literature, Spanish and Portuguese languages and
literature, Philosophy, Political Science and Folklore...
[But] accessions have declined from 162,428 volumes in 1970/71 to 85,086
volumes last year , a drop of forty-eight percent in four years. This can be traced
to the fact that funds for the purpose of collections have not kept pace with
inflating prices. - p. 6
The appraised value of the collections in April 1975 was $60,706,795. 'This staggering figure cannot, of course, be regarded as a true replacement cost because
the great majority of items cannot be replaced. Included in this estimate are
the labour and material costs of acquiring, cataloguing and maintaining the
bibliographic apparatus which permits access to the contents of the collection.
In terms of today's salaries and expenses, that figure is greater than the actual
purchase cost.' - p.8
As vital to the University as is the welfare of the Library's collection, it is unfortunately true that among budget items is is among the most vulnerable. That is
because it is easier to hold back increases or to cut the collections budget than it is
to reduce or lower the quality of academic programmes or library services,either
of which would involve diminishing the numbers of University faculty or staff.
The immediate implications of inadequate support for library collections are not
so keenly felt in human terms.' - p. 13
At UBC the story of collections and space has been one of suspense. One
shelving crisis has followed upon another, with solutions being found only when
disaster is at hand or has arrived...But there is a limit to the shelf-life of all
libraries on campus, and some deadlines are painfully close.' - p. 14
'What is the solution to housing the ever-expanding collections? Essentially, there
are only two alternatives: construct more space or diminish the collection. Both
alternatives are being pursued...To diminish collections, volumes can either be
withdrawn or their contents can be reduced in size. Last year Sedgewick Library
withdrew 11,000 volumes comprising works no longer assigned as reading to high
enrolment courses, and made them available at no charge to colleges in British
Columbia...Wherever it is possible and practical to do so, microform materials
are acquired in preference to physical volumes. This is increasingly the case with
periodical and newspaper files. In fact, there are now more bibliographic items
in the microform collection than in the collection of physical volumes...As logical
as storage libraries appear to be, and as necessary they are in library planning,
it should not be assumed that they represent the most economical approach to
dealing with collections and their use.' - pp. 15-17
'Theoretically as a successor to the expensive and cumbersome card-catalogue, an
online, real-time computer system would provide the perfect solution to dealing with
library records. Realistically, neither the hardware nor the software to accomplish
this for all of UBC's records is available, nor could be afforded if it were. However,
the Library's systems are moving by degrees toward this distant objective...Careful
consideration is being given to the use of COM as a substitute for card-catalogues,
which are becoming too expensive to maintain and too large to house. - p. 18
'To a large extent, libraries rely on the abilities of patrons to help themselves, and
as information in the broader sense of that term becomes abundant, complex and
varied in format, a higher order of skill is needed. One of the aims of reference
service at UBC Library is to develop that skill. To begin with, it is committed to a
heavy programme of user guidance and instruction, with special emphasis given
to providing orientation to students enrolling at the university for the first time...In
the period between September 1974 and April 1975, one hundred and fifty-five
tours and two hundred and twenty-nine instructional sessions were conducted,
involving 7,767 persons.' - p. 19
'While the numbers of items loaned to other libraries is a small proportion of
the total, the unit costs of these loans is high because each request involves the
searching of the catalogue, frequent bibliographical verification of incorrect or
incomplete citations, the retrieval of the item, photocopying in about half the
cases, the creation of loan records, packing and shipping. In connection with
this and all other extramural services, as the Library's budgets situation worsens,
can the University continue to subsidize the needs of other libraries when it is
frequently unable to meet the needs of its immediate community of users? Should
it seek additional appropriations for extra-mural service of this and other kinds?
Or should it establish systems of cost recovery?' - p. 21
Library Bulletin 1976: 130 (January)
'Some time ago a petition bearing one hundred and forty-eight names urged the
Library Administration "to prohibit smoking in all work areas of the Library, for
the benefit of everyone"... It seems that the application of a uniform regulation,
as desirable as it might be for the health of smokers, would not be acceptable to
everyone, nor does such a regulation seem necessary in parts of the Library where
ventilation is adequate. What is called for in this situation is consultation and
courtesy. In each working area, staff members might meet to discuss how to deal
with the question.
Library Bulletin 1976: 131 (February)
'During the month of February, the Sedgewick librarians, with the help of some
students from the School of Librarianship, are holding a "term paper clinic":
an extended reference service for students writing term papers. An interview is
conducted, in which the topic is clarified, then an appointment is made...'
'Personal Security: A Note from the University Librarian. Taken as a whole, the
University is equal in size to a small town. In any community there are bound
to be unstable individuals whose behaviour deviates from the norm, and whose
responses to given situations are unpredictable. We have all encountered such
people in the course of our work, especially those of us who work in the service
divisions and branches. I have urged the University Administration to provide
committed patrolmen to the Library during the late evening hours and especially
at closing time...'
'Over the past year, the situation regarding serials has gone from worse to
appalling. Subscription prices have increased to the point where they consume
2/3 of the Library's collections budget... As the first step, a review project an
exercise in selective cancellation has been in operation for over a month. The
various subscription-originating divisions and branches are now examining their
lists, and establishing priorities...'Library Bulletinl976:133 (May)
A critical issue facing the Main Library is that of space occupied by card catalogues. The committee (COPPSAC) set up a task force to consider the design and
development of a prototype catalogue system on COM fiche...'
Library Bulletin 1976:134 (July)
'The Provincial Government has frozen new University construction, leaving the
Library Processing Centre a mere set of architectural drawings. On the basis of
the freeze, the University has repossessed the million dollars that had been allocated to the project. Whether the centre is quite dead or just temporarily in suspension is anyone's guess. The Provincial restriction would appear to have consigned
the Education extension to the same limbo. This has the effect of keeping the
Curriculum Laboratory in its present quarters, inadequate and getting worse...'
'Bianca Barnes has been the Library's Graphic Artist for nearly six years. Her
nimble fingers, ingenuity and honest vision have produced scores of clear, helpful
signs and displays - against considerable odds. She is hereby awarded the first
annual Library Bulletin Pink Ribbon for Unrelenting Pursuit of Excellence...'
Bianca Barnes and Merry Meredith
Library Bulletinl976:136 (September)
[Basil Stuart-Stubbs, on his donation of 19th century 'self-help' books to the UBC
Library] 'Suddenly our historians have discovered that this stuff is truly the material of social history. Graduate students spent a unique summer preparing an
annotated catalogue of the collection, developed a desiderata list, and have urged
me to unleash my collection impulse once more...'
Note: In August, a report co-authored by Basil and Ross Carter was published.
Its title: Developing library service for post-secondary education in British
Library Bulletin 1976:137 (November)
At the recent British Columbia Library Association's Fall Conference, the BC
Catalogue Action Group was formed...The aim of the group was defined as "working
toward building a provincial union catalogue for BC, coupled with the introduction of
a catalogue support system suitable for use in BC libraries of all kinds"...'
'Losses in Sedgewick Library have been reduced by 51 % since the installation of
the "Tattle-Tape" theft-detection equipment in September 1975. Things still do
disappear, though, because not all books are treated and because there are ways
to beat the system...'
Library Bulletin 1976: 138 (December)
[re: the report of 'Task Force on Extended Services'] ' Fewer "free" library cards
would be issued to groups of outside users, and charges would be related to the
amount of borrowing done by an individual or organization...Maintaining an
acceptable level of service to UBC users will be given highest priority as funds
become more limited...'
'We are now a two million item collection: 1,800,000 volumes and 200,000
non-book items.'
Librarian's Report to Senate: 197511976
'The economics of library management are bound up with prevailing local,
national and international economic conditions, where inflation holds sway.
Propelled by inflation, the costs of the collections programme overtook the
budget, forcing a wrenching mid-year reallocation of resources...It is assumed
that the inflation factor is a constant in nature, if not in degree and with certain
trends [collections growth = space shortages; successful demands for higher wages
= reductions in hiring; demands for tightening up the costs of post-secondary
education = curtailment of new programs] It is easy to perceive a difficult future
for the Library, one in which familiar kinds and level of service are curtailed. The
Library is in the grip of an economic vise. Independently it can do little to change
the conditions which are gradually eroding its capacity to maintain collections
and services at desirable and established levels.'- pp.1, 11
'Since periodicals have been consuming a higher proportion of the collections
budget every year, they became the object of a complete review. With the assistance of the faculty, the subscriptions list were examined title by title, and 1,275
were cancelled.' p. 2
Among the year's distinguished accessions, Dr. And Mrs. Stanley Arkley longtime friends of the University and regular donors to the Library, gave their thousand-volume collection of early children's literature to the Library, and then capped
the gift by establishing a special fund of $10,000 for its future support. - p. 3
Rose and Stanley Arkley are seen here with Sheila Egqffffar right) who helped
shepherd the collection through its cataloging and classifying process.
'No relief was or is in sight for branch libraries, like MacMillan, Music and
Mathematics, where space is running out. In this situation, the only immediate recourse was to create a new storage area - the space recently vacated by
the Anthropology Museum in the basement of the Main Library which now
has been equipped with double-tiered warehouse shelving, providing space for
about 120,000 volumes. Almost one-half of this was immediately consumed by
the return of Main volumes which had been stored in the Woodward Library in
'Nearly half a million catalogue cards were filed in the Main Library's Union
catalogue which, with the addition of fifteen cabinets, has reached the limits of
expansion within the confines of the Main concourse...It is obvious that the card
catalogue can not go on growing forever, and that other means must be found to
provide information concerning the holdings of the library system." - p. 6
'On February 1st, an interlibrary lending fee of $8.00 per item was introduced,
the second library in Canada (after the University of Toronto) to take this step...
To have been forced to institute this fee is to have set back the development of
inter-institutional sharing and the rationalization of collections development
among libraries. But the hard fact is that the costs of interlibrary lending are
substantial, and that larger libraries at universities are increasingly unable to meet
them.'- pp. 7, 11
At the same time, one important service was obliged to move from a free to a
cost-recovery basis. This was MEDLINE, the online health and life-sciences information system which had been made available to all doctors in the province with
the assistance of the B.C. Medical Centre. The Centre had ceased operation.' - p. 9
Another traditional library service - the campus delivery of library materials by
truck - has been terminated because of a budget reduction in the Department of
Physical Plant.' -p. 10
Although the holdings of some of the province's larger libraries are recorded in
the National Union Catalogue in Ottawa, for the most part each library in British
Columbia knows only its own holdings. There is a definite need for a provincial Union catalogue and this has been acknowledged by the government. As
yet, the financial means for bringing this catalogue into existence has not been
made available.. .What is called for, in this situation, is the increased participation of provincial and federal governments in the creation of library networks
which, through the use of computer-based records and improved communications
systems , and through financial support for resource collections, would make the
most effective use of the totality of libraries. - pp. 12, 13
Library Bulletin 1977: 139 (January)
[on the Librarian's Annual Report for 1975/76] Once again it's a suspenseful
tale of survival, out on a limb. The Library has managed to hang on, the
Report states, with 'a wrenching mid-year reallocation of resources', but our
institutional knuckles - to stretch a platitude beyond its real strength and
worth - are getting desperately white. Costs continue to rise, space for expansion is disappearing, and indications are 'that society and government have
concluded that the amounts invested in post-secondary education should be
levelled off, if not decreased...'
A new project is underway, involving the Bibliography, Circulation, Acquisitions
and LC Cataloguing Divisions: to replace volumes that have gone missing from
the Main stacks. Currently, missing books are not re-ordered in a systematic way.
The Mark Collins fund will provide between $23,000 and $30,000 a year for the
next five years.'
Library Bulletin 1977:140 (March)
Along with Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria libraries,
UBC Library is considering ways to improve and standardize circulation procedures. Currently under examination at UBC is the introduction of bar-coded
borrowers' cards and book identification methods, to supersede the punched-card
process we now use.'
A new journal is reported: "Maledicta: International Journal of Verbal Aggression'.
Humanities Division librarians - gentle, cautious and somewhat fearful of
possible contamination - have not yet decided whether or not to order it.'
'Crane Library has received a gift of $6,000 from the Vancouver City Employees
Group Charities Committee to be used for the purchase of two OPTACON units.
It allows blind students to read ordinary print by converting optical images to
tactile ones...'
'For some years now, the Library has provided what are called computer-assisted bibliographic services. These rely on 'data bases'- information stored on
computers - to supply lists of books and/or journal articles on particular subjects
or by particular authors. Starting April 1 st, the Library will be offering increased
access to data bases in the fields of science, technology and the social sciences.'
Library Bulletin 1977:141 (May)
'Since last fall, UBC Library has been participating in discussions on the setting
up of a network of all BC post-secondary institution libraries for the purposes
of efficient interlibrary loans...It is hoped that all college and university libraries
will have telex machines by September 1 st and that telex will be used as much
as possible to transmit requests and reports. Based on an extension of available
statistics, the project should provide for 19,500 filled loans during a twelve month
Library Bulletin 1977: 143 (September)
'Construction has begun on the Library Processing Centre. Facilities will be on
two floors: Acquisitions, Serials, Systems and Catalogue Preparation on floor 1;
LC and Original Cataloging and Catalogue Administration on floor 2...Barring
the usual runs of misfortunes such as strikes and shortages, the building should be
ready for September 1978, a mere five years since President Gage first approved
the project...'
'The fee for extramural borrowers - people not connected with UBC - has risen
to $25 per year. Business firms and government departments may purchase an
Institutional Borrowers Card for staff members. Extensive bibliographic services
are provided at $20.00 per hour...'
Library Bulletin 1977:144 (November)
'Conversion of the location file from a card catalogue to a computer file began
October 3. Eight library employees are taking selected information from the
Library's shelf list, marking and keying it into a computer terminal...'
Leah Gordon remembers finding 'it was virtually impossible to keep a straight
face while trying to complete a Workman's Compensation report for a staff
member who had so vigorously pulled out a rod in the Authority File that he
stabbed himself in the chest'.
Librarian's Report to Senate: 197611977
'Those long-time members of Senate and others who are faithful readers of these
reports may wonder whether a document such as this might better be titled "The
Librarian's Annual Lament".Certainly, in recent years, there has been much
to bewail, as the Library has attempted to maintain standards of performance
with diminishing means at its disposal. It is not that the University environment
is hostile, or that its administration is disinterested or unsympathetic. To the
contrary, the Library has been favourably treated. But as part of the University it
must share a total environment which eternal optimists might call challenging, but
which in reality is simply trying. - p. 1
'It might be useful to state in the simplest terms what are the primary objectives
of the University of British Columbia Library:
First, to acquire, organize, preserve and make available for use a collection of
materials relevant to teaching and research at this University.
Second, to provide a variety of supporting and information services for the
students and faculty at this University.
Third, to make these collections and services available to other institutions and
persons, insofar as this can be done without detriment to the interests of students
and faculty at this University.
Fourth, to meet the above objectives in the most cost-efficient manner
'It has been calculated that while 68% of the Library's budget is spent on
salaries and wages, and while the amount spent on salaries over four years
has increased by an impressive two million dollars, there has been an effective
reduction of 76.5 full-time equivalent positions in the Library establishment.
It is clear that this will have had telling effects. Users of the Library are beginning to note the effects in shorter hours, diminished service, untidy stacks,
cataloguing delays, errors in records. Yet statistics reveal that the demand for
Library services is increasing.' - p. 3
'It should be noted that the Library is not alone in facing such predicaments.
Every department and faculty on campus could make a similar statement in
regard to present economic realities.
But the Library is almost unique in reporting annually to the Senate, and takes
this opportunity to draw the body's attention to one example of a general and
pervasive situation.' - p. 4
As a proportion of the Library's expenditures, collections have declined slightly
but the budget has increased by over $600,000, a significant amount in these
times, and an indication that the University administration regards collection
development as essential to the processes of teaching and research.' - p. 3
[on the retirement, after thirteen years, of Robert M. Hamilton, Assistant
Librarian for Collections] 'In 1964, the Library's collection numbered about
614,000 volumes. In the intervening years Mr. Hamilton supervised the unprecedented tripling in its size, years during which the Library matured as a centre
for research and study. When he arrived, UBC would have ranked 59th among
the 64 members of the Association of Research Libraries in terms of its holdings of physical volumes; in 1976/77 it ranked 24th out of 94 members. And
it is the high quality of the collections that is frequently commented upon by
both our own and visiting faculty members. The University is greatly in Mr.
Hamilton's debt.' - p. 5
[For an earlier, satiric staff version of Bert see Biblos, 1966:2.12 (October)]
V     Vy
Robert M. (Bert) Hamilton
Dorothy Shields
Bert and Dorothy collaborated on a revised and enlarged edition of his
"Dictionary of Canadian Quotes and Phrases", which had appeared in 1952. This
version, at over 1000 pages, was published by McClelland and Stewart in 1979.
'Loan policies were changed in ways which were aimed at improving the availability of materials to University users by providing for extended loans, and
eliminating overdue fines except in cases where another borrower was clearly
inconvenienced.' - p. 6
'The computerization of the card catalogue is no longer just an option, but
a necessity. The Library cannot find the staff time to continue to maintain it,
nor in many locations the physical space to house it. In this, UBC is not alone
among North American research libraries. In Canada, the University of Toronto
has already pointed the way by closing its catalogue and substituting for it a
machine-produced microfiche catalogue. It is, in fact, that Toronto's automated
system which UBC will be using to produce its own microfiche catalogue.' - p. 8
'The staff of the Library and scores of others on and off-campus were saddened to
hear of the passing of Percy Fryer, who had been the university binder for twenty-five years, beginning in 1951. Under his direction the Bindery turned out more
than 330,000 volumes, representing nearly 20% of the present collection.' - p. 9
[For an earlier appreciation of Percy, see Biblos, 1966: 2.8 (May)]
[on resorting to housing volumes in storage facilities] "To the humanist and social
scientist, the loss of the ability to scan and browse in a large and diversified collection is a crippling handicap; it serves to defeat the purpose for which the collection was developed in the first place."
Library Bulletin 1978: 145 (January)
'To promote student use of the Library's Computer-Assisted Bibliographic
Services, a special rate of five dollars per search will be in effect until the end of
March. Many indexes to periodicals, books, statistical series, research grants and
projects are now available 'on-line'...Students showing a UBC library card can
have any single data base (except 'Medline') searched to produce a custom bibliography. They may use up to fifteen search terms and retrieve up to 50 citations
'Seven libraries to date have agreed to join the British Columbia Union
Catalogue project (UBC, UVic, BCIT, VCC, Douglas College and Richmond
Public Library). A preliminary version of the BCUC on computer output microfiche will come out in March...'
'Library Jargon, Assorted and New: a Short Lexicon:
...RECON: Retrospective Conversion - Taking information from an existing card
file and putting it into machine-readable format.
CRT: Cathode Ray Tube-terminal - Used to talk to the computer. Looks like a
computer with a TV screen (and sometimes a telephone) attached...'
Library Bulletin 1978:146 (March)
'The author/title and subject card catalogue in the Library will close with
1977 imprints. Records for books published in 1968 and later will be kept in
a computer file. The machine record still be maintained in the University of
Toronto/Library Automation System (UT/LAS)... Beginning in May, in each
month the computer will print out a cumulated list of our holdings (COM).
This print-out will be called the MICROCATALOGUE...Filing will be done
by the computer. Hence, the order will resemble that in a telephone directory
more nearly than in the card catalogue. Library people will need to re-tool their
instincts on numbers and punctuation...The Library of Congress will close their
card catalogues in 1980. We're just a little ahead of the rush...'
A new organization, the Canadian Institute for Historical Reproductions, has
been recently endowed by the Canada Council...Canadian imprints before 1900
will be reproduced on high quality microfiche and made available to libraries
at low cost. Materials selected for microfilming will relate to published bibliographies...University Librarian Basil Stuart-Stubbs has been instrumental in the
preparation of guidelines and has now been named to its board of directors...'
Library Bulletin 1978:147 (May)
'The technical services divisions of the Library underwent major re-structuring
and some staff changes April 3rd, in part a response to the computerization of the
Library's catalogues.
1. Catalogue Records, head: Ann Turner. 2. Catalogue Products, head:
Mac Elrod. 3.Serials Division, head: Nadine Baldwin. 4. Acquisitions Division,
head: Walter Harrington. 5. Systems, head: Don Dennis.
All divisions report to Bob MacDonald, Assistant Librarian for Technical
Don Dennis
Don Dennis
This is the face behind the sign which honoured this genial colleague who had
departed Sedgewick Library for the Library Processing Centre as part of the
restructuring program described above. It was an occasional source of confusion for
visitors to campus who visited Sedgewick first, then LPC, where Don greeted them.
Library Bulletin 1978: 148 (September)
'The Ministry of Education has approved substantial funding to BC colleges and
universities for retrospective conversion of their card catalogues to machine-readable form (recon)...The universities are expected to receive $700,000 for initial
recon (one fiscal year) of which UBC would receive $450,000. It is anticipated
that it will take no less than five years to complete the process. Over the summer,
a Youth Employment Grant Project allowed substantial conversion of UBC's
authority file to machine-readable form. As soon as recon begins at UBC, a full
catalogue closure will be implemented, and no new card sets will be a prepared
for the catalogue...'
'Librarians in print: "The Religious Life of Man; a Guide to Basic Literature",
compiled by Leszek Karpinski [Humanities Division] has been published by
Scarecrow Press; "Microform Research Collections, a Guide" by Suzanne
Dodson has been published by Microform Review in Westport, Connecticut'; a
cross-Canada catalogue of 10,000 library items for blind and handicapped people
has been published by Paul Thiele at Crane Library. It has been a best-seller'
Library Bulletin 1978:149 (November)
'The filing in the microcatalogue differs in detail from both the card catalogue
and the in-process file. This is hardly a cheery subject but it is one we're all going
to have to consider sooner or later. Our willingness to come to grips with these
details should save us some grief in the long run.
1. Filing is word by word... [etc]...'
Librarian's Report to Senate: 197711978
'The University deals in knowledge: its purpose is the creation, preservation
and dissemination of knowledge. These processes are continuous, interrelated
and endless, and they impose specific requirements on the University's Library
which must acquire, store and provide access to the published results of intellectual activity.Thus, this report will speak mainly of the growth of collections, the
housing of collections, and the bibliographic apparatus needed to make these
collections useful. It will describe the measures that are being taken to deal with
the reality of constant growth, and propose additional measures which must be
taken if the Library is to continue to be an accessible, manageable resource for
the University, and beyond it, the community.' - p.l
'If libraries are suddenly larger, it is because they are responding to the reality of
what has been termed the age of information. Giving to the word "information"
the broadest possible meaning, the characterization of our times as a special age
is accurate, for we live in a period which is witness to an unprecedented amount
of investigation, study, invention and creativity. A concomitant of these activities
is the process of making a permanent record: writing and publication... In the ten
years since 1967/68, $16,375,484 has been spent on collections and binding, and
in the year 1977/78 the cost of collections alone was $2,473,368, up a staggering
$519,247 in one year' - pp.2, 3
'The University's administration, Board of Governors and Senate, through
massive increases to the Library's budget, have succeeded thus far in saving the
collections programme from disaster. Had the support not been forthcoming,
additional scores of journal subscriptions would have been cancelled, and thousands of essential works would not have been purchased. It is earnestly hoped
that UBC can continue to ward off the twin threats of inflation and devaluation,
and maintain its collections programme. The emphasis, it should be noted, is on
maintenance not expansion, which is to say that the Library should continue to
acquire materials, and predominantly current materials, which are directly relevant to the University's present programme of teaching and research.' - p.6
An addition to the Main Library has proved not to be feasible, for a number of
site and architectural reasons. A separate building, now nearing completion, will
house the Processing and Systems Divisions. This will free some 22,000 square
feet for other purposes, if obstacles do not prevent its use.' - p. 10
Assuming a steady accession rate, space must be found for 350,000 to 400,000
volumes in the stacks over the next ten years. If no new space is available, that
means that half the books now on the shelves will be retired to storage, or
that new accessions must be sent directly there. No matter how the problem is
approached, the outcome is unpalatable...Much is made of the supposed capital
economies allowed by remote, compact storage. But if these economies exist, they
are offset and eliminated over time by the costs of working with storage libraries,
not to mention the cost of delay imposed on the user' - p. 13
'It is now time to plan for the replacement of the Main Library by a new research
library building, one that will not be full on the day of its opening, but that will
carry the Library forward well into the twenty-first century, which at that point
will only be ten to fifteen years away.. .As for the Main Library, whatever it's future
uses, it would need to be extensively remodelled once it was vacated. With its
central location and variety of spaces, it recommends itself as a future site of the
university administration. Other areas can be converted to general purpose classrooms and seminar rooms, now in short supply. The stacks could be closed off to
public access and redeveloped as a general university storage facility' - p. 16
"Beginning in January, the Library stopped producing library cards for works
published in 1978, a first step toward the complete closure of the card catalogue
and its substitution by a catalogue on computer output microfiche, or COM...
The card catalogue has many commendable assets. Its organizing principles are
relatively easy to grasp, and many users can have access to it simultaneously. In
short, it works. But its disadvantages now outweigh its advantages. To begin with,
it consumes floor space. If space were available for indefinite expansion that
might be acceptable. But in some areas, such as the Main Library, there is no
more space into which it can expand and still be convenient to users. It is difficult and expensive to maintain: every card must be hand-filed; each book moved
to storage must be re-listed; international standardizations necessitate thousands
of revisions; and labour costs always increase. When a library, short of space, is
anticipating the addition of another million volumes and is contemplating the
relocation of thousands, it is bound to seek a means other than a card catalogue
to provide bibliographic access. - pp. 17,18
'That the body of world literature was increasing at an accelerated pace was
recognized by librarians in the nineteen fifties and sixties. The question was: How
to describe accurately and currently what was emerging from the world's presses,
so that access to individual items would be possible? ...It would be desirable
to prepare a catalogue description for each new item just once, and thereafter
avoid its re-cataloguing in libraries everywhere. Catalogue descriptions would
be recorded in machine-readable form, according to international standards.
The establishment of a programme in 1973, under the title "U.B.C" (Universal
Bibliographic Control), and supported by U.N.E.S.C.O is beginning to bear fruit.
In a small way, this library is contributing to it: In recent years is has been under
contract to the National Library of Canada to provide pre-publication cataloguing information for all new books published in western Canada. This appears
on the back of the title-page and is sent on magnetic tape to the National Library
for inclusion in "Canadiana".' - p. 17
It is a pleasure to report that a considerable number of commendatory letters
have been received, expressing appreciation for the quality of service provided by
the Library's information specialists.' - p.22
Library Bulletin 1979: 150 (January)
'The long-planned Micro List of Serials is now available in all library branches.
It updates and replaces the old bible for journal titles, UBC Serials Holdings
1975, also affectionately known as the fat yellow book...'
'Turnstile attendants were recently asked to provide us with some insights about
our users. We chose them because they have contact with everyone who checks
out a book and are easy for users to talk to. In short, for most people, they are the
library staff. They report: Most students, especially at the beginning of the year,
don't understand the standard search of bags and briefcases; it is often the source
of rude and abusive comments from users. The next big source of user frustration
is out-of-order Xerox machines - the complaints are unending. Everyone seems to
be satisfied or even impressed with library resources...'
'Budget pruning by the Department of Supply and Services includes plans to
severely limit the number of libraries automatically receiving free copies of
government publications...UBC appears to be among the lucky few to retain full
depository status...'
'Paying Library Fines: It is a little-known fact that the Main Loan Desk does
not want your money. Please pay fines at the Finance Department in the new
Administrative Building.'
Library Bulletin 1979: 151 (April)
'The Library's processing and systems divisions are now officially located in the
newly-completed Library Processing Centre, just west of Woodward Biomedical
In March, a ceremony complete with cake (shaped like a catalogue card of
course) and wine marked the formal closing of the Library's card catalogue.
Eleanor Mercer, who has worked for the Library forty years and is due to retire
this summer, filed the last card. [It was for a volume by Denny Maynard entitled "Guidebook for field trips in the Lynn Canyon-Seymour area of North
Vancouver", published at UBC by the Department of Geologic Sciences in 1977.
Its call-number: QE 187 M3953 1977].'
Mary Magrega stands ready for the official cake-cutting
Eleanor Mercer adds the card-catalogue's final entry 'below the rod3.
' The University subscribes to the National Building Code, a document primarily
concerned with human safety. The centre section of the Main Library was built
more than fifty years ago and is 'grossly deficient' in terms of the current code.
For example, the stack area lacks the number of required fire exits for its square
footage. Hence, many architects and engineers refuse to be personally associated
with alteration work for the building... Some time ago it was decided that when
Catalogue Products moved out, Government Publications would move to level
7...and stacking has been purchased, but the necessary building approvals have
not been forthcoming...In the meantime, the vacated space may be used only for
'Won One: federal government publications will continue to be distributed free
of charge to the 586 full and selective depository libraries across the country. A
strong reaction from the library community caused the Department of Supply and
Services to reassess a proposal made last fall...'
Library Bulletin 1979: 152 (August)
'The new issue of the microcatalogue will be locally produced rather than sent
from UTLAS ( University of Toronto Library Automation System)... An evaluation task group has been formed to consider possible changes in format, content
and filing...'
'University President Douglas Kenny has established a special committee on
Library space requirements...'
'In January 1979 the government of China tossed out the Wade-Giles system of
romanization in favour of the Pinyin system. Most news media followed suit, the
U.S. Board on Geographic Names is busily changing the spelling on its maps, and
now the Library of Congress is planning to switch. UBC is expected to follow..'
[on staff reaction to the new Library Processing Centre] 'Some are luxuriating in
the sense of space and the cool breathable air...Many miss the contact with other
staff that quarters in the Main Library provided, and lack of immediate access to
the Main stacks is considered a big drawback. Several people observed that before
they felt like part of the Library, but now feel more part of a business or service
Library Bulletin 1979:153 (November)
[from Library School student, Bill Richardson on his summer job] 'Under
the watchful eye of Mary Magrega and the gracious funding of YEP (Youth
Employment Program) I was able to consecrate two months to the cataloguing
of some of the tapes and cassettes which had hitherto languished undisturbed
in Special Collections. When cracked open, many of these oysters revealed
hidden pearls. Fritz Perls, for example, can be heard speaking in the Centre for
Continuing Education's "Exploration in the Human Potential" series...'
Bill Richardson
Librarian's Report to Senate: 1978/1979
'This report is unlike its predecessors. In the first place, it is more than an annual
report, covering instead the activities and developments of a decade. In the
second place, it reviews that decade from the vantage point of the many administrative units of which the Library is comprised...The purpose of this report is
to provide its readers with a more detailed account, and to assemble in one place
information essential to an understanding of its history..' - p. 1
[Editorial note: This excellent report is 102 pages in length and 71 of them
(pages 13 to 84) are devoted to detailed explanations of activities over ten years,
as submitted by branch and division heads in the system. Extracting a myriad of
details describing their many activities for this panoramic overview is daunting
and could not succeed in capturing the complete story. It is recommended that
readers of the 'Scrapbook' who are interested in accessing these accounts should
sign in to the complete document. Simply key in:
ubcpublications/libsenrep and choose 1979]
'In respect to growth, a collection of physical volumes that stood at a million
volumes in 1970 became one of two million before the close of the decade. At the
same time, the nature of collections has changed. Microforms, for example, have
become an increasingly more important element; and they grew in number from
under 350,000 to over 2,000,000, representing even more bibliographic units.
Collections of materials in non-book formats all expanded at rates equal to or in
excess of the doubling exhibited by the conventional collection. Some formats,
such as data tapes, were newcomers. As collections grow in size and complexity,
they grow in depth. As a resource for study and research, the Library is immeasurably richer than it was ten years ago.' - p. 2
'The University now has the second largest library in Canada, and all those who
have taken part in its growth - whether by making funds available, by selecting
materials, or by sticking labels in a never-ending stream of books - all can take
pride in a remarkable achievement.' - p. 4
A major feature of book acquisition programmes in university libraries during
the past two decades has been the use of approval and blanket orders. These
programs, under which booksellers in different countries send to a library weekly
shipments of books, chosen according to a carefully drawn up profile of the the
library's requirements. Upon receipt, the books are examined by staff to verify
their worth, and any unsuitable titles are rejected and returned [having saved]
UBC a great deal of staff and faculty time in various stages of the ordering
process...Exchange programmes are another special component of the acquisitions process. They are not a substitute for the purchase of standard commercially
available material, but they do allow us to obtain material which we could acquire
by no other means, particularly with countries which lack a well-established
foreign sales network.'- p. 5
'The proposal of the federal government to curtail the free supply of documents to universities and other libraries would have caused us many problems,
and diminished public access to information. Fortunately, protests from libraries,
library associations and the academic community caused the government to
reverse its decision.' - p. 5
'Had we not restricted our subscriptions to periodicals during the seventies, that
form of publication would have continued to consume an increasing proportion
of our budget, to the detriment of the book collection. But now that we have
expenditures under control, it is worth reflecting on the part that periodical literature plays in the research collection. It would probably not be an exaggeration to
say that periodical files are the major component, if not the very backbone, of a
research library' - p. 7
'Eleanor Mercer succeeded Bert Hamilton for two years as Assistant Librarian
for Collections, before herself retiring in 1979. Eleanor, the most senior Library
employee, devoted over forty years to the Library, through both the bad and the
good times. It was fitting that she was able to give her attention over the past
fifteen years to building one of the best collections in the country.' - p. 8
'The Library is justifiably proud of its collections and services. The record of the
seventies is outstanding. During a period in which enrolment increased by about
10%, the lending of library materials grew by 43% over ten years, and reference
statistics showed a 26% increase over six years. If there are shortages of staff and
space, these are the results of growth rather than neglect.' - p. 10
'[on liberating the use of the collections] The last barrier was dropped in January
1970 when the stacks were opened to all comers. Now, not only UBC students
and faculty but also students of other universities and members of the general
public, had free access to the book collection housed in the Main stacks.' - p. 11
'During the past decade, the Library has become aware of the growing problem
created by the deterioration of paper used in most books published in the later
19th century, and in many books published in the 20th century. More and more
books requiring repair or replacement have come to our attention, and the day
is not far off when their numbers will exceed our ability to deal with them from
present resources.' - p. 13
'Trends for the Eighties:
♦ Every discipline exhibits signs of activity and ferment, and man's creative
and inventive impulses give rise to an ever-increasing flow of new works.
Virtually all of these, at some point, assume recorded form. Since it is the
Library's responsibility to collect, organize and provide access to knowledge
of these records, it would seem that its continued growth is inevitable.
♦ Predictions that the physical book would vanish as a means of recording
and transmitting information have yet to be realized. It remains one of
the most practical and convenient means for dealing with some kinds of
information, and for its use in certain ways. However, the use of other
formats will become more prevalent for many kinds of information. It is
safe to predict that the Library will be acquiring even more material in the
shape of microform, machine-readable tapes, and even video-tapes. It may
opt not to acquire some information, but to provide access to it through
computer terminals.
♦ A higher level of training of the Library's users will be needed. Instruction
in information retrieval may become a component of undergraduate
courses in all fields. It will fall upon the Library to provide increasingly
sophisticated reference services...Community expectations will be raised and
the University must seek the means to satisfy them.
* The simple projection of current trends does not always lead to the correct
interpretation of the future, so these guesses must be taken for what they
are. There are other factors at work, relating to depleting natural resources,
strained national economies, and political and social instabilities that could
change radically the future of libraries, of this Library and the University.
Perhaps it is best to draw a lesson from nature, which shows that those species that
adapt to growth and change survive. What the eighties will require of the Library
and its staff is a flexible approach to unexpected novelty... and a continued determination to provide the highest standard of service possible within available
resources.' - pp. 85, 86
Arkley Collection of Early & Historical Children's Literature
Stan T. Arkley, a native of Vancouver and a member of UBC's class of 1925,
was the western American representative of the Doubleday publishing house.
His wife, Rose, was a well-known primary school teacher in Seattle. Both were
passionate about reading and built a collection of books enjoyed by children. In
1976 they donated their collection of over 3,000 books, chiefly American and
British, to UBC Library, in the hopes that their donation would encourage others
to do likewise. The gift was accompanied by a gift of money for assistance in
cataloguing and for further purchases. The Arkley's gave more books over the
years, among which the first edition in print of Disney's Mickey Mouse and The
Daughters of England (1842) with lovely foredge painting are examples of the
broad scope of materials donated.
Following the Arkley's initial donation, the purchase of the collection of
Italian-Canadian artist Sveva Caetani di Sermonetta, followed by further gifts by
Caetani, added the work of important illustrators, particularly Arthur Rackham
and Edmund Dulac. RBSC has continued to add the works of prominent
illustrators to the Arkley collection, including Mabel Lucie Attwell, Randolph
Caldecott, Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, and Willy Pogany
Today the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children's Literature
is comprised of more than 12,000 Canadian, British, and American children's
books, serials, and manuscripts primarily from the mid-eighteenth century to
1939, though more modern Canadian and British Columbian books are also
acquired. The collection prioritizes popular works or "books that children actually
read," as well as genres including alphabet books, school stories, adventure series,
and books of manners and advice. Formats include chapbooks, pamphlets,
broadsides, manuscripts, original illustrations, pop-up books and moveable
books, limited editions, and ephemera. Highlights of the collection include John
Newberry's A Little Pretty Pocket Book (1787) in an edition produced by the
famous American Revolutionary printer Isaiah Thomas, the early Canadian
nursery rhyme book Uncle Jim>s Canadian Nursery Rhymes (1908), and Mrs.
Sherwood's The History of the Fairchild Family (1818), which contains a key
passage omitted from later editions.
Lang, Andrew. The green fairy book/edited by Andrew Lang; with numerous illustrations
by H.J. Ford. London: Longmans, Green, 1911. PZ6 1911 L353
Aguilar, Grace. Every girl's stories / by Grace Aguilar, Geraldine Butt, Jane Butt,... [et alj.
London: G. Routledge, 1896. PZ6 1896 .E947
  ^/Ae tei^nfaed
Library Bulletin 1980: 154 (January)
'You may be familiar with bar-codes from shopping at technologically advanced
grocery stores. The illustration on the right shows a bar-code from a can of green
beans. At the checkout stand, the computer 'eye' reads the series of lines (bars)
to figure out what you have purchased. Currently, the computers at the Library's
turnstiles "read" punched cards. Take a look at your library cards. Notice all the
little holes in it? These tell the computer who you are. Beginning this summer, the
punches on the library cards will be replaced by bar-codes...'
'The President's Committee on Library Space Requirements received a basic
education this fall on Library needs. The committee received and discussed
a number of documents, including the provocatively titled "The Doomsday
Report". This report concludes that all divisions, branches and storage areas
(except Law, Ecology and the Biomedical Branch) will be "full" in a scant eight
'The Microform Division is now publishing an irregular serial, "Tiny Titles". The
subtitle tells it all: major microform collections newly received.'
Library Bulletin 1980: 155 (April)
A group of seven librarians has begun an intensive study of the Library's collection and management procedures. The project reflects the changed environment
for collections planning: while the '60s called for imaginative spending of plentiful
funds, the '80s require equitable division of a shrinking pie... Tony Jeffreys chairs
the group, composed of Chuck Forbes, Tom Shorthouse, Julie Stevens, Rein
Brongers, John Cole and Brian Owen...'
Chuck Forbes
A few years later, Chuck became the first Head of the newly-established Humanities and
Social Sciences Division
'Library Service Week, March 10-16, began with a boom: all 7,000 survey forms
printed disappeared in one day into the hands of library users eager to accommodate the sign "Tell us what you think". Committee members reading over the
questionnaires have come away with three impressions: the Main Stacks are too
hot, the Sedgewick Library is too noisy, but the Microcatalogue is just right...'
'The December 1980 Microcatalogue is projected to cost $8,000 to produce
and duplicate, even without the addition of the slated Full Bibliographic Record
'The cover article of the Spring 1980 UBC Alumni Chronicle, "Doomsday
for the UBC Library", gives us a good story and fine photographs of a fading
"Bursting at the Seams": Peter Lynde
[letter received] ' A friend of ours who is a master blacksmith wants to reproduce
medieval chastity belts. With the knowledge you have many thousands of books
on varied and unusual subjects, I appeal to you with the hope that you can very
kindly forward the necessary descriptions, photographs or sketches.'
Library Bulletin 1980: 156 (August)
'...The Report of the President's Committee on Library Space Requirements is
a thoughtful document and makes the following suggestions, findings, assumptions: The proliferation of a number of small branch libraries should be avoided;
The Main Library (at least its dignified grey stone facade) should be retained for
library functions as it is "centrally located, has historic and aesthetic significance
and locating its collections elsewhere would disrupt an established pattern of use";
Storage of books is not a cheaper alternative to library space; The printed word
will continue to dominate [and] new technologies will add to, rather than disrupt,
existing traditional modes...'
Library Bulletin 1980:157 (November)
'The Library is making plans for a serials cancellation project. Librarians are
being asked to "rate" serials in terms of their importance to the collection. It is
possible that each location will have to make a 10% cut in subscriptions...'
'Two schemes for new library space are still in the running...the current favorite is
to centralize library functions, bringing back into the Main Library the processing
divisions, possibly Music, Crane, Math and the Curriculum Laboratory..'
As the Microcatalogue grows, the need for a thorough-going authority
system becomes ever more obvious. For example, you are helping a student
find books on World War I. You look in the card catalogue under WORLD
WAR, 1914-1918 and there they are - drawers full. Now you go to the
Microcatalogue to find recent books on the subject...and another 70 books
come to your attention. Done? No! You have missed another 75 titles filed
under the subject heading, EUROPEAN WAR, 1914-1918 ( a mere 52 fiche
away). If we had an authority system, all the books on the Microcatalogue
would be under one heading...'
'The Law Foundation of British Columbia has made a generous award to the
Law Library [$186,000] for the purchase of library materials. $20,000 of the
grant will be renewed annually to pay for subscriptions to journals. The balance
will be used to replace heavily-used sets and purchase research materials...'
Librarian's Report to the Senate: 197911980
'The President's Committee on Library Space Requirements has concluded that
an early beginning should be made on providing new space for library growth
and has presented two alternative plans. The major difference: one has called for
a separate Science Library, and the other that the science collection and services
remain in an expanded or new Main library. The views of users were solicited on
the desirability of these two alternatives. The President accepted the Committee's
recommendations and instructed the Facilities Planning Office to commence
work on further studies to be completed as quickly as possible, before the end of
August.' - p. 2
'It is a simple reality that most of the world's academic writing and publishing takes
place beyond our borders. The rate of inflation in those countries has been as high
as or even higher than our own, and - to make matters worse for us - our dollar has
been diminishing in value in relation to other currencies. The effects of this situation are immediately apparent to anyone who takes a trip abroad. The Library's
predicament is that it must constantly deal in the international marketplace.' - p. 6
' The costs of journals have been rising more steeply than the costs of books.
Among the reasons for this phenomenon are shorter print runs for increasingly specialized journals, more titles, bigger issues, and higher postal rates. The
increases to the collections budget have been used primarily to meet higher
subscription costs, while at the same time the Library has been forced to place
restraints on the adding of new subscriptions.' - p.7
An inquiry has been launched into the policies and procedures involved in the
development of our collections, the object being to ensure that it does accord with
the needs of the University community. It is all the more important in our present
economic circumstances. A task force was established to carry out what has been
termed a Collections Management Project. The first phase made twenty-five
recommendations directed toward the modification of automated systems, ones
that would yield cost and use information in greater detail.' - pp. 8-9
'In libraries it is usually the case that the attainment of some high figure
represents success. This is not the case with cataloguing backlogs. There is no
satisfaction to be derived from reporting that the number of items waiting to be
catalogued reached 77,000, representing enough work to occupy the Catalogue
Division for one year' - p. 10
An exhaustive review of the Technical Processing Divisions was completed in
July. The workload and productive capacity of every section were investigated,
enumerated and described in a survey document of 113 pages. It provided both
the depth of information and the perspective needed to frame a number of
long-term and short-term recommendations aimed at achieving a better balance
between input and output. But it appears that even implementation of all these
recommendations will not close the gap between work and workers and result in
a reduction of the backlog. Therefore, a further study has been started, a Task
Force on Cataloguing Alternatives, to determine whether all materials entering
the cataloguing workflow do, in fact, require full cataloguing.' - pp. 12, 13
'The library has been attempting to do more with less, and to protect patrons against
any major deterioration in the level of service. It has been necessary to reduce schedules slightly. The point has now been reached that should any further reduction in
available staff time occur, the results would be painful perceptible, in the shape of
more greatly reduced schedules or the closing of branch libraries.' - p. 16
'The Library has become involved in providing support to the expansion of the
medical teaching programme. What this development calls for is the strengthening of collections and services at St. Paul's Hospital, at the new Childrens'/
Grace/Shaughnessy Hospital site and even at the Woodward Library, where the
completion of the Acute Care Hospital has created a demand for clinical collections similar to those at Vancouver General Hospital. In the absence of a supplementary budget, any expansion in this sector can only be at the expense of
programmes and services in other departments and faculties.' - pp. 16-17
'[on a 1979 report by the President entitled "The Mission of the University of
British Columbia"]
Although only one of the goals and objectives deals explicitly with the Library,
others contain implications for the development of its services and collections.
They point to a University which places greater emphasis on graduate and professional studies, on the maintenance of standards of excellence in teaching and
research, and on community relations. The objective is therefore to fund the
Library on a basis which is not tied to student enrolment...The inappropriateness
to the Library's real situation of formula budgeting based on enrolment is enough
to make a re-examination of this approach crucial.' - pp. 18-19
'Contrary to expectations, technology has not made life simpler but more
complex, in almost every dimension. As in life, so in the library...It would be a
pleasure to predict that the costs of information will decline, but given the proliferation of both information itself and the formats in which it is recorded, one
can only foresee a continuing need for support of the Library. If today it is a
large and complex institution, in 1990 it will be even larger and more complex. It
promises not to be an easy decade. But it will not be dull. - pp. 22-23
Library Bulletin 1981: 159 (February)
'Plans for a new library main building on the site of the current structure have
now been approved by UBC's Board of Governors and sent on for consideration
to the Universities Council of British Columbia. The plans call for replacing the
wings and stacks of the Main Library with a more modern, more efficient and
safer structure. The heritage core of the building would be retained. Additional
space would be created underground in the area between Main and Sedgewick...
The big question is money - $48,565,000 in January 1981 dollars...'
A new library committee has been formed to respond to a provocative report from
the President's Office called "Looking Beyond". The report delineates the need for
better support services for the increasing numbers of mature and part-time students
earning degrees at UBC...A committee has also been formed to assist the library
administration in making decisions on the structure and organization of the new
central library...A third committee is meeting weekly to work on UBC's "Interim
Authority System"...'
'Knowledge Network is the name of British Columbia's new educational television network. Now you can move to the Interior and still be assured of your quota
of highbrow lectures. You can even earn credits for a degree through the good
services of the Open Learning Institute...'
Library Bulletin 1981:160 (May)
'Basil Stuart-Stubbs resigns June 30 to become Director and Professor at UBC's
School of Librarianship. He has been University Librarian for the past seventeen years, overseeing a period of tremendous growth in the size of the Library's
collection and the number of branches. His period of administration is characterized by participatory management, a style emphasizing the role of committees
in decision-making. He gave energy and vitality to library and book affairs locally,
nationally and internationally, with interests including UBC Press, the Vancouver
City Archives, provincial library networks, copyright law, and the preservation of
early Canadian imprints...We wish him well and are grateful that his new office is
only a stairway away from his old one.'
'The Asian Studies Library is now housed in elegant new quarters in the Asian
Centre near Nitobe Gardens. In addition to its extensive collection of materials in
Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages, the library now houses books in South
Asian languages previously in storage - everything from Tibetan Buddhist texts to
Tamil love lyrics and Punjabi short stories...'
Library Bulletin 1981: 161 (October)
'Rapid increases in the cost of periodicals over the last few years, combined with
discouraging prospects for future collections budgets, have made it necessary to
reduce the Library's continuing commitments for serials. We hope that no further
cancellations of unique titles will be required for the time being. However, without
substantial increases to future collections budgets, we will be obliged to continue
reducing the size and scope of the collection... Cancellation of duplicate subscriptions raises questions about the Library's ability to continue supporting reading
room collections. The matter is obviously complex and sensitive...'
'Some library staff positions at all levels have been unfilled because of the
University's grim financial situation. Division heads have been instructed to to make
sure that high priority tasks are handled first. Other less critical work will be back-
logged or will simply go undone for the time being...'
After spending millions of dollars purchasing materials and similar sums cataloguing them, we spend essentially nothing preserving them. Part of the problem
is that book papers are not what they used to be. Books printed between 1900 and
1939 are predicted to last no more than fifty years. Present day book paper has a
life expectancy of thirty to thirty-five years...Some university libraries have begun
comprehensive conservation programs. At UBC we have a decided lack of expertise. Just as we required automation experts in the '60s and '70s, we will need
preservation experts in the '80s and '90s.'
The end of an era...
In 1981, Basil Stuart-Stubbs had completed seventeen eventful years as University
Librarian and accepted the position as Head of the School of Librarianship. In
his honour the library staff organized a celebration which was held one summer
afternoon in the new Asian Centre. For the occasion, the UBC Department of
Theatre had constructed a large, tastefully decorated wooden cake which, on cue,
was ceremoniously wheeled in. As it reached Basil, out popped Roy Stokes, the
retiring Library School head, who declaimed a stirring oration, cautioning his
younger successor of the enormous challenges he would surely encounter, and
concluding with warm, best wishes for the future. He tapped the honouree on the
shoulder and firmly placed his own mortarboard on Basil's head. At that moment,
on cue, a chorus of staff burst into song.
(Melody: 'Mame', by Jerry Herman)
You gave new meaning to the word 'home', Basil,
Since you've been king of Ridington's stone castle.
Three million bucks bequeathed to us
Left us, although breathless, overjoyed:
The backlog you achieved for us
Kept us all from being unemployed.
To work at CaBVaU, Basil,
Has really been the in-thing to do, Basil.
And all that other cataloguing jazz
Is never needed for a star,
There's no confusion who you are:
There's only one sensational Baz.
You came and automated our ways, Basil.
We saw you in a boolean haze, dazzled.
We learned that blanket ordering
Didn't have a lot to do with sheep,
And that 'ZZ' collections
Were definitely not concerned with sleep.
The stacks you freed to small and to great scholars.
And ILL soon had to charge eight dollars.
And who'll forget that wonderful
Captain George Vancouver razz-ma-tazz:
The renovations up on '5',
The gift that never did arrive.
And you got through it all alive, Baz.
Library empires ebb and they flow, Basil,
And sometimes they strike back as you know, Basil.
We've gone from simple systems to
Satellites all over outer space,
But somehow you have managed to
Keep it all a friendly sort of place.
Although it's fair to say we abhor preaching,
Remember when you're on the eighth floor, teaching
Don't let those ivied cloisters
Obscure the perfect view of things you 'has' -
Please make it your mandate to see
The kids you graduate will be
Quite simply just as great as we, Baz.
The Star of the Show
Roy Stokes emerges from a cake
Basil's Party /Entertainers
Librarian's Report to Senate: 198011981
A "Library Development Proposal" for development to the end of the century
was submitted to the Universities Council in the spring. Until the Council and
the Provincial Government take action on it, the Library remains in an unsatisfactory and worsening state. The system lacks open-shelf space to a degree that
it is merely inconvenient in some branches but is awkward, expensive and hard
on materials in others. Overcrowded shelves are a common feature; some do not
have sufficient seating for users...The Main Library remains seriously deficient in
terms of building code requirements. On the whole the system is very difficult to
explain to users, inefficient, hard to manage and expensive to operate.' - p. 3
'Two library branches were improved during the year. The Curriculum
Laboratory in the Scarfe Building was reorganized and renovated to make the
best use of its severely limited quarters. It is about one-third of the size it should
be...The Asian Centre became the home of the Asian Studies Library and the
Centre and its library were conspicuous as among the most attractive showpieces
of campus architecture.' - p. 4
'In recent years, it has been necessary to give priority to the purchase of new
books. Failure to acquire a fairly wide selection of current materials would simply
leave major gaps to be filled later at greater cost. This emphasis has been at the
expense of what we refer to as "research book funds", funds which are spent
mainly on material in the humanities and social sciences, and generally on sets
which cost from a few hundreds to seal thousand dollars.' - p. 5
'The large university libraries in Canada are the libraries of last resort to a much
greater degree than is the case in the United States, for example, where the
Library of Congress is a supplementary resource is immeasurable value. Our
capacity for cooperation and resource sharing [is difficult] where the number of
large university libraries can be counted on the fingers of two hands, scattered
over five thousand miles.' - p. 6
'It seems unlikely that we will be able to maintain both the breadth and depth
of all the various subject collections. Academic decisions are involved, and these
should reflect the priorities of the University community [which] are complex,
hard to project into the future, and to the librarian largely enigmatic' - p. 8
'We are sometimes asked why the three university libraries cannot work more
closely to rationalize their collections. As long as duplication of graduate
programmes exists, their libraries are unlikely to succeed in rationalizing responsibility for collections . This is particularly true of UBC, where those involved
in specialized programmes have come to expect their library to have much the
largest collection.' - p. 8
'The "Task Force on Cataloguing Alternatives", after a thorough examination of potential economies, was unable to recommend a long-term solution.
Development of an acceptable lower standard of cataloguing for certain categories of material, together with the need to find appropriate selection criteria for
a two-standard approach, proved to be extremely elusive. A number of useful
changes to procedures did emerge, however, and have been implemented.' - p. 9
'The potential for using automated methods to obtain better library operations
has generated a significant increase in demands to extend the use of existing
systems in the Library... There has also been a distinct change in general acceptance of computer-based systems [ and] virtually no need to "sell" the use of
computers any longer... Two concerns should be noted: there may be a need for
substantial increases in funding for computing resources in the immediate future,
and library services may be seriously impaired if the central computing facilities
are not adequate or separated and dedicated facilities cannot be obtained' - .p. 10
'Considerable effort was invested in planning, conducting and analyzing a survey
of user attitudes to and opinions about the library system, its facilities, its policies and procedures, its staff, collections and services. More than 6,000 students,
faculty and staff, 20% of the UBC population, completed the form...It was not
a surprise to learn that users were often frustrated and dissatisfied to find the
books they wanted were not on the shelves, nor that there was insufficient study
space available in some branches.. .that copying facilities were a source of general
dissatisfaction. On the positive side, four out of five responders as a whole rated
the Library as "good" or "excellent", though fewer than half liked the decentralized system. The hours of opening were generally satisfactory. Assistance from
staff received more favourable comment than any other aspect.' - p. 12-13
'Steps towards the establishment of the health science library network are being
taken deliberately and probably irrevocably, but still without long-term commitment of resources on the part of the Province.' - p. 13
'Libraries, among institutions, go much further in implementing cooperation than
most, even to the extent of having a formal international code governing interli-
brary lending. In this respect, the UBC Library has been a full-fledged cooperator,
lending three times as much material as it borrows.' - p. 14
' At no time in the last twenty years has the state of the library collections been
so bleak. The combination of inflation and a weak Canadian dollar has seriously
curtailed purchasing power. The spate of material from the world's presses is
growing, and new journals which we cannot afford continue to come onto the
market. The users' survey has confirmed that there is not enough of the most-
wanted material to go around. No doubt, the situation will get worse.' - p. 15
'The staff time available to the Library system began to decline five years ago,
partly because collective bargaining reduced the number of hours worked, partly
because funds for staffing would not not go so far as before. With cuts in the work
week, more vacation, increased inter-departmental transfers, higher salaries and
wages, more leaves of absence and fewer student assistant hours, the staff time
available to to provide services and conduct internal operations By stretches more
thinly each year. There are many tasks the division heads would assign of there
were staff enough to do the. As it is, work is handled in order of priority and there
is no end to what remains to be done.' - p. 15
'It would be artificial not to acknowledge that developments of the summer
and fall of 1981 are going to have serious effects on the Library. The financial situation, the consequent austerity and the preparations for retrenchment,
will certainly exacerbate the tensions about collections, space, staff, facilities and
everything else dependent on the availability of funds.' - p. 15
'Specialization is characteristic of almost every aspect of a large university
library's operation, but it merely reflects and responds to the complex nature of
information itself and the highly specialized programmes of a graduate university. At the same time, the Library has not forgotten its responsibilities to undergraduate students. Reference librarians in the Sedgewick Library have responded
to undergraduate needs through special programs of instruction in the use of
the library: "term paper clinics" and and a general reference service designed to
encourage students to work their way gradually into the research collections. In
each of the last three years, more than ten thousand library users have been given
some formal introduction to the use of the library, often taking the form of classroom instruction, accompanied by a practical exercise. [This] pays immeasurable
dividends in encouraging greater and more sophisticated library use...The effect
of future retrenchments mean many of such specialized services will receive less
priority than in the past.' - p. 17
'The development of reading rooms in departments was a feature of the 1960s
which was encouraged by a vigorous statement of policy approved by the Senate.
Today that policy is being revised and rewritten. Though their value is not in
question, the costs of duplicate subscriptions and staffing are an increasing drain
on funds which are hard pressed now to cover even essential core collections and
services. Departments and faculties have shared in the costs of reading rooms in
the past. They may have to carry the whole cost in the future.' - p. 18
'The challenge of the 1980s will be to redesign and reconstruct the Library
system.' - p. 19
Life at the Top
Douglas Mclnnes
University Librarian 1981-1989
"The establishment of UBC's branch library system in the 1960s and 1970s led
to an amazing increase in library use that continued into the 1980s. Most library
users enjoyed having relevant materials, study space and services located in pleasant
surroundings that were usually closer to their classroom or office, especially after
the crowded conditions in the Main Library stacks. The use of libraries and library
collections continued to increase, with as many as 2,500,00 loans a year and the
heavy use of reference services. New services were being developed as external
databases became available for searching by specialist librarians.
Operating the Main Library and thirteen branches did, however, impose additional
costs for staff and collections beyond those that might be needed for a centralized
library on a smaller campus. "Retrenchment", with reductions to university funding,
arrived with the 1980s as well, and the Library was expected to make economies in
its operation. With inflation and the devaluation of the Canadian dollar, the cost of
maintaining the Library's collections increased significantly and shortfalls there had
to be made up through staff reductions and the dropping of hundreds of subscriptions to academic journals - some of them duplicates that were necessary because
of overlapping interests among the branch libraries.
Ongoing projects such as the conversion of the card catalogue to machine readable form and further automation of the Library operating systems also required
funding, as it could be made available. Grant funds were requested regularly for
the purchase of major collections of microfiche, making UBC's microform holdings among the best in Canada.
Also of great concern throughout the period was the need for collections space.
The Main Library was bursting at the seams, needing renovation and expansion.
Finding space elsewhere for remote storage of older materials was considered as a
possible solution, but several years would pass before the shortage of space could
be alleviated. (Of course, access to collections in digital format as an alternative to
physical volumes was many years away at that time.) Looking back at this period
some thirty-five years later, I would say that it was a difficult time in some ways,
but it was also an essential period of transition in many areas of collections,
systems and services."
Library Bulletin 1982: 162 (January)
A Telidon terminal is now available in the Fine Arts Division as part of field trials
sponsored by Communications Canada and BC Telephone. Simply speaking,
it is a "magic box" linking a television set with computer data bases. It is the
Canadian developed version of videotext, and unlike other versions provides not
only text but also coloured pictures. A small key-pad enables you to sign on...'
'The Central Information for Disabled Students located in the Sedgewick Library
staff area is now operating. It consists of a campus phone, a microfiche reader
and all the microfiche you could ever want to use... During the past year CKNW
provided substantial funds for purchase of equipment helpful to disabled students
in Crane Library. One of these is an electric typewriter with an Opticon attachment which allows typed material to be read by touch...'
Library Bulletin 1982:163 (May)
'The Library must reduce its 1982/83 operating budget by $379,000. The magnitude of this year's cut makes it impossible to avoid reductions in service. There is
good reason to believe that the measures required can be taken without any staff
layoffs. Ten and one-half positions will be lost through September
the Animal Resource Ecology Library will change from a branch to a reading room.
Also in September, the Reading Rooms Division will be disbanded...'
'The long talked-about Health Sciences Network will become a reality this summer.
Funded by the Faculty of Medicine, the new division will [link] the Woodward
Biomedical Library and the libraries at the teaching hospitals...'
'The Film Library on the 3rd floor of the Library Processing Centre is now
formally a unit of the Curriculum Laboratory. Gwyneth Bartram can not only
provide access to about 1200 films held by the library, but can also arrange to rent
films from all over North America...'
' "Emergent Image" by Jack Shadbolt, well-known Vancouver artist was recently
hung in the concourse of the Main Library. Shadbolt says of the painting "It
deals with a theme that has recurred in my work over the past few years - the
cycle of transformations of a butterfly from larvae to pupa to a full-fledged, beautiful-winged and recently into the flight circle..."
"Emergent Image"
[The space occupied by the Shadbolt work had previously been selected to host
a 1939 historical mural by Canadian painter Charles Comfort. It had been
donated to UBC by the wife of Governor-General Roland Michener. In 1981 that
arrangement aroused considerable public controversy as the painting portrayed
a clearly dominant Captain George Vancouver, seemingly being greeted at a
potlach ceremony by an unnamed aboriginal chief and other tribal members. As
a result of the concern, the installation was subsequently cancelled.]
'The School of Librarianship has purchased an Apple II and an IBM personal
computer. Time may be booked on these for research projects. There is also a
projector attachment so that a computer screen may be seen easily by a number
of people.'
Library Bulletin 1982:164 (September)
A major bibliography project in honour of the 100th birthday of the city of
Vancouver (1986) is underway on the top floor of the Main Library...In addition
to books and journal articles, the 'Vancouver' database will include photographs,
data files, manuscripts, microforms, film, video and sound recordings. Collections
here, at the Vancouver Public Library, the City Archives , Provincial Archives,
local church archives and Public Archives in Ottawa will be searched for materials
in all disciplines.
Thus far, more materials than expected have been found, including many
"unknown" government records...'
Attention Betamax owners: As part of the Library's new responsibility for the
Film Library, we've also acquired the Human Settlements Centre's Audio-Visual
Library, a collection of videotapes shown at the 1976 UN Habitat Conference
held here in Vancouver...'
Library Bulletin 1982: 165 (October)
'Crane reports an increase this year of over five times in the volume of books to
be recorded. This big increase is a result in the growth in enrolment of visually-handicapped students at UBC and other universities and BC colleges for whom
materials are prepared. Blind students at UBC are among those who hope that an
online library catalogue may not be too far down the road. They presently cannot
use the library's microcatalogues unassisted but could use a talking computer
terminal like the one in the Computing Centre...'
Library Bulletin 1982:166 (November/December)
'One tangible result of library cooperation is the B.C. Union Catalogue, listing
nearly a million items in provincial libraries. Participating libraries have used
UTLAS cataloguing services to create the database from which this is produced...
Funding has been obtained for a trial run of such a service...The data communications network between the libraries' terminals and the computer in Victoria
will use the UBC Library minicomputer.. .We have been committed for many
years to the development of a provincial library catalogue system, one that will
offer direct benefits to the UBC Library. If the trial is successful, we'll be one step
closer to that system.'
Librarian's Report to Senate: 1981/1982
'Students and faculty members at the University of British Columbia enjoy the
use of one of Canada's richest library resources. Statistics from the most recent
cumulation (1981/82) prepared by the Association of Research Libraries gives
UBC's library a composite ranking of fifteenth among its membership of 101
major North American academic research libraries.' - p. 1
'The introduction of technological change can at times be uncomfortable, even
alarming, but only through the use of technology can major libraries - highly
labour-intensive operations - hope to maintain and expand their services.'...The
computer-output microfiche (COM) catalogue is produced locally from copies
of the data tapes sent from Toronto to UBC. As our technological environment
continues to evolve, we may soon see a version of the highly successful Washington
Library Network system established in B.C. to manipulate catalogue information -
a first step, we hope, towards an interactive online public catalogue.' - p. 2
Accessing other collections costs money and funds are scarce. Librarians and
those who fund libraries must come to realize that interlibrary loan costs are
nominal compared with the cost of purchasing, cataloguing and storing materials
that may be infrequently used.' - p. 3
'Our tendency is to measure the strength of an academic research library by the
size of its collections. A more meaningful measurement in future would consider
as well the library's success in providing efficient and cost-effective access, not only
to its own growing collections, but also to the other resources of other libraries
and information suppliers...Computer-assisted bibliographic searches, constantly
improving in scope and coverage, reveal far more of the potentially relevant literature than any one library could possibly provide from its own collection.' - p. 5
'Examination of the requirements of the Library system leads to the inescapable
conclusion that further rounds of budget-cutting will call for either a revision of
users' priorities or a restructuring of the system itself...Assuming a willingness on
the part of the University community to see [that happen], further organizational
changes would still be difficult to carry out without extensive planning and major
financial decisions...The Main Library is notoriously deficient under the Building
Code. The system remains complex, dispersed and heavily weighted with service
points. There are few, if any, opportunities to recentralize or combine units because
of space and other constraints. The Library faces no problem more immediately
critical than its lack of adequate functional space. Inaction now almost certainly
guarantees that still more substantial quantities of collections must be withdrawn
to storage.' - p. 9
'The uncertainties of collections funding during prolonged periods of
restraint has re-emphasized the importance of private donations. The Library
was fortunate last year in receiving generous collections support from private
sources, the late Dr. W K. Burwell left the library a legacy to be used in two
areas: $50,000 for the purchase of medical collections, and a much larger
amount in the excess of $360,000, for materials in anthropology, sociology
and psychology. Other notable donations have come from the estates of Dr.
Honor Kidd Timbers and Dr. Coolie Verner and from the Ernest Theodore
Rogers (1939) Fund. In addition, the Law Foundation continued its strong
support of collections in the Law Library...Perhaps the most notable single gift
in recent times came from Dr. John Steelquist , of California, who donated
a rare copy of Captain Vancouver's "Voyage of Discovery", one of a special
proof edition prior to the first edition.' - p. 11-12
'Systems staff have worked to improve the Library's microcatalogues, and have
developed the means to automate the delivery of overdue notices. The latter innovation is important because of the rising costs of postage and should provide, as
well, a better and faster method of notifying users of books overdue or recalled.'
-p. 13
After thirty years of continuous service in the Library, I.F. (Bill) Bell retired in
1982. Serving in senior administrative positions throughout the period of most
rapid growth, Mr. Bell had a profound influence on library priorities, the quality
of its staff, and the nature of its services. The contribution he made to the development of the UBC Library as a major research facility are manifold. Selection
of professional staff, with emphasis on the recruitment of specialists to provide
advanced reference service, was one of the areas in which his experience and
judgment were of critical importance. His concern for the introduction of
modern management techniques and sound financial policies were also of lasting
benefit to the Library.
[For an earlier, satiric view of Bill, see Biblos, 1966:2.12 (October)]
Library Bulletin 1983: 167 (January)
'The Library, aware that books could be a vanishing resource, is engaged in a
campaign to make people more aware of handling books carefully... It is not just
the loss of books that are badly treated which made this campaign seem like a
good idea, but also the costs of repairing or replacing materials. It costs about
$ 19 to rebind missing pages, and the Library replaces pages and rebinds more
that 150 items a year. Mending a book costs about $7 an item; about 2300 are
handled by the Mendery each year. The 1200 or so unbound issues of magazines
that the Library replaces each year cost about $10 each...'
'Crane Library has been given a Voice Indexer which enables staff to produce
voice-indexed textbooks. This device records page numbers and other information which can only be heard in the fast-forward or rewind mode...permitting
random access to various spots on a talking book...Mr. Andre van Schyndel, a
Physics doctoral student at UBC, created this device in his spare time and generously donated one to Crane...'
'For many library users, the biggest headache is not being able to find a journal
on the shelf. The Library Users' Survey Report (1980) contained 12 pages of
selected comments about problems with missing journals. Many compared UBC
unfavourably with SFU where journals do not circulate. A committee has been
set up to consider how accessibility to periodicals can be improved, including the
question of whether library policy should be changed...'
Library Bulletin 1983: 169 (April)
'The Microcatalogues Task Group recently reviewed the Library's microfiche lists
with an eye to recommending priorities, should the 1983/84 budget make reductions in frequency or distribution necessary. Currently it costs about $90,000 a
year (and rising) to reproduce our various microfiche: Microcatalogue, Serial List,
IPL, Circulation lists, etc., not including the computer dollars for processing. This
is considerably over the amount budgeted...'
'On March 31, the Library was forced to curtail further its support of departmental reading rooms. It no lo