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UBC Publications

UBC Library News Mar 31, 1969

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Volume II, No. 3 March, 1969 Vancouver, B.C.
! This newsletter appears once a month as an information service for faculty and other people outside the Library. It contains
feature articles and news items about developments in the Library system which we feel will be of interest or concern to the
larger community. The News welcomes all comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future articles.
Planning university library resources over a period of years is a difficult and uncertain job. This is especially true at U.B.C,
where enrollment is increasing at such a rate that it is almost impossible to predict accurately how many students the Library will
need to serve five or more years from now. Forecasts of total enrollment made only four years ago, for instance, are now felt to
be from 40 to 50 per cent too low.
As a result, earlier plans for the expansion of library facilities have had to be revised. In 1966 the Library had drawn up a
detailed Plan for Future Services, based on available estimates of student population growth. This document has now been
rewritten, and on February 5, 1969, the new edition was presented to the Senate Committee on Academic Building Needs.
Additional copies have been distributed to the Board of Governors, the University Administration, the Senate Library
Committee, Senate Committee on Long-Range Objectives, Senate Liaison Committee on Planning Permanent Buildings, all
Deans, and all Library branch and division heads.
If the contents of the document are often disturbing, its message is plain. Much of U.B.C.'s library system is already
inadequate. The Main Library is poorly designed and overcrowded. Seating and shelf space are already at a premium in several
other branches, and they cannot hope to accommodate the number of students who will need to use them in the next five years.
Unless an immediate start is made on at least one new building, service to students and faculty in many fields of study will fall
below even the minimum standards set for a university library.
Some of the major criticisms and recommendations in the new Plan are reprinted here.
"Historically the Faculty of Arts has had the largest enrollments. Moreover, Arts undergraduates, graduates and faculty
members require larger collections of books than other students, and use them more intensively. Their library requirements are
therefore proportionately greater, when measured against the needs of other groups.
The undergraduate in the Faculty of Arts has not enjoyed a good standard of library service for many years. In the lower
years, as a member of large classes, he has had to compete with his fellow students for a limited number of copies of assigned
readings, most of them held on reserve. Frequently he has been unable to find a place to sit down. The collection to which he
has immediate access, in the Sedgewick Library, is not large enough to supply the supplementary references he requires, so he
must make efforts to gain access to the Main Library stacks. If he does, he finds himself in an uncongenial atmosphere, where
books are hard to locate. From the library staff he can expect only a minimum of assistance, for there are simply too many
persons in his situation for the number of librarians available.
In October 1968 the Senate Committee on Academic Building Needs recommended that the planning of an Undergraduate
Library be commenced as soon as possible. In November the Board of Governors accepted this recommendation, and a Client's
Committee was appointed. At the time of writing priorities for construction have not been set, and no funds are available. Under
optimum circumstances an Undergraduate Library, serving students in the Faculty of Arts as well as others, will not exist before
1971. The plight of the undergraduate will not be remedied until this facility does exist.
Meanwhile the graduate student fares little better. His need is for a permanent locus, either in the Library or adjacent to his
department. Under present crowded conditions he has difficulty in finding a place which he can call his own ... The effective
use of existing collections is inhibited by the unsatisfactory physical accommodations in which the collections are housed." FACULTY OF APPLIED SCIENCE.
"Library service to the Faculty of Applied Science has been substandard. No particular provision has been made for engineering students in the Main Library, and the Engineering Reading Room with which the majority of undergraduates quickly identify
themselves is completely inadequate as a library. Reading rooms attached to particular departments similarly leave much to be
desired. The end product of this situation is a graduate unaware of the literature in his field and of the means of gaining access
to it."
"While education students at all levels require access to an easily identifiable body of literature on their subject, they must
also have frequent reference to the literature of a variety of other disciplines. Changing approaches to education create demands
for distinctive kinds of library service through such agencies as curriculum laboratories and audio-visual services. The present
Curriculum Laboratory is one of the three most heavily used libraries on campus, and is at the same time the most pressed for
space. Necessary improvements must await new construction."
"As a public building the Main Library has become increasingly unsatisfactory as it has grown in size. Its physical design
would permit the addition to the east of more low ceiling stack area, but very little high ceiling public area. Many service and
processing divisions are presently working in areas designed to accommodate books only.... It is essential that library divisions
presently housed in stack areas be removed to proper work space, and that the stacks be used for the purpose for which they
were designed. The removal of the library administration and the systems analysis group would make additional space available
for public use. The School of Librarianship has already outgrown its quarters in the Main Library, and will need additional
space, particularly as it moves into a two year Master's programme. The staff room in the Main Library is also inadequate for the
size of staff in the Main Library. The Bindery cannot increase its output until it has a larger area in which to work."
 "The SEDGEWICK LIBRARY is most urgently in need of increased space. As a library for the undergraduates, it can now
accommodate less than 5% of its potential users. A new building scaled to a proper size for 1973/74 will house a collection with
a fixed upper limit of 200,000 volumes, and seat 4,400 users.. . . Desirably this library should be constructed near the Main
Library, where the potential users are more numerous. Its construction would make available the present quarters in the South
Wing of the Main Library, into which some of the public services or processing divisions might be moved, in order to free stack
space in the Main Library."
 "Students of the sciences, especially the applied sciences, have traditionally been badly served by libraries at U.B.C. In
order to meet their needs, and in line with the changing shape of the campus, it is proposed to build a SCIENCE LIBRARY
which will house a collection of 200,000 volumes and seat 2,500 users. The collection will be based on the present Science
Division collection. The construction of this library will complete the major system based on "academic zones", and in
combination with the Woodward Library will concentrate scientific literature in the southern part of the campus, adjacent to all
potential users. The departure of the collection from the Main Library will further alleviate the pressures created by the growing
collection in the humanities and social sciences."
 "When  Library building priorities were established in  1966, the first place was assigned to an ADMINISTRATION,
PROCESSING, AND SCHOOL OF LIBRARIANSHIP BUILDING. That position has had to be relinquished to buildings that
meet the needs of greatly increased numbers of users. The fact remains, however, that the quarters in the Main Library for
processing operations are inadequate both as to size and shape; moreover, they are located in an area designed for book stacks,
and needed for book storage as soon as possible. The School of Librarianship is also in need of extended quarters. A new
multi-purpose building would house the processing divisions, the systems analysis group, the library administration, and the
School of Librarianship."
 "The MAIN LIBRARY will continue to be a very important element of the proposed library system, but its character will
have changed. The preceding three structures will have removed from it the Sedgewick Library, the Science Division and
collection, the administrative offices, the systems analysis group, and the School of Librarianship. Hopefully by that time the
Museum of Anthropology and the Fine Arts Gallery, long-time tenants in the building, will have been removed to their own
structures. The space thus made available, with remodelling, will enable the Library to accommodate 2,500 readers and a million
volumes, and its function will be to serve primarily the upper-year and graduate students in Arts, Education and Commerce."
 "An EDUCATION LIBRARY is required to meet the needs of one of the largest segments of the undergraduate body on
campus. Seating for 1,000 people will be needed in 1973/74. This is four times as many seats as are provided in the existing
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Curriculum Laboratory. Unfortunately the seating may be further diminished by expanding collections, but it is hoped that
other space will be found in the Education Building to provide the study space which will be vitally needed during the years
before a new library is erected."
Analysing library building needs is one thing. Actually construction the needed new buildings is quite another. The annual
Report of the Librarian to the Senate, released late in 1968, sums up the problem in three sentences:
"Unfortunately what is already a bad situation can only get worse. No funds for further construction are in
sight, and even if funds were available today, it would be several years before new buildings were ready for
occupancy . .. Hard work and ingenuity cannot remedy the fundamental problems arising from simple lack of
of space."
The need for prompt action cannot be overstressed. Already this campus faces at least two or three years of steadily more
overcrowded libraries and declining service. Unless a start is made on new buildings in the near future, the U.B.C. library system
will fall farther and farther below the standards set for a university of this size.
There has been some confusion on and off campus as to the location and role of U.B.C's Extension Library. We hope that
these brief notes will be of use.
The Extension Library is operated by the Main Library, and is located in a non-public area on stack level 2. Books are
circulated only by mail, and service is restricted chiefly to students taking Extension Department correspondence courses or
off-campus credit courses. However, plays are also available for loan to amateur drama groups in British Columbia.
The manual for each correspondence course contains a list of required and supplementary readings available from the
Extension Library. In addition the Library compiles class libraries which are sent out on loan to the instructors teaching off-
campus extension courses. These course libraries vary in size from 25 to 300 titles, depending upon the reading requirements of
the course.
The Extension Library has a play collection of some 6,500 titles, many of which are held in multiple copies. Plays may be
borrowed by registered drama groups for selection with a view to production; others are sent out in sets for group reading or
study. All this material is located and indexed in the Reserve Book Collection, and is available for circulation to regular library
Currently the Extension Library provides texts and course readings for some 800 correspondence students in 16 courses;
libraries for 18 off-campus courses; and plays for 46 drama groups throughout the province.
Requests for all books should be made in writing to the Extension Library. Loans are made for three weeks, and books may
be renewed if necessary. All material is sent by mail with a postage-free return label included.
The collection is supervised by the Main Library's Gifts and Exchange Librarian, Walter Harrington (local 2607). Please
consult him for further information, or see his assistant, Mrs. Sheila Neville (local 2437, mornings only).
Since 1957 the U.B.C. Library has automatically received all the documents and reports published by the U.S. Atomic
Energy Commission. Having this material immediately available on campus has been of great value to researchers, who would
otherwise have to order it item by item from the National Science Library in Ottawa.
Until the middle of 1968, all AEC documents came to U.B.C. free of charge — a much appreciated gift. Unfortunately, this
system has now been changed. The AEC has discontinued free distribution of its material in Canada, with one exception. The
National Science Library, as the AEC's official Canadian depository, will still receive all AEC documents and reports, and will
distribute copies on request. All other Canadian libraries who wish to maintain complete holdings of this material will have to
buy it commercially at an annual fee of approximately $4,000.
Appeals from the Library to have U.B.C. remain as a free depository have been unsuccessful. Rather than cancel the program
and have to order AEC documents individually from Ottawa — a process which takes a minimum of two weeks — the Library
has decided to subscribe to the new AEC program, at least for 1969. LIBRARY MAKES INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTION
As the U.B.C. library system expands, a growing number of small, highly specialized libraries are being established to aid
researchers in certain departments. Notable among these is the Institute of Fisheries Library. Housed in the Biological Sciences
Complex B-8, it is open to the entire University community. Its main purpose, however, is to provide the fullest possible
bibliographic services for those whose fields of study include aquatic biology.
These services fall into three broad areas:
1) Keeping faculty, investigators, and graduate students abreast of current developments in all areas of hydrobiology.   -
2) Searching the literature to check on work done on a given subject.
3) Supplying answers to reference questions.
If the Library's holdings seem limited, it is because they have been carefully selected to serve specialized needs. At present an-
acute housing shortage prevents material of a more general nature from being part of the collection. Such material is available
nearby in the Main and Woodward Libraries.
Serial holdings are an important part of any scientific library's resources, since they contain results of current research and
announcements of scientific developments. The Institute of Fisheries Library has over 900 periodicals and special bulletins, both
domestic and foreign, dealing with aquatic biology. Its goal is to include the major periodicals in this area from countries
throughout the world.
However, it would be almost impossible for any research library to acquire a complete set of all the serials which might
contain useful material. To get around this problem, the Library has brought together a 600-volume reprint collection,
representing some 14,000 separate serials in various fields of biology. This valuable supplement to the periodical collection is the
key feature of the Library.
Besides these, the Institute of Fisheries Library contains roughly 1,000 specialized books and translations relating to aquatic
To facilitate use of the material, those who have access to the building (e.g. faculty, investigators and graduate students) may
use the Library's Reading Room 24 hours a day. Normal service hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. .
During working hours, the two Library staff members combine their regular public service duties with a second, even more
demanding job. For the past year they have been putting out the Institute of Fisheries Library Bulletin, which comes out once a
month and is distributed internationally.
The Bulletin began in 1967 as a review of current material published in the field of aquatic biology. Within a few months,
however, it became more specialized. Because as much as one-third of the world's published research on hydrobiology is in
Russian, and because this material is often difficult to find through the indexes available in North America, the Bulletin began
translating the tables of contents of leading Russian fisheries journals. Each monthly issue, averaging 30 to 40 pages in length,
indexed up to 10 years of a Russian journal. For the convenience of researchers the titles were arranged by subject, but an
alphabetical author listing was also included.
At first the Bulletin was distributed to only 25 readers in Canada and the United States. However, word of the new indexes to
Russian material soon spread, and the demand for copies soared. By the end of 1967 many researchers were relying on the
Bulletin as a guide to material they might otherwise have missed.
But this was only the first step. Huibert Verwey, the head of the Library and editor of the Bulletin, felt that if simple lists of
articles were so useful, then English-language summaries of their contents would be even more valuable. So began phase two of
the Bulletin. Since December 1967, each article indexed has been accompanied by a detailed abstract.
The response to this new service has been highly encouraging. Each monthly issue of the Bulletin now goes out to over 500
individuals and institutions in North America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, most western European countries, and many
eastern ones. One staunch supporter is Washington's Bureau of Foreign Fisheries, which has a standing request for 125 copies of
each issue. These are distributed to all aquatic biology research stations and fisheries institutes in the United States.
In return the Bureau supplies the Library with cards listing all English-language translations of articles written in the field of
hydrobiology. Currently the Library has over 16,000 of these cards on file. Each gives the author and title of the original article,
the translator's name, and the source and price of the translation. In this way, U.B.C. researchers have gained access to
information that would have been difficult or impossible to find before.
But already the Library is looking beyond these achievements. So far the Bulletin has only covered material in Russian
journals, and Mr. Verwey feels that the program should be extended to include Japanese publications. Although these contain
almost one-fifth of the literature on aquatic biology, the existing English-language indexes and abstracts leave much to be
desired. Dr. P.A. Larkin, Director of the Institute of Fisheries, has given the new project his full support. Future developments
will be reported in the U.B.C. Library News.
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Just before press time the federal health department announced a grant of $904,903 toward the Woodward Biomedical
Library's new extension. The grant matches an earlier one made by the Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward Foundation.
Plans call for another storey and a new west wing to be added to the Library, doubling its former size and increasing seating
capacity from 361 to roughly 1,000. Construction is already underway, and the addition is expected to be ready early in 1970.
Faculty members are again reminded that the Library now has the facilities to display their publications. An exhibit in the
entrance hall is currently featuring books by Dr. W.J. Stankiewicz of the Political Science Department.
Please send in only separate monographic publications. These should be directed to the Special Collections Division, where
they will be permanently housed after the display.
Editor: Mrs. E. de Bruijn
Information & Orientation Division
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