Stories of Support


Susan E. Parker appointed as UBC’s University Librarian

susan Parker

Ms. Susan E. Parker. Photo: Don Leibig, UCLA Photography


In September 2017, UBC will welcome Susan E. Parker as University Librarian for a five-year term. Ms. Parker currently holds the role of Deputy University Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles where she leads operations, human resources, assessment, budgeting, strategic planning, capital project planning and fundraising.

Ms. Parker will take over leadership of UBC Library at a pivotal time as the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan comes to a close and the library develops new strategic priorities in alignment with UBC’s new strategic plan. At UCLA, Ms. Parker led the processes behind the library’s strategic plans for 2006-2009 and 2012-2019.

“Susan Parker’s reputation in the library community is one of solid competence and professionalism,” said Melody Burton, Interim University Librarian. “We are thrilled to have her join UBC Library at this particular time.”

Ms. Parker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and American Literature, a Master of Arts in History, and a Master of Library Science with a specialization in academic librarianship. Her research interests include leadership in academic libraries and higher education, organization theory, and the concept of “credible optimism” emphasizing the importance of positivity in the pursuit of realistic and sustainable goals.

“Being named University Librarian at UBC is an honour, and the highlight of my career,” says Susan Parker. “I look forward to partnering with UBC’s excellent library staff, students, and faculty as we continue to develop and deliver outstanding services, scholarly resource collections, and welcoming library facilities for the UBC community.”

In July 2016 Melody Burton stepped into the role of Interim University Librarian, in addition to her role as Deputy University Librarian. Over the past year Ms. Burton has been focused on a “domestic agenda” to build relationships on campus and set the table for the next University Librarian.

“I wish to express my gratitude to Ms. Melody Burton for her service as the Interim University Librarian since July 2016,” said Dr. Angela Redish, UBC Provost and VP Academic pro tem. “Her work has been integral to the continuity of the library’s strong leadership over the past year.” 

Ms. Burton will continue in this interim role until September 1, when Ms. Parker joins UBC.


Read the full announcement from the Office of the Provost and VP Academic.


Yamaha Piano from Tom Lee Music Enriches UBC Library

A donation of an electronic silent piano from Tom Lee Music has greatly benefitted students at the Music, Art and Architecture Library. This article is a translation of the original Ming Pao Canada article.

Friends – Fall 2016

The fall 2016 issue of UBC Library’s Friends newsletter highlights new people and faces at the Library, the Kelmscott Chaucer acquisition, a look at the winner of the 2016 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize, and other news from the Library.

Browse the issue below or download the PDF.


UBC library buys rare Chaucer works for $200K

CTV's evening news covered the Library's purchase of this rare book on August 25, 2016.

UBC Library acquires copy of ‘The Most Beautiful of All Printed Books’

The Simi Sara Show speaks to Dr. Gregory Mackie, assistant professor in UBC’s department of English about how the Kelmscott Chaucer will enhance teaching and learning at UBC.

Friends – Spring 2016

The Spring 2016 issue of UBC Library’s Friends newsletter includes updates on recent collection acquisitions, current exhibitions featuring book illustrations and BC historical photographs, and a look at our Open Collections portal.

The Friends newsletter keeps UBC Library’s broad community of supporters up to date on developments and is produced twice a year. Read past issues of Friends here.



UBC Library celebrates Convocation 2016

<em>Image of a group of women standing outside the old UBC library (now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) in graduation gowns. May 7, 1931.</em> From the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs (UL_1046_0041).

Image of a group of women standing outside the old UBC library (now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) in graduation gowns. May 7, 1931. (UL_1046_0041)


Congratulations to UBC’s Class of 2016 at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

UBC Library Legacy Program - An example of a bookplate

An example of a UBC Library Legacy Program bookplate

Celebrate the journey to graduation and honour the new graduate in your life with a personalized UBC bookplate offered by UBC Library.

Bookplates, or ex-libris, are decorative labels placed inside book covers to indicate the volume’s owner, and have a long history dating back to the 15th century.

Give the gift of a bookplate

Through the University Library Legacy Program, a bookplate with a personalized inscription is placed in the subject area of the donor’s choice. All proceeds from this program are put towards future UBC Library collections.

Explore the online gallery of bookplates and give a special individual a meaningful and lasting contribution to the University community of lifelong learners who use the Library.

Please email for more information.

Croquet prize for research

UBC Library is pleased to announce a new award focusing on the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection

The Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection Prize, established in 2015, will be awarded annually to the best research paper featuring the collection. The research papers must be a maximum of 12 pages, and can focus on a range of subjects, including gender studies, athletics, history, art and photography – however, the paper must use the collection in some capacity.

people playing croquet

Wounded Canadians playing croquet, circa 1915.


The Arkley Croquet Collection contains more than 1,400 items from the 1850s to 1950s. The collection includes oil paintings, watercolours, illustrations and fine art as well as photographs, prints, books, advertisements, comics and other materials related to croquet. The images show the rise in the game’s popularity in England and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection also offers a fascinating glimpse at gender roles, as croquet was one of the first games that men and women played together.

Tremaine Arkley, a former member of the US National Croquet team, and his wife Gail Arkley donated the collection to the Library in 2011. 

Researchers wanting to use the collection can view it in person at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC), or online via the Library’s digital collections portal. 

Submissions should be sent to RBSC’s acting head, no later than 4 p.m. on February 1, 2016. Two prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded – one to a UBC student and one to a member of the community at large. Members of the community do not need to be Canadian citizens.

For a full list of requirements and submissions information, see the prize poster. Please direct questions to

Prize winners will be announced in April.


Friends – Fall 2015

The latest issue of UBC Library’s Friends newsletter features updates on the UBC Centennial events, new library collections and upcoming events at the Library.



New digital collections

UBC Library’s digital collections are accessed by scholars and students globally, and new content is added regularly. Here’s a glimpse of some recent additions:

  • Puban Collection
    Consisting of 45,000 hand-stitched volumes spanning Chinese history, literature and thought from the 12th to 19th centuries, the Puban Collection was acquired with the help of UBC professor Ho Ping-ti in 1959.
  • Discorder Magazine
    Devoted to in-depth coverage of Vancouver’s independent music scene, Discorder magazine is published by UBC’s student-run CiTR 101.9 FM radio station. All existing issues of the magazine are now available to view online, and new issues will be added as they are published.
  • BC Sessional Papers, Phase 2
    BC’s Sessional Papers document political, historical, economic and cultural history of British Columbia. New additions to this collection include committee reports, petitions, correspondence, maps, voter lists and more from 1887-1911.

image of books

To explore these and other digital collections, please visit the digital collections portal.
Be sure to watch for UBC Library’s new Open Collections website, a new, user-friendly platform for the Library’s digital collections. Launching summer 2015.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.


Read more stories about collections, services and spaces on the Library’s About Us blog.