Library news


UVic auctioning 10,000 items from its vinyl record library

Globe & Mail

Metadata ages like fine wine, systems age like fish

Read about a day in the life of Librarian Dean Seeman: "It’s also very easy to get lost in minutiae when dealing with metadata and standards. But when I walk into the library and through the stacks, I don’t see books but instead I see people, places, events, material objects, and ideas in conversation with each other. I see the role of metadata to reveal those conversations so that people and machines can also enter into that realm, discover each other, and enter that conversation."

Artist and Librarian Tad Suzuki reflects on Picasso and book box-making

Read about a day in the life of Fine Arts and Humanities Librarian Tad Suzuki: "I don’t have a “typical” day concerning my Hispanic & Italian Studies portfolio. But learning about Spanish/Latin American and Italian cultures opened up a lot of new frontiers to me, especially with my art history and theatre connections."

Obsolescence leads to unique computing and media lab

Read about a day in the life of Librarian John Durno: "Other devices such as phones and tablets have encroached on the territory of laptops a bit. However, it’s still hard to beat the combination of a physical keyboard, screen and pointing device when you want to get work done. When you kit out a tablet to replace your laptop, it winds up looking a lot like a laptop."

Interview with Poet, Novelist and Essayist Theresa Kishkan

The Theresa Kishkan fonds provide researchers with so much more, including a wonderful array of her writing projects. Through the archives, you can see Kishkan’s writing taking shape, in how she draws from her research and as pieces progress through various drafts. Correspondence relating to her writing projects and reviews of her work also provide a picture of the shift from writing to publishing. "My university classes taught me how to think, but my reading taught me how to be a writer, I think, and it’s a route I’d highly recommend to others."

Law Librarian Emily Nickerson talks about balancing a dual role in business and law

Read about a day in the life of Law Librarian Emily Nickerson: "Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been busy helping students and faculty from both departments (law and business) identify and access alternative resources for their final assignments, research projects, and summer instruction."

New role at UVic Libraries, first of its kind

Ry Moran, a member of the Red River Métis and founding director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, has been appointed by UVic as the inaugural Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation. It’s the first position of its kind at a Canadian university and will help further educate and inform Canadians about the importance of memory and Indigenous knowledge in the national journey to reconciliation. Moran will join UVic this fall. He grew up in Victoria and is a UVic alumnus.

Library Love: An interview with Librarian Tina Bebbington

"Earth, air, fire, and water are the elements of physical matter. Curiosity, perception, courage, service, and dedicated belief are the elements of a good librarian." - Lawrence Clark Powell, founder of the UCLA library school. Librarian Tina Bebbington is the embodiment of all those elements and takes inspiration from her love of libraries: "What inspires me every day is learning new things, helping people in meaningful ways, and connecting anyone with the information they need, when they need it."

BC Legislative Assembly Sessional Clippings Books

In British Columbia, Hansard was instituted in 1970, in a limited fashion, with the publication of full debates starting in 1972. Between 1891 and 1970, newspaper reports were relied on for accounts of the debates of the legislature. The Legislative Library would clip any such reports from the local papers and preserved the clippings in sessional clipping books. It was the unofficial accounts of various newspapers and other print outlets that covered the highly secretive debates of the legislature.

Bauhaus, Design and the Livable Anthropocene

This event celebrates the innovative approach to design and architecture developed at the Bauhaus Art School, founded in 1919. The aim is to reflect on the historical impact of this approach and explore its potential for addressing the design challenges of the Anthropocene. A colloquium featuring invited speakers will precede the Opening of the bau1haus exhibition of photographs by Jean Molinar, featuring Modernist buildings inspired by Bauhaus from around the world.

Ideafest 2020: Your UVic Library of the Future

Discover the library of the future at this family-friendly event. With over two million books and digital creative spaces providing equitable access to technology, the library is a community jewel. Activities include the tech petting zoo, 3-D printing demos, all-ages story time, button making, and tours of our new Retro Computing Lab! It’s a library open house and everyone’s invited!

Rare Books and Rare Generosity

"My wonderfully eccentric colleague, Dr. Gordon Fulton, has been quietly collecting significant numbers of rare, odd, and often extremely valuable books, and then, just as quietly, donating them piecemeal to the Special Collections of our university library here at the University of Victoria. Gordon is himself is a rare bird; or, to change the metaphor, a walking olde curiosity shoppe, though he grounds himself by being a lively observer of other odd things, like Canadian politics and plight of the Montreal Canadiens. Gordon, who grew up in south-central Ontario, has been a member of the English Department at UVic since 1990, where he specializes in 18th century literature. He studied at the University of Toronto and then at the University of London. Gordon marches—or rather bicycles—to his own beat. He doesn’t own a car, and you have to picture him, rain or shine, cycling up and down the formidable and aptly-named Cedar Hill X-Road to our campus, his backpack often bulging with these books. You’d think he’d be noticed, but Gordon is by nature furtive, and most of us measure his presence by the continuous stream of exotic packages that arrive at the departmental mailbox. If there’s an unusual arrival with unusual stamps, we know these are books are for Gordon. And then they disappear, only to discreetly reappear in our Special Collections. I was lucky enough to get a few words from my colleague about his bibliophilic passion before he once more dematerialized." - G. Kim Blank, UVic Professor of English

Snow closure

Due to snow overnight, classes are cancelled and the University of Victoria is closed today, Wednesday, January 15. Check the UVic website for updates. The university will use the website to let you know about safety precautions, service disruptions, class cancellations or campus closure. Information will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter. More info about UVic’s snow and extreme weather protocols.

Wellness Week 2020

In partnership with the UVSS, The Office of Student Life presents 6th annual Wellness Week, with holistic programming and information to build a more welcoming, connected and supportive university community. We know that wellness takes many different forms and looks many different ways. From Salsa Dancing to Group Counselling there's something for everyone and a place for you here. We invite you to explore different opportunities to find connection and community on our campus by visiting

Poetry, Paper, and Prints

A reading by poet and playwright Jeanne Iribarne (J. Iribarne) from two new poetry chapbooks, Ocean Echoes and Urban Echoes, published in Victoria by Red Tower Bookworks. Following the reading, Frances Hunter will comment on the design, papermaking, printing, and binding of the special and regular editions with a hands-on display of materials and tools used in making the chapbooks. Printmaker Thekla Albrecht-Iribarne will display work made in collaboration with her daughter Jeanne which introduces an alternative approach to integrating poetry and image.

Podcast Curious?

Interested in podcasting about your research and don’t know where to start? This free event aims to introduce faculty, students and staff to some of the resources and expertise we have on campus, and to talk about how we can create a supportive community of podcasters at UVic.

Poetry Reading with Michelle Sylliboy

Michelle Sylliboy, a Mi’kmaq (L’nu) artist/author, was raised on unceded territory in We’koqmaq Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She gathers much of her inspiration from personal tales, the environment, and her L’nuk culture. After living and working on un-ceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver) for the past twenty-seven years, Sylliboy has moved back to Nova Scotia to work on her Philosophy of Education Doctorate Degree. Sylliboy will combine her artistic background and education by creating an L’nuk Komqwejwi’kasikl (Hieroglyphic) curriculum with L’nuk Elders.

Science Literacy Week 2019

The UVic Libraries, in collaboration with Ocean Networks Canada, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Café Scientifique and participating researchers from across campus, presents a 2019 Science Literacy Week program of events highlighting ocean science research. Science Literacy Week is a national week-long celebration of science-based activities that highlights outstanding scientists and science communicators from coast-to-coast.

Statement from UVic Libraries

All of us at UVic Libraries are terribly saddened by the tragic accident that killed two UVic students. Our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of all those affected.

Notes Toward Absolute Zero: A Hypertext Traversal

The Digital Scholarship Commons at the University of Victoria Libraries is pleased to host author Tim McLaughlin and Dr. Dene Grigar for a Traversal of McLaughin's hypertext novel, Notes Toward Absolute Zero. Written in 1992/93, McLaughlin's work dates from the pre-web era of hypertext, when the creative potential of the medium was still largely unexplored. Dr. Grigar, director and professor of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver, will conduct a Traversal of McLaughlin's work; a narrated, recorded performance capturing the experience of the work on period 1990s computing technology.

Main Floor Renovations

The Current Periodicals are being relocated to the main stacks at their title’s call number location. Please ask at the Loan Desk if you have any trouble finding the latest issues. The Reserve Collection will be temporarily located at the Loan Desk. During the period of renovation, the silent piano will be moved temporarily alongside the wall of classroom 130. Watch for an exciting announcement about a new study space that will open in April.

Ideafest 2019

Ideafest is the University of Victoria’s week-long festival, from March 4-9, of research, art and innovation. Browse the 2019 schedule to discover 40 events on campus and beyond. All events are free and open to the public, with no registration required unless otherwise specified. Come and be inspired by ideas that can change everything.

Top Stories of 2018

At UVic Libraries, we place great value on our relationships within the campus and beyond with our role in providing opportunities for lifelong learning. This is why we offer a diversity of resources and services for students, faculty, and the wider community. With 1.3 million visitors into UVic Libraries each year, and many more that engage in our digital spaces, we are the busiest locale on campus, and an inviting and welcoming entry point into all that the University of Victoria has to offer. As we plan and prepare for the beginning of the calendar year, we reflect on some of our accomplishments in 2018,

Embedded Librarianship

The University of Victoria, the wider community, and Canada as a whole have a lot to be proud of in our students and faculty who are working tirelessly to tell the stories of those who came before so that we can be a better community today. It is an honour to be in a profession that seeks to make that work available for tomorrow.

Mountain Legacy Project

From the 1880s through the 1950s surveyors with the Dominion Topographic Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada, and other government departments deployed an effective method of surveying the mountains of Western Canada known as phototopographic surveying. These methods left a legacy of systematic photographs with nearly complete coverage of much of the landscape, offering an unprecedented data set for researchers to analyze landscape conditions during a period of intense development and ecological transitions.

A Day in the Life of Shahira Khair

You have to look no further than pop culture for a bird’s-eye view on humanity’s ongoing relationship with data. Lieutenant Commander Data, an artificial intelligence and synthetic life form character on Star Trek, The Next Generation, has quite a bit in common with our new Data Curation Librarian: they both enjoy helping colleagues, and both have an affinity for data.


FrankenWeek is a series of interdisciplinary events celebrating the history, text, themes, and performance of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. FrankenWeek events are open to the University of Victoria's students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. For more information, please visit

Science Literacy Week: Free Digital Workshops

The Digital Scholarship Commons assists faculty, students, staff, and the wider Victoria community in learning digital tools and digital research methodologies. We are an interdisciplinary space open to all and encourage cross-disciplinary conversations. We are interested in sparking opportunities for students and faculty from various disciplines to come together and talk about their work.

Science Literacy Week: Ian McTaggart Cowan

During Canada’s Science Literacy Week, visit the big screen digital and 3D exhibit, as the UVic Libraries celebrates the life of former Chancellor and champion of Canadian and BC ecology, Ian McTaggart Cowan. Also visit Special Collections to browse Cowan’s original hand written field notes and browse his extensive BC/Canadian ecology photo collection.

Film Shoot - August 17 and 18

A film production company, EFM3 Productions (VAN) Inc., will be shooting on location in front of the Mearns Centre for Learning – McPherson Library on Friday, August 17. They are shooting the TV movie “An Emma Fielding Mystery: More Bitter Than Death.” Crews will be onsite from 8:00am with shooting expected to begin at 2:30pm. Filming will only take place outside the library. The company will be onsite until the early hours of Saturday morning, August 18. Please be aware that there may be disruption or small delays to staff and library users coming and going from the building during active filming.

UVic Libraries Publication Series

In 2013, the University of Victoria Libraries launched its publishing imprint and released the first in an ongoing series of award-winning publications devoted to our special collections and university archives. Prepared for publication by General Editor Christine Walde, Grants and Awards Librarian at the University of Victoria Libraries, these open-access volumes support the Libraries' commitment to dynamic learning and vital impact.

Research Value and Cultural Influence of Chinese Local Chronicles

Secretary General of the Chinese Local Chronicles Guidance Group (中国地方志指导小组) and President of the Chinese Local Chronicles Association, Dr. Ji Xiangde will speak about the local chronicles, a unique type of resources for Chinese studies. The compilation of local chronicles is a tradition which has lasted for hundreds of years in China. Till now there exist more than 8,000 titles of local chronicles before the Qing dynasty and over 35,000 modern titles. The talk will focus on the origin, history, development, format change and how these sources can be used by researchers.

Bike Lock Rentals

Thanks to the generous support of the UVic Campus Sustainability Fund, UVic Libraries is pleased to announce it is now lending out bicycle locks to the community. This service fulfills an important role of supporting clean, alternative forms of transit to campus. Students and faculty who forgot their lock at home can visit the Circulation Desk in the Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library. Ask us and check out one of our new Kryptonite Evolution locks.

Ideafest 2018

Ideafest is UVic’s week-long festival of research, art and innovation, running from March 5–10, 2018. This year’s festival features over 40 outstanding events on topics ranging from climate change and chamber music to Indigenous law and antibiotic resistance. All events are free and open to the public.

Top stories of 2017

At UVic Libraries, we place great value on our relationships within the campus and beyond with our role in providing opportunities for lifelong learning. This is why we offer a diversity of resources and services for students, faculty, and the wider community. With 1.3 million visitors into UVic Libraries each year, and many more that engage in our digital spaces, we are the busiest locale on campus, and an inviting and welcoming entry point into all that the University of Victoria has to offer. As we plan and prepare for the beginning of the calendar year, we reflect on some of our accomplishments in 2017.

Welcome Videos

Have you ever wandered through the library with a question? These five-minute welcome videos will make you familiar with the library and our key services. Even better, it may be available in your mother tongue. With support from our student volunteers, we have seven videos in frequently-used languages on campus: Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

An Evening with Julie Angus

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award recipient and UVic alumna Julie Angus (MSc ’01), is known for being the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean from mainland to mainland. Julie is a best-selling author who has co-produced two award-winning documentaries all the while continuing to embark on epic adventures, publishing photos and articles along the way. Join us for a presentation and discussion about her life as an explorer, scientist and writer as well as hear about her latest ground-breaking adventure.

Look Again: A Conversation with Guy Berthiaume

Do libraries and archives need a makeover? In the ever-changing world of technology and trends, cultural institutions are continually reinventing themselves to increase their visibility and maintain their relevance. On Nov. 2, a free public event presented by UVic Libraries in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library and Royal BC Museum will explore the important role that galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) play in today’s society.