UBC’s Okanagan Library and the Okanagan Regional Library are partnering to open a new Innovation Library this September.
The pilot, funded partially by the Irving K. Barber Learning Fund and a private British Columbia-based foundation, will open the Innovation Library within the downtown Kelowna Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.
The space will provide a place for public online research and access to many UBC resources for alumni and community members, as well as students and faculty who may prefer its central location. In addition to the resources, a Community Innovation Librarian will provide in-person support and academic consultations to support students, faculty, alumni and community members.
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The Innovation Library is the result of community consultation where local residents expressed their desire to gain access to the UBC library, but with the convenience of a downtown location, says UBC Okanagan Chief Librarian Heather Berringer.
“The purpose for this innovative branch is two-fold,” explains Berringer. “First, it gives UBC a physical space in the downtown library. Second, the partnership engages directly with community members by supplementing traditional public library offerings with academic research support and resources.”
Okanagan Regional Library CEO Stephanie Hall says UBC’s Innovation Library significantly increases the level of services available at the Kelowna Branch.
“This will provide the public with improved access to millions of dollars’ worth of databases that the ORL could never afford,” says Hall. “It’s a great partnership that leverages the resources at both institutions for the benefit of our community.”
Deborah Buszard, UBC Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus, says the new Innovation Library meets the goal of making university resources available to the community by developing common spaces and programs in collaboration with public library partners.
The Innovation Library will have a UBC librarian on hand to provide academic consultations to support students, faculty, and community members engaged in joint research projects and knowledge mobilization initiatives, as well as to develop joint programming with Okanagan Regional Library staff.