Library to give public unrestricted access to university’s digital resources

UBC Okanagan has officially opened its Innovation Library.

The UBC Innovation Library, located on the second floor of the Kelowna Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL), is a space that provides public access to UBC’s academic databases, including more than two million journals and e-books.

“The Innovation Library is the product of a partnership that is unique in Canada and offers a new model for university libraries of the 21st century,” says Deborah Buszard, UBC Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus. “Libraries are fundamental to the transformative effect that universities can have on society and I hope this project will spark an evolution of universities libraries from right here in the Okanagan.”

The library officially opened October 15. In addition to digital resources, UBC Okanagan will be providing the expertise of its librarians in the development of joint programming with ORL and in providing assistance directly to Innovation Library users.

“The ORL board is moving our public library forward into a period of change and innovation with a mandate to embrace new partnerships and be increasingly community-focused,” said Stephanie Hall, ORL executive director. “I see this partnership with UBC as an exciting step in this directly and we’re delighted to be working with UBC and to see our patrons benefit from the powerful suite of resources they can provide.”

The Innovation Library is the direct result of community consultation where Kelowna-area residents, businesses and community groups expressed a desire to gain access to the UBC library, but with the convenience of a downtown location.

“We are so honoured to be part of this forward-thinking group of men and women that are so in touch with the changes affecting the academic and community libraries,” said Pilar Portela, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan, a group that assists new and growing businesses in the technology sector. “This project is helping to lead change, keep libraries relevant and valuable, and advance learning and innovation.”

The Innovation Library is a two-year pilot project, funded partially by the Irving K. Barber Learning Fund and a private British Columbia-based foundation.

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