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Community Access

Are you unaffiliated with UBC? There are many resources, services, events, and spaces you can access through the Library! Read this guide to learn more.

Connect with a Community Engagement Librarian

Allan Cho (he/him)

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC

Allan’s work includes supporting ongoing community initiatives and leading new ones, focusing on community engagement with historically underrepresented groups, piloting IKBLC’s AskAway coordination, subject liaison librarian with the School of Information, and developing a new speaker series with the support of the Peña Family Foundation.

Donna Langille (she/her/they/them)

Community Engagement and Open Education Librarian
UBC Okanagan Library
250 807-9233

As Community Engagement and Open Education Librarian, Donna works to improve access to scholarly research for community members. You can find her at the UBC Innovation Library where community members can access many of UBC’s electronic resources. Contact them by email to schedule an appointment.

Kayla Lar-Son (she/her/they/them)

Indigenous Programs and Services Librarian
X̱wi7x̱wa Library, UBC


Kayla is Metis from Treaty Six Territory and is the Indigenous programs and services librarian for the Xwi7xwa Library. Along with her colleagues at X̱wi7x̱wa, she works to provide Indigenous communities with culturally relative services and programs on the UBC campus and beyond. Kayla is also the program manager librarian for the Indigitization program. You can contact her through email.

Aleha McCauley (she/her)

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC

Aleha is involved in several community initiatives that strive to improve access to research for community members, organizations and businesses across BC. Aleha welcomes you to connect with her by email.

Nick Ubels (he/him/his)

Community Engagement Librarian
UBC Learning Exchange & Irving. K. Barber Learning Centre
604 827-0905

As an embedded community engagement librarian at the UBC Learning Exchange in the Downtown Eastside (DTES), Nick works with community members and non-profit organizations to improve access to scholarly research. Contact him by e-mail to set up a free one-to-one research consultations or get help using the DTES Research Access Portal.

Access Free Academic Research

Did you know that in 2019/20 UBC Library spent $18 645 618 on its extensive research collections? Any community member can visit us in person to access a good portion of it. Any of the librarians mentioned on this guide can help you navigate what you are looking for!

Here are a few ways you can get started on your own:

However, for many of our resources you would need to visit us in person to access our licensed collections. Jump ahead to the ‘Visiting our Branches’ section for more details on what we will need to help you. UBC Alumni can also access several materials in UBC Library’s licensed collections. Learn more in this UBC Alumni Resources guide.

Find free resources at UBC Library and beyond

UBC Library has many different resources that are freely available to anyone from anywhere! Check out this video about open access at UBC. Here are a few different ways that you can get started.

Tips you can try from home: Unpaywall is a database of open access versions of articles and you can also get a downloadable extension. The Open Access Button is a website and browser extension where you can search for free academic research papers.

Free databases and journals

Find open data

  • Interested in open data? Explore the Scholars Portal Dataverse to find data sets produced by UBC researchers. You can also visit the Abacus data network. Many data sets, such as those from Statistic Canada, are open access, though some are limited to UBC staff, faculty, and students. Learn more about data and statistics with this handy research guide.