May 2014 29

Photo Essay: Vancouver Libraries

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Irving K Barber Learning Center EntranceIrving K. Barber Learning Centre Entrance

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) is a part for the UBC Library at the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia. The Learning Centre is built around the refurbished core of the 1925 UBC Main Library. The Centre is named for Irving. K. Barber, a philanthropist and a graduate of UBC.

The Learning Centre supports the University’s academic and community engagement missions through space, services, as well as by fostering and supporting opportunities for engagement with communities across British Columbia. You can find quiet spaces for study in the Ridington Reading Room, or you can meet with a group in the Chapman Learning Commons, a wonderful place on the third floor.

Irving K Barber Learning Center InteriorIrving K Barber Learning Center - Chapman Learning Commons
Irving K Barber Learning Center  Wall DecorationIrving K Barber Learning Center - Wall Decoration

The Chung Collection is a vast collection of artifacts which contains more than 25,000 rare and unique items including various documents, books, maps, photos, paintings, silverware, glassware, and tons of other items. You can view the most interesting pieces from this collection named after Wallce B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung on Level 1 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Irving K Barber Learning Center  Madeline H  Chung CollectionIrving K Barber Learning Center - Madeline H Chung Collection
Irving K Barber Learning Center  Madeline H  Chung Collection Old BooksIrving K Barber Learning Center - Madeline H Chung Collection of Rare Books

This large beautiful lecture theatre with 157 seats is named the Victoria Learning Theatre. It's often used for special events, so if you find yourself looking for it, it's handy to know that it's room 182.

Irving K Barber Learning Center  Victoria Learning centerIrving K Barber Learning Center - Victoria Learning Theatre
Irving K Barber Learning Center  Glass decoration 1Irving K Barber Learning Center - Glass Decoration

Walter C. Koerner Library

Opened in 1997, the new five-storey building of the Walter C. Koerner Library is of classical structure, but very modern in material and technology. It's named after Walter Koerner, a forest industry tycoon born in today's Czech Republic who helped the University of British Columbia greatly. This impressive building houses 800,000 volumes of books and it's total library area is 17,200 square meters.

Walter C. Koerner Library EntranceWalter C. Koerner Library Entrance
Koerner Library UBC Interior
Walter C. Koerner Library at UBC Map
Koerner Library UBC Viewood Study CentreWalter C. Koerner Library - Vicwood Study Centre
Koerner Library UBCWalter C. Koerner Library at UBC

Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library (VPL) is the public library system for the city of Vancouver, BC. In 2013, VPL had more than 6.9 million visits from patrons borrowing nearly 9.5 million items including: books, ebooks, CDs, DVDs and magazines. Across 22 locations and online, VPL serves nearly 428,000 active members and is the third-largest public library system in Canada.

The Library Square Project was the largest capital project ever undertaken by the City of Vancouver. The decision to build the project came after a favourable public referendum in November 1990. The City then held a design competition to choose a design for a new building of the Central Library Branch. The design by Moshe Safdie and DA Architects was by far the most radical design and yet was the public favourite. The Central Library Branch houses approximately 1.3 million volumes.

Vancouver Public Library ExteriorVancouver Public Library - Central Branch Exterior
Vancouver Public Library InteriorVancouver Public Library -Central Branch Interior
Vancouver Public Library  Art On Display In Public AreaVancouver Public Library - Art On Display In Public Area
Vancouver Public LibraryVancouver Public Library - Central Branch and Library Square

Little Free Library

You might have come across the so called "pop-up" libraries in Vancouver for some time now, though not many Vancouverites know about this very cool concept. Little Free Library works on a “take a book, return a book” principle, but it's not only that. These small colourful boxes are a gathering place for neighbours which encourage them to share their favourite literature and stories.

The story behind these cute little book homes started in 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a teacher in love with books. He put books into the model and put it on a post in his front yard. Everyone loved the idea, so he started building more, and every one of them had a "Free Books" sign. It is estimated that an impressive 15,000 little free libraries were built around the world as of January 2014.

Little Free Library  2305 McLean Dr  VancouverLittle Free Library -  2305 McLean Dr Vancouver
Little Free Library  2305 McLean Dr  Vancouver DetailLittle Free Library - 2305 McLean Dr Vancouver Detail
Little Free Library  East 5th Ave near Victoria DriveLittle Free Library -  East 5th Ave near Victoria Drive
Free Litle LibraryLittle Free Red Library
Free Library Book Always Free Never For SaleFree Library Book - Always Free, Never For Sale!


Kevin EngKevin Eng

Kevin's passion for photography has encouraged others to see the splendor and beauty of nature right at their doorstep, as he captures the sights of the day, and colors and mystery of world while it sleeps. Many of the subjects of his work are based locally in his hometown in Vancouver, B.C., where he first discovered his fascination with night photography. Kevin is currently working as a music teacher, music director for his church, and landscape photographer.


9 Responses to “Photo Essay: Vancouver Libraries”

  1. Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

    Thank you Jay for a wonderful tribute to our libraries.

  2. Jay Banks

    I’m glad you like my photo essay! Keep up the great work preserving and spreading knowledge.

  3. Kathryn Nokony

    The Central Library Branch is one of Vancouver’s landmark buildings.

  4. Aranka Vegh

    WOW very nice structure with character :-)

  5. Tao - Fortress Geek

    Love the photos. So cool – especially the Little Free Library. There’s even one up in Whitehorse these days.


    Great idea. Seen these throughout the country. First time was in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

  7. Travel Underwriters

    Love this idea! It definitely encourages communities to bond together, and you could actually get to know your neighbours :P

  8. Ted Ewen

    There is something very cool about seeing a location on the screen and being able to say “Oh, I’ve been there!” I drive She Who Must Be Obeyed crazy with it :D

  9. Maria Reyes

    This article is a really good one for book lovers. Like the photos and interesting descriptions of each place. Learned things, thank you again.

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