Community Users & Visitors

Download the UBC Library Community Guide.

Whether you are on campus for a day or just stopping by, the Library has much for you to explore. From the exceptional Chung Collection exhibition, to beautiful art in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, to guest access for computers and electronic resources, there is something for everyone.

UBC Library

UBC Library is the second largest research library in Canada and includes 15 branches and divisions, including the UBC Point Grey campus and off-campus locations at Vancouver General Hospital and the UBC Okanagan campus.

The Library's collections include more than 7.8 million items in print and electronic format, not including print and electronic journals and series subscriptions, microform, documents, maps, archived materials, media and other items.

UBC Library also has the largest biomedical collection in Western Canada and the largest collection of Asian language materials in the country. It is a depository library for publications of the governments of BC, Canada, Japan and the United Nations.

For more information, see About UBC Library

Showcase Collections

  • Videomatica Collection: Make it a Videomatica night! With access to more than 28,000 DVDs, 4,000 VHS titles and 900 Blu-Rays, including cult favourites, Hollywood blockbusters and foreign films, there's no shortage of interesting titles to view. Select your movie list at Videomatica Collection.
  • The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection: Contains thousands of artifacts chronicling early B.C. history, immigration and settlement, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. This free exhibition is open to visitors.
    • Located in Rare Books and Special Collections, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Level 1, Vancouver, B.C.
    • Visit Chung Collection for hours and more information.
  • Open Collections: Explore history from the comfort of your home, thanks to a range of digital collections created and maintained by the Library. Collectively, these document a diverse range of people, places, activities and events, and serve as an important online resource for historians, genealogists and other researchers. Start searching at Open Collections.

Library services

  • Newspapers: *Community users can access a number of multi-lingual newspapers and publications to keep updated on global news and to discover international treasures. Start your multilingual search online at Newspapers and News Sources.
  • Great Reads Collection: Discover new non-fiction and fiction books as part of the Library’s Great Reads collection. Available at multiple branch locations, explore genres such as Canadiana and popular best-sellers. Browse online at The Great Reads Collection
  • Kids Books: The Education Library offers a range of books for children, including eBooks, award-winning books and themed books on topics from dinosaurs to fairy tales. Learn more at: Education Library.

Library Cards & Borrowing

If you wish to borrow only a few items, it may be more convenient for you to place an interlibrary loan request at the public or academic library where you are a member.

People unaffiliated with UBC who wish to borrow UBC Library materials or use fee-based UBC Library services, such as interlibrary loan, may be eligible for one of the following UBC Library Cards.

Library Cards

Community Borrower Cards for individual members of the public

Institutional Borrower Cards for businesses, corporations, and government departments

Visiting Scholars (These cards do not provide remote access to online databases beyond Open Access Indexes & Databases).

Apply at the Library Cards Desk, Walter C. Koerner Library (604.822.3869), or at the Okanagan Library in Kelowna (250.807.9107).

Borrower Services

If you have any Library card inquiries, please call 604.822.3869.

Electronic Resources

In UBC Libraries

UBC Library computers require users to log in with a CWL or an OpenAthens account. Community members, alumni and public users can obtain a generic OpenAthens access account or apply for their own OpenAthens account from the circulation desk at the branch they are visiting.

While community borrowers, alumni and public users can access most electronic resources (databases, ejournals, ebooks, etc.) from UBC Library computers, there are some resources that are restricted to current students, faculty and staff.


The UBC catalogue, research guides and many other open access resources are available to all from anywhere. Remote access to most databases is restricted by license agreements to current UBC students, staff and faculty.

Selected resources have been licensed for access by UBC Alumni. Alumni with a CWL can access these resources. If you do not yet have a CWL you can see more information about getting one here.

Available to Alumni:

Available to all:

  • Open-Access Resources: provided by the Library, available to anyone on- and off-campus, regardless of whether they have a library card.
  • Open Collections: created and maintained by the Library, with a range of digital resources that document a diverse range of people, places, activities and events, and serve as an important online resource for historians, genealogists and other researchers.
  • cIRcle: UBC’s online repository, features articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, multimedia and audio-visual materials, and more.
  • Webcasts Portal: of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, provides high-quality learning and research-based lectures on an open-access platform.


Reference assistance and Library workshops and training sessions are available free of charge.