A specialized Conservation Space designed to facilitate the conservation, preservation, and treatment of the library’s physical materials has recently been opened at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The creation of this space will enable UBC’s Preservation Unit to work with greater efficiency and tackle more demanding and challenging responsibilities. The Conservation Space, which opened in early September 2021, is supervised by conservator Anne Lama, conservation technician Hannah McKendry, and student employees.
“The Conservation Space is an open window to communicate to the community the variety of expertise available at UBC Library and how we are working hard to facilitate access to the library’s collections,” says Lama.
Prior to the opening of the Conservation Space, the Preservation Unit was constrained by limited working space in Woodward Library and at Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) in IKBLC. With big worktables, storage space, improved security infrastructure, and new technology, the Conservation Space significantly expands the scale and scope of work that the team can undertake.
“With preservation, the work is slow and methodical, and there’s often a lot of time where a book needs to sit and dry for several hours after treatment. Now I can let my work dry on another surface and start a new project on my workbench,” says McKendry. “Our materials were stored in several different areas across two branches. Having all our supplies and materials in one spot is so convenient, and definitely more efficient.”
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As outlined in Strategy 2: Inspiring Spaces, UBC is actively working to establish facilities and infrastructure that advance collaboration, creativity, and community development.