Years ago, UBC’s class of 1932 established an endowment meant to be used towards the development of UBC Library’s collections. At the time, they likely envisioned that the funds would go towards new books or a rare acquisition. It is improbable they could have imagined the kinds of collections their endowment is funding today, or its tremendous benefit for students – at UBC and beyond.
The endowment will fund the library’s annual contribution to Knowledge Unlatched, an initiative that brings together libraries from all over the world via a crowdfunding platform to support Open Access scholarly ebooks in the humanities and social sciences. Since its inception in 2013, the Knowledge Unlatched initiative has “unlatched” 449 ebooks, making them available to readers worldwide.
“We were looking for a way to continue our support of Knowledge Unlatched this year, and the class of 1932 has come through for us,” says Ellen George, Humanities & Social Sciences librarian at UBC and Knowledge Unlatched Title Selection Committee member. “It’s wonderful that these UBC alumni, who could never have imagined ebooks or open access, are helping to fund this initiative.”