Statement of Purpose and Charter of Principles

“Through this facility, we have opened the door of opportunity. The power of new ideas will be available to people in every corner of the province and throughout the world.”   Gordon Campbell, October 2002


The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will be a revolutionary and evolutionary facility dedicated to the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic development of people in British Columbia. By providing and enhancing access to information, knowledge, and innovative teaching through the support of learning and research on an interactive basis with people in British Columbia and throughout the world, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will provide the opportunity for future generations to be at the forefront of learning. Constructed around the core of the Main Library of The University of British Columbia, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will demonstrate the fundamental relationship between the heritage of the past and the potential of the future. The Learning Centre will be a visual icon for a learning environment that provides the tools and support to turn information and data into knowledge, understanding, and solutions for today and tomorrow’s worlds.


The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is committed to providing:

  • A flexible and technologically advanced facility that keeps pace with the evolution in information resources and education in the 21st century and beyond;
  • Immediate access to the information and other resources required to support research and innovation;
  • Environmentally suitable space for UBC Library’s collections of rare and special materials;
  • The facilities and means for people throughout British Columbia to connect and interact with the national and international community in the pursuit of learning;
  • An interdisciplinary environment dedicated to integrating people, knowledge, and innovation to develop solutions for the challenges of life in the new millennium and beyond.
  • The Learning Centre will be not only a focal point of education for students and teachers at UBC but will also support lifelong learning by people throughout B.C. and the world. It will enable them to work effectively together in continuing to build a better British Columbia through the sharing of knowledge and experience.


The Learning Centre will be the gateway to UBC’s extensive library systems as well as to other library collections around the world. The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre reflects the dedication of its founders and the people of British Columbia to continue to reinvest in the future of the Province by supporting and enhancing the environment for learning. The University of British Columbia and the Province of British Columbia are committed to achieving this Purpose and these Principles and to establishing and maintaining the Learning Centre as a leading facility in the development, provision, and delivery of learning resources and services.


Irving K. Barber,
Martha C. Piper,
President & Vice-Chancellor
Gordon Campbell,