Who We Are
Out On The Shelves is a special, non-profit library built and cared for by volunteers, librarians, and librarians-in-training who are committed to anti-oppressive social justice work. Although we are located on UBC’s West Point Grey campus, we are not officially affiliated with UBC or its libraries.
We are located on the second floor on the Nest (the student union building) on the UBC West Point Grey campus on Musqueam territory. Our library is nestled into the Resource Groups area. To find us, take the stairs or elevator up to the second floor from the main level of the Nest. From there, head straight down the hallway directly in front of you. Watch for signs for “Resource Groups.” Near the end of the hall, a doorway for the main Resource Groups door (room 2102) will be on your right. Go through the door and then head straight down the hall to room 2112. That’s us!
Accessibility information: (Partial template used with thanks from RAMP)
- The size of our space in total is approximately 12.5 x 25 feet. The doorway is 89cm wide, as is a space immediately after the doorway between a desk and a bookcase. The room is filled with stacks on the edges, with various distances between them, ranging from 116cm to 77cm. The width of the centre of the room between the stacks on the edges is 128cm and 190cm at different points. Whenever the library is open it is staffed with a volunteer whose job is to assist patrons. If for any reason you cannot reach a book or DVD that you want, the volunteer is there to get it for you, no questions asked.
- The Nest has single stall, gender neutral bathrooms available on each floor, including the second floor where we are located. Unfortunately these are not fully accessible as they don’t have push buttons. We are talking to folks to try to get this fixed! There are accessible stalls in the gender marked shared space bathrooms.
- The Nest building is accessible for folks with mobility aids, with wheelchair accessible paths marked, no steps to enter the building from the east side, a ramp on the west side of the building, automatic doors on every side, and elevators.
- Room signs and elevator buttons in the Nest are provided in braille; there are also audible signals in the elevator.
- There is ample space just outside the library to park mobility scooters and walkers if you wish!
- UBC is very accessible both by public transit and bike, and the Nest is close to the bus loop. Route numbers that go to UBC are: 4, 42, 44, 10, 17, 480, 258, 9, 25, 33, 41, 43, 49, 99, and 84. There are multiple options for bike lockups at various doorways into the Nest.
- Unfortunately the Nest building as a whole does not have a scent policy, so we cannot guarantee the building is scent free or scent reduced. We do encourage you to come to the library scent reduced or scent free if you are able. For more info on going scent free and reducing scents, check this out.
- Out On The Shelves is open and welcoming to children! We have a small picture book selection as well as some middle grade and YA books that we are working to expand.
Using the Library
We offer FREE library cards for anyone. You need to sign up for a library card in person at the library when it’s open because you will need to fill out a form and sign a waiver. The two things you must provide us with are your name (it doesn’t have to be your legal name) and a source of contact information: phone number or, ideally, email address. We don’t require you to show ID to get a library card.
Taking Out and Returning Materials:
Books and DVDs may be taken out for an initial 3 weeks and renewed a maximum of 3 times. Reference materials and oversize art books are not allowed to be checked out. The maximum number of items you can have checked out at once is 10 items; 4 of those items can be DVDs. You can return items to the library at any time; even if we are not open, there is a box where you can place items.
We do not charge fees for overdue materials but we do take steps to ensure that items are returned. Overdue notices will be sent to you via email and/or phone (you may choose which of the two options you prefer when you sign up for a library card). Items that are over 3 weeks overdue are considered lost. The Out On The Shelves Library reserves the right to charge a fine to replace lost, stolen, or damaged items. To replace a lost or damaged item, a fee of the retail price of the item will apply. We will also accept replacement copies in good condition for lost or damaged items.
Out On The Shelves aims to foster a free, accessible, and safe space for LGBTQ2IA+ people and their allies to discover and share stories and resources centring LGBTQ2IA+ experiences. We understand that LGBTQ2IA+ people stand at the intersection of multiple communities and identities, and we seek to empower and support them by providing access to materials that reflect their realities.
- Accessibility: We seek to create a library space that is accessible for people of all abilities.
- Anti-oppression and Social Justice: We are committed to a broad anti-oppression framework. We are an anti-racist, feminist, decolonizing, body-positive, and anti-ableist space.
- Canadian content: We support LGBTQ2IA+ writers, artists, and publishers producing creative work in Canada.
- Decolonization: We acknowledge that this library operates on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Musqueam people, and we are committed to examining how our actions and systems may reproduce colonialist ways of knowing, doing as much as we possibly can to transform these practices, and supporting Indigenous writers and readers.
- Education: We aim to provide opportunities for learning and growing to LGBTQ2IA+ individuals and allies.
- Intersectionality: We recognize and affirm the unique histories and experiences of LGBTQ2IA+ people with different backgrounds and identities, including Indigenous people and people of colour.
- Privacy: We are committed to protecting the privacy of our patrons’ information.
- Own Voices: We believe in prioritizing the voices of LGBTQ2IA+ individuals writing, creating, and reflecting their own experiences.
The Out On The Shelves Oral History Project took place in 2016-2017 and was headed by David Gill. Its purpose is to help patrons and new volunteers understand the history of the library, especially its recent transitions.
All the materials within this project are meant for personal use only. If you would like to use any of the materials for other purposes (e.g. research) please contact the Coordinators of Out On The Shelves first.
Transcripts and audio files of interviews coming soon!