How UBC Education Library is teaching the teacher through community field experience

Illustration of several people standing in front of a window, engaged in educational activities.

“We started volunteering ourselves as a community partner four years ago, and every year we’ve had interest from teacher candidates,” says Emily Fornwald, Education Librarian at UBC Education Library and Bachelor of Education trained teacher.

Community Field Experience (CFE) is a unique course within the UBC Bachelor of Education program. Over the course of three-weeks, teacher candidates who have finished their school-based practicums can be placed with a community partner to broaden their pedagogical horizons. Community partners include alternative learning sites like museums, international schools, camps and—for the last four years—UBC Education Library.

A taste of library life

“The CFE program is an opportunity for post-practicum teacher candidates to explore non-traditional educational spaces. It’s a chance for them to apply their learning as new teachers outside of a traditional K-to-12 classroom,” says Fornwald, who is the primary point of contact for CFE students placed at the Education Library.

Teacher candidates work directly with the librarians to develop projects that align with ongoing initiatives at the branch and that can tie into their future work as teachers. These projects also benefit the library, as the research and other materials produced by CFE students are often incorporated into new library resources down the line.

“One of the things that we did this year, based on CFE work done last year, is a Story Workshop Kit for our collection. Crafting supplies and loose parts are brought together to support a program for early learners called Story Workshop,” says Fornwald.

For young students who can’t yet read or write, the kit provides a tactile way for them way to respond to the story. The Story Workshop Kit is now available to borrow through the UBC Library catalogue.

New addition to UBC Library’s Critical Literacy Kits

“This year, one of our CFE students was excited by the new work we’re trying to do around disability representation in the collection,” says Fornwald. “We have a faculty member who is in charge of an exceptionalities course, and she was curious about how much our picture book collection represents characters—both fictional or non-fictional people—with disabilities.”

For her community field experience, Iva Mills took on the task, completing a literature review and annotated bibliography about disability representation in children’s literature, and exploring the Education Library’s collection to find books that include characters with disabilities. She also looked at critical literacy kits the library had previously created as part of the Indigenous Children’s Books and Critical Literacy (ICBCL) project, and which cover topics like cultural appropriation, myth and folklore, and residential schools. Mills’ work will be used by librarians at the Education Library to create new resources to support critical literacy, this time with a focus on disability representation in children’s picture books.

“Prior to getting into the Bachelor of Education program, I did a SSA (Student and School Assistants) program to have training to work with children with disabilities. So the moment that I found out that [this project] catered to that, I thought, this is something I’m passionate about,” says Mills, who now teaches in the Vancouver School District (SD39). “It was awesome to be part of a project that was actually so connected, so relevant, and so helpful to what I’m doing now as a teacher.”

Keeping lesson planning guides relevant with new research

As part of his community field experience, Haynam Leung explored English Language learning (ELL) resources within the Education Library’s collection.

“Because my teaching areas are business education and ELL, I was asked to find resources [in those areas] and also recommend some books [to add] to the Education Library’s collection,” says Leung.

“He helped us look at our lesson planning guides and add more resources specifically to support English language learners,” says Fornwald.

With an interest in emerging technologies, Leung also did research on generative AI tools, like the AI-powered language model ChatGPT. He set out to find resources for teachers who want to learn more about AI and how these tools can be used in the classroom. He also dug into some of the online discussions around the ethics of Generative AI in education: “Basically, I looked at some of the ethical issues with AI,” says Leung, and how educators can prevent these issues in the classroom, like student cheating.

For any future CFE students looking for placements, Leung’s advice is to ask around. Look at the types of projects previously produced at community partners, and make sure the work matches your own professional interests.

Leung, who now teaches in the Richmond School District (SD38), says that the Education Library was one of his top placement choices. “I really appreciated how friendly all the staff in the Education Library were. Even though I was just there for three weeks, they treated me like a member of staff. The environment of the library was just fantastic.”

Learn more about UBC Education Library.

Vintage Advertisements from the BC Historical Newspapers Collection: 1899-1950

Looking back at old advertisements can not only be extremely entertaining, but can also provide fascinating insight into commonly accepted knowledge during a given era. Historically, lack of advertising laws or regulations resulted in exaggerated, dishonest and extreme claims being made in attempts to sell products. Advertisers were able to claim almost anything they pleased without the need to provide proof or corroboration of any kind. The lack of regulation was compounded with the comparatively poor knowledge of health and medicine at the time, which resulted in what we can now easily understand as being flagrant misinformation and false claims that were likely dangerous to consumers.

Moreover, advertising has always been deeply psychological, and often aims to appeal to the consumers’ emotions. Whether the targeted emotion is desire, fear, uncertainty, excitement or sympathy, advertising uses these emotions as a point of access to the consumer. Since advertisements have been traditionally created to appeal to a wide audience, it is common for the targeted beliefs and emotions to reflect prevalent societal norms, values and mores.

This blog post is a collection of outrageous advertisements published between 1899 and 1950, found in the BC Historical Newspapers collection from UBC’s Open Collections.

Remedies for “female ailments”:

Advertisements for pills marketed specifically for women were extremely common. These pills were sold over the counter and were completely unregulated in their production as well as advertisement, often concocted with different types of vitamins, botanical/herbal powders, sedatives, opioids and sometimes even poisonous substances (Gordon, 2018; “Luther, L. Moore”, 2022).

Of course we now understand that these substances are extremely addictive and dangerous if taken without direct advice/supervision from a medical professional.

It is also important to note the common narrative of female hysteria and derangement was (and still is) a tool of oppression that is deeply rooted in misogyny.

Disclaimer: I was unable to confirm the exact substances used to concoct the pills featured in these advertisements.

 Dr. Martel’s French Female Pills and Moore’s Revealed Remedy:

From p. 3 of The Silvertonian, February 1899.


Dr. Chase’s nerve food:

From p. 7 of The Cumberland News, February 1905.

Other Pills and Remedies:

No one was safe from the absurd medical claims of the early 1900’s. Whether you had liver disease, kidney failure, addiction, or were just aging, these advertisements boldly claim that their product could cure any ailment.

Dodd’s Kidney and Liver Pills:

From p. 2 of The Cumberland News, February 1905

Liquor and Tobacco Pills:

From p. 3 of The Prospector, October, 1913.

Gin Pills for Perfect Health:

From p. 6 of The Prospector, October 1913.

O-Cedar Mop Polish:

Other ads were not dangerous, but still reflected common and ingrained gender roles of the times. This ad makes exaggerated claims that their product took the hard work out of cleaning, a tactic that is still commonly used in advertising today! Wouldn’t it be nice if it were true.

From p. 3 of the Mail Herald, July 1914.

Mackenzie Filter Pipe:

Claims of a product influencing one’s ability in attracting a romantic partner have always existed in advertisements. While this approach is still extremely common in current advertisements, things were simply stated a little more bluntly back then…

From p. 6 of The Ubyssey, December 1950.

Thank you for reading!

Works Cited

Gordon, Sarah. “Finding Women in the Archives: Female Remedies – NyHistory.” New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 13 Nov. 2018,

“Luther L. Moore.” South Whidbey Historical Society, Accessed 3 Jan. 2022.

Meditation Space Available for Exam Period

New Books at the Law Library – 23/11/21

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KE5015 .D35 2023 Paul Daly, A Culture of Justification: Vavilov and the Future of Administrative Law (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2023). LAW LIBRARY level 3: KF250 .G373 2023 Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English, Third Edition: A Text with Exercises, 3rd ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2023).

November Mid-Term Break Hours

Mid-Term Break Hours – Tues, Nov 14 & Wed, Nov 15 9 am – 5 pm

Recipes from the Punjabi Patrika Archive

Punjabi Patrika is a bilingual Punjabi – English newspaper out of Abbotsford, B.C. Its publication began in October 1996 and continues to be published weekly to this day in 2023. Digitization of the first 18 years of the newspapers physical archive (1996-2014) was recently completed, all of which are now available through UBC’s Open Collections! In combination with the Patrika’s own digital collection, which contains editions from 2015 to present day, the entire history of the newspaper’s publication is now available as a digital archive! In celebration of the completion of this project, I was excited to feature the Punjabi Patrika archive in a blog post.

In usual newspaper fashion, each edition of Punjabi Patrika contains many unique articles which cover many subjects, making it a great source to explore many topics relevant to Abbotsford and the Greater Vancouver area. The many editions of Punjabi Patrika newspaper include a wide variety of articles on politics, religion, community events, health, beauty, wellness, opinions, profiles, interviews, reporting on local current events and much more.

However, there was one thing in particular that caught my eye while exploring this collection, and that was the recipes. Many of these recipes were part of a recurring column known as Women’s Page, which was written by Harpreet Kaur Sinha, and sometimes they appear to have been contributed by various readers.

There were so many amazing looking recipes in this collection, I clearly had trouble narrowing it down… this blog post features eleven recipes and there’s many more I didn’t include here. I highly recommend browsing the collection if you’re interested in finding even more.

Full disclosure, I was not able to test these recipes before publication of this blog post, but I am certainly planning to at least attempt to recreate some of them in the near future.

Dhall Cakes:

This recipe is from pg. 25 of a November 1996 edition of the paper. This recipe is contributed by Ravi Gill.

Three Punjabi Recipes:

These three recipes were published in a May, 2001 edition of the paper on pg. 35. The Five Jewel Creamed Lentils recipe was contributed by Julie Sahni, the Dal by Sucha Pannu Singh, and the Murgha Kari by an unknown contributor.

Malai Kofta Curry:

This recipe was included on pg. 51 of a January, 2013 edition of the paper and was part of Harpreet Kaur Sinha’s recuring column, Women’s Page.

Chicken Kofta Curry:

This recipe is another that was part of Harpreet’s column, and was featured in a February, 2013 edition on pg. 43.

Lemon Rice and Onion Chutni:

Sinha included these recipes for Lemon Rice and Onion Chutni on pg. 43 of an April, 2013 edition of the paper.

Butter Chicken:

This is yet another recipe from Harpreet Sinha’s column. Featured in a January, 2013 edition on pg. 26.

Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Herbs:

If you were at all discouraged at the level of skill required for many of these recipes, there is still good news! This recipe is great for those who may still be developing their culinary expertise. Featured in Sinha’s column from April, 2013 on pg. 23.

Mutton Mughlai Masala:

This recipe is yet another from Sinha’a column. From pg. 43 of March, 2013 edition.

That’s all for this blog post. I hope you enjoyed and were inspired to try some of the recipes posted here (or any others you may find in the collection)! I know it inspired me. Please let us know in the comments if you try any of these recipes and how they turn out!

New Books at the Law Library – 23/11/07

LAW LIBRARY reference room (level 2): KE339 .W66 2023 Alice Woolley & Amy Salyzyn, Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics in Canada, 3rd ed. (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2023). LAW LIBRARY reference room (level 2): KE3575 .P83 2019 Tracey M. Bailey, C. Tess Sheldon & Jacob J. Shelley, eds., Public Health Law and Policy in Canada, 4th ed. (Toronto: LexisNexis, […]

UBC Library acquires rare Japanese manuscripts and calligraphy works

UBC Library has acquired several rare titles as part of its Japanese Collections, thanks in part to support provided by the David Graham Memorial Fund. Digital copies of two of these titles are now openly accessible to the public through UBC Open Collections.

Getting a glimpse of Edo period social history

Ikoku jinbutsuzu 異國人物圖 (Illustration of people from other countries), a manuscript in scroll format, was acquired by the library at auction in 2019. The illustrations in lkoku jinbutsuzu, drawn in black ink with coloured ink washes, complement a few notable items in UBC Library’s Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection such as Bankoku sōzu and Gaiban yōbō zuga, Ken 1.

“The illustrations [in lkoku jinbutsuzu] allow us a glimpse into the worldview and the view of ‘the Other,’ or foreigners, in the Edo period [1600-1868], the time of national isolation. Scholarly investigations into the provenance and significance of the scrolls in the history of Japanese books will be fascinating, and [this item] will be an invaluable primary source for those scholars with an interest in pre­modern Japanese intellectual and social history,” says Tomoko Kitayama Yen, Japanese Studies Librarian at UBC Asian Library.

“Scholarly investigations into the provenance and significance of the scrolls in the history of Japanese books will be fascinating.”

A catalyst for new scholarly research

Nara ehon dankan 奈良絵本断簡 (Illustrated book fragments), a series of hand-painted illustrations on gold-bordered pages, was acquired along with Ikoku jinbutsuzu, and provides a valuable new primary source for UBC scholars and students of classical Japanese literature.

In February 2020, the Asian Library hosted a talk with Dr. Takahiro Sasaki, Chair and Professor at the Shidō Bunko, a library that specializes in pre-modern Japanese and Asian texts at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. During his talk, Dr. Sasaki provided expert insights on the acquired works.

Examining Nara ehon dankan, Dr. Sasaki talked about the source materials used to create and colour these illustrations.

“Japanese books use gold quite a lot. Kinpaku, very thin sheets of gold, were cut into various shapes and scattered on a glued surface. Kindei, gold paint, was also used for drawing lines and so on,” says Dr. Sasaki. “In terms of colour paints, these are metal- or mineral-based [ground stones], so, comparatively speaking, they tend not to discolour.”

Nara ehon dankan illustrations likely depict scenes from a literary classic, says Dr. Joshua Mostow, Professor in the UBC Department of Asian Studies.

Dankan means essentially fragments, so we have a number of pictures from some larger work,” he says. “It’s very clear that some of these pictures are related to one of the most famous literary court romances of the Heian period, the Ise monogatari, translated as The Ise Stories, or The Tales of Ise.“

What’s interesting about our version of the Nara ehon dankan is how it differs from other works that illustrate the same episodes from the Ise monogatari.

“It’s those kind of different iconographic choices, even when [both works are] using the same model, that become a point of interest and potential research,” says Dr. Mostow. “Why did the artist do it this way? Was this something from the artist side or something the patron who commissioned this wanted. That’s what this work gives us an opportunity to consider.“

Dankan means essentially fragments, so we have a number of pictures from some larger work.”

Making rare Japanese materials more accessible

By expanding the Japanese rare materials collection, UBC Library is creating a catalyst for new scholarly research.

“Thanks to donors and the support of faculty and our Japanese librarian, Tomoko, we’re able to get these amazing resources that, in addition to helping with the scholarship, research, and teaching and learning objectives of the faculty, we are able to actually open up these collections to community members,” says Shirin Eshghi Furuzawa, Head of UBC Asian Library. “It’s so important for us to see the collection used within our classrooms, through our digital digitization projects. Having classes come over to our collections to view them within the Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room—that is what we really love to see.”

Learn more about the Japanese Special Collections at UBC Library.

2023 TEC Expo: Whose names are these? Learning about Indigenous plants and animals

Join Wendy Traas, Education Librarian, and Yvonne Dawydiak, Learning Design Manager, at the 2023 TEC Expo. We will invite participants to respond to the provocation: Whose names are these?

We will explore materials from the Education Library, freely available digital tools, and open educational online resources to help identify and learn more about Indigenous plants and animals. Digital tools such as SEEK and iNaturalist can be used to identify plants and animals. In this session, we complement the use of these apps with Indigenous language resources including the Pacific Northwest Plant Knowledge Cards so that participants might consider how they can incorporate Indigenous sciences, critical thinking, and critical digital literacies in their teaching. These resources and approaches support learning about local flora and fauna through the lens of place-based learning.

For more library resources on this theme, check out:

TEC Expo takes place in the Neville Scarfe building foyer on Tuesday, November 7, 12-2. For more information, visit

Superstition and Witchcraft

Content Warning: Some content within this blog refers to violence against women within the context of witch hunts. Please take care when reading this blog as well as if you search within Open Collections for content related to the topic of witchcraft and superstition as it may contain upsetting, discriminatory sentiments.

Do you consider yourself superstitious? What do you do if a black cat crosses your path? Do you cancel plans or avoid travel on Friday the 13th? Do you knock on wood to ward off evil spirits and avoid tempting fate?

Halloween is certainly the time to indulge in our darker curiosities, and what better way to do so than through perusing historical sources? Historical newspapers and books offer insight into the common societal beliefs of a given time. In honor of October 31st, All Hallow’s Eve, I have curated a collection of historical articles and books on superstition and witchcraft, all of which can be found within UBC’s Open Collections.

What’s truly scary about this blog post is the insidious discriminatory sentiments that were historically thinly veiled as superstitious beliefs, resulting in real and serious harm and loss of life. Famously, the persecution of women as well as religious and ethnic groups on the basis of witchcraft pervaded for centuries across Western Europe, the Eastern United States as well as other places across the globe in varying degrees.

Superstition and belief in the supernatural or occult pervades history. However, superstitious beliefs evolve often in order to suit the state of accepted knowledge and trends of any given era. As scientific knowledge became more accepted, the steadfast belief in superstition waned since many of the foundations of these beliefs were debunked. This blog includes sources from between the 16th, 19th and 20th Centuries, mostly sharing opinions and observations regarding witchcraft and other superstitious beliefs.

Scot’s Discovery of Witchcraft – 1584

Scot’s Discovery of Witchcraft is from the Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books collection. This book was originally published in 1584 and is, unsurprisingly, heavily informed by the devoutly religious nature of the time, Scot himself followed the Christian faith. However, the purpose of this book is to prove that witchcraft is “but imaginary erroneous conceptions and novelties”. Moreover, Scot claimed that “witchmonger[ing]” is a “lewde unchristian practice[]”.

Of natural witchcraft for love &c.:

The Paystreak – Superstitions and Their Growth

This article on superstition of witchcraft was featured in The Paystreak from January 1897. The writer observes that there is still significant superstition and belief in witchcraft in their own community and points to the murder of a woman in Ireland the year prior on the basis of her “possessing an evil eye” as evidence that these beliefs persist. The article speaks on beliefs regarding the evil eye, white witches, and other practices commonly believed to either bring harm against an intended individual or to protect one’s self from such witchcraft. Ultimately, the writer cautions that such superstitions may not be growing as they once were but nonetheless persist quietly amongst society with real consequences.

Nelson Tribune – Old Time Witchcraft

This article from the June 25th, 1900 edition of the Nelson Tribune is looking back on superstitious beliefs surrounding witchcraft and is particularly concerned with the cruelty and violence that often occurs as a result of these beliefs. The article revisits a Bury St. Edmunds witch trial from 1676 in which two widows were accused of bewitching several neighborhood children.

The Daily News – Solutions of Mysteries | What Research has done in Recent Years | Old Superstitions were not all Fakes

This article asserts a different perspective than many of the others within this blog post. From a September, 1902 edition of Nelson’s The Daily News, this writer suggests that while science once disproved witchcraft that recent scientific developments proved that “thought is force” and “that it can be sent from brain to brain through space, by means of telepathy”.  The core of the article is the writer championing the benefits of investigating the unknown, keeping an open mind and refraining from limiting the development of one’s beliefs: “The wise man accepts every mystery as a challenge out of the dark, walks up to it, turns the searchlight of his intelligence on it, and sees it dwindle and shrink, and then like a whipped spaniel come forward finally with its tail between its legs, ready to lick his hand and serve him”

The Cumberland News – Superstitions About Cats

A short blurb on various superstitions regarding cats from February, 1905.

The Mail Herald – The Thirteen Superstition

This article is from the July 1914 edition of Revelstoke’s The Mail Herald. The article covers many of the potential origins of the well-known superstition surrounding the number thirteen. The writer of this article is skeptical and unimpressed with the superstition, claiming that it stems from “a ridiculous deduction from biblical history of from the chance calculations of some forgotten insurance man’s computations” which could easily be disproven with a modern understanding of “life averages of healthy individuals”.

Thank you for reading this week’s blog post, we hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!