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Library Information: About the VIU Library

Information about Library planning, collections, surveys, and key documents

About the VIU Library

Situated on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Library supports learning, teaching and research needs at the University’s four campuses and beyond. The Library is known as a leader for consistently identifying, leveraging, and advancing strategic local, regional, national, and international collaborations, for both institutional and collective benefit.  

The VIU Library is committed to supporting the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion by promoting a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. We recognize the Library’s important role in promoting a culture of safety and respect on campus, and we will continue to reflect on and reevaluate our space and services to remove barriers and meet the needs of individuals in the VIU community. 

You can read the VIU Library’s 2018 Strategic Plan here.

Facts and Figures

The Nanaimo Campus library is visited more than 500,000 times by members of the VIU community each year. To accommodate the various needs of users, this space currently includes:

  • 199 computer workstations
  • 585 seats
  • 6 group study rooms
  • 3 media workstations
  • 2 video/audio editing rooms
  • 2 silent study spaces with 22 seats each

Other support services, such as the VIU Writing Centre, IT Technology Support, and Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL), are conveniently co-located with the Nanaimo Campus library.

You can learn more about the Nanaimo Campus Library Commons and Library Space here.

The Cowichan Campus library in downtown Duncan, BC, the traditional territory of the Quw'utsun First Nation, shares space in a LEED® Gold Certified building with other teaching and learning partners. As a Learning Commons partner, the Library provides 84 seats, a silent study room, four group study rooms and a media editing room, a 10,000-volume print collection, and a full suite of circulation, equipment loan, research help, library instruction and technical help services.

The Powell River Campus library serves a small but connected community of learners. Primarily a digital library, the PR Campus library houses a small print collection of core academic and local-interest materials, four computer workstations and tables for quiet individual and group study. The library is run in partnership with Powell River Campus staff, who assist with circulation and referrals.  Full library services including course reserves, interlibrary loans, research help and library instruction are provided online and during site visits.

Special Collections

Located on the main floor of the Nanaimo Campus Library, the Special Collections preserves and provides access to material which supports the educational, scholarly, and research needs of the VIU community. Students, faculty, staff, and researchers are welcome to book appointments to access items in the collections, or view digitized items online, made accessible through the library’s institutional repository website, VIUSpace. 

You can learn more about VIU Library’s Special Collections here.

History and Renovations

Since its beginnings in 1969, the Library has evolved in response to the changing needs of the broader VIU community, demonstrating a consistent willingness to reimagine library work and adapt to changing realities. This work has included the adoption of new library technologies, evolving outreach, assessment, staff roles, and major renovations.

The Nanaimo Campus Library’s last major renovation project was completed in 2005, resulting in a newly improved, 100,000-square-foot space. 

A second major renovation project is planned for the 2019/20 fiscal year, responding to consistent feedback from the VIU community over the last decade. The project will introduce several improvements to the third floor of the Nanaimo campus library to increase the amount of space in the Learning Commons, allowing for secure 24/7 access to the third and fourth floors, additional computer stations, collaborative spaces, and individual carrels. You can learn more about this project and any service disruptions here.

You can view more photographs of the Malaspina College Library construction project here.

You can view more photographs of the Nanaimo Campus Library renovation project here.