Library History

    • Library Building History

      In the early days of Capilano College, classes were offered in many locations, including church basements and high schools. The Library began in a room in West Vancouver Secondary School. By 1974, the College’s Business Management program had established its own library at the Christian Education Centre at Highlands Church, and the Art department had organized another library in a building on Welch Street in North Vancouver.   

      In 1974, the main Library was established at the east end of the B building, the second building constructed on the North Vancouver campus. Initially called the Media Centre, the name was changed in 1989 to “the Library.” This early Library included books, periodicals, a circulation desk, audio-visual materials and equipment, and study tables. The Library was located next to the cafeteria and the two areas were very much at the centre of campus.   

      By the late 1970s, the Library had outgrown its location in the B building. It was divided into several components with periodicals being moved to the M building on the northern half of the campus. The Library in the M building was a large room with tables, a lounge area for students, periodicals, and a room for viewing microfiche articles. As the periodical indexes were in the south campus Library but the periodicals were housed on the north campus site, students would have to utilize the south campus indexes and then go to the north campus Library to pick up the periodical. A few years later, the periodical indexes moved north to be reunited with the periodical collection. 

      In 1978 the card catalogue was converted to microfiche through the BCUC (British Columbia Union Catalogue) project. This was done by searching each of the Library’s titles in UTLAS (University of Toronto Library Automated Systems) and matching and adding holdings or adding new records for unique titles. The catalogue was accessed through the 12 microfiche readers in the Library and cataloguing continued to be done through UTLAS.  

      In the fall of 1982, all Library departments and resources were reunited in the newly enlarged B building. In 1983, a basic circulation system was developed to replace the book cards. This system used barcodes but was not linked to the catalogue records. Employees had to input the call number, the patron’s name, and his/her student number for all items circulated. In 1984, the system was expanded to include audio-visual materials. There were two computer terminals at the circulation counter and one in audio-visual. 

      The Library changed configurations repeatedly in B building. At one point, the main corridor for the campus went through the Library, with circulation, audio-visual, and all the Library employees on one side and the collection on the other. This resulted in limited circulation control as the circulation desk was across the hall from where students left the Library. To protect the collection, a desk was set up in the hall so that an employee could ask students if they had signed books out. In the mid 1980s, an inventory of the collection revealed that one-third of the collection had disappeared. A CheckPoint security system was installed shortly thereafter.   

      In 1993, plans began to build a new Library. There was considerable controversy about where the new Library should be located, with a strong lobby against disturbing the existing forest or gardens. As provincial funding required that B building not be torn down, it was incorporated into the new structure. Hence, the construction happened around the existing Library with considerable noise, dust, and disruption to employees, but limited damage to the trees and gardens. 

      The three-storey Capilano University Library Building, designed by Henriquez & Partners, opened in 1993 (now called Capilano University Library). The renovated 12,000 square-foot building houses the Library classroom, Library offices, audio-visual services, technical services, and the Teaching and Learning Centre. The first and second floors of the new building contain study spaces, the main Library collection, reference and circulation services, and the Computer Learning Centre lab. Capacity for growth includes an additional 18,000 square feet on the third floor, which is currently not part of the Library itself but is used for meeting rooms and classrooms.