COVID-19: FAQ and Resources

Last updated June 5, 2020 – 11:00 am


iSchool COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plan

Click here to access the plan


Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UBC’s Response

Official announcements and FAQs available on > Read more

UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies FAQ on COVID-19 > Read more

UBC Student Services: resources during the COVID-19 outbreak > Read more


UBC iSchool Virtual Town Hall – May 8, 2020

Students had the opportunity to engage with faculty, staff, LASSA presidents, and Dean Susan Porter from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on this Virtual Town Hall. We have created a PDF that gathers all the questions and answers presented at this meeting. All students are invited to review this information and email Kevin Day at if you have any further questions.

Access this summary



UBC iSchool FAQs


(updated as of March 23 at 4:00 pm)

No, UBC iSchool is now closed. Staff, faculty and students are asked to work remotely. Students who need to pick up essential items can access the space using their key cards until midday on Wednesday March 25, but student key cards will not work after that time.

(updated as of May 21, 2020 at 10:00 am)

Please feel free to connect with Sandy ( or Kevin ( if you have any questions about your student status, courses, graduation, experiential learning, or anything else related to your program of study. If you need to talk to other faculty or staff members, please contact them via email. Visit the staff and faculty pages to find their contact information.

Virtual Advising Drop-In Sessions

Kevin, our Educational Services Manager, is holding weekly virtual office hours. Feel free to join this drop-in session if you have any questions related to the planning of your program of study or experiential learning opportunities. His virtual office hours are Tuesdays, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm; and Thursdays, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Join this session here.

Students who are struggling to complete coursework or are facing personal circumstances that make progress in their studies challenging are invited to contact the iSchool Graduate Advisor, Dr. Lisa Nathan, to discuss options and means of support. To set up a virtual appointment, please email Dr. Nathan at 

(updated as of April 30 at 11:00 am)

The Peer Advisors have created a virtual study group for all UBC iSchool students. You can drop in to this session at any time to connect with your peers, discuss readings, and work collaboratively on course assignments. Join here

(updated as April 16, at 1:00 pm)

All Summer courses will be offered as online courses due to the COVID-19 situation. Some will be offered as synchronous courses, in which the class will meet for the scheduled 3-hour time slot twice weekly; and some will be offered asynchronously, in which there are no set times to meet and students are expected to work through the courses materials independently. Please take note of this when registering for courses.

We have made a number of changes to the Summer Term schedules in an effort to increase access to these courses and to ensure that we are offering good quality online courses. This includes increasing class sizes to the maximum size of electives because there are no classroom limitations. Existing waitlists are being maintained but we anticipate more spaces becoming available in some of these courses.


Summer Term 1 
To maximize student access to synchronous courses, we have adjusted the schedule so that no courses conflict:

  • LIBR 579G Archives for Librarians has been rescheduled to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm. (Synchronous)
  • LIBR 525 Illustrated Books and Other Materials has been rescheduled to Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 to 5:00pm. (Synchronous)
  • LIBR 581 / ARST 556M  - Digital Libraries has been cancelled. It is a course that cannot be effectively transitioned to online in the time available, due to the technical components and community engagement format. We have replaced this course with ARST 575H / LIBR 514F - Information Visualization and Visual Analytics, Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-5 pm (Synchronous), taught by Dr. Arias Hernandez. All students who were enrolled in Digital Libraries will have the option to switch their registration to the new course and the existing waitlist will be prioritized for registration.
  • LIBR 531 Client Centred Services for Adults will now be offered as an asynchronous course offering.
  • LIBR 545 Adult Popular Reading and Media will be offered as originally scheduled, as an online asynchronous course that stretches across Summer Terms 1 and 2.
  • ARST 575N/LIBR 559U - Blockchain Summer Institute (New) will run as an synchronous summer course.


Summer Term 2 
All courses will be offered online:

  • LIBR 575 Academic Libraries – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-9:00 pm (waiting to confirm whether synchronous or asynchronous)
  • LIBR 524 Writing, Publishing and the Book Trade for Children - Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 to 5:00pm. (Synchronous)
  • LIBR/ARST 587 Preservation - Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6:00-9:00 pm (Synchronous)
  • LIBR/ARST 504 Management of Information Organizations (New) has been added and will be taught asynchronously.
  • LIBR 580 Collection Management has been cancelled, as it is not possible to teach the course effectively online, especially in the current situation when students have no access to physical collections. In its place, Dr. Prendergast will offer LIBR 529 Services for Families and Early Literacy in the Preschool Years as an asynchronous course.

We are still considering the addition of one more course, and will be monitoring course enrolments and waitlists to determine if there is a need. We will provide any updates as soon as they are available.


*New* Summer Course Offering: LIBR 593 Seminar on Information in Times of Crisis
Instructors: Co-taught by Dr. Lisa Nathan and Dr. Luanne Freund, with the help of colleagues and guest speakers
Format and Schedule: asynchronous online course that runs across Summer Terms 1 and 2, with a late start of June 1.
Goals of the course: to offer students the unique opportunity to examine the role of information in crises and to develop conceptual frameworks for approaching this area of study and practice, while experiencing such a crisis in their own lives. The seminar format will enable students to direct their interests, to investigate the strengths and shortcomings of a range of perspectives, and to reflect upon the complexities and impacts of such disasters and crises, including the currently unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, on the field. Students will develop methods and skills to enable them to plan for and respond to crises as information professionals in a range of settings.

More information about this course

(updated as of June 5, at 11:00 am)

Both domestic and international students who are experiencing financial distress due to the COVID-19 situation are encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. All emergency funding requests/applications should go through Enrolment Services.

Enrolment Services has a dedicated team of advisors for graduate students. An advisor will assess your financial situation and provide the best course of action for your situation. It may not be possible for Enrolment Services to provide immediate support in all circumstances, but meeting with an advisor will also enable the university to gather a clearer picture of the needs that exist and to direct its financial support resources more effectively.

To book an appointment with an Advisor, please call 604.822.9836, or submit a request through Webform.

(updated as June 5, at 11:00 am)

Through the generous support of our alumni, student groups, and supporters, the School of Information has established an emergency fund for students experiencing financial hardship due to the impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

If you are a current full or part-time graduate student enrolled in one of the iSchool programs and you find yourself in an emergency situation (short term, urgent, and serious) in which you cannot meet your basic living expenses of food and housing, you are welcome to apply to this fund. Please note that the amount of funding available is limited and we may not be able to provide assistance in all cases.

Apply for the School of Information Pandemic Emergency Fund for Students (CWL login required)

(updated as June 5, at 11:00am)

BC Campus has created 'Adapting to COVID-19', a website to help students quickly access the resources and support they may need through these next few months. Users will be able to find information and resources to help with online learning, mental health, professional and financial support.

(updated as April 23 at 10:00 am)

Here2Talk is a free and confidential program that provides all students currently registered with a B.C. post-secondary school access to single-session 24/7 mental health support and community referral services via app, phone and web. Here2Talk aims to support overall wellbeing and mental health by providing students with the following:

  • 24/7 support. Confidential emotional support, including crisis intervention, available night and day via phone and chat.
  • Experienced professionals. Access to counsellors who have experience dealing with the common challenges faced by students.
  • No appointment needed. Call in or start a chat via app or web.
  • Free to students. Access to professional mental health and wellbeing support at no additional charge for students currently registered with a B.C post-secondary institution.

For more information, please visit the Here2Talk official website.

(updated as April 9 at 3:00 pm)

For US students holding loans, the US Senate passed a bill that includes a waiver of the prohibition against distance education (i.e., online study) for students receiving U.S. Direct Loans for study at eligible non-U.S. institutions of higher education. It now requires the President’s signature. The waiver is retroactive to 1 March 2020 and remains through the end of the COVID- 19 emergency (as declared by Canadian government authorities) and for the following payment period (generally the following term). For more information, please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies COVID-19 page.

(updated as of June 5 at 11:00 am)

UBC Library branches across the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses are closed until  further notice. The library continues to provide access to electronic resources and librarian support for research, teaching and learning. Online library services will continue to be available. Visit for more information.