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Community Scholars Program: Home

In partnership with Vancouver Island University, the University of Northern British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University, and the University of British Columbia, the Simon Fraser University Library coordinates a program to provide staff of charitable and non-profit organizations in British Columbia with access to the latest research and knowledge in their fields.

The current phase of the Community Scholars Program connects 500 individuals to seven publishers' materials through an enhanced search interface. It enhances the access provided during the pilot phase in 2016, supported by United Way of the Lower Mainland and Mindset Social Innovation Foundation. The current collaboration is supported via a grant from the McConnell Foundation through the BC Collaborative on Social Infrastructure.

Background: The challenge of access

Many researchers in Canada and around the world are studying social problems and possible solutions and publishing their findings in peer-reviewed journals. These journals are mostly inaccessible to the more than 170,000 non-profit and charitable organizations in Canada doing critical work on social issues including poverty alleviation, homelessness, education, and health care -- unless they are affiliated with a university. 

Our response: Access for Community Scholars

The Community Scholars Program provides access to 20,000 journal titles and e-books to 500 Community Scholars -- staff of charities and non-profits in the University's community who are interested in accessing the latest research and knowledge to enhance their practice. Community Scholars work in a variety of sectors including social and legal services, the arts, human rights and social justice, housing, physical and mental health, sustainability and conservation.

Community Scholars can:

  • search for, find, and read scholarly publications from anywhere they have an internet connection
  • consult with a dedicated librarian
  • participate in tailored workshops, Community Scholars journal clubs, and other events

Learn more and apply

Interested in learning more about Community Scholars? Please visit our Background and Further Information page, check out our upcoming events and workshops, and learn about opportunities to donate to or partner with the Community Scholars Program.

Interested in joining the program? We currently have space available for new participants from non-profits and charities in BC. Visit our Application page for more details.

Thank you to our partners

Thank you to the McConnell Foundation for making the partnership with VIU and UNBC possible, and to TRU and UBC for your participation and support.

McConnell