Students Living in Canadian University Libraries for Next 10 Days

Two undergraduate students are living in UBC’s library for the next 10 days as part of a national campaign to raise support, awareness and funds for global literacy.

24-hour Webcam:
Date/Time: January 16-25, 2009
Place: Irving Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall [map]
Parking: Rose Garden Parkade, 6278 NW Marine Dr.

As part of Live-in for Literacy 2009, UBC members of the Canadian university club DREAM (Discover the Reality of Educating All Minds) are pitching tents inside the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC). The other six participating libraries are at Queen’s University, University of Toronto, Concordia University, McMaster University, Laurentian University and Memorial University.

Two students, supported by teams of volunteers, will live in each library from 3 p.m. PST Friday, January 16, until 3 p.m. PST Monday, January 25. Their goal is to raise $40,000 nationally to construct nine school libraries in India through Room to Read, an international charity.

UBC, the only university in Western Canada involved, is participating in the event for the second year. Founded at Queen’s University, the initiative has raised $50,000 over the past four years to help build nine school libraries in Nepal and a computer lab in Cambodia.

The students must remain in the library 24 hours a day, with only five minutes of every hour permitted for bathroom or other necessary breaks. This year, a 24-hour webcam will broadcast the event at

“It will be challenging to miss classes and live in the library for 10 days,” says Avneet Johal, the president of UBC’s Arts Undergraduate Society, who will camp with fellow arts student Seiya Haya. “But it’s a lot easier than the lives of the children we’re helping. Literacy is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty that exists in India and around the world – if I can help by living in a library that I love, I am happy to do so.”

“We’re so pleased to be able to support this year’s Live-in for Literacy project,” says Sandra Singh, Director of the IKBLC, who announced a $1,000 pledge from the UBC Library. “This facility is focused on lifelong learning, and it’s very exciting to be involved in this student effort to improve literacy around the world.”

Further information, including how to donate, is available at

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