Social Work


The social work collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the School of Social Work as well as a number of other departments across campus. This school offers Bachelors and Masters degrees in social work as well as an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.

Current areas of collecting

The social work selector covers the following topics: social welfare development in Canada with particular emphasis on family and child welfare; current developments, with historical background, in countries with leading edge social welfare programs; theories and techniques relating to social work intervention with individuals, families and groups; interviewing, counseling, and group leadership skills; community development; administration of social service organizations; assessment of the delivery of social services and health care, including psychiatric social work and rehabilitation counseling; social work with specific populations, e.g. Native people.

Research and publishing characteristics

A highly interdisciplinary area with relatively low volume and an average price range of low to medium. A wide variety of material is required to support the School’s two streams: Clinical Social Work Practice and Social Development/Policy. Summary literature in a wide variety of disparate but related fields is required. All formats can be relevant, e.g. videos, pamphlets, data files. Materials from non-commercial publishers such as community agencies and native groups are needed. This material is time consuming to locate and acquire.

Special emphasis is on all issues relating to race, gender and class in Canada and particularly B.C., e.g. Native child welfare and social services; social work with immigrants; feminist economic, family and counselling issues; counselling highly traumatized individuals and families; community care and de-institutionalization. Topical examples, identifying and counselling sexually abused persons; alcohol and drug abuse counselling; homelessness.


Predominantly English. Some French. Other foreign language materials tend to be for client groups rather than for professional social workers.

Geographic origin

Canada (especially Vancouver area, local reports), United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Western Europe. There is interest in publications from and about other countries as the world becomes more integrated and as social workers work with an increasingly wide range of immigrants and refugees.


Non-academic material, e.g. self-help personal guides and pamphlets of government services. Parent educational material. Third World development issues. Lifestyle and environmental issues. Gerontology. Textbooks. Case studies and personal narratives. Rehabilitation and treatment of offenders. Commercial tests and research instruments.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Education Library: Special education; counselling of primary and secondary students.

Health Sciences Libraries: Basic biological aspects of human behaviour; basic biological aspects of chronic illness and limiting conditions; addiction medicine.

Koerner Library: Statistics on social problems. Reports and Parliamentary documents on socioeconomic and health issues.

Law Library: Bills, statutes, and other material relating to social policy, social services, and health legislation; family law and mediation; treatment of offenders.