Named in honour of Wellington & Madeleine Spence, respected members of the UCN Council of Elders and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, for their dedication and commitment to Indigenous culture and community involvement. Opened in June 2014, the library was dedicated in a naming ceremony on August 25, 2016.
The library supports the following special collections, comprised of materials housed or designated separately due to the unique nature of their content, format, reading level, authorship, or curricular need.
Elder's Traditional Knowledge Archive is a collection of digitized audio and video recordings reflecting Northern Manitoba's Indigenous culture, heritage, and language. This project has been funded by the Library and Archives Canada's Listen, Hear our Voices initiative and in partnership with the Keewatin Tribal Council. The intent of this project is to preserve the content stored in original formats, and to make the digitized materials available for researchers and the communities, further contributing the Northern Manitoba's rich heritage.
Donated by Gerald and Jean Friesen, the Friesen Historical Collection is housed in the Wellington & Madeleine Spence Memorial Library at the University College of the North's Thompson campus.
Dr. Gerald Friesen, a distinguished professor in Canadian history, is an expert on Western Canada, Manitoba, labour history and communication history, and Dr. Jean Friesen, a professor of Indigenous History at the University of Manitoba, has also served as a member of the legislature for Wolseley constituency 1990-2003, and minister and deputy premier 1999-2003.
The collection primarily consists of material on Canadian history, politics, and Indigenous topics.
The Friesen Historical Collection is non-circulating and for in-library use only.
A collection comprised of fiction, nonfiction, and audiovisual media appropriate for children supporting the curriculum needs of the Early Learning and Child Care diploma and the Faculty of Education. Purchase criteria include, but are not limited to, English-language works and award winners; Indigenous peoples of Canada/North America content, including Indigenous languages of Canada/North America; and leveled reading materials.
A collection of print monographs and other types of published creative works or media that have been authored/co-authored, edited/co-edited, translated, composed, or illustrated by an employee of the University College of the North, student, or a member of the community.
A compact collection consisting of reference works, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, that are meant to be utilized within the library for a short duration.
A collection comprised of works selected by faculty to support specific, current courses. Reserves materials will also have restrictions on renewals, so that one patron cannot monopolize these limited resources.