Community Scholars Program

What is the community scholars program?

In partnership with Vancouver Island University, the University of Northern British Columbia, and 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.

Meet the Community Scholars Librarian

Heather De Forest

Heather De Forest has been a librarian at SFU since 2005. She leads the Community Scholars Program which connects people who work for non-profits in BC with access to paywalled academic publications and other information sources. Heather is a collaborator on the Supporting Transparent and Open Research Engagement and Exchange (STOREE) project and is part of the advisory board of the Making Research Accessible initiative. She holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from UBC and an MA in English from Queens. Heather has recently completed a certificate in Knowledge Mobilization from the University of Guelph.


The Community Scholars librarian welcomes hearing from you.

Please contact Heather by email at to get in touch.

Zoom or phone consultations are available by appointment.

Who Can Join the Community Scholars Program?

  • Anyone working at non-profits and charities registered in BC
  • Has a need to access published research, analysis and publications to support areas of their work

What the Community Scholars Librarian can support with:

  • Connecting community groups with adequate scholarly resources to meet their research needs through SFU library databases
  • Offering research consultations, journal clubs and workshops out of the 312 Main SFU CERi space
  • Providing centralized resources to associations and community organizations located at 312 Main and the Downtown Eastside

Application for the program

The Community Scholars Program is accepting applications from individuals working in non-profits and charities throughout British Columbia. With 500 spaces available, up to five employees from the same organization may apply.

Please contact the Community Scholars librarian at to request an application