Library services update for Fall 2021

As the University prepares for an anticipated return to in-person learning, we are planning to reopen library buildings and book stacks on September 7. Library buildings will be open to current students, faculty and staff only. 

Library buildings and services 

Robarts Library and the Gerstein Science Information Centre will reopen with regular hours, with the exception of extended overnight hours which will not be offered for the fall term. You will need to scan your TCard and show a green UCheck screening to enter.

Reopening plans for all of our libraries are under development. Details about specific library hours and services across the library system will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Library collections

All library users will continue to have access to more than 6.7 million public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works inHathiTrust, including the ability to download the full text of those works. However, the digitized in-copyright books which have been available during the closure through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) will no longer be available online once the book stacks re-open on September 7.

The Libraries' legal agreement with the HathiTrust allows for the lending of digitized copies of print books in our collection while the physical copies are unavailable due to library closures. This agreement, carefully crafted to respect Canadian copyright law, does not allow for both the print and digitized copies to be borrowed at the same time and therefore requires the ETAS service to close when access to the print collection resumes.

We understand that some of our community members may not yet be comfortable visiting the library stacks in person. To meet research and academic needs to the best of our ability during this transitional time, the library will continue to purchase e-books upon request when possible.To request a purchase, faculty may contact their liaison librarian or fill out this form. Through the fall, we will begin planning for a new retrieval service through which faculty, students and staff can request items online and pick them up at the circulation desk of the owning library. More information about this service will be shared soon.

Health and safety 

Health and safety remain our top priority. The University is taking a comprehensive approach to health and safety during the pandemic, including the newly updated 12 Ways U of T is preparing for a safe return to our campuses. The Libraries will continue to follow all health and safety protocols in order to ensure a safe environment for working and learning. 

Stay tuned for updates 

We are very grateful to all of our students and faculty for your understanding as we navigated this unprecedented and evolving situation over the past year and a half. We look forward to being back together on campus in the fall!

Please watch this space for further details to be announced in the coming weeks.