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COVID-19: Updates on Fall 2021 library reopening

Health & safety requirements are in place for coming to campus. This includes our libraries. Check the full details.

image of red maple leaves and snowflakes  to represent fall and winterWatch this page for updates about the University of Toronto Libraries' physical reopening of our spaces, services, and operations. 

Libraries are open to current University of Toronto students, faculty and staff. Check this page for information about individual libraries.

Read important health and safety requirements and information about use of library spaces – e.g., entry to most libraries will be by TCard and a green UCheck screen; masks are required in all University indoor spaces.

November 19, 2021

Holiday hours and closures have been posted.


Recent updates Collection access Physical & tech facilities  |  Research & reference services  |  Workshops  |  External borrowers

Recent updates

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the University of Toronto Archives & Records Management (UTARMS) will reopen to researchers as of November 15, 2021. Access will be by appointment only – (November 9, 2021).

 One more due date extension: Checked out items that were due September 29, 2021 have been extended one more time. New due dates depend on the category of library user. To see the new due dates and learn more, check the Borrowing page. Note that as of September 7, these active loans will be subject to recall by other library users – (September 2, 2021).

We look forward to welcoming library users back to our spaces! Libraries' open/closed status and hours can be found here – (August 31, 2021).

 wheelchair iconConstruction is underway at Gerstein Science Information Centre's main entrance. Important information about accessible alternatives for entering the building can be found here  – (August 19, 2021).


Access to collections

Stacks  | Course reserves  |  Due date extension  |  Syllabus Service  |  Curbside Pickup  | HathiTrust ETAS  | Scan & Deliver Request a hold | Intercampus Delivery  |  Interlibrary loan

image of book to represent the stacksStacks access 

  • The stacks at Robarts Library and Gerstein Science Information Centre reopened as of September 7, 2021 to current U of T students, faculty, and staff
  • Opening status and conditions for all University of Toronto libraries can be found here

course reserves iconPhysical course reserves

Physical course reserves are once more available in September. 

One more due date extension

  • Checked out items that were due on September 29, 2021 have been extended one more time
  • New due dates depend on the category of library user
  • To see the new due dates and learn more, check the Borrowing page
  • As of September 7, these active loans will be subject to recall by other library users

Syllabus service

Faculty members can check the Course Support/Syllabus Service information about how to make readings available to students.

image to represent curbsideCurbside Pick-up Service ends

  • Last day to request was August 26 at 5 pm
  • Last day to pick up items: September 3. The Robarts Curbside desk closes at 4pm. Check other libraries' hours for their Curbside service hours
  • This service has been replaced by the new ability of library users to request a hold on items that are currently in the library
  • Before now, users were only able to place holds on items that were checked out
  • See Request a hold for details – service started on September 7

Access to HathiTrust ETAS ending September 7

  • The special HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) that allowed users access to digital versions of in-copyright physical books in UTL collections, ended on September 7, when library stacks reopened
  • The Libraries' legal agreement with the HathiTrust allowed such access while physical copies were unavailable, and does not allow for both the physical and digitized copies to be borrowed at the same time
  • However, library users will continue to have access to more than 6.7 million public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works in HathiTrust that were available before the pandemic began

Scan & Deliver Service

This service is available as of September 7.

Request a hold

  • Library users are now able to place holds on items that are checked out as well as items that are currently in the library 
  • Borrowers must be signed into LibrarySearch to see the requesting functions
  • Look for the blue SIGN IN button on the upper right
  • The ability to place holds on items currently in the library is equivalent to what was known as the Curbside Delivery Service

icon of renewing booksRequest Intercampus Delivery (ICD)

  • ICD service has resumed – you may request books from other U of T campuses
  • Borrowers must be signed into LibrarySearch to see the requesting functions. Look for the blue SIGN IN button on the upper right

icon of renewing booksRequest Interlibrary Loans (ILL)

  • ILL is available for both physical and electronic items
  • New users to RACER – our ILL self-serve system – no longer need to set up an account

Stay tuned for more information to come about:

  • Fisher Library Collections
  • Other special collections


Physical facilities & resources

Hours  |  Access  |  Study space & computers  |  Technology loans  |  Print, copy, scan  |  Carrels  |   Food services  |  Other spaces

icon to represent hoursBuilding hours: Robarts Library

  • Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 11 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am – 10 pm
  • Sunday 10 am – 10 pm
  • No extended hours offered in Fall 2021
  • HOLIDAY CLOSURES:  Monday October 11: Thanksgiving

icon to represent hoursBuilding hours: Gerstein Science Information Centre

  • Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 11 pm
  • Friday: 8:30 am – 10 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am – 10 pm
  • Sunday: 10 am –10 pm
  • HOLIDAY CLOSURES:  Monday October 11: Thanksgiving

icon to represent librariesBuilding access

  • Robarts Library & Gerstein Science Information Centre entrance is by TCard access only, and library users must show a green UCheck status
  • All libraries are open to current students, faculty, and staff only
  • Some libraries have additional conditions
  • For information on access and hours for other libraries see Library status 2021/2022

icon for study spaceStudy space & computers  |  Remote Zone

image of a person at a computer wearing headphonesRemote Zone: Space has been reserved for students to join online classes from campus at Robarts Library first floor and Gerstein Science Information Centre's Wallace Room, on a first-come, first-served basis. Look for the signs!

icon of a lamp to represent study spaceRegular study space: Available at Robarts and Gerstein. Check other library websites for their information.

icon that represents a study room for groupsGroup study rooms: Available at Robarts Library, and available at Gerstein. There is a maximum of two (2) people per room.

wifi iconComputers & wifi access: Available for current students, faculty, and staff only

image of a computer screenRemoteLab: This service allows current students and faculty users to remotely access computers in the library. Standard software such as Microsoft Office 365, as well as specialized software, is available on these computers.

computer with line through it to indicate workstation unavailableLIRA workstations for alumni & other visitors: Not currently available

icon of a laptopTechnology loans

  • Technology loans at Robarts are in place for September.
  • More information about borrowing device chargers and other accessories

icon of a photocopierPrinting, copying, & scanning

  • Available as of September 7, 2021
  • 3D printing at Robarts will be available later in the fall

image of a closed door to represent a study carrelCarrels

  • Study carrels in Robarts are available for 2021/2022
  • Study carrels in Gerstein are not currently available, but requests and renewals are being accepted, and filed for processing later

image of food -- an orangeFood services

  • Here is a list of eating establishments on the St. George campus
  • Starbucks at Robarts Library is currently under renovation and will open later this fall

image of a glowing spiralOther spaces

  • Robarts Reflection Room – Open as of September 7, 2021
  • Robarts Family Study Space – CLOSED until further notice


icon to represent reference helpAccess to research & reference services

  • Reference & research services are operating virtually for Fall 2021
  • Check individual libraries' websites for information about their online services


image of a teacher in front of a screen, and pupils to represent a workshopWorkshops

  • Workshops held by Robarts and Gerstein are be offered online 
  • Check the Workshops Calendar for details
  • Other libraries may make different arrangements


External borrowers

  •  Alumni and external researchers are able to request books from Robarts Library as described in the Request a Hold section above
  • This means they must have an active UTORid to place the hold
  • Email to renew a card
  • They will be able to enter Robarts to pick up their holds at the first floor Loans Services desk
  • In order to enter, they will be given a paper COVID-19 risk assessment form to fill out

– Updated November 19, 2021