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Visiting the libraries

Visiting the libraries is currently limited to use of Study Space, or to pick up items ordered via the Curbside Pickup Service. If you need accessibility accomodations to use these services, please contact us.

The University of Toronto Libraries span across the Mississauga, Scarborough and Downtown campuses. The Library Accessibility Office is based out of Robarts Library, the largest of the many libraries on the Downtown campus.

The following information is primarily intended to assist those planning to visit Robarts Library, but many of these amenities and accommodations are offered across all University of Toronto Libraries.

If you have questions relating to accessibility when visiting a University of Toronto Libraries location other than Robarts Library, the Library Accessibility Office will be happy to inquire on your behalf, or you are free to contact the library you plan to visit directly. 

Arriving

Before planning your trip to the Downtown campus, check the Building Access Notices website for the latest information on building closures, construction projects, entrance or elevator outages, or other temporary disruptions. 

The University of Toronto campus map indicates accessible entrances and washrooms on all three campuses. Use the Accessibility, Washrooms and Student Spaces filters for added convenience. The University of Toronto's Transportation Services division offers information on accessible parking on the Downtown campus. 

If you may need assistance in the case of an emergency, it's a good idea to report your whereabouts to library staff when arriving and once departing. This way, library staff can better assist in an evacuation scenario. 

Regrettably, not all areas of our libraries may be accessible when using an assistive mobility device. In such cases, feel free to contact us to investigate what alternate arrangements for equitable access can be made. 

Service animals

Service animals are welcome at all University of Toronto Libraries. 

As recommended by the University of Toronto's Service Animals Guideline, students with an accompanying service animal are encouraged to voluntarily register with their campus accessibility office. Faculty and staff may register with Human Resources and Equity's Health & Well-being Programs and Services division. As part of registration, a sticker is placed on the back of your TCard, identifying your companion as a service animal to the U of T community. 

If you're unable or prefer not to register, we simply ask that your companion always wear the proper vest or harness indicating their status as a service animal. In the rare case that a health and safety operational need arises, we may also ask that you provide us with documentation from a qualifying Ontario health professional to confirm the status of your companion.

Borrowing

Persons with disabilities registered with the Library Accessibility Office who require additional assistance with borrowing from the libraries are eligible to receive the following accommodations from us:

  • Book retrievals and deliveries to the library location of your choice.
  • Extension of loans beyond our standard loan and renewal periods if more time is needed, so long as no one else has asked for the item.
  • Designation of a proxy borrower to pick up or sign out books on your behalf. 
  • Access to alternate format library material.

Please contact us directly for more information on how to make use of any of these accommodations. 

Studying

The University of Toronto Libraries offer a mix of quiet and group study spaces to accommodate all learning styles. Particular amenities vary from library to library, but it is not uncommon to find individual study carrels, group study rooms, computer workstations and eating areas at all locations.

Robarts Library in particular offers quiet and silent study zones, as well as bookable and drop-in group study rooms. If you prefer to eat as you study, there are permitted eating areas available. Further information on accessible computing is available here

Many University of Toronto Libraries also offer areas which encourage healthy study habits, such as break areas or social seating. Robarts Library and Gerstein Library each offer Reflection Rooms to encourage mindfulness through meditation, yoga or prayer. 

In addition, many study areas in Robarts Library offer adjustable task lighting, some floors offer light therapy lamps, and some computer workstations are height adjustable. Feel free to ask us or attend a tour for specific amenity locations.  

Library Tours

Students are encouraged to attend a library tour for a more hands-on understanding of our facilities. Robarts Library also has multilingual audio tours, with accompanying transcription, available for download.

The Library Accessibility Office offers a tour of Robarts Library tailored to students with accessibility needs at the start of each academic term. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming offerings.

If you require any accommodations in order to attend a tour (e.g. a sign interpreter, alternate format, etc.) please let the Library Accessibility Office know and we will arrange for access on your behalf.