COVID-19: Library updates 2022

image of leaf shootsWatch this page for updates about the University of Toronto Libraries' physical offerings of our spaces, services, and operations. 

June 27, 2022

The University’s current mask requirement will be lifted as of July 1, 2022, subject to any changes in public health guidance.

  • This includes University of Toronto Libraries spaces
  • Some members of our community may choose to continue to wear a mask after July 1
  • We ask everyone to respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels, and health needs

May 2, 2022

As of May 1, 2022, UCheck health screening is no longer required before coming to campus. Health screening and contact tracing will become unavailable in UCheck

April 28, 2022

  • As of May 2, 2022, some categories of external users who have paid for library privileges may once more access Robarts Library and Gerstein Science Information Centre in person.
  • Categories include alumniexternal researchersassociate members; and, University of Toronto Schools students, staff, faculty, and preceptors
  • New TCards for members of these groups may be obtained from the Reader Registration Office
  • Please note that masks are required in our libraries until at least June 30, 2022.

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

Recent updates

Robarts Library and Gerstein Science Information Centre are keeping their mandatory masking policy in place until at least June 30, 2022. See provostial memo.– (April 27, 2022).

Robarts Common opens today—ahead of the official Fall 2022 launch—to accommodate the increased demand for study space during the spring exam period – (March 24, 2022).

The University, including U of T Libraries, is keeping its masking policies and vaccination requirement in place until at least the end of term – April 30, 2022 – (March 14, 2022).

icon that represents a study room for groupsCapacity limits of 2 people per group study rooms have now been removed from Robarts Library and Gerstein Science Information Centre – (March 21, 2022).

The Starbucks location in Robarts Library has reopened! – (February 28, 2022).

Current U of T students, faculty, and staff will now get unlimited renewals for regular* loans – this temporary measure has been put in place until further notice to help support a gradual return to campus. Check the borrowing/loans services page for more information e.g., exceptions and exemptions – (February 15, 2022).

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 January 10, 2022 to current U of T students, faculty, and staff
  • As of May 2, 2022 they are also open to alumni, external researchers, and associate members, with paid privileges, as well as to the U of T Schools community

course reserves iconPhysical course reserves

Physical course reserves are once more available as of September 2021

Automatic renewals

  • Check the Borrowing page to learn more about automatic and unlimited renewals for regular loans
  • 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 has ended

  • 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

Scan & Deliver Service

This service is available as of September 7, 2021

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

Access to HathiTrust ETAS ended September 7, 2021

  • 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


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

See Robarts hours.

icon to represent hoursBuilding hours: Gerstein Science Information Centre

See Gerstein hours.

icon to represent librariesBuilding access

  • Robarts Library & Gerstein Science Information Centre entrance is by TCard access only
  • All libraries are open to current students, faculty, and staff
  • As of May 2, 2022, Robarts and Gerstein are open to alumni, external researchers, and associate members, with paid library privileges, as well as members of the University of Toronto School community
  • Some libraries may have additional conditions – check their individual websites

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. 

wifi iconComputers & wifi access: Available 

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.

icon of a laptopTechnology loans

  • Technology loans at Robarts are in place as of September 2021
  • 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 at a later date

image of a closed door to represent a study carrelCarrels

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

Food servicesimage of food -- an orange

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 offered online at Robarts Library
  • Check individual libraries' websites for information about their online and/or in-person research and reference 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
  • As of May 2, 2022, alumni and external researchers with paid privileges are able to use Robarts and Gerstein spaces

– Updated May 12, 2022