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U of T Libraries to partially reopen for the start of fall semester classes

For the start of fall classes, some U of T Libraries will partially reopen spaces and expand services. On September 8, UTM and UTSC Libraries will partially reopen for use as study space. On September 10, the first day of classes for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on the downtown campus, Robarts Library will reopen floors one through five and the Gerstein Science Information Centre will open one floor for use as study space and for computer access for current students, staff and faculty only. Users will need to scan their TCard to enter. Additional information on these study spaces can be found on the study space 2020/2021 webpage.

The Bora Laskin Law Library reopened on August 24. The Music Library will reopen for the first day of classes. Both the Law Library and Music Library will only be open to faculty, students and staff within their faculties. Some other St. George campus libraries will also open a limited amount of study space this fall, in some cases for use only by their own faculties. Details will be published on individual library websites. Book stacks in all library buildings will remain closed to users through December to maintain access to the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service for students and faculty who are not able to visit the library. 

Additional service information

  • Most library services will remain online, including our research and library help service.
  • The RemoteLab Service will continue to offer remote access to specialized software and services normally provided in the Computer Access Facilities in the Libraries.
  • The only food services available within the libraries will be the Starbucks and Tortillas Burritos restaurant at Robarts Library. The Burritos restaurant will have an expanded menu with prepackaged food available. Other limited food services will open in various campus buildings.

Special collections consultations

Although libraries and archives with special collections will remain closed, consultations will be available by appointment for materials in the Fisher Library, University of Toronto Archives, East Asian Library and Canada-Hong Kong Library. The Map & Data Library (MDL) will be offering consultations in the MDL space, for digital materials only. Details on consultation services will be published on individual library websites.

Health and safety measures in the library

We have implemented the following measures to ensure the health & safety of staff, students and faculty using or working in library spaces:  

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available.
  • A non-medical mask or face covering must be worn indoors in all common-use spaces on University property. Masks should be used when it is not possible to keep 2 meters distance from others. The University is providing two masks to all faculty, staff and students. Please review the University’s Policy on Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings.
  • Passive screening posters have been posted at entrances and exits and those who are staffing our entrances will be asking users to answer some screening questions prior to entry.
  • Library users should wash their hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer, frequently.  
  • Directional arrows and signs indicate where to walk and stand in order to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from others. 
  • Two-way directional paths have been established where individuals should keep to the right. 
  • Returned material and deliveries are quarantined for four days. 
  • Plexi-glass barriers have been installed at public-facing service points, such as the curbside service desks and front entrances. 
  • Chairs have been removed from workstations and desks not available for use and signage indicates restricted seating to maintain physical distancing.

For more information on the University’s approach to re-opening, visit UTogether2020: A Roadmap for the University of Toronto.