Ode to the U of T Library System


in PhD thesis, Toronto

All talk of Robarts begins with architecture,
The way it hangs over the campus, making no excuses about its material of construction.
The catalog is less often mentioned, but deserves more consideration.

It’s akin to a good chunk of Amazon and the Library of Congress, available instantly and for free.
You don’t even need to store the books when you’re done reading them.
Graham, Kelly, Pratt, and Gerstein are all close at hand, and have valuable supplementary collections in areas like International Relations, Cryptography, History, and Social Movements.

The physical collections are well-complemented by a research consultation service,
And the digital access is a great research aid too.
Google Scholar on the U of T network is a rapid-fire PDF delivery system.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

alena July 27, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Nicely said; our public libraries are an amazing treasure too.

Oleh August 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Roberts Library was my “home away from home” when I was a student at U of T from 1974-1978. I also see how much has changed with libraries as so much is done on-line. I wonder what change the next 40 years will bring?

Milan August 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm

There’s an ambitious renovation plan for Robarts.

I expect in 40 years, most students will be even more focused on electronic resources than the print collection, but there will still be people like me who much prefer the experience of reading a paper book and who value what a huge collection the U of T system puts in easy reach.

I wish the libraries still had their old willingness to buy many copies of popular books. Looking at the shelves, you can see sets of 10+ copies of books that are assigned for courses, etc. Now the libraries are very much of the view that one paper copy somewhere in the system is all you need, even if it’s always checked out and there are holds accumulating.

Anon August 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm

They close rather early on weekends

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