Community Update #11 - York University Library Services – Fall Update

Community Update #11 - York University Library Services – Fall Update

COVID -19 has required academic libraries worldwide to get creative, and York University Libraries (YUL) is no exception. This fall, while operations are still far from normal, thanks to the herculean efforts of our dedicated employees we are proud that we can continue to deliver many of our core library services as well as providing additional, remote support.

This update provides a brief overview of some key changes in library services being offered this Fall term. These services may change as emergency restrictions are added or lifted in accordance with public health guidelines. You can always find the most up-to-date information, as well as more information about our services during the pandemic, on YUL's Library Services During COVID-19 page (

All York Library branches remain closed. But we have been very busy developing a multi-pronged service approach to help ensure that faculty and students can still easily access the wealth of resources held by YUL. These services include:

Expanded Electronic Collections
YUL has expanded access to electronic collections by purchasing thousands of eBooks’ - individually and in suites - and several hundred online film streaming licenses required for courses. Access all electronic materials through OMNI, the YUL catalogue, at

Limited Digitization Services
Some courses require online access to materials which do not exist in an electronic format. To assist in these situations, YUL is working with the Copyright Office to provide limited digitization services for course readings. Upon request, we will evaluate whether we can make copyright law-compliant digital copies for course use. For more information, see

Expanded Curbside Pickup
This summer, we launched a curbside pickup service for circulating print materials. At the moment, we can only offer the service to faculty and graduate students. But curbside pickup service will be made available to all members of the York University community beginning on September 21. You can request materials from any branch but, for the time being, the only curb-side pickup location is at the Scott Library. Learn more about curbside pickups and place orders at

Remote Research Consultations
With the closure of in-person service points, chat and email now serve as the main channels for students and faculty seeking help from librarians and archivists. You can hop onto our English or French-language chat services ( for quick help or book a librarian for a Zoom consultation (

Library Class Instruction
Librarians and Archivists are still available for in-class instructional sessions synchronously or asynchronously through Zoom. See ( to request a class or guest lecture.  YUL's preexisting SPARK (Student Papers & Academic Research Kit) tutorials are also available at and can be incorporated into course eClass sites.

Access to Study Spaces
Study space within the Libraries will start to open September 21 beginning at the Scott Library. Stay tuned for further updates.

Still Not Available
Unfortunately, the state of emergency and campus access restrictions mean that certain library services and resources still cannot be safely accessed at present.

The Archives, map collection, media collections and microform collections are currently not available. We continue to review how we can make these collections available in a safe and practicable manner.

YUL would like your input on your library service needs, so that we can try to develop solutions and prioritize by demand in alignment with University and public health authority guidelines.  Please contact us at:

Wishing you all a successful fall term.

Joy Kirchner
Dean of Libraries