Community Update #61 - Library Services for the Fall Term

Community Update #61 - Library Services for the Fall Term

Dear Instructors, 

In preparation for the Fall Term, York University Libraries (YUL) has adapted its services to support the hybrid delivery of learning and research. This communication provides an overview of YUL resources and answers some frequently asked questions to help you plan your upcoming courses.

Below is an outline of the many ways that Libraries have adapted services during the pandemic, including longer hours, opening of more library buildings, expanding online content, streaming videos, facilitating enhanced access to print resources, reinstating print course reserves, digitizing course reading materials, and enhancing library research and instructional programming. 

Library Opening Hours & Spaces: Fall 2021 

As of September 13, 2021 all four main library buildings including  the Bronfman Business Library, the Frost Library (Glendon Campus), the Scott Library and the Steacie Science & Engineering Library, will be open. Opening hours for Fall 2021 are posted on the library website. Study space, printing, photocopying, computers, and collections will be available. Designated zones will also be available for students to connect to online classes between lectures and for collaborative learning, in alignment with the latest public health guidelines. Visitors to the libraries must book a seat to use any services or spaces in the libraries.

Access to Library Collections 

Print Collections 

YUL will open its stacks to York community members in all four main library buildings, including the Bronfman Business Library, the Frost Library (Glendon Campus), the Scott Library and the Steacie Science & Engineering Library, as of September 13, 2021. When visiting any of these Libraries, items in the circulating collections can be checked out at service desks or by using self-check machines available in the Scott and Steacie Libraries only. Physical loan items in the Map library can be requested through OMNI and picked up at the Scott service desk. 

Circulating materials, including books from our 16 Ontario university partner libraries, may also be requested for pick-up using OMNI (the Libraries’ search platform), with contactless Locker Pickup service available at both the Glendon and Keele campuses, or at the library service desks. Please email: for assistance. 

Online content 

YUL continues to work with instructors to increase content to support online courses. Since March 2020, over 250,000 eBooks have been permanently added to the collection, all of which are now discoverable via OMNI, the Libraries' search platform. However, acquiring electronic versions of textbooks continues to be a significant challenge as most of the large commercial textbook publishers do not provide purchasing options for libraries and prefer to sell directly to individuals. 

Please address all requests for material to the Libraries’ Content Development and Analysis department (CDA) at:


In Fall 2021, videos and other media from the Sound and Moving Image Library’s regular lending collection may be requested via OMNI for pickup through lockers or at the Scott or Frost service desks. Video bookings for class showings can be made by contacting and can be collected at the Frost and Scott library desks or the Keele and Glendon library pickup lockers. SMIL course reserves will be available at the Scott service desk for in-library use only. Portable DVD/CD players will be available for loan to facilitate in-library viewing for laptop users. 
The demand for streaming media to support courses has risen sharply. The Libraries have responded to this demand by significantly expanding access to video streaming platforms and by attempting to secure streaming licenses for individual films upon faculty request. Due to demand and the high costs of streaming media, we are prioritizing requests that are required viewing in courses. For further information concerning Sound and Image Library resources please contact:  

Course Readings: Print Reserves & Digitization Services 


YUL has reinstated print course reserve requests which will be made available to students at all libraries, for in-library use only, as of Sept. 13, 2021. To provide broad access, e-books will be purchased instead of print books wherever possible. When eBooks are unavailable, an additional copy of Bronfman and Steacie course reserve items are being purchased for the Scott reserve collection. For more information, visit our Placing Items on Reserve webpage. 

Digitization Services 

In partnership with the Copyright Office, York University Libraries are offering services to assist faculty in providing access to digital versions of course readings, where possible, through a combination of strategies, including permalinks for eClass course sites and syllabi, acquisition of e-resources, and scanning where York University’s Fair Dealing Guidelines permit. Read full instructions for placing requests here. 

Protecting copyright and intellectual property when posting materials online 

York University’s Copyright Office provides information for instructors on course syllabi and materials. 

The Teaching Commons provides some additional resources and best practices around protecting Intellectual Property. 

Library Research & Instructional Services 

YUL continues to offer expansive research and instructional programming with more offerings coming on stream for Fall 2021.  

In-class and online library research instruction 

Course instructors can book time with a librarian or archivist to lead a range of classes focused on assignment or course-based workshops, to research data management and digital literacies. Please contact us for more information and to arrange a class tailored to your specific course and curricular needs. Instructors can book through our Library Class Request form here. 

Workshops, How-to Videos and More 

Point your students to the Libraries’ Workshops, How-to-Videos and More website to help them learn critical research, citation skills and more by registering for one of the library’s online instructional workshops or to consult a video or self-paced learning module.    

Research assignments & projects:  On-demand and appointment-based services 

At YUL, we play an important role in enhancing students’ learning by helping them to navigate, evaluate and cite information sources for assignments and projects through on-demand and appointment-based services. See full details at the Libraries Ask & Services website and on the hours web site. 

Specific services include: 

  • Chat and Zoom drop-in research help services:  recommended as a first port of call for general library questions and research help and available 7 days per week. 
  • Text/SMS (647-695-8985): for questions or research help, available 7 days per week. 
  • Zoom consultations: available to schedule an in-depth research consultation with a subject or data librarian. This is especially recommended for advanced undergraduate research projects and graduate students. 

For more information and continuing updates please refer to the Library Services During Covid-19 Guide. I hope you find this information helpful as you plan your fall programs and for other updates related to York’s safe return to campus, please continue to visit Better Together

Best Regards, 

Joy Kirchner
Dean of Libraries