In the immortal words of Arthur:
As U of T students, we get a handy little TCard, which gives you access to numerous services on campus but also, as many of you may know, the TCard also serves as a… LIBRARY CARD!
It opens the opportunity to explore the thousands of books in the 44 libraries on campus!
The U of T libraries offer so many facilities and services both online and in person that it’s a student’s dream! But this post is dedicated to one of my favourite things to explore on campus: The stacks!
For those of you who don’t know, the stacks are basically the main area where the books are held. My first time navigating the stacks was a little overwhelming, but it’s not as complicated as that long call number on the books may indicate!
For example, I recently really wanted to read the English version of the Mahabharata (an ancient Indian epic) but I couldn’t find a copy anywhere. On a whim, I decided to try our own library. Spoiler alert: they had it!!
It didn’t take much effort either! In a few easy steps, I had my book.
1) Search for the title you want, or keywords. I used the website catalogue, but you can often find them using the catalogue in the libraries. You’ll see what the libraries have on the results page. Each book result has the library it’s located in, the call number of the book and also whether the book is checked out or not. Being the nerd I am, I did a tiny bit of background research to see which version I wanted.
2) Note down the information you need to find the book: the call number and the library it’s located in.
3) Find out where in the library the book is located. For example, if the call number started with PR, it would be on the 13th floor of Robarts Library. This information can be accessed online or will be on display in the libraries (Fun fact: The inside of the elevators at Robarts have one of these signs).
4) Use the last few numbers to exactly find your book of choice!
See, U of T? Easy peasy! So next time you want a reference textbook for that assignment on viruses, a copy of that $200 textbook for that course you have to take or just a modern translation of an ancient epic, don’t hesitate to try out the stacks!
Just don’t let the power get to your head.