I am writing now what I wish I had known one week ago. I was antsy with anticipation to pick up my library books at St. Michaels College’s Kelly Library. But I also wanted to make the most of my last year at the University of Toronto by checking out all the study spaces my friends had preached. With all the anticipation was an unmatched degree of understanding: which libraries are open? What is the procedure for entering the library? Though I don’t have all the answers (it is best to check the library of interest’s website on their hours of operation and services available), I thought to share my experience this week.
On library book pickups, the process starts with requesting material on the University of Toronto libraries site. I recently discovered Michael Lewis’s works at Indigo, and decided I didn’t want to empty out my bank account purchasing his every book. So I made requests for his non-fiction work, ranging from his reporting on Wall Street trading in “Flash Boys” to his analysis of behavioral economists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s collaborative relationship in “The Undoing Project”. The process is seamless. I logged in, searched for the titles of interest, then clicked “request pickup”. After selecting the preferred library (I like picking up my materials from Kelly because foot traffic is lower there than at Robarts), I wait for the confirmation email announcing my book is ready for collection.
At Kelly Libary, I am required to show my green UCheck screen and a TCard at the entrance. Since I recently lost my TCard, showing the ACORN screen listing I am a registered student also works as an alternative. This is something to keep in mind if you are awaiting your TCard appointment. The UCheck ‘green’ screen expires at the end of each day, so I usually fill out the form online on my way to the library.
Once I am let in, I meander to the counter and show my confirmation email. The process is quick—taking no more than three minutes. Once I have checked out my books, I make a mental note to renew the titles I think I’ll need more time reading. Usually, I do this online via the UToronto Library site. In addition to non-fiction, there are a lot of class readings (like textbooks) that you might be able to check out from the library.
As for visiting Robarts, I found the wait to be slightly longer. I visited on Monday morning for a class in the Bissel Heyd building. The process is the same: I had to show my UCheck and my ACORN screen.
As for working, my preferred library is E.J. Pratt. There is a lot of great seating for reading, and also many desktop stations that are free. This is a great way to get work done on campus without lugging a laptop to campus. I also like having readings pulled up on the desktop while I type on my personal computer.
What is your favorite library to work at? I’d love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below, I look forward to hearing from you.