Skip to Main Content

Research Guides

Getting started at U of T Libraries

The top things to know about the libraries during your first term at the University of Toronto.


Welcome to the University of Toronto Libraries! Learn more about the services, resources, and support available to you as you begin your studies.

1. Get your UTORid

Your UTORid = access to online library resources.

TCard with UTORid circled in red

Visit the TCard website to learn more about how to acquire and activate your UTORid and U of T email. 
Remember to have the required documents to validate your identity and legal status in Canada.

Learn more about getting your TCard

2. Study at the library

There are 40 libraries across three campuses at U of T. Look around for the best space to suit your study style. 

students studying at the Map and Data library

Need a study break?

Looking for a spot rest or reset after a long study session? Visit the Reflection Rooms at Robarts Library or Gerstein Science Information Centre. The space is designed for religious, spiritual and secular practices, including prayer, meditation, yoga and mindfulness.

Beginning in September, Mindful Moments meditation sessions are held in Robarts Library Reflection Room on Monday afternoons. Check the events calendar for details. 

3. Take advantage of the library's collection

If you're only using Google, you're missing out. The library's website gives you access to the largest and richest library collection in Canada including materials that are behind a paywall.  Don't pay for stuff that you could access for free with your UTORid!
(And read this FAQ if you're still wondering why you can't just use Google :-)

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Ways to explore the collection

  • LibrarySearch: Search for books, e-books, and many other kinds of materials by title, author, or topic. Learn more about how to get started with this search platform.
  • Article Databases: Databases help you search for articles more efficiently.  Most specialize in a specific subject and have special features that let you find the best sources faster.
  • Old Exams Repository: See past versions of your course's exam. 

Access from off campus

Login with your UTORid and password to get off campus access to almost all of our online books, articles, and other materials.

We don't have it?

If we don't have an item that you need, we can get it for you from another library at no cost to you through interlibrary loan (ILL).

4. Ask for help

Library staff members are here to help you. We are research experts who can help you save time and energy when using the library for your assignments.


5. Get online

You can connect to our wireless network with your UTORid and password.

No laptop? No problem!

There are computer workstations available throughout the library. Some libraries also loan out laptops and other devices. 

student working at a library computer

Locate an available computer through the real-time listing for the following locations

Some libraries also loan out laptops and tablets.  

6. Print and photocopy

There are printers, photocopiers, and scanners at many U of T libraries. You can even print wirelessly from your laptop or mobile device.

You'll need to put money on your TCard to print and photocopy. It normally costs between $0.10 and $0.15 per page.  Also, bring a USB key if you want to use the scanners. 

We even have 3D printers!

#D printer with laptop

More about printing, copying, and scanning

7. Borrow books

There are over 12 million print books available through U of T Libraries. Undergraduate students can borrow up to 50 books at a time for 14 days. Graduate students can borrow 200 items for 90 days. Learn more about loan services, including holds and renewals. 

So how do you find and borrow a book? Watch this short (57 seconds!) video to learn more...

How do I find a book again?

  • Type the title of the book in LibrarySearch and click the search (=magnifying glass) icon
  • Select "Books" in the Format section on the left-side to limit results, if needed
  • Click on the title of the book you're looking for
  • Write down the:
    • call number (i.e. E98 .S67 T35)
    • library (i.e. Robarts, Gerstein, OISE)
    • location in the library (i.e. 'Stacks')

Once you have your book(s), bring them to the library's circulation desk to check the book out or use one of our self-checkout machines. 

More about borrowing books

8. Attend a workshop

Library workshops are a great way to learn how to do library research now that you're in university.  We offer a number of online sessions, where you can learn about:

  • Creating proper bibliographies
  • Using 3D printers
  • Systematic and scoping reviews

Learn more about research skills in your own time through the Library Research Skills online modules (bonus: you can earn a CCR credit for completing them in this Quercus course!) Use these modules to learn library skills that you will use in many of your university courses. Each module is a stand-alone resource. You can complete them in any order, all at the same time, or individually as you need them.

We also have a list of self-paced modules and pre-recorded workshops, which include topics on data visualization, and intro to R (a programming language for data analysis and statistics).

9. Take a tour

The University of Toronto library system can seem daunting at first, but there are lots of ways to familiarize yourself with it.

Virtual tours

Library tours orient you to the layout of the library and show you things you might not discover on your own. Check out our virtual library tour videos of some of our libraries on St. George campus.


10. Follow us @uoftlibraries

Keep up to date with the libraries' events and offering by following us @uoftlibraries on Twitter and Instagram