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Research Guides

Getting started at U of T Libraries

The top 5 things to know about the libraries during your first term at the University of Toronto.


Welcome to the University of Toronto Libraries! We are happy to help you from wherever you may be at this time.
Please refer to the COVID-19 Updates on library services and operations for the latest information on what's available and open, including study spaces and library building hours

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. 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.
    Learn more about curbside pick-up on how to access any print materials at this time. 
  • 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 Database: 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.

3. 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.


4. Get online

No computer or wifi access? No problem! The libraries can help. Learn more about accessing a computer workstation or wifi at libraries around campus. 

student working at a library computer

Need to join an online class while on campus? The libraries have set up "Remote Zones" in Robarts Library and Gerstein Science Information Centre for you to connect to your lecture. 

5. Learn more

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. An audio tour of Robarts Library at St. George campus is available online in English, French, Cantonese, Korean, and Mandarin. You can also check out our virtual library tour videos of some of our libraries on campus:

Online workshops & modules

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
  • Evaluating websites and other internet sources
  • Using 3D printers

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).

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