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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 see our COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations for the latest information on what's available and open.

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

  • Library Catalogue: Search for books, e-books, and many other kinds of materials by title, author, or topic. Learn more about curbside pick-up on how to access any print materials at this time. 
  • Article Search (Summon): Articles from magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals, most of which are online. Search by title, author, or topic.
  • 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 certain libraries for the Fall 2020 term. 

student working at a library computer

Need access to specific software, like GIS, design tools or data analytics? Try the RemoteLab Service to access software that can be found on computer workstations at the library.

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:

  • Finding scholarly sources
  • Creating proper bibliographies
  • Evaluating websites and other internet sources

Learn more about research skills in your own time through the Library Research Skills online modules. 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.

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