Learning Commons, Part 3: York U Libraries

Posted by Sophie Morgan on October 9, 2018

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It’s always a good idea to freshen up your academic skills and learn new ones. It’s an even better idea to do so with the upcoming tests and assignments you will have this term! The #YUBlog is here with our brand-new series on the Learning Commons to point you in the right direction so you can find all the resources you need! It’s important to know that the Learning Commons brings together various academic support services, including the Writing Department and Learning Skills Services, to help students achieve academic success. Today, we’re looking at York University Libraries.  

York University Libraries have many valuable resources for students and provide spaces for enhancing academic skills, studying and learning. I find that libraries are the perfect place to work independently in the Quiet Zones, print out my assignments or book a study room for group projects. In today’s #YUBlog article, we’re breaking down York University Libraries’ branches and services to see how they can help you achieve academic success!  

An image of students studying in a Conversation Zone in the Scott Library.
Looking for more on-campus resources? Be sure to check out our previous #YUBlog post, “Your Top 10 York U Resources”!

York University Library Branches  

The Scott Library  

An image of the second floor of Scott Library.
The Scott Library has millions of books that support over half the research and teaching at the University!

 You’ve probably heard of this one already – the Scott Library, perhaps the most popular library at York U! Located in Central Square at the Keele Campus, you can access numerous library materials, services and research assistance for the Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine Arts and Environmental Studies.  

I find this breakdown of each of the floors (organized by service and subject area) and the Understanding Call Numbers webpage to be great tools to navigate the library. I also recommend taking advantage of the late-night study space during the exam period – it’s perfect for night owls!  

Success Tip: If you’re looking to build your academic skill set, it’s a great idea to use Learning Skills Services (LSS) at the Scott Library! For example, you can attend a 15-minute drop-in session if you have a question about citation or go to an LSS workshop to learn about exam preparation. Be sure to check out our previous #YUBlog post, “Learning Commons, Part 1: Learning Skills Services for more information! 

The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections   

The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections is located in Room 305 in the Scott Library. It collects manuscripts, rare books and primary materials, particularly related to Canadian History, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Environmental History and Sexual Diversity.  

I remember going to the Clara Thomas Archives as a first-year student for an English class and it was an incredible experience to examine the book I was studying in its primary form! If you plan on visiting the Clara Thomas Archives, be sure to contact them ahead of time, so they can have your materials ready for your arrival. 

The Map Library  

York U’s Map Library is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for, you guessed it, maps! You can drop by the main floor of the Scott Library to look at any one of the 112,000 maps and approximately 6,600 atlases and books.  

The Sound & Moving Image Library (SMIL)  

York U’s Sound & Moving Image Library is a great resource for the latest music and movie releases for assignments, research and personal education. Its collections include 100,000+ CDs and DVDs and 150,000 audio and digital files. You can contact SMIL for more information or drop by the main floor of the Scott Library for any media resources, facilities or equipment you may need!  

The Steacie Science & Engineering Library  

An image of students studying in Steacie Library
The Steacie Science and Engineering Library is located at 136 Campus Walk.

The Steacie Science & Engineering Library is an ideal place to study and find research materials and services that support the Faculties of Science and the Lassonde School of Engineering. It has more than 90,000 circulating books in the sciences and a computer lab with numerous software options. I suggest that you check out their “unusual reserves” where you can take out miscellaneous items, such as headphones, chess sets, iPads, scientific models and more!  

Success Tip: Be sure to visit any number of York University Resource Centres, such as the York International Resource Library, to find additional materials to help support your studies. 

The Peter F. Bronfman Business Library 

An image of a student studying in the Peter F. Bronfman Business Library.
You can visit the Peter F. Bronfman Business Library in Room S237 at the Seymour Schulich Building.

The Peter F. Bronfman Business Library is a great on-campus resource if you’re conducting business research. The librarians have created Business Library Guides and the Business Research at York Toolkit (BRYT), so you can find information on nearly any business subject imaginable!   

The Osgoode Law Library 

As the largest law library in Canada with over 800,000 volumes, the Osgoode Law Library offers numerous legal and law-related information. Located in the Ignat Kaneff Building, you’ll find primary legal materials, bound law journals for common law jurisdictions and more. 

The Leslie Frost Library  

An image of the Leslie Frost Library.
The Leslie Frost Library is a great place to conduct bilingual research.

 The Leslie Frost Library is located next to Glendon Hall at the Glendon Campus and offers numerous bilingual resources. It primarily offers support in the Social Sciences and the Humanities and provides library classes and workshops to help you learn academic skills to successfully complete your assignments. 

Success Tip: Looking for a great study spot? Use the Places to Study search to find the perfect location for you! 

Must-Use Services  

An image of a student studying in the Learning Skills Services study area.
Explore and benefit from York U Libraries’ valuable services!

Aside from its distinct library branches, York U Libraries also offers numerous services. I have listed some of the most useful and interesting ones below, but you can visit their Ask & Services webpage for a complete overview!  

InterCampus Borrowing (ICB) 

The InterCampus Borrowing service transports library materials between the Keele and Glendon Campuses. Requesting this service is as easy as checking “InterCampus Borrowing” when you borrow materials from the York Libraries Catalogue! 

Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting (RACER)  

Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting (RACER) is a virtual catalogue that allows users to search and borrow items from all university libraries across Ontario. Once you log in with your Passport York and complete the RACER User Registration, you’re ready to start borrowing!  

Subject Librarians 

Subject Librarians are individuals who specialize in a specific area of study and can help you find research materials on a particular topic. If you don’t know where to start or you want to make sure you aren’t missing any important sources, I recommend visiting a Subject Librarian!  

Success Tip:  Having trouble find material for an upcoming assignment? Check out York U Libraries’ Research Guides! These compilations of information organized by York U Librarians are a fantastic starting point for any research project you may have. 

Laptop Borrowing  

You can rent MacBook Airs and Dell Latitudes at numerous York U library branches. These laptops are available to be rented for three hours at a time to currently registered York U students, faculty and staff.  

And there you have it, Lions – a full breakdown of York University’s Libraries! Now you’re ready to take advantage of these library branches and their unique resources to reach your academic potential (just in time for Reading Week too!).  

If you have any questions about York University Libraries, please comment below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents 

Sophie Morgan
Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan is a second-year Professional Writing and French Studies double major at York U. She is an avid writer, a baking enthusiast and a full-time cat-sitter. She hopes that her posts will inform and inspire both prospective and current York U students!

See other posts by Sophie Morgan

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