Remote Learning 101: York’s Top Online Library Services

Posted by Deea Deb on August 12, 2020

Academic Success

Hey Lions! York is home to eight libraries, and I don’t know about you, but this fall term, I am going to miss sitting in my favourite spot in Scott Library with a cup of coffee and getting some work done between classes! But does the temporary closure of university buildings mean that York’s Libraries won’t be there for us when we need them? Absolutely not! Most library resources have moved online and in this #YUBlog post, I am sharing York’s top online library services that will help you ace those essays and excel in your academics!

Chat with a York Librarian

Remote Learning 101: York’s Top Online Library Services #YUBlog

Searching for journals and articles for your research paper can get to you when a deadline is close. Connect to the York U Libraries Chat via the library’s Ask A Question website. To provide you with more personalized assistance, this system uses Zoom integration for screen sharing and offers bilingual services.

Virtual Consultations

With the suspension of on-campus services, the Library’s consultation services have moved online. You can book a virtual research appointment with a subject librarian through a program-specific online form for in-depth research help. A librarian will respond to your request within two business days to schedule a time for your Zoom meeting.

Learning Commons Services

The Learning Commons Hub is one of the most iconic spaces in Scott Library. Although the space itself isn’t currently open, the Learning Commons is providing all its services online:

You can check out our earlier blog posts in the Remote Learning 101 Series, which dive into the online resources offered by the Career Centre and Learning Skills Services.

Online Tutorials and Guides

Remote Learning 101: York’s Top Online Library Services #YUBlog

There will be occasions when you may not have enough time to attend a webinar or get someone to help you with research, taking notes or editing essays. Fear not! The Learning Commons has you covered. 

SPARK, the Student Paper & Academic Research Kit, is an eLearning resource designed to help students produce successful written academic assignments. Each of the 13 modules focuses on the development of academic skills, such as research and writing, and is intended to teach you about the process of completing a written assignment.

Most students use SPARK throughout their studies at York U to learn about and review these important concepts – it’s never a bad idea to brush up on effective reading strategies or essay structure!

We also recommend that you check out the Library’s Research Guides, curated by subject librarians when you require specific databases and resources for your research papers.  These guides can save you time by getting you to excellent online scholarly resources quickly!

Pro Tip for English Language Learners: The Teaching and Learning team at the Libraries, in conjunction with the English as Second Language (ESL) instructors piloted a Library Skills Project for ESL students incorporating slides, short videos, interactive activities and a Q&A, as live Zoom classes with modules for student use after class.

Online Collections

Remote Learning 101: York’s Top Online Library Services #YUBlog

While all library buildings at York are temporarily closed and collections housed in the Libraries’ physical locations are temporarily inaccessible, connect with the Libraries online for help locating online alternatives for recommendations on different resources to print material. You can use the OMNI search platform to find a vast array of online journalseBooks, streaming media and more. If you are not familiar with the platform, visit the Libraries’ OMNI training guide to learn tips and tricks that can help you easily navigate the site.

Although curbside pickup service is available for faculty and graduate students, print materials required for undergraduate courses (i.e. assignments, exams, readings, etc.) may be available as digital versions. If your instructors have not uploaded digital copies of reading material on the Moodle course website, you can check with the library’s research help services to find online resources.

Returns, Loans and Fines

Remote Learning 101: York’s Top Online Library Services #YUBlog

Do you still have library items that you borrowed a few months back and couldn’t return? Not to worry. Keeping in mind the limitations of the current situation, faculty, students and staff are not required to return library materials (e.g. books, DVDs, etc.) until further notice and fines will not accrue for late or missing items. Recall requests for books on loan are also suspended and renewal limits no longer apply. However, if you still want to return your library items, that’s also an option. You can drop the books in the bin (shown in the image below) located outside of the Security Services Office entrance at the William Small Centre (155 Campus Walk), Keele Campus.

William Small Center Library book drop off

If you have any questions about these resources, be sure to comment below or tweet us at @YorkStudents.

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York U on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.



Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb