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Fall Planning at York University Libraries. Communication from the Dean of Libraries to Instructors and Graduate Students

Fall Planning at York University Libraries. Communication from the Dean of Libraries to Instructors and Graduate Students

This post contains content from a York email communication sent out to instructors and graduate students by the Dean of Libraries on July 20th, 2020

In preparation for the Fall semester, York University Libraries (YUL) has adapted its services to support online learning and research. This communication provides an overview of YUL resources and answers some frequently asked questions to help you plan your upcoming courses. Listed below are sections on the many ways the Libraries has adapted services that include expansion of online content, streaming video, curbside pickup of print resources, digitization services to support course reserves and where to get support for library research and instruction.

How can I access library resources?

Online content

YUL continues to work with instructors to increase content to support online courses. Since March 2020, over 22,000 eBooks have been permanently added to the collection, all of which are now discoverable via OMNI, the Libraries' new search platform. As publishers have expanded temporary access to hundreds of titles online during the pandemic, we have made these available to our community. However, acquiring electronic versions of textbooks continues to be a significant challenge as most of the large commercial textbook publishers do not provide purchasing options for libraries and prefer to sell directly to individuals.

Please address all requests for material to the Libraries’ Content Development and Analysis department (CDA) at

Streaming Video

The demand for streaming media has risen sharply. The Libraries have responded to this demand by expanding access to video streaming platforms and seeking streaming licenses for individual films upon faculty request where they are not available through other platforms. Due to demand and cost, we are now restricting fulfillment to required course-related viewing.

In preparing your syllabus, please consult with Sound and Moving Image Library (SMIL) staff at We are doing everything we can to support instructors and students with their streaming video needs, including working on other solutions that we hope to communicate at a later date.

Curbside Pickup of Print Materials

YUL is now offering curbside pickup of print materials. Curbside pickup is available for resources where there is no available electronic edition. This service is currently available to graduate students and faculty for circulating print materials in the Scott Library. Stay tuned for expansion of this service to other user groups and expansion of curbside pickup for print materials located at other York University Libraries.

To request circulating materials, fill out this form. You will receive an email response asking you to book a pickup time. Pickups times are Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. All materials will be available for contactless pickup in a plastic bag.

The pickup location is on the second floor of the Ross podium and will be indicated with signs (see map below). Alternative pick up arrangements are available for those with concerns about physical accessibility. Please email for assistance.

Map showing curbside pickup location

Print Reserves & Digitization of Content for Course Readings

Libraries Partnering with the Copyright Office to Facilitate Access to Course Readings

Due to current public health concerns about COVID-19, the Libraries are not currently offering physical reserve services. However, in partnership with the Copyright Office, York University Libraries are offering services to assist faculty in providing access to digital versions of course readings, where possible, through a combination of strategies, including permalinks, acquisition of e-resources, and scanning where York University’s Fair Dealing Guidelines permit.

  • Please send your reading list or syllabus to
  • Staff will create permalinks to library content where possible.
  • For cases where the request involves print-based materials:
    • If available, York University Libraries will acquire a digital version of the work that can be linked on your Moodle/Canvas website.
    • If no digital version of the work is available for use in a classroom environment, a determination will need to be made about whether selections fall within York University’s Fair Dealing Guidelines. Where this applies, the approved excerpts will be scanned from the print collection and emailed to you from the email account for posting on your Moodle or Canvas course web site.

Please submit requests starting August 4, 2020. Requests will be processed beginning mid-August when staff are in place.

How can I protect copyright and intellectual property when posting materials online?

York University’s Copyright Office provides information for instructors on course syllabi and materials.

The Teaching Commons provides some additional resources and best practices around protecting Intellectual Property via its BOLD Going Remote web site

How can I get support for library research and instruction?

York University Libraries has moved its research and instructional services entirely online for the fall term. Some services are live via Zoom, while others are asynchronous and always available. For more information about library instructional services and initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult:

In-class library research instruction

Course instructors can book a librarian or archivist to lead a range of online classes, from assignment- or course-based workshops to research data management and digital literacies. Please contact us to arrange a class tailored to your course and curricular needs. For fall term and year-long courses, please book by August 15, 2020. Instructors can book an in-class workshop here.

Online video series on information literacy

The Libraries’ Student Learning & Academic Success (SLAS) department is developing a series of short online videos geared to undergraduate students. These videos introduce key information literacy skills such as how to find, evaluate, think critically about, use, and cite information. Videos will be available on the Libraries’ website for the fall term.

SPARK tutorial

SPARK (Student Papers & Academic Research Kit) offers short online tutorials geared to library research. Modules demonstrate the key elements of the scholarly research process and include printable tips sheets. SPARK tutorials are available on the library website anytime and can be incorporated into a course Moodle site.

Research assignments & projects: On-demand and appointment-based services

At York University Libraries we play an important role in enhancing students’ learning by helping them to navigate, evaluate and cite information sources for assignments and projects through on-demand and appointment-based services.

Connect with us via:
  • Chat services (with optional screen sharing) – recommended first port of call for undergraduates for general library questions and research help, available 7 days per week
  • Text/SMS (647-695-8985) – questions, research help, 7 days per week
  • Zoom consultations – schedule an in-depth research consultation with a subject or data librarian, especially recommended for advanced undergraduate research projects and graduate students

See full details via our Ask a Question web site.