The library grew its collections over the years to support the curriculum and research activities of the time. The new additions to the collections were often circulated to the faculty via newsletters, which are still available at the library.
1980 to 1990
In 1980 the Dentistry Library's very own newsletter was first published, Filling the Gap: The Library Newsletter, which ran as a typed up simple newsletter distributed to any visitor interested. It has a complete listing of all purchases from the previous year. Some highlights from the collection additions include:MEDLINE on CD-ROM is purchased for librarians in 1980
September 1981: Computer Searches available at the library. Searching includes Index to Dental Literature index; Index Medicus (former MEDLINE); HEALTHLINE; TOXILINE
University of Toronto Dental Journal is indexed
In February 1985 the librarians gave instructional sessions on Knowledge Index. Knowledge Index was a personal subscription based services for individuals with their own computers to search MEDLINE from their own account. There was a one time start up fee of $35.00 and an online charge of $24.00 per hour. Furthermore, it was only available to search after 6:00 pm!
May 1986 the Upjohn Company of Canada gave the library a complete set of publications in their "Current Concepts" and "Scope Monographs" series
Summer 1986: The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library featured the dental exhibition: Dental Roots: A History of Dentistry from Early Times to the Nineteeth Century from April 21-June 13, 1986. It was curated by Phillip Oldfield.
February 1988: A letter from former UofT Libraries Chief Librarian Carole Moore is included in the newsletter. In this letter Moore outlines the tough decision to cancel 1500 journal subscriptions across all the libraries (including Dentistry) due to budget cuts.
May 1988: The International Association of Dental Research (IADR) announces the kick off of their new journal: Advances in Dental Research where they will publish proceedings of their symposia, conferences and workshops on topics related to basic and clinical sciences relevant to dentistry. These are still published in Journal of Dental Research and continue to be a great source of current dental research today.
March 1989: The library is granted the Dean's Academic Enrichment Fund to purchase the MEDLINE CD-ROM system. This would allow users to search MEDLINE back to 1966 and it would have monthly updates to the system. No more personal subscriptions to MEDLINE! The library receives the CD-ROM in June 1989.
March 1989: Annoucement and history of the establishment of the Health Sciences Resources and Information Consortium for the Metropolitan Toronto Areas. This included 42 health sciences libraries (including Dentistry) to join forces and have better delivery of books and photocopies of periodicals; greater availability of information through resource sharing; and most importantly, improved patient care with faster information access. This is the start of the current day Health Sciences Information Consortium
September 1989: The library finally received its FELIX terminal (this was a computer terminal that allowed users to search any library catalogue record that was automated). It included records from Science and Medicine library (current Gerstein), but not the Dentistry Library holdings.
September 1990: The library celebrates 10 years of Filling the Gap Newsletter. Highlights of the past decades are included and a promise of the next decade to make all Dentistry Library records availble on the online catalogue FELIX.
1991 to 2000
DENTALPROJ: subscription to a new database developed by the National Institute of Dental Research containing summaries of ongoing dental research projects. Updated semi-annually.
January 1992: Last issue of Filling the Gap is issued. Budget cuts and staff reductions have been mentioned as the culprit for this change.
January 2000: Users are now using a search engine to retrieve articles: AltaVista! The librarian asks to users to beware of the searching and overwhelming amounts of results and encourages advanced searching.
The databases switch to online only, leaving behind any CD-ROMs or PC Terminals type of desktop searching.
At some point in the late 1990s the Dentistry Library collection was automated, however, little is reported about this immense project.
2001 to 2010
2001: The librarians try to reinvent themselves and the services span beyond collections and instruction. Librarians provide assistance with Reference Management Software beginning January 2001.
September 2001: A list of 42 dental journals are now available electronically.
2002: Now running on SIRSI automated records system, the collection is available to search on a web-based OPAC (online public access catalogue) that can be accessed from anywhere with internet. No special terminals are necessary.
2005: The Dentistry Library changes administrative structure and becomes one of the UofT Central library rather than a Faculty library. This major change helped us align our collection practices with the rest of the system. Collections continue to support curriculum and research at dentistry. However, the online collections become the way of the future and effort is maintained to push for online resources. All efforts are being made to eliminate duplications and continue to provide essential materials.