Borrowing & Circulation

Library circulation desk looking east with reading room door at left, 1910

Library circulation desk with reading room door at left, 1910

University of Toronto at Scarborough / Scarborough College Library

Librarian John Ball and staff at the circulation desk of the V. W. Bladen Library, UTSC

In the 1890s, only faculty and graduate students could directly access the library stacks. The privilege was later extended to students in their final year of undergraduate study, but third-year students had to wait until the mid-1950s to gain access to the stacks at the Sigmund Samuel Library and the old library on King’s College Circle, the main university libraries at the time. Most undergraduates were required to submit retrieval requests at the circulation desk and consult books in the reading room. Exceptions were granted for students who obtained a recommendation from a professor, in which case the University Librarian authorized access.

In response to growing pressure from students, the Library Council liberalized the existing policy in 1961, granting access on an experimental basis to first and second-year undergraduates to peruse the collections with certain restrictions. Students who attended an obligatory orientation session could enter the stacks after 5:30 pm during the week and after 9:00 am on Saturdays.

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Borrowing & Circulation