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York University Libraries
LocationToronto, Canada
TypeAcademic library
Established1961; 63 years ago (1961)
Size2,500,000 items
Access and use
Population served50,000
Other information
DirectorAndrea Kosavic
Parent organisationYork University
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata
Location of W.P. Scott Library

York University Libraries (YUL) is the library system of York University in Toronto, Ontario. The four main libraries and one archives[1] contain more than 2,500,000 volumes.[citation needed]


The first York library opened in 1961 at Glendon College and was housed in Falconer Hall. In 1963 the library moved to its own building, named after recent Ontario premier Leslie Frost.[2]

The first library on the large Keele campus was the Steacie Science Library (now the Steacie Science and Engineering Library), which opened in 1965, and was named after chemist Edgar William Richard Steacie.[3]

The large W.P. Scott Library opened in 1971.[4] The need to build an appropriate collection in a short space of time was immediate and pressing. Accordingly, chief librarian Thomas F. O'Connell, formerly at the Harvard Library, made arrangements to purchase the entire stock of two bookstores: the Starr Book Company in Boston and Librarie Ducharme in Montreal. An early decision was also made not to duplicate research strengths at the University of Toronto and soon the Libraries owned impressive collections in American history, French Canadiana, and later sociology and psychology.[5] Archibald Macleish was awarded an honorary degree at a special convocation at the official opening of the building on 30 October 1971.[4]


The system has four branches, one containing two smaller libraries and an archives. At the main Keele Campus:

At the Glendon College campus:

In addition to almost 150 full-time staff, approximately 40 academic librarians are responsible for faculty liaison, collection development, and research instruction across every major discipline and field taught at York.[7]

Other libraries at York, which are not branches of YUL but work closely with it, include these, both on Keele Campus:

The Archives of Ontario is on York's Keele campus but is not affiliated with York.

Partnerships and collaboration

The Library is a member of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries and the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and is a contributor to Open Content Alliance.

Chief librarians

The position has been known by various titles through the years, changing from Director of Library Services to Director of Libraries to University Librarian,[13] and then to Dean of Libraries.


  1. ^ "Library and Archives Locations". York University Libraries. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  2. ^ Horn 2009, p. 40.
  3. ^ Horn 2009, p. 66.
  4. ^ a b Horn 2009, p. 137.
  5. ^ Basbanes 2001, pp. 446–448.
  6. ^ "Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections". Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  7. ^ "Subject & Liaison Librarians". York University Libraries. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  8. ^ Doorey 2020, p. 6.
  9. ^ "Catherine Davidson appointed interim university librarian". York University Libraries. 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  10. ^ "Joy Kirchner appointed to the position of University Librarian". YFile. 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  11. ^ "Announcement of interim dean, York University Libraries". YFile. 2023-03-03. Retrieved 2023-05-24.
  12. ^ Huls, Alex (2024-05-01). "Announcement of new dean of York University Libraries". YFile. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  13. ^ Horn 2009, p. 268.


  • Doorey, David (2020). The Law of Work (2nd. ed.). Toronto: Emond Montgomery. ISBN 9781772556186.

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