By Latifa Abdin
Ryerson University’s chief librarian Madeleine Lefebvre has renegotiated an agreement with the University of Toronto that would allow Ryerson’s graduate students, staff and faculty to borrow materials from the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library.
The renegotiation of the agreement came after the University of Toronto decided it would raise its access fees for external users. Under the original agreement, made in 2009, external users from other universities paid $200 for 12 months’ access to the libraries.
But it’s not only Ryerson students who are pleased with this agreement. Students at the University of Toronto also agree that the deal is a good idea.
Jeff Cui, an economics student at the University of Toronto, feels that there needs to be a university community where all students and researchers are able to come together and have access to the same resources.
“I feel that we are homogeneous,” said Cui.
Martin Alite, a former U of T architect student, agrees with Cui.
“I think it’s a very good initiative,” Alite said.
Alite said it would be unfair to not allow other students to access the information available at University of Toronto’s libraries, considering that its collections are the largest in Canada and one of the largest in North America.
Such information is exactly what some Ryerson students desperately need access to – in fact, some Ryerson professors tell their students to actively search out resources at the University of Toronto.
Ryerson history professor Arne Kislenko, who also teaches at the University of Toronto, said that some disciplines require a depth of research that requires students to visit other libraries.
“The holdings tend to be more numerous [at the University of Toronto’s libraries],” he said.
With the high standard of research expected of Ryerson students, Kislenko said it is common sense to inquire where the resources are plentiful.
Ryerson’s own library holds over 500,000 books, 2,000 print journals and many electronic resources.
The new Student Learning Centre on the corner of Gould and Yonge streets is expected to add to the library resources available to Ryerson students, with more access to electronic resources and more study spaces.
“Comparing anyone to U of T is ridiculous,” Kislenko said. “Our own library has done a fantastic job of catching up.”