Skip to main menu Skip to content
Information on Library resources and services for: Students | Instructors | Researchers


This school year, tap the TMU Libraries for research support and more

Walk through the research process with someone, or access your favourite publications online

By: Michelle Grady
Originally published Sept 15 by Toronto Metropolitan University

Two students studying at a table in the library.


Now that the new academic year is underway and assignments are right around the corner, Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Libraries wants the community to know their doors are open to support you throughout the school year.

“The Library has such deep expertise. Sometimes you don’t know what there is to know until you ask,” says Mark Robertson, chief librarian. “My number one pro tip for students at all levels is to get in touch with your subject liaison librarian who can connect you to all the tools, information resources and services available to you, as well as walk you through the research process.”

Robertson says taking this step to connect with the Library can pay off in terms of academic success. “So often we hear upper year students say, ‘I wish I had known that in first year’ – whether it’s about how to get started on a research topic, search techniques, the nature and use of scholarly sources, or how to find and use statistical data. I highly recommend getting in touch and learning more about all the ways the Library can support you.”

Getting familiar with the resources at the Library

Before you settle into your assignments, take a look below at some of the ways the Library can support you.

Study space and on-site resources

Whether you’re commuting to campus and need some quiet space to study between classes, or you live on campus and just want to get out of your dorm room on the weekend, the Library has a variety of spaces available to meet your needs.

Floors 2 through 10 of the main library have study space available, with new individual partitioned desks with outlets and lighting, and more casual seating areas with great views. If you’re not alone, the Library also has open group study areas, and accessible group study rooms (for groups of 4 to 12 people) with monitors and white boards for project work and collaboration.

Want a study space with a view? Check out the fourth and eighth floors!

If you forgot your computer or prefer to travel lightly, the Library has loads of computer stations and labs available on three floors, and there are also laptops you can borrow from the Circulation Desk. Missing a textbook? Again, check the Circulation Desk, because the Library carries a whole host of these for loan to students.

Research help

A student at the circulation desk in the library.

Feel lost about where to start? Don’t go at it alone – there’s tons of support available to you at the Library, including librarians and staff who can support you in your research journey.

Whether you’re new to research or just like to up your research game this year, TMU Libraries is where you’ll find the help you need. Librarians and staff can help you develop your research skills, learn about the research process and access appropriate information.

Resources include:

  • Research guides, which show you how to evaluate resources and find information critical to your topic. Basically, how to research.
  • Research help: Librarians and staff can help you find what you need. If you’re on campus you can drop in and meet with someone on-site. If you’re at home, you can book an online appointment, or use the real-time chat services to chat with someone right away.
  • Research skills workshops: Offered every month, these workshops cover a variety of topics including navigating resources, conducting literature reviews and more.
  • Citation management tools: These online resources help you properly cite and reference material.
  • Collections and resources

    Access all the amazing resources and collections (over half a million online resources, and an extensive physical materials collection as well) you need for essays, projects and assignments – plus Library staff who can help find what you’re looking for.

    There’s also extensive access to magazines, newspapers, journals and more.

    Browse the collection online, or come into the Library for a look around.

    Fun resources and collection to discover

    Think the Library is just a space full of dusty books? Wrong! There’s lots to discover on-site and online that can save you money and subscription services.

    • Criterion on Demand video collection features a wide gamut of content, including 1920s classics, new releases, foreign films, literary adaptations, documentaries, animated titles and independent features.
    • Similarly, Kanopy is a streaming service available through the Library that gives you access to a wide range of content including documentaries and foreign films.
    • Explore Material ConneXion, a collection of innovative textile, concrete and other materials samples providing fashion, entrepreneurship, engineering and other students the opportunity to explore current trends and examine materials to apply to their own creations and prototypes.
    • The Fashion and Race database, put together by Kimberly Jenkins, professor of fashion history and theory, is an online platform filled with tools that expand the narrative of fashion history and challenge mis-representation within the fashion system. It was even featured in Vogue (external link) !
    • Speaking of Vogue, TMU Library has access to full collections of magazines (external link) , including the latest issues of the New Yorker, the Economist, and, yes, Vogue!

    “I hope students drop by the research help desk to talk to me or other librarians and learn about how we can help connect them to anything from highly specialized mapping databases to the newest issues of popular publications like the Economist.”

     Reece Steinberg, head of Library Learning Services

    Equipment, tech and digital resources

    On top of the collections, online resources, workshops and research support the Library can provide, there is also access to various software and hardware that may interest students.

    The Digital Media Experiences Lab (DME) is a Library space on the third floor of the SLC where students have access to video and photo editing software, a green screen, podcasting equipment, 3D printers, soldering tools and even sewing machines. Want to learn how to use some of the equipment available? There are also experts on-site to support you.

    The Circulation Desk has cameras – including GoPros – and tripods available for loan. All equipment, tools and tech are available to all students, and no experience is required.

    For more information or general inquiries, reach out to the Library or stop in on campus – enter through the main entrance of the Library Building located at the corner of Gould St. and Nelson Mandela Walkway. Then head to the second floor. There’s also an entrance to the Library on the second floor of the SLC.


Digital course reading error message in D2L

If you are receiving an error message when trying to access digital course reading lists on D2L, please clear your cache to resolve the issue. Instructions to clear your cache can be found on the CCS website.

If you are enrolled in a Distance Education course and are receiving an error message when trying to access course reading lists, please inform your instructor. Instructors should contact to have their links updated to a torontomu link in D2L.

Library Withhold 2023 Spring/Summer term

We hope everyone is having a successful exam period – the Spring/Summer term is almost complete!

  • Please clear any outstanding fines and return overdue items as soon as possible. Head to the renewals page to see if you have overdue items or fines greater than $25. Students with fines greater than $25 will not be able to view their grades until their accounts are cleared.
  • All fines can be paid to the Library at the Circulation Deskeither by VISA, MasterCard, American Express or with your OneCard. The Library also accepts credit card payment by phone – please call 416-979-2149. We do not accept personal cheques.

If you have questions or concerns about fines or overdue items, please contact Library Circulation

Students expand digital skills and gain experience working on immersive installations for the Aga Khan Museum’s latest exhibition

Timeline of Rumi’s life and work. Image courtesy of Michael Carter-Arlt

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Libraries has once again partnered with the Aga Khan Museum to develop digital installations for their current Rumi exhibition. Since 2019, the Libraries’ Information Technology (LITs) and Collaboratory teams have collaborated with the Museum on immersive projects for exhibitions, providing graduate students with real-world opportunities to work on digital installations. The first collaboration was the 2021 Remastered exhibition of Persian, Turkish, and Mughal Indian manuscript paintings, in which the Libraries developed: holographic 3-D visualizations, smartphone interactives, digital restorations and animations of artwork. The partnership has continued to grow, giving unique opportunities for graduate students to gain experience working with immersive technologies. 

Last August, the Aga Khan Museum reached out to TMU Libraries to kick off discussions about their then upcoming exhibition titled Rumi: a visual journey through the life and legacy of a Sufi Mystic. The exhibition, which opened in May and runs through to October 2023, “celebrates one of history’s most famous poets on the 750th anniversary of his passing.” Dr. Michael Chagnon, who joined the Museum in 2019, curated the exhibit that explores “Rumi’s enduring impact through an examination of artifacts, manuscripts, and contemporary art.” TMU Libraries, along with a group of contemporary artists, was asked to assist in creating new ways of learning about the poet’s life and experiencing his work.

Under the direction of TMU Libraries’ Immersive Technology Specialist Michael Carter-Arlt, the partnership (and this project), has given way to the opportunity for Library Collaboratory research assistants and TMU graduate students Ava Mozaffari, Liam Gregory and recent grad Jae Seo to gain experience and expand their skills in fabrication and 3D printing, contextual video creation, and large-scale projections. 

“The Libraries’ partnership with the Aga Khan Museum has allowed students and faculty to learn how XR technology can be used for museums,” says Carter-Arlt. “It’s rewarding and a privilege to work with and mentor graduate students, as they develop their own professional portfolios.”

Ava Mozaffari and Michael Carter-Arlt beside the Rumi portrait create by Mozaffari. Photo credit: Lee Chapman

Mozaffari, an international student and 2023 graduate of the TMU Master of Digital Media program, worked as an assistant developer on the project creating a contextual video and a portrait projection of Rumi. “This project was a fusion of my Persian roots, and digital art and technology,” she says. “It allowed me to expand my technical capabilities and also gain a richer appreciation for my own culture and its enduring impact on the world.” 

The portrait, a ten by ten foot tiling animation made up of multiple images related to the poet, is seen at the beginning of the exhibit and acts as an introduction to the poet’s work and life. From a distance, visitors see the poet’s face. As they move towards the projection they discover folios, significant artifacts, statues of and poems by Rumi. The piece provides an understanding of the poet’s legacy in a single instance through a purely visual context. 

Using the open-source programming language Processing, Mozaffari developed and coded the installation so it could be re-scaled, re-formatted and re-purposed for new projects. Prior to this she worked in Processing for student projects, but had not explored its use for such a  large piece. This project pushed her to learn how to adapt and alter the code.

Recent computer science graduate Jae Seo had previously worked with Carter-Arlt on the Remastered exhibition and acted as a consultant for the Rumi projection portrait. Similar to Mozaffari, Seo valued the opportunity to further develop skills and explore Persian-Islamic culture. “This project allowed me to utilize AI tools to expedite the process for coding using Processing, a language I’m not very familiar with,” says Seo. “It also opened my eyes to the captivating intricacies of Islamic culture.”

Liam Gregory beside 3D objects printed for the exhibition. Photo credit: Lee Chapman

In addition to the portrait, Liam Gregory, a graduate student in Computer Science, assisted with the 3D printing of three exhibit artifacts. The prints were done in collaboration with artist Simin Keramati who had also created an interactive installation for the exhibition. While knowledgeable about the 3D printing process, Gregory had not worked on a large-scale project. Through the collaboration, and working from 3D models that had been created by Carter-Arlt, he was able to gain a solid grounding in 3D printing. 

“The pieces for the Rumi exhibit presented an interesting challenge in printing sturdy parts for public use. Getting such large and strange pieces to print well was a neat test of my skills and of equipment available at the Library Collaboratory,” says Gregory. “It was great to help out the exhibit and add something very different to my portfolio.”

In total, the LITs and Library Collaboratory teams developed five immersive experiences. In addition to the portrait projection and 3D printing of artifacts, the project scope included: a 13th century interactive timeline of world events, Rumi’s life and his impact on art and architecture; a contextual video depicting three folios related to Rumi’s poetry; and a touch screen application that allows visitors to engage with selections of four Rumi poems.

“Our partnership with the Aga Khan Museum has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain valuable experience that they can take into their career,” says Kelly Dermody, head of LITs. “We hope to explore more partnerships with organizations like the Aga Khan Museum in the future.”



Survey: Teaching with streaming media and DVDs

Do you use streaming media and DVDs for instruction? TMU Libraries is conducting a survey to learn more about multimedia needs for teaching. Fill out our brief survey (15 – 20 mins) and let us know about your current usage, challenges, and costs.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help to better inform our collection development priorities and licensing needs. 

Fill out survey: Teaching with streaming media and DVDs

The survey deadline is May 31, 2023.

TMU Libraries now home to massive collection of theatre history

Theatre aficionado saved over 4,000 theatre programs making it one of the largest personal collections

Article by: Michelle Grady

Theatre aficionado Paul Christie, who worked at the Elgin-Winter Garden Theatre for over 25 years, donated his large personal collection of playbills and theatre programs dating back to 1952 to the TMU Libraries Special Collections. Photo by Jaye Huynh


TMU students and faculty interested in the history of Canadian theatre will now have access to one of the largest private collections of theatre playbills and programs from Toronto, Broadway and London’s West end dating back nearly 70 years.

Theatre aficionado Paul Christie, who was well known in the theatre community in Toronto, amassed a huge personal collection of playbills and programs dating back to 1953, which has kindly been donated to the TMU Libraries Special Collections.

“Before Paul passed in 2021, he and I were talking one day and I asked him, ‘what would you want done with your collection when you’re gone?” says Arnie Lappin, Christie’s close friend and colleague at the Elgin-Winter Garden Theatre, where he worked as an usher for 25 years. Christie’s collection is extensive, dating from 1952 to 2020 and it includes approximately 4,000 theatre bills and programs, as well as ticket stubs, reviews and images from performances.

The collection is open to the TMU community and the public upon request of TMU Libraries Special Collections. Photo by Jaye Huynh


After extensive research and consideration, Lappin connected with the TMU Libraries’s Special Collections, where students and researchers at the School of Performance, as well as the general public, could access this extensive archive of theatre materials and dive into a great historical record of theatre in Toronto.

“It was really important that these go somewhere where they would be accessed by students and that they would be used and appreciated and have a life in research,” says Alison Skyrme, special collections librarian. She and her team at the Special Collections have been busy cataloguing and digitizing Christie’s collection, which will be ready for full access come summertime.

A theatre buff and mentor

Paul Christie’s deep love of theatre is evidenced in his expansive collection of theatre bills and programs dating back to 1953.


Christie had a deep personal interest in theatre productions, says Lappin. “Paul’s knowledge of the performing arts was peerless, and he unconditionally supported the careers of generations of emerging actors, singers and writers.”

Though he worked as a court reporter professionally, he also worked and volunteered for over 25 years at various Toronto theatres, including the Elgin-Winter Garden Theatre, where he met Lappin. “All during his life he was a mentor to hundreds of aspiring performers, writers and directors – attending their shows, events, reading their books and scripts. As he neared retirement he began working at Toronto theatres as an usher and eventually worked at the Elgin-Winter Garden Theatre Centre in that capacity for 25 years.”

Christie organized his collection of about 4,000 theatre bills and programs in binders by date, and included reviews or images that appeared in the theatre section of the paper. Skyrme says the Library is keeping these materials as they catalogue everything.

“I think the history of theatre in Toronto is really held here,” she says. “There are programs from other cities as well, but it’s mainly focused on Toronto, and it’s really fascinating to see that there were theatres that no longer exist, including one called the Crest Theatre.”

Though there are databases online that contain information about theatre productions in Toronto, Skyrme says she isn’t certain how far they go back. “This collection has information that might not be available anywhere else.”

“The fact that it is so organized means that his intentions in the collection are very clear. We know exactly how he accessed them himself and how he wanted them to be catalogued,” she says. “So we tried to stay true to that and keep it as he had organized it.”

The collection will be available to view at the Library’s Special Collections this spring.


Article posted on TMU Today, March 23

Second World War-era comics see new life

181 comic books published during the 1940s serve as a trove of research possibilities

Olivia Wong, Special Collections curatorial specialist, takes us through the comics. Photo credit: Photos by Ryan Walker.

Everyone knows Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, but thanks to a generous anonymous donation, TMU students and researchers can get a glimpse of Canada’s own comic book history and heroes.

In February 2015, TMU received a donation of 181 rare Canadian comic books from the Second World War, featuring such legends of Canadian pop culture as Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Canada Jack.

“It’s the holy grail of Canadian comics,” says TMU Professor Andrew O’Malley, who has used the collection for his own research, including his project “Comic Books, Children’s Culture and the Crisis of Innocence, 1940-1954.” Classes in the English department have also used the collection for curations.

Read the full article by Michelle Grady in the latest issue of Toronto Met University Magazine.


Mark Robertson appointed chief librarian at TMU Libraries

As Toronto Metropolitan University’s Chief Librarian, Mark Robertson will support students, programs and initiatives as well as scholarly, research and creative activities, and the continued development of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Accomplished leader joins TMU from Brock University

From the Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Robertson as Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU)’s chief librarian effective July 1, 2023.

With more than 24 years of experience working in academic libraries, Mark joins us from Brock University where he has been university librarian since 2016. As a member of Brock’s senior administrative council, Mark developed a new strategic plan and master space plan for the library, saw the opening of a new makerspace and provided leadership for the establishment of an open access policy. Further, his work to strengthen the library acquisitions budget resulted in a significant rise in the library’s performance in the Maclean’s Magazine rankings of  comprehensive universities in Canada.

Prior to Brock, Mark spent 17 years at York University, including eight years as associate university librarian for information services.

“Over the years I have had opportunities to collaborate with such talented people at the TMU libraries,” said Robertson. “I have always been struck by the spirit of creativity and innovation. I am excited and honoured to be joining as chief librarian.”

In his new role Mark will work collaboratively with more than 100 internal library staff as well as academic units across the university and the external community to facilitate new opportunities for innovation and excellence in library services. His portfolio will support a growing academic community and provide crucial academic learning, creation and research resources, programs, services and spaces to the university.

“While I’ll be new at the university,” he said, “in many ways coming to TMU brings my career full circle. My first professional job was only blocks from the campus, and I’ve always felt deeply invested in Toronto. It’s exciting to me the way that the university has carved a unique niche for itself in its mix of academic programs, commitment to innovation, social justice, and for its role in city-building. I am thrilled to be joining the TMU team.”

An active member of the board of directors for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Mark also chairs the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Impact Framework Working Group and is a longtime member of the Ontario Council of University Libraries and Canadian Association of Research Libraries directors.

Mark earned his bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto, followed by a master of arts in philosophy from McMaster University, and a master of information studies from the University of Toronto. He attended the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians in 2009 before participating in the prestigious Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellows Program.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dana Thomas, whose leadership as interim chief librarian has contributed greatly to our community.

Thank you to all committee members  for their significant contributions to this successful search:

Kelly Kimberley
Acting Associate Chief Librarian, Teaching and Learning

Richard Lachman
Associate Professor, The Creative School; Director, Zone Learning; Research Development; Experiential Media Institute

Raquel Lashley
Student, Master of Nursing

Lisa Levesque
Assessment Librarian, Law Library

Rosalynn Mackenzie
Archival Technician

Jen McMillen
Vice-Provost, Students

Jason Nolan
Associate Professor, Early Childhood Studies

Nazia Sheikh
Business Liaison Librarian

Fangmin Wang
Computer and Data Science Liaison Librarian

Please join me in welcoming Mark to TMU and offering best wishes in his new role.

Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano
Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic


Open Education Week at TMU


This year, TMU Libraries, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the Chang School are celebrating Open Education (OE) Week, March 6-10, 2023, by highlighting work being done at the university in support of open education.

Join us for a series of OE week events. Hear from faculty who have developed open textbooks and course materials, explore the latest open educational resources in your discipline, and learn more about how to create new and innovative open teaching materials that can improve students’ educational experience.


OE Week events at the Library

Open Education Resources (OER) and treats

Date: March 7
Time: 1 p.m. –  2 p.m.

Students are welcome to drop by the OE Week Table (main floor of the Library) to grab a treat and learn more about Open Education Resources, including free textbooks and teaching resources that are high quality and can save students money. 


Now is the time for open educational resources hackathon  

Date: March 8
Time: 10 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Discover open educational resources (OER) to use in teaching. Learn how to search for the latest open educational resources in specific disciplines, and contribute to the online book of OER related to TMU curriculum: Now Is The Time For Open Educational Resources. 


Other OE Week events at TMU: 

Open education matters: panel discussion with TMU open champions

Date: March 9
Time: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

This panel discussion, moderated by Sean Kheraj, Vice-Provost Academic, brings together open champions from around TMU to share their experiences developing or supporting open educational resources (OER).


Sean Kheraj, Vice-Provost Academic


Cynthia Holmes, Associate Dean, Faculty & Academic, Ted Rogers School of Management

Nadia Prendergast, Assistant Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Megan Omstead, Graduate Program Coordinator, School of Nutrition


The Chang School’s Virtual Lunch & Learn: Let’s Talk OER! 

Date: March 7
Time: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

The Chang School’s Teaching & Learning Committee and Open Education at TMU team invites you to a virtual Lunch & Learn on Tuesday, March 7 at 12:00 p.m. During this hour-long session, hear from panelists who were awarded The Chang School’s Open Education Resource (OER) Grants. These grants support creation and/or adaptation of Open Textbooks and Open Educational Resources in collaboration with students and colleagues across disciplines. The panel will share their experiences in actively creating OER, as well as their perspectives on using OER in their teaching. Please RSVP.


2023 International Love Data Week, Feb. 13 – 17

International Love Data Week is a global event held annually in February to raise awareness of the importance of research data management, sharing and reuse. 

This year’s theme is Data: Agent of Change – a prompt to think about how data can be used to bring about positive impact and change. 

Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries is hosting the following workshops during Love Data Week 2023:


An Introduction to Open Data

Monday, Feb. 13, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m.


Planning for Data Sharing: Writing a Data Management Plan  

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.


Who is counted? How to use the Census of Canada timeline to search for ethno-racial and Indigenous identities

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.


An Introduction to Scholars GeoPortal and SimplyAnalytics 

Thursday, Feb. 13, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.


Please join us if you love data!