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For the first time, Robarts Library offers child-minding pilot during fall exams

Chelsea Chen, who was pursuing an English teaching certificate, visits the new family study space with her kids, London and Chloe, in 2018 (photo by Geoffrey Vendeville)

To help student-parents get some quiet study time during the fall exam season, Robarts Library is offering students with young children up to four hours of free child-minding at the library’s family study space over two weekends in November.

Student-parents can register for the child-minding pilot by email to drop off their kids aged 12 and under on Nov. 16, 17, 23 and 24 between 1 and 5 p.m. 

The pilot is a first for University of Toronto Libraries, which created the family study space last year.

User Services Librarian Kyla Everall says research done before the creation of the special study area showed how much stress student-parents face. 

“They’re busy with their classes. They’re busy with their family responsibilities and possibly also working on the side,” she said.

“And child care is extremely expensive in Toronto.”  

The family study space on the ninth floor of the stacks is equipped with desktop workstations for adults and a chalkboard, child-sized furniture and range of toys for kids. Two child-minders from U of T’s Early Learning Centre, a licensed child-care facility, will provide supervision.

The libraries partnered with U of T’s Family Care Office on the pilot. A T-card is required to access the stacks.

Interested students can learn more online and are required to register by emailing libraryhelp@utoronto.ca