U of T news

U of T library system ranked among top three in North America

The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library is part of the University of Toronto's library system (photo by U of T News)

The University of Toronto has once again been ranked as one of the top three library systems in North America – after Harvard and Yale – according to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) rankings.

U of T was the only Canadian university in the top 10.

“We are very proud to again be ranked in the prestigious company of Harvard and Yale,” said Chief Librarian Larry P. Alford. “I believe this is a recognition of the work of our extraordinary staff who, with their deep knowledge and expertise, have expanded our electronic resources to more than 1.5 million items, acquired extraordinary historical materials with global research value and developed cutting-edge services to support students and faculty from wherever they are.

“The Libraries’ capacity to support new forms of research will also be dramatically enhanced this coming year through the expansion of our state-of-the-art data centre, which will soon be able to accommodate massive digitization programs and make available large amounts of text data to support national and international collaborative research projects.”

The U of T library system has placed among the ARL’s top five research libraries since 2002-2003 and is comprised of 44 individual libraries that hold more than 12 million volumes in 341 languages and over 28,000 linear metres of archival material. It is the largest publicly funded research collection in Canada and the third-largest academic library in North America.

“The University of Toronto has not only Canada's, but one of the world's, finest libraries. It is clear that countless individuals understand how important this is for the nation's teaching and research, as the University of Toronto's Boundless Campaign continues to attract significant support for the library. We thank those friends and benefactors, as well as the excellent leadership in our library system, for maintaining this precious resource,” said U of T Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Misak.

The ARL annually ranks its members based on total expenditures, materials expenditures, salary expenditures and number of staff.

Margaret Wall is a writer with the University of Toronto Libraries.

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