U of T library closes book on free outsider use

After years of giving graduate students, faculty and staff at otheruniversities unlimited access to its network of libraries, vastcollection of books and extensive archival materials, the University ofToronto is asking for a pay back.

After years of giving graduate students, faculty and staff at other universities unlimited access to its network of libraries, vast collection of books and extensive archival materials, the University of Toronto is asking for a pay back.

In a surprise move to begin Oct. 1, the University of Toronto will require library users from other Canadian universities to pay a fee of up to $200 a year for using its library services — something that has been free to all graduate students, faculty and staff until now.

The university says the decision was made to help ease “financial pressures” facing the libraries this year.

But cash-strapped graduate students who rely on U of T’s rare and extensive collection, mostly stored at Robarts Library, to write their masters thesis or doctoral dissertation, say it is a cost they can’t afford.

“These are people who are already getting by on $16,400 a year or less, so $200 is a significant problem for students already tens of thousands of dollars in debt,” said Ian Milligan, a Canadian history PhD student at York University, who uses Robarts Library once or twice a week for research.

 
 
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