Resources for Study and Research: Libraries
The McGill Library consists of 12 branch libraries and three special collections located across both campuses. Numbering over six million items, the Library's vast holdings include 2.5 million books, textbooks, and course-readers, thousands of journal titles, vast manuscript and pictorial collections, and thousands of sound and video recordings. The Library's e-resources are extensive, and include over 60,000 e-journals, multimedia, and two million e-books on subjects ranging from early English literature to nutrition.
A comprehensive website (www.mcgill.ca/library), an online catalogue, and a wide range of library services link the Library's resources to those who need them for learning, research, and scholarship. Hundreds of databases on topics from art history to zoology guide users to relevant journal articles and research materials, while subject guides on topics like chemistry and social work provide comprehensive and clear direction for users undertaking research. The Library's website also provides access to items such as past examination papers, McGill theses, and foreign newspapers. All electronic resources are available for use from home using the VPN (Virtual Private Network) or laboratories anywhere on the campus—access any time, any place.
The staff in each branch library can help you locate information for coursework, assignments, or research topics. Training is provided at all student levels to ensure you know how to find and use information. Information skills programs are undertaken as part of course curricula. Liaison Librarians specialize in specific disciplines, and are available to assist students and staff in person, on the phone, online, by email, and via online chat.
Although opening hours vary, most libraries are open up to 90 hours per week, and several branch libraries extend opening hours during examination periods, including 24-hour-access to the Humanities and Social Sciences Library. Hundreds of computers are available for email, word-processing, accessing online courses, reading library materials, preparing assignments, and searching the Internet. Designed to enhance the learning experiences of diverse users, the Library's facilities offer a variety of comfortable and attractive spaces, including quiet individual study areas, dynamic e-zones, and group study rooms that can be booked for use. Wireless access is available throughout the library, and all libraries have card-operated printing and copying facilities. Special facilities are available for vision- and hearing-impaired users. Laptops and e-readers are also available for loan.
You can use special library services such as the Electronic Data Resources Service, which supports empirical and statistical research. Unique scholarly materials from the Rare Books and Special Collections are being digitized and theses are being submitted electronically. The Course Reserve collection in each branch library includes copies of textbooks and high-demand items on course reading lists. You can borrow materials from any library and return them anywhere across the system. If you need material not owned by McGill University Library, our Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery Service will source it for you and pickup is available at any branch.