Library Assessment

Library rankings

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) ranks McGill Library 42 out of 117 member libraries in North America. This is based on the most recent ARL Library Investment Index (2020-2021).

In the 2023 MacLean's University Rankings, released in October 2022, McGill Library ranked 1st in the percentage of its budget devoted to library collections in the medical-doctoral category, which includes 15 Canadian universities with medical schools and a wide range of doctoral programs.

Selected facts and figures

Current facts

  • Library collections: 9.2 million items
  • Library personnel (excluding casual employees): 162 staff members
  • User seating across library branches: circa 4,000 seats


2020-2021 usage figures

Circulation of items

  • The HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) helped libraries provide electronic access to their print collections during COVID-19. The combination of ETAS and a pickup service enabled McGill University Library to provide access to its print collection for over one year, while branch libraries were physically closed due to COVID.
  • Through ETAS and McGill Library’s pickup service, 109,988 items were checked out from May 2020 to April 2021, an average of 301 items per day. In addition, 7,039 items were obtained for McGill students, faculty, and staff through inter-library loan borrowing.

Instructional sessions

  • Around 30,000 participants attended over 800 online lectures and workshops taught by McGill librarians from May 2020 to April 2021.

Space usage

  • From the launch of the study hubs service in September 2020 to its end in August 2021, the study hubs received 54,089 check-ins over three branches.
  • Approximately 7,000 students booked a study hub seat.
  • 24% of students who responded to McGill’s Winter 2021 Checking In Today, Planning For Tomorrow survey reported that using a study hub was one or the main reason for coming to campus.

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