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Wondering What Sights You Should See On Your Last Day of the Conference? (By Library Tours Co-Chair Vincci Lui)

If you prefer to stay in the downtown core, why not visit the University of Toronto? While you may not have time to tour all 44 libraries in the third largest North American academic library system, you can probably squeeze in one or two stops!

History buffs should not miss out on the 2pm tour of Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library,  known for its rare works of British, European and Canadian literature, philosophy, the history of science, Canadiana, Hebraica and Judaica, and the history and art of the book.  The Fisher Library is also home to one of the three major collections in the history of medicine in Canada,; and special collections include a large selection of works from the Medical Society of London’s library, the papers of Charles Best and Frederick Banting, and letters by Florence Nightingale.

Fans of The Bard will enjoy their spring exhibition, ‘So Long Lives This’: A Celebration of Shakespeare’s Life and Works, 1616-2016, which marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  Featured works include early source material like Holinshed’s Chronicles and Plutarch’sLives, and a rare display of the First Folio of 1623, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays (only 232 copies exist in the world).

Spend some time leisurely exploring the rest of the U of T campus, a blend of architectural styles that includes many striking Gothic Revival and Brutalist buildings, before making your way over to the 4pm tour of the Gerstein Science Information Centre.  Gerstein is Canada’s largest academic science and health science library, and houses over 1 million volumes of books and journals spanning the physical, life, and health sciences.  Visitors will get a chance to walk on Gerstein’s famous glass journal stacks and stand under the gorgeous hand-carved wooden ceiling in its historic heritage reading room.  Other tour highlights include a stop at the innovative MADLab, a mobile app development lab which also offers a 3D printing service.

Link to all library tours:

By: Vincci Lui (Library Tours Co-Chair)

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

(Courtesy of

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