|Access and use|
Established in the 1960s under the direction of Thomas F. O'Connell, a former librarian at Harvard University, the need to build large collections in a short space of time was immediate and pressing. Accordingly, O'Connell made arrangements to purchase the entire stock of two bookstores: The Starr Book Company in Boston and Librarie Ducharme in Montreal. An early decision was also made not to duplicate research strengths at the University of Toronto and soon the Libraries owned impressive collections in American history, French Canadiana, and later sociology and psychology. Archibald Macleish formally dedicated the Libraries on 30 October 1971.
Today, the W.P. Scott Library houses collections in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Separate film/music and map/GIS libraries are also located within the Scott Library. Science-related items are at the Steacie Science and Engineering Library. The Leslie Frost Library at Glendon College houses collections in all disciplines with a significant proportion of research materials in the French language. The Peter F. Bronfman Business Library serves the Schulich School of Business and related programs, and offers many electronic resources, including the Bloomberg Terminal, to its users. Finally, the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections contains the literary and personal papers of many notable Canadian cultural figures such as Margaret Laurence, Rohinton Mistry, Av Isaacs, Adele Wiseman, bill bissett, Jean Augustine, and others.
York University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and the Ontario Council of University Libraries. In addition to almost 150FTE staff, approximately 40 academic librarians  are responsible for faculty liaison, collection development, and research instruction across every major discipline and field taught at York.
The Osgoode Hall Law School houses the largest law library in the Commonwealth and works closely with York University Libraries. Although the Archives of Ontario moved to York's Keele campus in April 2009, it is not affiliated with York University Libraries.
David Partridge's "Strata" (1969) (in Scott Library)
Partnerships and collaboration
The Library is a member of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Ontario Council of University Libraries and is a contributor to Open Content Alliance.
Basbanes, Nicholas. Patience and Fortitude. New York: Harper Collins, 2001.
Horn, Michiel. York University: The Way Must Be Tried. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009.
- York University Libraries
- YorkSpace: the institutional repository for York University, hosted by York University Libraries
- York Digital Journals: the journal hosting platform maintained by York University Libraries
- York University Digital Library: the preservation repository for York University, maintained by York University Libraries