Limited Consultation Service (In-Person)

Following the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework, our in-person Limited Consultation Service is paused from November 23 until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We continue to offer curbside pick-up and virtual reference and research services during this time. Please see our Overview of Services for more information.

The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library will begin providing limited consultation service on October 13, 2020. In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment, we ask all prospective researchers to read the following instructions. Failure to comply with these protocols will result in a withdrawal of library privileges.


As we continue to limit our reference service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library (EAL) has developed a special procedure to allow limited visits for our current U of T students, faculty, and staff to access EAL reference and research collections that are currently NOT available through HathiTrust and the Curbside Pickup Service of the University of Toronto Libraries.

Access to our collections remains limited, and in-person research visits will only be permitted if absolutely necessary, and by appointment only. EAL will be offering expanded email/virtual/telephone consultation services in order to limit the number of researchers requiring in-person visits to the minimum.

What EAL is Doing to Keep You and our Staff Safe:

While we begin to offer limited in-person reference services, we are doing so under the following restrictions:

  • This service is currently limited to our current U of T students, faculty and staff.
  • EAL requires visitors to wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces beginning July 7, 2020 under City of Toronto By-Law 541-2020.
  • EAL will designate a specific library space for the Limited Consultation Service. Visiting researchers’ activities will be strictly restricted to that designated area. The rest of the EAL space, including the stacks, remains closed to the public.
  • Researchers who have booked appointments for in-person visits must scan their TCards to enter the Robarts Library from the St. George Street-side 1st floor doors only (please refer to this link for detailed instructions on entrance/exit to the Robarts building).
  • Please beware that no public elevator in Robarts will go to the 8th floor, and that EAL space remains locked except for the appointment-based in-person visits. After entering Robarts, take the escalators to the 2nd floor. You will be greeted by EAL staff in front of the Security Gate (facing the upward escalator) on the 2nd floor.
  • EAL will have a maximum of two (2) researchers and one (1) staff member in the designated library space at a time for the in-person research visits. Researchers are not permitted to bring guests.
  • EAL will be encouraging physical distancing with signage and spacing markers.
  • EAL will be providing substantial access to hand sanitizer.
  • EAL will be increasing cleaning and disinfecting throughout the EAL space designated for the in-person consultation service.

Research Inquiry Procedures:

Researchers start their research inquiry by filling out this online form.

  • All inquiries will be handled virtually. For general information about this special service, email

EAL librarians will help researchers with research questions and assess their access requests. EAL librarians’ contact emails:

Once an EAL librarian determines that a researcher would have no other way, except the in-person visit, to access EAL resources, a staff member will contact and assist the researcher to book an appointment on an internal EAL booking system. In other words, researchers are not able to book their own appointments.

Library staff will determine which materials will be pulled prior to the in-person visit. There will be no additional retrieval of items during a visit.

Appointments will be limited to two-and-half-hour visits, 9:30AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-3:30PM, on Mondays and Fridays only.

When You Visit:

EAL staff will confirm your research visit day and time slot, as well as your request for research materials prior to your visit. If you have accessibility requirements, please let us know before your visit.

  • Researchers must stay home if they are not feeling well. Please reschedule your appointment if you have COVID-19 symptoms, which can be reviewed using the Province of Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool.
  • Please beware that EAL space remains locked except for the appointment-based in-person visits, and no public elevator in Robarts will reach the 8th floor. At your scheduled appointment time, EAL staff will meet and greet you in front of the Security Gate (facing the upward escalator) on the 2nd floor of Robarts Library. Make sure to arrive on time. The Library will allow up to a 15-minute grace period; if the researcher does not show up, the appointment will be automatically cancelled. Early entry is not permitted, and appointments will not be extended beyond the pre-arranged time.
  • Researchers will be permitted to bring your own camera/smart phone/tablet for the visit in order to make digital copies of material.
  • A public scanner in the designated consultation service area at EAL will be made accessible for researchers. Please consult the EAL staff on duty to access and use the designated scanner. Also, you must bring your own USB device to save the scanning.
  • Kindly bring any supplies you may need to sustain yourself through your 2.5-hour visit. You can of course leave EAL at any time but if you choose to do so before your scheduled end time, you will not be permitted to re-enter the designated EAL space.
  • Paper, pencils, phones, laptops and tablets will be permitted for the in-person visit. You will be asked to place all other belongings, including coats, bags, and drink at a designated area for your use.