Our Guidelines

  Ask a Librarian

We strive to support the principles of the UHN Declaration of Patient Values

  • Respect and Dignity
  • Empathy and Compassion
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Equity and Partnership
  • Being kind and respectful in every interaction
  • Understanding the views and needs of others
  • Listening to and considering constructive feedback
  • Treating all with respect and dignity
  • Valuing differences in background, culture and ethnicity
  • Being trustworthy and behaving ethically
We commit to incorporating the UHN Purpose "Transforming lives and communities through excellence in care, discovery and learning" into our daily activities through:

Who can borrow materials?

  • UHN patients, staff, family members, caregivers and community members can borrow materials from the Learning Centres/Libraries
  • Only registered individuals can borrow materials

How can I register?

  • You can register by filling out the Client Registration Form and showing valid identification with your name and address (examples: Driver's License, ID Card, UHN badge for staff).
  • Once you have completed and signed the Client Registration Form, you will be able to use all Patient & Family Learning Centres/Libraries across UHN

How many items may I borrow?

  • You can borrow up to 3 items in total (books, DVDs or audio-books)
  • To borrow e-books, please check Borrowing e-Resources

For how long may I borrow the items?

  • You can borrow items for 3 weeks. All borrowed materials must be returned on the due date specified

May I renew the items?

  • Yes, we allow one renewal for another three weeks. The items can be renewed in-person, over the phone or by e-mail

What happens if the item is overdue or missing?

  • If you are not able to return an item by its due date, Learning Centres/Libraries staff will make two attempts to contact you by telephone, e-mail or mail. If the item is still not returned, your library privileges will be cancelled until the item is returned or until you pay for the cost of the item.

Will my personal information be protected?

  • We respect your privacy. Your personal information (such as name, address, e-mail, etc.) will be stored internally and will not be provided to any third parties.

Who can borrow E-books?

  • UHN patients, staff, family members and caregivers can borrow e-books from the Learning Centres/Libraries.

How can I access E-books?

  • If you live in Ontario and have a cell phone number that can receive a text message, you can access our e-books by creating a library card online (Instant Digital Card).
  • If you live in Ontario but do not have a cell phone, or you live outside of Ontario, contact us to get access to e-books
    Need help to access e-books by creating instant digital card? Check out Help with E-books

How many items may I borrow?

  • You can borrow up to 6 items in total on the Overdrive E-books website.

For how long may I borrow the items?

  • You can borrow items for up to 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, the items will be returned automatically. You can also choose to return items earlier and borrow other items instead.

May I renew the items?

  • There is no renewal option for e-books. You can either return the item and borrow it again, or if other clients have been waiting for e-book, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Will my personal information be protected?

  • We respect your privacy. Your personal information (such as name, address, e-mail etc.) will be stored internally and will not be provided to any third parties.
  • For Instant Digital Card users: Your personal information is the subject to OverDrive Policy. Patient and Family Learning Centres do not have access to personal information of the users registered with Instant Digital Cards

Who can use the computers?

  • The computers are available to UHN patients and visitors.

What may I do on computers?

  • You can use the computer to search for health information or for your hospital visit-related purposes (for example, to check your appointment, test results, etc.). Recreational computer use is not allowed.

Is there a time-limit for using the computers?

  • You will get a unique computer ticket from the Learning Centres/Libraries staff. The computer ticket is valid for one-time use only.
  • Each computer session is 30 minutes long.
  • You may request one additional session (there is a limit of two 30-minute sessions for each user, per day in total).
  • Computer tickets are issued between:
    8:30 am and 4:00 pm (Monday-Thursday)
    8:30 am and 3:30 pm (Friday).
  • The last computer ticket is issued no later than half-an-hour before the library closing.

Is printing allowed?

  • We allow printing of health information only, for a limited number of pages. All printing requests have to be approved by the Learning Centres/Libraries staff.
  • Printing requests may be denied if it is not health-related or more than the print limit.

Are there any other rules for computer use?

  • We ask you to sanitize your hands before and after each computer use.
  • In order to protect our equipment, we do not allow FOOD in the computer area.
  • If you are using any sound features on the computers, use your own headphones, or ask the staff to provide you with a set.

What topics do we include in our library's collection?

  • In our library's collection, we include a variety of health and wellness topics. We give priority to the topics that align with UHN clinical and community programs.
  • The priority topics can differ between UHN sites' physical collections (books, brochures, etc.) and depend on each site's specialty. For example, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will have more resources related to cancer, Toronto General Hospital – heart and transplant, Toronto Western Hospital – neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • All libraries also have wellness resources. Our E-Books collection combines all health topics selected by our Information Specialists.

How do we choose the library resources?

  • All our resources are carefully evaluated and selected by experienced Health Information Specialists. We make sure that each resource comes from experts in the medical field, provides current information, is written in an easy-to-understand language and has good reviews.
  • We also include selected patient stories about their personal health journey.
  • We do not include the resources that promote commercial products, advocate for treatments that do not have sufficient evidence behind them or promote discrimination.

Do we accept book donations and/or suggestions?

  • We accept book donations if those books match our selection criteria.
  • We also welcome resource suggestions from patients, families and UHN staff.

Do we have resources in different languages?

  • Yes, we have resources in different languages. Toronto Western site has the biggest multilingual print collection in Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese. Other sites also have Chinese resources. Our e-books are in English, French, Chinese, Portugese and Spanish.
  • Our Information Specialists can find reliable health information in many languages even if we do not have resources in the requested language at the Libraries.

How do we keep our collection updated?

  • We are constantly researching the newest available resources on different health topics and replace outdated resources.
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