Libraries celebrate adding 2.5-millionth volume

Since 1960, when the shelves were bare, York University Libraries have built an academic collection that is third largest in Ontario and eighth largest in Canada. On Sept. 24, York University Libraries celebrated a collection that has grown in size and prestige to 2.5 million volumes – and thanked the donors who helped make it possible.

The book chosen to commemorate this milestone exemplifies a special philosophy of York University – a commitment to interdisciplinary research that cuts across many departments. It is Changing Canada: Political Economy as Transformation, a book of essays – many by York faculty members from a variety of departments – edited by York political scientist and Canada Research Chair Leah Vosko and Wallace Clement of Carleton University.

Vosko signed and formally presented a copy of the book to University Librarian Cynthia Archer at the celebration, hosted by York Chancellor Avie Bennett.

Left: University Librarian Cynthia Archer and York Chancellor Avie Bennett

Special thanks went to Joyce Scane and Barbara McNutt of the North York University Women’s Club. The club, whose first donation of $137 helped kickstart the University collection in the early days, made a $5,000 endowment in 1967 that has grown to an impressive $70,000, activated this year and worth nearly 10 per cent of the Libraries’ total collections endowment of $750,000. 

Over 43 years – from 1961 to the present – the University Libraries have added an average of 58,140 volumes a year. From nothing, the collection grew to 500,000 by 1970, one million by 1975 and two million by 1993.

Right: (L to R) University Librarian Cynthia Archer, Joyce Scane, Barbara McNutt and York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden 


The 2.5 millionth book

Changing Canada was published this year by McGill-Queen’s University Press. According to the publisher, the book examines political transformations, welfare state restructuring, international boundaries and contexts, the new urban experience and creative resistance. The authors question dominant ways of thinking and promote alternative ways of understanding and explaining Canadian society and politics that encourage progressive social change. They examine how the evolution of capitalism is producing new types of transformations and new forms of resistance, and show that aspects of the state and the wider society are being contested.

Right: Changing Canada editors Leah Vosko and Wallace Clement

York contributors to Changing Canada are Professors Pat Armstrong, sociology, Judy Fudge, labour law, Sam Gindin and Ann Porter, political science, Roger Keil, environmental studies, and Fuyuki Kurasawa, sociology, and political science doctoral student Stefan Kipfer.

Submitted by Heather A. Fraser, head of Scott Library’s Bibliographic Services, and University Librarian Cynthia Archer. Photos are by Glenna Oleksinski, executive assistant to the University librarian.