The libraries of the University of Florida form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida and serve every college and center in the university, including the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and the Health Science Center. UF’s libraries consist of seven libraries; six of which comprise the George A. Smathers Libraries. The Smathers Libraries actively collaborate with the Legal Information Center, which is a part of the Levin College of Law.
The Smathers Libraries include the following:
- Architecture and Fine Arts Library
- Education Library
- Health Science Center Libraries (UF campus and Borland Library in Jacksonville)
- Library West (Humanities and Social Sciences)
- Marston Science Library
- Smathers Library (Special and Area Studies Collections, Latin American and Caribbean Collection, Map and Imagery Library)
The Smathers Libraries have a large and diverse IT footprint, including 485 publicly accessible computers, numerous specialized scanners, 3D printers and other equipment, iPads are available for check-out.
Marston Science Library houses MADE@UF in the Collaboration Commons on the first floor. MADE@UF was created by the Libraries and Academic Technology with equipment, software and training for virtual reality and augmented reality applications. Library West houses the One Button Studio video production studio for students and faculty.
Judith C. Russell, Dean of Universities
Patrick J. Reakes, Senior Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources and Services
Emily McElroy, Fackler Director and Associate Dean of Research and Health Sciences
Valrie Minson, Assistant Dean of Assessment and Student Engagement and Chair, Marston Science Library
Ben F. Walker, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs and Access & Technical Services
Library faculty and staff
The library staff consists of more than 80 library faculty, 176 professional/technical/clerical staff, 6 Other Personal Services (OPS) staff and 128 student assistants. Librarians at the University of Florida are faculty. All have graduate degrees in Library Science or Information Studies, and/or a graduate degree in a relevant subject area. Some teach for-credit courses and they often make presentations that are incorporated into courses across campus. Library faculty serve the university community in the following roles:
- General and specialized reference
- Faculty and department liaisons, and outreach
- Instruction in library-related classes, in courses and/or personalized one-on-one
- Collection managers and curators
- Subject specialists
- Principal Investigators
The Smathers Libraries have built a number of nationally significant research collections, mainly supporting graduate research programs. Among them are the following:
Latin American and Caribbean Collection, which is among the largest and most distinguished collections of Latin American materials in the U.S. and has been described as the finest collection of Caribbeana in the world.
The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, which is the largest collection of its kind in the southeastern U.S. Its diversified holdings of uncommon research materials in English, Hebrew and other languages support scholarship in virtually every aspect of the Jewish experience. The Judaica Suite, inside the Grand Reading Room of Smathers Library, houses the rare and semi-rare materials.
Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, which is among the world’s finest collections of historical literature for children with over 120,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the mid-1600s through the present.
Map and Imagery Library, which is an extensive repository of maps, atlases, aerial photographs, and remote sensing imagery with particular collection strengths for the southeastern United States, Florida, Latin America and Africa south of the Sahara.
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, which is the state’s preeminent Floridiana collection and holds the largest North American collection of Spanish colonial documents about the southeastern United States and rich archives of prominent Florida politicians.
The libraries also have particularly strong holdings in architectural preservation and 18th-century American architecture, late 19th- and early-20th-century German state documents, national bibliographies, U.S. Census information, especially in electronic format, and other U.S. documents, the rural sociology of Florida and tropical and subtropical agriculture collections, and English and American literature.
For more information about individual libraries, collections or other library units, please see Organizational Structure.
George A. Smathers Libraries Strategic Directions
The numbers at a glance
- 6.3 million print volumes
- 1.5 million e-books
- Over 197,194 full-text print and electronic journals
- Over 1,162 electronic databases
- Over 17 million pages from the libraries’ collections have been digitized for online public access. Each year 1.2 million pages of archival, photo and textual materials are added. There are over 85,000,000 unique material views annually to the digital collections’ web site.
- 62,668 UF theses and dissertations are available through the libraries. Over 37,400 are available online.
- Five exhibitions are held in the Special Collections gallery of Smathers Library annually and feature rare treasures from the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections. Receptions are held which often feature authors, artists and UF faculty as speakers. The Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery displays items from the Libraries’ Panama Canal Museum Collection. The Smathers Lobby Gallery also displays items from the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections. Smaller exhibitions and displays are located in Library West, the Marston Science Library, the Health and Science Center Library, the Latin American and Caribbean Collection on the 3rd floor of Smathers Library, the Architecture and Fine Arts Library and the Education Library. Governor’s House in St. Augustine also has exhibitions.
The Libraries have over 5 million in-person visits each year (with the exception for 2020 and early 2021 because of the Libraries being closed for five months followed by reduced capacity). That’s more visitors than the O’Connell Center and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium combined! In addition, the Libraries’ web site receives nearly 5.5 million views each year. .
Student, faculty and researcher spaces include open areas, restricted-study graduate student areas, group study rooms and individual graduate student and faculty study carrels. The Libraries occupy over 475,000 square feet of usable space.
Marston Science Library has 26 group study rooms, Library West has 18, the Education Library has seven and the Health Science Center Library has three.
State University System (SUS) High Density Facility
In October of 2007, the Board of Governors approved a request to build a High Density Facility at the University of Florida to provide access to the shared research collection for the SUS libraries. The facility will house the Florida Academic Repository (FLARE), which currently contains 1.9 million volumes contributed by five academic libraries. FLARE is a statewide asset that is already serving patrons from public and private academic libraries in Florida from a temporary UF facility. The plan called for a high density “Harvard” model storage facility with a capacity of three million print volumes. The new facility will be built adjacent to the existing Smathers Libraries’ storage facility, ALF. The existing ALF building will be renovated and repurposed. It will serve as the processing space for placing materials into high density and retrieving them. It will also house the digitization, preservation and conservation operations currently located in the Smathers Libraries. These operations will continue to support the UF Libraries as well as the collections in the High Density Facility. Some space will be reserved for UF Archives and Special Collections not suitable for the High Density area. Access to materials will be available by appointment in an onsite reading room, but the primary means of access will be through unmediated borrowing by the SUS and interlibrary loan.