Grand Reading Room in Special Collections

Our collections support the research needs of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty in over 170 academic programs. With an emphasis on scholarship, we are different from a public library as we do not collect popular fiction, how-to books, or general magazines. Smathers Libraries is a regional federal, state, and European Union documents depository, and our Government Documents Department is open to all U.S. residents and others interested in government policies and regulations.

Some of our “crown jewels” that you might wish to visit are

General Public Visiting Hours

We welcome visitors, guests and researchers, and all campus libraries are open to the public during general public visiting hours.

The libraries’ opening and closing times vary throughout the year due to observance of holidays and the University of Florida Academic Calendar. Refer to the Libraries Hours page for any changes to the libraries’ normal hours of operations.

Physical Library Resources

  • Visitors have access to books, journals, government documents and more during general public visiting hours. 
  • Consider becoming a Special Borrower to check-out library resources.

Electronic Library Resources

Smathers Libraries subscribes to literally hundreds of electronic databases, e-books, online guides to the literature, and full-text journals. Most of these resources are licensed only for UF students, faculty, and staff. However, all visitors to the campus libraries can access these online resources.

Smathers Libraries overview

Reference / Research Assistance Services Available

Planning a Trip to Campus

  • Visiting Gainesville
  • Visiting campus
  • Parking on campus
  • Plan ahead and save time: With 9 campus libraries and numerous special collections, you might wish to check the Library Catalog before you made the trip to campus. Check for titles/authors/keywords and subjects of interest and note the library locations and call numbers for each. We welcome you to use the library collections in-house. If you would like to check out materials, consider becoming a Special Borrower.

Using the Public Computers at Any Smathers Library

  • Requires on-site registration at any Smathers Library for a 7-day guest Gatorlink account.
  • Present a government-issued photo I.D. at any library service desk.
  • When guest Gatorlink accounts expire, a service desk staff member can create a new one.
  • Campus visitors can use the Libraries’ public computers to access online research resources and electronic databases that are otherwise restricted to UF-affiliated persons. Please be aware of the Smathers Library Computer Use Policy.

Guides to Using Smathers Libraries

Genealogical Information

Some of our most popular requests from visitors concern genealogy questions. Smathers Libraries are not a genealogical library, but many of our resources, such as census records and biographical guides and narratives, can help a genealogist find information. Here is a brief guide to Selected Genealogical Resources. Guides to other libraries on the web and websites can be found at Genealogy Resources LibGuide.

Online Research Databases

Due to strict license agreements, only UF students, faculty, and staff have remote-access privileges to our resources. However, with on-site registration, visitors have the privilege of free on-campus access to all library databases when using our library public workstations.

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Giving to the Libraries

Your gift does make a difference – support from private donors like you is essential to continue to build the collections.