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 nine libraries; eight 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
- Music Library
- Allen H. Neuharth Journalism and Communications Library
- Smathers Library (Special and Area Studies Collections, Digital Library Center)
The Smathers Libraries operates a medium-density Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) located four miles from the main campus. Low-circulating volumes totaling 1.2 million are stored in the facility.
The Smathers Libraries has a large and diverse IT footprint, including over 500 publicly accessible computers, numerous specialized scanners and other equipment, plus 50 laptops available for check-out. All are maintained by the library IT department, which is located at the new Eastside campus.
Library faculty and staff
The library staff consists of more than 96 library faculty, 189 professional/technical/clerical staff, 30 Other Personal Services (OPS) staff and 213 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
- Principle Investigators
The Smathers Libraries has built a number of nationally significant research collections, mainly supporting graduate research programs. Among them are the following:
Latin American 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.
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature, which is among the world's finest collections of historical literature for children with over 100,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the mid-1600s through 2007.
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.
The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica (located on the first floor of Library West), 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.
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.
The numbers at a glance:
- 5.6 million print volumes
- 7.9 million microfilms
- 453,000 e-books
- 158,695 full-text electronic journals
- Last year over 3.1 million full-text journal articles were downloaded
- 1,162 electronic databases
- Over 5 million pages from the libraries’ collections have been digitized for online public access. 1.5 million pages of archival, photo and textual materials are added per year. There are over 500,000 hits per month (over 16,000 per day) to the digital collections’ web site.
- Ninety-one terabytes of data is stored online for archival and operational purposes
- 40,849 UF theses and dissertations are available through the libraries. 11,963 (29%) 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 libraries have over three million in-person visitors each year (1,400,000 in Library West and 700,000 in the Marston Science Library). That’s more visitors than the O’Connell Center and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium combined! In addition, the libraries’ web site receives over 14.2 million hits 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.
- Library West’s 20 group study rooms were used 20,246 times in 2009.
- To meet the demand for group study rooms at the Marston Science Library, five rooms were added to the main floor in 2009.
- The graduate floor in Library West was visited by 1,987 students approximately 61,000 times in 2009.
- The 511 public computers had 577,740 public logons in 2009.
- 50 laptops are available for checkout in Library West and Marston Science Library.
New Services and Initiatives
- A new service—“house calls”—is available with the Health Science Center Libraries’ liaison librarians who visit faculty offices, research labs and clinics.
- The online Business Library added the LibAnswers Q&A services and created a Knowledge Base of answers to business reference questions. It ranks 4th among 52 LibAnswers systems nationwide in the number of questions answered.
- The libraries released the self-submittal tool for the Institutional Repository (IR), allowing UF researchers to easily submit intellectual content/written materials online to the IR.
- The University of Florida Open Access Publishing (UFOAP) Fund Pilot Project, launched with provost funding in 2010, supports the goal of making UF research findings immediately, freely and globally available by paying reasonable article processing fees for UF authors publishing in open access journals.
- VIVO is an emerging resource of the University of Florida Libraries that provides information on people, departments, facilities, courses, grants and publications in the sciences. UF is also part of the VIVO National Network, which enables the discovery of researchers across institutions. The national network will make locally-provided public information from all partner institutions accessible in one portal. VIVO is being development via a $12.2 million grant awarded to UF and six collaborating institutions from the National Center for Research Resources.
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 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.
For further information about individual libraries, collections or other library units, please see http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/backpage.html.