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George A. Smathers Libraries: Department Descriptions

Public Services Division:
Access Services | Government Documents | Humanities & Social Sciences | Marston Science Library

Collection Management Division:
Collection Management | Special Collections

Technical Services Division :
Acquisitions and Licensing | Cataloging and Metadata | Preservation Department

Support Services Division:
Business Services Office | Digital Library Center | Library Facilities | Human Resource Office | Systems Department

I.  Public Services Division

A.  Access Services (Libraries East and West)

The Access Services Department, a large and diverse unit, is responsible for a number of basic public service and behind-the-scenes activities. The department provides access to the main humanities and social sciences collections. Circulation operates the retrieval service for the Library West materials located off-site, and Collection Access maintains the storage facilities. Other responsibilities include activating library cards, assigning new accounts, and handling general circulation problems. The department manages Electronic Reserves and provides copyright clearance services for all of the Smathers Libraries.

Also part of the Access Services Department, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) receives requests from UF researchers for materials that are not owned by the UF Libraries and provides access to those materials through agreements with other libraries. Their books are shipped to us, and copies of journal articles are sent electronically whenever possible. ILL also fills requests received from other libraries to borrow UF Libraries' materials for their researchers.

A staff of 25 full-time and approximately 50 part-time student assistants are employed to carry out departmental responsibilities. With responsibility for opening and closing the buildings assigned, and maintaining several basic public service units required, someone from the Access Services Department is always present whenever the libraries are open for public use.

 B.  Documents

The Documents Department selects publications and maps from nearly all levels of government and all countries.  Mirroring this diversity, the Department is actually six units:   1) Federal (U.S. government materials),   2) State (Florida),   3) Foreign and International,   4) Florida Planning / Local Documents,   5) Maps and Imagery (separate facility located on the ground floor of Marston Science Library).

1.  U.S. Documents

Located within the department are more than one million U.S. documents.  The department is a Regional Depository for Federal documents and receives all publications distributed by GPO through the Federal Depository Program.  Cataloging records for documents received after 1975 are available in LUIS.

The Department serves as the primary contact in the state of Florida for Census reference queries.  Staff provide data to users throughout the state via telephone, fax, email, and mail.

2.  State Documents

The Documents Department is a depository for the publications of the State of Florida.  The state documents unit also works closely with the UF Archives and the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History to ensure the survival of and access to the state historical record.  Florida documents are cataloged and housed in the main collection.

3.  Foreign and International Documents

The Documents Department is a depository for European Communities and Food and Agricultural Organization documents.  Comprehensive orders are maintained with the major International Governmental Organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Monetary Fund, etc. and over 125 nations.  Foreign documents generally provide demographic and economic data, but information on virtually any subject can be found in this material.  Foreign and International documents are cataloged and shelved in the main collection.  European Community documents are housed in the Documents Department as well as a microfiche collection of United Nations documents dating back to 1946.

4.  Florida Planning / Local Documents

The Documents Department houses a collection of Florida planning documents which is organized by planning districts.  The majority of these documents are Comprehensive Plans which are a statutory requirement for governmental units in the state of Florida.  This material has extensive demographic and economic data for cities, towns, and counties.  A project has recently been started to add bibliographic records for the documents to LUIS.  This will be a long-term project since most have never been cataloged and the creation of a unique record is labor intensive.  Currently, keyword access is provided by a card file located next to the collection.

5.  Map & Imagery Library

The Map & Imagery Library is located on the ground floor of the Marston Science Library.  Most of the maps, aerial photographs, satellite images, and atlases in the Smathers Libraries are concentrated in this facility, except that all Florida maps published before 1926 are located in the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History.  With close to 400,000 aerial photographs / satellite images, and 2,000 atlases, it is the largest map library in the southeastern U.S. and the fifth largest academic map library in the United States.  In addition to maps, the Map & Imagery Library has an extensive collection of United States Department of Agriculture aerial photographs, NASA / Kennedy Space Center film, remote sensing images from satellites and a growing collection of digital map software and CD-ROM products.

All types of maps are available in the Map & Imagery Library on a variety of special topics from archaeology to zoogeography.  The map collections area worldwide in scope but the areas of emphasis are:  Florida, U.S., Central and South America including the Caribbean, and Africa, South of the Sahara.

This collection supports instructional and research programs from across the entire spectrum of the University of Florida's academic departments.  The more frequent users are associated with the Colleges / Departments of: Engineering, Architecture, Political Science, Geography, Geology, IFAS, and the Centers for African and Latin American Studies.  Additionally, the collections are used extensively by researchers from the Florida Natural History Museum and various local, state and national governmental agencies.

The Map & Imagery Library as part of a pilot project of the Association of Research Libraries makes the GIS program ARCVIEW available to the public.  GIS (Geographic Information System) is a rapidly developing technology which allows the literate spatial information user almost instantaneous access to cartographic representations of statistical and numerical data.

C.  Humanities & Social Sciences Services

The Humanities & Social Sciences Services (H&SSS) Department is a large public service department comprised of four units, the Reference Unit in Library West and three branch libraries, Architecture and Fine Arts, Education, and Music.  Its mission is to support the research needs of students, faculty and staff in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

A large and decentralized department, H&SSS is structured around its four units.  These units meet separately with the Department Chair at least once a month.  Common issues or matters of department-wide import are discussed in the monthly Department meeting and / or the H&SSS Management Council.  The Management Council is composed of the Heads of the H&SSS Branch Libraries, the H&SSS Assistant Chair and the Department Chair.  Management Council and Department meetings are managed and facilitated by the Department Chair.  The Council is an advisory and consultative body, providing informed counsel to the Department Chair.

1.  Library West Reference:

H&SSS LIbrary West Reference is comprised of seven librarians and five LTAs, whose primary assignment is the provision of reference and microform services in Library West.  Library West Reference is organized as a Circle.  The H&SSS Assistant Chair is responsible for managing the daily functions of Library West reference services.  The Assistant Chair manages and facilitates the Reference Circle meetings.  The Circle's purpose is to address any problems or issues pertinent to the provision of good reference, general library instruction or microform services in the Library West Reference location and make recommendations toward their resolution or improvement.  The Reference Circle meets weekly, except the week of the Department meeting.

Library West Reference maintains two reference desks, three information desks (Microforms, Reference and Periodicals), and the Reference Reserve desk/room.  In addition to the provision of general reference and microforms services, one of the goals of Library West Reference is to assist each reference patron in becoming a more knowledgeable, capable and efficient library user.  To this end, reference staff provide significant one-on-one instruction in library research skills, teach general library instruction classes, LUIS and CD-ROM instruction, and provide general tours/orientations of the library.

2.  Architecture & Fine Arts Library:

The Architecture and Fine Arts (AFA) Library is located in the Fine Arts Building.  The Architecture and Fine Arts Library is the primary resource on campus for architectural and visual arts resources.  With over 80,000 volumes, AFA is the primary art library in Florida and one of the largest collections of its kind in the Southeast.  Collection emphases include architecture, building construction, interior design, landscape architecture, and urban planning.  In addition to bound volumes, AFA houses a significant collection of art/architecture videotapes, historic preservation documents, architectural photographs and drawings, and a unique rare book collection.  AFA's primary clientele are faculty and students associated wit the College of Architecture, the College of Fine Arts, and the School of Building Construction.

AFA staff perform both public and technical service operations.  Public services work include reference and research assistance, circulation and reserve services, and fines management.  Technical work consists of processing new library materials, serials check-in and claims, binding and preservation work, bibliographic searching and ordering, and catalog maintenance activities.

3.  Education Library

The Education Library is located in 1500 Norman Hall.  A collection of educational methods books was started in 1939 in one room of the P.K. Yonge Laboratory School.  These materials formed the nucleus of the collection which became the Education Library in 1950.  The present facility opened January 2, 1980.  The collection consists of more than 11,300 monographic volumes, approximately 600 journal subscriptions, and 463,298 microfiche.

Significant materials in the Education Library include the Children's Book Collection, the K-12 Textbook Collection, several microfiche collections, and CD-ROM versions of three databases - ERIC, PsychLIT, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI).  The Education Library collection supports 21 academic degree programs in the College of Education, which are organized into five departments - Instruction and Curriculum, Educational Leadership, Special Education, Counselor Education, and Foundations of Education.  The Education Library also jointly supports a PC Laboratory with the College of Education and the Center for Instructional and Research Computing (CIRCA) to make computer workstations available to students.

4.  The Music Library

The Music Library is located on the second floor of the Music Building (231 MUB).  Its mission is to support the research needs of the Music Department's faculty, students, and staff, as well as other areas, e.g., musical theater, the humanities, languages, English, and journalism.

The Department of Music has been in existence as an administrative unit since 1948.  At that time, materials to support music courses, particularly scores and recordings, were purchased by and housed in the department.  The Music Reading Room began primarily as a listening facility, staffed by a music faculty member and a USPS employee of the Office of Instructional Resources.  Comparatively few books on music were purchased as part of the general library collection.  The Music Reading Room became part of the UF Libraries in 1972 and has progressed from a reading room used primarily as a listening facility, to a research branch library.
 The Music LIbrary collection includes music monographs, periodicals, scores, sound recordings (laser and compact disc, 33 1/3 and 78 rmp vinyl, cassette, and video), and other non-print material.  Reference items, periodicals, and sound recordings are NON-CIRCULATING and must be used in the building.  Most materials are cataloged in the main library and are accessible on LUIS.  Sound recordings acquired before 1989 are not accessible on LUIS.  There are card catalogs for record albums, cassettes, and vertical file items in the Music Library.

Music Library staff duties include reference, bibliographic instruction, circulation, acquisitions searching and ordering, processing of new materials, serials check-in and claiming, binding, vertical file cataloging, and acquiring and maintaining sound equipment.

D. Marston Science Library

The Marston Science Library (MSL) is located on Newell Drive south of Turlington Hall and west of the Music Building.  The newest library on campus, it houses materials in the agricultural, biological, physical and earth science and in engineering and mathematics.  It primarily serves the needs of over 1,150 faculty in 42 academic departments in three major components of the University's academic structure - the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), and the College of Engineering.  The collection consists of 533,712 volumes; 1,230,048 microforms; and 200,000 documents.  The library is open 103 hours a week and the staff provides reference service 68.5 hours per week during the academic year.  The library maintains shorter hours during breaks, intersessions, and summer sessions.  Primary duties of the staff include general and specialized reference, computerized searching of science abstracts and indexes, library instruction and selection of books and journals to support research and teaching activities.  Library functions of circulation, serials and documents check-in and binding are also carried out in the MSL.  With a seating capacity of 1295 and a location in the center of campus activities, the MSL is a popular gathering spot for graduate and undergraduate students alike.  More than a million patrons utilize the library.

II.  Collection Management Division
A.  Collection Management

The primary purpose of the Department of Collection Management is to build and maintain the Library's general collections in support of the University's instructional and research program and to provide consultative or specialized reference services, particularly in support of the University's research effort.  Since the University of Florida has developed a large research program in which the Ph.D. degree may be pursued in eighty-six fields, the Library's collection management program is complex and involves a large number of librarians.

The department comprises those librarians who devote a majority of their time to developing and managing the Library's collections in all formats.  Currently, coordinating collection managers supervise collection management concerns in the following broad areas:  Africana, Humanities, Latin Americana, Sciences (Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Technology, and Agriculture), and Social Sciences.  Affiliate bibliographers, developing and managing the Arts/Architecture collections, the Cartographic Materials collections, and the Documents collections report primarily through other departments or divisions.

The coordinating collection managers, in turn, work with collection managers, who comprise staff with subject specializations and who devote a portion of their time to building specific discipline related collections, such as Botany, Political Science, Chemistry, Education, and so forth.  Collection managers are expected to provide consultative or specialized reference services within their specific discipline areas.  Whether a particular collection manager is or is not a member of the department depends primarily upon the amount of time the selector devotes to collection management activity.

All librarians involved in the collection management program are expected to collaborate with the faculty to ascertain the research resource needs of the academic program.  The collection managers make locations decisions, establish acquisition, cataloging, and preservation priorities, and determine the content of the collections by establishing selection and deselection criteria for items acquired or accessed within a collection management policy and resource budget which they recommend for implementation.

1.  Latin American Collection

The Latin American Collection (LAC), located in Smathers Library, is the largest of the Libraries' special collections, with nearly 300,000 volumes.  It maintains some 1,200 active serials and contains 50,000 microform holdings.  There is access to a growing amount of electronic based, on-line data sources.

The LAC is one of the most comprehensive collections of Latin American Studies materials in the United States, and it has been evaluated as the finest library of Caribbeana in the country.  The LAC primarily supports undergraduate instruction and research and the work of the graduate students and faculty of the University of Florida's Center for Latin American Studies.  Since the formal inception of Latin American Studies at UF in the 1930's, hundreds of degrees in the humanities, social and physical sciences have been awarded to students in the program's many offerings.

The LAC concentrates its collecting efforts in the humanities and social sciences, with a focus on history, political science, anthropology and literature.  It works to  coordinate its efforts with other collections of libraries, including the Map Library, the Marston Science Library, the Music Library and the Architecture & Fine Art Library, which collect Latin Americana in their areas of specialization.

The LAC's books and journals are housed in the Smathers Library.  The LAC's Reading and Reference Room contains the general reference collection, current issues of serial titles, and computer based information access workstations.

2.  Price Collection of Judaica

The Price Library of Judaica is especially strong in social, political, intellectual and communal history, Hebrew and Yiddish linguistics and literature, Eretz-Yisreal, Zionism, Hebrew scriptures, Judaism and rabbinics, bibliography, and homage, memorial and jubilee volumes.  An enormous amount of uncommon pamphlets, newsletters, and journals enhance the research potential of the Price Library.  Founded in 1977 with the acquisition of the Leonard C. Mishkin collection, the holdings of this circulating research collection now exceed 50,000 volumes.

While some rare early Hebraica is held, the Library's holdings are concentrated in twentieth-century materials in all languages pertinent to the scholarly examination of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present day in all geographical areas.  Manuscript and archival collections in Jewish studies are not held at this time.

B.  Special Collections

The Department of Special Collections includes five major units, each of which provides the University's academic programs and scholars worldwide with primary, in depth, research materials.  These collections hold printed materials in all formats, literary and historical manuscripts, correspondence, and other documents in a variety of media.  None of the material circulates.  Patrons are served in the Special Collections Reading Room in the first floor, north wing, of the Smathers Library.

1.  Baldwin Library of Children's Historical Literature

Over the course of almost forty years, Ruth Baldwin (1918-1990) built this collection of literature printed primarily for children.  A great strength of the collection is the many English and American editions of the same work.  It also contains the second largest known collection of American children's books published before 1821.  In the past ten years, thousands of 20th century books have been added.  Scholars worldwide request assistance from this library.  Among publications based on this collection is Dr. Baldwin's own 100 Nineteenth Century Rhyming Alphabets.

2.  Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts

Founded in 1958 by Sarah Yancey Belknap, this collection is comprised mainly of non-book, primary research materials.  Nearly 85% of the holdings are ephemera from 19th and 20th century Europe and America.  The archives contains playbills, programs, costumes and stage designs, sheet music, prints, etchings, drawings, photographs, posters, and scripts covering all of the performing arts.  Complementing these are essential reference books, rare and large pictorial books, and relevant performing arts periodicals.

3. P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History

Spanning five centuries, this is the definitive collection of Floridiana.  The Library includes maps for all purposes and printed materials on everything from vital statistics to Florida fiction.  Available on microfilm are more than two million pages of documentation essential to the study of Spanish Florida from 1500 to 1821.  Regional state newspapers, not available elsewhere, are filmed for posterity.  The Library also preserves a collection of rare books, with comprehensive coverage of early explorations, native Floridians, and the natural history of the state.  Manuscript collections of prominent Floridians, statesmen, and significant organizations are comprehensive and detailed.

4.  Rare Books and Manuscripts

Since 1980, with the purchase of the Howe Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts has become an international research center for American literature of New England.  Other strengths, built over many decades, are in the classics, Restoration literature, 18th century poetry, prose, and drama, Irish literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, 20th century British and American poetry, and select 20th century fiction.  Literary manuscript collections include those of Marjoram Kinnan Rawlings, Xora Neale Hurston, John D. MacDonald, and Frank O'Connor.  For social history there are the Margaret Dreier Robins Papers (Women's Trade Union League) and the Rochambeau Papers (Haitian history).

5.  University Archives

The University of Florida Archives is the repository of the "collective memory" of the University."  It supports historical and topical research concerning the University and its faculty and students.  Besides general administrative, departmental, and professional records, Archives preserves files of University yearbooks, newspapers, photographs, maps, and ephemera saved nowhere else.

III.  Technical Services Division

A. Acquisitions and Licensing

The Acquisitions and Licensing Department is responsible for ordering, receiving and paying for print and digital resource materials that support the academic and professional programs of the University of Florida. Over the next few years, the Department will be engaged in planning and implementing initiatives such as executing EDI file transfer of payment and other acquisitions functions in Aleph and PeopleSoft; managing licensing agreements, information access fees, and usage statistics for electronic resources; monitoring virtual approval plan and evaluating returns for profile adjustments. The five units (Gifts and Exchange, Monographs, Paying, Serials, Database Maintenance) in the Department will actively participate in these and other initiatives to advance the transition from print to digital resources in the collection

B. Cataloging and Metadata

The Cataloging and Metadata Department supports the academic programs of the University by organizing, describing, and providing physical processing for the books, journals, electronic resources, sound and video recordings, microforms, maps, and other material purchased or received by the library system. Ten librarians and eighteen support staff catalog approximately 60,000 titles per year in compliance with national standards of bibliographic control and in keeping with established Cataloging Priorities. In addition, the department oversees the loading of e-resource and microform packages resulting in the addition of thousands of records to the library catalog each year. Original record contributions to OCLC, an international bibliographic database, number 5,000 annually. The department participates in international cooperative cataloging programs including CONSER, BIBCO, NACO, SACO, and AGRICOLA. Four units - Copy Cataloging, Science and Social Science Cataloging, Humanities and Special Collections Cataloging, and Authorities and Metadata Quality - and the Principal Serials Cataloger collaborate to create efficient workflows and apply the latest technologies in order to meet user needs. The Technical Coordinator provides support for both the Acquisitions and Licensing Department and the Cataloging and Metadata Department by serving as the OCLC/SOLINET and RLG liaison and investigating and implementing Aleph functions and other tools designed to improve processes.

C.  Preservation Department

Established in 1987, the Preservation Department is responsible for the maintenance and repair of archival and library materials, keeping them fit for circulation using commercial library binding and a full service Conservation Lab. The Department is also responsible for disaster recovery and environmental control. In 2004, during a major reorganization, we began to branch out into Digital Preservation.

IV.  Support Services Division
A.  Business Services Office

The Office of Budget and Business Services consists of Accounting and Purchasing.

1.  Accounting

The primary function of the Accounting Office is to perform financial obligations necessary for the day-to-day operations of the Library.  The office processes payment of invoices, and reconciles University departmental ledger, invoices patrons, receives payment for interlibrary loan services, monitors library budgetary balances and makes projections of funds available.

2.  Purchasing

Library purchasing is responsible for inputting, preparing and maintaining all requisitions for procurement of Library supplies and equipment in accordance with Florida statutes and regulations.  In addition, copies of all bids, state contracts of commodities and a list of minority vendors are maintained.

B.  Library Facilities

The Library Facilities Planning Office is responsible for the development, review and implementation of all library building services including building maintenance, safety, security, repair, cleaning, remodeling and handyman and telecommunication services.  The office prepares and maintains space inventories and provides responses to administrative directives concerning space allocation and Library construction projects.  In addition the office manages the Library mail room, the supply room, the courier service and the Library printing service.

C.  Library Human Resource Office

The Library Human Resource Office assists Library employees in achieving personal goals related to the work environment and experience.  This is accomplished through a wide variety of activities from handling paychecks and personnel related forms to performance objectives and career counseling.

The Library Human Resource Office staff is available to address, in confidence, performance problems and to advise on organizational objectives, position descriptions or the performance evaluation process.  The staff also oversees all classification and compensation matters for the libraries.

Every other week, the Library Human Resource Office distributes approximately 550 paychecks; and as part of the payroll function, maintains all annual leave, sick leave and special and administrative leave records.  All searches and appointments for Library faculty, Technical, Executive, Administrative, Managerial Support ( TEAMS), University Support Personnel System (USPS) personnel, the College Work Study Program, volunteers, interns and grant personnel are coordinated by the Library Human Resource Office.

The Library Human Resource Office is also responsible for seeing that appropriate staff development opportunities exist that meet Library objectives and encourages personal growth and life long learning.  This includes a wide range of formal and informal activities, such as identifying training requirements, developing and coordinating training programs, overseeing staff development travel, facilitating the annual staff service and recognition awards, monitoring tuition waivers, providing basic skills training and working closely with the promotion and tenure process.

D.  Systems Department

The Systems Department serves as a focal point for planning, managing, and coordinating computer based Information Resources (IR) that support Library operations.

The Systems Department serves as consultant for information resource management within the libraries.  It procures, installs, maintains, and facilitates effective use of all items of Library computer hardware and software; manages the Machine Readable Data File (MRDF) collection; produces and reviews Library technical documentation; provides programming support and performs data analysis to meet Library management and operational needs.  The Systems Department also serves as technical liaison and coordinator between the Libraries and outside agencies such as the campus computing center (NERDC), Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA), and various networks (OCLC, RLIN, etc.) on matters affecting IR.

E. Digital Library Center

The Digital Library Center was established in 1999 as an off-shoot of several digitization projects based in the Preservation Department and the Marston Science Library.  Today, it is responsible for the creation and maintenance of digital collections from traditional library and museum materials for use in teaching and research.

The Center’s program management structure invites faculty collaborations both within and beyond the Libraries and University of Florida. Partners include the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Matheson Historical Trust, Florida’s State Library and Archives, other state university libraries and university libraries beyond Florida, and university and special libraries beyond Florida. The Center also maintains active liaison with the Florida Center for Library Automation's Digital Library Services division and is a major contributor to the PALMM Collections (

The Center’s units include Copy Control, Imaging, Text Processing, and Quality Control.

  • Copy Control tracks materials through analog and digital reproduction and provides bibliographic metadata for those materials.
  • The Imaging Unit supports both analog (a.k.a., microfilming) and digital technologies. Digital technologies include flat-bed, high-speed rotary, and high-speed microfilm scanners as well as a variety of digital cameras, together with support for audio- and video digitization.
  • Text Processing converts page images to searchable texts with mark-up similar to, but much more advanced than HTML. Advanced optical character recognition or OCR systems are used to convert texts and a series of state-of-the are programs facilitate mark-up.
  • The Quality Control Unit ensures the quality of digital products: visual, textual and metadata.

Additionally, the Center shares responsibility with the Preservation Department and the Florida Center for Library Automation, for Digital Archiving. And, it shares development responsibilities for collections with Geographic Information System interfaces with the Government Documents Department. Its systems and networks are developed and maintained in collaboration with the Systems Department and the Florida Center for Library Automation.

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