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Thursday, April 18, 2024

As incoming Summer B students swarm UF campus, library resources ranging from expansive research databases to free-for-rent technology await them.

The main UF campus is home to seven libraries, including Marston Library, Library West, Library East, Health Science Center Library, Education Library, Architecture and Fine Arts Library and the College of Law’s Legal Information Center.

The two most popular libraries include Marston and Library West, both for its locations central to campus and for the accessibility services offered to students with disabilities.

Library hours are limited during the summer and can be found updated daily on the UF website.

Each library consists of various study areas in different floors with a variety of volumes for access and subject-expert librarians for extra assistance. The lowest floors typically allow for group conversation while higher floors are meant for silent studying.

Study rooms with monitors and whiteboards are also available for students to reserve. Students can book study rooms on the George A. Smathers Library website

April Hines, the UF College of Journalism and Communications librarian, teaches students how to find information in the school’s library system and holds one-on-one research consultations.

Students are always surprised to know about the types of resources the libraries have to offer, Hines said. 

“The libraries actually have fun stuff beyond academic materials,” Hines said.

Hines encourages students to utilize resources such as graphic novels, popular movies and take-home technology. Some of the technology includes sewing machines, 3D printers and film cameras.

A list of available take-home equipment and information regarding reservations can be found on its website.

Hines recommends contacting the Ask-a-Librarian service or a subject area specialist for any questions. A directory of subject area specialists can be found on its website.

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Ask-a-Librarian is a service for students to ask library and research-related questions from reference staff. 

“If you can find a librarian for your major, you can always reach out to them for help with finding resources and research tips,” Hines said.

Judith Russell, the dean of university libraries, recommends incoming students review UF’s Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries, which can be found on its website.

Jared Craig, a 21-year-old UF public health senior, is a student assistant for the Health Science Library, located directly across from the College of Public Health and Health Professions. 

Craig offers the first-floor or third-floor study rooms in the Health Science Library for group collaborations. 

“If you’re more of a struggle-solo kind of person, I would say grab a comfortable seat on the third floor,” Craig said.

Craig hopes students ask library aides questions at the circulation desks because there are many under-utilized resources, he said. 

“There are so many resources available that so many students don’t use,” Craig said.

For years, UF students have held a debate over which library is the best: Marston or Library West.

Trent Crick, a 20-year-old UF health science junior, suggests the study rooms in either Library West or Marston for group studying.

“I am biased because I lived closest to them… but they definitely [gave me] a quiet space to focus,” Crick said.

Isabella Rodriguez, a UF political science and criminology student, recommends the second floor behind the bookshelves or anywhere on the fourth floor of Library West.

“The UF library was one of my favorite places my freshman year,” Rodriguez said. “I would always go to Library West for the atmosphere.”

Contact Jinelle at jvazquez@alligator.org. Follow them on Twitter @vazquezjinelle.

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Jinelle Vazquez

Jinelle Vazquez is a senior at UF pursuing a major in Public Health with a minor in Indigenous Studies. They currently report for the enterprise desk covering health. In their free time, they enjoy hiking, photography and making art.


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