Special and Area Studies Collections: COVID-19 and library Services


We are taking a thoughtful approach to the reopening of our libraries and following the University’s guidance to protect the health and well-being of our staff and patrons. We also remain committed to supporting teaching, research, and learning at the University of Florida. During this time, the Department of Special & Area Studies Collections (SASC) will continue to offer virtual services, in addition to limited in-person services. There is the possibility of on-campus visits after exhausting all other virtual access options.

To enter any library building you will be required to wear a face covering and have your Gator1 Card (UF). General information on Library Services during COVID-19 is available on the UF Libraries homepage and the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Visiting the Library during COVID-19

It is our mission to facilitate patron access to the materials in our collection in the safest way possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, in addition to the usual guidelines for using special collections, we will also be adhering to the UF Health Screen/Test/Protect program campus-wide mandates, which include:

Library Entry Requirements
Face covering – Required within all UF buildings
Social distance – Keep 6 feet between people inside or outdoors  
Hand and surface hygiene – Wash hands and disinfect surfaces often  
If sick, stay home – Seek medical assistance if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

Designated Study Areas

Room 100 and the Nahmad Gallery on the first floor and the Latin American and Caribbean Collection reading room on the third floor have been designated as the study areas for students within Smathers Library. For your safety, we are limiting the number of patrons in the library so please check occupancy levels prior to your visit.

Latin American and Caribbean Collection Reading Room

On-Site Research

At this time, we are limiting on-site use of materials to the Grand Reading Room. Non-circulating and other research materials from Special Collections, the Latin American and Caribbean Collection, and the Map and Imagery Library collections will all be accessed through the Grand Reading Room service desk. Circulating materials can be requested through the catalog and will be made available through the Fall 2020 Pick Up Service.

Smathers Library Grand Reading Room

Virtual Consultations

SASC faculty and staff are here to help you with your research needs and we will continue to offer individual research consultations virtually. Additionally, we are continually developing resources and guides to provide virtual access to our collections. Please email special@uflib.ufl.edu to schedule a consultation or contact curators directly.

Virtual Instruction

We will continue to offer virtual services throughout the Fall 2020 semester, following the University’s guidance to protect the health and well-being of our staff and patrons while continuing to support teaching, research, and learning. We are currently producing tailored course content in pre-recorded segments and through digital meeting platforms such as Zoom. You can learn more about our offerings and policies on our Class Visits page.

Please contact the curator at least 3 weeks in advance to begin a discussion about the services that can be offered to your class.

Circulation and Digitization Requests

Access to Circulating Collections

UF affiliated patrons are able to request items from the circulating collections of the Latin American & Caribbean Collection and the books of the Map & Imagery Library through the online catalog. You will be notified when you items are ready to be picked up from Smathers Library (East). This is a temporary service which is being instituted to protect patrons and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once you have been notified that your items are ready, you may pick up all your requested materials from the Map & Imagery Library entrance on the first floor of Smathers Library (East), Monday through Friday, 10am – 4pm on the first floor of Smathers Library (East).

Digital Reproductions and Permission

Digital reproductions and permissions will be administered free of charge to support research and scholarship during times of emergency. Requests from University of Florida students and faculty will be prioritized. RUSH orders will still incur fees. Currently, we do not anticipate any delays or interruptions in service for print or archival materials. However, our ability to scan items is dependent on staffing and onsite access to campus. There may be delays for audio-visual and photo negative / slides scanning, as well as for large format items and artifacts. Please email special@uflib.ufl.edu if you are interested in using microfilm or self-service patron scanning as it may not be available.

Thank you for your Patience!

The UF Libraries and the University of Florida Administration are continually monitoring the situation. Protocols and policies related to Covid-19 change rapidly. Please check UF’s Coronavirus page and the Covid and Library Services page prior to your visit.

We thank you for your understanding and willingness to adapt during these unprecedented times. Our first goal is to keep our staff and patrons safe and healthy. We look forward to continuing to serve you.