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


Visiting Smathers Library during Fall 2021

It is our mission to facilitate patron access to the materials in our collection in the safest way possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the usual guidelines for using special collections, we recommend these additional precautions.

Please Practice Social Distancing and Wash Hands Often
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.

Study Areas

The Smathers Library has a number of beautiful study areas for students. On the first floor, students can study in The Nahmad Gallery or within the Map & Imagery Library. The second floor boasts the incredible Grand Reading Room. Please note that this is a quiet study space and no food, drinks, or pens are allowed. Finally, the Latin American and Caribbean Collection reading room is a bright and open space on the third floor with lots of room for visitors to study.

Latin American and Caribbean Collection Reading Room

On-Site Research

Information desks in the Map & Imagery Library, Grand Reading Room, and Latin American and Caribbean Collection are open and ready to help researchers. Access to non-circulating materials from Special Collections and rare and manuscript materials from the Latin American and Caribbean Collection is provided in the Grand Reading Room on the second floor of Smathers Library. We recommend that you contact us in advance so that we can have materials ready for you.

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 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.


Digitization Requests

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.