Reading Room Policies

The patron rules and registration information is for non-circulating materials that are only accessible in the Grand Reading Room (located on the second floor of Smathers Library).

Rules for Using Special Collections

Due to their value, physical condition, and uniqueness, Special Collections materials do not circulate and must be used in the Grand Reading Room. Special Collections materials require special handling and security precautions to ensure their preservation. Researchers will be assigned a table at which to work.

  • Drinks (including water), food, gum, tobacco and e-cigarettes, etc., are not permitted in the Research Room
  • Personal items allowed at the table include pencils, paper (notebooks may be inspected upon exit), laptop computers, and cameras
  • Pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and similar items are¬†not¬†allowed at the table
  • Backpacks, laptop cases, bags, and purses are to be placed in lockers
  • Leave coats and outerwear on the coat racks provided
  • Silence cell phones and other mobile devices; exit the room if you need to place or receive a call
  • Ask staff about duplication procedures and permissions
  • Handle items with care:
    • four books or one box on the table at a time
    • one folder from a box on the table at a time
    • do not rearrange items in boxes or folders; insert file marker in box when folder removed
    • some items require specialized handling procedures that will be explained by staff
  • Last retrieval of the day will occur one hour before closing; later requests available by 9am next day


Public computers: 
There are two computer workstations in the Research Room for general use.  UF users can sign on with their Gatorlink account information.  Guest users will need a guest Gatorlink account created at the Reference Desk or at any other library location.  Information may be saved onto a flash drive/CD/DVD or emailed. Once the patron has exited and logged off, any information is erased. 

One of the public computers have a scanner attached.  Scanning is free, and scans may be saved onto a flash drive/CD/DVD or emailed.  

There are two digital microfilm machines, currently housed in Staff Room 207.  The digital machines are at public computers, so they require the Gatorlink (or guest Gatorlink) signon.  Like with the scanners, information may be saved onto a flash drive/CD/DVD or emailed.

Audio/Visual Equipment:  
Patrons can request a rolling cart containing a TV with DVD and VHS, a turntable, a CD player, a cassette player, and a receiver, with supplied headphones. 

Digital Cameras:
Digital cameras are generally permissible to aid in your research.