Visiting the George A. Smathers Libraries
- Books, course reserves, and more for education classes
- Individual and group study spaces, with study rooms for reservation
- EduGator Makery, a makerspace open to all majors
- Lots of seating options, like café-style booths
- Giant children’s books. Seriously!
- Cozy library vibes across 13th Street from main campus
Cozy Up in the Education Library
The Education Library is a hidden gem of the George A. Smathers Libraries. Like all of the Libraries, it is open to students of all majors. With a capacity of about 650, it is relatively small, creating a homey study environment. The Education Library also has a variety of cool technology available for student use, like a die-cut machine for DIY projects. Read on to learn more about the space, how to find it, its collections, and some of its unique and fun materials.
The Education Library’s location as part of Norman Hall can be tricky to find, so make sure to check the map. Some tips: if you’re facing campus coming from the Norman Parking Garage, take a right into the courtyard. If you’re facing Norman Hall and coming from the tunnel, go around the right side of the building and back behind the Opus Coffee Shop. Don’t give up if you can’t find it right away; the Education Library is worth the search!
Study Spaces and Amenities
The Education Library has two floors of study spaces and collections. What makes this library so special to study in is its cozy environment. You can find a spot to work at booths behind the staircase or secluded tables behind the children’s books. There are spaces for both solo and collaborative study. The Education Library also has six group study rooms that can be booked in advance on the Education Library website.
Unlike some of the other libraries on campus, there is no real distinction in noise or environment among the floors. It is generally pretty quiet, so if you get distracted easily, this could be a good spot to get work done.
You’ll find two Mac computers on the first floor and twenty-four computers with dual monitors on the second floor. Other features inside the library include:
- A classroom that is used internally by librarians
- The EduGator Makery (see below!)
- A gender-neutral family restroom on each floor
- Men’s and women’s restrooms on each floor
- A lactation room on the first floor (key at front desk)
- A snack and drink vending machine
Although it doesn’t have an internal coffee shop like Marston or West, coffee and food are both just a short walk away in Norman Hall.
This library is also on the easternmost side of campus, making it a convenient spot for students on that side of town.
Makerspace for Crafting Fans
Due to the unique nature of the field of education, the Education Library has a specialized makerspace available for all UF students to use.
The EduGator Makery is where you’ll find technologies such as the zSpace, Silhouette, and die-cut. This space is a dream for crafty students. The Makery is mainly used by students studying educational technology, pre-service teachers going into the classroom, or anyone who is working on projects for their education classes.
Luckily, you can experiment with everything in the EduGator Makery regardless of your major!
The following is a brief list and summary of some of the main features of the Makery, but you can find a detailed list of this tech and more on the Education Library website.
- Die-cut: Can be used for home decor and fun DIY crafts! All necessary materials are available at the library, or you can bring your own from home to use.
- Silhouette: Create designs, posters, shapes or designs for anything from your student org to interior design.
- zSpace: A mixed-reality computer that allows users to experience a lifelike, virtual learning environment. Check out the tracking glasses at the desk to get started! First come first serve.
The Education Library has a wide variety of books and resources for students taking classes in the College of Education.
All of these books can be checked out by students of any major, so if you’re a fan of young adult fiction or graphic novels, make a trip over.
The collections include:
- Audiovisual Reserves: Videos and video guides on education and counseling topics held behind the main service desk.
- Children’s Books: An extensive collection of children’s and young adult fiction and nonfiction. These are available to check out for projects and just to read for fun!
- Course Reserves: Textbooks and items for UF education classes.
- General Collection: Titles related to educational theory, counseling, teaching, and learning.
- New Books: Highlights the new items in the Education Library!
- Periodicals: Print journals for education research.
- Textbooks: These aren’t the textbooks you’d use for your classes now, they are K-12 textbooks for primary education.
Quick Tip: There is also a children’s book special collection in the Smathers Library called the Baldwin Collection, which consists of historic children’s books. You can learn more about the Baldwin Collection in the Smathers Library chapter.
Technology at Education
Outside the EduGator Makery, the Education Library has a large scanner and the usual printing and computer access.
Additionally, the Education Library has technology available to check out for your class project or just for fun, including the following:
- 360 degree cameras
- Electronics chargers
- Headphones (including noise-cancelling)
- And more!
The Home of Education Research
The Education Library has both physical collections and digital resources on a variety of information covered in the College of Education. There are two resident subject librarians who divide these topics by their respective interests and backgrounds. The Education Library website has research guides and a list of databases to help with digital research.
Some of the areas of study covered in the Education Library include the following:
- Art Education
- Bilingual/ESOL Education
- Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- Computer Science Education
- Curriculum Guides and Lesson Plans
- Early Childhood Education
- Educational Leadership
- Educational Psychology
- Educational Technology
- Elementary Education
- Language Arts and Reading
- Mathematics Education
- Research and Evaluation Methodology
- School Psychology
- Science Education
- Social Foundations of Education
- Social Studies Education
- Special Education
- Statistics Education
- Teacher Certification & Test Prep
- Teaching and Learning
- Tests and Measurements
“Everything in here is for you! Even if you’re not studying education, you can still study, play with the tech, and use the dual monitors. Come hang out!”
– Rachael Elrod, Librarian and Director of the Education Library
A makerspace is a shared space for creating! Library makerspaces usually have supplies and technology for crafting, 3D printing, digital development, and more. In addition to makerspaces at UF, the Alachua County Public Library also has a makerspace.
The service desk is the place where the magic happens. Check out items, ask questions about research, and get help with whatever you need from the friendly library workers at the main desk. Also called the “circulation desk.”
Course reserves are materials, such as textbooks and journal articles, available for use in specific courses at the request of your professors. Some items are available in print in the libraries and some are electronic materials online. Course reserves are a way for you to access course materials at no cost.
Special collections are the crossover between libraries and museums: these collections cannot be checked out and are usually historic materials, but they can be used in designated reading rooms in the library.
At UF, rare books, photographs, memorabilia, archives, and other items are housed in Special Collections in the Smathers Library. Undergraduate students are welcome to use these items in Smathers!
Pro Tip: Reach out to Special Collections ahead of time so that they can get the items you want to see ready for your arrival.
Check out (also called a “loan”) describes when you borrow materials from the library. UF undergraduate students can borrow most items for up to eight weeks.
A subject librarian (or "subject/area specialist") is a librarian who has expertise in a particular subject, discipline, or topic. Every major at UF has a subject librarian who is uniquely qualified to help them with their research.
A research guide (often called a "library guide" or “LibGuide") is a guide created by librarians to help you find information on a topic. For example, if you wanted to learn how to do research in the library, you could check the Introduction to Library Research Guide.
Scholarly databases are used to search for and locate specific journal articles, book chapters, newspaper articles, and more. There are many databases available through the Libraries, and many of them are especially tailored to different majors. Unlike Google or Google Scholar, databases have powerful filtering tools to narrow down your search.