Visiting the George A. Smathers Libraries

13 Health Science Center Libraries (HSCL)

A white archway over the entrance of a large brick building that reads "Health Center Library & Academic Support". Text below: George A. Smathers Libraries, Health Science Center Libraries

Health Science Center Libraries (HSCL) at a Glance

  • Individual and group study rooms for reservation
  • Books on health science and personal wellness, even in graphic novel format
  • Useful study tools like anatomical models
  • Take a power nap in one of the famous nap pods!
  • Community jigsaw puzzle and treadmill desks
  • Down the hill in the health science area of campus

Visit the Health Science Center Libraries (HSCL)

Founded in 1956, the Health Science Center Libraries, usually abbreviated as HSCL, are known for their emphasis on health and wellness. HSCL was designed as a means to promote education, research, and healthcare all in one location.

There are actually multiple HSCL campuses, but the main location is here in Gainesville. This library is linked directly to UF Health Shands Hospital and serves as the home of information related to health sciences, public health, and other health related fields. Here you will find both health science students and healthcare professionals using the library. Similar to the other libraries on campus, this one is open to all undergraduate students, regardless of your major.

You can find HSCL in the center of the health sciences area of campus in the Communicore building, which is located down the hill on Center Drive. The Communicore can be confusing, so if you have trouble finding HSCL, check out the Communicore building floorplans on HSCL’s website. HSCL is located on the first floor, close to the food court area on the Sun Terrace.


Two sets of wooden doors that pop out compared to their white and grey surroundings. Above the doors, a sign reads "Health Science Center Library, George A. Smathers Libraries"
You will find the entrance to HSCL on the first floor of the Communicore Building.

Spaces and Amenities, Floor by Floor

HSCL has three different floors to explore, each with different study areas and neat features.

First Floor

An area with rows of square tables that each have four seats around them. Some tables have students studying.
Studying with friends? Check out the first floor group study areas.

Starting off with the first floor, you can find plenty of areas to study with your friends. With whiteboards and booths all across the area, this is definitely the space to get some efficient group studying done. This floor has the most collaborative feel and is definitely the place to meet with friends.

One of the more special things about this floor is the Wellness and Graphic Medicine Collection area located right in front of you while walking into HSCL. This area of the floor has puzzles and comics for when your brain needs a fun break.

In addition to the wellness section, the first floor includes a special conference room area called the Biomedical Information Teaching Space that student organizations can reserve for group meetings.

Here are some other useful pieces of information about this floor:

  • The main service desk on the first floor near the entrance is where you will find course reserves and where you can get help.
  • There are eighty-three total computers to use on this floor, ten of which have large screen monitors.
  • Computers on the first floor have specialized software for health science students, such as 3D body models for anatomy classes.
  • Printing, scanning, and copying are available on all floors.
Overhead look of a small round table surrounded by colorful chairs. On the table is a half assembled jigsaw puzzle.
Fill in a few pieces of the community jigsaw puzzle when you drop by HSCL.

Second Floor

An orange a blue stand with individual lockers
Dead phone? You can charge it in the charging tower.

As you move to the second floor, you will find more quiet and individual study areas. The second floor is great for some alone-time studying, while also not having to be completely silent.

The second floor is also where you will find individual study rooms that can be booked online ahead of time.

On the second floor, you will also find the following:

  • Another large bay of computers, six of which have large screen monitors.
  • A device charging station for when your phone battery is low. These charging lockers have digital locks you can set yourself.
  • Lockers! If you want to store items, you can check out a locker key from the HSCL service desk. There are daily lockers as well as semester-long lockers.
  • Printing, scanning, and copying are available on all floors.


rows of individual study desks arranged in a zig zag shape
Quiet, individual study is located on the upper floors.

Third Floor

Picture of the computers in the HSCL
Computers in HSCL.

If you’re looking for the quietest floor of HSCL though, then the third floor is where to go. When you walk onto the third floor, you might get shushed if you’re being too loud. The book stacks are located on this floor, so you can grab a quiet study spot near the books for that classic library feeling.

The third floor also has the following:

  • A number of group study rooms to get some intense group studying done.
  • Computers available, half of which have large screen monitors.
  • Printing, scanning, and copying are available on all floors.

Study Rooms by Reservation

As a student, you can reserve several different study rooms at HSCL. There are group study rooms located on the second and third floors of the library where you can plan a time to work with others on group projects, exam cram sessions, and whatever else you need.

In addition the the group study rooms, HSCL also has a large number of individual study rooms for reservation. These rooms are equipped with computers, and many of them have webcams. Individual study rooms are great if you need an undisturbed place to give a presentation on Zoom or just somewhere to be left alone and really get some work done.

Reserve online in advance!

Reserve a study room (students only)

Special Attractions

The most unique feature that HSCL is known for is the nap pod! There are two nap pods located on the second floor of the library by the windows overlooking the first floor.

These nap pods are the best for when you need a quick rest and recharge for the day. When you lay down, the pod plays specially composed sleep music and will gently wake you back up with a sequence of lights and vibrations.


A reclined grey chair surrounded by a white sphere
The famous nap pods at HSCL are a popular feature for students who need a quick break.

Aside from the nap pods, you also have the capability to study while getting your steps in on a treadmill desk at HSCL. You can take a break to explore HSCL’s beautiful aquarium on the first floor or the glass showcase on the third floor that displays different medical artifacts and antique items throughout the year.

All Things Health Information


The collections held at HSCL include all ranges of topics related to health science. Most of the print books are located in the book stacks on the third floor of the library, but there are also books located on the first floor that you might find interesting. On the first floor, you’ll find the Wellness Collection with books on mindfulness, exercise, stress relief, sleep improvement, and more.

Research Assistance

HSCL places a great emphasis on collaborative learning, including active research for a project, class, thesis, or anything else. On the first floor there is a computer area that doubles as the research lab of HSCL. On all the computers in HSCL, you can use the databases available to HSCL to find articles or publications.

If you get stumped while looking for information in the HSCL research lab, the Service Desk is only a few steps away — you can walk up and ask for help anytime!

There are subject librarians for departments across the six Health Science Center colleges. These health information experts can help guide students in the best direction for any research that they might be pursuing!


Subject specialists are available at HSCL to help with finding information for all of these disciplines: Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health & Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine.


There is always a variety of workshops, activities, and events happening at HSCL, ranging from learning how to use various science databases to using reference managers to data management.

Lots of these are offered online, so you don’t even need to walk down the hill to participate. Check out the HSCL Workshops Calendar online to grab a seat in one of these classes.

Fun Fact: HSCL offers weekly guided meditation classes! You can learn more on the the HSCL Wellness website.
Wooden entrance doors with the sign Health Science Center Library
Stop in for a visit!

Head Down the Hill

With workshops, research help, and wellness activities, everyone at HSCL is always ready to enhance a student’s undergraduate experience in any way they can. Take the trek down the hill and visit this library branch before you graduate!


Message from an HSCL Librarian

The HSCL is passionate about creating a welcoming space for students and helping everyone with their health information needs.

– Hannah Norton, Librarian and Chair of HSCL




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Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries Copyright © 2022 by Nabil M. Chowdhury; Ava K. Kaplan; Cassidy Smith; Omolola Suleiman; Alexandrea Glenn; and Michelle M. Nolan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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