Frequently Asked Questions

Are Smathers Library and Smathers Libraries the same thing?

No. Smathers Library refers to the building that houses our Special and Area Studies Collections, Latin American and Caribbean Collection, and the Map and Imagery Library. This building, which opened in 1925, has gone by many names including the Main Library and the College Library. In 1967 it was named Library East, but this changed in 1987 when it was formally named after Senator George A. Smathers. Smathers Libraries refers to our entire library system and is comprised of all UF libraries except the Legal Information Center.

Why is West on East Side of Campus?

When the library now known as Library West first opened in 1967 it was named the Graduate Research Library and was only accessible to graduate students and faculty. That same year, the Main Library (now Smathers Library) was named the College Library and designated for undergraduate use. This model didn’t best serve the University, so the usage policy was changed and both libraries were renamed in 1970. They were given the names Library East and Library West to reflect how the buildings are oriented in relation to each other.

Is Library West named after former Director Stanley West?

No. It’s purely coincidence. Stanley West also left the University of Florida in Fall 1967, while Library West wasn’t given that name until 1970.

Do you work with the Legal Information Center even though it is separate from Smathers Libraries?

Yes, we collaborate with the Legal Information center at the Levin College of Law. Additionally, Law School faculty and students have borrowing privileges at all of our libraries.