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African Studies: ALC Spring meetings in Gainesville, 2016

A guide to UF Libraries' research and teaching resources in African Studies. Feel free to let us know what would be useful to have included.

Thank you for registering via Google Forms!


Thank you for making plans to be in Gainesville for what is generally the most comfortable time of year on our beautiful campus. The temperatures average 81° (high) and 56° (low) this time of year (but fyi ranges can be from the low 90s to the 40s).

We meet during UF’s Spring Final Exam Reading Days. Marston Science Library (MSL--about halfway between the Reitz Union and Smathers Library) will be open continuously Monday, April 18th through Friday, April 29th at 6pm.

Lodging and services

The Reitz Union renovation is complete and the result is a beautiful space. The Union hotel has continental breakfast available in the morning (coffee and muffins or similar) for those staying there. We blocked 20 rooms at the Reitz Union Hotel on the UF campus from Wed.-Sat April 20-23, 2016. While the block was officially released on March 20, there are still a few rooms available if you still need to book late (try to do so before the weekend of Apr. 9-10). From the Reitz Hotel room policy:

Please Note: If for any reason you need to cancel your guest reservations, it is essential you contact the Reitz Union Hotel 24 hours in advance of the day of arrival to avoid being charged for the first night of your stay. Hotel guest check-out time is 12 p.m., therefore, accommodations and parking may not be available for check-in prior to 3 p.m. Also note that while all major credit cards are accepted, personal checks are not. A valid state issued ID and credit card is required at check-in and parking is provided for one car per room included in your room rate.

Useful links

Union map:

Campus map:

A brief virtual tour of the Libraries is available.

Internet/WiFi access: (Reitz Union) and (Libraries--present a government-issued photo I.D. at any library service desk).

General schedule:

  • Wed. 20th 5-6:30 pm:  welcome reception (Smathers room 100); 

    Welcome from Dean of University Libraries, Judith Russell and Director of the Center for African Studies, Abraham Goldman. Dinner on your own.

  • Thurs. 21: ALC & Title VI (link to agenda) 
    • Breakfast on your own. Reitz Union (Hotel has coffee and muffins on each floor; The Reitz Subway right next to hotel reception desk on ground floor has breakfast sandwiches starting at 8:00 a.m.), Starbucks at MSL is open 24 hrs., at Reitz it opens at 7 am, and Library West is open at 8:00 a.m. and a Dunkin’ Donuts is located on University Ave. across from Library West in the Target Copy/Firehouse Subs building (next to Chipotle)..
    • Meetings all day (various committees 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) in Smathers Library, Special & Area Studies Collections (SASC) Department, Judaica Suite (2nd floor of Smathers through the Grand Reading Room). No food or drink allowed in these areas.

    • Our meeting room in the historic Smathers Library has its own page: (note there is some confusion as the both the building for our meetings is named Smathers and also the bulk of the UF Libraries are known as the Smathers Libraries, leading some to identify Library West next door that way). The good news is that these two buildings are close and connected by a covered colonnade.

    • Lunch on our own. The Swamp is close and reasonable but there are many choices nearby. The Spot offers Greek style counter service lunch. If you're interested in more, there are many places along University Avenue within a short walk, or check out a local critic's Best 10 local choices. Also consider the small but nice Bistro 1245 on University Ave. just East of 13th Street (Rte. 441).

    • Dinner at my home (informal). SASC chair Haven Hawley and CAS assistant director Todd Leedy are expected to join us. Library vans will be available at 6;00 p.m. to get you there for dinner at 6:30 p.m.

  • Fri. 22: CAMP (link to agenda)
    • Breakfast on your own.
    • 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon CAMP meetings in SASC, Judaica Suite

If you have a chance to enjoy our local natural beauty, the newly opened Sweetwater Wetlands Park is close (you can get a cab or bus) and gets rave reviews. For anyone staying around on Saturday and interested, consider registering for the THATCamp-Gainesville unconference (on the humanities and technology).

Travel information

The Gainesville Regional Airport is likely a somewhat more expensive destination for flights, but convenient and a nice, recently renovated facility. Ground transportation is available, with a cost calculator available.

Options for other destinations by air are Jacksonville 85 miles, Orlando 109 mi, or Tampa 128 mi. See:

The RedCoach bus service is available as is Megabus Some other options are listed here:

Note that a list of taxi and other ground transport contact numbers are at

If you need a taxi at the airport, look for the signs and a big red button to call a cab over from the staging area to the left as you exit.

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