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School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences

Library Services: Questions and Answers

When starting school in a new place there is so much to learn. The libraries are very large and contain many different resources and ways to find information. Below is an overview of what resources and services the libraries and librarians provide to the UF community. If you would like additional resources and services the libraries can offer, a good place to go to is the Undergraduate Guide to the George A Smathers Libraries which was written by undergraduates for undergraduates.

The libraries are a place that supports the UF community by providing social spaces, group study spaces, computer labs, quiet spaces to study or take a break between classes, fun reading and tools and tech to check out. There are librarians to help answer questions about UF and how and where to find information. The libraries have physical and digital materials, tools, and technology to help with research. There are books, movies, journals, computer and cell phone chargers, calculators, drill kits, and much more.
Distance learners have the same privileges as people on the main UF campus. Articles and books can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. There is more information about library privileges on the Distance Learners LibGuide . Distance learners can also schedule meetings with subject librarians. Another resource is the AskA Librarian chat where UF librarians can answer questions about the information research process. Librarians are available Monday-Friday (every week with classes) to answer questions.
Every library has a different collection of print materials, atmosphere, furniture configuration and scenery. In Marston, there is a mix of nonquiet floors (floors 1-3) and quiet floors (4 and 5). Marston holds the STEM collections, including agriculture books and journals. Cool places in other libraries include the double-decker study carrels in the Architecture and Fine Arts Library, and the large historic reading room in the Smathers Library. Check out a few libraries and find your favorite study spot.
Every library has different technology and tools for checkout. To see what technology and tools Marston has, sort the above link by library. Some of the items unique to Marston are binoculars, calculators, rotary tools, drill and tool kits, GPS, virtual reality headsets, and podcasting kits. Other equipment includes phone and laptop chargers, computer mouses, headphones, adapters for computers, and Dungeons and Dragons kits. Some technology needs to be reserved ahead of time and can only be checked out for a limited time- be sure to check availability and reserve before coming to Marston.
All the libraries and many locations throughout campus have printers. There is a small fee to print. There are black & white or color or large-format poster printers. The printers are managed by UF Information Technology. In Marston, color and black and white printers are located on the 2nd floor. There is black and white and poster printing on the first floor of Marston.
Most of the computers in Marston are PCs. A few Macs are available on a first come basis as are two WaComs. The Macs and WaComs are located on the second floor. Computers are available on every floor in Marston. Equipment that is available for checkout includes charging cords, mice, writing stylets and a limited number of iPads are available for checkout.
Study rooms are available for groups of two or more in the Marston Science Library, Education Library, Health Science Center Library, and Library West. Reservations for study rooms are recommended, especially around midterms and finals. Marston has study rooms available on the first and second floors.
A good place to start a research project is to learn about the research process. There are guides that introduce undergraduates to Library Research Basics. There also are guides to subject specific disciplines that highlight good resources within the discipline. It is also important to know how to evaluate the credibility of a journal article.
Libraries are places of information and finding answers. Librarians can help with information research questions but also lots of other things. Librarians believe there is no such thing as a “stupid question.” Librarians can answer questions the broader UF campus. If a librarian does not know the answer, they can direct you to someone who will be able to help. Whenever class is in session, librarians can help answer questions on AskA Librarian. Librarians can help with some limited computer issues, such as VPN (off campus issues), but the UF Computing Help Desk specializes in answering technical questions related to Gatorlink and connectivity issues.
A subject librarian is an expert in a specific field that is available to answer within that discipline. They can help with any part of the information research process. Most departments have a liaison librarian. A full list of subject librarians is available on the subject librarian page.
The libraries have lots of ways to find information. The library catalog, Primo, has access to millions of journal articles, and books at UF and from other institutions in Florida. The library catalog is an effective way to find what you need, but if you need to research a specific topic in depth, databases provide a more structured way to find information. Databases, such as Web of Science and Scopus have trustworthy sources and metadata about the article to find more sources quicker. The Libraries have paid subscriptions to access 1000s of databases, covering all major disciplines. Marston has compiled list of STEM related databases.
Yes, the libraries support four citation management tools including EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero and SciWheel. Citation managers are programs that help organize references, and generate Works Cited. Citations can be made in a few minutes in many common citation styles (such as APA or MLA). It is also possible to upload pdfs and annotate them, organize by keywords, and share references with collaborators.
The Marston MakerSpace is on the first floor. It contains technology for the UF community to utilize. Technology in the MakerSpace (formerly the Makery) includes 3D printers, sewing and embroidery machines, 3D scanner, vinyl cutting, soldering, and button makers. Items can be 3D printed- the MakerSpace only charges for the cost of the filament. Drop in to use shared equipment and workspace. Check the MakerSpace hours at
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