As every student at the University of Florida knows, there are many libraries that offer great environments for studying, socializing, last minute cramming, or even the ever so archaic activity of checking out a book. But new students or outsiders often don’t realize that UF’s libraries are as diverse as the people on its campus. Each library provides a different atmosphere that must be taken into careful consideration when selecting the library that is most appropriate for your current needs. In order to make the lives of incoming freshman, transfer students, or non-UF students easier, I listed characteristics of each library below to make this overwhelming decision much more bearable.
Of course I need to address this library first, because it is the head honcho of libraries. Library West (often called “Lib West” for convenience or occasionally “Club West”) is the most well known of the UF libraries. It asserts its dominance through its entrance- a field titled “Plaza of the Americas” that is so colossal it takes an extra 2 minutes to walk through it. As its fame might suggest, Lib West is the most popular library for students. The chances of you going to this library without seeing anyone you know are slim to none. This library is probably most enticing because it is the only library with a Starbucks, and is open 24 hours on the weekdays and during finals. If you’re like me and can’t resist the convenience of a nearby Starbucks, go to the third floor or above because it is much quieter (except near the elevators). My advice would be to avoid this library at all costs during final exams, because you probably won’t get a table unless you camp out in advance.
Marston Science Library
This library is great because of its central location. Marston has more accessible parking than Library West, and is usually open pretty late. If you need to get some serious studying done, or need to last minute cram in silence, go to the fourth floor of this library. This floor offers cubicles for maximum focus, although it does feel slightly claustrophobic and the outlets are difficult to find.
Norman Education Library
If you live in a sorority or near sorority row, this library is a great convenience. The second floor is pretty silent, and you can usually find a table to yourself. My only complaints are the early closing hours and the pretty view of the courtyard that I find very distracting.
UF Law Library
I’ve actually never been to this library, but I’ve heard enough about it to make a few assertions. If you live in a fraternity house or near fraternity row, this library is perfect to you. The hours are late, and as you can expect from a library designed for law students, it is extremely quiet to offer you maximum concentration.
Good luck studying!
Thanks to University of Florida Virtual Intern Kate Snyder for this post!