Smathers Libraries 2022-2023 Annual Report

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Smathers Libraries 2022-2023 Annual Report
Avelino, Alexandra
MacKay-Ratliff, Tracy
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Annual Report


Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Alexandra Avelino.

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The George A. Smathers Libraries remain busy as we continue to serve as the foundation for success at the University of Florida. Our six campus branches continue to expand their collections and services to meet the changing needs of our users. The Smathers Libraries ignite creativity and curiosity through our resources, including access to tools and opportunities for collaboration. For our on-campus users, our physical collections are heavily utilized, and the digital collections ensure that information and assistance are available when and where needed for our remote users. MESSAGE FROM THE DEANIn the FY2022-2023, the Smathers Libraries debuted 12 new physical exhibits across six branch es and five online exhibits. These included items from more than 20 collections. Renovations were completed in the Marston Science Library, which enhanced silent, independent study space and created a new “Makerspace” for hands-on creative experiences for students and other users. We are excited to participate in the ubiquitous world of AI with our new librarian, Borui Zhang, who specializes in artificial intelligence. As always, we continue to serve each and every Gator student, faculty and staff member, alumn, community visitor and researcher from across the globe. I hope you enjoy this year’s annual report and stay tuned for more updates and innovations from the Smathers Libraries. Judith C. Russell These are just a few of the funds that were supported by multiple donors. Panama Canal Museum Collection The Friends of the Panama Canal Museum Collection have created an endowment that has assisted in the preservation of and online access to the many Panama Canal resources, with an emphasis on the American experience in Panama.Smathers Library Centennial Endowment The Smathers Library opened in 1925 with 800 seats. As we look to the 100th birthday celebration of this library in 2025, we continue to welcome donations that continue to support the many programs and materials within the Special & Area Studies Collections. Programs Thanks to the generosity of so many donors, we are able to host programs and events free of charge to our students, faculty, staff and community members. These programs provide an opportunity to hear about recent acquisitions, collections and research taking place within the Smathers Libraries. We record these presentations and link them to our website so anyone with internet access can enjoy these experiences. There are so many ways to contribute to the Smathers Libraries. Whether supporting students through scholarships and work opportunities or helping us acquire new and exciting collections, your gift makes a difference. Contact Susan Harris, Senior Director of Development & External Relations, at or 352-273-2646 or go to The Smathers Libraries have a lot to be thankful for as we continue to receive financial support from so many alumni and community members who donate, create endowment funds and generously provide valuable collections that support and enhance the learning outcomes of students and faculty.


Inside Spread A Smathers Libraries have an active exhibition program that shares, interprets and promotes the collections. The Libraries also create and host online exhibitions, which complement physical exhibitions and highlight the collections. SIGNIFICANT MILESTONES EXHIBITSOn Friday, February 17, Smathers Library hosted a public forum of the Nelson Initiative on Ethics and Leadership. NASA Administrator and former Senator Bill Nelson was joined by former astronauts Charlie Bolden and Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, who were on Nelson’s 1986 Space Shuttle Columbia mission. The retired astronauts discussed previous missions and insight into space exploration. Bolden served as NASA Administrator under President Obama. NOTEWORTHY EVENT Presence/Erasure: Black History in St. Augustine . William Henry Jackson (American, 1843-1942) Happy as the day is long, c. 1902 . Detroit Publishing Co. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. new exhibits across the Libraries 12 4 3 3,000 online exhibit page views new online exhibits exhibit loans Almost Available online: gIN6TiX7Jwc?si=_HMCqS5SeSdle3ow This year Special & Area Studies Collections celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Panama Canal Museum Collection at the Panama Canal Society Reunion with a webinar presentation available online: original-ufdc.uflib., creation of a booklet:, and a special event. The US Caribbean & Florida Digital Newspaper Project completed 10 years as a recipient of National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grants. In the past 10 years, the team has digitized over half a million historic newspaper pages from Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Congratulations to the NDNP team, Sarah Tew and Melissa Jerome. Everglades stamp from 1947. The Key West Citizen November 7, 1947.


Inside Spread A LibraryPress@UF (LP@UF) is a digital-first imprint focused on scholarly, educational and creative works, with an emphasis on promoting open access to scholarship and ethical practices in scholarly publishing. LP@UF comple ments the work of the University of Florida Press to collec tively contribute to the shared missions of the Smathers Libraries, the Press and the University. Publishing projects include monographs, journals, edited collections, exhibit catalogs, textbooks, children’s literature and other publi cation formats. A 2022-23 publishing highlight includes, B is for Baldwin: An Alphabet Tour of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature , winner of the silver medal in the Visual Arts Category at the 2022 Florida Book Awards. Oth er 2022-23 publications include Undergraduate Guide to the George A. Smathers Libraries ; What’s One Thing?: Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, and Collaborations; and Building Bridges—75 Years of Latin American and Caribbean Collection at the University of Florida . LP@UF produces and publishes SOURCE, Magazine of the Smathers Libraries, an open access journal distributed in digital and print for mat. SOURCE publishes contributions based on enduring relevance, relation to the Smathers Libraries, transforma tive collaboration, and the centering of student voices. librarypress.uflib.ufl.eduRamona Caponegro was appointed a member of the 2023 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee (Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association). The Caldecott is one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. She read and evaluated more than 800 children’s books as part of her work reviewing candidates for the Caldecott Award. She also gave an invited keynote talk titled “The Caldecott Medal: Still Going Strong (and Evolving) at 85,” to accompany the traveling exhibition, “Young at Art: A Selection of Caldecott Book Illustrations” at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, Inverness, Florida. April 26, 2023. LIBRARYPRESSUF EMPLOYEE HIGHLIGHT IMPROVED HEALTH AND WELLNESS Following the Strategic Directions, the Smathers Libraries prioritize the health and well-being of both employees and the community of students, staff and faculty that we serve. Within library spaces, we continue to offer under-desk exercise equipment, such as under-desk treadmills and desk cycles, to enable movement and active work and quiet spaces for rest and reflection in the form of nap pods or meditation rooms. To encourage nature therapy in the beautiful natural spaces around campus, the HSC Library has created Nature Guides handouts (guides. that highlight seasonal flora and fauna that can be seen around campus along suggested walking trails. In addition, the Smathers Libraries participated in programming around midterm and finals weeks of each semester, as well as holiday celebrations. This programming included creating terrariums, decorating puzzles, crocheting hearts and clovers, participating in a “Positivitree” of encouraging messages and providing healthy snack events of fruit, nuts, and granola bars. Above illustration is an example from the exhibition. Leonard Weisgard , Mother Hen . c 1947; Acrylic, 15 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches; Courtesy of Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University. Detail.


Inside Spread C In the academic year 2022-2023, the Diverse BookFinder grant project team has continued to make important strides towards the ultimate goal of expanding the Diverse BookFinder website to include books for older children and teens in addition to its original offering of picture books. The Diverse BookFinder team has recruited two cohorts of volunteers from around the nation (and Canada) to become part of the Diverse BookFinder’s community of practice, which is tasked with reading and coding all of the titles that eventually go live on the website. Between both cohorts, this group num bers more than 120 volunteers who have completed the intensive training program created and facilitated by members of the grant team. So far, these volunteers have read and coded more than 1,200 books. The grant team has also been working hard to revamp the Diverse BookFinder brand. In the Spring 2023 semester, the Editorial and Marketing Advisory Group partnered with UF’s MINT Studio to create a new logo and branding package for the Diverse BookFinder. The grant team is excited to debut the new logo and branding along with the updated Diverse BookFinder website in the first quarter of 2024. “I live in an open double dorm and it’s nice to have a safe place to study late night if needed, without disturbing my roommate.”Back by popular demand, Marston Science Library reopened in Fall of 2023 with 24/7 hours with funding provided by Student Government and the Office of the Provost. With an average of 250 students studying between midnight and 4 a.m. (with an increase closer to finals), the Smathers Libraries are a quiet, safe place to study when coffee shops and other academic buildings on campus are closed. When asked why a 24/7 library is important to them, students often mention having a distraction-free location that allows them to be productive for more hours of the day. As a Natural Language Processing/Artificial Intelligence Librarian at the Smathers Libraries, Borui specializes in integrating advanced AI and NLP technologies into various academic and research domains. Her collaboration with faculty across different disciplines has led to the creation of innovative educational content, notably the course “Making Sense – Understanding the World with Data and AI,” designed to introduce undergraduate students to the fundamental aspects of AI. This course emphasizes practical applications of AI in understanding complex unstructured data, highlighting her commitment to enhancing educational outcomes through technology. Her role also extends beyond the classroom. She has utilized AI methods to improve natural history collections and contribute to urban greenspace projects, showcasing the versatility of AI applications in research. The department AI team that she leads is at the forefront of promot ing AI literacy among library staff, offering work shops and creating an informative AI LibGuide website. She actively engages in consultations and liaison services, focusing on practical appli cations of AI in academic settings. This involves direct support for faculty and students, optimiz ing library resources and research tools through AI enhancements. Borui Zhang, Natural Language Processing SpecialistMARSTON RETURNS TO THE LIBRARIES AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE


SMATHERS LIBRARIES BY THE NUMBERS EXPENDITURES1,3 35 GRANTS ASKALIBRARIAN INSTRUCTIONSessions Taught Questions Answered Newly Awarded Grants ..............1 2 Employees Serving on a Grant ...........6 1 TRAFFIC & BRANCH DETAILS Square Footage6 2 8,609Seating5,7991 3 9,6 27 1 65,6 29 4 87,4 1 9 1,630,8 4 2 7 6 2,0 89 120,0 8 43,305,6 9 07,0 2 5Grant Funding Available to Spend Total Full-Time Sta ...........................................308People (salaries, wages and fringe) ...........$21,926,169Collections ....................................................$16,391,464Other Operating Expenses ............................$4,656,782Average Expenditures Per Full-Time Student ............$833Total Expenditures .................$4 2, 9 7 4, 4 1 4$3 .46 MILLIONVisitors Visitors Visitors Visitors Visitors Visitors