Current Exhibits

All exhibits are free and open to the public during the same hours as the building in which they are housed, unless otherwise specified and with occasional exceptions for maintenance.

Smathers Library Gallery | September 26, 2022 – December 16, 2022

Makers Gonna Make: Artists Books for Tumultuous Times

Being creative during tumultuous times is incredibly difficult. Our minds and bodies are not built to absorb constant streams of traumatic events like those we have all experienced within the last decade. This exhibition features artist book works created during and about these times we are living in. The work here does not and cannot provide solutions to problems, but offers a moment of acknowledgment to the reader that says, “You are not alone.” Curated by Ellen Knudson.

An exhibit case from the Makers Gonna Make exhibit that features the artist book "Sylvan Secrets" inspired the microscopic innards of trees.

Latin American and Caribbean Collection | October 3, 2022 – December 16, 2022

Taste of Memory: Rice and Beans Across the Caribbean

Rice and beans is a dish with many names – peas and rice, moro y cristianos, congrí, arroz con gandules, gallo pinto, arroz con habichuelas, arroz y frijoles. This duo is not just hearty and nutritious, but full of stories that allow for making emotional connections. A small taste of this “comfort staple” allows us to connect with our upbringings and cultural identities, to find a sense of home and belonging no matter where we may be. Curated by Daniela Torres and Melissa Jerome.

Two plates with rice and beans

Library West | September 14, 2022 – March 13 , 2023

Books Banned in Florida Prisons

This exhibit presents just a small sample of the thousands upon thousands of books that incarcerated people in Florida are barred from reading. Many of these titles critique the U.S. prison and criminal justice system and the violence it enacts on millions of lives, primarily Black people and other marginalized groups. Other titles provide sources of empowerment and liberation. Curated by Stephanie Birch and Katiana Bagué.

A portrait of Huey P. Newton writing in a notebook

Smathers Library Lobby | June 17, 2022 – October 17, 2022

Afrofuturism: Creativity of the Black Mind

Afrofuturism has grown in popularity in recent years and is present in every sector of popular culture. The literary and artistic style reimagines the past or creates an enhanced present and future through an Afrocentric lens. Pioneered by Black authors, artists, and musicians, Afrofuturism manifests fantastical worlds that Black people have historically been excluded from. Often directed toward a Black audience, the genre establishes a sense of solidarity and inspiration. Curated by Antonette Jones.

A person wearing a spacesuit and helmet walking through a desert terrain.

MARSTON Science Library | June 9, 2022 – october 28, 2022

Transcend: Beyond the Gender Binary

Existence outside the gender binary is a theme weaved throughout feminist, Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), and queer science fiction. These themes help audiences navigate through questions such as: What exactly is gender? What do technological futures look like when gender constructs, roles, and representations are thrown out? How does science fiction reconstruct and reframe how we understand identity? Curated by CJ Gott, Michelle Nolan, Barret Uhler, and Kestrel Ward.

The book cover of Octavia Butler's Dawn. It includes a human figure surrounded by plants.

Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery | March 26, 2022 – February 28, 2023

The Digging is the Least Thing of All: Health & Medicine at the Panama Canal

The tremendous public health infrastructure necessary before and during Panama Canal construction evolved into an equally monumental and vital system designed to protect the Canal’s functioning and keep the people operating it safe from injury and disease. Individuals living at the Canal had typical healthcare needs, but they also faced unique and significant challenges brought on by their location at the crossroads of global trade. Curated by Elizabeth Bemis.

Nurse Nelly Ibarra tending to a patient

Library West | February 18, 2022 – October 17, 2022

Freedom is Not Free: Ax Handle Saturday

Beginning August 13, the NAACP Youth Council organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in downtown Jacksonville. On August 27, white Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members attacked Black people in downtown Jacksonville. Although often overlooked, Ax Handle Saturday is a significant part of Florida and American history that mirrors and expands the national Civil Rights Movement. Curated by Antonette Jones.

Individuals crowded around with reporters conversing with Alton Yates and Rodney Hurst

Marston Science Library | February 4, 2022 – October 17, 2022

African American Agricultural Extension Agents in Florida

Celebrating the contributions historically made by African American extension agents throughout Florida. Curated by Melody Royster.

Group of Black Florida Home Extension Agents

Education Library | September 2, 2021 – December 17, 2021

Let’s Talk About Sex

Children’s literature illustrates the changing attitudes towards sex education over time. Increased sex education has grown young people’s sexual knowledge, awareness, and autonomy. It has also improved their attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and behaviors while affirming the position of sex education within a larger framework of human rights. Curated by Hunter McDaniel.

Illustration of person with heart around face