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Briscoe Library

    • 210-567-2440

Laredo Regional Campus Library

Library Hours

Library Hours & Holiday Schedule
Drop-in help from a librarian is available Monday-Friday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm


Resources For



Liaison Librarians

School of Medicine
Chris Gaspard

School of Health Professions
Karen Barton
Karen’s Guides

School of Nursing
Emme Lopez
Emme’s Guides

School of Dentistry
Christy Tyson

Graduate School
Jonquil Feldman
Jonquil’s Guides





Giving to the Libraries

How You Can Help

A gift to the UT Health Science Center Libraries is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the Health Science Center and beyond. Gifts will be used to support the library’s collection, services, and programs and will keep the UT Health Science Center Libraries in the forefront of 21st century libraries.

Gifts to the library can be designated as a lasting tribute or memorial to a family member, friend, or colleague. Tribute and memorial bookplates will be placed in appropriate books for donations of $50 or more. The Office of Institutional Advancement will acknowledge all gifts and will send an announcement to the honoree or other designee. Donors can identify whether they wish to become a Friend of the UT Health Science Center Libraries or a Friend of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, the history of medicine collection of the library. All gifts to the UT Health Science Center Libraries are tax deductible.

To Donate to the Library, Use the HSConnect Donate Link:

Donate to the Libraries

If you wish to donate using a UT Health Science Center project ID or check, please use the Giving to the Libraries form or contact the UT Health Science Center Libraries Administrative Office at 210-567-2407 or by email to ellard@uthscsa.edu.

Gifts of Books and Other Library Materials

The library accepts gifts and donations of books and other materials if these items are needed for the collection. In accepting these materials, the library retains the right to dispose of them if they duplicate existing materials or are outside of the library’s collection scope. Please contact Andrea Schorr, Head of Resource Management, at 210-567-2403 or by email to schorr@uthscsa.edu if you are interested in donating materials to the UT Health Science Center Libraries.


Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr., 1923-2010

Photo of Dolph BriscoeThe UT Health Science Center library located on the Long Campus in San Antonio is named after Dolph Briscoe Jr., who served as the 41st governor of Texas from 1973 to 1979.

On November 14, 1985 a ceremony was held to dedicate the  library, which was  completed in 1983 after many years of planning.  Governor Briscoe was present at the event, along with his wife, UT System Regent Janey Briscoe; as well as John P. Howe, III, former president of the UT Health Science Center; Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director, National Library of Medicine; and Jess Hay, Chairman, The University of Texas System Board of Regents.

An excerpt from the dedication program speaks to Governor Briscoe’s commitment to education:

The library building at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is named to honor former Governor Dolph Briscoe, Jr.  Mr. Briscoe, Uvalde rancher, served as governor during 1973-79.  During his administration, the appropriation of funds for public and higher education increased.  Since leaving office, Governor Briscoe has been active in support of community service programs.

In announcing the dedication, the former Regents’ Chairman Jon Newton said, “No resource of any campus, whether it be academic or health-related, is of more importance than the library.  At the health science center in San Antonio, the library serves medical, dental, nursing, allied health and graduate students in the medical sciences.  It stands as a symbol of excellence in their continued quest for knowledge.”

What better honor than to dedicate a library of national distinction to an individual who has been so supportive of higher education.

From: Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Library:  Celebrating 20 Years of Service and Development,  November 14, 1985

The University’s news publication covered the dedication event on the front page of its November 22, 1985, issue, shown below:

Group and Individual Study Rooms at the Briscoe Library

Ready to study?  This page has a brief description of each study room at the Briscoe Library.  Remember, only group study rooms can be reserved for groups of two or more.  See the guidelines for details.

Reserve a Group Study Room

3rd Floor

3.114 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window
3.116 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.118 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.120 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.122 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.124 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.126 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.128 Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board
3.130 Group round table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board

4th Floor

4A Individual table, chair, window
4B Individual table, chair, window
4C Individual table, chair, window
4D Individual table, chair, window
4E Individual table, chair, window
4F Individual table, chair, window
4G Individual table, chair, window
4H Individual table, chair, window
4I Individual table, chair, window
4J Individual table, chair, window
4K Individual table, chair, window
4L Individual table, chair, window
4M Group table, chairs, chalkboard, no window

5th Floor

Room numbers were updated in March 2013.

5.010 / 5A Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.012 / 5B Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.014 / 5C Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.016 / 5D Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.018 / 5E Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.020 / 5F Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.022 / 5G Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.024 / 5H Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.026 / 5I Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.028 / 5J Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.030 / 5K Individual table with lamp, chair, window
3.032 / 5L Individual table with lamp, chair, window
5.034 / 5M Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, no window, white board wall
5.040 / 5N Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board wall
5.042 / 5P Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board wall
5.044 / 5Q Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, window, white board wall
5.046 / 5R Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, no window, white board wall
5.048 / 5S Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, no window, white board wall
5.050 / 5T Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, no window, white board wall
5.052 / 5U Group table, chairs, X-Ray view box, x-ray collection, no window, white board
5.053 / 5V Group table, chairs, wall mounted monitor, no window, white board


Harry Potter’s World

Illustration of medieval medical practices by Hieronymus Brunschwig, 1494The UT Health Science Center Libraries are pleased to announce that Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine will open in the Briscoe Library on October 11, 2010.

The traveling exhibit, produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, and coordinated by the American Library Association, uses materials from the historical collections of the National Library of Medicine to explore Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance traditions.

The study of Renaissance science and medicine adds a fascinating dimension to the Harry Potter stories for both children and adults. For example, alchemist Nicolas Flamel, who is fictionally featured in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was a real 15th-century scholar whose experiments with metals influenced the development of modern chemistry.

A series of programs has been planned in connection with the exhibit, which will be in the Briscoe Library from October 11 to November 6, 2010.

For more information contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, Hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.

Event Dates

Opening Event and Reception

Renaissance Science and the Quest for Immortality: Lessons from Albus Dumbledore, Nicolas Flamel, and Isaac Newton

C. Mackenzie Brown, Ph.D. (More Information)
Jennie Farris Railey King Professor in Religion, Department of Religion, Trinity University
October 11, 2010, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Briscoe Library, Howe Conference Room

Potent Potions and Healing Herbs: Medicinal Practices of the Renaissance

Charleen M. Moore, Ph.D. (More Information)
Professor, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, UT Health Science Center
October 19, 2010, 12:00 noon -1:00 pm
Pestana Lecture Hall

A Little Muggle Magic: The Wisdom of Harry Potter for Families

Pat Thompson, Ph.D. (More Information)
Senior Lecturer in History, University of Texas at San Antonio
October 23, 2010, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Briscoe Library, Howe Conference Room

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Annual Dinner and Presentation

Magic and Monsters in the Stacks: How Harry Potter Came to the National Library of Medicine

Stephen J. Greenberg, Ph.D. (More Information)
Coodinator of Public Services – History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
November 1, 2010, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Double Tree Hotel: Contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, for more information and to purchase tickets for this event: Borchers@uthscsa.edu.

Presentation to students attending Science Expo

Living Dangerously: Doctors Adrift in the Dark Ages

Richard F. Ludueña, Ph.D. (More Information)
Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Biochemistry, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
November 6, 2010; two presentations: 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Briscoe Library, Howe Conference Room


P. I. Nixon Library Books Relating to Harry Potter’s World

“Harry Potter’s World” exhibition homepage from National Library of Medicine

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine, a traveling exhibition for libraries, was organized by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibition tour is coordinated by the American Library Association Public Programs Office, Chicago.

ALA and NLM Logos

Health Careers High School Students

Juniors and seniors from Health Careers High School are eligible for a variety of privileges, including using :

  • Books and audio/visual materials
  • Journals—print or electronic, in-house use at any of the UT Health Science Center Libraries
  • Library computers (time limit)
  • Photocopy and printing (fee)

Note: Other high school and university students (undergraduate or graduate), and other high school students who are over age 18 may qualify as TexShare borrowers or courtesy borrowers.

Loan periods for circulating material

Material Type

Loan Period

# of Renewals Allowed


14 days








Print Reserve materials (in-house use only)

3 hours


 Library Registration

Students may register in person at the Briscoe Library Circulation Desk or at the Laredo Regional Campus Library.

  • Create an account for book checkout.
  • Health Careers High School student ID card is required to register.
  • Borrowing privileges are valid for the current academic year.
  • Registration cannot be renewed until all fines and other obligations have been cleared.

 Library Collection Use

Users may have up to 3 items checked out at any given time.

Updated 11/26/2013

Health Professionals

Doctors, dentists, nurses, or other licensed health care practitioners living or practicing in Texas may register with the Library as an area health professional and have access to a wide variety of services including:

  • Books and audio/visual materials
  • Journals—print or electronic, in-house use at any of the UT Health Science Center Libraries
  • Library computers (time limit)
  • Online search service (fee)
  • Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery*(fee)
  • Photocopy and printing (fee)
  • Proxy Borrowers

Due to licensing agreements and contracts, off-site access to electronic journals, books and databases is available only to currently employed or retired faculty and staff, and currently enrolled students.

*Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery are available for individuals requesting information for personal or academic research and may not be used by health professionals on behalf of law firms, corporations, or organizations.

Loan periods for circulating material

Material Type

Loan Period

# of Renewals Allowed


14 days


Reserve materials



Library Registration

  • Create an account for book checkout  and Interlibrary Loan services.
  • Area health professionals may register in person at the Briscoe Library Circulation Desk or at the Laredo Regional Campus Library.
  • A state-issued ID (current driver’s license or passport) and a copy of your Texas license to practice are required to register.
  • Borrowing privileges are valid for one year from date of issue unless the license expires prior to that, and may be extended annually.
  • Registration cannot be renewed until all fines and other obligations have been cleared.

Library Collection Use

Users may have up to 3 items checked out at any given time. Select library materials may be renewed in person or by calling the Circulation Desk at (210) 567-2440 or on the online catalog. Renewal will be denied if materials have reached their renewal limit, have been recalled, or are overdue.

History of Brain Mapping: an HOM Society Event on Thursday, February 16th

Upcoming History of Medicine Society Event at the Briscoe Library:

The History of Brain Mapping, a presentation by Eithan Kotkowski, MD/PhD student.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Where: Briscoe Library, Howe Conference Room (5th floor)

Membership to the History of Medicine Society is free, and meetings are open to the public. Light refreshments will be served!

Hope to see you there!

Human Resources and Business Administrator: Herlinda Howard

Office Phone:  210-567-2407

Emergency Contact Information is on the Staff Intranet (not publicly available).

Regular Duties related to Disaster Planning

  • Maintains and updates list of keys and card readers annually or as necessary
  • Establishes and maintains an inventory of library assets
  • Maintains current list of all staff office phone numbers for updating the telephone tree

During and After a Disaster

  • Contacts recovery vendors and services at the request of the disaster team or collections manager
  • Tracks and coordinates expenditures
  • Coordinates with Senior Director of Libraries and Associate Library Director to authorize temporary staff assignments and workspaces if needed
  • Coordinates with Technology Coordinator to replace equipment and to identify key servers and equipment that should be restored first
  • Coordinates payment for supplies and services needed
  • Recruits volunteers and ensures they all sign a waiver form
  • Arranges for food and drink for recovery workers as determined necessary
  • Works with Robert Zuniga, Senior Clerk to update the inventory of library possessions as damaged items are discarded
  • Maintains a list of possessions sent out for refurbishing, if applicable
  • Works with Senior Director of Libraries to submit insurance claims for Library
  • Coordinates with Human Resources to assist any employee injured in the disaster or during recovery with workman’s compensation or insurance claims
  • Enrolls the assistance of the Employee Assistance Program if necessary


Back to Library Disaster Team list.

Information Resource Development Plan

Library Mission

The mission of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Libraries is to advance the teaching, research, patient care and service programs of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the health care programs of South Texas by providing library services and access to health sciences information. The Libraries support the mission and goals of the Health Science Center, and seek to build information resources to support the mission and goals. Information resource decisions are based on knowledge of the research, teaching, patient care, and service programs of the institution. Librarians seek opportunities to make decisions in keeping with the university’s mission and goals by interacting with faculty and students through the Library Committee, curriculum committees, instructional services, Library websites, and Library service points. In addition, Library staff seek opportunities to make decisions based on user input through periodic surveys, suggestions, focus groups, information resource recommendations, information use studies, and periodic collection evaluations.

UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Library Locations

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Library has several components located in San Antonio, Harlingen, and Laredo, including:

  • San Antonio
    • Briscoe Library, the central library
    • Jesse H. Jones Comprehensive Research Library at the Texas Research Park
    • Circuit Librarian Health Information Network (CLHIN)
  • Laredo
    • Laredo Regional Campus Library
    • Circuit Librarian Health Information Network (CLHIN)

The component libraries will be referred to as the Libraries in this document.

Who are the clients of the Health Science Center Libraries?

The UT Health Science Center is one of fifteen components of the University of Texas System. The Health Science Center schools include: Health Professions, Dental, Medical, Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Two branches of other University of Texas institutions are located on the campus: the UT Houston School of Public Health and the UT Austin School of Pharmacy.

UTHSC students, faculty, and staff on the main campus in San Antonio, in Harlingen, Edinburg, Laredo, and at other remote sites in San Antonio and in South Texas are the Libraries’ main clients. Students of the UT Houston School of Public Health and the UT Austin School of Pharmacy have the same privileges as UTHSC students. Physicians accepted in Graduate Medical Education residency programs of the UTHSC Medical School are considered students. Persons appointed by the UTHSC President through their respective departments as clinical or adjunct faculty have the same privileges as full faculty. Visiting faculty and students, volunteers, and students enrolled in joint programs between UTHSC and other universities such as UTSA have the same privileges as UTHSC faculty and students as long as they can provide documentation of their status.

The Libraries are open to the public. In addition, the Libraries provide some library privileges to area health professionals and local students from other universities. These privileges are detailed in the Borrowers Policy. All persons may access the Libraries’ electronic information resources within the library; however, due to licensing restrictions remote access is restricted to use by Health Science Center faculty, staff, residents, and students.

Collection Philosophy

Depth and Scope of Information Resources

Appendix A summarizes in detail collection policies for Information Resources.

An academic health sciences library should include the major information resources required for educating health professionals, clinical practice and research, and for basic biomedical research, including materials containing research reports, new findings, scientific experiment results, and other information useful to researchers. It also should include important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as print and/or online access to an extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field.

The Libraries seek to anticipate the majority of the health sciences information needs of Health Science Center clientele so that appropriate material is available when and where it is needed. Electronic access will be provided by the Libraries to its clientele regardless of geographic location when this is feasible and meets user needs.

The Libraries strive to provide information resources at the research level[1][1] in the core subject areas of dentistry, medicine, nursing, the basic medical sciences, and selected allied health sciences. Most materials that are acquired for the collection are written in English, with selected titles acquired in Spanish. University educational programs range from the undergraduate level to the post-doctoral level, and the Libraries provide information resources appropriate to this range of student academic levels.

To a lesser degree the Libraries provide information resources in the related subject areas of public health, pharmacy, psychology, health care management, and library and information sciences. The Health Science Center does not have programs in the social sciences or humanities and therefore the Libraries do not provide information resources in these unrelated subject areas, unless resources in these disciplines are needed for a specific curriculum or program or are part of a larger resource package that includes health sciences titles. In general the Libraries do not provide information resources needed by clients in fulfillment of educational requirements at other institutions.

The Libraries provide general reference resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, government statistical data, management and education resources, and legal and regulatory resources to support the routine operations of the university and the work-related reference information needs of its clientele.

The Briscoe Library has an historical collection of more than 5000 volumes, many of which were given to the Library by the Bexar County Medical Society (BCMS) in 1971. The historical collections were named in honor of Dr. Patrick Ireland Nixon, the Bexar County physician who was instrumental in the development of the BCMS historical collection. The Nixon Medical Historical Library includes more than 100 exceptionally rare books, including a Vesalius portfolio, Witherings’ An Account of the Foxglove, and other notable books. The Library accepts donations to this collection and purchases one or two volumes each year if funds are available.  In general, the collection focuses on materials published prior to the 20th century.

The Briscoe Library has been designated as the University Archives. The Archives currently contains materials from the early days of the Medical School, some UTHSC presidential papers, External Affairs documents, and publications such as the UTHSC News and the Mission. Local documents related to the history of the health sciences in San Antonio and South Texas are accepted by donation. There is an existing arrangement with the UTHSC Print Shop to send documents printed on campus to the Library on a routine basis. In 2000 the Library was assigned the responsibility for Records Management for the UTHSC. As such the Library has an opportunity to influence the archival policies and procedures of the UTHSC.

A limited number of health-related information resources intended for the general public are acquired. The Briscoe Library subscribes to a small number of general interest periodicals and leisure reading materials.

[1][1] Research Libraries Group defines a research level collection in a health sciences library as: “A collection which contains the major published source materials for dissertations and independent research, including specialized reference tools, conference proceedings, professional society publications, technical reports, government documents, multiple editions of most textbooks and monographs, including a significant number of titles pertinent to the subject in a recognized standard bibliography, and extensive collection of periodicals, including at least 65% of the titles pertinent to the subject in the List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus. While English materials may predominate, the collection usually contains important materials in French, German, Spanish, Russian, and other languages. Older or superseded material are retained for historical research.” (Richard DT, Eakin D. Collection Development and Assessment in Health Sciences Libraries. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1997).

Branch Libraries

The Libraries includes several branch locations, with collection development policies suited to the needs of clients at each location:

  • The Jesse H. Jones Comprehensive Research Library is located at the Texas Research Park (TRP) in San Antonio. A small book collection is maintained at the Jones Library, focusing on the research areas of aging, genomics, proteomics, and related subjects. The electronic resources of the Libraries are available to the clients at the TRP. Books ordered for the TRP are generally not duplicated at the Briscoe Library due to cost.
  • The Laredo Regional Campus Library has a small collection of books and print journalsbackfiles in the subject areas related to student programs in Laredo. These programs are still being developed but currently include physician assistant studies and environmental studies. Laredo Library holdings are listed in the Library’s catalog and are generally duplicates of books owned by the Briscoe Library. The Laredo Library has access to the Library’s electronic resources.
  • The Circuit Librarian Health Information Network (CLHIN) does not have a collection but uses the collection of the Libraries.

All branch libraries have access to the entire collection at the Briscoe Library, whether through electronic access or delivery of documents.

Information Infrastructure

The Libraries are the largest information resource repository of the university and encompass facilities, collections, hardware, software, and staff. The Briscoe Library is housed in a building with approximately 70,000 square feet on four floors. The building includes over 200,000 print volumes that are organized for ease of use by Library clients. Library staff members maintain the collection, provide clients with tools for accessing its contents, and provide orientation, instruction and assistance in effectively using the array of information resources provided by the Libraries.

Computer workstations and software are required to access electronic resources, so the Libraries maintain and support a number of these for client and staff use. The Libraries seek to provide electronic resources that are compatible with the variety of computing platforms used by its clientele, including PCs and Macintosh computers for client use.

Although a few university departments maintain libraries, most of these are primarily conference rooms with shelves for personal subscriptions of the department’s faculty. The Nursing School’s Curriculum Resource Center is managed by the Nursing School but all acquisitions are listed in the Library’s catalog. The Drug Information Service also lists most of its resources in the Library’s catalog.

Funding Priorities

The Libraries receive state appropriations for purchasing books, serials, binding, and electronic resources.  A portion of the expenditures for the collection comes from other accounts, including RAHC, PUF LERR, special appropriations, fines, student fees, gifts, and an endowment.

Information resources expenditures by the Library can be divided into two categories: recurring expenditures and one-time expenditures. Information resources in the recurring expenditures category generally require an annual payment in order to continue receiving them. Examples include print and electronic journal subscriptions, database subscriptions (e.g., Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, etc.), licenses for electronic information resources, and regularly published directories, manuals and handbooks for current reference purposes. Information resources in the one-time expenditures category are one-time purchases that do not require additional annual payments once they are acquired. Examples include textbooks, audiovisuals, and computer-assisted instructional programs. Although binding expenses relate to journals, they can be considered as one-time expenditures.

Rapidly rising recurring costs could consume all funds identified for information resources and eliminate the ability of the Library to provide other types of information resources. In 1997 the Library established a target ratio for the allocation of information resource funds of 85:15 for recurring expenditures to one-time expenditures. One percent of the funds allocated for recurring expenditures is designated for subscriptions to new resources. Approximately 90% of the Library’s collection expenditures are focused on acquiring or licensing electronic resources. These decisions were endorsed by the Library Committee.

Collection Guidelines

  • Because of the various locations served by the Libraries and user demand, electronic access is the preferred medium for new journal acquisitions.
  • Print backfiles that have been digitized and stored in a reliable source, such as PubMed Central or electronic backfiles purchased from publishers, will be considered for storage or weeding.
  • Print backfiles of materials not available electronically are important, although a specific number of years of volumes to be retained on site for each title has not been established.
  • Equipment such as computer workstations, servers and applications software are integral to providing electronic information resources. In order to continue to provide current technology the Libraries will follow a computer equipment replacement cycle of 3-5 years for workstations, peripherals, servers, network equipment, and applications software.
  • Anyone may suggest a purchase or subscription for the Libraries. Recurring purchases such as journals will routinely be reviewed by librarians. Databases will occasionally be reviewed by faculty specialists and librarians. Books and other one time purchases are usually reviewed solely by librarians.

Information Resources Decisions

Library Committee — A Library Committee composed of representative faculty and students is appointed by the President to serve in a consultative and advisory capacity to the President and Vice President for Academic Administration and to work with and assist the Executive Director of Libraries in making recommendations for Library practices and procedures. The Committee addresses Library service issues from the users’ perspective and works with Library administration to get input from faculty, students and staff concerning proposed changes in Library policies, practices and facilities. The Committee has traditionally advised the Executive Director of Libraries and other Library staff about collection related issues.

Selection of resources — The Library has a finite budget within which it must operate, so that ultimate selection decisions must be made by Library staff. However, Library staff strives to make selection decisions in a consultative manner which is responsive to client needs, and selection decisions are always open to review and reconsideration. In general, selection decisions for continuing commitments, such as print and electronic journals and databases, will include wider consultation than selection of single items such as books. Information resources that require equipment, such as audiovisuals and computer software, are considered along with the availability of the required equipment. Audiovisuals and computer software are generally selected because they are related to current teaching programs, so faculty involved in these programs will be consulted in the selection process and departments may be asked to share in the cost of the materials.

Review of information resources — Information resources that represent recurring commitment of funds, such as journals, databases and continuously upgraded software, will be reviewed annually to determine if they should be continued, or change format, for example a print journal subscription changed to online only. Use of resources will be a primary factor in determining what materials will be candidates for discontinuation. Use can be measured by circulation counts, sampling of in house use, and access counts for electronic resources. Library clients will be advised of the candidates and provided with an opportunity to comment.

Retention of information resources — The Library seeks to retain one copy of primary resources in the core subject areas. The Library establishes retention periods for selected titles in the core subject areas, especially those frequently updated with new editions. Only selected general references are retained beyond the two most current editions for historical reference purposes, and generally only current material is retained. Library staff periodically reviews the collection to withdraw materials that are no longer current or are not likely to have historical merit. All material in the Special Collections is retained indefinitely.

Deselection — Material removed from the collection will be made available subject to the Rules of the University of Texas System Board of Regents for acquisition by other University of Texas System libraries. Following notification to UT System libraries, materials will be made available selectively to the campus community during occasional book giveaways sponsored by the Library. Charitable organizations may also receive deselected materials or donations not needed by the Library. The Library is not able to pay postage to transfer materials to other organizations.

Replacement of lost, damaged or missing materials – If a Library borrower loses or damages material, the Library charges the cost of the material plus a replacement and processing fee. If a book, journal, or other library material becomes missing or damaged beyond use, the Library will seek to replace the material if it is still in print, current, and in high demand. Missing items that are not replaced will be declared lost and removed from the Library’s catalog.

Duplication of material — Duplication of material is rare and generally avoided. However, heavy demand for materials requires that the Library occasionally purchase additional copies of items. This practice is usually limited to a small number of major textbooks. Library copies are not intended to replace personal copies of textbooks. Students are generally expected to purchase personal copies of texts and study materials. Duplicate copies of books generally are not retained after a new edition is added. The Library seeks electronic alternatives that provide clients with improved access to books and journals and that eliminate the need for duplicate print materials.

Electronic resources — Electronic resources are an important form of information resource provided by the Library in addition to print books and journals, and audiovisuals. In some cases electronic technology is used to create new forms of books, journals, etc., and in other cases it is used to produce an entirely unique information product. Decisions about electronic resources are subject to the same selection criteria as other information resources. In addition, these resources are evaluated for ease of use, availability of existing technology for use by Library clients, the availability of budget resources or collaboration partners, and the ability of the Library to comply with license conditions. The Library has adopted the World Wide Web as the standard for accessing electronic resources and will focus on resources that are available through the Web.

Licensing – Publishers of most electronic resources require acceptance of a licensing agreement for use of their resources. The Library will review licenses for electronic products such as software, databases, and electronic journals to determine if the terms of the license can be met and if they are favorable for Health Science Center users. In some cases a license may not be acceptable due to limitations specified in the license and in some cases the Library will attempt to negotiate more favorable terms. Favorable terms in a license include IP address authentication for Web products; authorized users to include Health Science Center faculty, staff, students, postgraduate trainees, and walk-in users in the Library building; remote use of the product by authorized users; permission to use either the electronic version or a print copy of the electronic version to supply interlibrary loan requests; ability to use in electronic course reserve and course management systems, and restrictions on printing or transmitting that are in accordance with the copyright law and its fair use guidelines. Licenses are reviewed by the university’s legal counsel and are signed by the Executive Vice President for Business Affairs, who is the campus’s authorized signatory.

Consortia Participation — The Library seeks to participate in consortia that can improve the Library’s collection. Consortia provide the opportunity to increase the Library’s buying power and to enhance the collection with electronic access to books and journals. For example, a consortium purchase of an electronic journal collection might typically include titles held by all University of Texas System component libraries or all titles published by a particular publisher. It is recognized that some consortia purchases will contain both titles in the health sciences as well as those not in scope for a health sciences collection. The Library participates in those consortia purchases that have at least some application to the health sciences or that are offered at no cost to the Health Science Center. Each consortium offer will be evaluated on an individual basis for its cost and benefit to the Health Science Center. The Library participates in the University of Texas System Digital Library, TexShare, and SCAMeL consortia and seeks to participate in other advantageous consortial opportunities as they develop.


Health Science Center partners — The Library seeks opportunities to work with other units of the Health Science Center to improve information resources available to the campus. Among others, the Library has worked collaboratively with the South Texas AHEC program, the South Texas Border Health Initiative, the Medical and Dental Hispanic Centers of Excellence, ACET, Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics, and Information Management Services to provide collection resources and services.

Other library partners — The Library is committed to participating in collaborations that effectively expand the availability of needed information resources to Health Science Center primary clientele. Collaboration among University of Texas System libraries and other libraries accelerated in the 1990’s and continues to evolve.

Access to Collection Information

Library Catalog — The Library maintains a catalog of its print and electronic information resources. The catalog operates on an Innovative Interfaces, Inc. platform and is available through the Web. The catalog contains information about holdings of the Libraries and several departmental collections such as those held by the Nursing Curriculum Resource Collection.

Libraries website — Library staff maintains the UT Health Science Center Libraries website, a central source for providing information about the Library and its collection. In addition to information about the Library, the website provides links to important electronic resources, such as electronic journals, databases, books, health sciences and general reference websites. Since both Library staff and clients seek information about Library resources by using both the catalog and the Library’s website, Library staff will provide links from both the catalog and the Library’s website to electronic information resources in order to maximize access to these resources.

Electronic Journals List and Link Resolver – The Library maintains an “A-Z List” of electronic journals available to the campus. The list includes subscribed titles, titles available in aggregator services and free or open access journals. An Open URL link resolver provides links to full-text references, the catalog, and interlibrary loan service from various databases. The link resolver works in conjunction with the knowledge base provided by the A-Z list.

Appendix A: Information Resource Guidelines


  • Electronic Journals — The Libraries seek to build a collection of electronic journals and balance electronic access with print access. The preferred medium for current journal subscriptions is electronic. New journal subscriptions are only entered in print format if there is no electronic version or if a requesting faculty member has a compelling reason to subscribe to the title in print form. Electronic format is preferred for several reasons. Electronic journals can be accessed by authorized users not only in the Library building but also in offices, homes, and off-campus sites. Electronic journals have capabilities such as rapid publication, hypertext linking, and multimedia applications. For existing print subscriptions duplicated in electronic form, the Library periodically reviews these titles to determine if both print and electronic copies are needed. Electronic journals frequently provide unique challenges including licensing issues, archival storage and rights, cost, and duplication of print journals. The Library generally subscribes to all electronic journals that are offered as a benefit of a print subscription as long as the license for the electronic journal is acceptable. The Library also selectively participates in consortium subscriptions to electronic journals that fall within the Library’s collection scope, provided sufficient funds are available. Examples of consortium purchases are the University of Texas System Digital Library consortium subscriptions to Elsevier ScienceDirect, Nature Online, Wiley Interscience and American Chemical Society Web Editions. The Library seeks recommendations for electronic journal subscriptions and will review these subscription requests in the same manner as print journals. If a trial period is available for an electronic journal title or collection, then the Library will activate a trial and seek input from faculty regarding the electronic journal. The Library maintains a proxy server to insure that authorized users can access electronic journals and other electronic resources from off-campus sites.
  • Print Journals — The Library’s print journal collection contains approximately 112,000 volumes with approximately 88 current titles received in print only format. The number of print journal subscriptions decreases each year as more publishers convert their journals to online format. Faculty opinion, interlibrary loan activity, consortium discounts, and cost are important factors in the decision process, and a journal generally is not added until it is indexed in a major biomedical database such as MEDLINE or CINAHL. Journals needed infrequently that are easily available through interlibrary loan channels may not be added, especially very expensive titles. Low use journals and those that do not meet a regular publishing schedule for an extended period generally are canceled after consultation with Library clients.
  •  Journal Backfiles — Retention of print backfiles will be determined on a title by title basis and will be predicated on such factors as availability of electronic backfiles, usage data, the need for shelving space, and the possibility of remote storage. In most cases, at least ten years of print backfiles are desirable. In some cases, electronic backfiles are available and may be purchased in lieu of keeping print backfiles.


  • The print book collection inclusive of all sites contains approximately 105,000 volumes. A wide range of books in the core subject areas is provided to support the diverse clientele of the Library, including books to support the undergraduate programs of the Schools of Health Professions and Nursing as those students begin to develop professional skills and knowledge, encyclopedic works in the medical and dental specialties, reviews for state and national license examinations, and specialized monographs for graduate and faculty research. In addition, general reference books such as dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, government statistical data, management and education resources, and legal and regulatory resources are provided to support the general information needs of Library clients. The Library provides electronic books in a wide array of subjects, including some major medical textbooks. The Library is committed to continuing to provide new books in the core subject areas and the related subject areas and has established a target allocation of funds in order to assure that funds will be available for needed new books.


  • The Library has a small collection of artifacts that are used for display and to compliment exhibits. Donors wishing to give artifacts to the Library may be referred to local museums, if a museum is a more appropriate location for the artifacts.


  • Resources such as videotapes, audiotapes, and slides are purchased very selectively to support the curriculum. Departments may be asked to share in the purchase of these materials.


  • Because the primary format for journals is now electronic, print journals will be bound very selectively. In general, the Library binds weekly journals due to the number of issues produced each year. Branch libraries do not bind journal titles held in their collections.

Compact Discs and DVDs

  • The Library purchases compact discs and DVDs selectively and may require a requesting department to share in the cost of a purchase. Most compact discs and DVDs are housed in the Libraries’ general collection; if a compact disc or DVD accompanies a print volume as a duplication of the book or as supplementary material, then the compact disc is generally kept with the book. Library clients may bring personal copies of health related compact discs and DVDs to the Library and view the discs on Library computers as long as this is allowed as part of the software license.

 Computer Software

  • Selected personal computer applications software for word processing, spreadsheet, database management, electronic mail, and necessary utilities software are provided on public computers in the Library. The Library will support the major computer platforms and applications products, and will seek to maintain current versions as major upgrades are released. Public use computers are also equipped with software to support use of information resources such as a current Web browser, Adobe Acrobat reader, and other multimedia software as necessary.

Computer-based instructional software

  • Software with direct application to existing or pending university courses and educational programs is provided in the Library’s collection after consultation with faculty and students. Software programs may be added to accommodate different learning styles, to reinforce classroom instruction, and to support independent instruction. The Library also has the facilities and infrastructure to provide clinical decision making and diagnostic support software programs to aid students in developing clinical skills. Departments may be asked to share the cost of computer-based instructional and diagnostic software because of their added impact on the Library’s staffing and equipment costs.

Consumer Health

  • The Library collects a small number of books written by authoritative sources at the consumer level. Consumer health books may be purchased in English or Spanish. In addition, TexShare provides consumer health oriented databases. Consumer health materials are added for use by both the general public and by faculty, staff, and students who need access to general consumer information for their patients. The Library seeks special funding through grants, contracts, and other sources to purchase consumer oriented materials.

Dissertation and Theses

  • In the past, the Library has kept two copies of theses and dissertations from the UTHSC Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. One copy of each dissertation was placed in the circulating collection and one copy was housed in the Archives. Recently, the Library began collaborating with the Graduate Dean’s Office to move toward digital dissertation submission and archiving. With electronic submission, the Library receives an electronic copy that is stored in the digital repository and made available with the author’s permission. If the author does not grant permission for general or limited full text availability through the repository, a “dark copy” of works not sent to UMI will be saved on the Library’s server, thus providing for the archival copy. As a general rule, the Library does not collect dissertations published at other universities, although Library staff will attempt to borrow dissertations through Interlibrary Loan or provide information about purchase of dissertations from other universities. In addition, the Digital Dissertations and Theses database provides full-text access to many dissertations. Bindery staff assists the Graduate Dean’s Office by processing and sending student dissertations to the state contract bindery.


  • The Library is committed to providing access to major databases that cover the core subject areas and provides a link resolver to provide links from databases to full-text resources. Priority databases include those created by the National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE, PubMed) and CINAHL for nursing and allied health literature. The Library recognizes the importance of current awareness tools and citation information and provides databases and electronic resources to meet these needs. Whenever possible, the Library provides databases through a Web interface and seeks databases and other electronic resources that provide full-text or links to full-text.

Exam Study Materials

  • Materials used to study for exams such as the USMLE, NCLEX, and Dental Boards are purchased selectively in order to assist students in studying for and passing these exams. Funds from the student Library Resource Fee are used to purchase these materials and in some cases, the appropriate school will be asked to fund purchase of specialized exam resources.

Gifts and Donations

  • The Library accepts gifts and donations of books, journals, and other materials if they are needed for the collection. Items donated to the Library are accepted with the understanding that, upon receipt, the Library becomes the owner of the material and reserves the right to determine retention and disposition of the material. Donors may be asked to submit a list of materials to be donated prior to acceptance of the donation. The Library follows the UT System Policy on Gift Acceptance and cannot provide valuations of donations for income tax or other purposes. Delivery to the Library of gifts and donations is the responsibility of the donor.

Internet Resources

  • The Library evaluates resources available through the Internet. Some external Web sites will be linked to the Library’s website or to the catalog as appropriate.

Leisure Reading

  • The Library provides a small collection of popular bestsellers through a book rental plan (McNaughton), as long as funds are identified to support this service. Generally, funds from donations and gifts are used to support the rental collection.  A book exchange is also maintained in the Leisure Reading area of the Library.


  • The Library does not actively collect materials in microform format. The Library does not have a microform reader/printer.


  • The Library subscribes to two nationally prominent newspapers and one local newspaper. Other newspapers are available through commercially available databases.

Reserve Collection (print, audiovisual, and software)

  • A collection of materials for Reserve use is located at the Circulation Desk. The Reserve collection consists of two components – Course Reserves and Core Reserves. Course Reserves are materials such as textbooks, photocopies, audiovisuals, computer programs, etc that have been placed on Reserve by an instructor for a particular class. Purchase of duplicate copies needed for Course Reserve is the responsibility of the requesting faculty member or department.  The Core Reserve collection consists of a small number of heavily used major textbooks, audiovisuals, and computer software selected for the Reserve collection by Library staff or at the request of faculty. Core Reserve materials are kept at the Circulation Desk to maximize their availability and to limit their circulation periods. Generally, only the most recent edition of a textbook is kept in the Core Reserve collection. Faculty requesting print, audiovisual, or electronic materials to be placed on Reserve are expected to sign a copyright compliance statement prior to processing the materials.  The Library does not maintain an electronic reserve system, since the campus Blackboard system is generally used for electronic copies of course materials.

Special Collections

  • The Special Collections includes the rare book collection, the archives, and the local medical history collection. The rare book collection contains approximately 5000 volumes published between the 15th and 21st centuries. Most books housed in the collection were published prior to the 20th century.  Rare books are added with designated funds or through gifts or donated materials. The current focus for the rare book collection is to add early American imprints or books which complement material already in the collection. The archives contain official papers voluntarily transferred to the Library by units of the Health Science Center and Library administrative papers. The university’s Records Retention schedule designates materials that are to be transferred to the archives from departmental files. The local health sciences history collection contains material documenting local health sciences history in South Texas including oral histories, public health records, photographs, diaries, etc.

Approved by the Library Committee, 2-3-97

Revision approved by Mary Moore, Ph.D., Director of Libraries, 6-23-2006
Revision approved by Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, 1-29-2009

Revision approved by Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, 10-12-2011