P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library to be closed May 6 through 10

Nixon LibraryThe P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library will be closed to users  from May 6 through 10.  Representatives of the School of Medicine will be meeting with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Monday through Wednesday, and will require the use of the Howe Conference Room and the Special Collections Reading Room.

An appraisal of the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is scheduled for May 9 and 10.

Users needing materials from the history of medicine collection should plan to schedule their visits at another time, as retrieval of rare books and archives will not be available during the LCME site visit and the appraisal of the collection that will follow.

For more information, contact Anne Comeaux, or Mellisa DeThorne,


Patrick Lemelle joins the staff of the Briscoe Library

Photograph of Patrick Lemelle

Patrick Lemelle works in outreach services in the Briscoe Library.

Patrick Lemelle is the new coordinator and contact person for Circuit Librarian Health Information Network (CLHIN), outreach services at the Briscoe Library.

Before coming to the Briscoe Library, Patrick was employed in the library at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.  He assisted in  organization and sales for the photo archives and coordinated the ordering, scheduling and delivery of a variety of library services. Patrick has more than 20 years of experience at the UTSA library, as well as at other private library facilities.

A San Antonio native, Patrick earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Holy Redeemer College, in Waterford Wisconsin and pursued an elementary teaching certification from The University of Texas at San Antonio.

The Libraries welcome Patrick to the CLHIN team!

Red Cross releases mobile hurricane and first aid apps

Two new apps from the American Red Cross provide access to hurricane tracking and first aid information.

The American Red Cross has developed a hurricane app and a First Aid app.  With the hurricane app it possible to monitor local conditions based on NOAA alerts, to locate Red Cross shelters, to develop a checklist for preparation, find help, and let others know you are okay, even if there is a power outage.

To download the hurricane app via a link, call “**REDCROSS” (**73327677).    You can also download the hurricane app from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

The First Aid app provides access to information needed to handle the most common first aid emergencies. Videos, animations and interactive quizzes are included along with safety tips. Content is pre-loaded so Internet access is not necessary.




Remembering Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., MD

P.I. Nixon, Jr. passed away on October 20, 2012.

We are sad to report the recent passing of Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., son of Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon, for whom the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is named.

The younger Dr. Nixon, who passed away on October 20 at the age of 99 years old, was a constant friend and an ardent supporter of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Born May 28, 1913, Dr. Nixon graduated from the University of Texas, Austin and went on to attend Duke University Medical School, graduating in 1939.  He completed his internship in Baltimore, MD and served in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Hospital, where he met his wife, Army Nurse Lt. Ruby Baker. Together, they had three children, Pat III, Margaret and John.  Dr. Nixon was stationed at West Point during World War II, and practiced medicine in San Antonio from 1946 until his retirement.

Dr. Pat, as he was known, is survived by his wife, Della; two daughters, Mrs. Margaret (Peggy) Kennedy and Mrs. Nancy LaBounty and two sons, Pat Ireland Nixon III and John Nixon and his brother, Thomas A. Nixon, and many nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

The family of Dr. Nixon has generously asked that memorials be sent to the P.I. Nixon Medical History Library.  Checks can be made to UTHSCSA Library and sent to the University of Texas Health Science Center, Briscoe Library Mail Code 7940, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio Texas 78229.  

Reminder: ERes course reserves system retires this month

As reported since May, The Libraries will retire the ERes system ( used for electronic course reserves on December 22, 2010.   After December 22, ERes will no longer be available.  Electronic materials uploaded for previous courses must be downloaded before that date.

Starting in 2011, only print materials and books will be accepted for course reserves. All electronic reserves will be handled through Blackboard.  Books and materials on reserve at the libraries will be found through the Library Catalog.

If you need assistance with your ERes account, please contact the Briscoe Library Information Desk at (210) 567-2450 or email  To get started using Blackboard for your courses, call Blackboard Support at (210) 567-7777 option #4.

Katie Prentice
Head of Education and Information Services

Sallieann Swanner, Associate Library Director for Systems, will retire May 31, 2012

Sallieann Swanner

Sallieann Swanner, Associate Director for Systems, will retire on May 31 following 39 years of service to the University of Texas System.

Sallieann Swanner, Associate Library Director for Systems, will retire on May 31 following 39  years of service to the University of Texas System.  Starting in 1973, Sallieann was the Head of Cataloging at the UTSA Library and helped to set up the opening day collection for the fledgling library at UTSA.  She moved to the Health Science Center Library in 1978 as Serials Librarian then was promoted to Assistant Director for Technical Services/Systems and Associate Library Director for Systems.  Sallieann worked on many library computer and systems projects – Philsom (for serials holdings), LIS online catalog, miniMEDLINE, early locally installed version of Ovid, Innovative Interfaces, and the Pharos/Trac printing and copying system.  Sallieann also purchased and managed library servers, desktop computers, and printers.  Sallieann’s knowledge and expertise helped to move the library along in the ever changing world of technology.  During her career she served as a member of the Computing Resources Committee, TSR Advisory Committee and was a TSR for the library.

We wish Sallieann the best as she embarks on her well-deserved retirement and we express our gratitude for her many years of dedication to Health Science Center faculty, students and staff and the profession of librarianship.

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries

Self-service checkout of books and journals: Coming to the Briscoe and Ramirez libraries in May!


Three steps to checkout: 1) scan the HSC badge barcode; 2) scan the barcode of each item being checked out; and 3) click a button to print a receipt that lists the items being checked out and provides a due date.

UT Health Science Center students, faculty and staff will soon be able to check out library books, print journals and other items without having to stand in line.

The self-service checkout system is a simple 3-step process: 1) scan the HSC badge barcode; 2) scan the barcode of each item being checked out; and 3) click a button to print a receipt that lists the items being checked out and provides a due date. Library users will also be able to see a list of items checked out or on hold and any overdue fines they may owe.

In San Antonio, the kiosk will be located on the Circulation Desk in the Briscoe Library, with easy access to staff if assistance is needed.   This service is only available to UT Health Science Center ID holders, and Borrower Registration is required prior to using self-service checkout. Items in the Reserve Collection behind the Circulation Desk will continue to require staff assistance.  Circulation staff will still be available to answer questions, process borrower registration, assist with checkouts, and receive payments for fines or photocopy/print accounts.

Self-checkout is also available at the Ramirez Library in Harlingen.

Jonquil Feldman, Director of Briscoe Library and Outreach Services and Kathy Carter, Ramirez Library Librarian

Update on Briscoe Library renovations

Photograph of seven shelves left on the 5th floor of the briscoe library

Seven ranges of shelving remain of the book collection on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library. Eventually, the remaining books will be removed, and the 5th floor public area will be configured for study and learning space.

Construction for the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library building is winding down, with a projected opening date in May.  During the late fall and spring, librarians and library staff have been busy identifying books and journals that could be “weeded” from the library’s collection in order to create space for improved student study and learning spaces in the library.

On the 4th floor, 20,619 bound journal volumes for which the library has reliable electronic access were removed from the shelves and recycled.  This process affected over 850 titles in the library’s collection.  Following this process the remaining print journals for which the library does not have electronic access were consolidated onto a smaller number of shelves.  Librarians also reviewed the book collection to identify books that were out of date or had little or no circulation.  These books were weeded from the collection, a process that is continuing.  To date, over 12,000 books have been removed from the shelves.

The long range plan is to devote the public area of the 5th floor to student study and learning space and to have all of the book collection moved to the 4th floor where print journals are also shelved.  Currently seven shelf ranges of books remain on the 5th floor, with the majority of the book collection relocated to the 4th floor.  As book weeding continues, the plan will be to reduce and finally eliminate the books shelves on the 5th floor.  In the interim the book collection is split between two floors, with the call number ranges of A to WR on the 4th floor and WS to Z on the 5th floor.

A task force will be working with a library design consultant to plan for the best ways to transform the current Briscoe Library into a library of the future.  Comments are welcome and can be sent to Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries,

Updated AHRQ report examines health literacy among English-speaking adults, identifies areas for future research

An updated report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) finds that many English-speaking adults experience difficulties understanding and using basic health information.  Health Literacy Interventions and Outcomes: An Updated Systematic Review, which examines the literature since 2004, also finds growing evidence that suggests differences in health literacy levels are related to racial and ethnic disparities. The complete report in PDF form can be accessed online at the AHRQ website:

The questions guiding the review included the relationship between health literacy and use of health services, health outcomes, costs of care and health disparities. The review also encompassed studies of interventions.

Based on searches of multiple bibliographic databases, the reviewers identified approximately 3,500 unduplicated records of relevant publications. Among these, 140 were rated either good or fair in terms of strength of evidence. Among opportunities for future research, the report mentions “Testing novel approaches to increase motivation; improved techniques for delivering written, oral, or numerical information; and ‘work-around’ interventions such as patient advocates.”

Keith Cogdill
Director of South Texas Regional Information Services

Victor Oliveros’ materials on border health now available

Victor Oliveros

After his retirement from the Laredo, Texas Health Department in 2005, Mr. Victor Oliveros, who was Chief of Environmental Health Services and a founder of the US-Mexico Border Health Commission, donated a collection of materials related to border health to the UT Health Science Center Libraries.  The materials included papers and government reports as well as slides showing deteriorating environmental conditions along the U.S. Mexico border at Laredo/Nuevo Laredo. The slides, which Mr. Oliveros used during presentations, illustrate the interdependency of the sister cities, as people, animals, and disease vectors move freely between them.

The donated materials have been catalogued and can be found by using the library catalog with the keyword “Oliveros.”

  • Physical documents are located at the Laredo Regional Campus Library at 1937 East Bustamante Street.
  • The usable slides have been turned into a presentation, and these are available as a link from
  • The web page also includes a brief biography of Victor Oliveros and an oral history that was conducted with Mr. Oliveros by Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian.

Linda Levy
Assistant Director for Branch Libraries and Database Services