October is National Medical Librarians Month

The Medical Library Association dedicates each October to celebrating National Medical Librarians Month to bring attention to the professionals who provide expert assistance to students, faculty, health care providers and the public in health science libraries.  The librarians at the UT Health Science Center Briscoe and Ramirez Libraries offer expertise in evidence-based practice, literature searching, database instruction, designing and presenting poster sessions, information management using RefWorks and EndNote, web design, programming and website usability, health outreach, records management, serials management, rare book curation, collection development, and managing electronic resources.

Librarians partner with departments, programs, offices, and courses to offer training and support for education, research, and clinical activity.  To learn more about what we do or to request assistance from a librarian, please contact us or browse our Annual Reports and Making Lives Better page.

Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services

Paula Maez accepts a public library position in Tucson, Arizona

Paula Maez, who will complete the second year of a National Library of Medicine Fellowship at the Briscoe Library in August, has accepted a position as Adult Services Librarian at the Pima County Public Library in Tucson, Arizona. 

As one of four fellows in the 2008-2009 NLM Fellowship program Paula focused on developing her outreach skills.   She worked with the Southeastern/Atlantic Region of the NLM’s National Network and also with the Specialized Information Services of NLM on exhibiting, as well as teaching NLM resources to local high school students and students from the NIH Youth Initiative.  She also worked with the Bibliographic Services Division developing a suite of Quick Tour learning packages, and with Specialized Information Services, enhancing the circumpolar health topics section for the Arctic Health Web site. 

At the UT Health Science Center Libraries Paula has focused on the library’s outreach program to South Texas students, faculty, staff, and the community.  She has gained experience with multiple areas of  library operations including administration, information and access services, interlibrary loan, collection development, cataloging, and electronic resource management. 

Although we will miss Paula, we know she is very happy to be returning to her home town of Tucson.  Paula has been a valuable member of our staff during her fellowship, and we wish her all the best as she moves westward.

Peg Seger will manage interlibrary loan and outreach services

The Libraries are pleased to welcome Peg Seger as Interlibrary Loan/Outreach Services Librarian in the division of South Texas Regional Information Services. 

In her new position, Peg will manage  interlibrary loan and document delivery services, coordinate the library’s resource library outreach subcontract, and plan library outreach services for San Antonio and the South Texas  region.

Immediately prior to joining the staff of the Briscoe Library, Peg was employed as Reader’s Advisory Librarian for the Tulsa City-County Library in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   She worked as a library technician  at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Library from 2006 to 2009. In that position she was responsible for processing all Docline and other medical document requests.

Peg received an MLIS from the University of Oklahoma at Norman in 2008.  She also has degrees in journalism and mass communication, fine arts and education. 

We welcome Peg to the staff of the Briscoe Library!

Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, retires this month

Penelope Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, will retire in August with thirteen years of service in the Briscoe Library. 

Over the years Pennie has held several positions and taken a leadership role in many library projects.  Her first position, in 1998, was as Collection Development/Technical Services Librarian.  In that position she provided cataloging services and managed course reserves, including ERes.  She was promoted to Special Collections Librarian in 2002, and since that time has coordinated activities of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, answered reference questions, conducted oral histories, assisted with digitization projects, and researched and created fifteen major exhibits.   She has also participated in the library’s orientation and instruction programs, conducted tours of the Nixon Library, hosted two Art & Anatomy workshops and welcomed History of Anatomy students from San Antonio and from Italy. 

Pennie was instrumental in development of special programming in connection with three traveling exhibits created by the National Library of Medicine: 

  • Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature (2003)
  • Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians (2008)
  • Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine (2010)

 Recently Pennie has focused on the creation of a print catalog of outstanding holdings of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, grouped by specialty.  This catalog will be an invaluable aid for future research. 

Pennie’s people skills, her creativity, and her enthusiasm for the history of medicine and other disciplines have contributed much to the development and promotion of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library in recent years, and she will be missed.

Rajia Tobia
Executive Director of Libraries

Rajia Tobia renews credentials in the American Academy of Health Information Professionals

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, recently renewed her credentials as a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP).  AHIP is the Medical Library Association’s peer-reviewed professional development and career recognition program.  The academy recognizes the personal investment of time and effort required for exemplary professional performance and for contributions to the association and to the profession of health sciences librarianship.

Other UT Health Science Center librarians who are members of AHIP are:  Keith Cogdill, Director of South Texas Regional Information Services; Anne Comeaux, Assistant Library Director for Digital and Special Collections; Jonquil Feldman, Director for Briscoe Library Services; and Linda Levy, Assistant Library Director for Branch Library 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

The 4th Binational Conference for Promotores de Salud draws recognition from the National Library of Medicine

More than 175 individuals attended the 4th Binational Conference for Promotores de Salud.

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies was the theme of the 4th Binational Conference for Promotores de Salud, held on South Padre Island in October 2009.  The project was recently selected as a featured project of 2010 by the South Central Region of the National Library of Medicine.

More than 175 promotores, or community health workers, from around South Texas attended the conference, which was planned by Greysi Reyna and Kathy Carter of the UT Health Science Center Ramirez Library, in partnership with local community health agencies.

Other projects selected for special recognition include Communication and Education: Equipping the Community to Fight CA-MRSA, a project of the St. Edward Mercy Medical Library in Forth Smith Arkansas; BuildingDynamic Partnerships in Public Health, a project of Tulsa Schusterman Center Library, University of Oklahoma—Tulsa; From Band Aids to Twisters: Enhancing Community and Personal Preparedness, a project of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; and A World of Medical Information  Access from NLM’s MedlinePlus and the  American Indian Health Web Site to the Okmulgee Indian Health Center, a project of The Medical Library, Oklahoma State University Center for the Health Sciences.

Information about each of the featured projects can be found at:

Welcome from the UT Health Science Center libraries

At the UT Health Science Center Libraries we strive to provide our users with seamless access to library services, whether from on campus or from home.  If you are new to the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, there are some things that can help you get started using the libraries in San Antonio (Briscoe Library, Texas Research Park and University Health Center-Downtown Library), Harlingen (Ramirez Library) and Laredo (Regional Campus Library):

  • The Web site for The Libraries  provides information about hours, policies and contact information for the Briscoe Library and branch libraries ( You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Faculty, staff and students must register to use services and connect to online resources from off campus using the Borrower Registration or Renewal Form (  Students must renew their library registration annually.
  • The Libraries have extensive print and online collections of books and journals.  Library services include circulation and reserves, reference and research assistance, instruction in use of databases and bibliographic management software, expert database searches and consultations, interlibrary loan, community outreach, help with using library printers, copiers and scanners, and support for using resources for mobile devices.
  • The Briscoe Library on the Long Campus, has over 100 computers located on four floors, including 25 in the library computer classroom. UT Health Science Center computer users at the Briscoe Library  log on using their UTHSCSA domain account at computers with the neon pink tags; guests log on at computers with green tags and are limited to one hour per day. Please read our Computer Use Policy (
  • Procedures for guest access to computers may vary at branch libraries.
  • We strive to make the libraries welcoming places to study.  Food and covered drinks are permitted. Wireless laptop use is available throughout all the libraries, and we provide electrical outlets and data lines wherever possible.  Study areas include open seating, individual study rooms, (first come first served), and group study rooms, (may be reserved for two or more UTHSC affiliates). At the Briscoe Library, reservations are made at the Circulation or Information Desks, or contact us at or 210-567-2440. Study room reservations must include the names of two persons who will use the room.  Contact the branch libraries to make reservations at those locations.
  • New classrooms on the 2nd floor of the Briscoe Library building are available for 24/7 study.
  • Major construction has been completed at the Briscoe Library; however, there is always a need for repairs and remodeling in a 27 year-old building. We will do our best to avoid or suspend construction before exam or test periods.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the UT Health Science Center  libraries or in your classroom or office, and we hope you will feel free to ask questions and provide feedback on our services, collections and space.

Jonquil Feldman

Director of Briscoe Library Services