News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries — July 2013


This illustration of a tomato plant is from A Curious Herbal, a popular book among physicians and apothecaries of 18th century London. A Curious Herbal is one of the books that is accessible through the National Library of Medicine’s Turning the Pages Online exhibit. Find out more in this issue of News from the Libraries

A History of the Present Illness, and other books you might enjoy reading this summer

How to Landscape to Your Environment: Program will share information about plants and landscaping on campus

Web of Science – Resource review for cancellation

IOM releases report on the CTSA Program at NIH

NIH Public Access Policy changes go into effect July 1

MS3s learn about medical smartphone applications and mobile databases for clinical support

Learning Express Library offers software tutorials and practice tests

Reach out and “Instant Message”

Finding aids: Tools for locating historical materials in the University Archives

About library classes

Turning the Pages Online: Website showcases beautiful images from rare medical books

See all past issues of News from the Libraries

How to Landscape to Your Environment: Program will share information about plants and landscaping on campus

Landscaping on the Long Campus

Photos on this page by Walter Creech

Mother-in-laws, Willows and Green Chile Stew:

How to Landscape to Your Environment

Friday, July 26, Noon to 1 p.m.

Howe Conference Room, 5th floor, Briscoe Library

Recently, President Henrich shared this comment and request that he received, about the landscaping of the Long Campus:

I have been with the Health Science Center for more than 22 years and I have always been very proud of the beauty of our campus…. I have tried adding many of the same selections to my own landscaping.  But it has been difficult to go to a nursery and get the same plant, even with pictures. I was thinking it would certainly promote xeriscaping if we could find out the names of the plants used around our campus… Just a thought to promote water conservation. Thank you for your time.

The Libraries and Facilities Management will host a program at noon on Friday, July 26, for anyone who shares an interest in  planting and maintaining beautiful, drought-tolerant landscapes like those on our campus. Dave Brahm, Manager of Landscape and Grounds for the UT Health Science Center, will discuss how to use a diverse palate of native plant material to create a colorful landscape that is durable and suited to our climate.

Brahm, who has been the grounds manager at the Health Science Center for 25 years, has a Masters of Science degree in Horticulture from Iowa State University and is a State of Texas licensed irrigator.

The program is open to everyone, and attendees are invited to bring their lunches.

Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian

Landscaping on the Long CampusLandscaping on the Long CampusLandscaping on the Long Campus

A History of the Present Illness, and other books you might enjoy reading this summer

A History of the Present IllnessSummer is a great time to read for pleasure.  We hope you will be able to find a few hours to relax with the perfect book, and  we have some titles for your consideration:

Last month, The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics announced the selection of the next One Community/One Book title.  It is A History of the Present Illness, by Louise Aronson, M.D., M.F.A.  We are excited about this book!  A History of the Present Illness is a first novel for Aronson, a geriatrician and member of the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, who is also a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Writing.

According to one reviewer the book is “an intelligent and pleasurable collection rich enough for re-reading, study, and discussion.  Aronson… combines extensive medical experience with her considerable storyteller’s gifts.” Literature, Medicine and the Arts Database

Copies of A History of the Present Illness are available in The Libraries (call number PS 3601.R67 A769h 2013) , and at the UT Health Science Center Bookstore for $18, 25% off the retail price.

One Community/One Book is made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


When we asked members of the library staff to share their ideas for good summer reads, large expanses of water emerged as a  common theme.  Here are two cool blue books to consider:

The Ocean at the End of the LaneKelley Minars, Web Librarian in the Briscoe Library, enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: “This book is funny, scary, and bewitching in turns. The author takes his own childhood mythologies and weaves them into a moving story in this short but engaging read.”




The Cat's TableJonquil Feldman, Director of Briscoe Library and Outreach Services, recommends The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje.  “The author of The English Patient speaks in the first person as he describes the story of an eleven-year-old boy in 1954, traveling on a 3-week voyage from Ceylon to England. The boy, Mynah, befriends two other boys and they run unsupervised all over the ship, going from one reckless adventure to the next. Their meals are eaten with a group of colorful adult characters at the “cat’s table”, located far from the Captain’s table. The book appealed to me because the boy is suspended for a few unfettered weeks between his orderly and safe childhood in Ceylon and the unknown challenges he will face when he begins a new life in England. I found this book to be thought provoking, poetic and also very entertaining.”


Good Omens: Gaiman and PratchettFinally, Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, suggests Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. “This book is probably more suited for a read around Halloween, so read it now and then again in October. Every time and no matter how many times I read Good Omens, it makes me laugh out loud, especially if you have been to England or are from England. It is about the end of the world which will end on Saturday, next Saturday to be exact, and how a fussy angel and a fast-living fallen angel sort of mess up the best laid plans for Armageddon.”

Web of Science – Resource review for cancellation

Librarians often need to make difficult decisions about resources to retain and those to cancel. There are rarely enough monetary resources available to accommodate rising costs of journals, books and databases. As we review renewal decisions for 2014, we are identifying those resources that may be duplicative.

Web of Science is a citation database that indexes scientific literature to 1900. The library currently subscribes to both Web of Science and Scopus. Although these databases are not identical they are similar in their scope; they both provide citation tracking and indexing of multidisciplinary resources, authors’ H-index, and journal ranking or impact factors. Scopus is currently the knowledge base for SciVal which provides research profiles for 400 Health Science Center researchers. Web of Science, Scopus, and SciVal are available for access through the library’s website, Databases section at

Because it may not be financially feasible to continue both Web of Science and Scopus starting in 2014, we are considering cancellation of the current subscription to Web of Science. Please contact John Weed, Head of Collection Resources, with your comments about this possible cancellation.

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries

IOM releases report on the CTSA Program at NIH

iom_logoThe Institute of Medicine has released a report, The CTSA Program at NIH:  Opportunities for Advancing Clinical and Translational Research, evaluating the NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program.  The IOM committee finds that “the CTSA program is contributing significantly to advancing clinical and translational research.” The committee recommends “a number of revisions that could make the program more efficient and effective and could ensure future successes.” If enacted, “these changes would help establish the CTSA Program as the national leader for advancing innovative and transformative clinical and translational research.”

The recommendations include updating the program’s leadership structure, mission and goals.

A brief of the full report can be found on the website of the Institute of Medicine.

The pre-publication report, can be accessed through the library’s catalog.

The CTSA program is administered by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).


NIH Public Access Policy changes go into effect July 1

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the full text of peer-reviewed published articles resulting from NIH-funded research are made available to the public. The policy requires that “all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.”

The Principle Investigator (PI) of the NIH award is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance for all applicable articles that are generated from the research project, including those not authored by the PI.  Articles are exempt if the research is not funded by the NIH or if they are not peer-reviewed (for example, literature reviews, letters, editorials, book chapters or conference proceedings).

Recent changes to the policy include a requirement that the full text of all applicable cited articles in the bibliography, if co-authored by any of the manuscript collaborators, must also be available in PMC. Most significantly, the NIH will delay funding or renewal of non-competing continuation awards with a start date of July 1, 2013, if the applicants’ publications arising from grant awards are not in compliance with the policy. For more information about the changes and for useful campus links, go to the library’s page on the NIH Public Access Policy.

Jonquil Feldman

Director, Briscoe Library and Outreach Services

MS3s learn about medical smartphone applications and mobile databases for clinical support

Eric Foundations 2013Over the course of one week in June, more than 200 rising third year medical students at the UT Health Science Center received instruction and demonstrations of  library resources and medical smartphone applications. With the goal of streamlining day-to-day life in their clerkship years, students learned about a number of mobile databases and smartphone applications that ranged across point of care applications, information organization and productivity applications.

As a way of sharpening their information-seeking skills, each class of about 20 students worked through a series of case-based scenarios.  Before beginning their 3rd year clinical rotations the students must complete the Information Mastery class, which is a part of their Clinical Foundations course.

Clinical Foundations (INTD 3030/Clinical Foundations) was presented by a team of instructors:  Glen Medellin, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Interim Division Chief of Pediatrics; Angela Myatt, Curriculum Liaison Librarian; and Eric Willman, Head of Library Technology.

Learning Express Library offers software tutorials and practice tests

Learning Express Library

Summer is a great time to brush up on software and computer skills.  Learning Express Library is a site available to all UT Health Science Center at San Antonio affiliates that includes online training in software (such as Microsoft Access and Excel), computers (Mac and PC operating systems), and Adobe software (including Dreamweaver and Photoshop).  Learning Express Library also includes practice tests for the  National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).  Visit the site to learn more!

Learning Express Library is easy to use.  Create an account with the site to view the tutorials and track your progress.  When you see a course you wish to view, click Login to Add and the site will ask you to login or create an account.

Learning Express Access

If you have questions about Learning Express Library, please contact Library Information at or call 210-567-2450.  Access to Learning Express Library is made possible through participation in the Texas State Library and Archives Commission TexShare Database program.

Katie Prentice
Head of Education and Information Services

Reach out and “Instant Message”

Instant Message box
When you have a quick question and need to reach out to library staff, try the library’s Instant Message (IM) Get Help option.  The orange Get Help button displays near the bottom of the left column of the library website.

Message librarians about research help, books, journals, study rooms, library hours and more!   The IM is answered by Briscoe Library’s Information Services staff.

IM is available Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

When IM is unavailable, the best way to leave a message is to send email to or leave a voicemail at 210-567-2450.

Katie Prentice
Head of Education and Information Services





Finding aids: Tools for locating historical materials in the University Archives

Finding aids are indexes to archival and manuscript collections. A finding aid can be as simple as a list of folders. More complex finding aids place materials in context by consolidating information about the collection, for example a historical or biographical note or a description of how the collection has been arranged.

The staff of the University Archives have been creating finding aids for several years to describe the many collections of historic manuscripts and papers available at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The finding aids are very detailed, listing items at the box and folder level, and often individual items within folders. Viewing the finding aids allows researchers to locate primary source materials such as historical documents, personal papers, business records, case histories, photographs, etc., related to their research interest. The archive’s finding aids have been xml encoded using the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format to allow searching and display via the Internet.

The finding aids may be viewed online and searched  through two different sources:

• The Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) website at is produced by the University of Texas Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin. It is a repository for finding aids from archival, manuscript, and museum collections in repositories across Texas available to the public. It is updated weekly and currently lists all 23 finding aids developed for the University Archives. Researchers may browse finding aids from specific repositories or search across all repository finding aids by title, subject, name, place or format or media.

• The History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium website developed by the National Library of Medicine at indexes over 3,600 finding aids from 35 institutions throughout the United States that collect broadly in the area of the history of medicine and its allied sciences as well as more general special collections and archives. It is keyword searchable and is updated periodically, usually quarterly, so it may not have the most recent finding aids listed.

A list of finding aids completed for the University Archives and available online can be found here: UT Health Science Center- University Archives- Finding Aids

These finding aids represent only a portion of the many materials available in the University Archives, and work continues to make the other collections more accessible to researchers.

For more information on the University Archives and materials listed in the finding aids, contact Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections, at or Mellisa DeThorne, Library Archival Assistant, at or call the University Archives at 210-567-2470.