News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

Farewell from the Executive Director of Libraries

As previously announced in the November library newsletter, I will be retiring on January 8 after 35 years of service to the Health Science Center.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my career as a health sciences librarian and have been fortunateRajiaMLANews to spend most of my professional career at the Health Science Center.  Even in the days of digital collections and Google, librarians and libraries continue to be important to an informed community and to the advancement of knowledge.  I know the dedicated librarians and library staff at the Health Science Center will continue to provide innovative services, resources, and facilities for our students, faculty, staff, and the citizenry of South Texas.  My best to all of you as I embark on the next chapter in my life!

Patrick Lemelle, Library Outreach Assistant, Retires


Patrick Lemelle, Library Outreach Assistant, will be retiring on January 31, 2016. For the past four years Patrick has been an integral part of the UT Health Science Center Library outreach services. Through outreach to a 33-county area in South Texas, library outreach services seek to improve access to health information in South Texas communities. Services include training in effective literature retrieval, literature searches, article delivery, outreach to consumers and community-based organizations, and circuit librarian services to hospitals, clinics and other organizations. Patrick has made many significant contributions to the library’s outreach programs. Thanks to his efforts, the Circuit Librarian Health Information Network (CLHIN) has provided valued and timely services to client institutions. Patrick has also prepared  monthly newsletters for all CLHIN participants and has tirelessly coordinated the renewal of CLHIN contracts. He has represented the Libraries at numerous health fairs and professional conferences, and  provided dedicated program support. An accomplished musician, Patrick provided the lyrics and music for a library video produced in 2012 on the value of community outreach collaboration and partnerships.  Patrick has worked within the University of Texas System libraries in San Antonio for a total of 23 years. Patrick’s engaging manner and dedication to area health consumers will be missed. All of our best wishes go to Patrick and his wife Olivia for a wonderful retirement!


Patrick provides information to aspiring health science students, May 2015

One Community One Book 2016 Selection: God’s Hotel

“Others have written about the relationship between time and medical care with similar eloquence and urgency, but the centuries of perspective that Dr. Sweet brings infuse the point with unforgettable clarity. Sick people need time, she demonstrates repeatedly, and their doctors do, too.”                                                                                                                                                                                                             –A Hospital That Gave Its Patients Time to Heal

Cover Photograph of God's Hotel by Victoria Sweet

The Briscoe Library in collaboration with the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics has chosen God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine as a 2016 One Community/One Book selection. The book’s author Victoria Sweet, MD, PhD will present the Ewing Halsell Distinguished Lecture on the evening of March 17, 2016 in the Holly Auditorium. A reception will be held at 5:30 pm with the author’s presentation at 6:00 pm and a book signing to follow at 7:00 pm.

Dr. Sweet is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Following her BS in Mathematics from Stanford University and her MD from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Dr. Sweet earned an MA and a PhD in the History of the Health Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on the 12th-century German abbess, composer, theologian, visionary, and medical practitioner Hildegard von Bingen.

In God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine, the author weaves stories of her experiences caring for patients at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, the last almshouse in the country, with her studies of medieval medicine. In the process, Dr. Sweet comes to appreciate the importance of slow medicine and the efficiency of inefficiency.

The Briscoe Library will hold a kick-off event and workshop on February 2, 2016 at 12 Noon in the Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library 5th floor, to support book discussion group leaders and to encourage conversation. This event is open to faculty, staff, and students of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, as well as members of the broader community, who are interested in planning a book discussion opportunity. Register Here. Book discussions will then be held throughout February and March, leading up to Dr. Sweet’s visit to campus on March 17, 2016.

For more information, please visit the One Community/One Book 2016: God’s Hotel website or contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at or 210-567-2406.

3rd Annual History of Medicine Trivia Contest – January 20

triviaJoin the History of Medicine Society for the 3rd Annual History of Medicine Trivia Contest on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Howe Conference Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library. Jack Flores, MS III, will challenge contestants on their knowledge of the history of the health sciences and medical pop culture. Prizes will be awarded to the winning team!

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

For more information on the History of Medicine Society, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at or 210-567-2406.

Medical Instruments Exhibit


Ever wonder what types of instruments were used to treat ailments during the early ages of medicine? Check out the new library exhibit Tools of the Trade and find out. The exhibit features antique medical instruments from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. In this collection you will find items such as a scarificator and cupping device. Both were used during the 19th century in a process called bloodletting, which treated conditions such as fever, anemia, and mental illness. Also included in this exhibit is a Spencer Monocular microscope, produced by the first American microscope manufacturer Charles A. Spencer. Other items in this collection include a urine testing kit, a blood transfusion kit, and an ophthalmological lens set used for eye exams.

The Tools of the Trade exhibit is located on the main floor of the Briscoe Library. This exhibit will be ongoing, but may be removed temporarily for special events. Special Collections staff will rotate the selection of instruments periodically, so check back for new items.

Questions about this exhibit? Contact Special Collections staff at

Resident Physicians from Mexico Visit Briscoe Library

The Briscoe Library hosted a group of 40 resident physicians from Mexico on December 2. These health care providers are studying Medical English for one month at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Education and Outreach Librarians provided information about services librarians provide and about the library’s collection.

Physicians from Mexico

The Special Collections staff showcased eight rare and historical medical books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, as well as stereoscopes from the collection of antique medical instruments. Titles on display included:

  • De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1543) by Andreas Vesalius
  • Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body (1749) by Bernhard Siegfried Albinus
  • De medicina (1481) by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, the Nixon library’s oldest book

Photograph of Resident Examining Book

Featured New Books for January 2016

For a list of the newest titles at the Briscoe Library click here.


Purchase suggestions?
Complete the online Purchase Suggestion Form or contact Andrea N. Schorr, Metadata & Collection Management Librarian.



Group Study Room Policies


5th Floor Study Rooms: Blue = Reserved!

The Briscoe Library has group study rooms on the 3rd and 5th floors that can accommodate 4-6 people for collaborative work. The 5th floor group study rooms have media:scapes, which allow screen-sharing for up to 4 laptops. All of the study rooms are very popular and always in demand, especially in the evenings and on weekends. The display screens on the library’s 3rd and 5th floors show availability of study rooms, and the reservation system can be accessed from any computer or smart phones.

The room reservation guidelines are very clear about who may reserve the study rooms, how to reserve a room, and the 15 minute grace period: group study rooms are in high demand, so a reservation is forfeited and others may use the room if:

  • The group does not show up within 15 minutes of start time
  • Only one person from the group is in the room for more than 15 minutes
  • The room is empty for more than 15 minutes any time after the reservation start time.

Library staff do not monitor the rooms but they will provide assistance should questions arise.

To reserve a group study room, go to

Jonquil Feldman
Director, Briscoe Library and Outreach Services


News From the Libraries – December 2015

The December issue of News from the Libraries is now available.  For links to individual articles, see the table of contents below.

Briscoe Library Remodeling PlannedPhotograph of Francine Mary Netter signing a book

UT Libraries Working Together

Student Spotlight Series

Netter Speaks at Annual Dinner

E-book Demand Driven Program

Danny Jones Essay Winner

Healing Garden Poster on Display

2015 Science Expo

New Staff at Laredo Library

New Leisure Books

Featured New Books


See all past issues of News From the Libraries

Briscoe Library 5th Floor Remodeling Planned


Architect rendering of 5th floor after remodeling.

The 5th floor of the Briscoe Library will undergo remodeling with major work to begin during the Winter Break. The School of Medicine Office of Undergraduate Medicine, located on the 5th floor, will be expanded about 1,500 square on the northwest side of the library. Study carrels, tables, booths, and lounge seating currently in this space will be relocated to other areas of the library building.

As part of this project, library staff undertook a project during the month of November to shift print materials on the 4th floor. Space that was created on shelves this past year, when journal volumes or books were removed to send to a remote storage facility, was tightened up during the shift. Several rows of shelving were emptied in order to make room for study carrels that will be relocated from the 5th floor. Future plans include the removal of additional shelving as the library’s print collection shrinks in favor of electronic access. Study and collaborative spaces on the 3rd and 4th floors of the library will also be expanded and updated in the near future.

Jonquil Feldman
Director, Briscoe Library and Outreach Services