News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

Announcing the Noon Lecture Series: Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library have planned a series of lectures on the history of  infectious diseases for the coming months.

The Noon Lecture Series provides opportunities for informal learning and conversation in the Howe Conference Room (5.076) on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library.  Everyone is invited.

mosquitoSeptember 20, 12:00 noon – Death Delivered on Gossamer Wings:  the Resurgence of West Nile Virus Encephalitis in Texas, 2012

Gregory Anstead, MD, PhD, Director, Immunosuppression and Infectious Disease Clinics, Veterans Healthcare System will be the speaker.


Florence Nightingale, Cholera patients, Crimean WarOctober 25. 12:00 noon – Cholera: Ancient Plague, Current Scourge

George Crawford, MD, MACP, Internal Medicine Program Director, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will be the speaker.




November 8, 12:00 noon – Apocalypse Cow- The Strange Rise and Fortunate Decline of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Gregory Anstead, MD, PhD, Director, Immunosuppression and Infectious Disease Clinics, Veterans Healthcare System will be the speaker.


For more information about the Noon Lecture Series contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian,



Laurie Garrett, Abraham Verghese will speak at the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics 10th Anniversary Celebration

Books are available in the Briscoe Library

The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics will celebrate its 10th anniversary October 10-12 with a number of events to honor its four areas of emphasis: Community Service Learning, Global Health, Ethics and Professionalism, and Literature and Art.  Details can be found on the 10th anniversary website (

Laurie Garrett and Abraham Verghese, two well-known authors, will speak as part of the celebration.

Laurie Garrett will deliver the 10th Annual Frank Bryant, Jr., MD Memorial Lecture in Medical Ethics on Thursday, October 11, Noon to 1:00 p.m., Holly Auditorium.  Ms. Garrett is Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, a best-selling author and the only journalist ever to win the Pulitzer, Polk, and Peabody prizes.  The following books by Laurie Garrett are available for checkout in the library:

  • I Heard the Sirens ScreamGarrett, Laurie (2011). I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks. Kindle e-book.  (Kindle with e-book available for check-out at the Circulation Desk).
  • Garrett, Laurie (1995). The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Penguin.   (WA 105 G239c 1994)
  • Garrett, Laurie (2001). Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. Hyperion.  (WA 530.1 G239b 2000)

Abraham Verghese will speak about “The Pen and the Stethoscope” on Thursday, October 11, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Holly Auditorium.  Dr. Verghese is a best-selling author, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, and founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics.  Books by Dr. Verghese available for check-out are:

  • Cutting for StoneVerghese, A. (2009).   Cutting for Stone:  A Novel.  Knopf. (PS 3622 E744c 2009).
  • Verghese, A. (1999).  The Tennis Partner.  HarperPerennial. (WZ 100 V496t 1999).
  • Verghese, A.  (1995).  My Own Country:  A Doctor’s Story. (WC 503.4.AT2 V496m 199

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries





Coming in November: The 42nd Annual Dinner and Presentation of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Richard Luduena, PhD

Richard Ludueña, PhD

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

6:30 p.m.

Doubletree Airport Hotel, 37 NE Loop 410 at McCullough

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Inbreeding and Incest in Royal Families”

Richard Ludueña, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, will deliver the address at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, November 7, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.  The dinner, which is followed by a short business meeting, will be held at the Doubletree Airport Hotel, 37 NE Loop 410 at McCullough.

Dr. Ludueña will discuss incest and inbreeding in the Spanish, Egyptian and Inca royal families, describing their behaviors and exploring reasons why inbreeding and/or incest, despite the taboo, persisted in these families.

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library invite students in all of the schools to attend the dinner and become members of the Friends’ group.  The cost to students for the dinner and annual membership is $30.  Students are encouraged to apply for sponsorships which cover the cost of registration and membership for one year.

For all others, the cost of the dinner is $55.

All who are interested in the history of medicine are invited to an intriguing presentation and an enjoyable evening of good food and conversation.

Advance registration is required.  Please RSVP, including requests for scholarship assistance, by November 2, 2012.  Send completed registration form to Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian:



Hurricane Beulah exhibit makes many stops as it travels through South Texas

Hurricane Beulah Exhibit- viewed by community

Community members view the Hurricane Beulah exhibit in Harlingen, Texas in June 2011.

An exhibit documenting the dedication, compassion and resourcefulness of community and health professionals in the aftermath of Hurricane Beulah recently traveled to several locations throughout South Texas, including areas where memories of the hurricane and its aftermath were still fresh in the minds of those who visited the exhibit.   In addition to being displayed at the Ramirez Library in Harlingen, the exhibit has traveled to Operation Lone Star in Rio Grande City (2011) and Brownsville (2012).  It also made a month-long stop at Rio Grande City Public Library where a reception was held to honor the work of Dr. Mario E. Ramirez and other volunteers who helped flood victims following the hurricane.

The exhibit has been displayed at the Laredo Public Library, the Briscoe Library at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, the Killam Library at Texas A&M International, the University of Texas Health Science Center Regional Campus Library in Laredo and the University of Texas Pan American Library.

During June 2011 and 2012, the Hurricane Beulah exhibit also made stops at Hurricane Preparedness Fairs throughout the Rio Grande Valley.  Hurricane Preparedness Fairs are organized annually by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and spotlight disaster preparedness services and resources available to the community.

Beulah made landfall at the mouth of the Rio Grande on September 21, 1967.   It caused extensive flooding on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.  To escape the rising flood waters, over 14,000 refugees from Camargo, Tamaulipas crossed the border into the small town of Roma, Texas.  It was in Roma that Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, the only physician in town and Starr County’s Public Health Service Director, rose to action in the face of a crisis.  For several weeks, Dr. Ramirez along with volunteers from the local community, the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, as well as the U.S. Army, worked to help the hurricane victims.


Hurricane Beulah exhibit viewed by health professionals

Health professionals view the Hurricane Beulah exhibit during Operation Lone Star at Fort Ringgold in Rio Grande City. The Fort Ringgold gymnasium, where this photograph was taken, served as an emergency shelter following Hurricane Beulah. Several photographs in the collection were taken in the same spot over 45 years ago.

The documents included in the exhibit are part of the Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Collection, which is housed in the Ramirez Library in Harlingen.   They were taken by George Tuley, a Rio Grande City teacher, who would later go on to a 39-year career as a photojournalist at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.  The photographs portray the use of makeshift medical equipment in the absence of IV poles, incubators, and oxygen tents.  They also document the transformation of a high school into a packaged disaster hospital where blackboards were used to record patient information including diagnoses and treatments.

Work on the Hurricane Beulah exhibit began in 2009 when the Ramirez Library received a Library Technology Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) to support the digitization of 139 photographs and 185 pages of letters, newspaper clippings, and personal journal entries related to the aftermath of the hurricane. The full collection of Hurricane Beulah photographs from the Ramirez Collection can be viewed online at

For more information, contact Graciela Reyna, Assistant Director, Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Library at (956) 365-8850 or

This project was  funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract N01-LM-6-3505 with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.

Kathy Carter, Librarian at the Ramirez Library in Harlingen



Katie Prentice receives Emerging Leaders Award

Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services

Katie Prentice

Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services, is the recipient of a $3,500 Emerging Leaders Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine/South Central Region (NN/LM SCR).

The award pairs Katie with a mentor, Debbie Sibley,  who is the director of the library at Louisiana State University Health Science Center in New Orleans.  It will  also cover the costs of Katie’s travel to New Orleans,  to the NN/LM SCR office in Houston, and to the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association meeting which will be held in Lubbock in October.

The Emerging Leaders Award is designed to develop leadership and management skills for mid-career health science librarians.  This is the first time the award has been offered.

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries



Library purchases Amazon Kindle Touch

In an effort to expand into emerging technologies and to offer another means for readers to interact with different e-book formats, the library has purchased a Kindle Touch e-book reader.  The Kindle will be available for check-out in early September.  Faculty, staff, and students with a current library account are eligible to check out the Kindle, which is available at the Briscoe Library Circulation Desk. The Kindle will circulate for a two week period and is non-renewable.  Holds can be placed on the Kindle by logging into a personal library account.

The Kindle must physically be returned to the Circulation Desk.  Please DO NOT place it in the Book Return boxes.  Once physically returned, if there are no other library patrons waiting to check it out, the Kindle may be eligible for a second check-out.

Due to Amazon restrictions the library is not allowed to share Kindle content with other Kindle owners.  In addition, users should not contribute unauthorized content to the library Kindle.

Currently there are two e-books available on the Kindle:

The Health Care HandbookThe Health Care Handbook by Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore, 2012.   Written by two medical students, this book attempts to provide a simplified explanation of the U.S. health care system as it stands today.  For more information check out a review of the book by Dr. Pauline Chen in the New York Times article, Two Medical Students Navigate the Health Care Maze.


I Heard the Sirens ScreamI Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks by Laurie Garrett, 2011. This book provides a first-hand account of the events that occurred on and after September 11th 2001.  Laurie Garrett is a best-selling author and a respected journalist who is also the Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Ms. Garrett will deliver the 10th Annual Frank Bryant, Jr., MD Memorial Lecture on Thursday, October 11 at 12:00 noon, Holly Auditorium as part of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics 10th year anniversary celebration.

Books currently available on the Kindle can be found in the Briscoe Library Catalog.

Requests for titles to be added to the Kindle should be specified in a Purchase Suggestion Form.  Please specify “Kindle e-book” in the request.

Andrea N. Schorr

Cataloging & Acquisitions Librarian

Anatomists and Their Art: History of medicine presentation by Dr. Charleen M. Moore can now be viewed online

In October 2011, Dr. Charleen Moore, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, gave a presentation on “Anatomists and Their Art” which featured many of the most important works in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  Dr. Moore explained the interrelationship between anatomical study and art by looking at:

  • Artists who dissected (such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer),
  • Anatomists who drew (such as Robert Hooke and the Bell brothers), and
  • Anatomists who teamed up with artists (as  Vesalius did with van Calcar, or Albinus did with Wandelaar).

You can see and hear Dr. Moore’s presentation (28 minutes long) by clicking the “play” button below.


Briscoe Library: Building in the news

The 5th floor of the Briscoe Library will be closed from August 31 – September 9 for new furniture installation and electrical and data wiring. 

Library users are asked to use the other floors of the library for study during this time.  Once the renovation work is completed, there will be updated furniture for group and individual study as well as for computer use.

Over the winter break, the 5th floor will also be closed for carpet installation, painting and ceiling improvements.

New study carrels will be installed on the 3rd and 4th floors of the library in September.


The School of Medicine Dean’s Office has temporarily moved into vacated office space on the 4th floor of the library while the Dean’s Office suite is being remodeled. 

Anticipated completion date for the office renovation is January 2013.  The long-term plans for the vacated office space on the 4th floor of the library is to renovate the offices for study rooms and group collaboration space.