News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

Library Staff Honored for Years of Service

Congratulations, and a big Thank You! to our Library staff who were honored for their many years of service at a ceremony held on April 29. The ceremony, recognizing UT Health Science Center staff for their years of service to the institution and to the State of Texas, was conducted by University President William Heinrich and Vice-President for Human Resources James (Mike) Tesh.  The following Library staff received Service Awards:



5 years      Patty Goldspink, Administrative Assistant
15 years    John Weed, Head of Collection Resources
25 years   Chris Gaspard, Head of User Services
35 years    Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries
40 years   Elizabeth (Anne) Comeaux, Assistant Director and Records Management Officer


News From the Libraries – May 2015

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

Briscoe Library 24/7 Hours

Periodical Price Survey 2015

MedlinePlus Has a New Look

P.I. Nixon Hosts History of Anatomy Class

Traveling Exhibit on George Washington

Proyecto de la Mujer Bateyana – Library Photo Exhibit

Library Staff Honored for Years of Service

Chris Gaspard – Emerging Leaders Award

Anne Comeaux Certified as Digital Archives Specialist

Retired Librarian Receives Photography Award

Libraries Receive NN/LM Library Award

Featured New Books

See all past issues of News From the Libraries

Briscoe Library 24/7 Hours for Spring Exams

The Briscoe Library will extend its hours for 24/7 study during fall semester final exams.  The library will be open 24 hours/day starting on the evening of Monday, April 27 and extending through the night of May 8. To accommodate School of Medicine students, the library will also be open 24 hours/day on May 18 through May 22.

Extended hours are only available to HSC ID card holders and entry will be through ID card swipe at the library entrance.  All students, faculty and staff MUST have their HSC ID with them in order to remain in the library during overnight hours. Non-Health Science Center library users may use the library during regular hours.  The classroom area on the 2nd floor of the Briscoe Library is also available for 24/7 study throughout the year.

The Calendar below shows the hours at a glance.

Briscoe Library Spring Exam and Memorial Weekend Hours


Periodical Price Survey 2015

Each year in April Library Journal publishes a study of the cost of periodicals indexed in the Institute for Scientific Information’s (ISI) various citation indexes. The journals covered in the study represent journals generally acquired by large research libraries. Librarians watch this study each year in order to note trends in journals pricing and to predict prices for the next year. In addition to many other disciplines, the April 2015 study included an average of 1,290 titles published in the health sciences throughout the world and detailed subscription costs for years 2013-2015. In 2015, the average cost of journals in the Library of Congress health sciences classification was $1,694, a 7% increase over the average cost of $1,585 in 2014. From 2013 to 2015, the average cost of a health sciences journal increased an average of 7% from $1,488 in 2013 to $1,694 in 2015. The study estimates that barring any major upheaval in the world economy, periodical prices are likely to rise 6.2% in 2016.

The article also discussed other factors affecting the journals subscription market this year. Library budgets have not fully recovered from the economic downturn of 2008, and are further affected by subscription costs that rise higher than the Consumer Price Index. Average prices for STM journals remain the highest among academic disciplines with chemistry journals costing the most. “Big Deal” bundled publisher packages continue to dominate academic licensing of e-journal content, however, there is some movement among libraries to “unbundle” journal packages from large commercial publishers. Subscriptions to print journals are declining with electronic versions of journals being the preferred method of access. Open access continues to develop but some analysts believe that open access may no longer be a pressure point on commercial publishing. The complete Library Journal article can be accessed at:

For information about the UTHSCSA Library’s journal collection, contact John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,

P.I. Nixon Library Hosts History of Anatomy Class

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library hosted a group of History of Anatomy students on April 8th. The visit was the culmination of an enrichment elective in the School of Medicine and a course in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences taught by Dr. Charleen Moore, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology. The class covered the History of Anatomy from ancient times to the present.

 Photograph of History of Anatomy class

The students viewed 25 items from the library’s rare book collection, including:

  • De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1543) by Andreas Vesalius
  • Micrographia (1667) by Robert Hooke
  • De medicina (1481) by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, the Nixon library’s oldest book

 Photograph of students viewing rare book

For more information on the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library or to schedule a visit, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at or 210-567-2406.

Traveling Exhibit on George Washington Coming in May

Drawing showing two doctors examining George Washington as he lies ill in bed.

Washington in his last illness. Courtesy Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

The Briscoe Library will host a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine entitled Every Necessary Care and Attention:  George Washington and Medicine during May and June.  This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens.

On display from May 11 – June 20, the exhibit explores the story of George Washington’s own health and examines the ways in which he sought to safeguard the health and wellness of those under his care. Washington’s story illuminates the broader context of the experience of illness and the practice of medicine, which during his time, was transitioning from a traditional healer craft to a profession.

A companion exhibit by Special Collections staff on Colonial Medicine will also examine the diseases and culture of medicine during the colonial period of American history.  It will be exhibited in the glass cases of the library foyer during the same period.

Chris Gaspard Is Recipient of Emerging Leaders Award

Chris Gaspard, Head of User Services, has been awarded a National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) Emerging Leaders Award. The NN/LM SCR partners with the South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL) to offer this award to motivate and prepare a junior librarian for a position of leadership in an academic health sciences library. The award pairs the recipient with an academic health sciences library director from outside the recipient’s institution who will serve as his or her mentor. The award includes visits to the mentor’s library, attendance at two SCAMeL library directors meeting, and a visit to the NN/LM SCR office at the Texas Medical Center Library in Houston. Chris’s mentor will be Pat Ciejka, Associate Vice President of Library Services and Academic Resources at the Moody Medical Library at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Part of Chris’s mentorship will include a week-long visit to the Moody Medical Library where she will work closely with Pat and other librarians and staff of the library to learn about administration, facilities and local policies and procedures.

Anne Comeaux Certified as a Digital Archives Specialist


Symbol of Digital Archivies Specialist program from the Society of American ArchivistsAnne Comeaux, the Assistant Director for Special Collections at the Briscoe Library, was recently certified as a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) after completing nine required courses within 24 months and passing the comprehensive exam in February.   The DAS curriculum and certification program was designed by the Society of American Archivists to provide archivists with the information and tools needed to manage the demands of born-digital records.


Knowledge gained in the program focuses on:

  • the fragility of electronic records due to deterioration and obsolescence of format, software, and equipment
  • the requirements, roles, and responsibilities related to digital archives
  • recommended archival formats for preserving electronic records
  • formulating policies and strategies for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to digital collections

The University Archives is starting to receive born digital records, and university departments are increasingly converting or keeping records in electronic format.  This will provide many challenges in the future for the preservation of these records for future researchers.

Retired Librarian Receives Photography Award

Retired librarian Susan Buentello was featured in the latest edition of Connective Tissue for her photograph of an 18 year old white rhinoceros named Kutu from the San Antonio Zoo. The photo titled Kutu captures the unique features and peaceful beauty of the massive creature. The photograph received Connective Tissue’s honorable mention award for the category of photography.

Kutu photo

Connective Tissue is an annual publication produced by the Center for Medical Ethics & Humanities, which features artistic and literary works produced by the campus community and affiliates. The publication features three categories: visual arts, photography, and literature. Awards are given for the top works in each category, and for honorable mentions in each category. Submissions include graphic arts, paintings, drawings, photographs, poetry, short stories, essays, and much more.


Susan Buentello photo Susan Buentello worked as a technical services librarian at the Briscoe Library for 25 years before retiring in 2009.  In her retirement, Susan now enjoys the technical challenges of photography, which fulfill her desire to learn new things and highlight her artistic abilities.