News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

Looking for a summer read? Explore the Leisure Reading Collection at the Briscoe Library

Need a break?  Check out the Leisure Reading Collection at the Briscoe Library.  The Leisure Collection consists of approximately 50 books, many of which are bestseller titles, and includes genres such as mystery, science fiction, and romance.  Most of the titles in the Leisure Reading Collection are fiction but recently we have incorporated some non-fiction titles.  The leisure books are provided through the McNaughton book service, which is a subscription-based service that allows the library to cycle out books on a quarterly basis.

This service is funded through library donations.  New books are received every three months, so be sure to check the shelf periodically.

The Leisure Reading Collection is located on the third floor of the library across from the Circulation Desk.  All leisure books should be checked out and have a circulation period of two weeks.

Examples of titles in the Leisure Reading Collection:

The Confession by John Grisham - book CoverThe Confession, by John Grisham





I Know Who You Are by Lori Andrews - Book CoverI Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy, by Lori Andrews





Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson - Book CoverRobopocalypse: A Novel, by Daniel H. Wilson.




For a full list of titles click here:  Briscoe Leisure Reading Collection


Andrea N. Schorr

Cataloging & Acquisitions Librarian

America’s libraries: Did you know?

  • Library Champions LogoResearch shows the highest achieving students attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded library media centers.
  • The average copyright year for health and medicine titles in school libraries is 1995.  A student using these resources would not learn about mad cow disease outbreak in Britain (1996) or about the cloning of Dolly the sheep (1997).
  • Academic librarians answer 56.1 million reference questions each year— almost 10 million more than attend college football games.
  • College libraries receive just less than six cents of every dollar spent on higher education.
  • If the cost of People magazine had risen as fast as the cost of academic library periodicals since 1990, it would cost about $182 for a one-year subscription.

For more facts about America’s libraries, visit:

News from The Libraries — June 2012

Ex Votos

Everyday Miracles: Medical Imagery in Ex-Votos is an exhibit produced by the National Library of Medicine. Everyday Miracles will be on display in the Ramirez Library in Harlingen through June 16.  Ex-Votos can also be viewed online at

Did you know?  The Libraries by the numbers

Everyday Miracles:  On display at the Ramirez Library through June 16

NN/LM SCR classes coming to the Ramirez Library in June

Library classes for June and July

Updates to off-campus access and ILLiad logins

Access e-journals quickly on your smartphone or tablet at the Briscoe Library

In the history of medicine — Early ophthalmology text turns 500 this year

Joint Texas A&M – UT System library facility will house low-circulation books

New Information Services hours at the Briscoe Library

New to the shelves of the Briscoe Library

Summer reading recommendations

Former student visits childhood home of Henrietta Lacks

See all past issues of News from the Libraries

Did you know? The Libraries by the numbers

Briscoe Library

The library is in the 92nd percentile for visits to all academic health sciences libraries in the U.S. and Canada, and had more visits than any other health sciences library in Texas during the 2011 fiscal year.

The UT Health Science Center Libraries provide a wide array of services that support the university’s mission to make lives better through excellence in education, research, health care and community engagement.  It can be difficult to quantify the value of a library to the academic community, especially when that community is as varied and diverse as the Health Science Center and the South Texas community it serves.

Here are a few facts about the UT Health Science Center Libraries that help to paint a picture of the varied ways librarians and library staff provide services to the Health Science Center.

  • 1,058,763 – The number of pages that were viewed through the library’s website in the last year.  The library’s website is a portal to information resources that can be used by the campus community anytime, anywhere.
  • 440,637 – The number of visits to the UT Health Science Center Libraries in the last year.  The Libraries are comprised of four facilities in three cities – the Briscoe Library on the Long Campus and the Jesse H. Comprehensive Research Library at the Texas Research Park in San Antonio, the Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Library in Harlingen, and the Laredo Library at the Regional Campus in Laredo.  The library is in the 92nd percentile for visits to all academic health sciences libraries in the U.S. and Canada, and had more visits than any other health sciences library in Texas during the 2011 fiscal year.
  • 31,903 – The number of print books and journals that were checked out from our locations in the last year, placing our library in the 90th percentile for check-outs from health science libraries around the country.
  • 24,000 – The number of electronic journals available to the UT Health Science Center through the library.  Librarians manage these subscriptions and work with other libraries in the UT System, TexShare, and elsewhere to maximize buying power through library consortia.
  • 21,000 – The number of electronic book titles available.  Many of these e-books are the result of purchases made by the UT System for access at all UT campuses.
  • 1481 – 133 years after the Black Death of 1348 raged through Europe; also, the publication date of an edition of Celsus’ De Medicina, the oldest book in the UT Health Science Center’s P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.
  • 225 – The number of classes librarians and library staff conducted in the last year, reaching 4,874 individuals through curriculum integrated and other  instruction.
  • 125 – Research databases licensed through the library and linked to the library’s website (, including Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Anatomy TV, Netter Presenter, Micromedex, UpToDate, to name a few.
  • 123 – The number of community and health professional outreach events in San Antonio and elsewhere in South Texas where the UT Health Science Center was represented by its librarians and library staff.
  • 4 – The number of ways to contact librarians and library staff.  1) Call the library, 2) email us, 3) send an instant message, or 4) stop by in person.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  The library’s Contact Us web page ( will assist you in contacting the library and a staff directory is available at

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries

Everyday Miracles: On display at the Ramirez Library through June 16

Ex votos at the Ramirez Library

 Child with bandaged legs, 1977.  Oil on tin, Mexico, courtesy of Historia Antiques.

In many cultures, an ex-voto is widely recognized as a devotional painting that is created when an individual’s prayers for healing are answered. After praying to a saint or deity, an individual would commission a local artist to create a small painting that would be hung in a local church as a public testimony of that individual’s faith and gratitude for a miraculous healing.

Typically, ex-votos consist of three basic elements: the depiction of the event, a short description, and an illustration of the saint or deity.  Ex-votos also document the treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox, and cancer throughout history.  Special emphasis is usually placed on severe symptoms and suffering in the patient .   The well-known Peres Maldonado ex-voto, which is included in the exhibit, shows a woman undergoing breast cancer surgery in 1777.

From May 7th – June 16th, the Mario E. Ramirez, M.D., Library and Lower Rio Grande Valley AHEC are co-hosting a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine called Everyday Miracles: Medical Imagery in Ex-Votos.   The exhibit includes examples of ex-votos in both the Italian and Mexican traditions.

An online companion to the traveling exhibit can be viewed on the National Library of Medicine exhibitions page at:  The online exhibit includes a brief history of ex-votos as well as an online gallery representing a variety of traditions and time periods.

Library staff in Harlingen have taken photographs of ex-votos and devotional images in locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley as a complement to the display.  Library resources, including books and articles which address spirituality in medicine are available for viewing in the exhibit area.

Kathy Carter, Ramirez Library Librarian




NN/LM SCR classes coming to the Ramirez Library in June

In June the Ramirez Library will host two classes taught by Michelle Malizia, Regional Director for the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region. 

Health Statistics on the Web: It’s as Easy as…1, 2, 3 will be offered on Wednesday, June 13th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.  This hands-on course focuses on the location, selection, and effective use of statistics relevant to health on the local, state, national, and international levels.

On Thursday, June 14th, Measuring Your Impact: Using Evaluation for Library Advocacy will take place from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.  This class will help librarians learn to show the value of their library’s services. Participants will become familiar with an evaluation process and will use and take away methods and tools for assessment, evaluation planning, creating logic models, data collection, data analysis and reporting.

Both classes are open to the public and will be taught in the Ramirez Library, RAHC 1.132.  To register, go to: and select the class you wish to attend using the event calendar.

For more information, contact Kathy Carter, Ramirez Library Librarian:

Library classes for June and July


Scan this code with your smartphone camera QR reader app to find library classes online.

The Libraries offer classes, consultations and other training to assist with the effective use of databases and research tools.  All library classes are free and open to all.  Register today to reserve your spot!

Schedule a Special Class
To schedule a special class or orientation for your department or group at other days/times, please contact the library at (210) 567-2450 or email

Integrating Library Research Skills into Academic Course Content
Faculty are encouraged to consider integrating library research skills into course content.  Librarians are available to develop and teach classes that meet specific needs or are about a specific resource.  To learn more or to schedule a class, contact Katie Prentice at or call 210-567-6606.

To register for a class or to see complete class descriptions, visit the Attend a Library Class page.

Briscoe Library – San Antonio

  • Introduction to EndNote: June 8, 2012, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon, LIB 2.011
  • Introduction to RefWorks: June 12, 2012, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Library Basics: June 13, 2012, 12:00 noon  – 1:00 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Using EBSCO CINAHL to Locate Nursing & Allied Health Information: June 14, 2012, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Creating and Presenting a Professional Poster Session: June 21, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, LIB 4.074
  • Introduction to PubMed: July 12, 2012, 9:00 am – 10:00 am, LIB 2.011
  • Introduction to RefWorks: July 12, 2012, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Getting Started with Ovid Medline: July 18, 2012, 11:00 am – 12 noon, LIB 2.011


Updates to off-campus access and ILLiad logins

Starting Monday, June 11th the library website will offer a simpler, consolidated login page to access electronic resources from off-campus as well as to place an interlibrary loan request through the ILLiad system.  The changes are being made to simplify and improve one of the most frequently used pages on the library’s website.

UT Health Science Center faculty, staff and students will select the first option and be instructed to use their Health Science Center domain authentication (email username/password). This change will eliminate the need to remember another username/password.  It will also allow requests for interlibrary loan of articles and books to be processed immediately without the previous wait of 24 hours for registration processing.

The second option (Clinical Faculty & All Other Users) is only for users who do not have a Health Science Center domain account.  Users must first register with the library in order to use this login method.  Login using this method uses your library ID and corresponding PIN.  For all clinical and adjunct faculty members the library ID will be your HSC badge number.

This update to the library logins saves UT Health Science Center faculty, staff and students from creating a separate library account to access materials from off campus or to login to our interlibrary loan service, ILLiad.  Please note that all users will still need to be registered with the library to check out materials.

If you have any questions about the upcoming changes, please feel free to contact Eric Willman, Systems Librarian:

Access E-journals quickly on your smartphone or tablet at the Briscoe Library

QR codes in the Briscoe Library provide access to online resources

QR Codes in the stacks of the Briscoe Library now provide smart phone users with easy access to some online resources.

The majority of our journal access is online and now we offer a fast way for you to find the latest issues:  When you see a yellow card on the shelves, scan the QR code and view the journal on your smart phone or other mobile device.

The QR code labels are being placed in the print journal stacks where a print journal subscription ends and the online subscription begins.  The QR code is linked directly to the online version of the journal, taking you directly to a list of issues available for viewing.  If your smart phone is using a data plan, the QR code link will first take you to the library’s login page and you will need to login before using the online journal.  If your smart phone or tablet device is connected to the Health Science Center’s wireless network, you will be connected automatically  to the journal’s mobile website without the need to log in.

For the time being, only current journals with mobile sites are labeled.  As more and more of these sites are integrated to mobile standards, we will incorporate codes for easy access from the stacks.  QR code readers such as ScanLife are available through the App Store.

Have any questions or comments?  Contact Dana Whitmire, Electronic Resources/Serials Librarian,

In the history of medicine — Early ophthalmology text turns 500 this year

First page of treatise "De oculis" from Champier's _Speculum Galeni_

The first page of the treatise "De oculis" from Symphorien Champier's _Speculum Galeni_ (Lyon, 1512)

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is celebrating the 500th birthday of one of its treasures, an edition of Symphorien Champier’s Speculum Galeni.  The book includes one of the first treatises on ophthalmology ever printed.

Symphorien Champier (1472-1539) was an early French humanist and physician to Charles VIII, Louis XII, and the Duke of Lorraine.  He settled in Lyon, where he established the College of the Doctors of Lyon and studied Greek and Arab scholars, as well as medicinal science, composing a great number of historical works.   He was also an admirer of Galen, the great second-century Greek physician and philosopher.  Champier set out to expand his contemporary colleagues’ knowledge of Galen by using a powerful new tool: the printing press.  

Speculum Galeni, printed in Lyon in 1512, begins with Champier’s own biography of Galen and a list of Galenic works.  It continues with Champier’s careful compilation of Latin translations of key works that were (at that time) attributed to Galen, to form a complete Treatise of Medicine.  Included in the compilation is “De oculis,” a treatise on the eyes, the first page of which appears in the photo above. According to later historians, “De oculis” may not have been Galen’s at all — it is only known today from this Latin translation, and no Greek original has ever been found.  Nonetheless, its inclusion in Champier’s compilation makes it one of the first printed works on the subject of ophthalmology.

Our copy of Speculum Galeni is bound together with another work of Champier called Practica nova in medicina which was probably printed several years earlier, around 1509. The beautiful binding was also created around the same time; it is stamped pigskin over wooden boards with metal clasp closures.  The whole volume is in beautiful condition.

Photo of cover of our copy of Champier's book

The handcrafted early-16th-century cover of Champier's book.

We know from the stamps and inscriptions in the book that it once belonged to the Strahov Monastery Library in Prague.

Speculum Galeni came to the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library as part of the Andrew A. Sandor Ophthalmology collection, a group of some 400 rare and historical books that the library acquired in 1988. We invite you to come and see this historical treasure, along with many other treasures on the history of ophthalmology such as Georg Bartisch’s Ophthalmodouleia (1583) and Samuel Thomas Sommering’s Abbildungen des menschlichen Auges (1801).

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Reading Room is located on the fifth floor of the Briscoe Library and is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  In order to view books in the collection, it is best to schedule an appointment prior to visiting by calling 567-2470.

Luke Rosenberger, Director of Library Technology and Historical Collections