News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

On the Origin of Species: A treasure of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Did you know that the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library owns a rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life?  Published in 1859, the library’s fragile volume is a treasure. The valuable first editions with iconic green spines are in high demand for book collectors and science lovers.  The library’s copy, one of only approximately 1,250 printed, is part of a collection of antiquarian texts originally donated to the the University of Texas Health Science Center in the early 1970’s by the Bexar County Medical Society.

The Witte Museum is currently hosting the American Museum of Natural History’s Darwin exhibit Darwin: How One Man’s Theory Turned the World on its Head. It runs through September 3, 2012 and includes Darwin’s handwritten journals of his observations while on the Galapagos Islands.  For additional resources for children and families, visit the American Museum of National History’s Resources for Darwin.

Darwin’s complete works can also be read online.

To view the Health Science Center’s first edition of On the Origin of Species, or any of the other 5,000 rare and historical texts, contact Special Projects Librarian Susan Hunnicutt at (210) 567-2406 or; or Mellisa DeThorne at 210-567-2470 or  Additional and selected materials from the Nixon Library may also be viewed online in the UTHSC Digital Archives / Historical Collection.

Melva Ramirez, MLS, Records and Information Management Intern, Special Collections

Drug Information Portal now available for mobile devices

National Library of Medicine LogoThe National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal is now available for mobile devices.

This mobile optimized website covers over 32,000 drugs and provides descriptions, drug names, pharmaceutical categories, and structural diagrams. Each record also features information links to nineteen other resources including PubMed, LactMed, and Drugs@FDA. The mobile version of a resource is used when available.

Smart Phones accessing the main Drug Portal site will be directed to the mobile site automatically. The Drug Information Portal is a free web resource from the NLM that provides an informative, user friendly entry-way to current drug information. Links to sources span the breadth of the NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies. Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS–related drug information, MeSH pharmacological actions, PubMed biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching on a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug–related information is also available from displayed subject headings.

Please send comments and suggestions about NLM’s mobile app to:

NLM Technical Bulletin, June 25, 2012

New to the shelves of the Briscoe Library

Copyright law for librarians and educators - Book coverCopyright law for librarians and educators : creative strategies and practical solutions / Kenneth D. Crews.
Chicago : American Library Association, c2012.
Z 642 C927c 2012. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record



Preoperative standards and recommended practices - book coverPerioperative standards and recommended practices / Association of periOperative Registered Nurses ; manager, Ramona Conner ; clinical editors, Joan Blanchard … [et al.].
Denver, Colo. : AORN, c2012.
WY 162 S7845 2012. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record



Mobile genetic elements - book coverMobile genetic elements : protocols and genomic applications, 2nd ed. / edited by Yves Bigot.
New York : Humana Press, c2012.
QU 25 M687 2012. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record



Andrea N. Schorr, Collection Resources Librarian

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