News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

November 7 – 41st Annual Meeting of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Dr. Fernando Guerra, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UT Health Science Center, and recently retired Director of Health for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, will be the speaker at the 41st Annual Meeting, Dinner and Presentation of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  The event will take place Monday, November 7, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Airport Hotel.

The topic of Dr. Guerra’s presentation, “Doctors and Dollars May Not Always Be Enough!” will provide the occasion for him to reflect on the health care system, its institutions, professionals, personnel, technology and investments, as well as measurable progress in the delivery of health care over the past forty years. Dr. Guerra will also consider ongoing challenges and opportunities, especially in light of the Affordable Health Care Act.  How is it possible to fill the gaps when doctors and dollars may not be enough?

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library invite all those interested in the history of medicine   to an enjoyable evening of good food and conversation.

The cost of attendance is $40/person.  Advance registration is required.  Student attendance is $30 and includes Friends membership.  Opportunities to sponsor student attendees at the dinner are available.

Please register by October 3: Send registration form to Briscoe Library – MSC 7940, UTHSCSA, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-9674, Attention: Susan Hunnicutt.  Email questions to

Treasures of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Students examine early anatomical texts in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Some of the most historically significant of the early illustrated anatomical works -- by artist-anatomists such as Vesalius (1514-1564), Albinus (1697-1770), Paolo Mascagni (1755-1815), William Hunter (1718-1783) and John Hunter (1728-1793) – can be found in the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library began as the private collection of San Antonio physician Pat Ireland Nixon.  Born in Guadalupe County in 1883, Dr. Nixon studied at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he developed an interest in the history of medicine, as well as a love of rare medical texts, which he collected.  When Dr. Nixon moved to San Antonio in 1912 to open his practice, he sought out other physicians and organized a journal club, which eventually evolved into the Bexar County Medical Library Association (BCMLA).  Over the years the collection of the association grew to contain more than 15,000 volumes.

In 1970, the Bexar County Medical Society donated the rare books from the collection of the BCMLA to the new medical school in San Antonio — then called The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, but later becoming part of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.  In 1983 the collection was officially named the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.   At that time it was moved to its present location, on the fifth floor of the Briscoe Library.

Today, as one of the sites of an annual art and anatomy workshop, as well as of a course in the history of anatomy, the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library supports the teaching mission of both The University of Texas at San Antonio and the The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  The library reading room is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  In addition to many historically significant volumes in the fields of anatomy, surgery, psychiatry and ophthalmology, the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library also includes works of local importance, including Dr. Rudolph Menger’s Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscences (1913).  A Century of Medicine in San Antonio (1936) and The Medical Story of Early Texas (1946), both by Pat Ireland Nixon, are held in the library’s collection.

Membership in the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is open to anyone who is interested in the history of the health sciences.    Dues are $10/year for students, $25 for individual members, and $50 for patrons. Membership in the Friends and gifts to the library  help to assure that we will be able to maintain, build and promote the use of the collection, both on the campus of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and in the academic communities of the surrounding area.

For more information about membership in the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, or about any of its programs, please contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, at (210) 567-2406, or email Information about membership can also be found on the library’s website.

Librarians Assume New Responsibilities

Due to recent retirements and resignations, a number of the UT Health Science Center Libraries’s divisions and sections have been reorganized and librarians have new working titles to reflect changes in responsibility.

The functions of the former South Texas Regional Information Services division are being divided among several library operational sections.  Library Outreach and the Circuit Librarian Service will report to Jonquil Feldman, Director of Briscoe Library and Outreach Services, and will be managed by Peg Seger, Head of Outreach Services. Chris Gaspard, Head of Access Services and Interlibrary Loan, will assume management responsibility for the Interlibrary Loan section.  Branch libraries at the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen, the Laredo Regional Campus, and the Texas Research Park will report to Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries in the Administration division. Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, will be assigned to work in Special Collections, particularly with programming related to the historical collections and Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

These changes in organization and responsibility will keep the library efficient and productive with reduced staff as it seeks to support the UT Health Science Center’s mission of education, research, clinical care, and service.

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries

Librarians participate in hazMmat training exercise in Harlingen

Firefighters in Harlingen demonstrate steps in containment of a chlorine leak at a recent hazardous materials training exercise.

Harlingen firefighters recently simulated containment of a chlorine leak as part of a hazardous materials training exercise.

In September Greysi Reyna and Kathy Carter, librarians at the Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Library at the H-RAHC, attended a hazardous materials training exercise conducted by the Harlingen Fire Department. Harlingen firefighters simulated containment of a chlorine leak as part of the exercise.

RAHC librarians participated to learn more about how WISER, a database produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is used by HazMat specialists to respond to hazardous material emergencies.

A key feature of WISER is support for identification of unknown substances. Emergency responders use WISER to identify and validate unknown substances based on the following:

  • signs/symptoms of victims of exposure
  • physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
  • hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
  • the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab, a flammable substance, etc.
  • transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car

Information gathered during the exercise will be used by librarians to plan future classes on the use of WISER and other NLM databases for the Harlingen Fire Department.

University Archives agrees to house the papers of the Texas Neural Tube Defects Project

Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Birth Defect Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch recently contacted The University Archives  about housing the papers of the Texas Neural Tube Defects(NTD) Project.  This project investigated a cluster of three babies with anencephaly that were born at a Brownsville, Texas hospital within 36 hours of each other in 1991.  An 8-year federally-funded project investigated the risk factors for neural tube defects and provided counseling and folic acid supplements to mothers to help prevent recurrent NTD cases. Members of the faculty of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio played key roles in this study, which may be of interest to current researchers or graduate students working in the area of neural tube defects.

Papers of the Texas Neural Tube Defects Project that are stored in the University Archives include reports, statistical analyses, journal and newspaper articles, training materials, and correspondence with researchers regarding findings.  View the finding aid listing the papers.

Individuals who are interested in examining these materials should contact Anne Comeaux (; 210-567-2428) or Mellisa DeThorne (; 210-567-2470).

New to the shelves of the Briscoe Library

Image of book: Manufacturing Depression, by Gary Greenberg.Manufacturing depression : the secret history of a modern disease / Gary Greenberg.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2011.
WM 11.AA1 G799m 2011.




Image of book: Essentials of Functional MRI, by Patrick W. StromanEssentials of functional MRI / Patrick W. Stroman.
Boca Raton : CRC Press, c2011.
WN 185 S922e 2011.




Image of book: Netter's PediatricsNetter’s pediatrics / editors, Todd A. Florin, Stephen Ludwig ; associate editors, Paul L. Aronson, Heidi C. Werner ; illustrations by Frank H. Netter ; contributing illustrators, Carlos A.G. Machado … [et al.].
Philadelphia : Elsevier/Saunders, c2011.
WS 100 N474 2011.



Image of book: Science Research Writing by Hilary Glasman-Deal.Science research writing for non-native speakers of English / Hilary Glasman-Deal.
London : Imperial College Press ; Hackensack, N.J. : World Scientific Publishing, 2011.
PE 1475 G549s 2011.




Image of book: Principles of Oral and Mixollofacial SurgeryPrinciples of oral and maxillofacial surgery, 6th ed. / edited by U.J. Moore.
Chichester, West Sussex, UK ; Ames, Iowa : Wiley-Blackwell, c2011.
WU 600 P9575 2011.

Andrea N. Scorr
Cataloging and Acquisitions Librarian

News from the Libraries – September 2011

Elva Trevino Hart, author of the 2012 One Community/One Book selection, grew up in Pearsall, Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a master’s degree in computer science/engineering from Stanford University.

In the news this month:

Announcing One Community/One Book 2012: Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Advanced PubMed and ToxNet training in September

Welcome new 2011-12 Library Committee members

Writing tutors available in the library starting September

EBM instruction in the School of Medicine

Briscoe to host two new art exhibits in September

September/October library classes

Upcoming lecture: Doctors and Dollars May Not Always be Enough

New exhibit: Antique Medical Instruments

Around the Libraries in August

New to the shelves of the Briscoe Library

Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Announcing the One Community/One Book 2012 selection

The UT Health Science Center Libraries’ popular One Community/One Book program will continue in 2012 with the theme of cultural diversity.  The book selected for reading and discussion is Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child by Elva Trevino Hart.

In Barefoot Heart, the author chronicles her memories of growing up in a migrant farm worker family in Pearsall, Texas.  The book details her family’s struggle to make a living and to overcome prejudice and poverty through education.  The author’s spare yet elegant writing style makes for a moving read that encourages reflection on a number of themes including the importance of family and community, education as a way out of poverty, cultural diversity in our own South Texas communities, and the promotion of cultural competence and empathy as we train tomorrow’s health care professionals.

Plans for One Community/One Book include workshops for discussion group leaders, book discussion groups, and several speaking engagements for the author from February 23-25, 2012.  Tentatively, Ms. Hart will speak on campus Friday, February 24 at 12:00 noon.  Copies of the book will be available through the library soon, and the bookstore will be selling Barefoot Heart at a 25% discount, beginning in September.  A book signing will follow Ms. Hart’s talk on February 24.

One Community/One Book 2012 is a collaborative effort between The Libraries, the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, the Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching (ACET), and the San Antonio Public Library.

For information about One Community/One Book, contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian:  Call 567-2406 or email

Rajia Tobia
Executive Director of Libraries

Coming in September: Advanced PubMed and TOXNET training opportunities

In September, the Briscoe Library will host two special training sessions from the Regional Medical Library in Houston.  Keeping Up With NLM’s PubMed and TOXNET Toxicology & Environmental Information will be offered September 28 and September 29, respectively.

These classes are free and open to everyone interested in improving their online research skills with PubMed and TOXNET.  Space is limited – register soon. To register, select from the classes below.

For more information, contact Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services, or call 210-567-6606.


September 28, 2011
1:00 PM CDT
Keeping Up With NLM’s PubMed
(4 hours)
Briscoe Library, 2.011
San Antonio, TX
Registration deadline:
September 19, 2011
September 29, 2011
9:00 AM CDT
TOXNET Toxicology & Environmental Information
(9:00am – 12:00pm)
Briscoe Library, 2.011San Antonio, TX Register
Registration deadline:
September 19, 2011


For more information, contact Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services, or call 210-567-6606.

Welcome to members of the Library Committee, 2011-12

The mission of the Library Committee is to serve in a consultative and advisory capacity to the President and Vice President for Academic Administration and to work with and assist the Executive Director of Libraries in making recommendations for library practices and procedures; to review and advise in the development of priorities in the areas that have an impact on academic efficiency and effectiveness to ensure that the services provided by the library reflect the needs and interests of the academic community.

This year’s committee members are:

Terms expiring in 2012: Martha X. Baez, R.D.H., M.P.H., Dental School; Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D., School of Medicine; Martin Schwacha, Ph.D., School of Medicine; Helen Sorenson, M.A., R.R.T., School of Health Professions

Terms expiring in 2013: Adelita G. Cantu, School of Nursing (Committee Chair); Dana English, M.S., R.D.H., School of Health Professions; Charleen M. Moore, Ph.D., Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Edward F. Wright, M.S., D.D.S., Dental School

Terms expiring in 2014:  Amanda Flagg, Ph.D., School of Nursing; Salvatore Oddo, Ph.D., Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Ray Palmer, Ph.D., School of Medicine; Mohammad Mizaner Rahman, Ph.D., School of Medicine

Student members:  Timothy Hunt, School of Health Professions; Kate Mahoney, School of Nursing; Whitney McBrayer, Dental School; Sarah Yang, School of Medicine