News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries – February 2011

February 2011

In the news this month:

The University Archives, which contain photos and papers documenting the history of The UT Health Science Center and area health care efforts, recently received two significant gifts in support of preservation efforts. Shown here: A 1903 photo of an ambulance at the entrance to Physicians and Surgeons Hospital in San Antonio is one of many historic photos housed in the collection.

Major gift will enhance archives program

Special Collections receives preservation assistance from the National Endowment for Humanities

A message from Dr. Robert V. Blystone, Ph.D, incoming president of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

A report on the impact of proposed state budget for public and academic libraries

Library Classes for February and March

Library suspends book purchases / book inventory underway

New looks for the websites of the NLM and the DHHS

Aging Across America: A photo exhibit at the Briscoe Library

CLHIN partners with San Antonio Metropolitan Health District

A printable pdf of the newsletter is also available.

Major gift will enhance archives program

A generous gift from Virginia Bowden, PhD, Library Director emeritus and Charles

Virginia Bowden, PhD, and Charles Bowden, MD recently made a gift in support of the University Archives and other special collections.

Bowden, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, will enhance the development of the UT Health Science Center University Archives. As a repository for the preservation of historically important university records, the archives house university publications, correspondence of key UT Health Science Center officials, minutes of meetings, and student yearbooks. The archives also include photographs and papers of many early San Antonio physicians.

In the past the archives have been used to research the history of the UT Health Science Center for publications and exhibit materials, genealogy searches, photographs, resources for classes in the history of medicine and anatomical drawing and for many other purposes. Current archives projects include development of a digital collection of important materials in the archives, processing of photographs and negatives received from Academic Technology Services and the Ruth Stewart nursing archives scrapbooks, and the creation of finding aids available via the Internet for manuscript collections of prominent San Antonio physicians. Photographs and personal papers of Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, donated to the Ramirez Library at the RAHC in Harlingen, are being processed and digitized to tell the story of Dr. Ramirez’s career as a physician in the Rio Grande Valley. Of particular note is Dr. Ramirez’s collection of photos taken during the devastation wrought by Hurricane Beulah in 1967. These are only some of the projects in progress through the University Archives.

In addition to the Bowdens’ gift, The Libraries were recently awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to improve the library’s preservation practices. See the related article on page 3.

The archives are managed by Anne Comeaux, Assistant Library Director for Digital and Special Collections. Ms. Comeaux also serves as the UT Health Science Center’s Records Management Officer and frequently consults with departments on the types of records that must be retained, including archival records.

The Bowdens’ commitment to enhancing the Health Science Center’s library will ensure that the archives continue to provide important materials for historical research into the future.

For additional information about the archives, including guidelines for submitting documents and other materials, contact Anne Comeaux at 210-567-2428 or via email at

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries

Special Collections receives preservation assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Dr. Graham Watts was a founding member of the Bexar County Medical Society.

Dr. F.M. Hicks practiced surgery in San Antonio from 1888 to 1929 and was one of the first Texans to be elected to the American College of Surgery.

In January the Special Collections of the UT Health Science Center Libraries received a $5,547 Preservation Assistance grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  Special Collections houses the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, a collection of rare and historical books on the history of the health sciences; and the University Archives, a collection of historical papers and audiovisuals documenting the history of the university and of physicians and other health care professionals practicing in San Antonio and Central and South Texas in the 1800’s and 1900’s.   The books and archives are housed in several different locations on the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th floors of the Briscoe Library.

The NEH grant will pay for a preservation/conservation assessment of the collections by a professional materials conservator, who will help draft a long-range plan for the care of the collections.  The conservator , Rebecca Elder, will visit the Special Collections to assess policies, practices, and conditions affecting the care and preservation of the collections.  She will make recommendations for improving the storage or re-housing of collections, prioritize future preservation action on aging materials, and suggest appropriate preservation supplies.

The grant will also pay for the purchase of environmental monitoring equipment, allowing library staff to track environmental conditions in the various collection locations, and to adjust temperature, humidity, and dew point to create the best preservation conditions possible.

Anna Beyer, a University of North Texas Library and Information Science student, will work as an intern in Special Collections during Spring 2011.  She will help with the preservation needs identified by the consultant and record and analyze environmental data information.

Anne Comeaux, Assistant Library Director for Digital and Special Collections

A message from the incoming president of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library:Dr. Robert V. Blystone, Ph.D.

It is my honor and duty to serve as the President of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, beginning in November of 2010.  I have worked alongside Tom Nixon, the son of P.I. Nixon, Jr., for many years at Trinity.  Nixon memorabilia is housed in the Rare Books section of Trinity University’s Coates Library.   Some of my lectures at Trinity were greatly influenced by access to the histology collection found in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Members of the board of directors of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library include, left to right, Dr. Charles Sargent, member-at-large; Dr. David Cappelli, president-elect; Rajia Tobia, secretary-treasurer; Dr. Julie K. Brown, past-president; and Dr. Robert Blystone, president. Not shown are Dr. Philip T. Valente, Dr. Charleen M. Moore and Dr. Richard Luduena, all past-presidents, as well as Dr. Adelita Cantu and Dr. James Henry, members-at-large.

It has been my impression that the Nixon Library is a treasure that needs to be spaded by the larger educational community in the San Antonio area. Several educational touch-points should be identified from the various college campuses in the area. The Special Collections could prosper by bringing a select group of college instructors to the library so that they can realize how these wonderful materials can support their teaching and learning efforts.

A second opportunity to pursue is to inform the older members of the medical community that historical medical books they may own might find their way to the Nixon collection.

I would appreciate your help in forwarding these objectives. Please contact me should you have suggestions as to how we might build on the strengths of the collection and use of the facility. I hope that during my tenure as President, The Friends can add to the legacy begun by P.I. Nixon, Sr.

Thank you .

– Robert V. Blystone, Ph.D. –, (210) 999-7243

Dr. Blystone is a member of a team that teaches the Integrative Biology course program at Trinity University.  He also teaches upper division classes in microanatomy and developmental anatomy.

Texas Library Association: Impact of proposed State budget for public and academic libraries

Recently the Texas Library Association (TLA) outlined the anticipated impact for libraries statewide if the State’s budget proposal for 2012-13 were to pass in its original form.   According to TLA, the proposed plan would decrease by 99% funding for local library aid programs, and by 93% funding for library resource sharing programs.  Specific strategies for meeting these targets include the following:

  • Direct aid grants to public libraries would be eliminated.
  • State funding for TexShare databases would be eliminated, and TexShare libraries would instead pay increased fees for these resources.
  • The K-12 database program would be eliminated.
  • Funding for records management at state institutions would be replaced with increased institutional fees.
  • The Texas Education Agency’s Technology Allotment would be eliminated.

For The Libraries of the UT Health Science Center, the greatest impact of the proposed cuts would result from the loss of funding for TexShare databases, commercial database subscriptions that are paid for by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) for use by participating public libraries, Texas State governmental agency libraries, Texas academic libraries and libraries of clinical medicine.  According to TSLAC,  the state currently pays $7,042,558 to purchase database resources that are subsequently made available through the TexShare program.  If academic and public libraries and state agencies were to purchase these resources individually, the cost would be more than $97,044,000.

The UT Health Science Center Libraries currently pay $3,000 for membership in TexShare which provides access to the entire suite of TexShare databases.  If the library were to purchase individually databases that are currently provided through TexShare, the cost to the library and the UT Health Science Center would be approximately $135,000.

TexShare also manages a state-wide reciprocal borrowing program for academic, community college and public libraries, allowing anyone with a TexShare card to borrow books from participating libraries throughout Texas.

General information about the TexShare program can be found here:

The complete menu of TexShare databases is here:

Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian

Library classes for February and March

All library classes are free and open to all. Advance registration is appreciated but not required. If you would like to request a class or schedule a consultation at any HSC campus, please contact the library at (210) 567-2450 or email

If you would like to request a special class or orientation for your department or group at other days/times, please contact us!  To register for a class or to read class descriptions, visit the online class schedule.

When you register for a library class, your registration confirmation email includes a file that you can save as an appointment into your electronic calendar.

San Antonio – Briscoe Library

  • Exploring E-Books – Technology Workshop: February 9, 2011, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, Briscoe Library Howe Conference Room
  • Library Basics: February 15, 2011, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Ovid Tips & Tricks: Getting Started with MEDLINE: February 16, 2011, 9:00 am – 10:30 am, LIB 2.011
  • Introduction to RefWorks:  February 22, 2011, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm, LIB 4.074 – Collaboratory
  • Creating and Presenting a Professional Poster Session: February 23, 2011, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, LIB 4.074 – Collaboratory
  • Using EBSCO CINAHL to Locate Nursing & Allied Health Information: February 24, 2011, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Creating and Presenting a Professional Poster Session: March 3, 2011, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, LIB 4.074 – Collaboratory
  • Ovid Tips & Tricks: Getting Started with MEDLINE: March 8, 2011, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Creating and Presenting a Professional Poster Session: March 8, 2011, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, LIB 4.074 – Collaboratory
  • Introduction to PubMed: March 15, 2011, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Using EBSCO CINAHL to Locate Nursing & Allied Health Information: March 17, 2011, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, LIB 2.011
  • Introduction to RefWorks: March 25, 2011, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, LIB 2.011

Harlingen and Edinburg

  • Searching PubMed with MeSH (Medical Subject Headings): February 1, 2011, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Edinburg – RAHC Building room 1.202
  • PubMed Advanced: February 17, 2011, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, Ramirez Library, Harlingen room 1.132
  • PubMed Advanced: March 1, 2011, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Edinburg – RAHC Building room 1.202
  • Managing PubMed Search Results: March 10, 2011, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, Ramirez Library, Harlingen room 1.132

For information about classes in Harlingen and Edinburg, contact Kathy Carter, Ramirez Library Librarian at

Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services

Library suspends book purchases/ Briscoe Library book inventory underway

Book purchasing to be suspended

Due to budget reductions, the library will suspend routine ordering of books for the remainder of this fiscal year.  New editions of essential books will be replaced and book purchase requests from faculty and students will be ordered, if in scope for the library’s collection.  If you wish to request a book for purchase, contact Andrea N. Schorr, Cataloging/Acquisitions Librarian, at 567-2403, email to  A purchase suggestion form is also available on the library’s Web site.

Upcoming inventory of 5th floor book collection

Beginning in February the Briscoe Library will conduct an inventory of the fifth floor book collection.  During the inventory process library staff will identify any problems or discrepancies in the book collection and make corrections where necessary.  Library staff will also work on identifying books that are missing from the collection.  Orange flags will be used for identification purposes and should not be removed.  Books that contain orange flags can still be checked out.  If you would like to check out a book that has an orange flag please take it to the circulation desk.  The book inventory will be handled with as little interruption as possible.

If you have questions about the book inventory contact Andrea N. Schorr, Cataloging & Acquisitions Librarian, (210) 567-2403 or

New looks for the Web sites of the National Library of Medicine and the Department of Health and Human Services

In January, the National Library of Medicine® (NLM) released a newly designed main Web site ( Among the features of the new design: a  homepage featuring site-wide navigation in the header and easy access to NLM’s most-used resources such as PubMed/MEDLINE, MeSH (the database of medical subject headings),, MedlinePlus, TOXNET, and all other NLM databases.  The homepage also includes a  “Share” feature that allows users to send content to friends, colleagues and themselves via social bookmarking and networking. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently unveiled its new 10-year goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention, Healthy People 2020.  Details about the initiative can be found on the redesigned Healthy People Web site at

Subscribe to the Healthy People E-mail Updates                    

Follow Healthy People on Twitter @GoHealthyPeople

Aging Across America: A photo exhibit in the Briscoe Library

An opening reception for Aging Across America, featuring  an introduction by Dr. Jerald Winakur and a poetry reading by Lee Robinson, will take place Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 9:00 a.m. Briscoe Library— Special Collections Reading Room– 5th floor


Aging Across America, an exhibit featuring the photography of Dr. Jeffrey Levine, will be on display in the 3rd Floor Information Commons of the Briscoe Library February 1 – April 30, 2011.

Dr. Levine, a gerontologist who lives and works in New York City, began photographing the very old early in his career.  At first he documented the manifestations of old age for lectures and medical publications.  “One day I pulled my camera back to see my subjects in their environment and daily life, and a new world of visual imagery opened up,” he says.

Dr. Levine’s photographic art has been inspired by medical doctors who in the past have used the arts to educate, inspire, and create a better world:  “America’s perception of aging is often mired in stereotype, negativism, and a large dose of denial.  Thus the need for a new view of growing old– a view that presents optimism, vitality and participation while acknowledging the realities of illness.” More information about Dr. Levine and his work can be found at

Dr. Levine’s photographs are accompanied by a cell phone audio tour with narration by Dr. Levine, as well as readings by Lee Robinson, poet and adjunct faculty member in the School of Medicine, whose displayed poems were inspired by the photos. The exhibit is free and open to the public, and will be available during normal library hours.

The SCOOTER Store has generously provided support for this exhibit.

Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian

CLHIN partners with San Antonio Metropolitan Health District

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is the newest member of the Circuit Librarian Health Information Network (CLHIN), a service provided by UT Health Science Center Libraries’ staff since 1989 through contracts with hospitals, clinics and health agencies. CLHIN provides information services to support clinical decision making for member institutions.

In January, members of the Briscoe Library staff made two presentations at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, to highlight resources available through the CLHIN program, including  mediated literature searches, interlibrary loan, and classes on resources created by the National Library of Medicine, such as WISER (Wireless Information Services for Emergency Responders).