News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

Reminder: ERes system to retire in December

As reported in May, the Libraries will retire the ERes system ( used for electronic course reserves at the end of December 2010.  Starting in 2011, only print materials and books will be accepted at The Libraries for course reserves.  All electronic reserves will be handled through Blackboard.

If you need assistance with your ERes account, please contact the Briscoe Library Information Desk at (210) 567-2450 or email To get started using Blackboard for your courses, call Blackboard Support at (210) 567-7777 option #4.

Katie Prentice
Head of Education and Information Services

Students asked, and we listened: Technology upgrades in the Library

The Briscoe Library building was completed in 1983 when laptops, cell phones, iPods, iPads, and other mobile computing devices were just a gleam in someone’s imagination.  Today, most students and others who enter the library building have a need for electrical power to keep their mobile devices charged up and ready to go.  Students have often requested more electrical outlets in the Briscoe Library building for laptop use.

In 2009 and 2010, the Briscoe Library was upgraded with additional electrical outlets on the main floor Information Commons.  This still left the library lacking in electricity to most study tables on the upper floors.  As an interim measure, in August electrical power strips were added to a number of study tables on the 4th and 5th floors of the library.  In addition, D-rings were added to some study tables so students can easily attach laptop security cables.

Robert Zuniga, Library Technology Assistant, worked diligently to come up with a solution for laptop security and electrical improvements as well as completing the installation.  In addition to these improvements, badly worn study tables with peeling finishes have been laminated in order to restore a smooth finish and better appearance.

Rajia Tobia
Executive Director of Libraries

Robert Zuniga installs security anchors to library tables

Anne Comeaux receives scholarship from ARMA SA

Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Digital and Special Collections, has received a $500 scholarship from the San Antonio chapter of ARMA International to attend a workshop Understanding Photos: An Intro to Archival Principles & Practice.  The scholarship is offered to members of the San Antonio chapter of ARMA and to students who are interested in continuing education to strengthen their capacity to deal with significant issues in records management or in their job as a records manager.

ARMA International is a not-for-profit professional association and the authority on managing records and information— paper or electronic.  The workshop will provide information on the basics of managing and caring for photographs including appraising and acquiring; reading and researching; identification and handling; preservation, storage and housing; accessioning and arrangement; description and cataloging; copying; and public service and outreach.

Anne Comeaux is the official records manager for the UT Health Science Center.

Coming to the Briscoe Library in October: Harry Potter’s World

Hieronymus Brunschwig, 1494

Harry Potter’s World:  Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine will open in the Briscoe Library on October 11.  The traveling exhibit, produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, and coordinated by the American Library Association, uses materials from the historical collection of the National Library of Medicine to explore Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance traditions.

A series of programs and a local exhibit highlighting the resources of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library have been planned for October and early November.  All events — with the exception of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Annual Dinner –  will be held in the Howe Conference Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library.

For information about the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Library Annual Dinner and Presentation, “Magic and Monsters in the Stacks: How Harry Potter Came to the National Library of Medicine,” and to purchase tickets, contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian:

Opening Reception and Presentation

“Renaissance Science and the Quest for Immortality: Lessons from Albus Dumbledore, Nicolas Flamel, and Isaac Newton”

C. Mackenzie Brown, Ph.D.
Jennie Farris Railey King Professor in Religion, Trinity University

Monday, October 11, 2010 – 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Lunchtime Presentation

“Potent Potions and Healing Herbs: Medicinal Practices of the Renaissance”

Charleen M. Moore, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Cellular & Structural Biology, UT Health Science Center

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 – 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Saturday Event for Children Young & Old

“A Little Muggle Magic: The Wisdom of Harry Potter for Families”

Patricia Thompson, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer in History, UTSA

Saturday, October 23, 2010 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Annual Dinner and Presentation

“Magic and Monsters in the Stacks: How Harry Potter Came to the National Library of Medicine”

Stephen J. Greenberg, M.S.L.S., Ph.D.
Coordinator of Public Services History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine

Monday, November 1, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., Doubletree Hotel

For Students Attending Science Expo

“Living Dangerously: Doctors Adrift in the Dark Ages”

Richard F. Ludueña, Ph.D.
Distinguished Teaching Professor Department of Biochemistry, UT Health Science Center

Saturday, November 6, 2010 – 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

News from The Libraries – August 2010

August 2010

In the news this month:

Welcome from the UT Health Science Center Libraries

One Community/One Book 2010

Annual Collection Review for 2011

Keith Cogdill to attend Harvard Institute for Academic Libraries

Libraries add Springer ebook collections in biomedical and life sciences, mathematics and statistics

Library Classes for August and September

NLM launches updated MedlinePlus website

After Shock: Humanities Perspectives on Trauma

New! OvidSP interface changes: Personal logins add flexibility and increase workflow options

OvidSP changes continued: Using My Projects

Peg Seger will manage interlibrary loan and outreach services

Paula Maez accepts a public library position in Tucson, Arizona

List of possible non-renewals for Fiscal Year 2011

A printable pdf of this months newsletter is also available.

Welcome from the UT Health Science Center libraries

At the UT Health Science Center Libraries we strive to provide our users with seamless access to library services, whether from on campus or from home.  If you are new to the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, there are some things that can help you get started using the libraries in San Antonio (Briscoe Library, Texas Research Park and University Health Center-Downtown Library), Harlingen (Ramirez Library) and Laredo (Regional Campus Library):

  • The Web site for The Libraries  provides information about hours, policies and contact information for the Briscoe Library and branch libraries ( You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Faculty, staff and students must register to use services and connect to online resources from off campus using the Borrower Registration or Renewal Form (  Students must renew their library registration annually.
  • The Libraries have extensive print and online collections of books and journals.  Library services include circulation and reserves, reference and research assistance, instruction in use of databases and bibliographic management software, expert database searches and consultations, interlibrary loan, community outreach, help with using library printers, copiers and scanners, and support for using resources for mobile devices.
  • The Briscoe Library on the Long Campus, has over 100 computers located on four floors, including 25 in the library computer classroom. UT Health Science Center computer users at the Briscoe Library  log on using their UTHSCSA domain account at computers with the neon pink tags; guests log on at computers with green tags and are limited to one hour per day. Please read our Computer Use Policy (
  • Procedures for guest access to computers may vary at branch libraries.
  • We strive to make the libraries welcoming places to study.  Food and covered drinks are permitted. Wireless laptop use is available throughout all the libraries, and we provide electrical outlets and data lines wherever possible.  Study areas include open seating, individual study rooms, (first come first served), and group study rooms, (may be reserved for two or more UTHSC affiliates). At the Briscoe Library, reservations are made at the Circulation or Information Desks, or contact us at or 210-567-2440. Study room reservations must include the names of two persons who will use the room.  Contact the branch libraries to make reservations at those locations.
  • New classrooms on the 2nd floor of the Briscoe Library building are available for 24/7 study.
  • Major construction has been completed at the Briscoe Library; however, there is always a need for repairs and remodeling in a 27 year-old building. We will do our best to avoid or suspend construction before exam or test periods.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the UT Health Science Center  libraries or in your classroom or office, and we hope you will feel free to ask questions and provide feedback on our services, collections and space.

Jonquil Feldman

Director of Briscoe Library Services

One Community/One Book 2010

The Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching and The Libraries offer training for discussion group leaders

On October 15, 2010 at noon Rebecca Skloot, the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will be the speaker at the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics’ Frank Bryant, Jr. M.D. Memorial Lecture.   In the weeks leading up to the Bryant lecture, The Libraries and the Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching are co-sponsoring the third annual community read on the UT Health Science Center campus.

One goal of One Community/One Book: to encourage as many students, faculty and staff as we can to read the same book.  Another goal:  To encourage gatherings of colleagues and friends, perhaps good food (that’s up to you), and definitely good conversation. We think we’ve found in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks material for some excellent conversations about a fascinating true story in the history of science.

Dr. John Littlefield, Director of the Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching, and Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, will offer three workshops for individuals who are interested in leading or hosting a book discussion:

Thursday, August 19 , 12:00 noon

Saturday, August 21, 12:00 noon

Friday, August 27, 12:00 noon


Through a grant from Humanities Texas, we will be able to provide copies of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for individuals who volunteer to host or lead a book discussion.  Books will be available on a first come/first served basis for individuals who register for the workshops.  Workshops will also include lunch, and will take place at noon in the Collaboratory on the 4th floor of the Briscoe Library. 

Registration for each of the three workshops can be found on the library’s Web site:

This is the third One Community/One Book project at the UT Health Science Center campuses. Previous book selections included Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder (2008) and Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality (2009), by Pauline W. Chen, M.D.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is available at the Briscoe, Downtown, Ramirez and Laredo libraries, and at the Jesse H. Jones Comprehensive Research Library at Texas Research Park. Call number: QU 300 S628i 2010. Copies are also available in the UT Health Science Center Bookstore at a 25% discount.

For more information about One Community/One Book contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian,

Annual collection review for 2011

Many libraries around the country expect budget shortfalls in 2011 due to the current economic times and increases in the cost of journals, databases and books.  Some publishers and vendors understand that libraries are facing budget shortfalls  and are keeping their price increases at a minimum or are maintaining the same price for the next subscription year.  Overall, the UT Health Science Center libraries predict an annual cost increase of approximately 5% for electronic journals and databases (in prior years an 8-10% increase was typical) and 3-4% for books in the next year.  Although these cost predictions represent averages, some publication costs will increase well beyond the average.

Each year, librarians review the library’s subscriptions to electronic journals and databases to determine if there are titles that can be canceled.  This annual review allows the library to free some funds for new subscriptions and to manage its materials budget within the  annual inflation rate for subscriptions.  A list of possible titles for non-renewal in 2011 resulted from this annual review of journal subscriptions and other electronic resources.  This list can be found at this url:

Multiple criteria were used to generate this list: lower use than expected, high cost, duplicate content with another resource, or some combination of these.  Cancellation of some of the library’s resources will be essential to ensure that our subscription costs remain within our budget. 

The library’s main sources for funding information resources are the state-legislated Books, Serials, and Binding budget and the Student Resource Fee, paid by students as they register each semester or academic year.  Although these combined sources will provide funding for most of the library’s collection of electronic and print resources, it will not be possible to continue all resources within the amount of funding available for fiscal year 2011.  In addition, the non-renewal list may need to be expanded depending on whether the library will receive LERR funding for fiscal year 2011.

We invite your comments and suggestions about  this review process.  Please send them to John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,

Rajia Tobia

Executive Director of Libraries

Keith Cogdill to attend Harvard Institute for Academic Librarians

Keith Cogdill, Director of South Texas Regional Information Services, will attend the Harvard University Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, August 1 through August 6, 2010. 

Expenses for Keith’s trip are being covered by two awards:  a tuition scholarship from the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries and a professional development award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine— South Central Region that will cover travel expenses. 

The curriculum of the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians addresses three areas: planning, organizational strategy and change, and transformational learning.

Libraries add Springer ebook collections in biomedical and life sciences, mathematics and statistics

The UT Health Science Center Libraries now have access to two new Springer e-book collections as part of a purchase by the University of Texas System Academic Library Collection Enhancement Program (ALCEP) funds, which are allocated by the UT System Board of Regents for one-time collection purchases. 

  • The first is a biomedical and life sciences collection that includes e-books published between 2005 and 2010. 
  • The second is a mathematics and statistics collection that includes e-books published between 2005 and 2009. 

There are more than 3,500 titles between the two collections, with content that includes major reference works, textbooks, monographs and book series.

Access to these collections will be available through the library’s new   e-book page, which is set to launch in early August.  Library staff will also be actively working to add these titles to the library catalog. 

Andrea N. Schorr

Cataloging & Acquisitions Librarian