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December 2016

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Director’s Reflections…HSLS Update Celebrates 20 Years of Publication


Barbara Epstein
HSLS Director

This issue marks the 20th anniversary of the Update.  In late 1996, we cautiously embarked on publishing a printed newsletter that would appear quarterly.  We wondered if we would have enough news to share every quarter that could fill four pages of print.  Our goal was to provide our Pitt and UPMC health sciences community with useful information about library resources and services to support your daily teaching, publishing, research and clinical responsibilities (with just a little bit of bragging to showcase the achievements of our talented library staff).  A secondary goal was to record the history of the library as it happened.

Our very first Fall 1996 issue included articles about our new home page on the “World Wide Web”, growth of Falk Library’s “Microcomputer and Media Center,”

Holiday PalPITTations Concert

PalPittationsPlease join us as we celebrate the season with the annual PalPITTations Concert on Wednesday, December 14, at 12:30 p.m., on the upper floor of Falk Library. The PalPITTations are the a capella vocal group of health sciences students from the University of Pittsburgh. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert.

Online Films, Videos, Documentaries, and Lectures in the History of Medicine

Sound recordings, documentaries, films, and lectures tell the story of biomedicine, disease, and public health. This capture of the historical record enables us to reflect on the progress made in health care and appreciate the advancements yet to come. Below is a selection of online history of medicine films and sounds.

Resources to Help You Learn and Use R

R is a programming language and software environment used for data analysis and/or visualizations. Below are several resources available to help you learn how to use R with your data.

Online training through (for Pitt users only)

The University provides access to online training via, which includes thousands of videos on topics such as Web design, video editing, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and more, including R.

To access this resource, visit the My Pitt portal page or the login link on the CSSD page. Use the search box to locate courses or browse the learning paths. 

Contribute Your Ideas for NLM’s Future Directions

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is embarking on a new strategic planning initiative and invites input from its stakeholder community. As the world’s largest biomedical library and the producer of PubMed, Clinical, PubMed Central, GenBank, MedlinePlus, and hundreds of other databases and initiatives, NLM is an indispensable resource for researchers and clinicians at Pitt and throughout the world.

Enjoy a Good Book over the Holidays!

open-book-on-tableAs you head out for the holidays, grab a Leisure Reading book from HSLS’s collection of newly-published fiction and nonfiction. The Leisure Reading Collection is located at the rear of the main floor of Falk Library in the comfortable seating area.

Falk Library Holiday and Winter Recess Hours

Over Pitt’s winter break, Falk Library will have modified hours:snowflake

The Ask a Librarian e-mail service will be monitored over the break.

United in Illness: Gómez Miedes’ Enquiridion

img_0091Bernardino Gómez Miedes (1520-1589) was a Spanish humanist well-versed in many disciplines. He authored two important books: Commentarii de sale (1572), the earliest discussion of salt, and Enchiridion (1589), a manual about gout. An edition of the latter, published again in Madrid in 1731, caught the eye of Dr. Gerald Rodnan.  Dr. Rodnan was an avid book collector, professor of medicine, and the former division chief of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Pittsburgh, who donated his impressive collection of rheumatology books to the Falk Library.

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