All Issues

December 2015

Falk Library Holiday and Winter Recess Hours


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

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

PalPITTations Concert in Falk Library on December 11

PalPittationsGet into the holiday spirit by joining us for a holiday concert performed by the PalPITTations, an a capella vocal group of health sciences students from the University of Pittsburgh. The PalPITTations will perform on Friday, December 11, at noon, on the upper floor of Falk Library. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert.

Director’s Reflections…Goodbye 2015 & Hello 2016!


Barbara Epstein
HSLS Director

Before we head off for our well-deserved winter break, let’s take a moment to look back at 2015. It’s been a busy year at Pitt and at HSLS as well. Our FY15 Annual Report is now available on our Web site. Some highlights:

Updated and Revised eLearning Module Available on Responsible Literature Searching

Responsible Literature Searching for Research: A Self-Paced Interactive Educational Program” is an online module to teach clinical researchers the fundamentals of responsible literature searching for research practice.

In October 2015, the module was updated with new content and resources. To access the module, go to “Responsible Literature Searching” on the Internet-based Studies in Education and Research: University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences eLearning Environment Web site.

Natural Medicines: A Newly Combined Resource

Natural Medicines is a broad-based, easily-navigated resource for information on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary therapies. It merges Natural Standard and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database into one resource, retaining features and functionality from both. The scope includes dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. Effectiveness, safety, interactions, adverse effects, nutrient depletion, and pregnancy/lactation checkers are among the product’s components. Patient and consumer education handouts are offered in English, Spanish, and French.

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Rare, Medium Rare, or Well Done?

Have you ever wondered how rare are the books in the Rare Book collection? What makes a book “rare” and worth protecting? There is no clear cut definition. The general rule is to consider rare any book produced before 1801, except for English books which have to be issued before 1641, and for American books published west of Mississippi before 1850. This understanding encompasses manuscripts, incunabula (books produced in the first years after the invention of the printing press, 1455-1501) and books printed before the era of mass production, when all elements of the printing process such as paper, print, or illustrations were done by hand. In addition to age, any of the following qualifying features should be considered: materials used, scarcity, uniqueness, fine binding and illustrations, or intrinsic importance. Each of these criteria is relative, since not every old book is rare and not every rare book is old. Even when something is unique and irreplaceable, it does not mean it has a high value or is important. There are no clay tablets, scrolls, or illuminated manuscripts in the Falk Library collections, but among rare books there is one which, though not old or scarce, is a “must have” in a medical collection.

HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, etc.


Reference librarians Rose Turner and Linda Hartman were awarded the 2015 First Place MAC/MLA Research Poster Award for their poster, “Comparing CINAHL and Scopus Coverage of Allied Health Journals,” at the MAC/MLA Annual Meeting in Asheville, NC, October 18-20, 2015.

Classes December 2015

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Prezi, bibliographic management, molecular biology and genetics, and library orientations. For more information, visit the online course descriptions.