Ask your School’s Liaison Librarian

Do you have a question regarding how to search a specific database? Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin researching a topic of interest? Ask for help from your school’s liaison librarian, contact information below.

Liaison librarians provide a communication link between HSLS and the departments and programs within the schools of the health sciences and UPMC. Liaisons have in-depth expertise in retrieving, evaluating, and managing information in these subject areas.

Liaison librarians are available to:

• make presentations to departments or courses regarding library programs, resources, and services.
• incorporate library and information management skills into the curriculum;
• provide instruction on the use of online information resources;
• identify and evaluate subject specific Web sites;
• collaborate on research projects or grants;
• perform professional-level literature searches;
• review and validate your search strategies;
• answer questions about library collections, remote access, or document delivery;
• consult one-on-one on in-depth or specialized topics.

HSLS Liaison Librarians

Dental Medicine
John Siegel, MLS
, 412-648-1973

Graduate School of Public Health
Contact Charles B. Wessel, MLS, 412-648-8730

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Linda Hartman, MLS
, 412-648-1479

Mary Lou Klem, PhD, MLIS
, 412-383-9947

Ahlam Saleh, MD, MLS, 412-648-2166

School of Medicine
Contact the reference desk 412-648-8796

PITTCat: Your Finding Aid for Books, Journals, Audiovisuals, and Other Library Resources

Are you looking for a specific book or DVD? Do you have a citation to an article and want to obtain the full-text? Make PITTCat your first stop. PITTCat is the online card catalog for the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) and other University of Pittsburgh libraries. PITTCat contains information on electronic or print books, journals, audiovisual aids, and other items held in all University of Pittsburgh libraries.

PITTCat can be easily accessed from the HSLS Web site, at the link shown in the illustration below.


There are four search tabs within PITTCat:

Basic Search: Search for exact titles of books, journals, audiovisual materials or other resources using the “Title Begins with” or “Journal Title Begins with” search type. You can also browse by subject heading or call number.

Guided Search: a form-based keyword search. Keyword searches may be especially helpful if you are looking for items on a topic, but are not sure of specific titles or authors.

Course Reserves: Browse current course reserves by instructor, department, or course.

New Items: View new items added to library collections. Browse by library, call number, author, or title, for new items added in the last one to four weeks.

See the online help below the PITTCat search boxes for more detailed search instructions and examples. If you have questions or need assistance navigating PITTCat, please contact the Falk Library Reference Desk, 412-648-8796, or e-mail

~ John Siegel

HSLS Homepage Highlights

The HSLS homepage provides access to library resources, journals, and answers to commonly asked questions. The main features of the site are detailed below.


1. Remote Access (Sign up for an HSLS Account for off-campus access)
2. search.HSLS – Simple search interface for all HSLS holdings
3. Easy access to PITTCat, the University of Pittsburgh Libraries catalog
4. Search 1,000+ full text E-books instantly with Vivisimo “clustering” technology
5. Ask A Librarian – contact us in person, by phone, or e-mail
6. How Do I? – Answers to common questions
7. Find E-Journals list and links to databases
8. Links to databases & clinical resources including EMBASE and UpToDate
9. Upcoming HSLS Classes, such as EndNote Basics, PubMed Basics, and Genetics

Selected Available Resources


Director’s Reflections . . . Welcome!

EpsteinThe staff at HSLS is pleased to welcome new and returning faculty and students. Though we’ve hardly been napping all summer, it’s fun to get back into the faster pace that fall term brings. HSLS librarians spent the summer orienting new UPMC residents, working with students from the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Health Care, planning orientations and workshops for the fall, adding new resources, and expanding access to old favorites such as Up To Date.

In this special issue of the Update newsletter, you’ll find information to help you become oriented to the wide range of services and resources available at HSLS.

Take a quick virtual tour of Falk Library or stop by and talk to your liaison librarian for more details. We look forward to a productive year ahead.

HSLS Access 24/7

Out of the office? Need access to an electronic journal article at 2 a.m. on a Sunday? No problem! HSLS can assist you with your information needs 24/7, whether you are sitting in your campus office or in a Starbucks in Hawaii. With an HSLS account, licensed databases and e-resources are readily available from our Web site and can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. HSLS accounts also allow you to access the computers located in HSLS libraries.

Remote Access

An HSLS account is simple to create. Fill out the online form, entering your valid Pitt or UPMC e-mail address. You will receive a confirming e-mail message, with a link to click on to activate your account. If you have questions or concerns about your HSLS account, please contact HSLS account representative Megan McKeown at or 412-648-9926.

Another option for University of Pittsburgh faculty and students is Pitt’s Secure VPN, which provides access to most HSLS and other Pitt online library resources.

~ Fran Yarger

Falk Library’s Computer & Media Center

CMCThe Computer & Media Center (CMC), located on the second floor of Falk Library, is open to health sciences faculty, students, and staff. Technology available at the CMC includes scanners, DVD burners, and Windows XP computers.

Other technology/services available at the CMC include:

Group Study Rooms
Falk Library hosts four group study rooms, available for 2-8 people. Each room is equipped with a circulating laptop, Internet access, and a plasma display monitor.
Individuals can reserve group study rooms online or on a first come, first served basis from the CMC helpdesk. Keys and laptops for these rooms should be picked up at the CMC helpdesk.

In-house Hardware and Software
The CMC’s computer lab has Windows XP based Dell computers, along with several Macintosh computers, connected to both the campus network and the Internet. The computers are equipped with software for word processing, spreadsheets, statistics, graphics, video editing, and database management.

Peripheral hardware includes CD-ROM and DVD-ROM writers, video capturing devices, and flat-bed and slide scanners. Audiovisual equipment housed in the CMC includes slide-projectors, audio tape players, VHS videotape players, and DVD players.

Color, black-and-white, and double sided printing, are available from the CMC. Patrons must pay for printing through the use of VendaCards. Medical students may use their subsidized accounts to forego VendaCard printing on the black-and-white printer in the CMC only.

Circulating Technology
The CMC provides circulating technology, which currently includes twenty-seven general purpose Dell laptops, one Macintosh iBook, and one Dell specifically for Pathway Assist that can be checked out by patrons for up to four hours. Laptops have access to the Pitt wireless system with a valid university username and password and can be taken outside the library. Also available are headphones that may be checked out for up to four hours, and USB flash drives that may be checked out for up to twenty-four hours.

The CMC also offers a collection of audiovisual materials including slides, audiocassettes, videotapes, CDs and DVDs, which may be checked out for one week.

Operating hours for the CMC are the same as Falk Library; however the computer center closes 15 minutes earlier. For questions regarding the CMC technology or policies please call the helpdesk at 412-648-9109.

~ CMC helpdesk staff

HSLS Offers Educational Support

The Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) supports the educational needs of the health sciences faculty and students. Teaching faculty should be aware of the many ways HSLS can provide course assistance.

How the library can help:

Integrated class sessions
Reference librarians are available to provide integrated instruction in information skills as part of courses offered in the Schools of the Health Sciences. Librarians can provide instruction on access to online resources, such as databases and full text journals, and instruction on identifying and evaluating subject-specific Web sites.

Web-based curriculum support
Web-based information resources can provide curriculum support to students on and off campus. Information resources include links to full-text journal articles, database searches developed by a librarian, chapters in electronic textbooks, and authoritative Web resources.

Course reserves
Provide access to required or supplemental reading materials by placing books and journal articles on closed reserve.

Request books to supplement a course
Faculty may request the purchase of materials that support teaching, study or research.

Computing resources
The Computer and Media Center staff can assist in creating a CD-ROM that contains slides, Power Point presentations, image files and word documents to be used during a course. Instruction is available on presentation software such as PowerPoint or Photoshop. Faculty may request the purchase of software applications and videos to supplement a course. Please call 412-648-9109 for details.

~ Nancy Tannery

Falk Library Group Study Rooms

Study RoomsBecause two heads are better than one, Falk Library offers four group study rooms– spaces to communicate and learn while still maintaining the library’s quiet atmosphere. The rooms may be reserved for up to four hours and accommodate two to eight people. Each group study room contains a table, chairs, a laptop (upon request), and a plasma display monitor.

You may reserve a room online or in person in the Falk Library Computer and Media Center (CMC) up to three days in advance. A valid Pitt ID or HSLS account is required for bookings. Before booking a room, please take a moment to read the group study room policy.

Please see the CMC help desk staff to obtain the room key for your reserved time. You must provide your Pitt ID or HSLS library card to access the room.

~ Fran Yarger

Stay Updated

The HSLS Update is an online newsletter published six times a year by the Health Sciences Library System of the University of Pittsburgh. It provides information about services, educational opportunities, and resources available to faculty, staff, and students in the schools of the health sciences and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You can receive the Update via an RSS feed or by e-mail subscription.

HSLS Account holders are automatically subscribed to ensure that you receive the latest information about new resources, upgrades and services. Feedback from our readers and suggestions for future articles are welcome! E-mail the editor at

UpToDate is Updated and Available Remotely

UpToDateUpToDate, a popular online clinical information tool, is now available from computers not directly connected to the Pitt or UPMC networks. Authorized users can access this resource by logging into remote access.

UpToDate recently introduced a new site design. From the main UpToDate search screen, clinicians can take advantage of the following options:

What’s New: enables healthcare providers to view key updates, such as new professional society guidelines. Only a selected amount of information is presented in this section. It is important to note, however, that nearly half of UpToDate topics are updated every four months.
Patient Information: offers information on more than 300 topics, ranging from allergies and asthma to women’s issues, specifically written for healthcare consumers. Visual aids, such as graphics and charts, often supplement narrative information, and links to additional authoritative Internet resources are included. Providers can print or e-mail specific information for patients or refer them to the free Web site UpToDate for Patients.

Also included in UpToDate:

Calculators: dozens of new calculators are available, with more planned for subsequent updates. Available calculators include: Survival Estimates in Advanced Cancer and Maintenance Fluid Therapy in Children.
Topic Outlines: provides a quick way of linking to pertinent information.
Related Topics: located in the left side menu; allows supplemental information to be located.
Find in Topic: allows the user to search for exact terms or synonyms within the presented information.


~ John Siegel

Order it – Track it – Get it!

Document DeliveryHSLS Document Delivery Services has a new, improved ordering and tracking system that allows you to request health sciences materials; track the status of these requests; and download electronically delivered documents through one simple Web interface. Getting started is easy:

1. Create a HSLS Document Delivery account (This is different from your HSLS remote access account).
2. Log in when you want to order, track the status of requests, or download electronically delivered documents.
3. You can also order articles directly through many HSLS databases such as Ovid, PubMed, and EBSCO CINAHL. Just click on the “Links @ Pitt-UPMC” icon. If the article is not available full-text, you will have the option to request a copy from HSLS Document Delivery.
4. See HSLS Document Delivery FAQ for more information on our services and fees.



~ Renae Barger

New Look for the HSLS Consumer Health Information Page

Consumer HealthThe HSLS consumer health information Web site has been redesigned, allowing for quick and easy retrieval of information regarding patient education and safety, service programs, HSLS consumer health collections, and more.

To conduct a search, users have a selection of five resource tabs, described below. Results are displayed, using Vivisimo® technology, with clusters presented to the left. These clusters group results into related topics or categories and allow users to quickly narrow a search.

Resource tabs include:

MedlinePlus: provides easy access to a free, comprehensive and reliable Web site for up-to-date health information from the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, along with other government agencies and health-related organizations. Included is drug information, health information in multiple languages, surgery videos, and more.

Patient Education: allows users to search for patient education information on such topics as catheter care or hypertension. Information is presented from various sources, including materials produced by UPMC and MD Consult.

Patient Safety: resources will be useful to both healthcare professionals and their patients. Information can be retrieved from UPMC patient education safety pages, National Patient Safety Foundation, Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A link to UPMC’s Condition H (Help) can be found on each result page.

PittCat for Consumer Health: can be used to find books, magazines, videos, etc. located within the HSLS Consumer Health collections at UPMC Shadyside, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. For users not having access to HSLS resources, a link to search the public libraries of Allegheny County for the same or similar titles is available.

Local Support and Services: directs users to HelpConnections, the United Way of Allegheny County’s directory of health and human services programs and agencies in Pittsburgh and surrounding communities. Programs included are smoking cessation, credit counseling, and support groups for cancer patients or substance abusers.

Besides the resource tabs, the Health News section allows consumers and health care workers easy access to current national and local health news.

~ Michelle Burda

Director's Reflections…Welcome!

Barbara EpsteinThe staff at HSLS is pleased to welcome new and returning faculty and students. Though we’ve hardly been napping all summer, it’s fun to get back into the faster pace that fall term brings. HSLS librarians spent the summer orienting new UPMC residents, working with students from the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Health Care, planning orientations and workshops for the fall, adding new resources, and expanding access to old favorites such as UpToDate.

In this issue, you’ll find news and information to help you stay current and take advantage of the wide range of services and resources available at HSLS.

So check us out, and learn how HSLS can enhance your research and educational productivity.

Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy: PMCID Timesavers for EndNote and RefWorks

Do you use EndNote or RefWorks? If so, take advantage of new tools to get PubMed Central identification numbers (PMCIDs) into citations you plan to use in upcoming grant-related documents.

The new NIH Public Access policy requires that as of May 25, 2008, PMCIDs be listed at the end of the full journal citation in grant applications, proposals, and progress reports. Examples:

Cerrato, A., et al., Genetic interactions between Drosophila melanogaster menin and Jun/Fos. Dev Biol. 2006 Oct 1; 298(1): 59-70. PMCID: PMC2291284

Sala-Torra, O., et al., Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression and outcome in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood. 2007 April 1; 109(7): 3080–3083. PMCID: PMC1852221

Don’t worry about retrospective enhancement of your old EndNote libraries and RefWorks folders, though. The NIH Public Access Policy applies only to peer-reviewed manuscripts that were accepted for journal publication on or after April 7, 2008 and that arose from the researcher’s NIH funds, whether or not he or she is listed as an author.

By modifying your EndNote or RefWorks capabilities now, you can automatically capture PMCIDs from now on and make them part of your journal citations when needed.

For details, see “How do I add PubMed PMCIDs to citations and documents using EndNote or RefWorks?

Other resources:

• HSLS NIH Public Access Policy page
Public Access Frequently Asked Questions

~ Patricia Weiss