Saving a Life from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

MichelleAwardResearch shows that the survival rate for those suffering cardiac arrest outside the hospital is only 7%.1 HSLS reference librarian Michele Klein-Fedyshin, who earned her RN last year, used an automatic external defibrillator (AED), along with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to assist in the rescue of a Pitt professor who suffered a cardiac arrest at the University Club gym on April 15, 2010. Klein-Fedyshin and Dave Nanz, the responding Pitt police officer, were awarded a certificate of recognition at the annual meeting of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) on October 8, 2010.

AEDs are life-saving equipment in arrest situations, along with CPR. The Pitt campus has placed AEDs in various locations around the campus, and Pitt police carry them in response to medical calls.2 HSLS is purchasing an AED to be placed in the Falk Library lobby. The time saved by having an AED nearby can translate into a life saved. Hopefully, it will never need to be used.

1National Center for Early Defibrillation.

2Kimberly K. Barlow, “Importance of AEDs Hits Home—Twice,” University Times, June 10, 2010.

~ Michele Klein-Fedyshin

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Civil War Post-Mortem Surgical Set

The library has no documents tracing the origin of the post-mortem surgical set found in our collection. How did it get here? Who donated it? To whom did it belong earlier? Though we don’t have the answers to these questions, we are grateful to the unknown benefactor who donated this precious artifact.

SurgicalSet1The instruments were produced by Hermann Hernstein & Son. There are three key factors that identify the set as belonging to the Civil War era: (1) the mark of H. Hernstein & Son, which was used from 1862 to 1865, when the company was selling directly to the military under contract; (2) Herstein & Son’s address from 1855 to 1867, 393 Broadway in New York City, is engraved on the instruments; and (3)SurgicalSet2 the wooden case contains a single sliding latch not found on any civilian instrument sets of the period.

The set is in almost perfect condition. It comes in the original wooden case with cast brass corners, a burgundy velvet lining, and a removable partition dividing two layers of instruments embossed with the Hernstein logo and eagle.

Inside the case are two layers of instruments. The upper compartment includes a chisel, a rachitome chisel, scissors, bowel scissors, a lifting back bone saw, dissecting forceps, and a blow-pipe used to inflate arteries. The bottom layer holds a costotome (hammer), a full set of scalpels, and a tenaculum with ivory handles, cartilage knives, and sutures with a curved heavy cloth holder for needles, suture thread, tissue forceps and retraction chain hooks in a small covered compartment.

We do not know whether the set was used during the Civil War or whether it came from the company’s surplus. Nearly all manufacturers over-produced at the end of the war, even though the U.S. Army cut military surgical set orders. The set is a beautiful piece of medical history located in the Rare Book Rooms at Falk Library. It can be viewed on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon–3 p.m., and other times by appointment.

~ Gosia Fort

HSLS Participates in National Cataloging Projects

In today’s online environment, libraries regularly share catalog records for their resources as a way to improve efficiency. HSLS has long been committed to creating high quality data for its resources, contributing this data to collective catalogs, and participating in cooperative initiatives. This fall, HSLS continues that tradition by participating in two new national endeavors.

CONSER, a cooperative serials cataloging organization, is undertaking a one-year project to create high-quality records for open access journals. Libraries often focus their cataloging efforts on subscription items, but freely-accessible journals have become increasingly significant for researchers and are often underrepresented in library catalogs and research tools. HSLS is one of 25 libraries, including the Library of Congress, participating in the project and contributes catalog records for open access journals in the health sciences. These records can then be used by other libraries in their online catalogs and behind the scenes in electronic resource management and access systems, integrating open access journals with the subscription-based journals already available from libraries.

HSLS is also participating in the national evaluation of a newly developed cataloging standard. Published in June 2010, Resource Description and Access (RDA) is a major revision to cataloging practice, incorporating new organizational theory and addressing the many new kinds of information tools and formats which were not around when the current standards (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd ed., 1978) were written. The national libraries of the United States (Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library) are currently undertaking a major test of these new guidelines to determine the impact on library workflows and online catalog retrieval. HSLS is among 14 institutions forming a secondary testing group, which will create sample records according to RDA guidelines, contribute them to a test database, and complete surveys about the process. The results of the different testing processes will be a key factor in American libraries’ decisions on whether or not to implement the new standard.

~Liping Song and Gretchen Maxeiner

Staff News

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


Barbara Epstein, HSLS director, was appointed as co-chair-designate of the Future Leadership Committee of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL). The committee oversees mentoring and development programs for the next generation of health sciences library leaders.

Misti Kane has been promoted to collections and technical services specialist. Kane’s responsibilities include book ordering/receipt, copy cataloging of both print books and electronic journals, book repairs, withdrawals, and other database maintenance activities. She began working at HSLS in 1996.


Barb Folb, public health informationist and reference librarian, presented a talk “Information Practices of Disaster Preparedness Professionals in Multidisciplinary Groups” at the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), Pittsburgh, PA on October 25, 2010.


Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian published “Dissertations/Theses” in the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 27(2): 425-6, 2010; “Recent Dissertations on Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco and Addiction History” in Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, 24(1): 37-8, 2010; and “Dissertations” in International Journal of Healthcare & Humanities, 5(5): 30-2, 2010.

HSLS Schedule of Classes January-February 2011

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

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in classroom 1 and conference room B, and on the second floor in the Computer and Media Center classroom 2. Some classes are also held in the conference room at UPMC Shadyside Libraries. All classes are open to faculty, staff and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

No registration is required for any of these classes.  Seating for classes is first-come, first-served, until the class is full.  Classes marked with an asterisk (*) qualify for American Medical Association Category 2 continuing education credit.

Class schedules are subject to change.  Please consult the online class calendar for the most current information.


Introduction to HSLS Resources and Services at Falk Library
(Meet inside entrance to Library)
Friday, January 21                         1-2 p.m.
Offered upon request to groups or individuals. Call 412-648-8796.

Introduction to HSLS Services at UPMC Shadyside
Offered upon request to groups or individuals.  Call 412-623-2415.

Finding Full-Text Articles at UPMC Shadyside
Offered upon request to groups or individuals.  Call 412-623-2415.

PubMed Basics* (Falk Library Classroom 1)
Tuesday, January 18                      10-11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, February 15                    10-11:30 a.m.

Focus on Behavioral Medicine: Searching in PsycINFO* (Falk Library Classroom 1)
Tuesday, February 22                    10:30 a.m.-noon

Genome Browsers* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 12                 1-3 p.m.

Locating Gene/Protein Information* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 19                 1-3 p.m.

SNPs & Genetic Variation* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 26                1-3 p.m.

Cancer Informatics* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, February 2                 1-3 p.m.

Introduction to Vector NTI* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, February 9                 1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 1* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, February 16               1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 2* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, February 23               1-3 p.m.


EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)
(Note: This class is usually full.  Please arrive 15 minutes in advance to ensure seating.)
Tuesday, January 11                       8:30-10:30 a.m.    (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)
Thursday, January 13                     10 a.m.-noon         (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 26                  10 a.m.-noon         (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Thursday, February 10                    1-3 p.m.                (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Tuesday, February 22                     10 a.m.-noon         (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Adobe Photoshop for Beginners (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 12                  9-11  a.m.
Thursday, February 10                    9 -11 a.m.

PowerPoint for Beginners
Thursday, January 6                       9-11 a.m              (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 26                  9-11  a.m.            (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Thursday, February 3                      9-11 a.m.

The WOW Factor: PowerPoint for Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, February 23                 9-11 a.m.

Lunch With A Librarian

These informal, brown-bag lunches are held in Falk Library Conference Room B. Bring your own lunch. Drinks and dessert are provided. For more information visit the online descriptions.

Search Clinic
Monday, February 7                        Noon-1 p.m.

Mobile MolBio: Apps for Scientists
Thursday, February 24                    Noon-1 p.m.


Searching for Nursing Articles Using CINAHL (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)
Tuesday, February 15                     11:30 a.m. – 12:30  p.m.

Thursday @ Three HSLS UPMC Shadyside Libraries Information Series
These informal sessions are held in the Conference Room at UPMC Shadyside Libraries.

Writing Integrity in the Digital Age
Thursday, January 27                     3-4 p.m.

Advanced Google: Tips and Strategies for Getting More From Google
Thursday, February 24                    3-4 p.m.

Customized classes can be developed for your department, course, or other group.

These online tutorials provide information on getting started at HSLS, focusing on the Web site and popular resources.