HSLS Interns Gain Valuable Experience

HSLS regularly host interns from Pitt’s School of Information Sciences. Internships allow students to gain valuable work experience in an academic health sciences library setting and class credits at the same time. Interns are assigned to projects in different areas of HSLS libraries depending on their qualifications and interests.

Eleanor Akyar earned an undergraduate degree in management information systems from Pace University. She is currently working on her MLIS degree aEleanor Akyart Pitt. The majority of Akyar’s work experience has been in the development and project management of computer software applications. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Akyar’s belief that “information is power” led her to pursue an advanced degree in library and information science. Akyar is interning in the Reference Department in Falk Library, where she is creating an online exhibit by digitizing a unique collection of images and reports from a World War II field hospital in New Guinea.

Ricardo Figueroa graduated from Towson University where he studied Spanish and piano performanceRicardo Figueroa. He worked as a bilingual information specialist in the Epilepsy Foundation’s library and as a records manager at the Superfund Records Center. Figueroa believes an advanced degree in library science will compliment his past professional experience. He is interning in the Reference Department in Falk Library, where he is working with GSPH embedded public health informationist and reference librarian Barbara Folb.

~ Jill Foust

Harry Potter at the Hogwarts Library (aka Falk Library of the Health Sciences)

For six weeks, Falk Library masqueraded as the Hogwarts School Library as we hosted Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine, a travelling exhibit produced by the National Library of Medicine, and coordinated by the American Library Association. Several hundred students, faculty and visitors toured the exhibit, posed next to the life-sized picture of Professor Albus Dumbledore, and tried their luck at the Harry Potter trivia quiz.

On February 22, Stephen Greenberg, PhD, coordinator of Public Services, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, entertained nearly 200 attendees with his intriguing connections between Renaissance science and medicine and the Harry Potter series. Many historical materials are conceptually linked to the fictional world created by author J.K. Rowling. For instance, alchemist Nicolas Flamel, who is featured in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was a real 15th-century scholar whose experiments with metals influenced the development of modern chemistry. Paracelsus, who appears as a sculpture in Harry Potter, was a 16th-century physician and alchemist notorious for criticizing the medical practices of his time. The lecture was followed by a reception co-hosted by Falk Library and the C.F. Reynolds Medical History Society.

In March, Sylvia Pamboukian, PhD, assistant professor of English Studies at Robert Morris University, visited the exhibit and spoke on the ways in which medical materials of the Renaissance were perceived as part of a larger, ritualistic process incorporating material, environment, practitioner, and patient. Dr. Pamboukian also discussed the ways in which such practices were perceived at the time, particularly the fears about witches and wizards.

Also in March, Lori M. Campbell, PhD, lecturer, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh, visited to talk about a chapter from her book, Portals of Power: Magical Agency and Transformation in Literary Fantasy (McFarland 2010). Using Harry Potter’s character as an example, Dr. Campbell discussed how the concept of the gateway or ‘portal’ between real and magical worlds operates in contemporary fantasy writing. Her talk demonstrated the ways in which magical nexus points and movement between these worlds are used throughout the 7-volume Harry Potter series to illustrate real-world power dynamics.

On March 26, the exhibit moved on to its next destination, and Hogwarts School Library reverted back to its previous identity as Falk Library of the Health Sciences. Thanks to all who visited the exhibit and attended the lectures. The Exhibit Committee (Renae Barger, Jonathon Erlen, Leslie Czechowski, Rebecca Abromitis, Barbara Epstein and Rhoda Ludin) hope you enjoyed attending the exhibit events as much as we enjoyed planning them.

Harry Potter event photos
Please visit our Facebook Photo Album for more event pictures.

Congratulations to our contest winners: out of 89 entries to the Harry Potter trivia quiz, only one person, Carlos Lopez from the School of Medicine, scored 100%, and was awarded a jar of Bertie Bott’s jelly beans. Sam Zolin, from the School of Arts and Sciences, won the raffle for a set of Harry Potter books. And Professor Dumbledore went home with Christina Jolley from the School of Nursing.

Harry Potter prize winners

~ Renae Barger

History of Nursing Exhibit

Be sure to visit the display cases in the Falk Library lobby and the Rare Book Rooms for an engrossing exhibit depicting the long and distinguished history of nursing through books in our History of Medicine collections.

Several of America’s most famous nurses, such as Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, and Dorothea Dix, cared for Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Sarah Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man and served as a nurse, soldier, and spy. In her 1865 book, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army: The Adventures and Experiences of a Woman in Hospitals, Camps, and Battlefields, Edmonds details her exciting adventures, comprising everything from elaborate disguises, near escapes, and her care of fallen soldiers. This is a wonderful historical text that not only celebrates her adventures but also the bravery shared by all war-time nurses.

Prior to the 19th century, most nursing was performed neither in hospitals nor on the battlefields, but rather by women in the home. In his 1888 text, Gunn’s New Domestic Physician, John C. Gunn, MD, discusses both the practical treatments of home nursing, covering everything from pregnancy, common diseases, medicinal herbs, and the very Victorian ideal of the spiritual and maternal caretaker.

Isabel Hampton Robb, one of the great advocates of nursing education, focuses on hospital nursing. In her 1906 Nursing: Its Principles and Practice, Robb describes the nitty-gritty facts of a nurse’s daily life and the skills needed by nursing students to care for their patients.

And, of course, no display of nursing history would be complete without Florence Nightingale, the great 19th century nursing education advocate. In our collection is a rare book from 1859 titled Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not. This slim volume is especially valuable as it was given to the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing in 1951 to honor the nursing program. It serves as a reminder of the great historical nursing legacy left to all nurses by their predecessors.

The history of nursing exhibit is available for viewing in the Falk Library Lobby display case during regular library hours and in the Rare Book Rooms on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon-3 p.m., and other times by appointment.

~ Robin Sencenbach

HSLS Staff News

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


Nancy Tannery, associate director for User Services, was elected chair of the Libraries in Medical Education (LiME), a special interest group of the Northeastern Group on Educational Affairs of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for 2011-2012.


Barb Folb, public health informationist and reference librarian, presented a talk “Information Needs and Practices of Disaster Response Professionals: Findings and Implications for Information Support Services” at the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium held at the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Research Center in Bethesda, MD on March 29, 2011.

Nancy Tannery, associate director of User Services, presented a poster titled “From Module Development to User Testing: A Collaborative Project to Create an Online Search Module for MERC,” at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs, March 11-13, in Washington DC. The poster was co-authored with Kerry O’Rouke1 and Donna Berryman2.

1Robert Wood Johnson Library of the Health Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
2Edward G. Miner Library, University of Rochester


Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian, served as a major contributor to ISIS Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, 2010. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Michele Klein-Fedyshin, reference librarian, published “Information Practice” Chapter 12 in The Medical Library Association Guide to Managing Health Care Libraries, NY: Neal-Schuman Publisher, 2011.

HSLS Schedule of Classes May—June 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, May 13               1-2 p.m.
Also 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)
Wednesday, May 4        10-11:30 a.m.
Thursday, June 2           1-2:30 p.m.

Focus on Behavioral Medicine: Searching in CINAHL* (Falk Library Classroom 1)
Monday, May 23            10:30 a.m.-noon


DNA Analysis Tools* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, May 11       1-3 p.m.

Introduction to Vector NTI* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, May 25       1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 1* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, June 8        1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 2* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, June 22      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.)
Wednesday, May 11      10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 9           10 a.m.-noon

Adobe Photoshop for Beginners (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Thursday, May 12          9:30-11 a.m.

PowerPoint for Beginners
Wednesday, May 25       9:30-11 a.m.   (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, June 1        9-11 a.m.        (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Thursday, June 16          9-11 a.m.

The WOW Factor: PowerPoint for Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, June 22       9:30-11 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
Thursday, May 12           noon-1 p.m.

The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing an Article: Resources and Strategies for Aspiring Authors
Tuesday, May 24            noon-1 p.m.

Searching for Dollar$: Grant Resources on the Web
Friday, June 10               noon-1 p.m.

Registered Research and Clinical Trial Databases
Wednesday, June 29       noon-1 p.m.


Why use PubMed? (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)
Monday, May 2               8:30-9:30 a.m.

Introduction to Refworks (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)
Thursday, June 16          10-11 a.m.

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

Twitter’s Clinical Applications
Thursday, May 12           3-4 p.m.

Testing Beyond the Laboratory: Finding Testing Instruments Used in Research and Clinical Settings
Thursday, June 23          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.