Falk Library Holiday and Winter Recess Hours

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

  • Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2: CLOSED
  • Tuesday, January 3: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 4: Resume regular hours

The Ask A Librarian service will be monitored over the break.

PalPITTations Concert in Falk Library on December 16

Get 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 16, at noon, on the second floor of Falk Library. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert.


Global Health Exhibit Coming to Falk Library

Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health, a traveling exhibit produced by the National Library of Medicine, is coming to Falk Library January 16, 2012, through February 25, 2012. The exhibit highlights examples of communities, countries, and international organizations successfully preventing disease, improving access to healthy food, promoting community health, and addressing the effects of war and violence on health.

HSLS and the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Global Health are sponsoring the following events during the exhibit. The exhibit and events are open to the general public. Registration is not required.

Thursday, January 19, 4–6:30 pm., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 5

Sam Watson will present “Global Health in a Wartime Setting—Iraq,” with a panel discussion to follow.

Sam Watson recently returned from two years serving as State Department senior public health adviser in Diwaniyah Province, Iraq. The Provincial Reconstruction Team he advised was tasked with building public health capacity in the Iraqi system. He will speak on his experiences in Iraq.

Prior to his experience in Iraq, he was associate professor of Public Health Practice at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health where he taught courses on bioterrorism and launched the Biomedical Security Institute, a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

*There will be a public reception in Falk Library following the lecture.


Monday, January 30, noon–1 p.m., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 1

Taylor Seybolt, PhD, will present “Health, Humanitarian Aid, and Conflict” as part of the Global Health and Underserved Population Series.

*A light lunch will be served.


Monday, February 6, noon–1 p.m., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 1

Phalguni Gupta, PhD, will present “HIV in India” as part of the Global Health and Underserved Population Series.

*A light lunch will be served.


Global Health Film Series:

The Global Health Film Series is sponsored by the Global Health Student Association and the Center for Global Health. Watch for announcements about these upcoming monthly film events.

Further information is available from the National Library of Medicine.

~ Barb Folb

Director’s Reflections

As traditional in this December issue, listed below are the donors who supported HSLS with monetary gifts and in-kind contributions in the past year (December 2010–November 2011). These thoughtful people help our libraries provide essential resources to enhance the quality of health care in western Pennsylvania and beyond. We remain extremely grateful for their generosity.

Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season, and a successful and productive new year! Continue reading

Publishing Decisions Affect Author Impact

Publication choices create a cascade of consequences affecting not only authors, but also colleagues, research institutions, and scientific disciplines. Copyright can be managed to the best advantage of all stakeholders by using Open Access (OA) methods and tools to increase citation counts, permit classroom use and global availability, and use of current health research. By definition, OA literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions

Denise Troll Covey, principal librarian for Special Projects at Carnegie Mellon University, carried this message to Pitt authors during her Open Access Week presentation, “Author Rights and Publishing Today: What You Should Know and Why You Should Care,” sponsored by the HSLS on October 26.

Audience questions indicated a particular interest in ways to locate copyright policies for specific journals and publishers. According to Covey, an authoritative source for such information is SHERPA/RoMEO. Covey also addressed how to assess the quality of Open Access journals in light of the recent epidemic of “predator” start-up journals. She advises authors to check the journal’s Web site and editorial board before submitting work to new journals. Reputable OA journal publishers include the American Physical Society, BioMedCentral, Oxford University Press, Public Library of Science, SAGE, Springer, and Wiley.

You can search or browse for OA journals using the global Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). DOAJ contains over 7,200 peer-reviewed, full-text Open Access journals in scientific and scholarly subjects, with more than 1,100 in the health sciences and biology subject categories. DOAJ can also be used to search for articles published in journals in the database.

As summarized in the Report of the University of Pittsburgh’s Open Access Task Force, the benefits of Open Access include increased global visibility and discoverability of the research output of the University and its faculty; dissemination of research results within and beyond the academic community; and demonstration of the high level of research conducted at the University.

For more information about Open Access and the NIH Public Access Policy for the Health Sciences, please see the HSLS NIH Public Access Policy Web page, or contact Andrea Ketchum at 412-648-9757 or ketchum@pitt.edu.

~ Andrea Ketchum

New Workshop on Editing your Digital Images with Photoshop

Since its inception 17 years ago, the HSLS Adobe Photoshop for Beginners Workshop has emphasized the basics of image editing using this powerful software package. Coming in the spring of 2012, this workshop will be updated to address the variety of ways digital images are processed by today’s health sciences community.

The workshop will be geared towards beginners who use image editing for print materials, posting to the Web, and journal submissions. While keeping the structure of a hands-on workshop, Adobe Photoshop for Beginners will demonstrate these techniques:

Editing options between Microsoft Office products and Adobe Photoshop

  • Improving colors on a digital picture
  • Layering of multiple images for a composite picture
  • Spot corrections to cover up photo mishaps
  • Specifying sizes and file types:
    • as requested for journal submissions
    • for easy emailing and posting to the web
    • suitable for printing

Like all other HSLS classes, Adobe Photoshop for Beginners is offered at no charge to all authorized HSLS users on a first-come, first-served basis. Please refer to the HSLS online class schedule for dates and location.

For your convenience, Adobe Photoshop is available on the computers in the Computer and Media Center. Individualized assistance is also available by contacting Julia Jankovic, Computer and Media Center librarian, at jcj6@pitt.edu.

Example of using Photoshop to correct an image used in an HSLS Update article. In the edited image, the thumb has been removed and the background recolored.

~ Julia Jankovic

PubMed Health: A New Web Site for Clinical Effectiveness Information

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information recently released PubMed Health, a Web site that specializes in presenting clinical effectiveness research. Clinical effectiveness research is designed to inform clinicians and consumers what treatments and prevention methods have been proven to work and what remains unknown.

Included on the Web site are easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full systematic reviews. Reviews from 2003 to the present are included from information partners such as the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, The Cochrane Collaboration, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines program. Before PubMed Health, these and other reviews were scattered across the Web without being collected centrally. PubMed Health gathers the reviews together in one searchable resource. Though it currently contains only about one-third of the quality systematic reviews published by public agencies and journals worldwide, it is projected to grow as the body of knowledge expands.

In addition to summaries and systematic reviews, PubMed Health includes a “Behind the Headlines” section, detailing the science behind current news headlines, a medical encyclopedia, and a section that defines clinical effectiveness research in simple terms for consumers.

For more information on PubMed Health, see “PubMed Health—A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information,” in the September-October issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin.

PubMed Health does not replace MedlinePlus, a health Web site for patients and their families, which provides general information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues.

~ Melissa Ratajeski

Introducing HSLS MolBio Video Tutorials

Do you need to do any of the following, but don’t know where to start: Predict transcription factor binding sites? Identify protein interaction partners? Browse a region of the human genome? Create a multiple sequence alignment plot? No need to worry, we’re here to assist with a brand new resource that’s designed to help you learn at your convenience, whether you’re in the lab, at home, or out and about.

The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service is pleased to announce the creation of an online guide dedicated to video tutorials that explains how to use bioinformatics software and databases to answer basic and advanced genomics-related questions. The videos are currently organized into five categories:

Examples of specific topics include: “Identify microRNA target genes,” “Find homologous sequences,” and “UCSC Table Browser.” The video’s instructor is identified at the top of each page. Users can also search for videos of interest by keyword. The collection will be continually updated with new videos, which range in duration from less than two minutes to approximately 23 minutes. At the bottom of each video page are links to all resources mentioned in each video, as well as related videos.

You can access HSLS MolBio Videos on the HSLS MolBio home page under “Instruction.” Users are welcome to provide comments or make suggestions for additional videos. For more information, please contact Ansuman Chattopadhyay at ansuman@pitt.edu or Carrie Iwema at iwema@pitt.edu.

~ Carrie Iwema


Meet the Staff of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region

In the June 2011 HSLS Update, it was announced that HSLS was awarded a five-year contract from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to serve as the Regional Medical Library (RML) for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM-MAR). We are pleased to welcome four new NN/LM MAR staff members:

Tristan Lucchetti, administrator, will manage the budget and monitor and track expenditures for subcontracts and awards.

Lucchetti received his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on finance.  For the past four years, he worked at the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and has experience in interpreting and applying sponsoring agency and University policies.  He also has experience in managing the operational and fiscal aspects of a busy department.

Melissa (Missy) Harvey, Technology and Communication coordinator, will identify and evaluate technologies for MAR programs and develop a communication strategy to ensure that Network members and others in the region are informed about MAR activities, award opportunities and other initiatives.

Harvey spent 16 years as the Computer Science librarian at Carnegie Mellon University.  She has significant teaching experience, serving as an adjunct professor for the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the iSchool at Drexel University. Harvey also served as Head of Falk Library’s Microcomputer and Media Center in the late 1980’s.

Kate Flewelling, Outreach coordinator, will develop outreach programs to health professionals, with emphasis on services to unaffiliated health professionals, minority health professionals, public health workers, and mental health professionals.

Flewelling received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007 and was a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow from 2007-2009. For the second year of her fellowship, Kate was at Inova Fairfax Hospital, a large teaching hospital in Northern Virginia. Most recently, Kate was coordinator of Instruction and reference librarian at Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, New York.

Lydia Collins, Consumer Health coordinator, will have lead responsibility for developing, coordinating, and implementing consumer health information programs and providing outreach to public libraries and consumer groups, including soldiers, veterans and their families, senior citizens, caregivers, K-12 schools, and community-based and faith-based organizations.

Collins has worked as a health sciences librarian for the past six years. Most recently, she was a librarian at the College of Health Sciences, University of Delaware.  Prior to moving to the East Coast, she was librarian at the School of Nursing and Department of Biological Sciences at San José State University.  Lydia began her library career as a solo librarian at Doctors Medical Center, in Modesto, California, providing library services to a rural population.

The entire staff has hit the ground running! In the past few months, the NN/LM MAR team has:

  • Offered five classes to nearly 100 librarians in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey
  • Attended and reported on the tribal blessings of the NLM healing totem; one of the artistic, educational, and inspirational elements in NLM’s new exhibit, “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness.”
  • Represented the National Library of Medicine at two national meetings: American College of Clinical Pharmacists and American Society of Nephrology
  • Exhibited and promoted NLM and NN/LM MAR resources and services at three regional Medical Library Association chapter events; two state library association meetings; as well as the annual conference for New York City public school librarians
  • Visited numerous academic, hospital and public libraries, as well as community organizations within the Middle Atlantic Region.

We are currently recruiting for a Network and Advocacy Coordinator. This person will plan Network member programs to support advocacy and changing roles for the information professional; coordinate outreach activities to hospital librarians; and manage the Region’s membership and resource sharing program.

Stay tuned for future updates and announcements.

~ Renae Barger

HSLS E-Books in Nursing

The Nursing section of the HSLS Health Sciences E-Books by Subject list contains links to a number of online books of interest to nursing students, nursing school faculty, and clinical nurses. The e-books are offered on several different platforms (publisher interfaces), but they all contain up-to-date information on topics such as clinical nursing skills, nursing diagnosis and care planning, and nursing research.

Popular titles include:

  •  AACN Essentials of Critical Care Nursing
  • Foundations of Nursing Research
  • Fundamental & Advanced Nursing Skills
  • Lippincott’s Nursing Drug Guide
  • Nursing Leadership and Management: Theories, Processes and Practice
  • Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices (AORN)
  • Sparks and Taylor’s Nursing Diagnosis Reference Manual
  • Statistics for Nursing and Allied Health

All HSLS e-books can be accessed via the HSLS e-books subject list or by searching by book title in Pitt Resources Quick Search. Note that some e-book platforms allow only a limited number of concurrent users, so you may on occasion be “turned away” from an e-book. If that happens, try again in a few minutes—typically you’ll be able to access the book then.

~ Mary Lou Klem

Nobel Laureate Presentations in Henry Stewart Talks

HSLS provides access to the Henry Stewart Talks: Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, which publishes audiovisual presentations by the world’s leading experts. The collection is organized into a series of over 1,000 regularly updated, seminar-style talks.

Henry Stewart Talks includes seminars from the three recipients of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine. One half of the prize was awarded to Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity” and the other half to Ralph Steinman “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.” Note that the following talks were originally published online in May 2009:

Talks from additional Nobel Laureates are also available:

Please see the December 2010 HSLS Update for more information about Henry Stewart Talks.

~ Carrie Iwema


iSchool Partner Student Interning at HSLS

The iSchool Partners Program is a scholarship program that offers opportunities for students enrolled in the MLIS program to gain practical library experience. This year HSLS is hosting Marion Couch.

Couch received her associate’s degree in computer technology at Harrisburg Area Community College and her BS in microbiology, with a minor in biochemistry, at Idaho State University.  Before deciding to pursue a career in library science, Couch worked as a laboratory technician at SmithKline Beecham Laboratories, and recently as a medical records coder and transcriptionist. She is interning in the Reference Department at Falk Library.

~ Jill Foust

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Photography and Medical Books, Part 2

Part 1 of this article appeared in the October issue of the HSLS Update, and gave a brief overview of the history of photography and medical books. Part 2 explores the fascinating ties between art and medicine with a look at photography in the service of medical advertisement.

Falk Library’s historical collection includes a portfolio of 32 reproductions titled Sutures in Ancient Surgery, published circa 1931. The illustrations belong to a larger series of tableaux vivants [living pictures] created by Lejaren à Hiller for the company Davis & Geck, an American manufacturer of surgical sutures. Hiller worked on them between 1927 and 1950. It’s not certain how many prints he created overall, but the original illustrations were donated to the Art Institute of Chicago. Some of the illustrations appeared in Surgery through the Ages, published in 1944; others were issued in portfolios similar to the one in Falk Library; some were reproduced in medical journals; and many adorned walls of hospitals and physicians’ offices across the country.

When Lejaren à Hiller accepted the Davis & Geck order, he had already worked for major companies on their advertising campaigns. He had years of experience as an illustrator and photographer and had time to experiment and perfect new photographic techniques. Hiller used his own studio’s elaborate sets with dramatic lighting and fancy backdrops to stage costumed actors and models in narrative scenes depicting significant events in the history of surgery. He photographed a staged scene, then resized it, retouched it using transparent oil paints of his own formulation, and then re-photographed again to achieve the desired effect. His images communicated a sense of emotion and excitement that appealed to advertisers and earned Hiller the label “creator of American photographic illustration.”

The portfolio is located in the Rare Books Room at Falk Library and can be viewed by contacting the Falk Library Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or e-mail medlibq@pitt.edu.

Those wishing to explore this genre further will be interested in a book from Falk Library’s circulating history of medicine collection, titled Search and Research: A Pictorial Portfolio of Scenes and Characters in the Drama of Medicine and Medical Progress [call number f R131 A131 1939]. This book, published in 1939, provides an example of similar photographic work by Valentino Sarra.

~ Gosia Fort