Sixty-Three Years of “Scope & Scalpel”—A New Exhibit in Falk Library

"Quack" (1970)
“Quack” (1970)

In 1955, a medical student, Samuel B. Aronson II, was working in a research lab run by Frank Dixon, MD. During a “gripe session” at a local pub, the two discussed problems at the medical school. Out of this discussion came the idea for a class play. Scope & Scalpel is a satirical, uncensored play produced annually by fourth year students at Pitt’s School of Medicine.

To honor Scope & Scalpel, a new art exhibit recently opened on the upper floor of Falk Library in the quiet study area. The exhibit, entitled As the Years Go By—Scope & Scalpel Retrospective, Continue reading

E-Books or Paper Books

ebooksBackpacks weighing you down with too many books? Are you tired of getting overdue notices? What about those book pages that are torn or missing, or have coffee rings and bent corners? These are just a few of the headaches facing users of print books. Whereas, e-books are portable, cleaner, available on multiple devices, and you don’t have to drive or take the bus to use or buy one. Continue reading

Scan and Convert to Text: OCR at Falk Library

Scanning is a form of digitization that replicates a traditional format, like a book, paper, or image, into a digital image file. After digitizing your file, there are ways to change that static image into searchable and editable text. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology that can interpret the letters on an image, and turn them into computer text that can be searched or edited.

OCR works best on files that were originally typed. Forms, papers, handouts, and screenshots are all common types of documents that can be converted to editable and searchable text. Handwritten documents cannot be transformed to text using standard OCR technology.

Falk Library offers equipment and software to scan and convert documents to text. The Scannx Book ScanCenter is an all-in-one station that allows you to quickly scan and save documents. To use OCR capabilities, select Searchable PDF or Word as your file format. Scan multiple pages into a single document to have all of the editable text combined into one file.

Adobe Acrobat Pro offers several tools that give more text capabilities to PDF documents. Some PDFs do not have searchable text; they can be converted with OCR using the Recognize Text tool. You can then use the Edit Text tool to make edits directly to your PDF. A PDF with recognized text can also be saved as a Word or Excel file for further editing. The Create Form tool is another option in Adobe Acrobat Pro that turns boxes and blanks into form entry fields.

The Scannx Book ScanCenter and Adobe Acrobat Pro software are available for use on the upper floor of Falk Library in the Technology Services area.

For more information about OCR, contact the Technology Services Help Desk at 412-648-9109.

~Julia Dahm

Exciting Medical News! Should You Believe It or Not?

It seems like every day in the news you hear about new scientific research results. What was okay to eat yesterday is not good for you today. It’s the same story with vitamins, one day you can’t take too much of a certain vitamin, and the next day that same dose could harm you. What about medicine…will that pill really help? Every day we are bombarded with medical news and it’s getting harder and harder to sort the good from the bad. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Withering on Foxglove

An Account of the Foxglove, and Some of Its Medicinal Uses William Withering (1741-1799) was a British polymath, botanist, mineralogist, and chief physician at the Birmingham General Hospital. He attracted the attention of the medical world to the virtues of common foxglove (also known by its Latin name, digitalis) in the treatment of dropsy when he published his famous work, An Account of the Foxglove, and Some of Its Medicinal Uses, in 1785. Continue reading

Classes for May 2017

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

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in Classroom 1 and on the upper floor of the library in Classroom 2. All classes are open to faculty, staff, and students of the University of Pittsburgh. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows, who will need to show their UPMC IDs.
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