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New Leadership within HSLS

I am pleased to announce the appointments of three Assistant Directors for HSLS, as part of our new leadership structure. This structure creates new opportunities to advance traditional library services, while expanding in others, such as incorporating inclusive, diverse, and accessible resources; offering expertise to guide research to publication; integrating emerging technologies into online instruction; and increasing interprofessional education activities across the health sciences.

Julia Dahm has been appointed Assistant Director for Technology Integration and Fulfillment Services. Julia began her career as Technology Services Librarian in 2010. Since 2018, Julia has served as Coordinator for Technology Integration Services, where she has led efforts to support the unique technology needs of library staff and patrons, and has implemented education to support new technologies. She is an active member of Pitt’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees Institutional Advancement Committee. As Assistant Director, Julia will lead the library’s technology-based services and resources, including management of the HSLS main desk and technology help desk, technology education, virtual reality, media creation, digital marketing, and multimodal technology accessibility across HSLS collections, resources, and services.

Melissa Ratajeski has been appointed Assistant Director for Data and Publishing Services. Melissa has been at HSLS since 2006, starting as a Research and Instruction Librarian.  Melissa is also liaison librarian to the IACUC. Since 2016, she has served as Coordinator for Data Services, making notable contributions in leading the development and implementation of services supporting faculty, students, and staff throughout the research data life cycle; coordinating a team of faculty librarians to design and implement data services for the University’s health sciences community; and overseeing the library’s data catalog project. She is an active member of the Data Discovery Collaboration Project and offers representation on University data management and policy committees. As Assistant Director, Melissa will lead the library in expanding and implementing effective, user-centered services supporting research sharing and publishing, data management, open science, and research impact and metrics.

Rose Turner has been appointed Assistant Director for Liaison Services and Instruction. Rose began her career as a Research and Instruction Librarian at HSLS in 2014. She is liaison librarian to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS), where she is integrated into research activities and the curriculum, and is co-author on numerous peer-reviewed research publications. Since 2018, Rose has served as Coordinator for Liaison Services, where she has aligned efforts of the liaison librarians to the schools of the health sciences, and developed optimal approaches for integrating research support, instruction, and scholarship activities for students, faculty, and staff. As Assistant Director, Rose will continue liaison responsibilities to SHRS while leading the library’s liaison and instruction programs, developing user-centered services, and incorporating emerging, instructional technologies and best practices into in-house and curricular instruction.

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Two New LabArchives Products for Pitt Researchers

The University of Pittsburgh has licensed a cloud-based Electronic Research Notebook, LabArchives, since 2016. LabArchives research notebooks assist with the organization and management of laboratory data, safely and conveniently across multiple platforms and devices. Whether managing a research lab as a principal investigator or reviewing students’ lab work as an instructor, LabArchives supports effective research data management plans and helps improve student learning. Pitt researchers seeking to make the transition from paper-based to electronic lab notebooks can watch YouTube videos, read our guide, or attend one of our training sessions.

LabArchives has expanded beyond electronic research notebooks for Research and Education to include two products that we are excited to announce are now available to researchers with a Pitt email address: Inventory and Scheduler.

LabArchives Inventory streamlines the organization, tracking, and ordering of lab inventory. Whether you need to order inventory from a vendor or manage your in-lab created materials, LabArchives Inventory provides a simple and customizable solution for your physical inventory management needs. Use Inventory to customize your inventory types and storage locations, add and manage lab inventory items, and then use the ordering options to request and receive materials. Continue reading

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Opportunity from Disruption: HSLS Experiments with New Methods of Instruction

Since April 2020, the HSLS instruction team has held bi-weekly meetings to introduce new tools, share challenges, and make recommendations. We have had the opportunity to experiment with new instructional methods and assess which practices we will permanently adopt going forward.

For example, we recently licensed LibWizard from Springshare to create self-paced tutorials on topics like Getting Started with EndNote. Instructors have used active learning techniques like polling, short discussions via TopHat, and Zoom Breakout rooms to increase engagement. Other instructors provide directions for detailed hands-on activities that can be done during or after class.

The HSLS MolBio team has taken advantage of Zoom Webinars by recording each of their classes and making them available on the comprehensive MolBio Workshop/Class Guides. Many instructors have leaned into LibGuides as complements to HSLS classes. Providing a LibGuide where course materials can be hosted, links posted, and class recordings stored allows us to keep any materials shared fresh, up to date, and accessible. For an excellent example, check out the Gene Regulation Guide. Continue reading

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New Oculus Quest Virtual Reality System at Falk Library

Med student VR in operating room

HSLS is pleased to announce that three new Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) systems are available to borrow at Falk Library! In 2018, HSLS introduced its VR space, which features study aids for health sciences students and medical training simulations. Since then, VR technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, and the new Oculus systems deliver a much-needed update to the library’s VR services.

If you are new to VR, the Oculus Quest is a streamlined system with a low learning curve that provides a great introduction to virtual reality. If you have used VR in the past, the Oculus Quest’s advanced graphics and responsive touch controllers offer a unique, lag-free playing experience that is still worth checking out.

Most exciting is the wide range of apps that users can explore on the updated headsets. Various medical education apps are available, including virtual anatomy atlases and programs that visualize 3D images from medical scans. Interactive clinical simulations like Total Knee Replacement Surgery Simulation and PST VR: Primary Surgical Treatment are also available. Continue reading

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Two High-Quality Teaching Tools: AccessMedicine’s Focused Anatomy Modules and The Infographic Guide to Medicine

AccessMedicine is an authoritative online resource with dozens of core medical textbooks, such as Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th edition, and Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th edition, as well as various quick reference tools, and a number of valuable multimedia resources.

Two especially useful multimedia teaching resources include:

Focused Anatomy Modules

The recently added “Focused Anatomy Modules” includes over 300 anatomy modules designed to offer an extensive anatomical review. Within these modules are animations depicting how various diseases and illnesses manifest themselves throughout the body. A brief explanation accompanies each module with a link to further reading. Continue reading

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Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Dr. Hitchcock’s Teeth Almanac for 1844

Dr. Hitchcock's Teeth Almanac for the 1844, Boston: Saxton, Peirce & Co. William White & HP Lewis, Printers.Today, the almanac is no longer the important and popular resource it once was in most households. It appeared in America at the end of the 17th century and its popularity was second only to the Bible. Almanacs offered lists of current events, advice, and weather prognostics tailored to a specific audience, such as that of the Farmer’s Almanac, and served as a basic home reference, especially for those in isolated households, helping to keep track of passing time. Dr. David Keyes Hitchcock started publishing almanacs annually around 1839, which happened years before printed calendars were invented (1870), and before there were any standards (1883)* by which to set clocks and watches.

Dr. Hitchcock (1813-1895) was a surgeon dentist with a practice in Boston at 98 Court Street. He was the author of Preservation of the Teeth: A Family Guide, published in Boston in 1840. Falk Library has Dr. Hitchcock’s teeth almanacs for the years 1843 and 1844. The first of his dental almanacs includes standard pages with an astronomical calendar and advice on the maintenance of teeth, brushing, filling cavities, considering artificial teeth as a replacement for lost ones, and determining the right time and motives for tooth extraction. Continue reading

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Featured Workshop: Finding Information in Support of Health Equity Research

HSLS offers classes in a wide array of subjects—citation management, database searching, bibliographic management, and more! You can quickly view all Upcoming Classes and Events or sign up to receive the weekly Upcoming HSLS Classes and Workshops email.

Featured workshop of the month: Finding Information in Support of Health Equity Research

Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 10–11 a.m.

Register for this virtual workshop*

It can be complicated to find information in support of health equity research in scholarly databases due to outdated keywords, complex controlled vocabulary, changes in the language used by researchers, and bias in classification. Participants of this class will gain the resources to find and more critically evaluate research that involves race, populations, disparities, and other health equity concepts.

During this class, we discuss strategies and resources for researching health disparities and social determinants of health. This workshop is ideal for those with some database searching experience who want to learn the specific skills needed to search for concepts related to health equity research. Continue reading

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HSLS Staff News

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

Names in bold are HSLS-affiliated


Congratulations to Kirsten Crowhurst on her promotion to Program Innovation Strategist for the NNLM All of Us Training and Education Center (TEC). Kirsten joined the TEC in 2018 as Program Manager and quickly became indispensable to the team for her creativity in program development and passion for public health. In her new role, Kirsten will be leading the TEC’s “Idea Factory,” which focuses on incubating novel and innovative health programs to support libraries and community-based organizations. We are also welcoming Tess Wilson as the new Program Manager. She will work closely with Kirsten and oversee the TEC’s Expert Partners Program. Tess joined HSLS as an Engagement Coordinator in 2019 with the former NNLM Middle Atlantic Region (MAR), and she brings a wealth of experience in library outreach and environmental health to the team.

Julia Dahm, Melissa Ratajeski, and Rose Turner have been appointed HSLS Assistant Directors. Please refer to the “New Leadership within HSLS” article in this issue for details.

Stephen Gabrielson has been promoted to Scholarly Communication Librarian (Librarian II). This promotion emphasizes a focus on the growing demand for scholarly communication services. In this position, Gabrielson will have responsibility for initiatives focusing on communication of research impact, responsible use of metrics, strategic dissemination of research outputs, and open access publishing and policy compliance. Continue reading