Facets: Foundations and Future
On October 4, 2016, 45 years after its dedication, the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library is celebrating health sciences library services at the University of Utah past, present and future. Our roots date back to 1908 when the medical library collection was housed in the main campus library. From the beginning, we have been known for pioneering new ideas, new technologies, and innovative partnerships. We will showcase our history, our current initiatives, and share our ideas and vision for the future of health sciences library services that inform, connect, and innovate.
45th Anniversary Exhibit
Salt Lake County Hospital Branch Library
Salt Lake County Hospital branch library founded at the County Hospital in February with a gift of books from Dr. Clay Freudenberger, Professor of Anatomy. The room was comfortably furnished and seated 15 readers. The library was staffed and administered by the University Library and was open 80 hours per week. The College of Medicine contributed $8,000 in 1954, which supported both the main library and branch library collections.
The first trained and certified medical librarian, Isabelle Anderson, was hired in 1947. Under her guidance, the small branch library at Salt Lake County Hospital was developed with funding from the hospital, medical school and university library. Miss Anderson was immediately praised by Dr. Louis Goodman who said he felt, “Miss Anderson is doing a splendid job and she has the reputation of being one of the best medical librarians in the country.” Isabel Anderson remained medical librarian until 1956 when she left to return to Colorado. (Quote from Executive Committee minutes of the School of Medicine, Nov. 3, 1947).
Medical Library Expansion
In 1950, the Medical Library outgrew its original small reading room in the George Thomas library and shifted to more adequate quarters in the same building. The seating was reduced to 85 from 200 seats as stacks were needed to house the collection.
Notes from the annual report:
Members of staff continue to add to their knowledge and ability in various ways. One full-timer is working toward a bachelor’s degree, all part time personnel are enrolled at the University, and the acting medical librarian recently was certified by the Medical Library Association.
Director Priscilla M. Mayden
Priscilla M. Mayden, formerly librarian at the Veterans Administration Hospital Library, was appointed Medical Sciences Librarian in August 1966. She fought tirelessly for funding and approval on the new medical library and became deeply involved in the project and dealing with academic politics. She was a visionary, mentor, and library champion. Her legacy lives on with an award established in her name to recognize projects in technology and medical information.
Library becomes a member of the newly organized Central States Regional Medical Library Group.
One of only eleven institutions across the United States which was funded through the Medical Libraries Assistance Act of 1965, the University of Utah received a federal grant which was supplemented by the Eccles family contribution and foundation donations by the Commonwealth Fund, John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, Utah Medical Foundation, Utah State Medical Association, and Salt Lake County Medical Society.
Medical Sciences Library is removed from direct administrative and budgetary relationships with the Main Library of the University.
Periodical Holdings in the Library of the School of Medicine began in St. Louis at Washington University in 1963 under the direction of Dr. Estelle Brodman. It was instituted in Utah in 1969 with an networking agreement with Washington University to combine their serials lists. Batch processed punch cards were used until 1983 when an online system was installed. The PHILSOM system meant that the serials title and holdings as well as a subject designation could be made available to the library staff and patrons wanting to know which volumes and issues the library had. It became the foundation of an inter-library loan program known as Octanet and ultimately Docline.
Utah Academic Library Consortium
The Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) was formed to improve the availability and delivery of library and information services to the higher education community in the State of Utah.
The Extension Grant studied the feasibility of a health sciences library consortium in the state of Utah.
Utah Health Sciences Library Consortium
The Utah Health Sciences Library Consortium was formed and by June 1975, twenty one hospitals were members. The consortium offered centralized reference service and training, centralized cataloging and interlibrary loans as well as audio-visual materials.
From 1975 to 1993, the Eccles Library published, MEDOC: A Computerized Index to U.S. Government Documents in the Medical and Health Sciences. MEDOC represented the first use of computing at the Health Sciences Library. MEDOC was initially underwritten by a grant from the National Library of Medicine, and sustained by means of subscription to medical libraries and research institutions worldwide.
Tree of Hippocrates
The Tree of Hippocrates was planted and dedicated outside the library in May 1975 in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit entitled “Medicine 1550-1750” and a lecture by Maxwell Wintrobe, MD, Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine entitled “History of Hematology”.
Hippocrates, regarded as the father of modern medicine, was born on the Greek island of Cos around 460 B.C. He taught his students there in the shade of an oriental plane tree. It became known as the Tree of Hippocrates and is still standing there today. In 1961, the Greek Ambassador presented cuttings from the original tree to the Director of the National Library of Medicine for planting on the grounds. We obtained one of the seedlings at the time the Eccles Library building was completed in 1971. They were unable to plant it at that time because of its tiny size. The Utah state arborist, Mr. Miles Labrum, took our seedling and nurtured it in his own home and planted it in his backyard until it achieved a plant-able height. It was planted here in May of 1975 and is standing strong today.
1977: OCLC (Ohio College Library Center)
OCLC (Ohio College Library Center) was contracted to automate the library’s cataloging system. This is a nationally shared system for production of catalog cards which was used to speed up availability of books for the patrons.
Mid-Continental Audiovisual Resources Sharing Project
1979-1981: Mid-continental Audiovisual Resources Sharing Project – Established a regional collection of audiovisual materials for the health sciences.
Computer Library Systems, Inc. (CLSI)
In 1980, the Computer Library Systems, Inc (CLSI) computer program was used primarily for circulation of materials, and by extension, the online registration of users, overdue notices and statistical reports providing valuable information on library material use and users.
Apple IIe Microcomputers
In May of 1983 seven Apple IIe microcomputers were installed in the Medical Services Department for classroom support and public use.
1983-2016: InfoFair is the Annual Computer and Information Event with exhibits, seminars and demonstrations on computer services and resources available in the library and on the network. Yearly themes have included introduction to microcomputers, computers in the hospital environment, presentations of national programs and preeminent national speakers.
Director Wayne J. Peay
Wayne J. Peay, MLS, FMLA, FACMI, is known throughout the health sciences information profession as an innovator and change agent, particularly in the early adoption and use of technology. He served as head of several departments at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, including Computer and Media Services as well as Technical Services. In 1984, he was named director of
the library, a position he held for twenty three years.
InfoNet was a computer based networking project was a cooperative endeavor between the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and the Utah Health Sciences Library Constorium. It was funded by both the Regional Medical Library Program and the National Library of Medicine. It was an interlibrary loan program designed to link electronically the 9 participating members located throughout the state. There were four components: electronic mail, electronic bulletin board, ILL and reference and online services. The interlibrary loan portion was based on PHILSOM and the regional version of OCTANET. Both the Eccles Library journal list and UHSLC union list were merged. Modems were distributed to those who had microcomputers. This was a valuable first step in bringing equal access to library users throughout the state.
Slice of Life
Slice of Life was a non-profit project known for its videodiscs of high quality medical images. The primary purpose of which was to encourage the development and sharing of educational multimedia applications and the integration of complementary teaching and learning technologies in health sciences and medical education. The project began in 1986 when a videodisc was created containing 12,839 images from combined visual resources of University of Utah Health Sciences Departments. The videodisc became a “one-stop resource” for educators and students alike to access and review high quality images related to the health sciences. Numerous copies of the first edition were made available in the University’s Eccles Health Sciences Library. Since the beginning of the project in 1986, Slice of Life has seen multimedia tools evolve from the original analog laser discs. Interactive software, self-contained CD-ROM programs and Web-based access to educational courseware not even imagined a few years ago have emerged.
Utah Integrated Academic Information Management Systems Program
1985-88: This project tested the concept of IAIMS management at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.
Utah Preceptorship Program
This program provided portable microcomputers to medical students during their preceptorships throughout the state. They were used for communication, management of patients, communication, library services and preparation of a research project.
OCLC LS/2000 integrated library system was profiled and installed in 1986. All journals were input by hand over the summer of 1986. All users were input individually by hand as were Open and Closed Reserve collections. “Shelf” statistics could also be collected showing material used in house. The card catalog was removed from the library in December 1986.
Priscilla M. Mayden Award
The Priscilla M. Mayden Award was established and presented to Randolph A. Miller as part of Infofair ’87 by Dr Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director of the National Library of Medicine.
First Internet Workshops
The first Internet workshops were offered by the Eccles Library. Topics included: electronic communication, Telnet and FTP, and searching the Internet via Gopher, WAIS, and WWW.
“Mastering the Internet Maze” InfoFair
“Mastering the Internet Maze” was the title of the 1992 edition of InfoFair. The Library hosted hands-on training and demonstrations of the very first versions of the Internet.
Clifford C. and Mary Snyder Lectureship
The Clifford C. and Mary Snyder Lectureship was established with a generous gift from Dr. Snyder, former Chair of the Division of Plastic Surgery.
24 Languages Project
The 24 Languages Project was a Clinical Library project which provides access to over 200 health education brochures in 24 different languages. They were scanned and loaded onto a website and later accompanied by an audio version made by native speakers for those not able to read.
Regional Medical Library
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library was established as a Regional Medical Library (RML) for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Their services improve access to health information by supporting the effective use of NLM information products and services by health sciences librarians, public librarians, health professionals, the public health workforce and community members.
The Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library (NOVEL) is a partnership between the Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah and the North America Neuro-Ophthalmology Society that resulted in a peer reviewed digital collection of educational publications, journal articles, conference proceedings, a patient portal, and an illustrated curriculum of neuro-ophthalmology resources. The project was initially funded by an Information Systems grant from the National Library of Medicine, and later an educational grant from Pfizer. The project continues to be funded by NANOS, with matching in-kind support from the library.
Director Jean P. Shipman
Jean P. Shipman, MSLS, FMLA, AHIP remodeled and re-envisioned many aspects of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library to make it a vibrant discovery and innovation center. She established a consumer health library, the Hope Fox Eccles Health Library, in the hospital lobby. She also advanced the profession by advocating for new roles for librarians in interprofessional education, research, innovation, health literacy, and evidence.
National Library of Medicine Training Center
2011-2016 The library continues as an RML at Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. In addition, it also becomes the National Library of Medicine Training Center, providing training for health information professionals nationwide. Training, both in-person and online, is at the forefront of what the NTC is and does. This includes not only preparing for and presenting the classes, but working collaboratively with NLM staff to ensure that content is up to date and relevant.
My Research Assistant
My Research Assistant (MyRA) was developed in collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Informatics. The MyRA lifecycle provided information and guidance at every step of the research process; this lifecycle was later adopted and altered by the OSP. AskMyRA continues today to address specific research-related questions.
Research with Diverse Populations
The Eccles Library & College of Nursing partnership incorporated new and existing library services in the “Research with Diverse Populations” class. Librarians provide curriculum support services and facilitate the creation of the eTextbook authored by class members. The Research with Diverse Populations eTextbook (aka eBook) was designed to be openly accessible and structured to expand as future students make additional contributions. The audience for the eBook extends beyond the course participants to a broader audience of clinicians and researchers working with vulnerable populations. The eBook collaboration is an innovative and unique approach to addressing the needs of a faculty member. It is anticipated that the collaborative process will inspire similar projects in the future.
The e-channel is an interactive platform designed to capture and disseminate the creative output of innovators in all disciplines, but particularly the health sciences. This multimedia portal, created by the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library faculty and staff, enables the transfer of innovative ideas regardless of format and at various stages of creation, implementation or failure. The e-channel provides a forum for sharing process improvements, new technologies, brainstormed ideas, digital therapeutics (health applications and games), videos, and many other innovations. This eclectic hub offers a venue for innovators and researchers to share their results, receive recognition, and contribute to their scholarly disciplines, while also ensuring that others can build on the work reflected.
Eccles Health Sciences Library Charter
The Eccles Health Sciences Library Charter and Tenure-Line Retention, Promotion, and Tenure Standards are approved.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine
2016-2021 Eccles Health Sciences Library was selected again as the Regional Medical Library and the NTC (National Training Center) name changes to the NN/LM (National Network of Libraries of Medicine) Training Office. The library now has greater responsibility of coordinating the educational services of the NN/LM. Both programs will continue fulfilling the mission of NN/LM which is to “…advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals equal access to biomedical information and by improving the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.”
The U-Bar, an app bar within Hope Fox Eccles Health Library, provides patients, visitors, and employees expert assistance on navigating and utilizing apps and wearable device. This service offers users the opportunity to learn about new technologies, improve health, manage diseases, and become more engaged in their personal health care.