Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library History: Part Two
On October 4, 1971 the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library was dedicated, bringing health sciences library services to a permanent home at the University of Utah. From the beginning, we have been known for pioneering new ideas, new technologies, and innovative partnerships. This exhibition series will showcase our history, from the first health sciences library collection in 1908 to the present-day.
Part Two: 1970’s
A New Library
Dedicated October 4, 1971
Periodic Holdings in the Libraries of Schools of Medicine
“The Eccles Library has used the PHILSOM serials control system since 1969, when it was the first library to join the PHILSOM Network. The PHILSOM system is a comprehensive, automated serials control system, developed and operated as a network by the Washington University School of Medicine Library. Begun as a batch system, it was upgraded to offer online records maintenance in 1978. Currently, twenty-one health sciences libraries located throughout the country participate in the PHILSOM Network.”
-Wayne J. Peay, Karen A. Butter, & Sandra Ellis, Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, Volume 72, Issue 1.
Image Source: Beckwith HK. Mechanization of library procedures in the medium-sized medical library. IX. Holding statements in PHILSOM: a study of their activity. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1970;58(2):120–125.
Utah Academic Library Consortium
The Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) was formed in 1971 to improve the availability and delivery of library and information services to the higher education community in the State of Utah. Originally called the Utah College Library Council, the UCLC was a cooperative group of library directors and professional librarians to provide research materials through a network of member institutions.
Learning Resource Center
The Eccles Library developed the Learning Resource Center, a center utilizing computer-assisted
instruction for self-assessment and simulated patient management. The “LRC” at the
Eccles Library represented an administrative union of instructional development,
media services, and computer assisted instruction. The goal was to eliminate fragmentation in
the health sciences complex by housing the LRC in the central location of the library.
Utah Health Sciences Library Consortium
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
In front of the library (south-west corner) is an oriental plane tree. It is not an ordinary plane tree,
it is a direct descendant of the original Tree of Hippocrates.
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 it is still standing there today.
In 1961, the Greek Ambassador to the United States presented cuttings from the original tree to
the Director of the National Library of Medicine for planting. The Eccles Health Sciences Library obtained
one of the seedlings at the time the library’s 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 the seedling
and nurtured it in his own home and planted it in his backyard until it achieved a plant-able height.
It was planted at the Eccles Library in May of 1975 and is standing strong today.
OCLC (Ohio College Library Center) was contracted to automate the library’s cataloging system. This nationally shared system for the production of catalog cards 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. The project was created as a partnership between the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah and the Creighton University Health Sciences Library. It was a collaborative effort between the two libraries’ Learning Resource Centers that created a core list of audiovisual materials, a fee-for-service system for the seven states the Mid-continental region covered, and accessibility to the materials between the two institutions.