December 2008 – Volume 3 – Number 3

Where Do the Years Go?

M.J. Tooey

December 31, 2008 will mark the end of my fifth year as Executive Director. Although I have been at UMB for over 20 years, and jokingly tell people I clawed my way to the top, I can honestly say the past five years have flown by. During that time, Library staff have made great progress in advancing our programs, resources, and services. We started by building our foundation with a new strategic plan, and we haven’t looked back. We are committed to meeting our users wherever they are – at the bench, in the community, around the state, throughout the region, across the country, and even in remote and exotic locations such as Africa and Shady Grove. We serve on IRBs. We go to health fairs. We partner with educators in the classroom and online. We advance new technologies through tech fairs and our web sites. We remodel entire floors and welcome new uses from the physical space of the Library. We build digital collections. There are very few opportunities on which we pass.

We do this work with you and for you. Thanks for pushing us, challenging us, and inspiring us to be the best we can be. All the best in 2009.

Library Treasures

To fulfill campus insurance requirements, the HS/HSL recently contracted a certified appraiser to survey our collections. Mr. Willis Van Devanter, who has appraised collections for the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the White House, the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University, and many other renowned institutions, made several visits here.

A specialist equally conversant with books and works of art, Mr. Van Devanter approached our collections with an insider’s keen awareness of the marketplace. He was particularly impressed with a number of items in our Historical Collections. Mr. Van Devanter’s estimation of these holdings was especially gratifying to us since it officially validated the high esteem we have always had for them. He also examined our reference, circulating, and journal collections, as well as various pieces of art displayed in the building.

The exciting result of this project is that Mr. Van Devanter valued our entire collections at $33,770,800.00. Most libraries take pride in touting the treasures within their walls. It is reassuring to know that our claim in that regard is particularly well-founded.

Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research


In November, two of our four librarians who serve as non-scientists on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) attended the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Conference. The conference, which was attended by many IRB members, was funded by the UMB Human Research Protections Office.

The conference theme this year was Advancing Ethical Research, Balancing the Needs of Human Subject and Science. The keynote speakers and panelists discussed the balance between regulations and ethics. Tierney Lyons and Paula Raimondo attended classes in the non-scientist track to develop a better understanding of the research process and of scientific terminology. The presenters specialized in a range of fields, from medicine to philosophy to law, bringing many different perspectives to the discussion.

The attendees agreed that the conference benefitted them on both a professional and personal level. In addition to gaining valuable knowledge that will help them review IRB protocols more effectively, the attendees also enjoyed an exciting opportunity to broaden their understanding of gene therapy and genome testing, particularly in cancer research.

SE/A Hosts Mid-Contract Review

On December 2, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A) hosted a mid-contract review. This visit was an opportunity to assess the progress to date on the HS/HSL’s five year, $11.5 million contract with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) of the National Institutes of Health. The contract supports health information outreach across 10 southeastern states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The site visit team, lead by John Frey III, M.D. of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, met with University of Maryland, Baltimore administration and SE/A staff to review the accomplishments, challenges, and future directions of the five-year contract. Prior to the site visit SE/A member libraries, healthcare professionals, and community organizations responded to a questionnaire. In addition, 33 members from across the region came to Baltimore to meet with the eight-person team to provide feedback on the programs and services of the NN/LM and NLM. The team will issue a report on their visit in the coming weeks.

Project SEARCH

Andrew Pope

A new face joined the Resources Division team during the months of September and October. Andrew Pope, a Project SEARCH intern, worked four hours a day in the Cataloging Department re-integrating optical disks with books.

Project SEARCH interns are students with special needs who are completing high school certificates and are focusing on the transition from school to employment through real-life work experience.

Our intern matched the disks originally in the Media Collection with books on the shelves, adhered disk pockets to books, and added security devices to disks, among other tasks. Without our intern’s help the project would have taken an indefinite time to accomplish.

We were very happy to have Andrew as part of our team and encourage all who can help other Project SEARCH interns to gain work experiences to do so!

Project SEARCH is a collaboration project between the ARC of Baltimore, UMB, Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Division of Rehabilitation Services. This is the first time that HS/HSL participated in this project. The Library’s Administration Department will soon be hosting an intern in the Mail Room.

Finals Week Events @ HS/HSL


Only 1 day left! Come on down to HS/HSL for a study break! You know your brain needs a break from all of that reading. Why not head down to the lower level of HS/HSL for snacks and coffee?

Relieve some stress playing a quick board game or the Wii! Enter to win a Peace & a Cup of Joe $10.00 gift card to be raffled off at the end of the week. It’s all sponsored by USGA, local restaurants, and the Library.


With up to 100 students a day stopping by, it’s been a great success. We’ve heard plenty of positive comments including, “A beautiful Library and now free food… I love this place!”

Food for Fines Reminder

Food for Fines

The Food for Fines program is ongoing! The Library will collect canned food items at the Circulation Desk during HS/HSL’s open hours until Friday, December 19th. We will waive $1 in HS/HSL overdue fines when you donate one canned food item, $2 for two items, etc. This offer does not apply to lost book charges. The goods collected will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank.

Note: only canned food items will be accepted.

2008 Door d’Or Awarded

Home Goods for the Holidays
click to enlarge

Every December the Library sponsors a holiday door decorating contest and invites departments from throughout the building to compete for the title of most festive door and for the prized “Door d’Or” award. This year’s door decorating theme, “Holidays Recycled,” inspired staff to create wreaths out of colorful plastic bags and 7-up cans, build evergreen trees from empty soda cans, and construct holiday scenes from old CDs, punch cards, discarded paper products, and other recyclables. Eleven units within the building went head-to-head in this friendly competition.

Winner of this year’s Door d’Or goes to “Home Goods for the Holidays,” a wintry scene assembled by the crew in Room 130 – “building a dynasty one door at a time.”

You are invited to cast your vote for best door in the Library’s Campus Choice Awards. Voting ends January 5, 2009. Join in the festivities… VOTE NOW!

HS/HSL Staff Update


  • Paula Raimondo, Anna Tatro, and Alexa Mayo published a chapter, “Health information outreach to underserved populations in Baltimore, Maryland,” in Courtney, N. (ed.) Academic library outreach: Beyond the campus walls. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.


  • Anna Tatro and Meredith Solomon presented “Web-based health information resources for immigrants and providers” at the bi-annual Baltimore Immigration Summit, Towson, MD, November 2008.
  • Library staff presented 6 posters at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association, Morgantown, WV, October 2008.

Offices held in professional and campus organizations:

Soda Fountains and the Early 20th Century American Pharmacy

We recently received a reference question from a Baltimore Museum of Industry staff member doing background research for one of the museum’s planned exhibits. The researcher had heard that in early pharmaceutical business practice it was common for ice cream manufacturers to purchase soda fountain equipment for a drug store in exchange for the store’s pledge to exclusively sell their brand of ice cream. However, since she did not have a reliable source for this information, she requested our help in finding printed verification.

Historical Librarian Rich Behles located among our journals a 1933 article in American Druggist, entitled “Youth of the Fountain.” The anonymous author presents a lively historical sketch of soda fountain operations, beginning with the first experimentations with carbonated water in the late eighteenth century. Continuing developments in the early 1800’s included the addition of enticing flavors and ice cream, along with the proliferation of the sophisticated apparatus necessary for creating such refreshing concoctions.

The author delineates four factors responsible for the successful heyday of soda fountains in the early twentieth century, including the claim that “… competition among ice cream manufacturers induced them to carry on large scale financing of soda fountain purchases for retailers.” 1

1 Youth of the fountain. American Druggist 1933 Oct;88:214.

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