March 2007 – Volume 1 – Number 6

The Best Things in Life are Free

M.J. Tooey

It’s time for a welcome break from my periodic diatribes about the HS/HSL not having enough money (we don’t), or enough resources (we don’t) or enough staff (we don’t). This issue of the newsletter focuses on the many resources we have that don’t cost any money; are easily accessible, quality resources; and are loved by library staff for their ease of use requiring little or no intervention on their part.

The web has enabled federal agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions to transform print information into digitally accessible resources. These same organizations have also used the power of the Internet to create new and powerful products linking visuals and sound and printed information and reaching a wide range of audiences. Resources such as ToxTown (see below), MedlinePlus (consumer health information), and even PubMed have evolved into multifaceted information tools.

Librarians at the HS/HSL add value to these resources by identifying and selecting them, vetting them and making them accessible in an organized way to our users. We even provide training on many of them. Take a look at the e-Resources section of our web site and you will see where we have aggregated resources by discipline or subject to bring the best information together. Increasingly we are even creating new products such as HealthyMe@UMB, Maryland Health → Go Local, and our subject and discipline lists.

Although these resources do not substitute for the journals, databases and books needed by our campus community, they certainly enhance and enrich the depth of information we can offer. In many cases, the webifying of governmental resources has saved us money as we no longer have to buy as many indexes and or as much statistical information. By collecting these resources into useful collections, we bring users a fuller set of tools to support their education, research and service missions.

Won’t you take me to Tox Town?

Want to know where your risk of mercury exposure is the highest in your house? What about the toxic adventures waiting at the deli next time you grab a quick sandwich? Tox Town is an interactive resource of commonly encountered toxins in a variety of settings, such as the home, industrial facilities and other public settings. The Tox Town world includes a City, a Town, a Farm, a Port and a snippet of life in an US-Mexico Border community for you to explore. Colorful images, animation and sounds make Tox Town a lively place to investigate the environmental factors that impact our health. Click on an image to reveal the chemical dangers lurking within. Tox Town utilizes the chemical and environmental information found in TOXNET to create a rich learning resource for college and high school students, their educators and the general public. Additional information is drawn from MedlinePlus, Medline Plus en espanol and other resources from the National Library of Medicine.

The latest addition to the Tox Town neighborhood is the Port. The Port depicts life on the beach, from all of the beauty of sunbathers on the beach to the boats in the marina. It also includes some of the uglier realities of life along the coastline such as storms, septic tanks, cesspools and the shipping industry. Learn how algae blooms are related to the toxins in the fish you eat and the toll that coastal industries as varied as fish farming, nuclear power production and commercial cruise lines take on our health and the environment. Visit the Port to learn how coastal toxins affect you and your family.

Copyright Myths Debunked

Confused about copyright? Have you decided that it’s easier to avoid copyright laws all together and hope you just don’t get caught? Over the coming issues, we’ll be running a series focusing on five common copyright misconceptions you should be aware of when researching, publishing or teaching.

  1. Only written and printed works can be copyrighted.

Copyright not only protects written works such as books and journal articles, but also computer programs, web resources, photographs, graphics, maps, motion pictures and sound recordings. According to the United States Copyright Law, copyright protects all "original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form of expression" regardless of whether they are in print or electronic format.

Have a copyright question? Ask Us!

Introducing RefShare!

Thanks to funding from the School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore faculty, staff and students now have access to RefShare within their RefWorks accounts. You can now share your RefWorks references with others at UMB and globally!

Examples of RefShare uses

  • Post class reading lists on a central Web page
  • Provide easy access to information for disparate researchers collaborating on a project
  • Create and share databases of frequently-requested reference queries by topic
  • Provide a linkable database of research done by specific faculty members
  • Publish an internal database of references for easy sharing within your institution

Visit our RefWorks fact sheet for more information on RefShare and how to make it work for you.

To login or sign-up for a RefWorks account, visit the HS/HSL RefWorks page

287 titles from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins added!

The HS/HSL has initiated institutional access to approximately 300 additional core and specialized medical journals from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW).
This package substantially broadens the group of LWW titles the HS/HSL had previously licensed on a selective basis. Access to the LWW content is through the Ovid interface.

Changes to Micromedex

Micromedex is a dynamic resource used to find drug, acute care and toxicology information. If you have logged onto Micromedex lately, you might have noticed that it looks a little different. This is due to the fact that on March 1, 2007 the HS/HSL switched over to the Academic version of Micromedex. With this new version you will now be able to search for clinical laboratory test information, answer (IV) compatibility questions and individualize patient care handouts. In addition, a PDA tool called Clinical Xpert Mobile Solution is available as a free download. This handheld tool provides clinical summaries on drugs, diseases, toxicology and alternative medicines.

To access Micromedex:

  1. Visit the HS/HSL Databases A-Z list
  2. Search for Micromedex
  3. Click on the Micromedex link

Note: The University of Maryland Medical Center continues to provide access to a version of Micromedex which includes UMMC customized care notes.


Have you checked out HealthyMe@UMB? The HS/HSL developed this web site to bring together quality health information of interest to UMB faculty, staff and students.

Searching the web for reliable health information can be difficult, but HealthyMe@UMB compiles reputable sources and makes them easily available. The web site allows users to browse for information by health topic, search for Doctors or Specialists, find drug information and provides local resources for maintaining fitness and overall health. The Athletic Center, Counseling Center and Human Resources Departments are linked directly from the web site as are the Maryland Poison Control Center and The University of Maryland’s Drug Information Center.

If you have an existing health condition or if you are simply looking for ways to maintain your health, HealthyMe@UMB brings it all together for you. Visit the website today, call 410.706.7996 or email for more information.

African American Community Health

Family, friends, church and social groups play a big part in many African Americans’ lives. Individual’s health and well-being benefit from being a part of a caring and well-informed community. Join us April 12, 2007, for the African American Community Health Information class. You will learn about searching for African American health information on the Internet, starting a health program in your community and discover online sources for funding opportunities.

Register Now

Historical Collection fuels SOM bicentennial book

A Medical Alumni Association committee recently created a book, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE : THE FIRST TWO CENTURIES, 1807-2007. The extensive HS/HSL Historical Collection contributed many images and factual details throughout the book. MAA President Dr. Alice Heisler, Historical Librarian Rich Behles and School of Medicine Dean Dr. E. Albert Reece recently attended a reception at the Maryland Club celebrating the book’s release. Please contact the Medical Alumni Association at 410.706.7454 for information about the availability of the book.

In addition to housing the Library’s rare books collection, the Historical Collections Department, located on the fifth floor, also serves as the archives for published sources that document the history of the campus, our schools and programs. School catalogs, yearbooks and nineteenth century manuscript doctoral theses are just a few examples of sources useful in genealogical and institutional queries. Rich Behles assists researchers in using these original materials in the Historical Reading Room. For more information, contact him at 410.706.5048 or

Toolkit for Medical Responses to Radiation Emergencies

Dell Optiplex GX620

In a recent press release, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new online toolkit. The toolkit was designed for use by health care providers in the event of a radiation incident.

The toolkit includes:

  • easy-to-follow procedures for diagnosis and management of radiation contamination and exposure
  • guidance for the use of radiation medical countermeasures
  • a variety of other features to facilitate medical responses

Find this information and more at the Radiation Event Medical Management (REMM) site.

Reader’s Comment on Open Access

MJ Tooey’s recent column on Open Access was cause for Dr. Charlotte Ferencz, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and of Pediatrics University of Maryland School of Medicine to send the following comment via email:

"I am amazed at the issue of "Public Access." Maybe I am old fashioned! As long as our interest is in biology, health and human well-being, we are working on a common goal. There is no way to keep the info to ourselves without harming the Whole. No place better said than in Professor Michael Polanyi’s The Republic of Science. I have a copy of this classic paper in my office and can copy it for you unless you can easily find it, may be 25 years old or more. He says that if we want to solve the problems of Nature, everyone must see each piece of information that is laid down in the Giant Jig-saw puzzle which reveals clues to the next moves.

Maybe we want to fill coffers with gold instead of solving the giant puzzle ??"

We appreciate Dr. Ferencz taking the time to comment and to send on the article. Michael Polanyi’s article was derived from a lecture delivered at Roosevelt University, January 11, 1962.

Comments are closed.

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