March 2020 – Volume 14 – Number 2

COVID-19 and the HS/HSL

Libraries don’t like to close. We pride ourselves on being there for our communities during times of crisis. We know we are often seen as safe havens. At the HS/HSL, we know our physical space is beloved by our community; however, in this time of COVID-19, we know we have a critical role to play in slowing the spread of the disease by helping to “flatten the curve.” Two of the most effective ways to slow down the spread of the disease are “social distancing” and disinfecting – personally and in the workspace. We could not guarantee or enforce the required social distancing, nor could we ensure the proper cleanliness or disinfecting of our public spaces, our study rooms, restrooms, or public computers. Our excellent team here at the HS/HSL deserves to be protected as well, as do their families and communities where they live. Contrary to popular opinion, our library family does not live at the Library. Therefore, we have worked diligently to make sure our resources and the majority of our services are available virtually. Please visit our website and click on the COVID-19 banner to see the wide variety of services and resources we have available. Test us. Make sure we are providing the support we promise. And give us feedback – positive AND constructive.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the building when this is all over. Stay healthy.

Some odds and ends…

M.J. Tooey
M.J. Tooey, executive director

Recently, I read a couple of things I think are worth sharing with our 131 dedicated Connective Issues readers.

The Person You Mean to Be:  How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh
I was recently involved in an online book club discussing this. Lately, I have been weary, not of the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but with the constant focus without solutions. I learned from PYM2B (that’s how we abbreviated it) that it all starts with individual work and self-awareness and introspection. We are all works in progress. However, without our own personal commitment, we cannot hope to institutionalize this important work. Eminently readable, the book provides excellent examples of how people grow from believers to builders; and that diversity is the gateway, with inclusion being the pathway. Very thought-provoking for this work in progress.

Reforming Research Assessment: A Tough Nut to Crack by Alison Mudditt
For decades, the research community has relied on the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) as the publication standard for academic excellence. Over the past decade, this has eroded somewhat through the introduction of altmetrics and article-level impact. About a month ago, the Center for Open Science (COS) released the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Factor, a methodology relying on eight modular standards for assessing journal quality. There are a number of high profile signatories and supporters. Will it have a major impact? Hard to tell. However, it is an interesting read for any potential authors.

2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition
For years, I have read and enjoyed the Horizon Report because it looks at trends and impacts at the intersection of education and technology. While UMB is not a four-year educational institution, the trends affecting how we teach and learn are universal. Social forces, such as demographic changes. Technological forces, such as AI. Economic forces, like climate change. The impact of online education on higher ed, and political trends, such as decreases in higher education funding — all of these topics are discussed thoroughly and thoughtfully. An excellent read … annually.

Journal Backfiles

Most of our current subscriptions only allow online access to articles that were published from when journals began to offer online access—usually the mid-1990s. This means that researchers who want a copy of an article that was published before electronic publishing began have to find it in the library stacks or request it through document delivery or interlibrary loan.

Most publishers, however, have digitized earlier volumes of their journals and make these “backfiles” available for a one-time purchase. These journal backfiles provide easy access to older literature both on- and off-campus through the Library’s webpage and search tools such as OneSearch, PubMed, Scopus, and CINHAL.

The Library was given special funding to support the acquisition of journal backfiles. This year we will purchase the LWW Total Access Archive (about 280 titles), the SAGE Journals Clinical Medicine backfile (about 120 titles), the Journal of the American Dental Association 1913-1994, and three neuroscience titles from ScienceDirect. Over the next few years, we hope to add other backfile collections to make this important older literature easily accessible.

Library Genie 2019 Survey Results

Library Genie 2019 Survey Results

During the month of November, the Library Genie asked for your top three library wishes. We have received your requests and are looking at ways to grant your wishes.

The Genie heard your calls for disinfecting wipes, coffee & snacks, lighting, and more. Some of these ideas are being investigated, and others are on their way. Look for more of your favorite rolling chairs, new furniture on Floors 2 and 5, better quiet floor signage, and sanitation stations. We are evaluating what can be done to add more public computers and address bathroom sink issues. The Library Genie is creative and is always watching for opportunities to make visiting the HS/HSL a super experience for you.

Lactation Center Opens in HS/HSL

HS/HSL Lactation Center

The HS/HSL Lactation Center, located in Room 311, is now available. To register to use the room, please fill out the online form.

There are currently nine Lactation Centers on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus. Any nursing mother who is a UMB affiliate (faculty, staff, student, or their breastfeeding spouse/domestic partner) can use this service offered by the Wellness Hub. The Wellness Hub supports a mother’s choice to breastfeed her baby while pursuing her graduate or professional degree. Please contact for further information about the Maternal Support Services offered on campus.

The HS/HSL Celebrates Black History and Women’s History Months

February and March honor two groups whose history is commonly underappreciated: African-Americans and women. Through February and March, the HS/HSL celebrated our own African-American and women graduates and faculty through a series of blog posts.

Black History Month began with a post briefly outlining African American history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).  Sadly, UMB, like so many other institutions of higher education, has a harsh history with African-Americans.  They were denied admittance under federal segregation laws until the 1950s, when several African-Americans, like Esther E. McCready, UMSON, Class of 1953, and Donald W. Stewart, UMSOM, Class of 1955, filed lawsuits against school.  Today, African-American students represent 18 percent of the UMB student body.  African-Americans have also served as deans or become influential faculty at several UMB schools.

Similarly, Women’s History Month began with a post outlining women’s history at UMB, and included an exhibit in the Weise Gallery, The First Women of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  The exhibit highlights some of the first women in UMB’s history, including the first graduates and deans. The blog focuses on other influential women at UMB and, together with the exhibit, celebrates the women’s successes and acknowledges how their accomplishments have opened doors for today’s students.

You can read the February and March posts at the HS/HSL Updates page.

Do You Haiku? Do You Love the HS/HSL?


A haiku is a short impressionistic form of Japanese poetry. In the West, haiku has come to mean a short 17-syllable form of poetry written in a 5-7-5 pattern. National Library Week is April 19 to 25. April is Poetry Month, so why not combine the two? The HS/HSL will be sponsoring a Love Your Library Haiku Contest, so sharpen your poetry brain and stay tuned for details in the Elm and Campus Weekly, and on the HS/HSL website and in social media. To inspire you –

Love your library
For whatever the reason
We love you – welcome!

In groups or alone
Standing desks – every floor
Study, and knowledge grows

HS/HSL Factoid: NLM Grant is UMB’s Longest Running Grant

Since 1983, the Health Sciences and Human Services Library has received $55.5 million to support the outreach and education efforts of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the Southeastern and Atlantic regions. It is the longest running grant received at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

NNLM Staff Attend 2020 Summit

NNLM Staff Attend 2020 Summit

On February 4 and 5, HS/HSL librarians joined 86 colleagues from around the country in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 2020 NNLM Summit.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is a network of eight health sciences libraries across the country that advance the progress of medicine and improve public health through funding, training, community outreach, and partnerships. As the headquarters for the Southeastern/Atlantic Region, HS/HSL is committed to providing regional and national leadership for core programs and initiatives of the NNLM.

To help develop a coordinated approach to national initiatives, attendees of the 2020 Summit participated in panels, workshops, and small breakout sessions that allowed for meaningful conversation between NNLM staff of similar interest areas. Discussions on citizen science, research data management, communication, public health, cultural humility, and partnerships with public libraries formed new connections between staff and helped direct the path of key NNLM initiatives.

Through panels, breakout sessions, and extended conversations, staff left Salt Lake City and the 2020 NNLM Summit with stronger relationships with colleagues from around the country and a focused vision for the future of NNLM.

NLM Associate Fellows Visit the HS/HSL

NLM Associate Fellows Visit the HS/HSL

Pictured (Left to Right): Louise To, Eden Kinzel, Sharon Han, Breanna Cox, and M.J. Tooey.

On December 18, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) associate fellows visited the HS/HSL. At the Library, the fellows learned more about the daily activities of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), and about the challenges and opportunities facing academic medical libraries. Each of the fellows had an opportunity to meet with HS/HSL faculty to learn more about library operations and see how their work aligns with the work of the academic medical library.

New Access to Historical Collections

The HS/HSL’s Historical Collections house not only rare books, which are discoverable through the library catalog, but also manuscript collections and archival records. In an effort to provide better access to these unique collections, finding aids are now available through the Digital Archive.

But what is a finding aid? The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology defines a finding aid as follows:

“noun 1. A tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records. – 2. A description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials.”

In other words, a finding aid is something that helps researchers understand what a collection contains, how it can be used, and its provenance.  Archives and special collections departments use finding aids to share what is held in the collection.  Finding aids are the archival equivalent of a library catalog book record.

To date, there are twelve finding aids available in the digital archive, with topics ranging from medical and dental history to Library and University history, as well as local Maryland history. The Finding Aids include the Dr. James Carroll, Yellow Fever Commission Letters, which follow Dr. Carroll’s time in Cuba as a researcher on the cause of Yellow Fever. Other useful collections with finding aids include The Barnett-Potter-Goldsborough Family Correspondence, which contain correspondence from Dr. Nathaniel Potter, a founder of the School of Medicine; The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery Letters, with letters from influential faculty and deans of the school; and the Women’s Auxiliary Board of the University Hospital Records, which details the business of this influential fundraising organization.  Several additional finding aids relate to the history of the Library and include papers from a few of the Library’s directors.

Although some of these finding aids may include links to online collections, for the most part, the finding aids describe physical collections within the Historical Collections Department.  Finding aids do not take the place of using the physical collections; instead they help researchers use the collection.  To see or use the collections, please contact the Historical Collections librarian and archivist, Tara Wink, to schedule an appointment.

The twelve existing finding aids represent a small sample of the materials in Historical Collections.  Additional finding aids are forthcoming as more collections are processed and described.

Love Data Week

Love Data Week

From February 10 to 14, the HS/HSL celebrated Love Data Week, an in-person and social media event to raise awareness of issues related to data. Love Data Week takes place annually around Valentine’s Day and is celebrated by academic institutions, repositories, research centers, and others who work with data.

In fulfillment of this year’s theme – Get to Know the Data Professionals at Your Institution – representatives from the Library had info booths at each of the UMB schools and at the SMC Campus Center throughout the week to promote the data services offered at the HS/HSL. We finished our celebration on Friday with a “Byte of Data” doughnut and coffee break in the Library, and an afternoon of workshops on various data-related topics. In addition to our in-person events, we had an online data “scavenger hunt” that encouraged people to interact with us on social media, share their data re-use stories, and find UMB datasets in open repositories.

Overall, the week was a great success. Over 150 people came out to our events and participated in our scavenger hunt. Everyone who participated was entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. The winners of the contest were Ronald Schoenberger (SON), Sanju Gurung (SON), and Lazokat Komilova (SOD). We hope to make Love Data Week an annual tradition!

Innovation Space Expands Tool Offering with Messy Cart

A new cart located in the HS/HSL Innovation Space, referred to as the “Messy Cart,” provides a range of tools to assist in your creative endeavors. The following items are currently available (with more on the way!):

  • Small hand tools
  • Virtual reality gear
  • Electronics gear
  • Craft supplies
  • Safety supplies

All resources are available for use on-premises, first-come, first-served.

Love Data Week

Library Plaza Upgrade

The HS/HSL Plaza upgrade construction is now complete, and spring plantings will soon be added. The scope of the project is an ADA upgrade to remove the stepped area and create a ramped path of travel to the HS/HSL building.

Staff News

Emily Gorman, MLIS, Cynthia Boyle, PharmD, FAPhA, and Patricia Ross, PharmD, BCACP, received the Laboratory and Teaching Excellence Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Laboratory Special Interest Group.

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