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@Harrell.Lib (October 2011)

The Official Newsletter of the George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library Vol. 2 (4) October, 2011

What are we doing?

Elaine Dean and David Brennan presented their poster, Unlocking Desk Tracker: Getting more out of your reference statistics at the 2011 Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference in State College, Oct. 2-5, 2011.

Esther Dell attended the 12th Interlending and Document Supply Conference held in Chicago, IL on September 19-21, 2011.

Tamara McMahon attended the VIVO Conference held in Washington, DC, from August 24-26, 2011.

Nancy Adams received a Woodward Education Scholar award to fund her attendance at Supporting Clinical Care: An Institute in Evidence-Based Practice for Medical Librarians at Dartmouth College, August 1-4, 2011.

Esther Dell participated in the Systematic Review Workshop: The Nuts & Bolts for Librarians held at the University of Pittsburgh, Falk Library of the Health Sciences, from July 18-20, 2011.


New York Times Health

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Director's Note by Cynthia Robinson


Welcome to the 2011/12 academic year!!  We want to extend a warm welcome to the incoming medical and graduate students, as well as recently hired faculty and staff.  We invite you to stop in and take advantage of our expertise, extensive collections, updated space, and of course, just to say hello! 

New this year…

The Harrell Health Sciences Library is establishing a new annual program, the Harrell HSL READ Poster Recognition Award, designed to recognize individuals who are and have been strong supporters of the Library.   A committee of faculty and staff, both from within and outside the library, has been working together for the past several months to establish this program.  We are very excited to be able to roll out this new program and recognize the inaugural group of honorees.  The six individuals being recognized as the 2011/2012 Harrell HSL READ Poster Recognition Award recipients are:  Dr. Harold Paz, Chief Executive Officer, Senior Vice President, and Dean; Dr. C. Max Lang, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Medicine; Tom Stapleton, Facilities Planning & Construction; Dr. Alphonse Leure-duPree, Emeritus Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences; Vicky Schirm, Nursing Administration; and Dr. Graham Jefferies, Gastroenterology and Founding Chair, Dept. of Medicine. 

Each honoree will choose his or her favorite book, write a couple sentences about why this book has meaning, and have a photograph taken in a location of their choosing to be used to print a READ Poster for display in the library.  The posters will remain on display in the library for the next 12 months, at which time the Harrell HSL will give the posters to each honoree as a memento.  Posters will also be available on the library website with information about each person and the quote about why the book has meaning.  The online exhibit will remain on the library website indefinitely, with the new honorees added each year.  The Harrell HSL will be hosting a small reception on November 14, 2011 at 4 PM in the library to unveil the posters and recognize the 6 individuals being honored.  Please join us in congratulating the honorees.

Resource Highlight: MDConsult/FirstConsult

MDConsult/FirstConsult by David Brennan, Assistant Librarian, Collection Development/Digital Resources Management

The George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library provides access to several database products that are defined as "point of care resources" (POC). These evidence-based resources support physicians' diagnosis at the point of need, at the patient's bedside. FirstConsult, part of the MDConsult platform from Elsevier is one such product that is available to us from University Libraries at Penn State.  Each entry is broken down into subcategories that include Background information, Diagnosis, Treatment, etc.  To access this resource, go to the George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library's website ( and choose the MDConsult / FirstConsult link. Once you are in MDConsult, click the FirstConsult icon in the menu bar.

First Consult is an evidence-based and continuously updated clinical information tool aimed at health care professionals. Links are provided to patient information resources. There are three major categories of content:

  • "Medical Topics" is First Consult's database of clinically compiled information on patient evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, tests, and prevention.
  • "Differential Diagnoses" provides a rapid evaluation of symptoms with interactive access to potential diagnoses ordered by age and prevalence.
  • "Procedures" provides systematic guidance—including videos and medical animations—of procedures across many specialties.

Information contained in FirstConsult is based on multiple sources including textbooks, peer-reviewed articles, evidence databases, drug alerts, practice guidelines, and position papers. Evidence is summarized from systematic reviews of primary research, primarily from the Cochrane Collaboration. (The library also has access to the Cochrane Collaboration directly at Where a Cochrane Review or another good-quality systematic review cannot be identified, other sources of aggregated evidence are used to identify relevant research. Individual research papers may also be identified. Evidence-based guidelines are identified by use of the National Guideline Clearinghouse or directly from the web site of relevant societies, professional associations, and government organizations. First Consult evaluates all evidence based on a rating system derived from those produced by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the US Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research Classification.

Click this link to see a list of published journal articles comparing FirstConsult to other POC resources:

The next time you have a point of care question, consider giving FirstConsult a try!

Accessing FirstConsult from the Harrell HSL Website

Accessing Library Resources Off Campus

When you're off campus, you do NOT need to go to the InfoNet or in order to use library resources.  Simply do the following:

  1. Go directly to the library website:
  2. Search PubMed, use the journals list, or do any task you need to do.
  3. When you click to use anything that the library pays for (i.e. full-text journals, Dynamed, Web of Knowledge, etc.) you will be asked to supply either your Access ID credentials OR your ePass credentials.

That's it! In fact, we've found that accessing library resources off campus through any other means often creates issues with PubMed and other resources.