After-Hours Study Opens in Dana Medical Library/ Larner Learning Commons

NewSignJune1_01The After-hours Study area for Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) and College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) students opened the night of November 13th. This new study area includes the LCOM and CNHS quiet study space and the back south end of the library. It is accessible through the library’s back entrance when the library is closed, between the hours of 11 pm and 7:30 am, Sunday thru Thursday, and 8 pm and 7:30 am, Friday and Saturday. Students use their UVM IDs to tap into and out of the space during these times.

This latest opening is the most recent of many changes to Dana Medical Library in its transition to the new Larner Learning Commons (LLC) design. In addition, the office space adjacent to the library was repurposed and renovated to incorporate LCOM Teaching Academy and Technology Services. Other new features at Dana include a re-opened Medical History Room, a flexible furniture classroom, and a student-only study area.

Other recent improvements include:

  • An expanded quiet study area with ID access to LCOM medical and graduate students, and CNHS graduate and undergraduate students. A new large-group study room with wall-mounted monitor and whiteboard.
  • An interior hallway converted to unique study area with private pod seating.
  • An all-new Medical History Room houses the historical materials collection from Vesalius’ anatomy to Dr. William Beaumont’s surgical kit. The room is open one afternoon per week for browsing and study of materials.
  • The Dana Classroom is now furnished with flexible/active learning furniture. Formerly a fixed computer workstation space, it is now a “bring your own device” environment. Laptop computers are available for check-out at the Main Desk.
  • A flexible round seating area, for meeting and waiting, provides a drop-in space for those on the go.
  • And also new: Dana’s website has a whole new look, where you can still find all the materials and services of the Dana Library.

What’s the same? Our helpful Main Desk staff, over 5,000 medical and health science journals online, new electronic textbooks, and the latest print materials in all medical and health subject areas.

For an overview of the Learning Commons concept, check out the new Larner College of Medicine video that describes features of the new LLC space.

Come see, ask, learn, and discover at Dana Medical Library in person and on the web. Questions? Contact Marianne Burke, Director, Dana Medical Library

Dana’s Circulation and Reference Services Adjust to Recent Changes

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In early 2016, Dana Medical Library underwent a major shift by closing its traditional reference desk. Rather than having two places in which patrons could ask questions, the library created a common service desk for the majority of patron needs, and instituted a librarian on-call service for in-depth questions. Main Desk staff received additional training to answer basic research-based questions, along with the basic library service questions, and would refer patrons to librarians when needed.

Overall, this transition has had positive effects on the nature of librarians’ work, while not negatively impacting the patron experience or increasing Main Desk staff workload prohibitively. Here are some observations from this recent change:

  • Overall questions answered at the Main Desk have increased
  • Number of complex reference questions answered by librarians has increased, while the number of basic questions answered by librarians has decreased
  • Librarians are now answering proportionally more reference questions, and fewer tech support or policy questions
  • 80% increase in librarian liaison interactions
  • 18% increase in reference questions librarians received directly from a liaison group patron
  • Research consultations rose 34.2%

Dana Medical Library Develops a Mobile-Friendly Evidence-Based Medicine Website

EBMTree ImageThe device- and platform-agnostic website directs Larner College of Medicine students to appropriate evidence-based resources to answer clinical questions prompted by problem-based learning cases and clinical clerkship experiences. Users answer a series of prompts about their clinical question and receive a set of links to relevant EBM resources. The website facilitates access to many databases that are available only through subscriptions.

The website, known as EBM Tree, was developed in consultation with UVM Larner College of Medicine faculty and students. Librarians collaborated with faculty to create the mobile-friendly website to use in a problem-based learning course for pre-clinical medical students. Librarians then conducted usability testing with 3rd and 4th year medical students and used feedback to create the “release” version in December 2016.

Preliminary results from students using the site suggest that they found it useful when searching for appropriate library resources. An additional benefit of the project is that it fostered deeper conversations about evidence-based medicine in the medical curriculum and library support of evidence-based medicine instruction. Students like its simplicity and centralization of source. They indicated that they would recommend the website to their colleagues.

Professor Pat King in the Department of Internal Medicine wrote in the Quality Assurance Report on the Convergence course that “The LCOM Library web based resource tool is excellent, was a success, and should be introduced earlier in the curriculum for future classes”.

The development team plans to revise EBM Tree this fall, based on usage, student comments, and faculty suggestions. Feedback is always welcome. Contact Donna O’Malley at 656-4415 with questions or comments.

New Books at Dana


Dana Medical Library now has a revitalized print book collection to complement its growing digital collection. Earlier this year, Dana’s collection of books was moved to off-site storage for several months while the library underwent renovations. The books returned in May 2017 and now have a new location in the back north end of the library.

From the clinical book collection, look for the recent (2018) edition of The 5 Minute Clinical Consult, or browse popular reading materials such as: Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia by Gerda Saunders and UVM’s “2017 first year read” entitled: A Deadly Wandering: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age. These books, along with many more, can be found in our collection by searching CatQuest on the Dana Medical Library website.

For those who prefer the convenience of electronic books, Dana has added new e-book collections that include titles such as the USMLE First Aid Series for test preparation and the newest LWW Health Library collection, featuring such titles as Grant’s Dissector (16th ed) and Bates Guide to Physical Examination (12th ed).

In contrast, the print journal collection has moved off-site permanently to provide additional space for study and the new Larner Learning Commons. However, readers can always request a scan of a print journal article using the appropriate form found on our website. Email delivery takes place every afternoon, Monday through Friday.  Researchers can also request older books that are housed in the Library Research Annex.

All books, regardless of their format or location, can be found by searching CatQuest.

Dana Opens its Medical History Collection

Dana’s Medical History room is coming together as a source of interesting Medical History books, instruments, and anatomical study resources. Located towards the south end of the library (take a right down the long hallway with the “pod”-like seating), renovations to the library allowed us to create a new room for this special collection. Open from 1 to 3 pm on Wednesdays, or otherwise by appointment, the Medical History Room now has books on the shelves ready for perusal.

What is in this collection? In addition to a collection of books specifically devoted to the history of medicine in Vermont, we have medical books and journals that date back to the 17th century, a large display cabinet filled with tools dating from the early 19th century, and other artifacts used by physicians in Vermont and elsewhere. One can find tonsil snares, and tonsil seizing forceps; a resection knife with an ebony handle; or Freer’s nasal chisel, as distinct from Killian’s frontal sinus chisel.  Also part of the collection is a doctor’s bag used in WWI by an 1899 graduate of the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. These, and other objects, will be on display in the Medical History Room in a rotating fashion, highlighting periods of importance in the history of medicine, or issues that have bedeviled the profession then, and now.

For more about Dana’s Medical History collection, please contact Angie Chapple-Sokol.

Getting Articles and Materials: Near or Far, We Can Help You Find It

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Stop looking for the full text of that elusive article! The Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan Department is here to help patrons get the information they need, accurately and quickly. Whether it’s a resource that UVM owns, or something held at another library, we can assist you in verifying the citation, locating the resource, and using the most direct method to access that item. Journal articles are the most common request from patrons, but we can access many other materials such as books, videos, dissertations, guidelines and more.

The fastest ways to reach us are through our online form on Dana’s website, emailing directly to, or calling at 656-4382. The most important information we need is how to contact you, and then details about your requested item. If you are having difficulty finding enough of those details, contact us to help identify and locate the item you need.

Anyone affiliated with UVM or UVM Medical center can request delivery of items from our collection or from other libraries. And, as of fall 2017, all deliveries of materials are free to students, faculty and staff at UVM and UVM Medical Center. In certain cases, rush or copyright fees may apply, but we will discuss this with you before any fee is incurred.

What our patrons say about this service:

“The DD/ILL does an excellent job sleuthing hard-to-find documents, with a short turnaround time. My expectations are high … DD/ILL meets my research needs”
– John McPartland, Family Medicine

“I have been involved in several intensive research projects that require obtaining a large number of articles from the peer reviewed literature. Those that I can’t obtain myself through membership organizations … I request through the Dana Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan Department. They offer a very rapid turn around and have yet to not fill one of my many requests – even for articles in very obscure journals! I could not do my work adequately without their help.”
– John Searles, Vermont Department of Health, Health Research Affiliate

Dana Hosts Graphic Medicine Book Club and Introduces New Book Collection

On October 25th, Dana invited community members to attend a graphic medicine book club, featuring the book, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Vermont author Alison Bechdel. Led by librarian Alice Stokes and co-sponsored by the Larner College of Medicine Gender and Sexuality Alliance Student Interest Group (SIG), this book club meeting was popular with Medical Students and had 13 attendees. Fun Home is a graphic memoir that explores the author’s relationship with her late father. Themes of sexual identity, parent-child relationships and coming-of-age are combined with stunning illustrations.

“At once a coming-out story, an examination of the complex relationship we can have with our parents and the role of art and literature in processing our lives… Smart, darkly funny and a little fearless, Fun Home reads like a true-life modern American Gothic.” – Time Best Comics of 2006

Fun Home is just one book in Dana’s new Graphic Medicine collection that deals with medical and health-related topics like aging, Alzheimer’s, and memoirs. They are often autobiographical and originate from a growing popularity in graphic novels by and for adults. Graphic Medicine books tell stories and provide perspectives on medical and health topics and experiences through the lens of the graphic novel genre. Graphic novels combine comics and literature; the skillful combination of words and images make for engaging reading.

Come check out this fascinating collection. If you have questions, or would like to learn more about Graphic Medicine, contact Dana Librarian Alice Stokes at 656-4386 or

ALS, Popular Reading, and Confronting Violence Exhibits

May – June: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): the Science, the Search, and the Stories

This exhibit looked at the presence of ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, in the Champlain Valley and the research being done at UVM in search of a cure. A study spearheaded by Dr. Rup Tandan, a professor in the UVM Department of Neurological Sciences, finds a connection between the presence of the neurotoxin beta methyl-amino-alanine (BMAA), found in blue-green algae blooms in local bodies of water, and the higher number of recorded cases of ALS in the surrounding areas. The Champlain Valley has been cited as one of these areas.

July – October: Exercise Your Mind with a Book: Popular Reading Exhibit

This exhibit gathered a list of the most current and popular medical and health science-themed books for patrons to check out. It also explored a study that showed a direct correlation between reading books and longevity.

August – October: National Library of Medicine (NLM) Traveling Exhibition Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives

This exhibition highlighted the historical nurses’ movement to raise awareness in the medical profession about domestic violence. With passion and persistence, nurses worked to reform a medical profession that largely dismissed or completely failed to acknowledge violence against women as a serious health issue. Portrayed in six banners, it told the poignant story of the nurses’ campaign for change. The National Library of Medicine produced this exhibition with support from the Office of Research on Women’s Health.