View From the Fifth – December 2012


December 2012 – Demonstrating Our Value

Carol Jenkins

Libraries are called upon every day to demonstrate our value. The pressures of scarce funds, competing priorities, and vastly increased information access from Google and other virtual libraries make us very aware of the need to define how we benefit our users. The stories shared in this e-newsletter are a few compelling examples.

For the past several years Dr. Sheldon Peck (B.S.’63, D.D.S ’66) has helped us grow our valuable Special Collections. Recognizing the UNC Health Science Library’s expertise in establishing, maintaining, growing and sharing historical collections, Sheldon and Leena Peck recently decided to make the UNC Health Sciences Library the permanent home for their precious collection of rare orthodontics and dental medicine books. Additionally, Dr. Peck described how historical collections like ours can lead to new medical discoveries in his well attended lecture “The Modern Value of Early Writings in Medicine and Dentistry.” I invite you to watch the lecture online.

According to an independent North American study, the physicians, nurses and residents at UNC Hospitals place a very high value on our resources and services. In addition to these affirming results from some of our core users, we also found that we ranked higher than our peers’ average for all respondents nationally. These strong services are driven by talented librarians. The American Society for Information Science & Technology recently announced that this year’s prestigious Watson Davis Award would go to K.T. Vaughan (MSLS ’01), our pharmacy librarian whose services and expertise are highly valued by faculty and students.

Our value is demonstrated every day in these and many other ways. Your belief in the value of the Health Sciences Library is shown by your past support. If your generosity has already been directed toward our library this year, thank you. If you want your next gift to count in this calendar year, please consider using our online giving option. For full information regarding end-of-year giving, please read this helpful page.

Happy Holidays and New Year to you and your family.


Carol Jenkins
Director, UNC Health Sciences Library

In this Issue:

Gifts of Rare Books and Endowment Establish Preeminent Dental Collection

Pecks in the Library

UNC alumnus Sheldon Peck (B.S.’63, D.D.S ’66) and his wife Leena Peck, D.M.D., have donated 163 rare books to the UNC Health Sciences Library (HSL) to establish The Sheldon Peck Collection on the History of Orthodontics and Dental Medicine. In addition to the gifted volumes, valued at over $250,000, the Pecks also donated $100,000 to establish The Sheldon Peck Rare Books Fund for Orthodontics and Dental Medicine.

The books, along with prior holdings in the HSL’s Special Collections, establish a world-class collection of rare books for use by scholars, researchers and students. And the endowment further ensures that the HSL will be able to preserve and significantly grow the collection in the future.

“It is such a privilege for our academic community to be the home for this wonderful collection, and I’m so grateful that the Pecks have entrusted us with its safekeeping,” said Carol Jenkins, director of the HSL.

The Pecks chose to establish a home for the collection at the HSL because it offers such a progressive and expansive environment that is well-suited to preserving, growing and sharing the collection’s materials.

The endowment will allow for digitization of some of the rare volumes in the collection, making them available electronically to readers anywhere in the world. Regardless of future global accessibility, Sheldon Peck confesses that there is nothing quite like the personal excitement of holding and turning the pages of a 400-year-old handmade book, sometimes with notes in the margins from much earlier owners.

“UNC people will now be able to experience the thrill of proximity to these masterful old volumes, and that pleases us immensely,” said Peck.

About the Peck Collection

A longtime collector and expert in European old-master artworks, Sheldon Peck says it was natural for him to seek out rare books of value historically and scientifically in the development of medicine and his dental specialty, orthodontics.

“It’s not easy to find such esoteric items these days, but my patience in hunting for great old art helped condition me over the years to recognize special opportunities in acquiring great old books,” said Peck. “I happily discovered a few years ago that the history of dentistry was one of the core subject holdings already in the HSL Special Collections. That’s when I began focusing on acquiring only rare books that HSL did not already own. And now we are delighted to combine our collection with the present HSL titles to make a specialized historical collection of deep strength, arguably the best of its kind in the country.”

Many of the rare books in the Peck Collection were previously owned by two eminent orthodontist-bibliophiles: Bernhard W. Weinberger (1885-1960) of New York City and Samuel Fastlicht (1902-1983) of Mexico City. Sheldon Peck acquired a large segment of the book collection of Dr. Fastlicht, who in the 1950s had the opportunity to purchase many of these volumes directly from Dr. Weinberger’s legendary personal library.

The earliest book in the collection is Artzneybuch, a parchment bound German compendium dated 1555 that contains 13 essays on medical treatments of the time. This very rare volume is noted for its vivid prints of early medical procedures, including a woodblock print of a mouth operation, one of the first images recorded of dentistry.

Some other prized volumes in the Peck Collection are:

  • Bericht von den wunderbaren Bezoardischen Steinen (1589) [“Reports of wonderful magic stones, etc.”] by Johann Wittich of Leipzig, Germany, is about occult medicine and alchemy and is one of only five examples of this first edition in the United States.  There are 16 known copies worldwide.
  • Les Oeuvres (1614) by Ambroise Paré, often referred to as the “father of surgery,” is a groundbreaking work. This large manual of surgery was published in French rather than Latin, broadening its accessibility.
  • The Natural History of Human Teeth (1771). This first edition of John Hunter’s seminal book represents a key development in the beginnings of dental science.
  • Tratado Breve de Flobotomia (c.1642) by Diego Pérez de Bustos is a short treatise on phlebotomy and tooth extractions, in question-and-answer format, with illustrations of instruments designed for barber-surgeons and bleeders of the time. This is the earliest of 36 Spanish-language rare volumes in the Peck Collection.
  • Die orthopedische Behandlung der Sattelnase: mittelst von der Zahnheilkunde gebotenen Hülfsmitteln (1892) [“Orthopedic surgical treatment of saddle nose enhanced by dental devices”] by Matti Äyräpää, the “father” of dental medicine and surgery in Finland is an ingenious early work on facial reconstruction and dentistry.
  • Essai sur les Maladies des Dents (1743) [“Essay on the problems of teeth”] by Robert Bunon of Paris in which he proposes “preventative extractions” to treat tooth irregularity and other dentomaxillary dysharmonies. This volume and another French book in the collection, Traité d’Odontalgie (1771) by Pierre Auzébi (who invented the dental space maintainer), are early authoritative writings in the historical development of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry.
  • All editions (1887-1913) of the writings of Edward Hartley Angle (1855-1930), who is widely considered the founder of modern orthodontics. With other books related to Angle, this is probably the most comprehensive collection of Angliana in the world. In 2007, Dr. Peck edited a monumental four-volume publication on Dr. Angle’s correspondence and patents.

Sheldon Peck Bio

Sheldon Peck, a native of Durham, NC, is a prominent orthodontic specialist, educator and art collector. Following his seven years at UNC-Chapel Hill, he moved to Boston for a residency in orthodontics, after which he entered private practice and academics. Peck taught part-time at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and for 20 years served as a clinical professor of developmental biology at the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine. Today, he is an adjunct professor of orthodontics at UNC School of Dentistry. In addition to over 100 scientific publications related to orthodontics, Peck has written on biological anthropology, art connoisseurship, and the history of medicine.

About HSL’s Special Collections

Special Collections at the HSL include not only printed works, such as books, pamphlets, journals, broadsides, posters, and ephemera, but also manuscripts, letters, photographs, student notebooks, drawings, and other documents, as well as medical instruments, artifacts, models, and other cultural objects. These materials range in date from the 1500s to the present day, encompassing the history of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health, and the allied medical sciences. The history of the health sciences in North Carolina is also strongly represented. For more information, visit

^ to top

Watch: “The Modern Value of Early Writings In Medicine and Dentistry”

Dr. Sheldon Peck (B.S.’63, D.D.S ’66) gave a fascinating lecture entitled “The Modern Value of Early Writings in Medicine and Dentistry” on Nov. 13, 2012, in the Health Sciences Library (HSL). The lecture focused on the newly gifted collection (The Sheldon Peck Collection on the History of Orthodontics and Dental Medicine) given to the HSL by Dr. Peck and his wife, Dr. Leena Peck, and was presented by the HSL and the Bullitt History of Medicine Club.

We captured the lecture on video and placed it on the HSL’s Youtube channel.  Below are links to the four main sections of the lecture, starting with an “About the Peck Collection” section:

Main topic part one:

“To find clues recorded long before the genetics revolution about abnormal conditions we would know now as familial”

Main topic part two:

“Old writings teach us valuable perceptions and historical perspectives”

Main topic part three:

“Keys to lost and forgotten knowledge”

^ to top

North American Study Illustrates HSL’s Value for Clinical Decision Making and Patient Study

An independent North American study conducted in 2011 found that library users based at UNC Hospitals placed a very high value on Health Sciences Library (HSL) resources and services. Moreover, the HSL’s results were, by and large, higher than the average for all respondents and significant. The overall purpose of this study was to ascertain the value of library services to patient care. 56 total sites participated in the United States and Canada, including seven in the Southeastern US. Responding clinicians at UNC Hospitals told interviewers that our resources and services played a role in avoiding misdiagnosis, adverse drug reactions, medication errors, mortality and unnecessary surgery.

When UNC respondents were asked to recall a specific patient care situation, 92% said they ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ handled the situation differently as a result of having information from the library. The same number (92%) said using the information from the library saved them an average of 2.1 hours with the situation they were dealing with.

Some examples of beneficial changes UNC respondents identified were:

  • 59% said it changed the advice they gave to the patient or family;
  • 54% said it changed their choice of drug;
  • 49% said it changed their choice of treatment;
  • 43% said it changed their diagnosis

Some examples of adverse events avoided were:

  • 38% said it helped them avoid additional tests or procedures;
  • 34% avoided patient misunderstanding;
  • 26% avoided misdiagnosis;
  • 21% adverse drug reaction;
  • 18% medication errors;
  • 11% patient mortality;
  • 8% unnecessary surgery.

Use of Library Resources

Also in the study, the national results report the top five library resources used as being: online journals (46%), Pubmed (42%), UptoDate (40%), online books (30%) and Micromedex (24%). UNC results were Pubmed (78%), online journals (75%), UptoDate (67%), online books (38%), and Micromedex (26%). Nearly all respondents evaluated information obtained as being relevant, accurate, of clinical value, contributing to higher quality care, and resulting in better clinical decisions. At UNC, the ability to access UptoDate (and its links to full text journals) contextually from within the medical record also saves clinicians’ time.

How did respondents access library resources? 82% of UNC respondents said they accessed information resources through our library’s web site (compared to only 50% of respondents nationally).  One of the most popular features of our site is the Clinical Resources pages which also can be accessed via WebCIS (an online clinical information system used by UNC Hospitals) or via the main HSL home page (79,688 page views in FY 12 of just the Resources home page). HSL monitors use of these and other resources and adjusts our licenses as needed. In addition to the resources listed above, other heavily used clinical resources include Visual Dx, MD Consult, and Lexi-Comp Online.  Each has experienced increased use over the past three years.

Heavily used clinical journals include JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Pediatrics, and Annals of Internal Medicine [data obtained from 2011 report from Serials Solutions].

Use of Library Services

7% of respondents in the study cited above mentioned asking a librarian for assistance in that specific patient situation. 68% of our respondents reported that the information they used was complete. In addition to responding to individual requests, librarians assigned to UNC Hospitals also reach out to selected clinical services (surgical oncology, GI surgery, infectious diseases), patient care quality and safety groups, and patient education teams to offer information support. In FY 11, librarians provided 444 direct information consults with clinicians, an increase of 29% over the prior fiscal year.

^ to top

Librarian Receives Prestigious Award

KT Vaughan

The American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) recently announced that this year’s prestigious Watson Davis Award will go to K.T. Vaughan (MSLS ’01), pharmacy librarian at the UNC Health Sciences Library (HSL) and adjunct professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Established in 1975, the Watson Davis Award commemorates the memory and legacy of ASIS&T founder Watson Davis. It is given yearly to a single ASIS&T member who demonstrates outstanding continuous contributions and dedicated service to the Society.

“I’m sure it comes as no surprise to the faculty and students at the School of Pharmacy that K.T. is being recognized for her dedicated service,” said Carol Jenkins, Director of the HSL. “After all, they benefit from that same dedication on a constant basis. K.T. epitomizes what it means to be an HSL librarian committed to helping users and advancing our profession.”

Vaughan has been an active member of ASIS&T since 1999, contributing her time and energy as a member, and by taking on many leadership roles over the years.

“K.T. is an outstanding information science professional who has provided exceptional service to the ASIS&T organization,” said Heather D. Pfeiffer, chair of the Watson Davis Award Jury, and Ph.D. in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Mexico State University. “She has done an incredible job of demonstrating, and continues to demonstrate, her impressive commitment to the profession of information science. It is clear that she brings a high level of dedication and quality not only to her day-to-day position that includes sharing her wealth of knowledge with students, faculty and colleagues, but also to the overall profession by working and leading multiple groups and committees from the SIG STIS, to both Constitution and Bylaws and Leadership Development Committees, and served as director at large on the ASIS&T Board of Directors by being the SIG Cabinet Chair.”

Vaughan chaired the ASIS&T Special Interest Group for Scientific & Technical Information Systems from 2001 to 2002. She also was a longstanding volunteer for committees such as the Constitution and Bylaws Committee from 2000 to 2007, which she served as chair from 2005 to 2007; the Leadership Development Committee from 2003 to 2011; the Annual Meeting Program Committee in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010. She also served as co-chair of the Panels and Technical Sessions in years 2008, 2009 and 2010; and as a jury member for the 2010 Best Conference Poster session. She was director of the Special Interest Group (SIG) Cabinet Steering Committee from 2007-2009 and from 2009-2011. She had been a member of this particular SIG since 2005. Most recently, K.T. served on the ASIS&T Board of Directors for two terms (from 2007-2009 and again from 2009-2011). In the last five years she has completely revised and revamped the SIG Officer’s Manual, and reorganized both the financial system and the leadership requirements and terms for the SIGs and the SIG Cabinet. Among other changes, these required two different successful ballot initiatives to change the Society’s bylaws.

Vaughan received the award at the Annual Awards Luncheon held during the ASIS&T annual meeting in October 2012.

^ to top

Last modified: 01/19/21