View from the 5th – June 2014


June 2014 – Building upon a Legacy


The end of each spring semester reminds us of the excitement of graduation, the brief calm of summer on campus and the building anticipation for the start of a new fall semester. As the Carolina community closes the 2013-2014 academic year, we all tend to take a moment to reflect upon our time as students on campus, our work here in the Health Sciences Library, or just our relationship with this truly great university.

This issue of View from the Fifth honors just a few of our legacies here at the HSL, our history and our people. After 23 years, we’re saddened to say goodbye to Julia Shaw-Kokot, our nursing liaison librarian and assistant department head of user services. Many of our Friends in the nursing community will remember Julia as a former nurse turned librarian and an adjunct faculty member who was heavily embedded in the School of Nursing. Next, we’ll touch on the HSL’s legacy in the field of health sciences librarianship through the latest edition of a reference sourcebook, one in which our librarians have been involved in since its third edition. Finally, we’ll share exciting rare book news about the oldest piece in our collections, circa the twelfth century.

We’re constantly grateful to our Friends who continue to make our vision to continue this legacy possible. As we close the academic and fiscal year, we hope you’ll consider once again supporting the HSL with an end-of-year gift. Throughout the years, your loyalty has inspired our librarians in their work with students, educators and researchers in the health sciences. 


Jim Curtis

Interim Director, Health Sciences Library


In this Issue:

Julia Shaw-Kokot, longtime liaison to the School of Nursing, to retire

Librarians follow in legacy of UNC contributors to reference sources in the health sciences book

Library identifies rare book bound in twelfth century Book of Judith manuscript fragment


Julia Shaw-Kokot longtime liaison to the School of Nursing, to retire 


After nearly 23 years, Julia Shaw-Kokot will “graduate” from the Health Sciences Library (HSL). Her retirement will be effective June 30, 2014. The HSL will host a graduation party for Julia on June 12 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in 527 HSL.

Shaw-Kokot came to the HSL from Area L of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), in Rocky Mount, N.C., where she served as the director of library services. She is currently the assistant department head for User Services and longtime coordinator of HSL education programs. Since she came to the HSL, Shaw-Kokot has served as HSL liaison to the School of Nursing where she also holds an adjunct faculty position. She served as liaison to the School of Pharmacy prior to the Library’s decision to making that a separate position. Shaw-Kokot is also a longtime member of UNC Health Care’s Nursing Research Council. She was instrumental in the incorporation of information literacy instruction into the curricula in all of the health affairs schools at UNC.

“Julia has had an adjunct appointment to the School of Nursing which does not reflect the degree of involvement with students and faculty,” said Deborah K. Mayer, Ph.D., R.N., A.O.C.N., F.A.A.N., associate professor in the School of Nursing. “She brings a unique combination of clinical understanding with acumen as a librarian that has been invaluable to us. While she deserves a well-earned retirement, it will be a loss to many of us.”

Shaw-Kokot led the HSL efforts to provide instruction across the state for public and community college librarians who regularly answer health questions. She arranged a long-term contract with the North Carolina State Library for that instruction and has been entrepreneurial and innovative in connecting HSL with initiatives across the campus. Some of the initiatives in which she has been a major contributor include site licensing bibliographic formatting software, selection of learning management systems, online training for animal research lab staff, roles in the Magnet designation for UNC Hospitals, and others too numerous to name.

“It has been great working here; it’s never boring. The people are fantastic and I have learned a lot,” Shaw-Kokot said.

Shaw-Kokot has contributed greatly to the health sciences profession by mentoring and supervising School of Information and Library Science students and new librarians, serving on and chairing the Medical Library Association Chapter Council, and representing Chapter Council on the MLA Board of Directors. She also serves as a peer reviewer for Medical References Services Quarterly.

“Julia’s advanced notification gives us ample opportunity to thank her for her many contributions, large and small, to serve our users and make the library a better place for staff and patrons alike,” said Jim Curtis, interim director of the HSL.

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Librarians follow in legacy of UNC contributors to reference sources in the health scieneces book


Two UNC librarians played key roles in producing the sixth edition of the authoritative book on important resources for health sciences libraries, titled, “Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences.” Susan Swogger, collections development librarian in the Health Sciences Library (HSL) at UNC, co-edited the book and authored a chapter and Mellanye Lackey, liaison librarian for public health and global health, co-authored a chapter. HSL librarians at UNC have been contributing to this series for almost twenty years. The book recommends sources available for specific types of reference situations that librarians can purchase or access free-of-charge.

“There’s a tradition of HSL employees being involved in this book,” Swogger said. “It’s acted as an avenue for us to contribute to the community of health sciences libraries.”

Swogger was introduced to her co-editor, Jeffrey T. Huber, by Jean Blackwell, a former HSL employee. “I thought Susan was a good choice because of her involvement in collection development and her experience with balancing the complex information needs of our users in a time of exponential growth in e-resources and competing demands on the budget,” Blackwell said. “In addition, I thought it was a good idea to encourage a bright, relatively new librarian to get involved in the project – not just a good career move for Susan, but also an opportunity to continue HSL’s contribution to this standard textbook for health sciences librarians.”

“This is one of the central works of our professional practice,” Jim Curtis, interim director of the HSL said.

Curtis’ involvement with the project began when he served as a contributor to the third edition, at the urging of Fred W. Roper, former director of the School of Information and Library Sciences and co-editor of the first four editions of the book. Curtis co-authored a chapter on “Audiovisual, microcomputer, and multimedia reference sources,” in the 1994 text.

Swogger and her co-editor were instrumental in offering several new topics for this edition, including point-of-care sources, global health sources and health information seeking behaviors. Swogger’s chapter, “Point-of-Care and Clinical Decision Support Resources,” provides resource recommendations for materials that healthcare practitioners can use in the clinical or hospital environment, or at the point of care (POC).

“The need for both speed and a solid, broad evidence basis for clinical decision making has resulted in the rapid growth of specific POC resources intended to provide instant access to the required evidence,” Swogger writes on page 392.

The resources Swogger suggests generally aid in bedside diagnosis, rather than simply serving as a reference, and are often returned from a search based on inputted patient data in an electronic medical record. The text explains the types of POC resources, their rise in use and importance and the librarian’s role in their use.

Mellanye Lackey co-authored a chapter titled “Global Health Sources” with Megan von Isenburg, associate director for research and education at Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives. Swogger suggested that Lackey and von Isenburg write the chapter after they collaborated on a global health un-conference.

This was the first edition to include global health source recommendations, which can be slightly different than traditional health sciences resources, Lackey said. The chapter includes information on creating online resources for global health partners; recommendations related to open access, virtual reference services, and bandwidth speeds internationally; pre-travel sources for librarians, researchers and practitioners; information on HINARI and resources available to developing countries; and ways that librarians can be involved in and culturally aware of global health librarianship, among other topics.

“HSL is doing global health differently,” Lackey said. “Our leadership wisely had a vision for the role of global health librarianship at UNC and designated an official group to focus on it.”

Each edition is available in the HSL at UNC Chapel Hill. For more information or to purchase a copy of the text visit the ALA store.

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Library identifies rare book bound in twelfth century Book of Judith manuscript fragment 

When Cataloging Librarian Barbara Tysinger pulled Johann Wittich’s 1589 book “Bericht von den wunderbaren bezoardischen Steinen” (translation: “Report of the wonderful bezoar stones”) off of her cart to add to the university library catalog, she noticed that it was bound in a manuscript fragment. After seeking additional expertise, the Health Sciences Library (HSL) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to announce that the binding comes from a twelfth century lectionary. The text, which was donated to the HSL by Drs. Sheldon and Leena Peck as part of the Sheldon Peck Collection on the History of Orthodontics and Dental Medicine, comes from the Book of Judith, which forms part of the Apocrypha in some bibles. An additional fifteenth century manuscript, from Albertus Magnus’s “De Animalibus,” lies mostly obscured beneath the lectionary fragment.

During the late medieval and early modern period, bookbinders commonly used manuscript fragments to serve as an inexpensive binding that would protect the book until the purchaser selected a permanent binding. Since the book was never permanently bound, the original temporary binding remains intact, and serves as an example of the history of bookbinding.

“We were very excited to discover this binding, and wanted to verify that the information we provided about it was as accurate as possible,” said Dawne Lucas, special collections librarian at the HSL. “We therefore consulted with several experts to make sure that we knew as much as we possibly could about it. For example, we originally thought it came from a bible, but closer inspection suggested that it came from a lectionary, which is not the same.”

The HSL would like to thank the following people for providing their expertise about this volume: Dr. Robert Babcock, Department of Classics (UNC); Dr. Scott Gwara, Department of English Language and Literature (University of South Carolina); Dr. Richard Pfaff, Department of History (UNC); Claudia Funke, curator of rare books, Wilson Library (UNC); Jan Paris, conservator for special collections, Wilson Library (UNC); and Andrea Knowlton, assistant conservator for special collections, Wilson Library (UNC).

Last modified: 01/19/21