Library Health Sciences Newsletter (Spring 2020)

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What a difference a month makes! This quarter, Shields Library and Carlson Health Sciences Library are closed for what will be the longest stretch since WWII, when the library was pressed into service by the Army Signal Corps. In many ways, this, too, feels like war time, as we all pull together to get through this pandemic. We especially appreciate the heroic efforts of the faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians on the front lines of the health system and are here to support you however we can!

The library is focused on how we can best support your remote instruction and research — from expanded access to digital books and journals, to peer-reviewed videos of lab experiments, to copyright guidance and librarian-led virtual instruction. 

Fortunately, the library has been investing in useful online resources for years (see, so we are well-positioned to help you now. More on some of those below.

I encourage you to reach out to our librarians for research or instructional support on the Davis campus and at Blaisdell Medical Library, or to contact us if there is anything more the library can do to support you.

MacKenzie Smith
University Librarian and Vice Provost, Digital Scholarship

The library offers a wide range of tools to support remote instruction — some we have been putting in place over the last several years, and others that are new in response to the current crisis. Check out the Remote Teaching Resources on the coronavirus page of our website to learn about:

  • Peer-reviewed scientific experiment videos to help virtualize lab work
  • New trial resource! Visible Body, an interactive 3D anatomy app the library is offering on a trial basis this spring (please send us your feedback or questions if you try it out)
  • Linking to online course materials in Canvas — including journal articles, e-books, videos and more
  • Copyright guidance for remote instruction
  • Requesting librarian-led virtual instruction

›› Learn more

Whether you are conducting your research remotely or you are on the front lines of COVID-19, we know your access to the latest literature is critical. The good news is that many publishers are temporarily making some or all of their content freely available online during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, you may find certain e-books, articles and video content available just by clicking.

Troubleshooting tips: If you have trouble accessing an article or library database remotely, start by making sure you are logged into the library VPN. If you are on the VPN but unable to access a library resource, try clearing your browser cache/cookies before starting the VPN client, or check our FAQ for other potential issues. 

If you are asked to pay for an article after trying to access it via the library VPN, you can request a free copy through interlibrary loan. This also applies to Elsevier/ScienceDirect articles, as well as journals typically only available in print. The library is processing these requests seven days a week. If you need an article urgently, for example due to a patient-care need or grant deadline, denote that in the “Notes” field of the request.

›› Learn more

Even as we all work remotely, we remain committed to helping you get the books you need. To that end, we have bought many of our highest-use print books as e-books; these are now available through our library catalog.

In addition, nearly half our print book collection — plus thousands more books at other UC campus libraries — are now available online to UC users through a special emergency agreement between the UC and the HathiTrust Digital Library. Other institutions, from publishers to public libraries to the Internet Archive, are also opening up their e-books in response to the crisis. 

›› Learn more

The library will continue to update our Coronavirus: Library Resources webpage as the situation evolves and new resources become available. Bookmark it or find it from the “Teach” tab of the UC Davis Keep Teaching website.

You may also wish to bookmark for quick and easy access to our Health Sciences Libraries Favorites.

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