Skip to main content
Health Sciences LibrariesUncategorized

Top 10 Health Sciences Libraries stories of 2021

By December 22, 2021September 16th, 2023No Comments

We’re celebrating 2021 with a look back at our favorite stories of the year that feature the innovative, impactful, and even unexpected work of the Health Sciences Library and the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine.

10. Boosting data’s impact: Even a common tool like Excel can make a difference with data visualization 

Intern Claire Winters brought her experience with Excel to the Health Sciences Library Data + Visualization Lab. Winters transformed her knowledge into two workshops on creating compelling data visualizations with Excel to expand the Library’s support of healthcare’s data driven workforce. “Excel is one of the more common tools and can do more than many people realize,” she says. 

9. A Virtual Tour of the Health Sciences Library and the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology & Medicine

Thanks to our virtual tour, we welcomed visitors far and near into the new Health Sciences Library and the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology & Medicine. Check out the highlights in this story, and link to the full virtual tour to explore more.

Health Sciences Library Service Desk

8. Honors students at the center of NEXUS: Encouraging first-year honors students to establish a sense of community

Curator Lois Hendrickson and Assistant Curator Emily Beck introduced two sections of first-year honors students to experiential learning activities through the 500 years of history held in the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine collection. But their most important contribution may have been creating a space for community to develop.

Students examining rare books

7. Preserving the past for the future: A behind the scenes look at moving a historical collection

Over 72,000 rare books and 8,000 artifacts from the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine found a new home in June. Take this behind-the-scenes look at how these historical materials were prepared for a physical move into a purpose-built space that will ensure their preservation for decades of scholarship to come.

Conservation specialist Anna Shepherd is wearing a mask and gloves as she matches up pharmaceutical boxes with their corresponding bar codes.

6. Dramatic exploration: Two librarians contributed to a theater class on pain, healing, pharmacy, and social systems

Pharmacy and Design Librarians Sarah Brown and Deborah Utlan partnered with Pharmacy and Theater faculty on the interdisciplinary course, Pharmakon: Performing science, bringing research and information management expertise to this innovative collaboration that explored the human experience of pharmaceuticals.

pharmakon class in Rarig Center

5. Printed adaptations: Skills in 3D printing are valuable for future Occupational Therapists 

With the launch of the entry-level doctoral program in Occupational Therapy in 2019, Assistant Professor Tammy Vos-Draper updated her course on assistive technology and orthotics. “Because 3D printing is becoming increasingly common in OT practices as an available tool, we determined that learning about it should be included in our new curriculum,” said Vos-Draper. Occupational therapy students now learn how 3D printing found in HSL’s Makerspace can be used to create customized adaptive technology devices to help people complete routine daily tasks.

3D printed tool for opening bottles

4. Team efforts: Operations managers and staff at our four open libraries look back at re-opening

When we closed the Libraries for COVID, we were known as the Bio-Medical Library in Diehl Hall. We reopened as the Health Sciences Library in the Health Sciences Education Center. Access and Information Services Manager Emily Reimer led the Health Sciences Libraries through the reopening in our new library. As she celebrated her tremendous staff, she says, “It has been an absolute treat to be in this beautiful new building and have the opportunities we have to see how we will be able to help people in new ways.”


3. Intern opens up new views: Scanning in 3D offers possibilities for the Wangensteen collection of artifacts

Library student John Cole scanned artifacts from the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine in 3D, offering an advantage for very fragile items — as well as for virtual instruction. Now people from around the globe can interact with rare materials like this acupuncture mannequin from the 18th century Edo period in Japan.

Acupuncture Mannequin

2. Snail mail: Letters sent home by a 19th century physician at sea gave a student rich research material

Undergraduate student Darby Ronning discovered the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine, which led to her to create an online exhibit related to a physician’s experience during his 1850s North Pacific Exploration Expedition. Her research project was awarded the 2021 U-Spatial Mapping Prize for Undergraduate Student — Best Representation of Research. Now Ronning works at the Wangensteen Historical Library and is a member of the Libraries’ Student Advisory Board.

Darby Ronning

1. An anti-racism lens: A Libraries’ trio has created a new anti-racism guide for researchers

Complete objectivity in research may be elusive, but a joint effort by Public Health and Social Sciences Librarians Shanda Hunt and Amy Riegelman, with library school intern Soph Meyers, is shaping antiracism research practice. Their “living” research guide prompts researchers to acknowledge that scholarly publishing and search algorithms are racist, and guides users to de-center whiteness in research.

Shanda Hunt discusses project with Research Sprints team.

Erinn Aspinall

Author Erinn Aspinall

More posts by Erinn Aspinall

© 2024 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Privacy Statement | Acceptable Use of IT Resources