High Noon at Miner Presents — From the Ground Up: The Joys of Gardening

April 17, 2014

Calling all green thumbs…and even the brown thumbs! Gardeners of all levels, beginners, experienced, and those looking to get started on their gardening adventures, are invited to join us at Miner Library as we delve into the rewards and challenges of gardening.

Learn how to create a lasagna garden. Discover the best composting techniques. Explore area gardens. Find out the plants that flourish in upstate New York. Jennifer Luisi, local gardener and Miner User Services Coordinator, will share her favorite tips and favorite plants as she teaches you how to garden from the ground up.

Join us at noon on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in the History of Medicine Room at Miner Library. Feel free to invite your colleagues and bring your lunch!

For more information, contact Linda Hasman at 275-3399.

Have you tried BrowZine to stay current?

April 9, 2014

BrowZine is a free tablet application that lets you browse, read, and stay current with top scholarly journals subscribed to by the URMC and River Campus Libraries. The app is for iPads, Android tablets, and the Kindle Fire.

With BrowZine, you can:

♦ Read and follow your favorite scholarly journals.

♦ Create a personal bookshelf and get notifications when new articles are published.

♦ Save articles for off-line reading or export to RefWorks, EndNote, Papers, Mendeley, and other services.

Dr. Robert G. Holloway, Department of Neurology, uses BrowZine on his iPad and calls it  “a game changer in the way I use and process information.”

To learn more, listen to this informal discussion with Dr. Holloway and Valorie Hallinan, Liaison Librarian, Edward G. Miner Library, at this link:


Scene from Browzine video


Getting started with BrowZine couldn’t be easier.

From your tablet, go to http://thirdiron.com/download/and select the appropriate icon, or go directly to the Apple App, Google Play, or Amazon App store and download it for free.

The first time you launch BrowZine, select University of Rochester from the dropdown list, log in with your credentials, and start exploring!

“Learning from Learners,” an exhibit of 2- and 3-dimensional art by Rachel Wu

April 8, 2014

Pablo Picasso said, “Youth has no age.”

Maybe he realized, as Rachel Wu has, that adults can – and should! – adapt children’s learning strategies to foster innovative and continuous learning.

Rachel’s creative, enthusiastic, fun-loving approach to life is evident in her numerous and wide-ranging accomplishments. She is a scientist, an artist, and a musician.

Rachel received her Ph.D. in cognitive development from Birbeck, University of London, in 2011. In the same year, she completed a degree in fine art and design at Middlesex University. She’s also an accomplished violinist who used to play in an indie rock band (The Outside Royalty). Currently, Rachel is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (University of Rochester) and she’s studying piano and voice at Eastman School of Music.

Gaia Fractals by Rachel Wu

“Gaia Fractals” by Rachel Wu

Rachel’s passion for mastering methods and techniques in different fields serves as her own personal case study for cognitive development research.

“Studying the learning strategies of infants, arguably the best learners, not only helps us understand them, but also provides insights into lifelong learning. Mastering creative skills for art in adulthood is similar to how infants have to learn.”

Rachel grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy, and paper cutting all fostered an early interest in learning and creativity.

Rachel Wu

Rachel Wu

In August 2013, “Gaia Fractals,” her signature piece for this exhibit, was recognized as “Best in Show” at The Bridge Art Gallery’s “The Art of Play” exhibit.

“Learning from Learners” is on display through April 2014.


Miner Library is open to visitors Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 8 pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10 am – 8 pm. Call 585.275.3361 for holiday hours or more information.



Posted by Susan Andersen

“A Miner Moment” video highlights the life of Dr. Charles Briggs (1855-1933)

March 27, 2014

Here’s a video (3:47) we produced, highlighting one of our remarkable archival collections.

Charles M. Briggs, M.D., (1855-1933) was a physician practicing in the village of Fairport, NY, from 1880 until his death in 1933. The Charles M. Briggs collection consists mostly of personal diaries from his boyhood in West Macedon, NY. The diaries and objects belonging to Dr. Briggs were presented to us by his granddaughter, Betty Satterwhite Stevenson.

Dr. Charles M. BriggsCharles Briggs was the fifth of nine children. He attended the district school until he was 18, then entered a three-year college preparatory course at the Macedon Academy.

In the autumn following his graduation in 1876, Charles began a preceptorship with H. D. Vosburgh, M.D., of Lyons, NY. Charles’ medical studies with Dr. Vosburgh included regular duties at the Wayne County almshouse and asylum. In the autumn of 1877, Charles entered the Buffalo Medical College. After graduation, Briggs settled in Fairport, where he remained in medical practice for the rest of  his life.

The earliest of the 19 diaries in our collection is dated 1871, begun when Charles was just 15 years old. The entries in the diaries kept from 1871 to 1875 briefly chronicle his daily routine of chores, school work, family, and church life.

The diary for 1876 records Charles’ preceptorship with Dr. Vosburgh. Charles attended lectures by Dr. Vosburgh in the evening, while studying and attending to duties at the insane asylum at Lyons during the day. His duties included book and record keeping, showing visitors about the asylum, occasionally assisting in the restraint of some of the more vigorous inmates, and even waiting on tables when a large group of visitors was in attendance. He also had the opportunity to intermittently practice dissection on the corpses of deceased insane.

The diaries are fascinating, and provide unique insights into the life of a medical student in the 19th century.

We think the video is pretty good, too. Let us know what you think, because we’d like to share more “Miner Moments” with you in the future!

Posted by Susan Andersen

“Our Hands” Paintings by Michele Villa-Castillo exhibited @ Miner

March 18, 2014

University of Rochester’s Edward G. Miner Library hosts an exhibit depicting the shared experience of medical students. The physical work of hands is expressed in addition to their emotional context. Every painting is inspired by true experiences.

2 students Rochester, NY – March 8, 2014 –  The people who work with third-year medical student, Michele Villa-Castillo, all say pretty much the same thing when they first see the corridor filled with large, bright canvases. “How did you find the time?”

Everyone knows how demanding, challenging, and exhausting a medical student’s schedule can be. Somehow, in stolen minutes, Michele managed to create a striking, thought-provoking, inspiring collection of ten canvases with corresponding didactics. Next to each painting, Michele describes the meaning behind the image, and also provides a “behind-the-scenes” progression of smaller images, allowing the viewer a unique inside experience, seeing the evolution of the canvas from concept to fruition, as it coalesces in the artist’s mind.

As most artists realize early in their careers, hands are difficult to capture accurately, let alone expressively. Michele finds hands a welcoming, fascinating challenge. “Hands not only carry our age, but also our communal and individual histories. Our hands make us human: their work and form convey our experiences and emotions. In my paintings, I aim to capture the beauty of hands by exaggerating color and proportion… My hope is that such immediacy recreates the sense of urgency and vitality we feel when we care for patients—and ourselves—during our medical training.”

Born in Wisconsin, Michele now calls Texas her home. She did her undergraduate work at University of Rochester. Both parents are from Colombia, South America.

Michele dedicates her artistic talent to her grandmother, who is a painter in Colombia. Michele has been drawing “since I can remember” and is fortunate to have parents who recognized and encouraged her artistic interest. It was during medical school anatomy class that Michele developed a particular passion and appreciation for hand anatomy and became inspired to focus on painting hands.  “As my career continues, I hope to incorporate my love for art with my passion for medicine because both are a part of who I am.”

“Our Hands” will be on display through April 2015. Miner Library is open to visitors Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 8 pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10 am – 8 pm. Call 585.275.3361 for holiday hours.

Posted by Susan Andersen

ANSWER to “Eddie’s WayBack Machine – Can you guess the year?”

March 10, 2014

Wow! So great to hear from so many of you.

The answer to our first “Eddie’s WayBack” brainteaser is 1966. The ad appeared in the January issue of Analytical  Chemistry.

The first person to respond was Nancy Needler (Research Subject Advocate, Office of Regulatory Support, CTSI), with a guess of 1967. Since the ad actually appeared over a range of years (through 1968), as pointed out by Ed Bell, we think Nancy’s guess is a winner. (I wonder if 1968 was the year people stopped wearing white shirts and ties in the lab, too.)

Thanks to everyone for playing! We hope to bring you more episodes of “Eddie’s WayBack Machine” in the coming weeks.


[This entry was posted on Monday, March 10, 2014.]

On occasion, we’re told that we may not pay as much attention to our URMC basic scientists as we do our clinicians. Yikes! That’s certainly not our intent; we love you all equally!

Nonetheless, we’ve decided to launch a special series, “Eddie’s WayBack Machine,” especially for researchers.  (And yes, the inspiration for this feature is loosely based on Peabody’s Improbable History segments, appearing in the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of The Bullwinkle Show. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Mr. Peabody was a beagle who was the smartest being in existence.)

As a non-scientist, when I look through some of our well-worn bound journals, I’m impressed with how outdated they are, not so much from the science (which I don’t understand) but from the advertisements.

Shown below is a “New Products” advertisement from a highly respected journal.

For the fun of it, can you guess the year of publication?

Send your response to susan_andersen@urmc.rochester.edu  The answer and the winning (closest) response will be posted next week.


High Noon at Miner on 3/26 Presents — Saving Money: Tips and Tools to Plump Up Your Piggy Bank

March 9, 2014

Money – we all need it. Are you looking for bargains? Are you trying to stick to a budget or make one? Are you ready to sharpen your penny-pinching skills? Want to fatten up that piggy bank? Then this is one High Noon you don’t want to miss.

Join librarians Donna Berryman and Karen Liljequist at noon on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in the History of Medicine Room at Miner Library as they share some of their favorite tips, resources and budgeting tools. Let us show you the money!

Feel free to invite your colleagues and bring your lunch!

For more information, contact Donna Berryman at 275-6877 or Karen Liljequist at 273-4869.


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