Welcome to Paul Gardner

The second new employee to the Access department at HSL is Paul Gardner.  He started the same day as Ruba Sadi, on Tuesday, October 17, and there was a welcome party that Thursday, October 19 for both new staff members. Please welcome him if you see him at the circulation desk!

Paul Gardner

Check out his short bio:

Paul is a UC Denver alum with a degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing. He has spent the last four years working for Denver Public Library, and the last seven with film festivals around the country. He looks forward to assisting the academic environment at Anschutz. Born to run, he loves road trips and seeing new places. He spends his free time skateboarding, reading, attending music and film events, and working with the DPS after school program.


Welcome to Ruba Sadi

Access Services at HSL has two new employees.  Ruba Sadi started on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, and the welcome party for the new employees was this Thursday, October 19.  Please welcome the new staff if you see them at the circulation desk!

Ruba Sadi2


Check out her short biography here:

Ruba was born in Rochester, NY but grew up in Saudi Arabia where her father worked. She attended school in Switzerland, and lived in Lebanon for a year before moving back to the U.S. in 1996. She has worked at Pikes Peak Library District, Stephen H Hart Library at the Colorado History Museum, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Denver Public Library. She enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, visiting museums and gardens. She is looking forward to working at Health Sciences Library.

Welcome to Nina Mchale

HSL is welcoming Nina Mchale as the new Head of Education and Reference.  Her first day was Monday, October 2, 2017 and her welcome party was October 5.  The position became available when Lisa Traditi left the position to become the new Deputy Director.  Here’s a great picture of Lisa passing the baton to Nina at Nina’s welcome party.


A short description of Nina’s experience and hobbies:

Nina is thrilled to return to the University of Colorado as Head of the Education and Reference Department! Prior to her most recent position as the director of library services at Red Rocks Community College, Nina was the Web Librarian at the Auraria Library from 2006-2011. She received her joint MA in English and MSLS in Library Science from the Catholic University of American in 2002. Nina looks forward to getting to know, and facilitating the talents of, the members of the Education and Reference team, as well as collaborating with the other library departments to provide great service to the campus community.

When she’s not hard at work librarian-ing, Nina enjoys spending time with her three kids, two dogs, and one husband. They enjoy spending time in the mountains, whether it’s skiing in the winter or off-roading in the summer. On the rare occasion that she gets some alone time, she likes to run and quilt, but understandably not simultaneously.

Study Zone at HSL Opens Monday October 9


After years of vision, planning, and design and four months of on-site construction from June to September 2017, the Study Zone at Health Sciences Library is opening on Monday October 9. Badge-secured doors activate at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning and students and other Anschutz ID holders can enter the area.

This new quiet study area use to be a journal stacks space with nearly 40,000 journal volumes–most moved to the PASCAL remote storage safely on campus. Anschutz students getting into midterms will find the space inviting and perfect for focused study and work. A kitchen, a nap pod room, and various lounge seating and large bay windows inform the space and provide diversity of feel and places to study and relax. The colors are amazing across the walls, the dynamic carpet, furniture and ceilings.

The Study Zone is part of the library’s second floor quiet area and whisper quiet is the expectation in this study space. Users must have an Anschutz campus ID badge to enter and use the Study Zone at HSL.


A few loose ends in the project remain and some additional installs will occur and create some mild disruption before the year is over. The library is waiting for completion on the following items to name a few:

  • frosting of privacy film on the nap pod room (2406-K provides two nap pods)
  • aspen leaves prints are to be added to the glass doors and windows through the space
  • a few spots in the open study areas still need electrical outlets which are coming soon
  • a fabulous entrance sign, 3-dimensional wood panel with large aluminium pin lettering naming the space is a fancy last touch to be installed hopefully before the end of October

Future Study Zone Sign Outside Entrance — to be installed soon

Anschutz students, staff and faculty are welcome to badge in and use the new Study Zone starting Monday October 9.

Before Construction — stacks and 40K+ journal volumes. Jan 2017


After Construction — lights, 10 study pods, 24 study rooms, seating for 100+


Study Zone Perspective: Library Director

Health Sciences Library Director Perspective: the Study Zone at HSL

“The evolution of the Study Zone” by Melissa D. De Santis, Director of Health Sciences Library.

Sometimes projects don’t turn out the way they were envisioned.  The Health Sciences Library continually listens to users with the aim of providing services and resources that fulfill user needs.  In the summer of 2014, the Health Sciences Library was presented with a possible opportunity to remodel the library building.  Although it might seem odd to remodel a building that was only seven years old, the reality is that based on information the library had gathered from users, we believed that enhancements to the building would be very beneficial.  That summer and fall, the library worked with the Office of Institutional Planning, along with many library stakeholders, to create possible options for renovation.  Unfortunately, the funds did not materialize, and no renovations were made.

Fast forward to 2016 and those renovation options were still whirling around the thoughts of library staff.  After much discussion, the library’s leadership team decided to move forward and do a portion of the renovations discussed in 2014.  The project would be funded by reserve funds the library had earmarked for library renovation.  These funds only allowed 5,000 sq. feet to be remodeled, but the leadership team believed the user impact would be significant.



Library staff worked with Bennet Wagner Brody Architects to refine and clarify the vision for the space.  Based on previous user input, the space will be extremely student focused.  Over 90% of the users in the building are CU Anschutz students, and the space should address many of their needs including individual study spaces, kitchen amenities, napping options and natural lighting.  Library staff have been watching the construction progress and are looking forward to completion.  The space won’t be exactly like what was drafted in 2014, however we believe it will be even better.


Keep up with the renovation progress on the Study Zone blog!

The library is hosting a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the Study Zone.

  • Study Zone Ribbon Cutting Event
  • When:  Thursday, Oct 19, Noon-1 pm
  • Where:  2nd floor of HSL just outside the Study Zone entrance, north end of building
  • All Anschutz folks are welcome, especially students. We will have cupcakes
  • There will be self-guided tours of space highlighting features of the space


Fitzsimons Commemoration Medal — Colorado’s Most Significant Artifact?

The Health Sciences Library is proud to have our Fitzsimons Commemoration Medal as one of the finalist entries in 2017’s Colorado’s Most Significant Artifacts.  Please visit Colorado Collections online at https://collectioncare.auraria.edu to vote for this unique part of the campus’s history.

Here’s the notice and information from the Center for Colorado and The West at Auraria:


We are please to announce that your nomination of the Commemoration Medallion will be voted on by the general public as one of Colorado’s 2017 Most Significant Artifacts!  A link to all the artifacts, and voting form, is located on the front page of our website:  https://collectioncare.auraria.edu

Voting opened on Monday, September 25th. We encourage you to notify your staff, colleagues, volunteers, family and friends to vote. Ten artifacts with the most public votes will be announced in late November 2017.

Thank you for your nomination and participation in this years Colorado’s Most Significant Artifacts campaign.

–Paul Andrews


“The Highest and Healthiest State”

“The Highest & Healthiest State”
Tom Noel, PhD
Professor of History, Director of Public History, Preservation and Colorado Studies
University of Colorado Denver

A quick, lighthearted overview of medicine in the highest state from Native American physicians to the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Friday, October 13, 2017
Reading Room
3rd floor, Health Sciences Library
Lunch provided


Thomas Jacob Noel is a Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. Tom is the  author or coauthor of 50 books many articles. He was a longtime Sunday columnist for The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. He appears regularly  as “Dr. Colorado” on Channel 9’s “Colorado & Company.” Tom completed his B.A. at the University of Denver and his M.A. and Ph.D. at CU-Boulder where his mother (a psychiatrist) and grandmother (a teacher) also did their graduate work. Please check http://dr-colorado.com/ for a full resume and updated list of his books, classes, tours and talks. Tom’s latest books include A Short History of Denver, Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts. His book, Colorado: A  Historical Atlas, won three prizes as the best regional history book of 2016.


–Kristen Desanto