Goodbye to Tech Services

Today was the last day of my internship in Tech Services which means this will be my last post. Since late September I have spent 120 hours learning everything I could about Tech services and how books are organized and cataloged at Anschutz Health Sciences Library two and a half hours at a time and I’ve shared some of what I’ve learned with you.  Most of my time was spent going through boxes of books donated when the Denver Medical Library (DML) closed. Any book that was donated but we already had a copy of was not added to the collection, but any books not already part of Anschutz collection I cataloged and processed. Weather it was cataloged or weeded I removed a cataloging card from every book I worked with. This picture is every cataloging card I removed.


Some of the books I cataloged during my internship are now on display in the second floor rotunda. Three of the items on display in the rotunda are pamphlets that I digitized in addition to cataloging. The Health Science Library is part of Mountain Scholar which is the home site where a collection of Universities keep their digital archives. The whole of Anschutz digital collection can be accessed here.  The three items I digitized are Colorado Some Pictures and a Few Facts which is the program for the 51st American Medical Association meeting which happened in Denver in 1898, and includes a picture of the CU Boulder campus in 1898. Division of Venereal Disease published by the Colorado State Board of Health in 1923 and contains the laws of the state on the treatment, quarantine, and required reporting practices of Colorado. And Standardization of Blood Pressure Readings which was published in 1939 by the American Heart Association and the Cardiac Association of Great Britain and Ireland. In addition to acting as a digital archives for special collections Mountain Scholar also has Thesis and Dissertations from past Anschutz students.


Display of DML Donations

I have learned a lot during my time in Tech Services, and hopefully these blog posts have taught you a bit more about how the library functions and maybe even about the resources available to you through the library.

More about Tech Services

This post will take a closer look at what happens when a book is ordered and give more of an inside look at what Tech Services does in the library. Some books are ordered because someone recommended that it be ordered, other books are ordered because we have a standing order and get the newest edition every time a book of that title is published. There are some rules about who can do what when a book is ordered to prevent fraud with government funds. The person who orders the book cannot pay for the book or catalog the book. The person who pays for the book can’t order or catalog the book, and the person who catalogs the book can’t have ordered or paid for the book.

Once a book has been delivered it needs to be parred to be added to the library. To prepare the book for circulation someone checks to see if there is an already built catalog record for the book that they can use. If there is an already created record often times it still needs updating. If no record exists then the cataloger can create a new one. Once the record is created for the item a different record called a bibliographic or bib record this record contains information about what collection the book is stored in and what the call number is, basic information to make locating the item easier. After the bib record is made an item record is created that has information about when the book was entered into the system, a record of the payment for the book and the barcode, which are all item specific the bib record could be used for multiple copies of the same book but each one would get a new item record.

After the book has been cataloged which includes putting in the barcode it is prepared to go on the shelf, a barcode sticker is added, the book is stamped with Health Science Library, and some of the collections have book plates that are also added to books that belong in those collections. Once the book is cataloged and processed it is ready to go on the shelf.

In addition to shelf space in the library Anschutz stores some of its collection off site at the Preservation and Access Service Center for Colorado Academic Libraries or PASCAL. PASCAL stores books for all of the CU libraries but is located on the Anschutz campus. Each book in PASCAL gets a barcode that indicates exactly where it is locates including section, shelf, tray, and finally position in the box. Because of this every book in PASCAL can be located using only it’s barcode. Any book stored in PASCAL can easily be requested by students, staff or faculty and will be delivered to their home library for pick up. As part of my practicum I was able to visit PASCAL and see just how it functions.


This is a picture of one of the rows of books at PASCAL and the cherry picker they use to reach the books. This is just one of the many rows they have, and each shelf is two boxes deep with books.

Kristina’s Tech Services Practicum at HSL

My name is Kristina and I have worked at the Anschutz Health Sciences Library two days a week for the past two and a half years as a library student intern in the Education and Reference Department. This internship is for people who are currently working on completing the Masters of Library Science (MLS) degree that is required for most librarian jobs. One of the requirements of many MLS degree programs is a practicum. My school requires me to complete 120 hours of unpaid professional level work in a library department that I don’t also work in to complete my practicum and so this semester I have moved upstairs to the Technical Services Department in the library.

So what does the Tech Services Department do? Just like many areas of the college and many businesses the library is split into different departments. When you walk into the library the people working the front desk are the Access Services Department they are the front line staff who can help you find books and put the books away when you are done as well as answer basic questions about the library and materials. If Access Services can’t answer the question they might call in someone from the Education and Reference department. This department answers more in-depth questions teaches the classes offered by the library and mans the AskUs chat during the week.  These are the two departments you most likely interact with when you visit the library. Tech services does a lot of the behind the scenes work.

When you put in a request for a new item to be added to the collection Tech Services is the one looking at the request. When there is a problem with connecting to an e-resource the Tech Services department does the troubleshooting. Anytime anything new is added to the collection Tech services catalogs it so that you can find it easily and does all the processing such as adding bar codes and call labels. Tech Services does all of the behind the scenes work that keeps the library running smoothly.

Up until this internship, most of my library experience has been patron-facing I work with the people coming into the library to make sure they get the most out of it that they can. And so when given the opportunity to learn more about a new area of librarianship I decided to do some time in Tech Services and learn exactly what happens to books from when they are ordered to when they arrive. Since this part of the library is not one that many people know about I’ll be sharing some of my experiences in Tech Services on the blog.


P.S. you might have seen me at the block party I was handing out popcorn at the libraries tent.

Medical Reference Materials

The Medical Reference Materials Page of the Online Reference Resource guide has many useful databases and web pages that you may not know about. From general topics lice biology to a section on communicable diseases, as well as sections for all of the systems of the body, there is help on this page for your medical questions. Each of the entries has a link to the resource as well as a short description of what type of information you can find in that resource.


The quick selection on the side will let you see what sections are available and quickly jump to the section you need. Some of the more useful resources on this page include

  • Lippincott’s Video Series: Nursing Procedures 2009Step by step guidance for nursing procedures that are performed in realistic clinical settings. Each video reviews key points, shows the procedures, and provides procedure modification for unexpected situations.
  • New England Journal of Medicine: Videos in Clinical MedicineA collection of instructional videos that guide clinical health care professionals through the steps, different approaches, and techniques involved in a variety of procedures. Videos are supplemented by reference materials, cited articles, and written overviews of the video.

This page is a good resource for reference and research questions, but it also contains information on grant and funding resources. If what you are looking for is specifically funding information the Online Reference Resource guide does have a page dedicated just to grants and funding as well as links to the financial aid and scholarship resource office.

Online Reference Resources

Are you working on a project and wondering what online resources the library might have that can help you? This library website is a great place for you to start your search. Each month the blog will be featuring one resource or a group of similar resources to highlight, but to start we want to give you an overview of what the Online Reference Resources page offers.

The page is divided into five reference types and a home page. Starting on the homepage you can see that it has some tutorials for some of the sights that the library most often recommend for research including PubMed and EBSCO. On the left is a collection of links to all the other research areas we have collected resources for, medical, general, topical, grants, and images and media. The medical and general topics are both organized by the NLM classification system and have resources in a variety of media types from ebooks to videos.

On the medical tab you will find resources on everything from biochemistry to the respiratory system. Including a dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology, a collection of heart sounds, and a collection of health hotlines. The general reference tab has citation information, dictionaries, and information on law among other resources. No matter what your project the online reference resources page is a good place to start.

Like always if you can’t find any resources for your project on this page, or need help finding more you can contact the library with a quick question for a librarian to answer or set up a consultation to have a longer discussion about your needs.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas lights at Children's Hospital Colorado, ranked among the top 10 large employers in The Denver Post's Top Workplaces 2013 #childrenscolo #CUHSLibrary: