Your Prescription for March: Get Some Vitamin Zzzzzzzzz

March 2-8 is National Sleep Awareness Week! 

Sleepy Cat

This cat definitely has the right idea

Students: are you taking catnaps between classes in your car or in the library (you know who you are)? Staff and faculty: are you getting drowsy during your 10am meeting? I know I’m guilty. This month, let’s all focus on getting some much needed sleep.

The National Institutes of Health has helpful guidelines on how much sleep we should all be getting, how to get your sleep cycle back on track, and how to tune in to your body’s clues for more sleep (hint: falling asleep at the wheel):

  • 50-70 million Americans are affected by sleep-related problems
  • The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders can lead to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart attack, and depression
  • Adults (even medical students) need 7-8 hours of sleep every day
  • Napping does not provide all of the benefits of night-time sleep – you cannot make up for lost sleep
  • You might be sleep deficient if you feel like you might doze off while studying or watching TV, sitting in traffic for a few minutes, or sitting quietly after lunch

Here are some helpful strategies for getting more sleep:

  •  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Try to keep the same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends, or try to limit the different to no more than an hour to avoid disrupting your body’s sleep-wake rhythm
  • Limit alcoholic drinks and caffeine before bed – the effects of caffeine can last 8 hours!
  • Be physically active every day, especially outside
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark to promote sleep
  • Avoid artificial light from TVs, laptop screens, phones, or tablets before bed – the light can signal your brain to stay awake
  • Try some relaxation techniques like meditation, or take a hot bath, before you go to bed

Check out Your Guide to Healthy Sleep from the National Institutes of Health.

Good night!

Spotlight on Health: American Heart Month Resource Roundup

Healthy LifestyleWith only about a week left in February and American Heart Month, we wanted to compile a list of great resources and information floating around on the internet to do with heart health and battling heart disease for your reference. Happy browsing!


The Basics:

About Heart Disease – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Heart Disease – Mayo Clinic

What Are Heart Disease and Stroke? – American Heart Association

Warning Signs of Heart Attack, Stroke, & Cardiac Arrest


Understanding Your Risk:

Heart Disease Risk Factors – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Heart Attack Risk Assessment – American Heart Association

Heart Disease Risk Questionnaire – Siteman Cancer Center


Live a Heart Healthy Life!:

Getting Healthy – American Heart Association

Dietary Guidelines for Americans – United States Department of Agriculture – United States Department of Agriculture

Physical Activity and Your Heart – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Stress and your heart – MedlinePlus


Other Interesting News and Facts:

Being active a few days a week lowers risk of heart disease, stroke in women

Paramedics may be first source of treatment for stroke patients

Spotlight on Health: National Cholesterol Education Month

Did you know…Certain chocolate is better for your heart health?

Interactive Cardiovascular Library

MedlinePlus: The Best Database You’re Probably Not Using

MedlinePlus: It's like you have a medical professional right in your computer

MedlinePlus: It’s like you have a medical professional right in your computer

Did you know you can access up to date, authoritative information on nearly 1,000 health topics in easy to read (i.e., non-medical jargon) language for FREE? The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine have a terrific resource called MedlinePlus geared toward the general public, and not health professionals.

Health topics in MedlinePlus are available in many different languages, from Japanese to Samoan, even Swahili and Polish. Topics are categorized by body location/system, disorders and conditions, diagnosis and therapy, demographic groups, and health and wellness. You can also find information on drugs and supplements, and watch videos and tutorials.

Although the content in MedlinePlus is not meant for health professionals, the information found here can be very useful for physicians and nurses. Materials in MedlinePlus are typically written at a 5th to 8th grade reading level, making them perfect for use as patient handouts. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, about 36% of adults in the U.S. have limited health literacy, or the ability to understand basic health information needed to make health decisions. In fact only 12% of the U.S. population is proficient in health literacy.

The next time you need basic information about your heartburn, are curious as to whether you’re getting enough calcium, or want to learn more about a family member’s recent Celiac Disease diagnosis, check out MedlinePlus.

And remember, if you need any help locating good, reliable health information online, stop by the health sciences library and speak to a librarian.

Tech Talk Thursday: Google Glass – A Step Back for Reflection

Tech Talk banner

Welcome to our first monthly Tech Talk Thursday! On the first Thursday of each month, the health sciences library’s technology experts will update you on the latest happenings in the world of tech.


google-glassOn January 15th Google announced that it was ending the Google Glass Explorers Edition program – we’ve talked about the program a little before in a previous blog post. The product had been released in limited fashion to the public in April 2013. Google Glass was billed as a hands-free solution that could get you through your day by helping you to navigate city streets, keep in communication with your friends, and stay updated with the latest news and information. People even filmed themselves skydiving with the devices. Controversy over Google Glass arose as well. For example, there were privacy concerns over the built-in camera which made people uncomfortable about the potential of being surreptitiously filmed. Businesses began to preemptively ban the devices even before they were in the hands (and on the faces) of the public at large.

Google stopped short of saying that the program was being cancelled; rather it was to be folded into another division within Google. Further Google Glass development will be moved from the Google X, where Google houses experimental projects, to its own division under the Nest division which is overseen by Tony Fadell, formerly of Apple, Inc. where he helped in the development of the original iPod. The aim is to take what was learned during the Google Glass Explorers Edition program and put that technology and knowledge to create new technology to enrich us on a daily basis.

To be sure, the wearables markets is in its infancy. There are tons of devices coming out that seek to make technology a more integral part of your everyday life such as Android Wear devices, Apple Watch, FitBit activity trackers, and the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Time will tell what will become a part of everyday life for millions and what will end up in a dusty drawer. And for now you will need to use GoPros to record your skydiving adventures.

You Asked, We Answered: Copyright edition (Part I)

We’re taking time this week to answer some of the questions we get asked most frequently. Copyright questions are certainly at the top of the list. Today we tackle the basics of Fair Use.

Question: What is Fair Use?


Fair Use is an exception to the rights of copyright owners and allows the public to make limited uses of copyrighted work.

In determining whether a particular use is “Fair Use,” a court weighs four factors:

(1) Purpose and character of use (commercial or educational)

(2) Nature of the copyrighted work

(3) Amount and substantiality of portion used in relation to the work as a whole

(4) Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of copyrighted work

Fair use is a balancing test – does the overall use after evaluating and applying all four factors lean in favor of or against fair use? As you can imagine, this is very fact-specific and there is no one right answer. The bottom line: think of fair use as a defense – it is always better to obtain permission or have a license to use copyrighted work (or use a work in the public domain); if not, then we may rely on fair use after balancing the four factors above.

For more information, check out:



Spotlight on Health: Stand up before you read this

Ever felt like this? Get up and walk around for a bit!

Ever felt like this? Get up and walk around for a bit!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution on January 1st? Was it to exercise more? New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that instead of just exercising more, we may actually need to sit less. The systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizes the results of 47 studies and comes to the conclusion that sitting for long periods of time can lead to an increased risk of early death, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. This is true even for those of us who are already active. The research finds that those who are physically active on a regular basis but still spend the majority of their time being sedentary, still have greater risk for adverse health effects than those who are not sedentary for long periods. Even those who exercise vigorously but still sit for long periods, have a greater mortality rate than those who are not sedentary for long periods of time. The bottom line seems to be that getting our 30 minutes of daily exercise is not enough to stay healthy in the long term. We need to move more and sit less all day, every day.

To reduce the time you spend sitting down during the day, try some of these tips:

– Get a standing desk or treadmill desk

– Take regular breaks when sitting at your desk to get up and walk around

– Use your smart phone or smart watch to remind you to get up every 10 or 15 minutes

– Instead of calling co-workers on the phone, make a habit of getting up and walking to their offices

– When watching TV at home, get up during commercial breaks and stretch or walk around your house

– Set a goal to try to reduce sedentary time by 2-3 hours in a 12 hour day

Try UCF Apps For All Your Software Needs!

Suppose it’s Friday evening after 5pm, and you have to give a last minute presentation to your department first thing Monday morning. You’re not finished creating it yet, but between taking the kids out to that movie they really want to see and picking the dog up from the vet before it closes, you really can’t stay at work any longer. You would work on the document at home over the weekend, but you don’t have the latest version of Microsoft PowerPoint on your laptop. The library is closed, or you would run to the second floor and checkout a laptop, and it’s not the IT department’s policy to load software onto personal devices. Looks like you’re staying at work a while longer, right?

Luckily enough, UCF has your back. Introducing UCF Apps!

From their website, “UCF Apps provides you access to software you need for your coursework from any device, at any time, from any where” – sounds like our kind of service, don’t you think? The multi-year project is being funded by the UCF Technology Fee, which has brought some neat things to the University in the past that you might not know about.

All current students, faculty, and staff have access to most of the available software applications UCF Apps is able to provide. Some of the basic software includes Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and even SPSS if statistical software is something you need to use.

To use UCF Apps on a computer running Windows or Mac OS, follow these instructions (for a video of the installation process, go here and skip to 0:57 seconds in):

  1. Go to
  2. Log in with your NID and NID password
  3. Install the Citrix Receiver client when prompted
  4. When the install is finished, add the applications you need by clicking the “+” on the left-hand side of the browser window
  5. Start using your apps and do all  the work!

If you’re all about using your Android or Apple iOS device (phone or tablet) instead of your laptop, you can utilize UCF Apps on those as well!

  1. Go to your device app store
  2. Search for, download, and install the free Citrix Receiver app
  3. Click add account and fill out the following information:
    1. Address:
    2. Username: Your NID
    3. Password: Your NID Password
    4. Domain: net
  4. Add the applications you need
  5. Continue to be amazed by your productivity!

If you’re looking for really specific instructions, the Get Help page on their site even breaks down the installation process by web browser.

It was mentioned above that you can always checkout a laptop from the library if you need one during our business hours (pending availability). We have some good software loaded on our devices, but if you can’t make it down to see us, we hope UCF Apps provides a great second option for you. As the service becomes more popular, it’s likely they’ll add some more software offerings to their catalog. To keep up with the latest from UCF Apps, follow them on Twitter @UCFApps.

Come Check Out Our Exhibit!

Every year, the Health Sciences Library works to bring in informative, historical, fun, and unique exhibits to the College of Medicine through the National Library of Medicine Traveling Exhibition Program. This year, we will be fortunate to host two exhibits; one is currently on display outside of the library.

The Literature of Prescription

“The Literature of Prescription” exhibit on display in the atrium

We are proud to host The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Yellow Wall-Paper, which will be on display until Friday, January 23rd in the 2nd floor atrium. From the promotional brochure:

“In the late nineteenth century, women challenged traditions that excluded them from political and intellectual life as medical experts drew on notions of female weakness to justify inequality between the sexes. Artist and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to preserve her health, rejected these ideas in a terrifying short story title “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” Her famous tale served as an indictment of the medical profession and social conventions that restrict women’s professional and creative opportunities.”

The exhibit is open to the public for viewing, as well! Please note the business hours for the College of Medicine while planning your visit. If you can’t find an opportunity to come by the library to view the physical exhibit, you can visit the exhibition website to learn all about it.


Spotlight on Health: A Happy and Healthy Holiday to You All!

HSL-FestiveWow, 2014 flew by! We really enjoyed putting together all of the blog posts this year. Coming up in January, we’ll be introducing the new name for our blog; we hope you’ll look forward to it!

As we break for the holidays, we wanted to leave you with this informative (and fun) carol courtesy of the CDC. Consider this festive song our reminder to keep healthy and safe while you’re enjoying the best of the holiday season. We hope you like it so much you want to sing along!


See you in the new year!

The Library Technology Lab is Officially Open for Business!

3 weeks ago we held the official opening event for our new Library Technology Lab! It was a lot of fun, and we had a chance to show off a lot of the technology we have available to our College of Medicine patrons for checkout. Check out the time lapse video below and see if you can spot yourself amongst the crowd of eager visitors.

Of huge interest was the pair of Google Glass that we have. It was unfortunately experiencing some technical difficulties at the time, but we’re working with Google to try and get those resolved. We’ll be sure to keep you updated about when it will be available to play with again.

It can tell time AND do math! Wow!

It can tell time AND do math! Wow!

We also held a raffle. The entire event was “Back to the Future” themed, so naturally we had to raffle something that was a little retro, yet cool. Congratulations to our winner, we really hope you enjoy your brand new Calculator Watch!

In case you missed the event, you can check out the entire list of items we have available for checkout on the new Technology Equipment page on our website. Also, please feel free to stop by the Library Technology Lab if you ever want to get some experience with a device before you buy it, have any questions about your device, or want to check if we have anything new. Raney Collins, the library staff member running the lab, will be happy to chat with you. If you’d like to make an appointment to see her, you can contact the lab at or fill out this form.