National Medical Librarians Month starts October 1st

Google Solo

Obviously, geeky references and librarianship go hand in hand. This pleases me.

Seriously though, where has the time gone and how is it already a week from October? 2015 has been busy for our library staff, but we couldn’t ask for a better group of colleagues and students to be so busy for. Thanks for letting  us do what we do for you!

October 1st marks the beginning of National Medical Librarians month. The Medical Library Association dedicates each October to celebrating information professionals who provide expert assistance and guidance to students, faculty,  other health care providers and everyday consumers looking for health information inside health sciences and medical libraries.

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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.


October is National Medical Librarians Month!

nmlm_poster_2012_lgThe Medical Library Association (MLA) has declared October as National Medical Librarians Month! Your team of librarians at the Health Sciences Library is proud and pleased to serve you every month out of the year, and we hope to continue working with each and every one of you to make the UCF College of Medicine an excellent place of research and learning. This month we will be posting some facts about medical librarianship and providing you with other resources  you may find useful, so please look out for them. To learn more about the people that make up our library team, visit our Library Directory page on our website, or stop by the library to chat!



Farewell, Popcorn Day!

Not for good of course! Just over the course of the summer. Thanks to everyone who came out for our final Popcorn Day yesterday. Just like last year, Popcorn Day will be on hiatus until school starts back up again in August. Typically, there are 3 main reasons we take a break during the summer:

1. Taking a break gives us plenty of time to replenish our supplies for the year

We go through a whole lot of Popcorn over the course of the year. A typical Popcorn Day  requires us to make six prepackaged bags of magic (consisting of popcorn, oil, and tasty butter seasoning),  and special events throughout the year may require us to pop more. Not including the holiday break and summer, there are about 40-42 weeks of Popcorn Days; that’s a minimum of 252 bags! During this summer break, we can make sure our supplies are restocked and ready to go for another busy year.

2. During the summer, the COM population tends to fluctuate a lot

Summer is the ideal time for faculty and staff with kids to take vacations or some time off to spend with their loved ones. Combined with the fact that the majority of the medical students are away from the college during this time, week to week it’s difficult to gauge just how many people will be around on any given Thursday. Rather than guess high and end up with way too much popped popcorn and no one to share it with (or guess low and have to turn far too many of our friends away), it’s much easier to put it on hold until there are stable numbers inside the COM. Believe it or not, the difference between 2 or 3 popped bags of popcorn and 4 popped bags of popcorn is surprisingly a lot – by the time you get into higher numbers, the machine is thoroughly warmed up and successfully popping a lot more kernels than it did during bag 1 or 2.

3. The machine needs a nice break

You may remember this image arriving in your inbox.

You may remember this image arriving in your inbox.

Popcorn Day became a thing in Fall of 2011, when we thought it would be a neat way to bring patrons into the library; it debuted during the M1 Orientation Fair that August. Fast forward to a Thursday afternoon in May of  Spring 2012 where we couldn’t get the machine to pop any popcorn at all. The heating unit for the kettle wouldn’t do its job anymore – whether it was a defective kettle or heavy use, we were out of a machine. Maintenance and upkeep of a machine like this is important, especially if its something that doesn’t just have occasional use (something we had to come to terms with as we scrambled to see if we could order another kettle or had to purchase a whole new machine). While we’re prepared now to handle another burnt-out kettle, we don’t want to accelerate the process by over-working the current one. This two month break during the summer lets the machine have a well deserved rest, allows us time to service anything that may need work, and make sure its in tip-top shape for future popcorn days.

Popcorn Day will officially return Thursday, August 14th. Until then, please feel free to swing by the library to say “Hi” on Thursdays anyway – we’d love to see you! Thanks for your continued support of the library and all we do – it really is our pleasure to be your Health Sciences Library. Generating smiles is an important part of health and wellness, too, you know!


“Heartbleed”? Sounds like you should see a doctor….

Well, that doesn't look good...

Well, that doesn’t look good…

You might have been hearing a lot on the news and over the internet lately about a thing called “Heartbleed”, and how a lot of your passwords and various log-in information across websites may be compromised. It’s kind of a big deal conversation, so let’s talk about what you need to know about the issue.

The Short Explanation

Heartbleed is a bug that affects the way your browser talks to a website over an encrypted channel. Someone wanting to use this bug maliciously could theoretically take advantage of it to unravel the securities put in place by sensitive online locations like bank websites or e-commerce sites, and steal passwords and other sensitive information. Not cool.

The Longer Explanation

Heartbleed is a flaw in the OpenSSL implementation of SSL, a basic cryptographic protocol that secures Web communications. It’s been hiding in the OpenSSL software for a long time. SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer”, and essentially makes your connection to a website that requires the transmission of private information (like credit card numbers and Social Security Numbers) to be encrypted and secure. For instance, you know SSL is being used on a website like because of the “s” at the end of the “http” line in the web address (the lock image is a nice touch, too).

Note the "s" at the end of the "http" line.

Note the “s” at the end of the “http” line.

Basically, it makes it so that your neighbor can’t “see” what you’re doing over your connection while you’re shopping or banking or whatever.

OpenSSL  is the open-sourced version of SSL, and is used pretty heavily by the Apache and nginx Web servers. These two servers combined power what amounts to be almost two-thirds of all active websites on the internet, which is a lot!

The bug Heartbleed affects an extension in OpenSSL called “heartbeat”, essentially making it possible for malicious users of the web to request data from a Web server’s memory and “see” that previously secure data. That kind of data could include sensitive information. People abusing this flaw could then take that data and impersonate services and users.

The Problem in a (reasonably sized) nutshell

Data leakage is obviously the main issue. A companion problem to this issue is that it’s actually really difficult to tell if someone is exploiting this bug, which makes it really difficult to tell if you are or have been a potential victim. Since the bug has been around since around late 2013, it’s possible that there’s been a lot of undetected shenanigans going on all over the internet if people of questionable character have come across the bug. There’s a lot of room for these people to have messed with a lot of secure data and communications.

Since you can’t actually tell if a site you’ve visited or a site you own has been a victim of inappropriate activity, the best you can do is the following:

  • Test your site or the site you’re visiting to see if it’s vulnerable. You can do that by following this link and following the instructions there.
  • If you find out a site you own is vulnerable, update your version of OpenSSL to version 1.0.1g, which addressed the Heartbleed problem.
  • As a general user of the internet, a good idea might be to change your usernames and passwords for sites you do business with. Just make sure the site has addressed this problem first, or the credentials update will be a little moot; if the security problem hasn’t been fixed yet, you’d just be providing new data that could just as easily be stolen.

For more information about the Heartbleed bug, you can visit for the latest news or for more in-depth information about the bug.

Come check out our new exhibit and get a treat!

You may be wondering about the group of large poster panels currently on display in the library Reading Room; they make up the latest exhibit we are borrowing from the National Library of Medicine!


Did you know that in Shakespeare’s time, human personality, along with physical and mental health, were described by the interaction of the four “bodily humors” – blood, bile, melancholy, and phlegm – a theory that has long since been discarded? Shakespeare’s plays are filled with references to this theory, and so this exhibit examines the intersection between literature and medicine!

Please feel free to stop by the library to check out the exhibit if you have an opportunity – we have a small treat for you to show our thanks. If you can’t make it, stop by the exhibit website to learn all about it!

Today is the last….

…Popcorn Day before August!

Since the school year is essentially over, it’s time to give the Popcorn Machine some well deserved rest.  As such, today is the FINAL Popcorn Day of the 2012-2013 academic year. Stop by the library and grab a bag! Thank you to all of you for your support this year – it’s always nice to be able to chat with you all when you get a chance to visit the library. We hope this has been a positive interaction, and encourage all of you to continue to stop by the library anytime you have a question or need assistance with anything – we’re happy to help! Popcorn Day will return in August when school starts again.


…Evening of Late Nights in the library!

Tonight is also the last night we will be operating under our normal operating schedule of 8am – 11pm. Tomorrow we will kick off our summer hours!

Monday through Friday: 8am – 5pm

Saturday and Sunday: CLOSED

Beginning August 5th we will be open to College of Medicine patrons 24/7, with official business hours and library staff available from 8am-5pm. All you will need to access the library space after official business hours is your College of Medicine ID card.


Tegrity Issues With Latest iOS Update

UCF’s main campus reports there have been issues with the latest iOS mobile update (6.0) and Tegrity.  If you have an Apple mobile device, that you have already updated to iOS 6.0 or higher, it is being advised that you NOT update to the latest version of Tegrity until there is a fix.

Android devices appear to be unaffected.