Fun (and informative) things for Staff at the HSL!

No one could ever deny that we love what we do for our students each and every day – our fun posts across our various social media platforms make that pretty obvious. While most of our efforts are directed at preparing our students for life after medical school, we want our staff at the College of Medicine to know that we’re here for them as well! Here’s a short list of offerings from the Health Sciences Library that we hope our staff keep in mind and take advantage of. Continue reading

Beyond the COM: May 2015 Conference Adventures! Part 1

Over the course of the last month or so, most of us in the library have been busily preparing to participate in two big library conferences that occurred one after the other this past week. This year, we were very fortunate to be presenting at both the Florida Library Association’s 2015 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, and the Medical Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX! This will be a two part recap of our adventures; first up is FLA 2015!

Inspiring Innovation at FLA 2015

Shalu and Natasha at FLA 2015

Natasha and Shalu at FLA 2015

This year, the Florida Library Association’s annual conference was held at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL, from May 12 – 15. It has always been a great conference to attend to get fun new ideas for improving our public services (our Step 1 Survival Coffee Cart actually came about in part because of a session we attended at the 2013 conference!). Further, we can connect with the more traditional side of librarianship we don’t get to hear so much about in the medical librarianship world. We had two of our staff attend, our Public Services Librarian Shalu and myself (hi there, Natasha here!), as well as our colleague Kerry, who recently moved onto a new position out of state.

Continue reading

You Asked, We Answered: Popcorn!

Popcorn Day. Now with Magical Mix-Ins

Popcorn Day: Part of a complete afternoon snack!

It’s Thursday and we all know what that means – it’s Popcorn Day! This edition of You Asked, We Answered is all about that crunchy, buttery, delicious kernel. The question we get asked most often about Popcorn Day is: Why doesn’t the library make kettle corn (a sweet-salty mix of popcorn and sugar)? The answer is quite simple: Because it would ruin the popcorn machine! And no one wants that, right?

So, to appease those clamoring for something sweet and salty, this week we’re mixing things up with mix-ins! Come by the library at 3pm today to try something different. 

Popcorn seems to be a polarizing snack. We have noticed that people either love it or don’t care for it. If you are one of the few who are on the fence: Did you know that air-popped popcorn only has 31 calories per cup? Lightly buttered popcorn has about 133 calories per cup. That’s still less than most candy bars. And popcorn is a whole grain food, which means it has fiber to fill you up between meals, making it a great snack. Perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up!

Stop by the library today to try out our mix-ins, and let us know what you think – we do listen to you!

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!


Spring has sprung and the COM is busy!

Lots of great events going on this week at the College of Medicine! Today and tomorrow, the 1st and 2nd year students are participating in the 5th annual FIRE Research Conference. The Focused Inquiry and Research Experience Conference showcases the completed research projects of our second year medical students. Select first year students also give oral presentations of projects they will complete in their 2nd year. Visit the 4th floor tomorrow from 9:00am – 12:00pm to discuss the M2 projects with each researcher, and COM102 from 1:00 – 5:00 today and tomorrow for the oral presentations. Follow us on Twitter @ucfcomhsl to see pictures from today and tomorrow!FIRE


Additionally, tomorrow the College will be celebrating its second Match Day as the Class of 2014 finds out where they will be venturing off to complete their residency programs. We did a great post explaining what Match Day is last year when our Charter Class matched, so give it a look if you’re interested in learning more about this tradition. We’ll also be posting pictures from this happy event tomorrow on our Twitter, so look out around noon for those!

Today is also Popcorn Day! We hope to see you in the library at 3pm.  Happy Thursday!



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.