McGoogan News

From the archives: first amputation illustration

By John Schleicher

The first published illustration of an amputation scene, showing ligature-tourniquet, knife, and saw. The figure in the backgrouGersdorff amputationnd has an injured hand, perhaps having lost fingers to encourage the patient having the amputation.

The illustration was published in a work by Hans von Gersdorff (born circa 1455), a German army surgeon with decades of experience. His landmark work was Feldtbüch der Wundartzney (Fieldbook of Surgery—i.e. “Wound Doctoring”), published in Strasburg in 1517. He was one of Germany’s most noted surgeons during the late 15th and early 16th centuries, though little is known about the personal life or background of the man

He described a number of surgical techniques and instruments in his text, accompanying them with several illustrations, including instructive illustrations of early surgical procedures. The work on surgery contained numerous woodcuts, partly anatomical, partly surgical. The latter showed graphically how operations were performed. Gersdorff concentrated on traumatic surgery and wounds, showing the extraction of arrows and bullets.

Many of the images were quite technical, if not always complete or precisely accurate. The book was widely used as a basic surgical text for many years, most notably for its advice on limb amputation, for which Gersdorff was reputed to be much experienced, with at least 200 procedures to his credit.

Gersdorff died in 1529 at the age of 74, presumably the consequence of old age rather than a gruesome amputation or surgery.

The Library Wants to Hear Your Story


The McGoogan Library of Medicine is looking for volunteers from UNMC and Nebraska Medicine to participate in 30-minute interviews. We are interested in learning about your information needs, how you look for information, and how the library fits into your work and life. Your stories and comments will be used in the development of our new strategic plan, and decisions on future goals and priorities.  Each interview participant will receive a $10 gift card.

If you are interested, and have 30 minutes to talk with us, please fill out this form so that we can schedule a time to meet with you:

We look forward to hearing your story!


Journals and news resources added to the library’s collection

Through the cooperation and funding assistance from the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries (UNCL), the McGoogan Library now has access to more than 3,700 journals from two major publishers: Wiley and Taylor & Francis. Funding for these high-impact, multi-disciplinary journal packages came from student library fees and one-time strategic investment funds from President Bounds.

UNCL is leading the University of Nebraska libraries to increase seamless access to information resources for teaching, learning, and research on all campuses and working to leverage purchasing power for the benefit of the system as a whole.

Our library also benefits from UNCL-funded resources that are of importance to the other campuses. Students and faculty can access the additional new resources funded from the incentive money provided by President Bounds. These include Bloomberg BNA, a database covering business and law news, Access World News, a resource that includes more than 9,000 international news publications and is updated daily, and the archives (1885-1983) of the Omaha World Herald.


Student survey: you commented, we answered


We are planning a major renovation in 2018. We will renovate all three floors of the library. Our focus is on improving student study space, technology, possibility of natural lighting, and other areas that will serve student needs. We plan on creating a 24/7 space available for all students. We will involve students in planning for a new, redesigned library. Because of building and funding limitations, we cannot make significant changes until 2018.

We’d like more study rooms with comfortable furniture, more white boards, better lighting throughout the library, updated and additional restrooms, and better temperature control.

  • We have made minor improvements, such as the purchase of new furniture (e.g. the Brodys, a semi-private study pods available on the 7th floor) and more rolling white boards. Library staff will continue testing new furniture with student feedback and purchasing based on this feedback and when funds are available.

Study rooms are often not available when I want. The windows also make it feel like I’m in a fishbowl.

  • The library staff implemented a reservation system for study rooms. Restrictions are in place so that reservations are more fair than first-come-first-served. See to reserve a room. The window glass was frosted to give more privacy.

We need more quiet study space.

  • The entire 7th floor is now a quiet zone. We will place table placards in study rooms reminding users of noise issues. We are reminding staff, including Facilities personnel, to lower voices.

What’s with the empty shelves? Remove them and create study space.

  • A few years ago, we consolidated our collection to the 7th We cannot remove the empty shelves because it triggers violations of the occupancy code. We are adding graphics and displays that concern both the library and UNMC.

The study rooms smell and we need more recycling bins throughout the library.

  • Improvements are underway by adding a second cleaning of carpet and furniture to the schedule, placing more trash cans outside the study rooms with reminders for students not to leave food waste in the rooms, and redistributing recycling bins for 6th and 7th floors. Also, library staff are attempting to keep the rooms open when not in use to help circulate air flow.

Can we have power strips placed in the study rooms?

  • We purchased some freestanding AC power/USB port charging stations, and we are securing additional chargers for each study room. Depending on feedback, the library staff will order more.

The lounge needs updating. Maybe a coffee shop?

  • The major renovation will consider vending options in a 24/7 space. Until then, we offer free coffee in the lounge, or students can use a Keurig machine. K-cups are not provided.



Can you expand your hours?

  • Until the renovation, we cannot extend hours due to staffing and limitations with the library space. The renovation in 2018 will include a 24/7 space.


Tutorials and Learning How to Find Information

Library tutorials are too long and present too much information.

  • We are reviewing and revising our tutorials. We plan on gathering student feedback on future tutorials for a better educational experience.

I’d like a librarian to teach us about databases and search techniques in my class.

I’ve asked for help in finding information and was told to do it myself.

  • Help is always available in locating appropriate resources and information at the library’s AskUs desk. If you encounter any problems, please contact Roxanne Cox at


Interlibrary Loan

Students need more than 50 free interlibrary loans.

  • Good news! In January 2015, we removed the limit. Interlibrary loan is now free.



We need more journals!

  • In partnership with the other NU libraries, we have increased access to some collections, such as Taylor & Francis, IEEE, and coming soon are more Wiley journals. To submit journal requests, please contact Alison Bobal

We want Clinical Key back!

  • Clinical Key is an expensive product with high inflation rate. To reinstate Clinical Key, we would have to free up money from other parts of our collections budget. We reviewed all our subscriptions, ebooks, and databases to see what we could cancel to reinstate Clinical Key. We would have to cancel hundreds of ejournals. Relying on interlibrary loan for those journal articles would frustrate you. We are approaching the loss of Clinical Key content by purchasing individual ebook titles. We are working with different departments in setting priorities for what we should purchase. Please contact Alison Bobal for submitting requests for content you need

We need more question banks for USMLE. ExamMaster is less than satisfactory.

  • We realize that students want other question banks. Our Collection Development Committee has decided not to renew our subscription to ExamMaster and is evaluating alternative resources within our budget.

How do you make your decisions regarding resources?

  • Our Collection Development Committee reviews our resources based on usage, cost, quality of the platform, and how it meets the needs of UNMC’s education, research, and clinical missions. For some of our resources, we have to buy content in a bundle, like how you purchase cable television. We spend all library student fees on ejournals, ebooks, and databases.

We need more anatomical models.

  • Library staff weeded out models that were falling apart or had inaccurate labels. Now we are tracking requests for different models.



Where can I learn more about 3D printing?

  • The 3D printer is available for use by current students, faculty, and staff of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. We limit 3D print requests to academic, clinical and research objects. Learn more at or contact Emily Glenn at

Can we have wireless printing?

  • Yes! In October, ITS implemented wireless printing.

The printers are not adequate and in inconvenient locations.

  • We have passed along your concerns to ITS since they provide the student printers.

It’s hard to find things on the library’s website

  • We will be conducting a usability study on our website in February 2017 to improve the user experience. If you want to participate, please contact Heather Brown at

NLM Spotlight: New History of Medicine Online Exhibitions

The National Library of Medicine creates online exhibitions and education resources to enhance awareness of its history of medicine collection. Two new exhibitions were recently released.


Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care describes how the physician assistant profession developed and continues to evolve today. It features stories of PAs in communities around the world, as well as those who have been involved in government service. You can learn more about the exhibit by visiting

NLM exhibition "Fire and Freedom"

Fire and Freedom: Food and Enslavement in Early America examines the labor of slaves and food practices during the colonial era, and explores the exchange of power among different people, races, genders, and classes at that time. The online exhibition features 18th-century materials on food, botany, health, and housekeeping. You can learn more by visiting

Both exhibitions also feature K-12 lesson plans, a higher education module, online activities, suggested readings, and links to other resources. The Exhibition Program is managed by the National Library of Medicine History of Medicine Division.