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News From the Libraries: March 2023

Featured Ebook of the Month

Curriculum Development for Medical Education: A Six-Step Approach

Patricia A. Thomas, David E. Kern, Mark T. Hughes, Sean A. Tackett, Belinda Y. Chen

A thoroughly revised and updated fourth edition of a text that has become an international standard for curriculum development in health professional education.Intended for faculty and other content experts who have an interest or responsibility as educators in their discipline, Curriculum Development for Medical Education has extended its vision to better serve a diverse professional and international audience. Building on the time-honored, practical, and user-friendly approach of the six-step model of curriculum development, this edition is richly detailed, with numerous examples of innovations that challenge traditional teaching models.

Check out the book through EBSCO Ebooks, provided by the Briscoe Library.


Did you know the library has ebooks? Browse our collections that cover everything from the health sciences to literature.

Search by Booking Name! Room Reservation Update

Looking for your study group? Did you forget which room you reserved? You can now search bookings through the room reservation system. When booking a study room, use the Booking Type or Meeting Name field to enter your name, study group, class, etc. 

View Confirmed Bookings by clicking on the link in the upper right of the room reservation page(s). 

  1. Select the Location (floor); Category (study or conference room); and When (Today, Next 7 Days, Next 14 Days, or Custom Date). Click Search.
  2. Find the booking name.
  3. Need to make another reservation? Click on the link to Make Another Booking.

Screenshot of confirmed bookings page

Other Reservation Updates:

Trying to schedule a meeting? Looking for a conference room? Now you can view all three rooms on one page: 

Screenshot of Conference Room reservation page

If Books Could Kill - A Short History of Poison Books

Victorian Era England and America saw a huge rise in new commodities, new industries, and new technology. Increased urbanization and literacy also lead to a boom in the book-binding business, as demand for reading material skyrocketed.

Arsenical emerald green book with a floral pattern on the cover, titled The Oasis.For centuries, most books were a luxury item. Wealthy patrons would have volumes custom bound in leather, while some amount of cheaper books were bound in flimsy paper. Durable and beautifully designed books were out of reach of most people.

As technology rapidly advanced, binding began to shift away from catering only to wealthy patrons to bulk printing and standardized 'publishers binding'. While leather remained the material of choice for the well-to-do, affordable bookcloth was introduced as the go-to for mass printing.

Eager for buyers, publishers scrambled to find ways to make their books as eye-catching as possible. Cloth turned out to be an amazing material to work with, as it could be textured, embossed, and more importantly, dyed. Early cloth books were drably colored but by the 1840s brighter hues were being introduced as pigments and dyes became cheaper to produce. Brilliant blue, red, yellow, orange, and purple cloth binding became common, the covers often more impressive than whatever was on the pages between.

One of the most popular new colors of the day was a spectacular emerald green, which came in a variety of names, such as Scheele's green or Paris green. The hue was already being widely used, as it brought the bright green of nature into the grey, smog and soot stained cities. Clothing, wallpaper, fake flowers, home goods, toys, and even some foods sported the color. With such popularity it only made sense for bookcloth to follow.

Competition between binders was high. They often had their own dye makers and chemists, and kept their dye mixes as closely guarded trade secrets. But it was no secret where the emerald green pigment came from: an inorganic compound known as copper acetoarsenite, or arsenic.

Victorians already knew ingesting arsenic was toxic but didn't seem to have the same sense of caution when it came to textiles. Concern about the pigment was slow to solidify and the compound continued to be widely used in everything from fake flower to shoe boxes. It's estimated as many as tens of thousands of books may have been bound with it between the 1840s and 1860s.

Newspaper clipping from the 1800s showing a male skeleton asking a female skeleton to dance. Caption reads "The Arsenic Waltz"The worst effects were mainly among poor workers in direct daily contact with the toxic pigment, though enough wealthier people were sickened by their own clothing that the danger came into wider public knowledge and several investigations done by doctors of the day.

There is at least one confirmed case of poisoning by book. A child in New York ingested arsenic pigment off a paintbrush, after using the cover of one of the emerald green books as a water-color pallet. Thankfully the child survived and changing tastes in design, and eventually some governmental regulations, saw the slow phasing out of arsenical green pigments.

Unfortunately many of the items dyed with it survive to this day, including bound books, which are being found in libraries, museums, and private collections.

The Poison Book Project is spreading information about, and directly investigating, historical books bound in toxic pigments. Using X-ray fluorescence, and other modern technology, they're able to identify the substances contained in historical bindings. In addition to arsenic, books have been found with cloth bindings treated with chromium yellow, lead, mercury, and other toxic materials. This project is making it easier for libraries and other collections to identify potentially hazardous books to ensure proper handling and storage, and to help ensure the exposures of the past remain in the past.

Learn More

Featured New eBooks for March 2023

For a list of the newest titles at the Briscoe Library click here.

Purchase suggestions?
Complete the online Purchase Suggestion Form or contact
Andrea N. Schorr, Associate Director of Resource Management.