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Himmelfarb Library is allowing most books in the reserves collection to check out for a week. Reserves books are located behind the Circulation Desk and most titles directly support classroom learning and board study. In addition, some materials that were previously on reserves have been moved to the basement level stacks and now checkout for three weeks and are eligible for up to two renewals.

You can check the location of physical materials in Health Information @ Himmelfarb search tool. Change the default search from Online Access to Himmelfarb Catalog as shown below.  

Materials supporting the first and second year MD program are available in a collection that can be browsed and searched

When you’ve located a title you want to borrow, click the title to open the full record and then check under Locations to see where copies are located and if they’re currently available to check out. Courtyard pickup services are available to Himmelfarb patrons that do not currently have access to the physical library.

By signing in, you’ll see the option to request Courtyard pickup services as shown below.

Faculty are encouraged to make as many materials available to students in electronic form as possible. See more information on Himmelfarb’s reserves services for faculty or contact for assistance.


A Special Collections gallery is now available in Health Information @ Himmelfarb, the library’s catalog and discovery service.  You can now browse through special collections contents or search easily within a collection.

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To access, click the Special Collections option from the top Health Information @ Himmelfarb menu as shown below. 

Special Collections Menu item in Health Information @ Himmelfarb image

The following collections and resource lists are currently available:

Note that some collection items may not appear in the gallery due to current quarantine restrictions. 

To search within a collection, use the Search inside the collection button at the top of the resource list.  You can also change the default sort using the Sort Items button. 

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To see availability and location of collection items, open the full record and check the Get It area. 

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Many collections include electronic content. Healthy Living collection books and the Humanities and Health collection are located in the alcove on the first floor. Equipment and the Historical Collections are kept behind the first floor Circulation Desk.

To inquire about collections availability or learn about borrowing options while library access is restricted, contact the Himmelfarb Circulation Desk at or 202-994-2962.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in many US states, here are some trusted sources for tracking the situation in the DMV.

Departments of Public Health:

DC Coronavirus Data - Includes daily numbers tested, positives, and lives lost. Scroll down for the DC Re-Opening Tracker and data by ward, neighborhood, and demographic break outs. Tables include data for cases, quarantine and deaths of public safety personnel. Check the Press Releases area on the home page for a detailed daily summary of Coronavirus Data including trends graphs for transmission and positivity rates, and contact tracing data. Total Positives Map by Ward image for Washington DC

DC Hospital Status Data - Includes daily ICU, ventilator, and bed capacity, COVID hospitalization counts and total patient counts.

Maryland Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak and Data Dashboard - Cases and testing by county, ICU and Acute bed capacities, percentage positive rates and testing volume 7 day averages since March 2020. Cases and deaths by age, gender, race and ethnicity.

Maryland COVID-19 in Congregate Facility Settings (Nursing Homes) - Staff and resident cases and deaths reported by county and facilities.

Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard - Includes total counts and graphic representations of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Demographics tab provides breakouts by age, sex, race and ethnicity. Interactive localities tab provides options for counts or rates, and bar chart generation by health district and locality. Outbreaks tab shows outbreak data by setting/facility type, including long term care and correctional facilities. MIS-C tab tracks cases of Multisymptom Inflammatory Syndrome in Children by health district.

Virginia Department of Health Data Insights - Includes case and testing data by zip code, COVID-like illness visits to EDs by health regions, and modeling data from the UVA COVID-19 Model.  

Other Sources:

COVID-19 Watcher (Cincinnati Children's & University of Cincinnati) - Tool merges county-level COVID-19 data from The New York Times with sources from the U.S. Census Bureau, mapping the data by metropolitan area.

COVID Community Vulnerability Map -  Drill down into communities by zipcode or manipulate the map to view populations most vulnerable for severe outcomes if infected with a COVID-like virus and the socioeconomic factors driving that risk.

Virginia Hospital COVID-19 Dashboard - Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association provides counts of confirmed cases and pui currently hospitalized, ICU beds and ventilators in use, and hospitals with supply shortages.

State Health Workforce Estimator - From the Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at GW, it provides state-level data for considering different strategic approaches to ensure sufficient heath workforce for COVID-19. A Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator is also available.

Washington Post Known Coronavirus Deaths and Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia - Deaths, cases, daily and cumulative counts for each state, daily deaths per 100,000 residents, deaths by county and city, and hospitalizations by state.

Additional monitoring sites, data dashboards and calculators are available on the COVID-19 Research Guide Epidemiology page. The Health Care Resources page includes capacity calculators and models for hospital utilization. Check the Literature, Database, and Data Resources page for open data sets.

After Himmelfarb Library closed its physical space, we made changes to Health Information @ Himmelfarb to make searching for electronic content easier.  The default search mode was switched from Articles + Himmelfarb Catalog to Online Access.  The online access search limits items retrieved to those available full-text online. This includes article, book chapter, and e-book content, as well as some streaming media.

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Searchers can still search physical content by switching the search mode to any of the “catalog” options:

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Requesting holds on books and Consortium Loan request options are turned off until Himmelfarb and other Washington Research Library Consortium libraries reopen. Library users can continue to request items that can be sent digitally through our Documents2Go service.

Have you ever wanted to keep filters you applied in a search active throughout a search session, or easily remove all of them? Now you can! A new enhancement allows setting and keeping multiple filters active with “Remember all filters” or removing all with “Reset filters”. These options become available at the top of the left column menu whenever filters are applied.

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If you have questions about Health Information @ Himmelfarb or need assistance with searching, contact Himmelfarb’s Information Desk staff!

The expanded Research Guide is a one stop for the latest health care and public health focused news, research, literature resources, and clinical guidelines on COVID-19.  It also includes the latest University news and resources for the GW health care community.

The News page includes breaking news, regularly updated newsfeeds like Kaiser Health News and NEJM’s Physician First Watch, and podcasts. Check out JAMA’s regular Q&A’s on COVID-19 for CME credit and CDC’s weekly COCA calls.

The Literature, Database and Data Resources page has portals developed by trusted publishers like BMJ, Springer Nature, and Wiley, and targeted search services like NLM’s LitCovid. Datasets include those that populate Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard and sequence data from NLM Genbank.

Additional pages support clinical, laboratory, and infection control services, and resources for specific medical specialties. Among these are Airway & Management guidelines by Dr. Jeffrey Berger, GW Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, and a Critical Care Primer on resources for non-ICU clinicians called on to support ICU patients, developed by Laura Abate at Himmelfarb.  Also access Master Protocols from University of Washington and UCSF here.

Public health and emergency management resources include tracking maps and dashboards, as well as critical resources from CDC and WHO (daily situation summaries and guidance). State and local public health department COVID-19 information and emergency management agencies are also listed.

The guide will be updated regularly and we encourage you to share any resources we’ve missed by emailing  As always, our team of health sciences librarians is here to assist you with using any of these resources or other information needs at this time. Email us or chat us Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-8pm and Friday 8:30am-5pm.

Most of us are aware of the critical information resources on COVID-19 provided by the CDC and WHO. Many trusted publishers and literature search services in the health sciences now have devoted sites with resources for health care and public health professionals. These resources and more are now available on Himmelfarb’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research Guide.

Here’s a sampling of resources on the guide:

Along with these resources you can find trusted sources for news, clinical guidelines, drug trials, health department information, and protective measures for health care professionals on the Research Guide

Do you know of resources not included on our guide that you would like to recommend? Send them to or

In response to the University’s move to online classes and some student populations being off-campus during that time, Himmelfarb Library has extended due dates for print materials coming due March 14 through April 5th. Those materials are now due by end of day Monday, April 6th, 2020. Please contact the library’s circulation managers at 202-994-2962 or if you need to extend due dates beyond then or have other questions about borrowing physical materials.Himmelfarb Library Circulation Desk

We expect that Documents2Go interlibrary loan services for digital book chapters and articles will continue as normal. Delivery of some physical materials from other libraries may be delayed as they have closures or reductions in service. Contact document delivery staff at or 202-994-2860 with any questions about borrowing materials from other libraries.

Himmelfarb Library will remain open 24/7 with service desks open regular hours until further notice.


The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has declared March 8-14, 2020 to be Patient Safety Awareness Week.  The annual event promotes safety in the healthcare system for both patients and healthcare workers. Medical harm remains a leading cause of death worldwide with the World Health Organization estimating 2.6 million deaths annually from unsafe care in hospitals.

The Institute provides a number of supporting resources on its website:

Patient Safety Essentials Toolkit

Leading a Culture of Safety: A Blueprint for Success

It also makes available a Safety Culture Assessment tool for organizations.

IHI is offering a free virtual learning hour, Principles for Improving Patient Safety Measurement, on Tuesday, March 10th from noon to 1pm.

You can find more resources on IHI’s Patient Safety page, including how to earn the Certified Professional in Patient Safety credential.

Here are some Himmelfarb Library resources on patient safety:

AccessMedicine. Patient Safety Modules [multimedia]

Banja JD. Patient Safety Ethics : How Vigilance, Mindfulness, Compliance, and Humility Can Make Healthcare Safer . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2019.

Fondahn E, Lane M, Vannucci A. The Washington Manual of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement . Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania: Wolters Kluwer; 2016.

Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management. London: SAGE Publications; 2018.

Wachter RM, Gupta K. Understanding Patient Safety . Third edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Education; 2018.

Waterson P. Patient Safety Culture : Theory, Methods, and Application . Farnham, Surrey, England ;: Ashgate Publishing Limited; 2014.


The Himmelfarb Library Scholarly Communications Committee is presenting a webinar event bi-weekly on scholarly publishing topics through spring 2020. The webinars are open to the GW community and webinars are available for viewing after the webinar event. Details of the available and upcoming webinars are listed in the Scholarly Publishing Research Guide.

Journal Stack image

Introduction to Scholarly Publishing, by Paul Levett, is currently available for viewing. It compares traditional and emerging publishing models and what editors consider when selecting articles for publication. 

This week’s webinar is Journal Selection Tools: Choosing the Right Journal for Your Research. The webinar becomes available for viewing February 26th at noon.

In this webinar we provide an overview of tools and resources that can help you select an appropriate journal for your research. Learn about the difference between aggregation based journal selection tools and publisher based journal selection tools and utilize comparison rubrics to evaluate multiple publications. In this webinar we also give you an opportunity to locate journals relevant to your field of study. 

Mark your calendar for these events in March! 

Introduction to Predatory Publishing: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 12pm EST

Copyright for Authors: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 12pm EST

Have you noticed the new microphone icon in the search bar of Health Information @ Himmelfarb?

The microphone appears on most search pages; clicking the microphone enables a voice search feature.

Now speak your search terms and Health Information @ Himmelfarb will display your terms and retrieve matches. A red button in the open window tab indicates the microphone is active and listening. If no audio is detected, the system will prompt for input twice before exiting voice mode.

At this time voice search is only available on Chrome desktop, Android, and Samsung browsers. It will roll out for other browsers as they support Web Speech API.

Health Information @ Himmelfarb has also launched several changes for mobile device searching. 

There is a new funnel icon for Refine Results functions (circled in red above).  When you click the funnel icon for Refine Results all of the options display and multiple can be selected at once.



When you open an item in results, all of the Send to options are now displayed in a block together, as shown to left.



The ellipsis icon (circled in red below) now leads to Library Account, Advanced search, and other search options. 

You can also access Sign In here for requesting options, including Consortium Loan Service and Documents2Go.

We hope these new features improve your search experience on Health Information @ Himmelfarb. If you have questions about the service or need assistance with it, open a chat session with the Ask Us tab while searching or contact the Himmelfarb Information Desk at 4-2850 or

GW is committed to digital accessibility. If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via the Accessibility Feedback Form.