UW Radiology

Featured History: Templeton Radiology Library

The Templeton Library was established by the Radiology Department based on the aspirations of Frances Templeton.  Frances was the widow of Dr. Frederic Templeton, first Executive Officer of the Department. Joan Valaas Ferguson completed the initial cataloging and organizing work, and wrote the library’s first operational manual on January 3, 1980.  The library featured a working collection of then-current Radiology books and journals, as well personal items from Dr. Templeton.  One prominent feature of the early library was the American College of Radiology learning file: an extensive collection of annotated films.  Major renovation of the library was completed in 1984, which included the addition of a portrait of Dr. Templeton and a collection of historic x-ray tubes, both of which are seen in the library today.

According to the original operational manual, it was anticipated that the library would be maintained by the departmental secretary.  In practice, staff shared responsibility for making checkout cards and pasting pockets in books on a rotating basis.  Various departmental personnel maintained the Library over the years.  Early administrators of the library included Dr. Charles Rohrmann and Radiology staffer Helen Wilson.  For years, the library functioned as a basic repository for departmentally purchased books.

In the library’s 31st year, Marie Moffitt, who graduated from what was then the UW School of Librarianship in 1975, instituted sponsorship of an intern to operate the library.  Sarah Barrett, the first intern, started in January of 2011. She conducted the first journal needs assessment survey and coordinated with Dr. Shuman to arrange library book purchases at the RSNA conference.  Sarah instigated the use of the library’s first OPAC, Koha.  She adopted the practice of cataloging via NLM call number.

Sarah’s internship was followed by an interregnum wherein library operations returned to staff members, such as Program Coordinator Shelley MacElveen and Program Operations Specialist Bill Freeberg.  During this period, library operations were kept simple: books were ordered upon request, and the old filing system with color coding and numbering by topic was utilized. This period lasted from approximately January 2012-May 2013.

The June 2013- August 2014 Library Intern, Kimberly Tate, continued her predecessor practices of offering the Radiology community with assistance using information resources.  She worked extensively on the library’s cataloging, adding NLM/LC/Cutter number/publication year call numbers to the books.

original trl manual.jpg

Pictured: the original TRL Manual.

Kimberly’s successor, Rebecca Brothers, continued to build upon the existing foundation of library resources within the department.  She added books from the University of Washington e-book collection to Koha. She expanded upon the use of Piktochart to develop helpful infographics for library users, created a series of historical exhibits (of which this article is a continuation), and made regular posts on the library’s wordpress blog. She also conducted an extensive survey of journal usage preferences among the UW Radiology community and completed adding the book collection to the online database.  Her productive tenure lasted from September 2014 to June 2015.


As mentioned above, Rebecca Brothers developed a fantastic series of blog posts about significant figures in the history of radiology.  I decided early in my tenure that I was going to keep this tradition of historical review alive in some sense, and I have spent some time poring over primary historical documents and interviewing witnesses to develop this history of the Templeton Library.  I am proud to present the culmination of this work, which is quite probably most comprehensive history of the TRL extant.  It may be interesting to the reader to compare this history with that of other special and medical libraries, it may even offer some ideas for improvements to small libraries such as ours.


New Updates: 7/3/17

Tigh’s tenure as the Templeton Library Intern lasted from June 2015 to July 2016. During his time at the Templeton, Tigh got a YouTube channel started and created some highly useful videos about services offered at the library. He also presented this information to several members of the Radiology Department including new fellows and residents. As stated above, Tigh continued Rebecca’s legacy of featured histories and conducted his own user survey to better understand and help library patrons. Thank you to Tigh and all the past library interns for compiling the history of the TRL! Here, I will be adding some more brief explanations of the history to date.

Tigh passed the torch to me, Martina Vargas, in July 2016. I had large shoes to fill, but in time I think I lived up to the great work my predecessors has set out before me. Some of my accomplishments over the last year include: updating the Koha OPAC by integrating a Twitter feed, our social media accounts and other prominent websites; taking inventory of the collection for possibly the first time in TRL history; re-organizing the collection to feature “Main” and “Historical” Collections; accurately reflecting these changes in Koha and utilizing its helpful features, such as running reports, automatic notifications and more. I have continued the tradition of the RSNA Book Purchase Program and have added a “Wall of Recognition” exhibit that features articles published by faculty and residents in the department. In February 2017, I had the pleasure of meeting the daughter and grandson of Dr. Templeton; I got to learn a little bit more about the history of the library and show off the legacy that it has become.

In June 2017, I began training the new Library Intern, Kelly Chandler. She just completed her first year in the Master of Library and Information Science program at the University of Washington’s Information School. Also in June 2017, Kelly and I had the pleasure of meeting the step-son of Dr. Templeton and got the opportunity to learn more about Frances Templeton, Head Nurse at UWMC in her time and wife of Dr. Templeton. What a treat! I look forward to the next year as Kelly continues the traditions of the TRL and makes her own mark here in the department.