Welcome MBSers! So happy to see you!

Can’t remember anything from orientation?! Don’t worry, you can always Ask Us by email, chat, phone, or text, or just stop by the Library Service Desk–there is always someone to talk to. If you need research assistance, you can get help from the librarian on call or make an appointment with your liaison, Amy Lapidow.

Don’t know where to start? We have many Research Guides on all kinds of topics. Explore! Especially the one about studying. We know you do a lot of that.

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Symphony999 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

It’s time to fall back into learning at Hirsh!  There are so many fabulous opportunities for learning this Fall at Hirsh! Workshops are open to everyone on the Tufts Health Sciences Campus and no previous experience is required. Come as you are and come away with new skills!

Workshops will be held on Thursdays from 12noon-1pm in room 510 (with the exception of the “Citation Tool Fair,” which will be held in room 516).

To see full descriptions and to register for workshops, please visit: https://hirshlibrary.tufts.edu/services/open-workshops 


JumboSearch – 9/5

Citation Management Fair – 9/12 (nb: this event will be held in rm 516)

Approaching the Lit Review –– 9/19

PubMed: Searching the Health Science Literature – 9/26


Right to the Source: Locating U.S. Health Data – 10/3

Intro to Health Science Info on the Internet – 10/10

EndNote: the Basics – 10/17

Research Metrics – 10/24

Patents for Health Sciences Research – 10/31


Mendeley: the Basics – 11/7

Zotero: the Basics – 11/14


If you need a little extra sound muffling, we have you covered! Stop by the Library Service Desk for some earplugs. Did you know? Present-day earplug material was discovered in 1967 by Ross Gardener Jr.!

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If you haven’t stopped by the New Books display recently, you are missing out on some great new titles that have come in! This summer I have been actively adding new releases to the collection, from leisure reading to graphic medicine to non-fiction books; including, GMO’s Decoded by Tufts faculty member, Dr. Sheldon Krimsky. Below is a selection of the latest books to hit our shelves. As always, if there’s a book we don’t have that you would like to recommend, please let us know by using this link to recommend a purchase.


GMOs Decoded: A Skeptic’s View of Genetically Modified Foods

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again

Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine

A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer

The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal

That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour

A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life

The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

How We Teach Science: What’s Changed, and Why It Matters

Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life


Leisure Reading

The DNA of You and Me: A Novel

The Guest Book

Mrs. Everything

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Body Papers

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland


Graphic Medicine

Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos

The Lady Doctor


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So you’d rather be hitting the beach…but you’re here hitting the books instead, and you’re looking for a place to study. We have a variety of great individual spaces here at Hirsh, from standing desks to study pods, but where do you go if you need to do work with a group?

We have two types of rooms that are ideal for group work—collaboration rooms and study rooms, which you can find on the 5th and 7th floors, respectively. We know that there is sometimes a bit of confusion about how they differ, so we’re hoping this post helps clear it up!

Collaboration Rooms

Collaboration rooms are on the 5th floor. They all have whiteboards and screens that you can connect your computers to, their name reflects the fact that they have handy tools you might need to use collaborate with your classmates on a project or a presentation. However, the major thing that sets these rooms apart is that they are reservable. You can find the room use policies, the booking forms, and the schedule on our Collaboration Room website, but we’ll share the basics here.

Groups of 2 or more can reserve them for up to 4 hours a day, and up to 3 times a week. With these limits, we’re striving to hit a good balance between giving each group enough time, but making sure as many different groups as possible can use them. Reservations must be made by 11:59pm the night before so that we can post each room’s schedule outside the door first thing in the morning. If there isn’t a reservation in a room, you can feel free to use it on a first-come, first-served basis just like our study rooms.

So what is a study room? It’s also a small room where you can get work done with others, so what’s the difference?

Study Rooms

You can find our study rooms on the 7th floor (and there’s one on the 6th floor). They always operate on a first-come, first-served basis. You’re welcome to use the rooms if you’re studying alone, but we give priority to groups of 3 or more, so there is a chance that a larger group could ask to use the room. Also, please be mindful of your volume when using these rooms. The 7th floor is a quiet floor, and while the rooms isolate noise somewhat, they are not totally soundproof.


One final note–be sure you’re making good use of the rooms! Any room left unoccupied for more than 15 minutes becomes available for others to use, regardless of whether it’s reserved or if your personal belongings are left in there.

If you have trouble remembering what type of room you want, or you’re looking for another kind of space, visit our handy Room Reservation Wizard. Just put in some info about what you’re looking for and it will show you the spaces that best fit your needs.

Happy Studying!

So, you’re staff at Tufts and you’ve made some pretty useful stuff during your time here.  Let’s say someone at another organization asks to reuse a flyer you designed, a figure you generated, pieces of a report you wrote or something else you created as part of your job here at Tufts.

Can you share your work?  What’s the best way to do it?

Maybe you haven’t memorized the university’s Intellectual Property Policy, but it’s worth a look.  Among other things, it says Tufts University owns the copyright on work staff produce as part of their duties (a.k.a, “work for hire”).  Tech Transfer and University Counsel have created a protocol for sharing these works.  It starts by you completing the Creative Commons Submission Form.

What is Creative Commons (CC)?

Creative Commons provides somewhat straightforward copyright license language protecting the rights holder while encouraging certain uses of the material by others.  For example, some CC licenses prohibit commercial use of the work and some require that any other works produced using the original material carry the same CC license as the original.  The concept is summed up on the submission form as, “By applying a CC license to a given work, authors can easily promote redistribution of their work with minimal paperwork, and without sacrificing control over certain important types of use.”

How does the process work?

After approval by Tech transfer and Legal Counsel, you’ll add notice of the license to your work and can share with others within the parameters of the license.  The university can also make individual decisions to allow certain other uses of the material on a case by case basis.

For a great example of the Creative Common license in action, check out the Evidence Pyramid crafted by our librarian, Amanda Nevius.  When Amanda was updating the content presented to our dental students on Evidence-Based Dentistry, she wanted to create an updated Evidence Pyramid with a focus on clarity and accessibility, using both color-blind friendly design and dyslexia-friendly font. With input from other librarians and design help from Katherine Morley, she did so. Anticipating that this visually appealing pyramid may be something others would want to use, she pursued the Creative Common license and applied it. Already, a clinical faculty member from Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health has let her know she is grateful for the CC license and is intending to use the pyramid.

Any questions about this process?

Contact the Tufts Scholarly Communication Team or University Counsel.

Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz


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Hi everyone,

Time for another installment of my statistics posts! Since the big annual post last June, we’ve changed a little about what we collect, so sadly I don’t have handy available data for which one of our circulation days was the busiest this past year (although I will still be telling you the month). But I can tell you right off the bat that the day we counted the most people studying was November 28th, 2018, when we counted 911 people sitting in our library over the course of the day. 911! That is so many people! Part of it, of course, is all the new seating we keep getting, because we here at Hirsh Library care about where you’re going to sit for your (frankly incredibly long) study sessions. Part of it is probably that we’re just so darn nice.

Leo the Skeleton model smiling at the camera, wearing a light blue Tufts Alumni visor, with a button pinned to it of The Block

Leo the Skeleton, winner of my personal secret Nicest Colleague Award, six years running.


Anyway, you are here for some quick bar graphs and neat facts, and far be it from me to keep you from them! First off, here’s a bar graph of the last year’s worth of circulation stats (in blue) and head/seating counts (in red). These can be difficult to compare, since the numbers vary so far from one another (you may notice, for instance, that the circulation stats for a month never go above 3,000, but the seating counts never drop below that number). That is due simply to the digital nature of the schools here nowadays. Many of the students on this campus can stick with their computers, notes, and any textbooks they happen to own, and never really need to come to the desk. Which is a little too bad, given that we have so much stuff for  you, but that’s life. What matters here is that heavens to Betsy we had 3,023 checkouts in October! That averages 100 a day, but I can tell you from experience (and I have numbers in past years to back this up) that not all days are created equal. Weekends and holidays are slower, so to make up for those, we would have had single days getting up around the 200 checkout mark. My guess is a Tuesday or Wednesday right before a major anatomy exam.

A vertical bar graph, with circulation stats in blue and head counts in red.

Click to enlarge.

Now, just because nothing is fun if it lines up properly, October was the busiest month with checkouts (I won’t get into things like questions, consultations, or the sheer volume of EndNote assistance and troubleshooting I have personally offered), but November was actually the busiest month for students in seats, to the tune of 9,274 people counted. Egad! We only have four floors in this building, and the bulk of people (nearly half!) are on the 7th floor.

Incidentally, this seems like a good moment to mention we have foam ear plugs down at the Library Service Desk. They’re free, and you can keep them. We also have headphones you can check out, which cover your ear entirely. Great for blocking noise out!

These graphs always follow the same kinds of patterns, although I was honestly surprised that November took home the gold here. With the Thanksgiving break, it has never been out front like that. But from what I’ve been hearing on the grapevine (….hydrated humerus?), the schools have been shifting their academic schedules around, so I for one will be very interested to see how that effects our numbers.

Speaking of the floors: BAM! Have a chart about the floors. Remember I mentioned how busy the 7th floor is around here? Well I do not make those claims without the numbers to back me up, and hot dang the 7th floor got crazy busy. Particularly -interestingly enough – in January. Why was January the busiest month for the 7th floor? I can answer that the same way I can answer the question “Why do we pay more for the MBTA now but the service has somehow gotten worse?” And that answer is: I don’t know. Magic? Probably magic.

A bar graph of the head counts per floor over the year. Blue is 4th, red is 5th, green is 6th, purple is 7th.

Click to enlarge.

But I do find it cool (hah!) that it happened. I love little mysteries like the January 2019 one. 4,285 people counted on the 7th floor that month, the highest number of people counted on any floor in any month. And I wasn’t kidding about nearly half: that month, the 7th floor accounted for 49.8% of the 8,600 people counted in the library.

I joke around a lot on this blog, but in complete seriousness, I can speak for everyone here at Hirsh when I say: we’re glad you like it here so much, and are willing to spend so much time here. We try very hard to make sure you’re comfortable and have seating and food options for your long study sessions, so these kinds of numbers are good to see. It’s why I collect them in the first place.

Finally, did you know that back in April I wrote a post about the Affiliation Statistics we do here? If you want the full detail I recommend checking that post out, I just want to highlight the day-of-the-week breakdown I did from that post.

October and March headcounts by days of the week. October is in blue, March is in orange.

Click to enlarge.

You may notice that Monday is the busiest day of October, but Wednesday is the busiest day of March. That kind of thing happens a lot here, and things that seem to effect it are: weather patterns, exam schedules, food specials at the cafe, classes, and whether it’s a holiday week (Indigenous Peoples’ Day in October sometimes has a large effect, and sometimes not). I suspect that there’s also a bit of “I’ve been studying too much lately” and “Oh no Boards are upon me!” also happen, but while we collect all this data, we try very hard to not interrupt your studying.

So, where does this leave us? Well every year is a little different than years prior, and although this gives us a good blueprint for the upcoming year, the desk already feels significantly busier this week than it has in previous Orientation weeks, so there will be some improvisation as well. There always is. But if you’re like me, that’s exciting! Just means more of a challenge.

I hope you all have a great rest of your summers! Welcome back if you’re here, and if you’re not quite yet then make sure you get some beach trips in while you can. Class is around the corner.

And if you’re in the library, make sure to come say hi to me at the Library Service Desk on the 4th floor! I’m here all night.

Statistically yours,

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“Library in the Medical and Dental School Building”, 1907. From the Tufts Digital Library: http://hdl.handle.net/10427/38004

A big welcome to the TUSM class of 2023 from all of us here at Hirsh Library! We can’t wait to meet you at library orientation today, July 30th, where you’ll get the chance to learn more about the library and all the resources that are available to you. (We’ve had a few renovations since the photo above was taken in 1907). We’re also looking forward to seeing you at PBL Library Skills Workshops in August!

Your pre-clinical liaison librarian is Christina Heinrich, so don’t hesitate to contact her if you have any questions or need any library help! You can also stop by the Library Service Desk at Sackler 4 to talk to the librarian on call, or Ask Us by email, chat, phone, or text–we’re always happy to help!

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We want to extend a warm welcome to the new UG students starting today and a belated but no less enthusiastic welcome to our new PG students! The library has quiet places for studying (and naps), collaboration space, and you are welcome to eat and drink while you are here (we even have microwaves you can use).

  • Have a question? Drop by the Service Desk on the 4th floor and chat to the librarian on call.
  • Want more extended one-on-one help? Schedule an appointment with the dental librarian, Amanda Nevius.
  • Speaking of Amanda, be sure to bookmark the Dental Resources she’s put together for TUSDM. It includes goodies like information on Board and Licensure Exam study resources, how to find Materials Research, and tips on conducting excellent EBD searches.
  • Forget your charger and your phone’s about to die? Check one out at the Service Desk. For that matter, check out a laptop, a VGI cable, model teeth, real skulls, and more!

We wish you nothing but success here at Tufts and everyone at the library looks forward to getting to know you better!


Post contributed by Amanda Nevius


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Did you know that Hirsh Library has games that you can checkout? Cool, right!? If you need a break from studying or just want to challenge your friends to a game of Operation, stop by the Library Service Desk. We have Chess, Checkers, Jenga, Uno, Skippo, a bunch of playing cards… just to name a few, that you can checkout and play!

Operation Game

Image: Operation Game. Credit: mustangsmile

Let the games begin!

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