For this month’s spotlight, I decided to broaden my horizons and go somewhere out of my normal lunch rotation. I chose Pita Kabob in Downtown Crossing, where I somehow have yet to eat, despite walking past it frequently for nearly a year. Conveniently located on the same block as the Chauncy Street exit of Downtown Crossing, it offers Persian food, as well as a handful of standard American deli options. It’s a great menu for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
The interior is spartan, but the staff is welcoming. You order and pay at the cashier first, so you’re good to go on your way once your order is ready. For my first foray into their menu, I decided to try the falafel pita wrap ($5.85). I’m no falafel connoisseur—in fact, I don’t actually like falafel all that much and always seem to forget that—but I really enjoyed it. It’s baked instead of fried, so wasn’t crispy like it often is, but still had a nice texture and flavor. The toppings were what made it excellent, though. The tahini and hot sauce were delicious and the lettuce and tomato, oft-neglected wrap elements, were impressively fresh.
I definitely want to go back to try some of their other offerings. They have nine different options for pita fillings, most of which can also be ordered on a salad, or served as a platter with Basmati rice and hummus or salad (shirazi, garden, or yogurt). The price for a pita wrap depends on the filling, and ranges from $5.25 for hummus to $8.55 for salmon kabob. Most of their other items fall within that range as well. They also serve breakfast and all their breakfast sandwiches are under $3.00—it’d be a convenient stop for Red Line riders on their way to campus in the morning.
I can’t offer much insight into their speed at busy times, as I was the only customer in line and enjoyed a leisurely conversation with the owner as he prepared my order, but their setup looks like one that could handle a high volume of customers with ease. There’s some counter seating inside, but it’d also be an easy walk over to the Common, Post Office Square, or the Greenway, where I decided to take mine.
Nota bene: Be sure to grab a bunch of napkins! Although the wrap was well-constructed, I couldn’t simultaneously eat and read without adorning my magazine with hot sauce and tahini. You may not want to eat it at your laptop.
Pita Kabob. 2 Lafayette Ave, Boston, MA (entrance on Chauncy St) Monday-Friday 7:30am-5pm. Accepts cash and credit cards with a $15 minimum.
What do you think of the baked falafel? Have you tried their breakfast? Do you have a suggestion for the next place we should try? Write to us!
Al’s South Street Cafe
It’s been extremely worthwhile to experience and observe just the daily goings on behind the scenes at an institution like Tufts. I’m glad for the chance to sit in during library instruction sessions, committee meetings, and just to be generally included. I am happy to be on as many committees and take on whatever projects I can get my hands on. Not many of my internships have been as inclusive as this, and I’m amiss that I won’t have the chance to be a part of future innovation and teams like data management. I am grateful for my time at Tufts HHSL, and look forward to taking what I have learned to nurture a career in public health focused library institutions.
Leo is back to answer more of your questions about library policies and procedures! Catch him in episode two where he discusses how to use Tufts Tools and announces our new computers! Remember to submit questions to AskLeo@tufts.edu or write out a question and place it in our designated box on the 4th floor library service desk. Enjoy!
Now that we are approaching the end of summer and creeping closer to the fall start of all of our various programs here on the Boston Campus, we here at Hirsh thought it could be a bit enlightening to take a quick look back at some of the statistics we collected from the last academic year.
A good place to start on things like this is with the broad numbers, and then narrow our way down. This past year, we counted 116,521 visitors to our library and circulated items 26,700 times! That’s fantastic! Frankly, we expect the next year to be even busier, because we keep getting new items and re-examining ways to use what we already have; all geared toward assisting you, our patrons (keep your eyes peeled here for those announcements!).
But you may find yourself wondering what the busiest months were for Hirsh. Well that’s easy enough to share. For instance: in terms of total visitors counted in our library, April was far and above the busiest month at 14,576 people. In fact, the busiest day of the year for our seating was April 9, when we counted 1,007 people here! Here, take a look at our month by month breakdown:
Kind of wild, huh? The jump from August to September is crazy (more than doubled!), but what I found really interesting was how busy we got in the fall when compared to the Spring. That right there is the difference between exams for classes and the dreaded Boards (plus, you know…class exams that let you graduate).
How does this match up against our Circulation statistics, though? Well, take a look yourself:
Fewer people come to the desk than come to the library as a whole. That’s just the natural way of things. During the year, the amount of people checking things out vs using the library space at all fluctuated between 17.5% and 38%, but in general stayed around 22% – just between 1/5 and 1/4 of everyone coming here.
As you can plainly see, the circulation stats follow the same general pattern of the overall counts, but don’t quite mirror them. In fact, in terms of circulation, October was actually the busiest month, with 3,095 checkouts.
Interestingly, though, October is only the busiest month for the desk. The busiest individual day was actually April 8th, at 220 checkouts even. Second busiest? April 9th, with 205. In fact, April accounts for six of the busiest ten circulation days in the last academic year. March and December split the remaining four spots equally. And despite being the busiest month, October doesn’t even appear on the busiest days list until spot number fifteen.
What most likely accounts for that is the way exams are spread out. During the fall, it’s steady – one a week, two a week, so on and so forth. But April is final exams, which all get packed up into the beginning of the month, where all six of those days came from. Then it falls off and gets quieter (although not Summer quiet). So April’s a bit more of a flash in the pan than October.
Finally, I leave you with these last two bits of information: when we’re busiest at the Service Desk, by weekday and by hour. So if you were ever wondering about the quietest times to come borrow books and equipment, now you’ll know!
(Hint: not during lunch mid-week)
Have a good summer, and we’ll see you soon!
What is BrowZine?
The library is now sponsoring BrowZine, a new tablet application that allows you to browse, read and monitor many of the library’s scholarly journals. All in a format optimized for your iPad, Android, or Kindle Fire HD Tablets!
• Browse and read journals by subject
• Download full articles
• Create your own bookshelf
• Be notified when new articles are published (iOS only, Android coming)
• Save articles for off-line reading
• Export to services such as DropBox, Mendeley, RefWorks, Zotero, Papers and more.
To learn more, please take a look at this short two minute video: http://vimeo.com/75971786?autoplay=1
Download Now (Tablets & iOS v7.x+)
Getting started is easy! From your tablet, find BrowZine in the Apple App, Google Play or Amazon App store and download it for free. When initially launching BrowZine, select ‘Tufts University’ from the drop down list. Enter your Tufts username and password. Start exploring BrowZine! BrowZine is also available on iPhones running iOS7+, but is currently unavailable for Android and Windows phones.
Summer is the perfect time to pick up a book for fun at the Hirsh Library! We have some new books that we’ve just added to our collection from the New York Times’ Best Selling List for Science books. Here’s a list of a few new titles that we have out on the shelves:
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcom Gladwell
- Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J. Siegal
- Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher
- Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History by Nicholas Wade
Is there anything else you’re dying to read but we don’t have? If so, let us know by recommending a purchase.
Ahh, summer! When the misery of winter is but a distant memory, and we are all baking in the heat collectively! Other than no need to justify ice cream, one of the best things about summer are all the free events you can take advantage of. Summer is the perfect time to discover Boston with some of the free events highlighted below:
- Free Fun Fridays! by the Highland Street Foundation runs from June 27th to August 29th this year, and offers free entrance to 67 museums and cultural venues around and within Boston, including free Boston Harbor Island Ferry Rides on August 8th.
- Outdoor movie events all around the city, including the DCR Hatch Shell, Christopher Columbus Park, and the Prudential Center.
- Shakespeare in the Common (July 23rd to August 10th). This year is the magnificent comedy Twelfth Night.
- Neighborhood Nights at Isabella Stewart Gardner (July 10 &, August 7th)
- Berklee Summer in the City Concerts
- Boston Public Library Concerts in the Courtyard
- Boston Harbor Hotel Summer in the City events include live music and classic movies
- Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Harborwalk Sounds (July 10th to August 28th)
Lastly, a great resource to search for free or low cost events in Boston all year round is the Boston Calendar.
Enjoy summer while it lasts!
HHSL is pleased to announce that this summer we will be adding a new classroom to the 6th floor! Library Administration will move into the main library offices and Sackler 606-609 will be turned into one larger room. Construction is set to begin in late July.
Stay tuned for updates!
Some of you may have noticed that we have brand new laptops! We now have MacBooks and Dells at the 4th floor service desk that are available to checkout for 4 hours! Please give us your feedback on functionality so that we may make improvements if necessary. We hope you enjoy them!
Want to win a gift card for a 1 hour massage at Massage Envy? From noon-1PM July 7th-10th there will be a raffle put on by the Tufts Student National Dental Association. Tickets can be bought near the Food for Thought Cafe during these times. The cost is $3 for 1 or 2 for $5.
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