Posts by: Katherine Morley


Pumpkin time is here! Take a break from studying and flex your creative muscles at the Library Service Desk this Thursday and Friday. Starting at 12pm each day, we’ll have all the supplies you need to create a festive pumpkin to adorn your apartment or study carrel.


Hope to see you there!

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You’ve probably noticed a number of changes to the seating in the library over the past few months! This spring, we spent a lot of time looking at how you use our space and thinking about what we can do to improve it. Overall, two main goals emerged:  to add more standing work spaces and more individual study spaces.

Here’s a floor-by-floor update on everything we’ve done:

4th floor

4th Floor Counter

We transformed unused journal shelves into a standing height counter and bought some high stools to make the space flexible. We added extra power outlets to the walls and you’ll also find a new device charging station with cords for all your devices at the far left edge of the counter. And if the seating area now looks a bit empty, it’s because we have a bunch of chairs out getting reupholstered! They’ll be back soon.


5th floor

5th Floor Standing Counter

Continuing with our quest to add standing workspaces, we built a counter on the 5th floor and put two of our public computers on it. There are outlets at counter-height so you can charge your devices while you work. We also added a standing desk like the ones on the 6th and 7th floors.


6th floor

6thfloor standing

There weren’t any major changes to the 6th floor, but we rearranged the furniture a bit and added a second standing desk as well as 8 new study carrels!


7th floor


Since the 7th floor is a quiet study floor, it made sense to replace a number of the tables in the open study area with carrels for individual study. We added 40 new carrels total. 12 of them replaced older style carrels and the rest are brand new study spots. And we purchased new chairs to go with all of them!

We also undertook a redistribution of furniture in the study rooms. We systematically went through every room and tried to rearrange the furniture in a way that made most sense—this mostly boiled down to making sure that each room had an appropriate number of chairs.


Let us know what you think! We always want to hear your ideas.


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September 19 – 23 is National Postdoc Appreciation Week (or NPAW, which is a great acronym).

Last year, Tufts had ~190 postdocs working in a variety of disciplines in Boston, Grafton and Medford.  Almost half of those postdocs were here on the Health Sciences Campus, so chances are you know a postdoc!  Take this opportunity to thank them for their tireless hard work and dedication to research.


Post contributed by Laura Pavlech

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The semester just started but we know you’re already hard at work! Take a moment to stretch your legs and join us down at the Library Service at 2:30pm on Wednesday for a quick study break. Have a cup of tea, a snack, and enjoy a chat with your fellow students!

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We are glad to be able to provide many interlibrary loan and document delivery services for free. However, there still may be times when there is a charge associated with your ILLiad request. We don’t always know at the outset which requests are free and which ones will incur a fee.

If you don’t want us to fill these requests for which you will be charged, we’ve made it a little easier to let us know on the ILLiad request form. Just select “yes” or “no” from the dropdown menu for the question: “Only If Free?”

Free Only


If you select yes, we will cancel the request if you would be charged for it.  Please email if you have any questions.  More information about when we do charge can be found on the ILLiad fee schedule.

Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz.

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Welcome to our new  series in which Hirsh’s favorite puppet, Lizzy, gets to know one of our staff members. Check out the transcript and gifs of the interview with her first victim, er…guest, below!


LIZZY: Hi Fran! Thanks for agreeing to sit down for an interview with me!

First question…what is your name? 

FRAN FORET:  My name is Fran Foret and…

L: Can I call you Frances?

F: Yes, yes you may call me Frances

L: What do you do at the library?

F: My title is Head of Collections Management and a lot of people think that means I collect money for the library. But what it means is that I spend money for the library to make sure that the library has the resources—books, journals, databases—that we need for our students so they can become the professionals that they need to become. My staff and I work hard to make sure that we have the right materials and that they are accessible to our patrons through our library’s website.


L: That’s great! And what did you do before you came to Hirsh?

F: Before I came to Hirsh, I was the serials librarian at Wheaton College library out in Norton, Massachusetts…

L: Oh! I love cereal! And Wheaties is one of my favorite cereals.

F: …They are very very good…

L: So you’ve been at Hirsh for awhile…

F: Yes, I don’t want to say how many years .

L: So what’s your favorite place in the library?

F: I think my favorite place in the library is probably the 4th floor where we have the Library Service Desk, and where you see our librarians and staff interacting with our users. It’s nice to be down there and see all the activity. And right next to there is the Leisure Reading collection, which is another favorite area.


L: Oh, I don’t have time for that…but maybe I should check it out…

F: Yes, Lizzy, you should check it out!

L: Let’s see…do you have any friends that are puppets?

F: I don’t have any friends that are puppets! And you are the first puppet I have ever spoken to! And I’m wondering, since I don’t have any friends that are puppets, if you would be my friend?

L: That…that would be an honor.

F: That makes me very happy.


L: Well, if we’re going to be friends, I’d like to ask you a few personality questions. What’s your favorite ice cream?

F: Chocolate!

L: How do you like your eggs?

F: I like eggs almost any way, but maybe poached eggs are my favorite.

L: Let’s say, if your neighbor needed an egg, would you let your neighbor come over and borrow an egg?

F: Yes, that would be fine…I’m interested as to why you’re so focused on eggs…

L: Well…I…another question…if your neighbor brought you their own egg, would you crack it for them?

F: Yes…if they asked me to crack and egg for them I guess I would do that.


L: Would you crack this egg?

F: Do you promise me that it’s hard cooked?


F: Well…ok






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We have some exciting updates coming to the 4th floor!

As part of our efforts to increase the variety of workspaces in the library, we are transforming the lounge behind the café into the Hirsh Library Reading Room. If you’re looking for a quieter space to do some reading, but don’t need the silence of our Quiet Floors, this spot is for you!

We will be semi-enclosing the space by installing a glass wall with a sliding door and replacing the couches with tables, chairs, and some comfy benches. We’re also getting a brand new wall monitor!  It won’t have cable but you will be able to stream to it from your computer.


The project will start around July 25th and should only take a few weeks to complete. We’ll be documenting the progress over on our Facebook page, so visit us there for updates!

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Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Amanda Nevius, our new Research & Instruction librarian! Amanda joins us from just about a mile down the road–she was previously an Education and Information Services Librarian at the Boston University Medical Campus. When she’s not at work, she enjoys running, mountain biking, and camping, as well as cooking and crafting. She also writes fiction and runs a book blog!

Amanda is excited to be joining the staff here at Hirsh, where she’ll be the primary outreach liaison to the Dental school. If you see her around the library, be sure to say hello!

MEDLINE computer with Medical Subject Headings book, circa 1974 Image source:  U.S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

MEDLINE computer with Medical Subject Headings book, circa 1974
Image source: U.S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

Now an indispensable resource, it is hard to believe that PubMed is only 20 years old. First released in January 1996, PubMed was initially an experimental database. One year later, the word ‘experimental’ was dropped and, at a Capitol Hill press conference on June 26, 1997, free web access to MEDLINE through PubMed was officially announced. The press conference featured a demonstration of PubMed by then Vice President Al Gore (anyone remember him?) and a variety of stories from peoples whose lives had been affected by access to MEDLINE (Press Release – Free MEDLINE).

Prior to the launch of PubMed, users had to register and pay to search MEDLINE. Approximately 2 million PubMed searches were executed during the month of June 1997. In April 2015, 3.5 million searches per day were performed in PubMed. PubMed has come a long way over the past 20 years, and will continue to change in the upcoming years (PubMed Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary).


Post contributed by Laura Pavlech

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Need help preparing your med school application? Think you want to go into consulting, but not really sure what that means? Terrified at the thought of owning your own dental practice? Check out our new Business & Careers section!

While we can’t tell you whether or not to submit a letter of recommendation from your mom with your med school application (probably not), what consultants actually do, or how to run a dental practice, we do have resources that can help you answer these questions.

Located behind the seating section next to the Library Service Desk on Sackler 4, the Business & Career section features books on applying to med school, life after grad school, and marketing for scientists and dentists. Titles include:  Career Opportunities for Biomedical Scientists, Mastering Public Health: Essential Skills for Effective Practice, and What They Don’t Teach You In Dental School.

All books may be checked out for 4 weeks. Don’t see a business or career book that you want to read? Let us know by recommending a purchase.


Post contributed by Laura Pavlech