Posts by: Rebecca Morin

It’s July, so it’s time to welcome our new crop of Interns, Residents, and Fellows of Tufts Medical Center and our affiliated programs!

Remember, House Staff of TMC and affiliated hospitals have full access to the research collections of the Hirsh Health Sciences Library (for questions about access, visit this page. We are happy to assist you with all of your library research needs, including access to Point of Care Tools, access to Guidelines, access to ebooks, and much more! We can help you with your literature searches, and work with you on bigger research projects as well (just fill out this Consultation form and we’ll get right back to you).

We are available during Library Open Hours to help with all of your questions, no matter how big or how small. Feel free to call us at 617.636.6705, email us at hhsl@tufts.edu,  or use our Chat feature to reach someone right away.

Welcome to Tufts, and we look forward to helping you navigate the next phase of your medical education!

 

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June 17, 2019 is the 244th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, an event we mark in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Bunker Hill Day. It falls just after Father’s Day this year, so instead of watching war reenactments on the History Channel, why not take Dad out to bone up on some local history?

  • Celebrate the belated birthday of Bunker Hill Hero Joseph Warren today or any day (his birthday is June 11) with a trip to his namesake landmark the Warren Tavern, a fine establishment dating back to 1780 and frequented back in the day by Warren’s good friend, Paul Revere.
  • Kick off the weekend early and celebrate a turning point in the Revolution by joining Mayor Marty Walsh at City Hall Plaza to witness the raising of the Bunker Hill Flag on June 14th at noon.
  • Visit Charlestown on Saturday June 15 for Bunker Hill Family Fun Day and a concert at the Monument. There will be music, art projects for kids, and much more. And it’s free! All Dads love free things!
  • Visit the Bunker Hill Monument for the “Decisive Day” guided tour offered by the Boston National Historic Park, which departs daily every half hour.
  • Head out to Quincy to the Adams National Historical Park on Monday June 17 for the special event “Bunker Hill to Penn’s Hill,” where you can learn about Abigail Adams and young John Quincy Adams, who watched the battle rage from ten miles away atop Penn’s Hill.

If you don’t have time to get out this weekend, here are the Top Ten Things You Should Know About Charlestown and the Battle of Bunker Hill according to our Head of Research & Instruction and Charlestown denizen, Becky Morin

1) The Battle of Bunker Hill was mostly fought on Breed’s Hill. That’s where the Monument is. Bunker Hill is actually taller and steeper, and is home to the lovely Saint Francis de Sales, a beautiful Roman Catholic church dedicated in 1862. If you don’t know which hill is which, we know you’re a tourist.

Bunker Hill Monument and Col. William Prescott statue

By Siddharth Mallya. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

2) Charlestown was actually not part of the City of Boston when the Battle took place. Charlestown is OLDER than Boston (as any proud Townie will gladly inform you), and did not become part of the City until 1874.

3) Charlestown is where Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride really kicked off. He was ferried in a rowboat from Boston, landing near the Charlestown Battery, where he picked up a horse from his friend Deacon John Larkin, a lifelong Charlestown resident.

4) There is debate as to why the Colonial forces fortified Breed’s Hill instead of Bunker Hill, although many think it is because Breed’s Hill is closer to Boston. The British had planned the siege to capture Bunker Hill, as they wanted to dig in fortifications on the area’s highest points.

5) It took the British three attempts to capture Breed’s Hill, even though their numbers were far greater than the Colonial forces.

6) Charlestown burned after the Battle, the first of two major fires to strike the community.

7) Proud Charlestown residents still fly the Bunker Hill Battle Flag.

Bunker Hill Flag

By DevinCook at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

8) While the British defeated the Colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill, they suffered severe casualties and the Siege of Boston came to a stalemate.

9) The Bunker Hill Monument (which you now know is on Breed’s Hill) is 221 feet tall and was completed in 1842.

10) Beloved French hero of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette, is said to be buried beneath a sprinkling of soil from Bunker Hill, procured by his son.

Want More?

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-true-story-of-the-battle-of-bunker-hill-36721984/
http://charlestownhistoricalsociety.org/history/historic-timeline/
https://www.masshist.org/revolution/bunkerhill.php
https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jun17.html

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Please enjoy the third installment of Ask Ms. Shelved, the irregularly scheduled advice column from HHSL!

Dear Ms. Shelved,

I know that an important part of my educational development is learning to collaborate with my peers and work well with others. But when it comes time to study for exams, all I want is some peace, quiet, and PRIVACY to study. But the Hirsh Health Sciences Library rules thwart me at all turns! I cannot book a Collaboration Room on the 5th floor as a single scholar. I’ve even been asked to LEAVE when a group wants the room to study. There are people EVERYWHERE?! I am a solitary creature, like a sloth. What am I to do?

 Sincerely,

Solo in Sackler

Sloth by henryalien is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Dear Ms. Shelved,

 It has taken a lot of courage for me to write to you. By nature, I am a retiring and reticent person, disinclined to make a fuss. But recently, I have been searching for a room in which I can study, and so many of them are occupied by a person or a few people. Sometimes there is only a backpack in the room. What should I do? I do not want to offend anyone by claiming the room, even if it has been sitting empty and the lights are off.  I am gripped with indecision and whipsawed by doubt! Also I have exams coming up and I need to study. But I’m so shy, like a sloth. Whatever shall I do?

Sincerely,

Shy in Sackler

 Gentle Readers,

Solo, meet Shy. Shy, meet Solo. There, your problems are solved.

Ever yours,

Ms. Shelved

p.s. Okay, okay, let me explain…

Solo, you are correct that groups have priority for using all of our study rooms, including the 5th floor collaboration room and the 7th floor study rooms, and that groups may ask those studying alone to vacate. And Shy, it is true that people often do use rooms alone, and have a bad habit of leaving belongings behind to “claim” a room.

Not to play matchmaker (that’s another advice columnist), but if you want to use a quiet study room, why not SHARE? Solo, if a group asks you to leave the room, you can ask if they mind if you stay. Shy, if a room is empty except for some belongings, move right in and study! When the person or group returns, let them know you’re happy to share.

Ms. Shelved knows this is a high-stress time of year. Space is at a premium, and we need to work together, like female sloths (males are the shy, solitary ones my friends).

Ever yours (although it is incorrect to sign a letter again in the postscript),

Ms. Shelved

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Please enjoy the second installment of Ask Ms. Shelved, the irregularly scheduled advice column from HHSL!

Dear Ms. Shelved,

Classes are back in session, and exams are in full swing. I *thought* I couldn’t be happier to be back in the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, seeing my friends, checking out phone chargers, and studying. But Ms. Shelved, the Library is not the fairy-tale peaceful place I left back in December. Harmony has been shattered. Peace has been broken. Calm has been swept away in a torrent of dastardly despoilment and brutal banditry.

My laptop has been STOLEN.

Filched, lifted, pinched, purloined, snatched! The thief apparently crept in, like a raccoon to a birdfeeder, when I left my laptop in a study room to grab some lunch, go to Macy’s, and hit up a lecture. It was sitting right there, with my water bottle and my books! How could someone think it was available to take?

Ms. Shelved, please publish my letter as a service to other students! There is a thief in Sackler!

Sincerely, 

Snatched in Sackler

 

Dear Snatched,

I do publish your letter as a public service, but not to warn our fair friends of foul fences afoot! I implore you, nay, ALL students using the Library to remember that #thefthappens. While we all want to think the best of our fellow students, and to place absolute trust in our systems, it is possible for people to wind up where they do not belong, and even for our classmates to run afoul of the law.

Remember, you are responsible for your property. Library staff cannot monitor your belongings, and will not watch them for you while you run an errand or go to class. Don’t even think of asking to leave your stuff behind the Desk, it’s rude to expect these active agents of academia to forsake their sworn duties in order to mind your bookbag.

University Policy offers Tips for Personal Property Security, and remember to contact them on the appropriate campus to report crime or suspicious activity. Hopefully others will learn from your example, Snatched. In the meantime, you can check out a laptop from the Library to assist with your studying. Remember to return it to an actual human person and don’t leave it on the desk or in the bookdrop!

Ever yours,

Ms. Shelved

 

 

 

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Please enjoy the inaugural edition of Ask Ms. Shelved, the new, irregularly scheduled advice column from HHSL!

Dear Ms. Shelved:

I am in my final weeks of classes for the semester, and I find myself studying (and eating, and sleeping) in the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. I am the first person in the building in the morning and the last person out. I haven’t seen my cat, Hortense, in days, possibly weeks. My friends think I moved away. I saw my own picture on a milk carton the other day.

But today I discovered that the caretakers of my cozy den, my warm second home, my snug grotto of learning have cast me out! I approached the Library Service Desk to check out a phone charger, and was told that I had overdue items and I could not check anything out for a FULL WEEK. Ms. Shelved, I am bewildered, bamboozled, and BLOCKED.

Whatever shall I do?

Sincerely,

Stunned in Sackler

Dear Stunned,

Well, it seems you’ve been visited by THE BLOCK. He’s like a lot of other holiday specters…like the Uncouth Uncle at Thanksgiving dinner, he’s never a welcome visitor. Like the Schmaltz Stain left on your sweater after frying latkes, he’s persistent. And like the Tantrumy Toddler at Christmas, he follows you around, fraying your nerves and trying your patience.

Since you are blocked for a week, it appears you’ve invoked this unwelcome guest once already since July, and now you’re on your second strike. But don’t despair! Here are some helpful tips to Banish the Block:

  • Electronics, accessories, reserve materials, skulls, models, etc. circulate for 4 hours. Set a timer on your phone when you check out.
  • If there’s a chance you’ll get stuck in a meeting or appointment, TELL the person who checks out the item, and ASK if you can have a (reasonable) extension.
  • If a genuine crisis arises (like a building evacuation or a trip to the Emergency Department), CALL the desk at 617-636-6705 and let us know, we will try to work something out.
  • Remember that you can renew some items (like laptops) as long as no one is waiting to use it, but you have to bring it back to the desk first.
  • Many of the books on reserve are also available online! You probably don’t need to smuggle that textbook out overnight.

I suggest paying closer attention to your loans, because if you are blocked again before June 30, you will lose your borrowing privileges for 30 days!

Stunned, if you have any questions about the Blocking Policy, please see it in full here: https://hirshlibrary.tufts.edu/about-us/policies/overdue-items.

Remember, try to get some sleep, take a shower, drink some water, and bring your stuff back on time!

Ever yours,

Ms. Shelved

 

 

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The Hirsh Fall Open Workshop series may be over –  but – that doesn’t mention you can’t request a workshop on demand!  We’re re-posting the following regarding our Workshops on Demand option – check it out!

Workshops On Demand Bring Learning to YOU!

Look, we’ve all been there. You really WANT to attend that HHSL Open Workshop, but we were up SO LATE on Sunday studying/watching the Oscars/binging Netflix, and 9:00 am Tuesday feels so early. So you decide to attend the Wednesday 4:00 pm session of the workshop. But hey, did you notice that it is staying light outside until almost 6:00 and also the world is not currently a Frozen Hellscape and you should really go outside for vitamin D?

Have you squandered your last chance to learn EndNote? Thrown away your shot to master Web of Science? Wasted all opportunities to hone your PubMed skills? Are you doomed?

“On Fire” Gunshow #648 by KC Green. This is a meme all over the internet now, give its creator some love here.

No! Your friends at Hirsh Health Sciences Library would never abandon you! We know how busy you are, and we can’t schedule Open Workshops at times that fit everybody’s schedule. To better meet your needs, we bring you Workshops on Demand– gather a few friends, find some times that work for a group session, and tell the Library what you want to learn about. We will provide the content, and expert librarian instructor, and we’ll even book the room. Choose from the list of topics, or suggest your own- we’re listening! Just fill out the form and we will be in touch to set up your custom workshop. These sessions are a great way to maximize learning and interaction with an instructor and your classroom peers, and ideal for those embarking on group projects. Workshops on Demand can be scheduled M-F between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm, depending on the availability of librarians, and we can conduct them via WebEx as well for those off-campus.

(of course, if you would like a one-on-one instruction session with a librarian, we can set that up too. Just contact us here)

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O’zapft is!

That’s the traditional opening line of Oktoberfest spoken in Munich when the Bavarian Prime Minister taps the first keg of the 2+ week annual festival celebrating beer and Gemütlichkeit (the feeling of coziness and hospitality). An apt opening, as “O’zapft is” means “it is tapped!” Now, Oktoberfest is already over in Germany (since it actually begins in late September, to ensure warmer weather for all that outdoor reveling), but we are just getting started with our own celebration of bad decisions, BLOCKtoberfest!

During BLOCKtoberfest, we welcome DER KLOTZ, the German cousin of THE BLOCK. Now, der Klotz doesn’t visit every year, but this year he’s stopping by auf Urlaub (on vacation) because The Block needs some help getting the message across about the dangers of invoking his wrath. HHSL has seen more blocks in the last month than ever before, and the number of third and fourth blocks is on the rise as well.

Remember, we do not charge fines for overdue materials at HHSL, but late returns of reserve materials and equipment invoke THE BLOCK. Sit back to hear his chilling tale.

Now, some say that if you return a reserve item (like a laptop, phone charger, skull, or reserve book) late once, THE BLOCK will follow you for 24 hours after you return the item, and you will be mysteriously unable to check out items from the Library. If you return an item late a second time, THE BLOCK will haunt your nightmares for 7 days, impeding your ability to study and borrow headphones (and other things).

Now, many have tempted fate and survived the wrath of THE BLOCK once, even twice. But beware, should you return a third reserve item late, the foul beast will cast his sharp, cubic shadow over your life for two fortnights!

(You know, you won’t be able to check anything out for one month after you return the delinquent item)

AND THAT’S NOT ALL. If you summon THE BLOCK three times, he will, like Marley’s Ghost, visit your Dean and share tales of your misdeeds.

And finally, if you are one of the foolish few who learns nothing of your third encounter with this reviled, hideous hexahedron, and you dare invite his wrath again, THE BLOCK will rob you of your borrowing privileges for the rest of the semester, and he will darken the doorstep of your Dean again.

And the most TERRIFYING thing of all? Every time you summon THE BLOCK, you wear his mark for the remainder of the academic year. So remember, a late return in September will follow you all the way to next July.

So please, if you won’t listen to THE BLOCK, listen to DER KLOTZ. He came all the way from Munich to help us out.

So, stay hydrated, get your flu shot, and bring your stuff back on time.

Prost!

 

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Greetings friends! It is I, Tater Potato Tot, Official Potato Ambassador to HHSL.*

I am here today to tell you all about the wonders of my namesake tuber in honor of National Potato Day, which is this Sunday, August 19th.

According to the USDA, one lovely Russet potato contains 16% of your daily recommended amount of fiber and 35% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Clocking in a 170 calories for a medium potato, this American staple is a good source of carbohydrates and nutrients, excellent for endurance athletes.

Since I am more of a couch potato than an elite athlete, I will just nom on my delicious foot, leaving plenty of yummy carbs for all you gym-goers.

Everyone knows about Boston’s close association with 19th century Irish immigration, a mass movement sparked by the devastating Potato Famine, a blight that wiped out the potato crop of 1846 and devastated it in the years following as well. These lost potatoes would have been a whopping 60% of the Irish food crop in those years. Here in Boston, the influx of immigrants from Ireland in 1847 was said to increase the population of the city by 30%. Boston’s connection to the famine has been memorialized by the Boston Irish Famine Memorial, a short walk from HHSL. A lesser-known memorial marks a spot just a quick jaunt from my stomping grounds in Charlestown- the Potato Shed Memorial, a quirky sculpture marking the site of the potato storage sheds along Millers River. This is where millions and millions of potatoes shipped down from Maine were stored until a massive fire in 1962 destroyed the structures.

Since I am a dog and will eat anything, including literal garbage, I would call myself a fan of potatoes. If you are looking for some things to do with potatoes, how about making these amazing roast potatoes, or this classic potato-cheese soup, or some delicious potato gnocchi?

However you choose to celebrate National Potato Day, rest assured knowing that I, Tater P. Tot, HHSL Official Potato Ambassador, approve.


In real life, I live with one of the HHSL librarians. I am not an Official Potato Ambassador. But my name is actually Tater Potato Tot.

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So, I’m pretty sure Nietzsche never actually said “time is a flat circle.” But the theory of Eternal Recurrence, postulating that we repeat the same events over and over in our lives, never feels truer than in the world of library staffing. It’s a constant, and infinite cycle.

 

So, it is with sadness that we announce that Laura Pavlech, HHSL liaison to the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and intrepid Research Data Management Warrior, is moving on to pursue other opportunities. Her humor, intelligence, and perspective will be sorely missed, and we wish Laura all the best on her next adventure! If you’ve worked with Laura in the past, please feel free to contact Becky Morin for assistance.

And it is with great joy that we announce that Reference Assistant Sarah French has moved from a part-time position to a full-time one. We are thrilled to have Sarah manning the Library Service Desk 5 days a week!

Please feel free to stop by and say your farewells and welcomes!

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If you ask most people when slavery was abolished in the United States, the closest you’ll get to an exact date is probably January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Drafted the prior September, President Lincoln used this document to “order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.”

Proclamation nonwithstanding, it is not as if slavery ended overnight. It is important to remember that the Civil War kept raging, the Presidential decree did not free all the slaves in the United States, and in the days before a 24/7 news cycle, word traveled slowly. June 19, 1865 is now commemorated as the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army issued orders from Galveston, Texas announcing “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Despite the fact that more than two years had passed since the enacting of the Emancipation Proclamation, it was General Granger’s order that brought freedom to 250,000 slaves in Texas. Texas was a remote outpost on the American frontier, so many consider June 19th, or “Juneteenth” as the true end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth was celebrated the next year, and celebrations continued and spread as the years went by, sometimes celebrated as “Emancipation Day.”

The stories surrounding Juneteenth are rich, and (of course) influenced by and reflected in the tumultuous state of race relations in past and present America. We invite readers to learn about Juneteenth from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., from the Atlantic‘s Vann R. Newkirk II, and from Jamelle Bouie at Slate. (Virtually) check out information about historical Juneteenth celebrations from the New York Public Library, and (literally) check out Ralph Ellison’s posthumously published novel about the complicated construction of race and identity in America.

While many Boston area Juneteenth celebrations took place over the course of last weekend, you can still enjoy special free Juneteenth programming Wednesday evening (6/20) at the Museum of Fine Arts. This multimedia event includes interactive art demonstrations, singing and dancing, and film screenings, and is open to all ages.

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