Posts by: Sarah Passinhas-Bergman
Our library reference assistant holding up her favorite heart anatomical model

Ariel holding up our heart model, just as she did when she first started!

What a bittersweet announcement! Our beloved part-time library reference assistant, Ariel Flowers, is leaving Hirsh! She has accepted a stellar contract at Brown University, aiding the Divide America Project as Supervising Archivist.

In her short time at Hirsh, she has worked at the desk, getting to know you all. Behind the scenes, she has helped manage our course reserve collection and supervise student assistants. She tells us that she has enjoyed working with the Hirsh team. So, we are going to take her word for it!

Her last day is Friday, September 23rd. Stop by the desk and wish her luck in Providence!


We at Hirsh loved seeing everyone for Afternoon Tea last week. But with the weather getting cooler, and warm drinks gaining popularity, we came up with a craft idea that will… hold you over until pumpkin painting. (Get it?)

Examples of coffee cozies… Can you do better?

On Thursday (9/22) and Friday (9/23), we are going to have a craft setup at the Library Service Desk, where patrons can come up and make Coffee Cozies. Rather than grabbing a sleeve every time you get coffee, you can make a re-usable and totally customizable cozy. Here are some examples.

We hope to see you at the Library Service Desk at noon on Thursday!


For some people, autumn is leaf peeping, or warm tea lattes on a rainy day, or maybe pulling out your favorite orange sweaters. But for me, autumn is course reserve season! And today, I’d like to share some info about the Reading List tool in your Canvas courses.

The Reading List feature on Canvas serves one specific purpose: it consolidates your course material. Since library staff have some admin privileges, we can go through courses and see the same materials you do. We, at the library, add required textbooks (and maybe a PDF or two) that we have found in your professor’s syllabus to the Reading List tool. We prepare those materials and add them to a course’s Canvas page. Then, professors can add articles or other resources to the same Reading List. Thus, an entire course’s reading can be accessible all in one place.

The Reading List tool as seen in a Canvas course

Or, if a professor has liked a previous Reading List, they can simply “roll” that list over for their current course.

Everything on a Reading List either has a link directly to the resource, or tells you exactly where to find the physical copy. No need to download or flip through the syllabus every time you need a resource; nor do you have to search for resources yourself. This tool is great for organizing resources and updating the list as the course continues.

And, if you happen to need to, you can always report a resource or link being broken directly on the site. We check these all the time to ensure students and faculty can access their resources without much trouble.

Working closely with faculty about their use of the Reading List has contributed a lot to the program itself. Reading Lists has changed features due to our feedback, so as more people use it we can report more concrete suggestions for improvement. And this includes all of you! We enjoy hearing the ways you all interact with the tool.

We hope to hear how you use the tool soon. And, don’t forget to email us if you have any questions about finding your course material or accessing articles.

And, as an aside, I highly recommend a Darjeeling tea with steamed milk. There is no better time of year to try it. Happy fall!

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Well. It’s been a wild few months for the MBTA. We at Hirsh know many of you commute in from other parts of Boston. (Some of our staff certainly do.) So, we decided to create some helpful guides so you can navigate the new school year– or even just navigate to class– with relative ease.

A picture of a map of the different Blue Bike stations in Downtown Boston

As long as the weather’s nice, biking part of your commute might be part of your commute plans.

And today, I’d like to bring your attention to… Blue Bikes! These bikes are all around Boston, and courtesy of the University, you can get a discount on a yearly membership (~60$ a year, whichy is cheaper than a monthly link pass with the MBTA)

Here is a more comprehensive map of the Blue Bikes available around the Greater Metro area. You can see a few of them are within a block from 145 Harrison Ave.

Watch out! The Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation reports any changes to bike paths or detours for the greater metro area. For instance, the Southwest Corridor Bike Path might have rolling repairs during September, so keep your eye on the MassDCR Twitter feed.

And, please: WEAR A HELMET!

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We here at Hirsh Library have been so thrilled to spend the last full academic year with you all. And, more activity in the library means more books have been circulating among our student body.

If you or a friend have checked out library books and have not returned them yet, please return them now! We would really appreciate having them back. You can turn them in here (at Hirsh), or at any Tufts Library– Medford, Grafton, SMFA.

If you need to mail them back for any reason, just contact us at, and we can give you all the information and labels to bring them back to the Boston Campus.

Returning your books not only clears your accounts– it also eases the strain on our Acquisitions department, who buy replacements for lost books.

We hope you enjoy your summer break, however long it may be, and hope to see you all soon!

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Magically Floating Dental Supplies

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

Congratulations to all dental students graduating!

We at Hirsh Library just wanted to remind you that clearing from the library is among your responsibilities in order to be cleared for graduation. This means all books must be returned and all fines must be paid. If you have any questions, you can send us a chat or give us a call at 617-636-6705 . We have loved working with you all through your research projects and presentations, and we are excited to see you off to the next portion of your career. Good luck (and please remember to return your books!).


Hi all!

This Monday, April 18th, the desk will be open from 12pm – 7pm for reserve and tech checkout. Our librarians will answer your reference questions on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend and cheer on your Tufts University marathon team!


Hello everyone! A few weeks ago, we were walking around with clipboards, asking you all which school you were in– and we could tell some of you were surprised we were asking. We do a collection of affiliation surveys every year, twice a year, and here is some of our past wrap-ups as evidence. We ask you which school you’re in, and log what time, what day, and which floor you’re on. It’s a lot of info. And, as evidence that we use this data, I will break down what this year looked like as our campus reopened and classes tentatively switched from all remote to hybrid or in-person classes.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the info I find most interesting–

Weekday & Time

Graph of our numbers of people by weekday

People by Weekday

Graph of people by time of day

People by Time

Between October and March, the stats by weekday were pretty different. It looks like March mid-week was the most popular time to be in the library, whereas October saw a more even distribution. I really like the fact that Sundays were more popular than Saturdays in October, and March saw the opposite.

As far as times of day, the numbers almost identical– most of you were here mid-morning (11 AM) and mid-afternoon (3 PM), and then the numbers tapered off in the evening. I sort of thought the numbers would look different since we saw more of you all this semester, but maybe you’ve been here all along… hiding on the 7th floor.


Graph of people by floor

People by Floor

I love the distribution for how many students are on which floor. Why? Because we here at the library know you all love the 7th floor. It is consistently the most populated of all the floors, and as you can see, by about double the other floors’ totals. You all make great use of the study rooms, the double-tier desks, the standing desks, the cubicles– but here’s the proof, in case you’ve ever been curious. You’re all using the other floors, in a pretty identical and consistent way, and man, we are still grateful to be seeing you all in person again.


Graph of people by school or department

People by Affiliation

Last but not least, the statistics based on department (or, affiliation). Classically, the majority of students using the library have been the medical and dental students. However! We counted a lot of MBS students this March, nearly double that of October, which is fantastic! Thank you everyone for using the space, for patiently telling four people in one day which school you went to, and for being the best part about working at Hirsh Library. We have been lucky to see familiar and new faces alike this academic year, and look forward to seeing you around the library. And get ready, because six months from now… we have the next round of affiliation surveys! 🤭



In the city of the Hirsh Library, a new crime is emerging. And it can only be the work of one criminal…

The IDdler!!

His true identity is unknown. All we know about him is he has been using other people’s ID cards to check out items from the 4th Floor Circulation Desk. Chargers, skulls, even textbooks. But what he and the citizens of Hirsh don’t know is that using someone else’s Tufts University ID is a serious crime.

In fact, it’s against the Tufts University Code of Conduct. According to the website, getting caught can result in disciplinary action. 

This may mean that people caught using one another’s IDs can face their dean or an ethics board. If you don’t have your ID, we may be able to check out items to you another way. But we cannot condone the IDdler’s methods of amoral behavior and academic dishonesty.

The good news is that if you have lost your ID, getting a new one is easy. Here is more info about how to replace your ID.


Sarah, holding textbooks we have on reserve

The books Sarah is holding? These are some of our course reserve collection!

All I, Sarah, ever talk about is course reserves. What in the world are course reserves?

Every semester, we scour syllabi to bring you the latest and greatest editions of your required textbooks to our Library Service Desk. These books are available for checkout for four hours at a time.

But if you need them while we’re closed, you can check them out an hour before we close and return it the next day an hour after we open. Just ask someone at the desk if we have your textbook available for checkout overnight.

We don’t just have textbooks: we have test prep for MCAT, INDBE, and the Steps. We also have the DSM-5 and the AMA Manual of Style!

We can’t wait to see you at the Library Service Desk, especially the next time you need Grant’s Dissector, Essentials of Epidemiology, or Fundamentals of Fixed Prosthodontics!


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