Posts by: Thomas Quinn

Hello everyone! We have some good news for anyone who may have some exams left next week: we will have one final extended hours weekend!

This weekend – Saturday, May 7th, and Sunday, May 8th – the Hirsh Health Sciences Library will be open 10 am to 10 pm. We will also have free coffee on Saturday, May 7th! The free coffee starts at 7pm, right out in front of Food 4 Thought on the 4th floor (the coffee itself is from ABP, in case you’re curious).

If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to us at the desk on the 4th floor. But otherwise, we will see you again this weekend.

Good luck with studying for the last of your exams!

Time_change_Ben_Dodson

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It is April of 2016, which means now is a great time to look at the Hirsh Library School Affiliation Survey from March and see how it compares to the one from October. Let’s get started!

School Total

First thing is first: PHPD has rocked up in numbers! Dental has traditionally been the most frequently counted school in this survey, but this is the first time that Medical has been dethroned as 2nd place. And look at the number differences: The difference from first to second place is 21 people, and the difference of second to third is 15. That’s ridiculous! We are very busy people here at HHSL.

“But Tom, what about Circ this time around? Does that match up to what we’re seeing here?” Oh, of course not. As you can see here:

Circ

Medical keeps their hold on the highest circulation of the week. However, what’s truly interesting is the strong showing of the PHPD programs and Nutrition. Look at those numbers! As someone whose whole job revolves around circulation at this library, it’s very exciting to see the growing interest in all programs across the board.

It is, generally, at this point that I go and show you something like a breakdown of the schools by floor. And therefore, I’m going to do that right now!Floors

The 7th floor is, undoubtedly, the monarch of the floors. Look at that. Medical, Dental (by a massive margin) and Sackler/PHPD programs (by a smaller but still strong margin) all love themselves the 7th floor. I still find it interesting, though, that for Dental it’s 7th and then 5th, but for Medical it’s 7th and then 6th. A difference in study habits, perhaps – Dental students might be more interested in group rooms, whereas the Medical students are looking for singular study spaces (like small tables and study carrels). It would account for the 7th floor’s popularity with both, and then the difference in second favorite.

Nutrition seems to be much more interested in being able to talk – the openness of the 5th floor (and its collaboration rooms), followed by the room-heavy 7th.

And this is where we run into a limitation with the way we’ve been doing this survey: combining PA, PHPD, MBS, and Sackler all into one category. We know that the MBS program has been growing each year, and we know that the PA program has been growing. And PHPD encapsulates a number of other degree programs. Sadly, until now, I haven’t been able to distinguish between them when looking at this survey.

Going forward, however, I’ll be able to! We’re working on some back-end adjusting of how we collect all of this data, so that way we can be much more accurate across the board while going forward. After all, accuracy leads to knowledge, and knowledge is what we’re striving for here! I’m not sure anyone at HHSL was quite prepared for the way our numbers have exploded over the last couple years, so we’re playing a bit of catch-up in a few areas to make sure we can still serve the needs of our entire community!

But you’re probably wondering how March measures up against our October Affiliation count. It looks something like this:

Schools 2

It looks a lot like that! That’s surprising, kind of. Right? I mean, that is a lot of people. A. Lot. I find it interesting that Medical and Dental jumped so high (Boards and the infamous Dental Exam Block probably had a bit to do with that), but the PHPD programs dropped a little, and Nutrition bumped up slightly. Now what about the floors? How do those look?

Floors 2

They look busy is what they look like. Every single floor got busier! This, of course, comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody – it’s a well known fact that we’re busier in the spring than the fall (fun fact! Currently, October is the busiest month, followed by March, and February. April is traditionally the outright busiest of the year, however, so we’ll have to see how things turn out). But still, it’s kind of cool to see that each floor went up by just about the same proportion across the board. That’s ridiculous. That’s not supposed to happen in the real world! And yet, here we are.

Finally, we have the weekdays:

Weekdays

As you may have realized by now, I deal with a ton of statistics during the year. The red bars you see above most closely resemble the regular, month-by-month bell curve of how busy each day of the week is. The busiest day of the week might shift a bit between Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but in general? It looks like that. Like a bell curve. But the blue! October did something unique, and dipped right in the middle of the week.

It’s worth noting: neither of these weeks had any major exams, and neither week had any holidays. They were chosen for both of those reasons. Perhaps that Wednesday in October was unseasonably nice, and everyone just really needed to be outside? Can’t say I blame them.

So there you have it! Our Affiliation Stats round-up. I’m already looking forward to doing some of the year-end numbers, and finding out just how crazy busy HHSL has been in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look at something other than Excel for a few hours. Perhaps a few days.

Tom

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Hello again! Hirsh Library would like to announce another weekend of extended hours!

This Saturday, April 9th, and Sunday, April 10th, the Hirsh Library Service Desk will be open 10 am to 10 pm.

We will also have FREE COFFEE on Saturday, April 9th. It will be a variety of Au Bon Pain coffee flavors, and will be on the tables in front of Food 4 Thought starting at 7 pm. We will also have tea!

If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to us at the desk on the 4th floor. But otherwise, we will see you again this weekend.

Good luck with your studying and exams!

10-Oclock Edit 2

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Hello again! Hirsh Library would like to announce another weekend of extended hours!

This Saturday, April 2nd, and Sunday, April 3rd, the Hirsh Library Service Desk will be open 10 am to 10 pm.

We will also have FREE COFFEE on Saturday, April 2nd. It will be a variety of Au Bon Pain coffee flavors, and will be on the tables in front of Food 4 Thought starting at 7 pm. We will also have tea!

If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to us at the desk on the 4th floor. But otherwise, we will see you this weekend.

Good luck with your studying and exams!

10-Oclock Edit 2

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It’s that time of the year again! From Sunday, March 6th through Saturday, March 12th, Hirsh Library will be running its Affiliation week survey. Huzzah!

What this means for you: 4 times a day (11 am, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm) a person will come around the library and ask what program you are with. You tell them (Med, Dental, Nutrition, etc), and they’ll move on to the next person. Easy peasy. But what if you don’t want to be interrupted?

Well that’s easy enough! You can leave your Tufts ID next to you, and we’ll just glance at that and move on. Or, if you’d rather not leave your ID out, you can just write your program on a piece of paper and leave that next to you.

If you’re with a group in a room and don’t want to be interrupted, you can tape a piece of paper to the outside of the door (but do not cover the glass) with the number of people and what program(s), such as “5 Dental” or “3 Sackler.”

Remember, this is only for the duration of above mentioned week, and then we’ll be done until next October. So it’ll be over before you know it!

If you have any questions or concerns, you can come talk to us at the desk on Sackler 4, or call 617-636-6706. We want this to go smoothly and quickly, and for you to be comfortable with it.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

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Hello there everyone! Hirsh Library would like to announce the first of 4 weekends of extended hours for the upcoming spring exam season!

The first weekend is this upcoming one: Saturday, March 5th, and Sunday, March 6th. The Hirsh Library Service Desk will be open 10 am to 10 pm on both days, so we can help with your research and equipment needs even earlier and later than usual on the weekends!

We will have FREE COFFEE on Saturday, March 5th. It will be a variety of Au Bon Pain coffee flavors, and will be on the tables in front of Food 4 Thought starting at 7 pm. We will also have tea!

Those beverages will come in handy, because you get some extra time to study on Saturday night! Swipe access to Sackler will end at 11pm, as usual, but you can stay in the library until 1:30am!

If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to us at the desk on the 4th floor. But otherwise, we will see you this weekend.

Good luck with your studying and exams!

10-Oclock Edit 2

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Hello everyone! On Monday, February 15th, Hirsh Health Sciences Library will be open noon to 7 pm – shortened hours in honor of President’s Day. We will be open normal hours over the weekend, however, so we look forward to seeing you here in the library!

Time_change_Ben_Dodson

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In honor of the holiday, Hirsh Health Sciences Library will be open shortened hours on Monday, January 18th: from noon to 7 pm.

We hope you have a good (long) weekend, and we’ll see you for normal hours on Tuesday!

Noon

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Hello hello! It’s about that time again: I’m going to fill your life with statistics and numbers and hopefully a few interesting facts, and you can enjoy it in between panicking about that paper due tonight and that exam you have tomorrow. This post will be a perfect length for you to read and then hit the bathroom before your break time is up and you need to get back to work.

So. Let’s get started!

October was busy for us. Crazy busy, in fact. As you can see below, October was far and away the busiest month we had at the desk – we were just shy of 4300 checkouts! Egads. It was also the busiest month we had with our roaming statistics (which you’ve most likely seen – a staff member walking around with an iPad counting heads in the library). You may recognize these numbers as “not even close.”

Circ vs Roam

“But what about the Affiliation Week?” you may ask. Well I’m glad you asked! The answer is kind of fascinating. So one thing that we strive for with this is to be as accurate as we can with what a “typical” week looks like here. As you can imagine, that is quite difficult, given the propensity of the schools to have full blocks of exams, staggered about the semester.  We chose October 25th – 31st this year, since there were no exams that week, and therefore the numbers would be as least skewed as we could make them. Here’s what we saw.

Affiliation

The Dental School dominated the counted programs. This is probably not a surprise to anyone, since that’s been the trend. However, what is a surprise is the combined Sackler/PHPD (which includes PA and MBS). Their numbers have absolutely skyrocketed, and now even outpace the Medical school. That’s crazy! Unfortunately, the way the Affiliation data is collected, we don’t really know how much of that would be MBS students getting ready for MCATs, or PA hanging around and studying after (or in between) classes. But it’s still awesome to see!

If you break it down by floor, you’ll notice everybody loves the 7th floor, because of course they do! It’s great! Tons of individual study space, and plenty of group rooms. Dental looks like if they couldn’t take the 7th, they’d stay on the 4th, but everybody else started on the 7th and then trickled downward. Well…except for Friedman. Nutrition students like the 5th floor, it looks like – possibly big fans of the collaboration rooms?

Affiliation Floors

Incidentally, this past November I actually went to a library conference down in Atlanta. I don’t know if you’ve been to Atlanta, but if you go, make sure to have some local beers (many good microbreweries down there), and go check out the Georgia Aquarium! The whale sharks are insane.

Sorry, got carried away there. The reason I mention this is that all of my work with stats here at Hirsh over the years led me to presenting a poster down at the conference! I talked with people from around the country about data collection and its uses. As it turns out, your very own Hirsh Health Sciences Library is at something of a leading edge with all of this! See, the entire philosophy behind finding all these numbers out is that we want to be able to serve all of you as best as we possibly can, and every piece of information helps with that mission. I don’t tend to get too technical with these posts, but we do know (for instance) that laptops, Mac chargers, and phone chargers are the most popular items to be checked out. Books have been slipping every year as the schools push toward digitization, and the library has to be able to stay on top of that.

Well, we’re not alone! Other libraries – all libraries, really – are trying to keep up with the changing face of their patron body, and they aren’t always getting the info they need from their patrons or schools before they actually need it. So they’re starting to turn to data collection – Circulation statistics, head counts, all that stuff – in an attempt to see trends as they’re starting. I was very popular at this conference, as it turned out.

And in case you doubt my story, here’s the proof:

2015-11-12 17.10.13

That is me, looking a combination of tired and excited, standing next to my poster (which, I’d like to note, was visually designed by the delightful Katherine Morley, Admin Coordinator for Hirsh, and head of our PR committee – so the brains behind events like our monthly crafts). The graphs on there are actual data from the library – specifically, it’s Circulation, Roaming, and Affiliation data from July 2013 through October 2015. Two and a half years of numbers, and trends, and watching our library grow and expand. I won’t lie – I was feeling pretty proud of what we do here while I was talking to people.

In the nerdiest way possible, of course.

On that note, I will leave you be. Thank you for sticking with me on this post! I truly appreciate it. Now, go hit the bathroom, get yourself some caffeine delivery system of choice, and get back to studying! I have faith that you’ll do well, but fortune favors the prepared.

Good luck with the exams, and have a good break!

Until next time,
Tom

 

 

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December means you have exams, and so the Hirsh Health Sciences Library has extended hours! The Library Service Desk on Sackler 4 will be open from 10 am – 10 pm on the following weekend days:

Saturday, December 5th
Sunday, December 6th

Saturday, December 12th
Sunday, December 13th

The Sackler building will be open until 1:30 am on both Saturdays.

On both Sundays, there will be free coffee after Food 4 Thought closes! It’s first come first served, so make sure you come swing by at 5pm both days to get yourself a pick-me-up for your studying.

If you have any questions, then you can (as always) come see us on the 4th floor, or call at 617-636-6706.

Good luck with your exams!

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