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Book Review by Amy LaVertu, Information Services Librarian

What does it mean to have talent?

Does having talent really matter if it doesn’t get recognized?

Is talent a ticket for happiness, success and a life worth living?

These questions are at the heart of Meg Wolitzer’s captivating new novel, The Interestings.  Wolitzer’s novel centers on the lives and loves of a group of six friends who meet as teenagers at a summer camp for the arts in the mid-1970’s. The group, which calls themselves “the Interestings,” believes that their talents will protect them from a fate worse than death… an ordinary life. However, talent proves to be a mixed bag as the group enters the adult world and comes to understand that talent is no guarantee for success, happiness, or a meaningful life.  When one member of the group member achieves wild success as an animator (think Matt Groening of “The Simpsons” fame), the other members must face what their talent, or lack therefore, has brought them in life.

Set largely in New York City, The Interestings spans four decades.  Reminiscent of the Up series of documentaries which tracks a group of school children into adulthood, the reader gets to experience the characters’ development from insecure teenagers who see only limitless options ahead of them to jaded middle-aged adults. Wolitzer seamlessly interweaves events of the day (e.g., Nixon’s resignation, the AIDS crisis, the Central Park jogger attack, 9/11) to give readers the broader context of her characters’ lives.  While the novel clocks in just shy of 500 pages, The Interestings is a surprisingly brisk read.  Reading The Interestings evokes the same feeling one gets when one catches up with long lost friends; the hours fly by and yet there is much more to say.

Interested in reading this book? We have it in the library for checkout!

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Dryad Logo is a curated general-purpose repository that makes the data underlying scientific publications discoverable, freely reusable, and citable. Dryad has integrated data submission for a growing list of journals, but submission of data from other publications is also welcome.

Submission integration allows journal publishers to coordinate the submission of manuscripts with submission of data to Dryad. Benefits:

  • Simplify the process of data submission for authors.
  • Allow authors to deposit, to a single repository, gigabytes of data files in their original formats.
  • Reduce the rate of noncompliance with journal data policy.
  • Have the option of making data available for editorial or peer review, via secure access for editors and reviewers.
  • Ensure bidirectional links between the article and the data and increased visibility for both.
  • Ensure that the data is accessible once the article becomes available online.
  • Give authors the option to embargo public access to data for a limited time after publication, if permitted by the journal’s data policy.
See a list of currently integrated journals, including PLOS Genetics and Biology, HERE.

For more information about submission, pricing and reusing data, click HERE.
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Health Literacy Out Loud is a podcast produced and  hosted by Helen Osborne that discusses issues in consumer health literacy. You can listen in on interviews of those in-the-know about health literacy and hear why health literacy matters and learn practical ways to help. For more information on Helen, CLICK HERE.

health Literacy Out Loud Image

Find and download the free podcasts from these locations:

You can also subscribe to a monthly newsletter on the Health Literacy Out Loud website.

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Searching for basic information about a disease, treatment, signs & symptoms, or medical policy? The Toolbelt may be just the resource you need to find your answer.

Located in the orange “Popular Links” dropdown menu on the library homepage, the PBL Toolbelt can be accessed by logging into TUSK with your Tufts username and password.


Each toolkit is organized into a broad category for easy browsing. Each list is made by a librarian and contains the most useful and popular resources for answering common medical questions. The majority are electronic resources so you can access them from home!

We even include a useful guide for evaluating the resources you find to ensure they are top quality.

We welcome comments and feedback about the toolkits via our feedback survey!


Come and get ‘em! We have a full book truck of books we’re looking to giveaway. Stop by the Library Service Desk around 10am to check out what we’ve got.

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Dr. Charles B. Millstein, D62, recently wrote an article appearing in the Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society. The cover-story gives a historical overview of the many local impacts of the Gies Report, published in 1926 and reporting on a four-year survey of dental education in the United States and Canada. One of the impacts was the forming of the graduate teaching program at the University of Rochester, where six deans of Dental Medicine at Tufts earned their degrees.

Dr. Millstein is a 1962 graduate of the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, serves on the Dental Alumni Executive Council, is an Assistant Clinical Professor, the historian of the Massachusetts Dental Society, and a practicing endodontist in Cambridge, MA.

JMDS Cover

 You can read the full article by stopping by the 4th floor of the library and picking up the Winter 2013 issue!

Ever wondered what the bright orange bar on the library homepage is all about? Well, wonder no more – it’s the popular links menu!


We’ve put links to some of the most frequently used resources in one spot on the homepage. DynaMed, Netter Presenter to help you study anatomy, RefWorks, and popular databases like CINAHL and Web of Knowledge can also be found here. You can quickly link directly to the PBL Toolkits from this list, too. Visit the library website to check it out!

Is there a resource missing? Wondering why one resource is listed but not another? Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think at!

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Have you tried EcoSal?

 EcoSal is “a continually expanded and updated archive of the enteric bacterial cell” licensed by the library.  It’s comprised of several hundred modules of information and interpretation with links to cognate sites as well as to active databases of primary research information.

You can: 

  • Search by keyword or name across the full text, author index, article index, subject index, graphics and references.
  • Access and search the genome database.
  • Save your searches and make notes.
  • Customize bookmarks within the site, and external to the site, for easy retrieval later on.
  • Use from off campus

Need help accessing and navigating EcoSal? Get in touch with the library!

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Are you in search of American health and community related datasets or health informatics tools? is part of President Obama’s administration’s Open Government initiative and provides free and open access to data for anyone to reuse. Some things you can do with are: download XML and .CSV formatted raw datasets; view interactive GeoData; and discover interactive tools like widgets, RSS feeds, and apps. If you need assistance exploring stop by the library. We are happy to help you!

Datasets and Tools Highlights:

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Praised by the Washington Post, “For more than 20 years, Health Affairs has been a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in medicine, health care, and health care policy.” as a Tufts community member you have electronic access to Health Affairs from 1981-present. And for those who still enjoy reading print journals, you can find the 2013 issues on the 4th floor and previous years on the 7th. Every month the journal dedicates an exploration of a certain particular health policy topic. So far this year they have covered transforming the delivery of healthcare, a new era in patient engagement, and promoting health and wellness.

As one of the leading journals in health policy and research, Health Affairs has expanded its reach to multimedia. There are a number of Health Affairs podcasts available for free via iTunes.  Their series Narratives Matter feature compelling stories told by practicing doctors and nutritionists. Such stories like “To Fight Bad Suga’, Or Dietes, My Neighborhood Needs More Health Educators” by Joseph F. West, ScD confronts a need for diabetes prevention in his Chicago neighborhood and calls for national prevention programs that place workers at the core. Health Affairs also has a blog that features health policy experts from both sides of the political aisles writing about topics ranging from Access to Healthcare and the Workforce. 

Want to know more information about Health Affiars and journals like it? Get in touch with the library!

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