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a black square in front of the moon

Strange news coming out of Hirsh Library lately. Today we bring you a report of a wild creature sighted wandering the stacks. It has been over a year since we received reports of this kind, but our Library Service Desk correspondents have noticed an increase in activity since the Desk opened in July. The steady stream of people returning to our quiet haven has drawn the attention of this fearsome beast. The being–half cube, half animal–has been wreaking havoc on patrons’ borrowing privileges. Please take great care to read the following information, for it may save your academic year!

a black square in front of the moon with ears

The first time you return a reserve item late, the gentle cube will begin to transform. The awakening of its great strength will prevent you from checking out another reserve item for 24 hours.

a black square in front of the moon with ears, claws, and lightning

The second time you return a reserve item late, the creature will become stronger yet, and prevent you from checking out another reserve item for one week.

a black square in front of the moon with ears, claws, and lightning and feet

If you have the folly to return an item late a third time, the creature will gain the power to block you from borrowing for an entire month! Its howls will also alert your dean to your delinquency.

a black square in front of the moon with ears, claws, and lightning and fangs

If you return an item late a fourth time, well, then that’s when things begin to get really hairy. You will be blocked from borrowing for the remainder of the semester and your dean will yet again hear its fearsome snarls.

We urge you to take these matters seriously, and remember to return or renew your reserve item before your four hours are up! Worried you won’t make it in time? There is a silver bullet to slow the dreaded beast–just give us a call to let us know you’re running late.

And please remember—once the transformation process has begun, it will take a whole year to wear off. If the Wereblock enters its first stage in July, and you return something late in March, it will continue to gain its next level of power. Only once we are a week past the time of the summer solstice and the clock ticks over from 11:59pm on June 30th to 12:00am on July 1st, will you be safe.

For the facts behind the fantasy, please visit our Reserve Policy page.


We have big news! We will be resuming Collaboration Room reservations at 8am on Tuesday, October 12th! In preparation, we wanted to (re)introduce you to these popular spaces.

What are the collaboration rooms? 

Collaboration rooms are small rooms that groups of two or more Health Sciences students can reserve for active work on course-related assignments, such as projects or presentations. Each collaboration room has a whiteboard and a video screen to help you with your collaborative work.

Where are the collaboration rooms? 

You’ll find them all on the 5th floor of the library, mostly near the public computer area.

How do I reserve a room? 

Visit our Collaboration Rooms page to see the schedule and book a room.

How long can you reserve a room for?

Each group may make one booking per day for maximum of four hours and may make up to three bookings per week.

When can I make a reservation?

You must make a reservation by 11:59pm the night before the reservation and you may book up to two weeks in advance.

How will I know if a room is reserved? 

We will have a schedule posted outside the room. Users without reservations must vacate the room when requested by users with valid reservations.

Can I show up to use the room any time with my reserved block?

No, you must claim your room within 15 minutes of your reservation start time. If you don’t, the room will revert to a first come, first-served usage policy.

Do I have to make a reservation to use a room? 

No, if there is a reservation you can use the room on a first-come, first-served basis.

Does everyone in my group need to wear a mask? 

Yes! Per university policy, everyone must wear a mask in the building unless you are alone.


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Upgrading your research skills doesn’t have to be frightening! October Workshops@Hirsh will show give you some awesome tricks, and lots of treats, to enhance your  research skills.

Workshops will be held on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm via Zoom. Registration for workshops is required.  A Zoom link and password will be sent to registrants one hour prior to the start time of the Workshop. Please note that workshops are open to only Tufts-affiliated individuals.

Title:       PubMed: An Introduction

Date:      Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Time:      12:00pm – 1:00pm


This workshop will introduce you to PubMed, the world’s premiere biomedical literature database.  We will review the content of this database, planning and executing a search strategy, narrowing search results, finding full-text, and exporting results to a citation management program.


Title:       Beyond PubMed

Date:      Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Time:      12:00pm – 1:00pm


Have you tried out your search on PubMed and are wondering if there’s something more? Did you get the advice you need to try another database in addition to PubMed and aren’t sure where to go next? Are you curious about what the most cited article is for your question? Do you want to know who has cited the articles you’ve selected so far?

While PubMed covers the biomedical sciences thoroughly, there are many other databases that cover all of the Sciences and Social Sciences broadly. This workshop will introduce you to resources beyond PubMed that will enrich your research.


Title:       EndNote: the Basics

Date:      Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Time:      12:00pm – 1:00pm


This one-hour session will introduce you to the basics of using the citation management program EndNote.   EndNote allows you to create a library of references, attach and read PDFs, and generate in-text citations and bibliographies in Word documents.  This session is for beginners – no previous experience required!


Title:       Open Access Week: Where to Publish Open Access

Date:      Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Time:      12:00pm – 1:00pm


October 25-31 will be Open Access Week. In celebration, participate in our workshop to learn more about finding open access journals to publish your work in. We’ll talk about some general tips for finding suitable journals, as well as specifically how to find appropriate open access publishing opportunities.


data carpentry announcement

Are you a PhD student or post doc researcher working with data? Working with data can be overwhelming. This Data Carpentry Workshop can help you get started!

The Carpentries organization strives “to teach foundational computational and data science skills to researchers.” The Hirsh Health Sciences Library will be hosting a Data Carpentry Workshop on Tuesday (10/19), Wednesday (10/20) and Thursday (10/21) from 10am – 1pm online. If you want to learn more about organizing spreadsheets, cleaning data with OpenRefine, and gaining and introduction into R, please register at this link!

All learners are welcome, including those with little to no prior experience with these tools. For the first two weeks, we will prioritize PhD students and post docs within the Tufts community. Then, we will open registration up for other participants so be on the lookout for more information!

If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel free to reach out to Andrea Kang. We hope to see you there!


Now that you’re back, you might have questions or need a hand with a research project or using the library. How do you get help if you need it? Look no further! In this brief post we’re going to tell the many ways that you can get help when you need it!

Need help right now, in-person?

If you have a question and want to receive in-person help, just stop by the 4th floor help desk and ask to speak to the on-call librarian. During staffed hours at the library, there is always an on-call librarian to give you a hand.  Trust us on this – if you ask for the on-call librarian at the 4th floor desk- you are NOT bothering anybody! That’s what the on-call librarian is there for!

Need help right now, not in-person?

If you have a ( not too complicated) question and are not in the library, you can use the “Chat with Us” feature on our “Ask Us” ( page. The “Chat with Us” feature allows you to connect with library in real-time during staffed hours at the library. Besides  the “Chat with Us” feature, you can also email us at anytime at: and we will return you email as soon as we can.

What to schedule a time to speak with the librarian assigned to your school/program/department?

If you want to schedule a time to meet with the librarian assigned to your particular school/program/department, you can use our “Find a Librarian” ( to locate the librarian liaison that is just right for you. Your librarian liaison can help you with: systematic reviews, purchase recommendations, creating links to library resources from Canvas or websites, assistance with specialized tools and services. Your librarian liaison will have a “Schedule an appointment” icon on their profile and you can select a time and day that works for you.

What to schedule a workshop for a group to learn more about a resource or skill?

Is there someone that you and a group of your colleagues would like to learn? Just fill out the Workshops on Demand form ( and we will be in touch to set up your custom workshop. 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 Zoom 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 at



Juneteenth 2021 Poster

The university has designated next Friday, June 18, 2021 as a Day of Reflection, Commitment, and Action for Racial Justice. In observance of this, Hirsh Library will not be holding online staffed hours. We encourage you to use the day to participate in the programming the University has put together. The day will begin at 9am with a keynote address by Dr. David Harris and will be followed by a series of breakout sessions. To learn more or register, please visit Tufts’ Juneteenth 2021 website.


Beginning at sundown this Wednesday, (May 12) is one of the most joyous holidays in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr! Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Islamic holy month of fasting, Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated around the world with family and friends, sumptuous feasts and fireworks. The Hirsh Health Sciences Library sends out best wishes for a wonderful Eid al-Fitr!  Eid Mubarak!

Want to learn more about Eid Al-Fitr? Looking for some dishes to contribute to your feast? Check out the fabulous links  below:

How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated around the world? (BBC)

38 Ramadan Recipes for Your Eid Feast (Saveur)




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Noruz celebration

Spring is just around the corner and the first day of spring, March 20th, is also the Persian New Year, Noruz! This year, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is holding their annual Noruz celebration virtually on March 22nd from 7-8pm. Information about the event can be found here.

In Farsi, no’ means new and ruz (rooz) means day, so Noruz translates to a New Day. Noruz is an ancient celebration that dates back over three thousand years. Although the festivities are secular, and celebrated around the world by Parsis, Persian Jews, Christians, Baha’is, and Muslims, Noruz is rooted in the traditions of Zoroastrianism.

One example of its Zoroastrian origins is Chaharshanbe Suri, a bonfire celebration which takes place on the last Wednesday (Chaharshanbe) before Noruz (March 17th). During the festivities, people jump through small bonfires as an act of purification for the new year. The fire is a central symbol in Zoroastrian tradition, and represents Ahura Mazda or the God of Light, signifying wisdom and purity.

Chaharshanbe Suri

The Noruz table setting, Haft-seen, is also laid out in every household. Each element is symbolic, such as the hyacinth representing spring, and sprouts representing rebirth. Below is the Obama family haft-seen at the White House in 2016:

Obama halft-seen

Noruz is an international holiday and is now celebrated around the world; including Iran, U.S., Canada, France, Netherlands, Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan (in Iraq, Turkey, and Syria), Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and China.

If you are interested in learning more about Noruz, below are two articles and a guide on its history and traditions:

What is Nowruz? The Persian New Year Explained

Nowruz: Celebrating the New Year on the Silk Road

Celebrating Nowruz

Happy Spring! And Noruz Mobarak!

نوروز مبارک

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February is African American History Month, and recently the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. While we want to celebrate African American excellence year-round, this month we would like to congratulate the countless Black people who, throughout history, have sought to make their communities and the world better, despite the systemic racism they struggle through daily. ​The month should be about highlighting Black excellence and reflecting on our roles in contributing to anti-racism.

One person we’d like to highlight is Ayanna Pressley who, in 2018, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first woman of color to represent Massachusetts in that role. In 2009, she was the first person of color to be elected to the Boston City Council. As City Councilor, she formed the Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities; she implemented initiatives for better sex education and family planning programs in public schools; and she is a proponent for progressive policies in climate change and Medicare now as a House Representative. You can read more about her mission here.

Another person we’d like to highlight is Maria Baldwin. In 1889, Maria Baldwin became the first Black principal of any school in the state and Northeast, at the Agassiz school. Her students were all middle-class white children, and many of her staff and faculty were white as well. Regardless, she worked hard as an educator, and became the master of a new Agassiz school erected in 1916. She is the only Black woman of color—one of two women ever—to be a school master in Cambridge. She was an activist, and educator, and a valuable Bostonian mind. You can visit her house.

To connect with the various organizations documenting and promoting African American excellence, check out this hub for exhibitions and teaching guides.

Part of African American History Month should not only be reflecting on the history of African Americans, but also reflecting on our contributions to anti-racism. Last year, during the protests seeking justice for George Floyd, our library staff began compiling anti-racism resources, especially those about race-based medical discrimination. You can go through that LibGuide here. The Anti-Racism Resource Guide includes information about documenting and addressing race-based medical disparities, resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and co-conspirators to engage in anti-racism work, and tons of reading material. This LibGuide is a living document, so if you don’t see something you expect to see, let us know here.

Our previous post was about our anti-racism reading group meeting on February 19. For the readings and registration links, check out the post here.

A crowd of people at a BLM protest

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash




Have you ever used JumboSearch? Do you want to make it better? TUFTS’ LIBRARIES NEED YOU!

Please complete this form to volunteer to be placed in a pool for usability testing with Tufts Libraries. This form must be completed by February 8th!

If you are selected from the pool as a participant, you will be asked to commit to a 30-minute session. During this session, you will be asked to complete a series of four (4) tasks using the library catalog and answer follow-up questions based on your experience completing these tasks.

Participants who complete a session will receive an electronic gift card ($20).

Testing will be conducted virtually, and participants must have use of a computer (laptop or desktop) at their location.

Please contact Amanda Nevius (, Research and Instruction Librarian at Hirsh Health Sciences Library, with any questions.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.