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We hope everyone is staying healthy and out of the heat this summer! If you happen to find yourself in the library, please let us know if you see anything amiss, like hand sanitizer in need of refilling or lights that are out. Library staff is not on campus, but custodial and facilities staff are, so we can report anything in need of fixing to them. You can contact us by email, chat, or text.  And please remember if you choose to study in the library, you should adhere to the university’s social distancing and mask-wearing policies.



Need help navigating the new PubMed? Never fear, our summer workshop series is here! Every other Tuesday in July and August, we’re holding out “Introducing the New PubMed” workshop. We’ll get you up to speed on the new interface changes and how they will impact the way you search. Each workshop will cover the same content, so you can feel free to choose whatever date is most convenient for you.

The workshops are held from 12-1pm via Zoom on the following dates:
July 14th
July 28th
August 11th
August 25th

You can find the workshop calendar here. Registrants will be sent the Zoom link the day before the workshop.

And, as always, if you have any questions about PubMed or anything else, you can Ask Us!




In observance of Patriots’ Day and the University holiday, Hirsh Library will not be having online staffed hours on Monday, April 20th. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, April 21st. We hope everyone has a restful and healthy long weekend!


Couldn’t face the grocery store? Braved it but the shelves were bare? We asked our staff what they do when they’re in a pinch, and so we’re bringing you some suggestions, tips, and tools for how to eat well with what you already have in the house.

Our favorite recipes:

Pasta Carbonara: Easy, classic, and cheesy

Pasta con Ceci: A comforting meal Becky makes even when she can leave the house

Adas Polow: Persian comfort food–simple and delicious, lentils and rice (raisins, dates, saffron optional)

Egg substitution ideas from Amanda:

  • Don’t have eggs? You can bake without them. Substitute applesauce (1/4 cup per egg) or bananas (1 mashed banana per egg). This works particularly well in muffins and brownies.
  • If you wanted an egg as a glaze in a sweet/baked good recipe, make a sugar glaze instead. You don’t even need confectioner’s sugar to do it – just put your regular sugar in a food processor to chop it up more finely.
  • Wanted to make meatballs and think you have to have egg as a binder? Au contraire! The meat will hold together without it. If you want a more similar texture, you can use any protein powder you have at home as a binder (just make sure if it’s flavored the flavor won’t be weird). You can also use flour and a little water or breadcrumbs.
  • Wanted eggs for breakfast? Sadly, there’s no good substitute for a sunny-side up or poached egg, but you can use tofu to make a tofu scramble. Tofu picks up the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with, so just add whatever flavorings you think will make it taste awesome.

And a fun tool to help you brainstorm!

The site and app SuperCook lets you enter the ingredients you have and it will generate recipes you can make.

Buon appetito!


This is the fourth in a series of six posts about preparing for the USMLE Step 1.

Our previous post in the Step 1 Study Prep Series covered resources on behavioral science. To continue to showcase our systems-based resources, the table below covers top-rated review resources in biochemistry, cell biology, and histology according to First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2018 edition. We have quite a few excellent resources for these tricky topics!

Some of the review books in our collection are available online. For print copies of resources, some are available on reserve behind the 4th floor service desk and can be checked out for 4 hours at a time. The books in the 5th floor stacks can be checked out for 4 weeks.

What does it look like?TitleFirst AuthorYear of PublicationWhere can I find it?
Rapid Review: BiochemistryPelley2011One copy on reserve behind 4th floor service desk
Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: BiochemistryFerrier2014Full Text Online
Biochemistry and Genetics: PreTest Self-Assessment and ReviewWilson2007One copy available in the 5th floor bookstacks (call number QU 18.2 W748b 2007)
BRS Cell Biology and HistologyGartner2014Full Text Online
Crash Course: Cell Biology and GeneticsStubbs2015One copy on reserve behind 4th floor service desk

For more board prep resources, see our Research Guide: Board Prep for Medicine.

Feel free to ask us if you’re having trouble finding a resource or need a recommendation. Happy studying!


Post contributed by Christina Heinrich

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Stamp with image of rat for lunar year 2020

United States Postal Service Copyright 2020

This Saturday (January 25th) marks the first day of the Chinese Calendar and the beginning of the Year of the Rat.  For the next two weeks, there will fireworks, feasts, family reunions and parades to celebrate the Lunar New Year. There are also a great many traditions associated with the Lunar New Year that are centuries old, such as the hanging of traditional ‘new years’ poems, cleaning the home, the receiving new clothes and getting one’s haircut.

And because our campus is located very conveniently in Chinatown, be sure to check out the Chinese New Year Parade! It’s the largest annual celebration in Boston’s Chinatown with lion dancers, music, and firecrackers—and if you haven’t tried the plethora of food options in our neighborhood, what a better time to venture out and celebrate? This year’s parade will be held on Sunday, February 2, at 11:00 am starting at the John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road . Here’s some more information about Lunar New Year festivities around Boston.

If you are celebrating Lunar New Year, we wish safe travels and  much joy and prosperity this year! 恭贺新禧  Happy New Year!

Further reading:

About the Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year Traditions

Stories about Chinese New Year (National Public Radio)


Tattered maple leaf in late summer. Photo: Wendy, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Are you ready to make this November New-vember by learning a new skill? If you have been meaning to learn how to use a citation management tool, then this is your month!

In addition to the following workshops offered by the Hirsh Library, the Tufts DataLab Assistants will be offering a special workshop on Python.

As always, workshops are open to everyone on the Tufts Health Sciences Campus and no previous experience is required.

To see full descriptions and to register for these workshops, please visit: 


November workshops:

An Intro to Python for Data Analysis  – 11/4  2:00pm – 3:30pm (Room 514)

Mendeley: the Basics – 11/7 12noon – 1pm (Room 510)

Zotero: the Basics – 11/14 12noon – 1pm (Room 510)



If you need a little extra sound muffling, we have you covered! Stop by the Library Service Desk for some earplugs. Did you know? Present-day earplug material was discovered in 1967 by Ross Gardener Jr.!

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As announced on June 21st, the Food4Thought Cafe will be closed until a new vendor is in place. But don’t despair! If you find yourself in need of a quick coffee or lunch, there are still a number of dining options you can access without having to go outside.

The following eateries are all in, or close to, the Atrium of Tufts Medical Center. To get there from Hirsh, just cross the 4th floor bridge that takes you to the 3rd floor of the Dental school  and go through one of the doors on your left. Follow that hallway down until you reach the sunny, circular hub known as the Atrium.

On that floor (the 3rd floor), you’ll find Chop’d and Top’d, which offers breakfast items, a variety of sandwiches, and a build-your-own salad option.

If you take the stairs or the elevators down to the 1st floor, there are two options. The first is Au Bon Pain (open 24/7!) which offers a range of made-to-order sandwiches, breakfast items, soups, salads, sweets, and snacks. They also have a number of grab-and-go options. The second places is the Fresh Life Cafe, which has rotating menu of hot food options.

And, of course, there is a Dunkin Donuts on the first floor of the Proger wing.

You can find the opening hours of all these establishments on Tufts Medical Center’s Places to Eat page. 

Bon appetit!



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