Hello there! I’m glad you can join me today. We’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately, so I thought I’d join in by giving you one on how to make an entire Health Sciences library. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

First thing’s first: this is going to be a bit bigger than we’re used to. That’s because Hirsh is such a popular library, we’ve had to up all the numbers in the recipe!

Now, you’ll want to be fairly liberal with your application of visitors to the library. For instance, this past year, we had 110,084 people come through. That’s nuts (which are also delicious)! Of course, you don’t want to risk the recipe being unbalanced by such a big number, so you will need to balance it out with a lot of circulation, as well. In our case, we balanced it out by having 38,990 checkouts this past year. It’s a 46% jump over what we had the previous year, but it’s been working well!

Incidentally, you’ll want to make sure your recipe includes technology. A lot of technology. In our case, we had 9,417 checkouts of laptops alone (6,440 of which were for just the Macbooks we have!). We also had 5,557 phone charger checkouts, and 3,019 checkouts of Mac chargers. Like I said, our recipe was pretty popular last year, and only got more popular this year!

If you’re a visual person (like me), then this should help: the total circulation by month of the last two years (click to enlarge).




Now what about individual spices, you may ask? Well that’s easy enough. You want to mix in 10,173 Dental students and 12,601 Medical. Bring to a simmer. Then mix in 8,029 Nutrition students and 5,266 from the combined PHPD programs. Bring to a boil, and add a dash of Sackler students – specifically, 569 of them.

Now, put in the oven, and turn the heat up. I’d suggest turning it up to 12 months, but keep an eye on it – not all of these ingredients can go in there for quite the same amount of time. Some need about 9, others can be an intense 6. I suggest occasionally stirring.

When you pull it all out, let it sit and cool off for a few months. I suggest setting it in front of Netflix for the duration of July, just to be sure.

Once it hits September, dig on in, it’s ready to go! But be forewarned: this dish is going to start strong and only get bigger from there.

Happy Eating!


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Children / pupils writing on paper with a pen in the classroom. The Netherlands, location unknown. [1937].

Photo courtesy Spaarnestad Photo & Nationaal Archief: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationaalarchief/3915529903

Are you threatened by a thesis deadline? Panicking about your personal statement? Dreading your dissertation? Preoccupied by papers, posters, and proposals?

Fear not! Health Sciences Writing Consultants will resume this Sunday, 8/2.

They’re offering the same great help with all your writing woes, but with a few logistical changes:

  • All sessions will be held in Sackler 509, which is right by the small computer lab on the 5th floor.
  • For the month of August, Sunday appointments will be held from 3pm to 6pm. The usual hours of 2pm to 5pm will resume on 9/13.
  • Weekday sessions will be held from 4pm to 7pm on Thursdays, instead of Wednesdays.

You can visit bit.ly/writingconsultants to learn more or to book an appointment.

The Race UndergroundThe Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway is a fascinating look at one of modern society’s most taken-for-granted features: public transit. Specifically, it’s a look at the events and people that helped create the public transit systems that would eventually become New York City’s MTA and Boston’s MBTA. Doug Most’s prose can occasionally veer off the main rail of the story, but always with the purpose of making sure the reader understands the personalities and the politics that formed the United States in the late 1800s.

It’s particularly interesting to see names that have passed into near myth appear on the pages – names like Teddy Roosevelt, Boss Tweed, and Thomas Edison. You can also see the seeds of the 20th century sewn, as others – such as John F Kennedy’s grandfather – show up and either throw their support for a subway in their city or stand in the way and try to block what was seen as a public menace.

Doug Most is very clearly deeply interested in this period in history, and it shows in his prose as he paints the scene of two Northeast cities exploding with populations and scrambling to handle the sudden influx of people. His enthusiasm shines through so clearly that it’s hard not to become drawn in and read quickly in hopes of finding out which city would eventually go on to make history in the US. Which is particularly impressive, given that it is a matter of public record (and pride for that particular city).

Quite frankly, it’s also just fun to see all of this form, and try to match the images presented in the book up against one’s own experience getting around NYC and Boston. Times have changed drastically since these days.

The Race Underground is a great read for the summer (especially when you can find somewhere air conditioned to read it). You can find it in the Tufts Library catalog and order it from Tisch here. Fun fact: it’s a 90 day rental!

Happy Reading!

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The Hirsh Health Sciences Library sends out best wishes for a wonderful Eid ul-Fitr! Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Islamic holy month of fasting, Ramadan.  Eid ui-Fitr is celebrated around the world with family and friends, sumptuous feasts and fireworks.

Looking for some dishes to contribute to your feast? Check out the fabulous Eid recipes below:

“Celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the End of Ramadan, with Sweet, Traditional Treats” – The New York Times

Eid al-Fitr recipes – BBC Food

Eid Recipes – My Halal Kitchen

Happy Eid!

(Image Credit:  “Eid al-Fitr 2013 Background”/Creativity Window)


Stuck in the city for the summer but wish you could travel?  Be transported for an afternoon with a book from our collection!


Here are eleven, arranged by location from nearest to farthest:

Martha’s Vineyard by Ray G. Ellis and Ralph Graves — This one has a lot of pictures; perfect for flipping through on one of the couches by the leisure reading. 

Vintage Nantucket by A.B.C. Whipple — Poetic history and lore of one of New England’s most popular vacation spots. 

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering American on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson — A journey through American wilderness with prolific travel writer Bill Bryson.

McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy — Rambles through Ireland.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed — An emotional trek down the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks — Narrative of a trip into Oaxaca by famed physician and writer Oliver Sacks.

My Life in France by Julia Child — Classic memoir of a culinary great.

Paris in Love by Eloisa James —  Here’s a review from one of our staff members.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle — A columnist and his wife uproot their life and move into a 200-year old farmhouse in France.  

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald — A sometimes irreverent, sometimes thoughtful chronicle of two years living in India.

The Island of the Colorblind by Oliver Sacks — An Amazon reviewerdescribes this as “a mini-vacation for the scientifically curious.”

We’ll have them out on display on top of the Leisure Reading shelves on the 4th floor so you can find them easily. Enjoy and Bon Voyage!






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The weather is beautiful and finally hot! So that means the last thing we want to do is turn the oven on or spend time laboring over a hot stove. Salads are always a good summer meal option, but why not try a cold soup?


This might do the trick.


My favorite cold soup is šaltibarščiai, a traditional Lithuanian cold beet soup. It involves a lot of chopping, but overall it’s pretty easy to make. It is also delightful shade of hot pink. I recommend using kefir instead of buttermilk, but you can also omit the eggs and dairy make it vegan-friendly and no less delicious.

Not in the mood to use the stove at all? Martha Stewart’s Avocado, Radish, and Basil Soup is a no-cook recipe–just throw everything in the blender!

There are also cold soups to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try something like this cold berry soup. The ingredients may seem like an odd combination, but they go together surprisingly well.

If you’d prefer solid food,  try one of these no-bake desserts.

And for those times when you just can’t beat a craving for a cookie, here are some instructions for making cookies in a pan on your stove. It uses low heat, so shouldn’t warm your kitchen up too much!

Stay cool.

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It’s time for an update on some of the new reads we’ve got here at the Hirsh Library! These books cover a wide range of topics, so stop by the library and pick up something new to read this summer.

Is there a book you think the library should have?  Let us know by recommending a purchase.

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As I was speaking with my sister last weekend she was in the process of trying a new way of making s’mores.  My young nephews had a lot of fun assembling these delicious treats and I can’t wait to try it this holiday weekend!  Campfire cones (or campfire treats) substitute the graham crackers for ice cream cones.  Stuff your cone with marshmallows, chocolate, and whatever else you’d like (peanut butter, strawberries, etc.).  Wrap it with tin foil and then either bake it, put it on the grill, or heat it over a campfire.  When you are finished you have this chocolatey goodness!


Courtesy of http://www.centercutcook.com

Image courtesy of http://www.centercutcook.com


Tired of plain brownies?  Why not try adding things to the batter?!  I keep seeing this one with Oreos and peanut butter!  Yummy!


Image courtesy of FoodBeast

Image courtesy of FoodBeast


This last one is perfect for the 4th of July!  My family has done this trifle before!  The main ingredients include angel food cake, whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries.  One recipe can be found here:  http://bit.ly/1BUD5fu  This can also be presented as a whole cake with an American Flag pattern!

Image courtesy of http://www.sixsistersstuff.com

Image courtesy of http://www.sixsistersstuff.com


Do you have a favorite summer recipe that you’d like to share!  Please contact us via Facebook or Twitter!

As a reminder the Library Service Desk is closed this Friday through Sunday!  Have a great Independence Day weekend!


Hello everyone! In honor of Independence Day (this Saturday, July 4th), Hirsh Health Sciences Library will be closed from Friday, July 3rd, through Sunday, July 5th. So make sure you get outside, grill something, and watch the fireworks!

We will see you on Monday!



Picture via Tom Quinn


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Leo, Catalogue, and Lizzy are out exploring the wilderness. Are they prepared to battle it out with mosquitoes and ticks? There is only one way to find out…

Mosquitoes and Ticks: A Message from Leo from Tufts HHSL on Vimeo.