Posts by: Katie Kidwell

You may remember HHSL staff walking around with clipboards periodically between mid-March and early April asking what school you were from (thanks again for letting us interrupt your studying). Well, even if you don’t, the results are in, and we’re eager to share them with you!


Total Numbers

Over the course of 7 days and 86 rounds, we were able to talk to a total of 1,729 people. We have a few rounds of lost data, so while these numbers are not perfect, they still give us a general understanding of library usage. From those folks we were able to capture, 763 were from the Dental School – just over 44% – and 815 were from the Medical School, including students in PA, PHPD, and MBS programs –  about 47%. There were 76 Friedman students, 64 GSBS students, and the rest were folks from TMC, HNRCA, and other part of Tufts, plus a few affiliate members. Remember, Hirsh welcomes everyone in the Tufts community! The total breakdown is below.

Chart of people using Hirsh by programSince we now know who was using the library, let’s look at where and when the library was being used.


In a statistic that I’m sure will shock exactly no one, the 7th floor remained our most popular space. Always. This time, the count on the 7th floor was more than twice that of the next closest floor. The 4th and 5th floors had similar usage, and the 6th floor saw the fewest visitors.

Chart of people using Hirsh by floor


The distribution of visitors across days almost looks like a bell curve. Our most popular day was Tuesday, followed closely by Wednesday and Monday. Surprisingly, Friday was the next busiest day, with nearly 75 more visitors than Thursday. This may be in part because Thursday is some missing data; regardless, this was a strong Friday showing. Not surprisingly, our least busy days were Saturday and Sunday.

Chart of people using Hirsh by day


Again, I doubt that you’ll be shocked that 3pm remains the busiest time of day at Hirsh. 11am is the second busiest time. Traffic tapers off in the evening, and 9pm is our least busy time by far – nearly 5x less busy than 3pm!

Chart of people using Hirsh by time of day


Total Floor Usage by Time of Day

While I still don’t think we can fully answer how the library is being used, we can glean some insight from looking at floor use by time. For example, not only is the 7th floor the most popular floor considering total visitors across the survey, it’s also the most popular floor at any given time of day. My guess is the 7th floor’s popularity comes from having the most study space, both with individual carrels and study rooms. However, the 4th floor is a close second at 11am with only 17 fewer people. I suspect this is a great time to start thinking about eating lunch and to connect with classmates in a space that isn’t a quiet floor. Again, the full breakdown is below. While there’s no way to prove these assumptions based on this information alone, it’s a good starting point to dig deeper into how people use the library.

Chart of total people using Hirsh by floor by time of day

So, on behalf of everyone at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, thank you for your assistance in helping get a sense of your library usage so we can ultimately figure out how to serve you best! Which, if you have any feedback on what Hirsh could be doing for you, please reach out! The Library Service Desk is open 7 days a week  and you can email us at Otherwise, we’ll be back at it again in October. Until then…


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