Posts by: Sarah Passinhas-Bergman

Tom (L) and Leo (the Skeleton) (R)

It is with mixed emotions we announce the departure of our beloved Evening & Weekend Coordinator, Tom Quinn. Tom has been part of our circulation team since 2013, supervising student assistants and managing the Library Service Desk in the evenings and weekends (as the title implies).

In the time he’s been here, Tom has gotten his MLIS degree, created our blocking system, and co-published a chapter about the crafts we host here at the library.

He says, though, that he is proudest of making the desk an open and comfortable space to come for help or company. Students and staff have swung by for conversation or to create a study buddy for years, and that’s in large part thanks to Tom’s work here at circulation.

Be sure to stop by the desk and say goodbye with us before his last day, Thursday, Jan 27.


Now that the school year is starting, our website is one of your best tools for navigating the library space and resources. On our website, you can get any of your burning questions answered: How do the printers work? When can I talk to a librarian?

Our homepage has dozens of links to resources. You can find our databases under the “databases” tab or under Quick Links on our homepage. You can also find JumboSearch, where you can browse through Tufts University book catalogs. You can also use the Ask Us box on the far right to send us an email or chat with our library staff.

When you need to contact a librarian for help, hover over the Research tab at the top of the page and schedule a consultation with a librarian, especially if you need research help. Under the Research tab, you can also find Research Guides, which have topics ranging from biomedical sciences to health communication. You can also navigate to help with thesis support and citation tools.

Under the Services tab, you can find pages on Interlibrary Loan, printing and scanning, open workshops, and much more.

If you’re looking for something specific, you should use our search bar at the top right corner of the homepage. (And if you’ll notice, that orange bar at the top is our staffed hours, in case you want to stop by the desk!) If you have any questions about the site.

And of course, you can always stay up to date on library news here on our blog.


As we return to campus, you may have forgotten how to print from our printers on the 4th or 5th floors, or use the scanners on the 5th floor. (Maybe you’ve never used them before!) Below are some cursory instructions to get you started.


Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

The scanners are free to use. Each scanner is hooked up directly to a computer. Make sure the scanner is turned on, open the scanning software on the computer, and set your settings. Bring a flash drive for transporting your scanned files off the computer.


Printing is not free. Black and white printing is $0.15

per page, and color printing is $0.45 per page. In order to pay for printing, you have to check your balance on your JumboCard (your Tufts University ID). For more information on which printer to send your file to, check out our page on printing here at Hirsh.

From sending your file to print, you swipe your card at the kiosks beside the printer. (If you have a JumboCard, you type in the JumboCard number and not your UTLN) There, you select the print job and confirm it.

If you have any trouble with the printers or scanners, you can tell anyone staffed at the IT Desk or the Library Service Desk. You can also email

We’re also around to answer any other questions. Again, our webpage on printing/scanning/copying is here. See you around!

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Leo the Skeleton model smiling at the camera, wearing a light blue Tufts Alumni visor, with a button pinned to it of The Block

Leo the Skeleton, who will greet you at the desk!

We are back in the library! As we transition back into the library, we plan to refresh your memory about the physical library space. Today, as we open the Library Service Desk again, you can now check out study materials for short-term lending.

Since we haven’t been open in over a year, all our borrowing policies are on our website. We are at the Library Service Desk on the 4th floor, where you can check out:

  • Course reserves and textbooks
  • Anatomical models
  • Electronics (e.g. laptops, chargers)

Before lockdown, if an item wasn’t returned or renewed on time, this would result in a block. Once we return to the library, everyone will have to sign our Equipment Agreement to checkout anatomical models and electronics. This Agreement outlines our blocking policy, but we’re happy to answer any questions about the policy.

Leisure reading, Graphic Medicine, the Book Stacks etc. (4th, 5th floors) will still be available for long term checkout. Print journals and current periodicals are not available for checkout, but you can browse them on the 4th and 7th floors.

And of course, you can contact us with your questions at, call us at (617) 636 6705 or come up to the desk between 7:45 AM and 5:00 PM

We’re happy to see you all in person again (wearing a mask, of course)!



Please help us in welcoming Iris Afantchao to the HHSL team!

Iris Afantchao posing outside among trees

photo courtesy of Iris Afantchao

Iris graduated from Smith College last year, and hopes to pursue an MLIS degree to become a community archivist. She has worked with collections at Smith College, Senator John Heinz History Center, Docip, and Maryland State Archives. Iris grew up in Connecticut and Pennsylvania; she enjoys volleyball, documentaries, and learning about regional dialects. The next activity Iris wants to try is bouldering or punch needle embroidery.

If you speak to her on chat or at the library, be sure to say hello!

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On Tuesday, July 6th, we re-opened the Library Service Desk! For students who haven’t been to the library in a while (or at all), this will be an adjustment for us all. Our hours will be truncated while we transition to coming back to the desk full-time.

Beginning Sunday August 1st, our hours will be as follows:

M-Thu: Desk 7:45 am – 8pm

Fri: Desk 7:45 am – 7 pm

Sat: Desk 10-3; online staffed hours 3-6 pm

Sun: Desk open 12-5; online staffed hours  5-8 pm

The building will remain open until midnight, with last entry at 11pm.

The lockers for “curbside pickup” will stay where they are for now, still only usable for book requests. For more about requesting books, or checking out books when the desk is not open, please visit our page about distance checkout.



It is writing season! Between personal statements and thesis-writing, the realm of written word can be especially daunting. Plagiarism can occur in every part of academia, from grade school up to tenureship. It happens—sometimes intentionally and sometimes accidentally—to any type of writer. What’s important is taking responsibility for your own academic integrity when possible.

A quill writing on paperIn our plagiarism LibGuide, our librarian Amy Lapidow has outlined some excellent resources for the purposes of plagiarism checks. One of these is DupliChecker, which is a free online service that checks your work for copied material. Another is TurnItIn.Com. Below is Amy Lapidow’s instructions:

  • Turnitin
  • Check your paper! Look for “Open Class for Students” Class ID 20577570 with keycode “Capstone”
  • You should be able to add yourself to the class.
  • If you cannot add yourself to this class, please let us know and we can help.

Remember, if you’re having trouble during the writing process, you can make an appointment with Christine Smith, who is our writing consultant for the Boston campus.

Best of luck with all of your writing!



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Tax season is happening here in the United States! If you’re like me, and this is your first year filing your taxes as an independent (and you’re hoping for that sweet stimulus check this time!), then filing your taxes can seem like a complicated project. It is not as painful as you might expect. If you’ve just realized that you haven’t filed your taxes, these links below should help you navigate this process.

If you need free filing, this is the TurboTax Free File link; here is the H&R Block Free File link. These should cover both federal and state taxes. Depending on your income level and your student status, these should be free filing options for you. (I used one of them this year).

If you are filing in the state of Massachusetts, among other things, you’ll need to fill out a Schedule HC form. This proves you have health insurance. The vital numbers you’ll need is the name of your insurance, their Federal ID number, and your subscriber number. This is the form here.

For more information about the Federal Tax Filing, please visit their website here.

For more information about the Massachusetts State Tax Filing, please visit their website here. For questions about what and how you should be applying, you can call them directly.

The deadline for the 2021 Federal Tax return is May 17th, but if you start now you’ll be able to put it out of your mind! If, for any reason, you need an extension to file your taxes, you should make the request as soon as possible. You can do that here.






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Instead of a prank for you, we have true fun facts about April Fools!

In France, they say “Poisson D’Avril” or April Fish! This same thing in Italy is “Pesce d’aprile.”

Do you have any “April Fools” phrase equivalents in your country or culture? Leave a comment down below!



This Sunday is Pi Day!

Every March 14, mathematicians and pie aficionados alike celebrate the rich history of π by making and eating different types of pie. But we don’t need to be mathematicians or pie aficionados to celebrate!

In the United States, since our dates read month/day/year, March 14 reflects the first few digits of pie. But since π is also related to calculating dimensions of circles, the parallel between dessert pie and the mathematical constant inspires people to make their desserts in honor of the holiday.

So, here’s a quick tip if you’re making a pie this weekend: use refrigerated, unsalted butter. Rather than letting it thaw, cut up your cold butter into tiny cubes. This makes the pie crust easier to mix, and eventually, flakier after baking.

Enjoy your weekend!

Pie with sparklers lit on top

Photo by Lucy Heath on Unsplash



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