Posts by: Sarah Passinhas-Bergman

February has been American Heart Month. To raise awareness about cardiovascular health, we’d like to provide resources and information about donating blood.

Last summer, the Red Cross announced it would start testing blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. They still offer this service. To book an appointment with the Red Cross, sign up here and schedule your visit. One facility is here on Tremont Street, near the COVID testing site, but you have to schedule an appointment because no blood donation sites take walk-in visits.

If you don’t want to donate blood, you may donate platelets or plasma instead. This is a longer procedure where the nurses filter the blood, and makes some patients feel less tired. In order to donate blood, donors are required to be:

  • Over 16 years old

    A man's arm in the middle of donating blood, holding a stress ball

    Photo by LuAnn Hunt on Unsplash

  • Over 110 lbs.
  • Feeling well and in good physical health, with no fever for 7 days prior

To prepare for a blood donation, donors should:

  • Eat a healthy meal and drink an extra 16 oz. of water before your appointment
  • Bring a photo ID
  • Arrange for a ride home so you’re not behind the wheel after your appointment

During your appointment, the Red Cross nurses will test your hemoglobin levels and ask you a series of questions about your travel habits, sexual behaviors, and medications. After your donation, you will have to stay on site, in a rest area, for 15-20 minutes. Here, you can hydrate yourself, eat snacks to increase your blood sugar, and arrange your ride home.

After donating blood, the Red Cross recommends no intense physical activity for 24 hours, and no alcohol or recreational drugs for 48 hours. We recommend you take the rest of the day to nap, eat another hearty meal, and bask in your act of generosity for the day. In the meantime, the center will test your blood for COVID-19 antibodies, among other diseases like HIV or Hepatitis B.

The benefactors of blood donations include cancer patients, serious injuries, people with chronic anemia, and more. Pints of blood are shipped all over the country. Your blood can even be split among patients, where one person receives the white blood cells, and another receives the platelets. The Red Cross, with your permission, will even notify you when your blood is sent to another hospital for use.

And donating blood has its benefits. It lowers your blood iron stores; your liver cannot handle high levels of iron in the body. Some studies say that donating blood reduces your chances of cancer or a heart attack. You may find out about health concerns, like high blood pressure or an infection, during the donation. My favorite part are the free snacks.

You can schedule an appointment through the Red Cross here!


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



This semester, the library service desk will not be open for course reserve and technology check-out. But even if your professors have required textbooks, you may not have to buy them. We’ve been hard at work finding electronic copies or occasionally scanning chapters of textbooks for your hybrid or remote courses this semester.

Where your textbooks are:

  • Under the Reading List tab in your Canvas course
  • In a module or under the Files tab in your Canvas course

If you can’t find them there, you can always look for the book on JumboSearch. Type the title of the book in quotations, or the course code for your course.

You may also be added to Box folders with scanned chapters of your course’s required textbooks. In that case, you should receive a request to be a previewer.

Please reach out to if you cannot find a copy of a required book for your course, if you have trouble accessing it, or if you have any other concerns throughout this process.



Happy New Year!

Now that many of you are coming back to campus, you may notice the library is still only providing remote services. Our Library Service Desk is closed, but you can still check books out, or return them. (We outlined this in more detail a month ago.) Below is an overview of these policies in case a book on our shelves catches your eye.

The aisle between two shelves of library books

Photo by Shunya Koide on Unsplash

If you would like to check out a book, you may:

  • Request it through JumboSearch, and pick it up at the Library on the fourth floor. We will send an email to you, telling you your books are in a specific locker, with a specific combination.
  • Check it out yourself through the MeeScan app, or by emailing us the barcodes.
  • Request it through JumboSearch, and we can mail it to you.

If you would like to return a book, you may:

  • Drop the book in our book drop on the fourth floor, beside the Library Service Desk.
  • Return our books at either Tisch or Ginn libraries on the Medford campus.
  • Contact us about mailing your books back.

Physical course reserves and electronics (chargers and laptops) are still not available for check out this semester. Stay tuned for information about electronic course reserves.

If you’re looking for a specific book, you can find it through JumboSearch today!

Feel free to contact our Circulation Department at if you have any questions or concerns about checking out or returning items, or about JumboSearch.

Best of luck with beginning this semester!


We want to prepare you for checking items out and returning them to us! Whether you’re already studying remotely, or planning to travel out of the area this holiday season, below is an outline of our current policies for checking in/out books.

How to Check Out a Book

Picture of books lit by fairy lights

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Contactless Pickup

You can request a book for contactless pickup at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library by requesting it through JumboSearch. We will pick up the book, and email you when the book is available for pickup. For more information, check out our previous post about contactless pickup.


If you’re in the physical library and find books you’d like to check out, you can use the MeeScan app with your smart phone to check out the books to yourself.

  • Download the app
  • Scan your ID barcode and the barcodes of the books.

For more detailed instructions, check out our previous post about MeeScan.

If you don’t want to download an app, but see a book you want to check out, you can send us an email at , detailing your full name and the books’ full barcodes. (They often begin with 3 0909, located in the first few pages). Make sure to do this from your Tufts-affiliated email address!

Mail Delivery 

If you’re not in Boston, we can ship your book to you!

  • Find the book you want in JumboSearch
  • Select Request
  • Set your Pickup Location to your Home Address

We’ll email you once we start the shipping process, asking for your address and other contact info. (And we’ll send you a prepaid return label). See more info in our previous post about mail delivery.


How to Return A Book

On the fourth floor, beside the Library Service Desk, is a book drop. Our team checks it once a week, so it’ll be returned in a timely manner.

If you can’t come to the Tufts Health Sciences campus, you can return our book at Tisch and Ginn libraries in Medford.

You may not even be in the area. Contact us at to discuss options for returning books, like mailing them directly to us. We’re flexible, so just ask!


Is there a book you’re interested in? Check in JumboSearch for its availability here!


Woman dressed as a witch holding a lighted pumpkin

Photo by Zach Kadolph on Unsplash


It was a dark and stormy night… The wind howled in the cavernous halls of the library building as one brave student searched for a place to study. Little did she know… she was not alone!

To celebrate Halloween remotely, on Thursday, October 29th at 6 PM, join us for “Scary Stories to Tell over Zoom!”

Bring your well-known, or local, or made-up ghost stories to share with the group, or just come by to listen. Snacks and pets welcome.

Accepting stories about

  • Ghosts
  • Extraterrestrials
  • Haunted buildings
  • Suspicious activity

Register here in advance, and zoom links will be sent out that Thursday!



With the new term beginning, Hirsh Library has implemented “curbside pickup.”  Students, faculty, and staff are able to request books from any Tufts library to pick up at Hirsh Library during our opening hours.  

In keeping with the University guidelines, if you plan to visit the Library you must observe rules regarding physical distancing, wearing masks, and completing a screening survey prior to arrival. Currently, only Tufts University IDs are permitted into the building. Once you enter the building, you will need to show the security officer a completed Tufts Symptoms survey on your phone (or printed copy).  The survey can be accessed via, the Tufts mobile app, or the Healthy @ Tufts portal. You will not be admitted into the building until you have completed this survey and get the All Clear sign. You need to complete the screening survey any day you come to the School. 

Search for and request books through JumboSearch and choose a pickup location. When the request is fulfilled, you’ll get an email saying the book is available for pickup. If you choose another library pickup location other than Hirsh Library to pick books up at, that library may have a different procedure, and you will want to contact them. Books requested to pick up at Hirsh Library will be on the Library Service Desk in a bag labeled with your name and checked out to you for contactless pickup. You will have a week to pick up your item. 

You can renew your books twice by logging into your library account or contacting us from the options below. If you do not pick up your books within a week, they will get checked back in and returned to the owning library. 

Please only take books labeled with your own name. Taking other students’ books would be in violation of the Hirsh Health Sciences Honor Code.  

For reference, below are a list of Tufts libraries 

  • Boston Medical Campus: Hirsh Health Sciences Library 
  • Boston SMFA Campus: SMFA Library 
  • Grafton Campus: Veterinary Library 
  • Medford Campus: Tisch Library  
  • Medford Campus: Ginn Library 
  • Medford Campus: Music Library

If you have any questions, need to make alternative arrangements, or no longer need the books you have requested, please contact us below! 


Phone: (617) 636-6705 (to leave a voice message) 

Text the library: (617) 477-8439  



All of the above ways to contact us are monitored by our staff during our online staffed hours. 






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