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It’s only mid-September but the semester is already in full swing. Join us at the Library Service Desk this Thurs 9/12 and Fri 9/13, starting at 12pm, for our first FunLab of the year and make a custom cozy to adorn your favorite seasonally-spiced drink. We’ll have all the supplies you need to protect your hand from hot beverages in style!

But that’s not all! Stop by the Library Service Desk TODAY at 3pm for a teatime study break. We’ll have tea, treats, and the schedule for all of this fall’s FunLabs. Hope to see you there!

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Citation Tool Fair

Ah, the eternal question: EndNote or Zotero (or Mendeley)? Well, ponder no further! Join us for the Hirsh Library “Citation Tool Fair” on Thursday, September 12th!  This your opportunity to learn about the most popular citation tools out there, including EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero – all in one place! Not sure what a ‘citation tool” is? Then you definitely want to come to this event! No registration is required. Here’s the deets:

What: Hirsh Library “Citation Tool Fair”

When: Thursday, September 12th  from 12noon-1pm

Where: Room 516.

We hope to see you there!

 

Welcome MBSers! So happy to see you!

Can’t remember anything from orientation?! Don’t worry, you can always Ask Us by email, chat, phone, or text, or just stop by the Library Service Desk–there is always someone to talk to. If you need research assistance, you can get help from the librarian on call or make an appointment with your liaison, Amy Lapidow.

Don’t know where to start? We have many Research Guides on all kinds of topics. Explore! Especially the one about studying. We know you do a lot of that.

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Symphony999 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

It’s time to fall back into learning at Hirsh!  There are so many fabulous opportunities for learning this Fall at Hirsh! Workshops are open to everyone on the Tufts Health Sciences Campus and no previous experience is required. Come as you are and come away with new skills!

Workshops will be held on Thursdays from 12noon-1pm in room 510 (with the exception of the “Citation Tool Fair,” which will be held in room 516).

To see full descriptions and to register for workshops, please visit: https://hirshlibrary.tufts.edu/services/open-workshops 

September:

JumboSearch – 9/5

Citation Management Fair – 9/12 (nb: this event will be held in rm 516)

Approaching the Lit Review –– 9/19

PubMed: Searching the Health Science Literature – 9/26

October:

Right to the Source: Locating U.S. Health Data – 10/3

Intro to Health Science Info on the Internet – 10/10

EndNote: the Basics – 10/17

Research Metrics – 10/24

Patents for Health Sciences Research – 10/31

November:

Mendeley: the Basics – 11/7

Zotero: the Basics – 11/14

 

Hi everyone,

Time for another installment of my statistics posts! Since the big annual post last June, we’ve changed a little about what we collect, so sadly I don’t have handy available data for which one of our circulation days was the busiest this past year (although I will still be telling you the month). But I can tell you right off the bat that the day we counted the most people studying was November 28th, 2018, when we counted 911 people sitting in our library over the course of the day. 911! That is so many people! Part of it, of course, is all the new seating we keep getting, because we here at Hirsh Library care about where you’re going to sit for your (frankly incredibly long) study sessions. Part of it is probably that we’re just so darn nice.

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, winner of my personal secret Nicest Colleague Award, six years running.

 

Anyway, you are here for some quick bar graphs and neat facts, and far be it from me to keep you from them! First off, here’s a bar graph of the last year’s worth of circulation stats (in blue) and head/seating counts (in red). These can be difficult to compare, since the numbers vary so far from one another (you may notice, for instance, that the circulation stats for a month never go above 3,000, but the seating counts never drop below that number). That is due simply to the digital nature of the schools here nowadays. Many of the students on this campus can stick with their computers, notes, and any textbooks they happen to own, and never really need to come to the desk. Which is a little too bad, given that we have so much stuff for  you, but that’s life. What matters here is that heavens to Betsy we had 3,023 checkouts in October! That averages 100 a day, but I can tell you from experience (and I have numbers in past years to back this up) that not all days are created equal. Weekends and holidays are slower, so to make up for those, we would have had single days getting up around the 200 checkout mark. My guess is a Tuesday or Wednesday right before a major anatomy exam.

A vertical bar graph, with circulation stats in blue and head counts in red.

Click to enlarge.

Now, just because nothing is fun if it lines up properly, October was the busiest month with checkouts (I won’t get into things like questions, consultations, or the sheer volume of EndNote assistance and troubleshooting I have personally offered), but November was actually the busiest month for students in seats, to the tune of 9,274 people counted. Egad! We only have four floors in this building, and the bulk of people (nearly half!) are on the 7th floor.

Incidentally, this seems like a good moment to mention we have foam ear plugs down at the Library Service Desk. They’re free, and you can keep them. We also have headphones you can check out, which cover your ear entirely. Great for blocking noise out!

These graphs always follow the same kinds of patterns, although I was honestly surprised that November took home the gold here. With the Thanksgiving break, it has never been out front like that. But from what I’ve been hearing on the grapevine (….hydrated humerus?), the schools have been shifting their academic schedules around, so I for one will be very interested to see how that effects our numbers.

Speaking of the floors: BAM! Have a chart about the floors. Remember I mentioned how busy the 7th floor is around here? Well I do not make those claims without the numbers to back me up, and hot dang the 7th floor got crazy busy. Particularly -interestingly enough – in January. Why was January the busiest month for the 7th floor? I can answer that the same way I can answer the question “Why do we pay more for the MBTA now but the service has somehow gotten worse?” And that answer is: I don’t know. Magic? Probably magic.

A bar graph of the head counts per floor over the year. Blue is 4th, red is 5th, green is 6th, purple is 7th.

Click to enlarge.

But I do find it cool (hah!) that it happened. I love little mysteries like the January 2019 one. 4,285 people counted on the 7th floor that month, the highest number of people counted on any floor in any month. And I wasn’t kidding about nearly half: that month, the 7th floor accounted for 49.8% of the 8,600 people counted in the library.

I joke around a lot on this blog, but in complete seriousness, I can speak for everyone here at Hirsh when I say: we’re glad you like it here so much, and are willing to spend so much time here. We try very hard to make sure you’re comfortable and have seating and food options for your long study sessions, so these kinds of numbers are good to see. It’s why I collect them in the first place.

Finally, did you know that back in April I wrote a post about the Affiliation Statistics we do here? If you want the full detail I recommend checking that post out, I just want to highlight the day-of-the-week breakdown I did from that post.

October and March headcounts by days of the week. October is in blue, March is in orange.

Click to enlarge.

You may notice that Monday is the busiest day of October, but Wednesday is the busiest day of March. That kind of thing happens a lot here, and things that seem to effect it are: weather patterns, exam schedules, food specials at the cafe, classes, and whether it’s a holiday week (Indigenous Peoples’ Day in October sometimes has a large effect, and sometimes not). I suspect that there’s also a bit of “I’ve been studying too much lately” and “Oh no Boards are upon me!” also happen, but while we collect all this data, we try very hard to not interrupt your studying.

So, where does this leave us? Well every year is a little different than years prior, and although this gives us a good blueprint for the upcoming year, the desk already feels significantly busier this week than it has in previous Orientation weeks, so there will be some improvisation as well. There always is. But if you’re like me, that’s exciting! Just means more of a challenge.

I hope you all have a great rest of your summers! Welcome back if you’re here, and if you’re not quite yet then make sure you get some beach trips in while you can. Class is around the corner.

And if you’re in the library, make sure to come say hi to me at the Library Service Desk on the 4th floor! I’m here all night.

Statistically yours,
Tom

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Did you know that Hirsh Library has games that you can checkout? Cool, right!? If you need a break from studying or just want to challenge your friends to a game of Operation, stop by the Library Service Desk. We have Chess, Checkers, Jenga, Uno, Skippo, a bunch of playing cards… just to name a few, that you can checkout and play!

Operation Game

Image: Operation Game. Credit: mustangsmile

Let the games begin!

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Summer is here and everyone at HHSL is looking forward to the 4th of July! See our library hours for the holiday weekend. The weather forecast says it will be mostly sunny on the 4th and 5th, but scattered showers throughout the weekend, so keep that umbrella in your bag! Here are our suggestions for how to enjoy a happy and healthy holiday weekend:

Fireworks Over Boston by Mike Halsall is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The quintessential Boston 4th of July celebration is the Boston Pops performance and fireworks show on the Esplanade. Visit the official event website for a rundown of the schedule and more event details.

For fun throughout the weekend, head down to Boston Harborfest. Dedicated to celebrating Boston’s harbor and history, it’s the largest 4th of July festival in the country and features tons of activities, some free and some paid. Here’s the full schedule. Don’t miss the fireworks over the Inner Harbor on Tuesday night!

USS Constitution fires a 21-gun salute toward Fort Independence during the ship’s July 4th underway (US Navy) / CC BY 2.0

Go check out the USS Constitution turnaround! Watch the USS Constitution take her annual voyage to Castle Island to fire a 21-gun salute. You can buy a ticket for the cruise or watch from the shore!

Newton Fireworks at at Halloran Sports and Rec Complex by Owen and Aki is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Don’t want to fight the crowds for Boston fireworks on the 2nd or the 4th? Here’s a list of all the fireworks displays planned for this summer in MA. Of particularly local note, Somerville will be having a display on Thursday 6/27 at 9:15pm and Newton and Waltham will also have fireworks displays on Thursday 7/4.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, we hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe Independence Day. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Have a Happy 4th of July!

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The North Shore is the place to be for festivals running all summer long. From the Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach, to the Salem Maritime Festival, to Gloucester’s famous Greasy Pole Contest of the St. Peter’s Fiesta, if you need to get out of the bustling city head north and explore these historic New England towns along the coast. Transportation is simple and easy, plus the MBTA is now offering $10 rail weekends. You can get to about any of these festivals by taking the Newburyport/Rockport line on the Commuter Rail.

 

St. Peter’s Fiesta! June 26-30, 2019  ~ Gloucester, MA

National Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach July, 26-28, 2019 ~  Revere Beach, MA

Yankee Homecoming July 27-August 4, 2019  ~  Newburyport, MA

Salem Maritime Festival August 3-4, 2019  ~  Salem, MA

Festival by the Sea August 3, 2019  ~  Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

39th Annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival August 17, 2019  ~  Gloucester, MA

Annual Rockport Jazz Festival August 4-11, 2019  ~  Rockport, MA

Best of the North Shore (BONS) Event August 20, 2019  ~  Ipswich, MA

Rockport Celtic Festival August 23-25, 2019  ~  Rockport, MA

RiverFest Seaside Music Festival August 24, 2019  ~  Gloucester, MA

Gloucester Schooner Festival August 30 – September 3, 2019  ~  Gloucester, MA

Peabody International Festival Artisan and Maker Street Fair September 8, 2019  ~  Peabody, MA

 

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May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. It’s celebrated every year to encourage a 24-hour abstinence from all forms of tobacco and raise awareness of the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke. Each year, more than 7 million people worldwide die from diseases caused by tobacco use, including 890,000 from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Fun facts!
On July 1, 2004, a statewide smoking ban went into effect in the state of Massachusetts. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places and workplaces, including bars and restaurants. Also, on February 9, 2009 the Boston Public Health Commission banned smoking on outside patios of bars and restaurants. Additionally, smoking is banned in all hotel rooms in the city of Boston. Many cities and states have enacted similar bans, but regulations vary greatly throughout the US and there have never been any attempts to enact a nationwide smoking ban. If you’re interested in seeing how laws differ throughout the country, Wikipedia offers a comprehensive list.

Celebrate World No Tobacco Day with a 24-hour (or more) abstinence from all forms of tobacco on May 31!

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Hello all, this seems like a good time for a brief round-up of what we learned during the two Affiliation Statistics months this year. If you don’t remember (and how couldn’t you?), those were October and March, when we went around asking you all what programs you happened to be from. It’s always an interesting project when we do it, and I always enjoy showing you some of what we learned.

For instance,  the breakdown of days! The way we do the actual survey involves some randomization and scattering around the month, but we make sure to get each day of the week included. In the past, Wednesday has been the busiest day of the week at Hirsh, and that held out in the March count, but in October, Monday was the busiest! There are many different reasons this happens, including class schedules, exam schedules, and even weather patterns. It does help us understand our patron needs, though, which is one more way we can help you all out.

Now, obviously we didn’t go around and ask you about what school you were from just so we could show you this chart of what days of the week are more popular. No, what you may really want to see is the breakdown of which program had the most people here to count, and here you go! The answer…well, probably won’t surprise you, but it’s still fun to look at!

Click to embiggen

Well would you look at that! Medical students and Dental students were the largest population in the library! Unlike past years, it appears there are more MD students studying in the Library, and I have a theory on that: seating. One thing I’ve noticed in the past from other statistics posts and round-ups, particularly when doing the end-of-year, is that our Medical students tend to prefer quiet space for studying. This past year, the Hirsh Library has exponentially increased the amount of available study space on the 7th floor – the quietest of the study floors – and then this happened. That March bar corresponds rather well with 2nd years preparing for their Step exams, too.

Is this a direct causation, or a happenstance correlation? As much as I’d like to say it’s causation, I’m cautious about claiming that. Then again, as the movie Field of Dreams once said, “Build it and they will come.” So who knows!

For the record, we’ve also recorded a drop-off for PA, PHPD, and MBS from October to March. But we’re seeing people from the other Tufts programs and all our various other affiliates here in larger numbers. Remember that everybody in the Tufts Community is welcome here all the same! Hirsh is for all of you.

Now the best way to see how good my guess about the extra study space is, of course, is to do something like, say, look at which floors were the busiest. But I’d have to have all that data handy and be able to put it in a totally different chart.

 

Good. News.

Click to en-full-size-en

Okay. Full disclosure: I always knew it would look like this. The 7th floor is crazy popular. We collect data year-round (which I will be discussing in a post a few months from now, for an end-of-year wrap-up), and one thing I have noticed is that the 7th floor is consistently twice the populous of any other floor. Twice! Which makes sense when you stop and think about it: it’s got the most of all kinds of study space, and is somehow still the quietest floor of the lot.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say: I’m glad you like it so much!

That’s all for now. Good luck with the remainder of your exams, and I’ll see you back here this summer for the big wrap up, when I talk about some interesting numbers (like busiest days) and how this year stacks up against years past!

-Tom-

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