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Magically Floating Dental Supplies

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

Congratulations to all dental students graduating!

We at Hirsh Library just wanted to remind you that clearing from the library is among your responsibilities in order to be cleared for graduation. This means all books must be returned and all fines must be paid. If you have any questions, you can send us a chat or give us a call at 617-636-6705 . We have loved working with you all through your research projects and presentations, and we are excited to see you off to the next portion of your career. Good luck (and please remember to return your books!).


Need a good luck charm to get you through finals? Want to give a friend a boost while they’re in a marathon study session? Then stop by the Library Service Desk on Wednesday 4/13 and Thursday 4/14 starting at noon! We’ll have all the supplies you need to make some motivational tokens for yourself or your friends. We have a variety glass gems and paint pens to create a pocket-sized work of art. And as a bonus, we’re bringing out the button-maker!

Hope to see you there!



Hello everyone! A few weeks ago, we were walking around with clipboards, asking you all which school you were in– and we could tell some of you were surprised we were asking. We do a collection of affiliation surveys every year, twice a year, and here is some of our past wrap-ups as evidence. We ask you which school you’re in, and log what time, what day, and which floor you’re on. It’s a lot of info. And, as evidence that we use this data, I will break down what this year looked like as our campus reopened and classes tentatively switched from all remote to hybrid or in-person classes.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the info I find most interesting–

Weekday & Time

Graph of our numbers of people by weekday

People by Weekday

Graph of people by time of day

People by Time

Between October and March, the stats by weekday were pretty different. It looks like March mid-week was the most popular time to be in the library, whereas October saw a more even distribution. I really like the fact that Sundays were more popular than Saturdays in October, and March saw the opposite.

As far as times of day, the numbers almost identical– most of you were here mid-morning (11 AM) and mid-afternoon (3 PM), and then the numbers tapered off in the evening. I sort of thought the numbers would look different since we saw more of you all this semester, but maybe you’ve been here all along… hiding on the 7th floor.


Graph of people by floor

People by Floor

I love the distribution for how many students are on which floor. Why? Because we here at the library know you all love the 7th floor. It is consistently the most populated of all the floors, and as you can see, by about double the other floors’ totals. You all make great use of the study rooms, the double-tier desks, the standing desks, the cubicles– but here’s the proof, in case you’ve ever been curious. You’re all using the other floors, in a pretty identical and consistent way, and man, we are still grateful to be seeing you all in person again.


Graph of people by school or department

People by Affiliation

Last but not least, the statistics based on department (or, affiliation). Classically, the majority of students using the library have been the medical and dental students. However! We counted a lot of MBS students this March, nearly double that of October, which is fantastic! Thank you everyone for using the space, for patiently telling four people in one day which school you went to, and for being the best part about working at Hirsh Library. We have been lucky to see familiar and new faces alike this academic year, and look forward to seeing you around the library. And get ready, because six months from now… we have the next round of affiliation surveys! 🤭


group of flowers

lilies photo by A. LaVertu, 2022

Spring is busting out all over…and so are opportunities to learn!  Workshops@Hirsh are designed to help your research skills blossom, so please join us for a workshop (or two or three) this month!

Workshops will be held on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm via Zoom. Registration for workshops is required.  A Zoom link and password will be sent to registrants one hour prior to the start time of the Workshop. Please note that workshops are open to only Tufts-affiliated individuals.

PubMed: An Introduction 


Date:             Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

This workshop will introduce you to PubMed, the world’s premiere biomedical literature database.  We will review the content of this database, planning and executing a search strategy, narrowing search results, finding full-text, and exporting results to a citation management program.



Date:             Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

In this workshop, you will learn how to use JumboSearch, Tufts Libraries’ discovery tool. JumboSearch is your gateway to full-text articles, books, theses and dissertations, videos, music, images, and more!

Documenting your literature search methods 


Date:             Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

There are many reasons to document your literature search methods, including:

  • Some publication types require it (i.e., systematic and scoping reviews)
  • Having a record for future search updates
  • Transparency and increased understanding of one’s discovery process

This workshop will discuss the reasons why it is important document your literature search methods. It will also review how to draft a narrative description of one’s search methods, tools for documenting one’s search strategy and results, including PRISMA flowcharts.


We have recently put a number of exciting medical artifacts and curiosities from our special collection on display on the 6th floor. These items, mostly from the 19th and early 20th centuries and received through donations to the university, are sure to catch your eye as you exit the main elevators.

Among these items are a pocket surgical kit in a velvet-lined leather case, an 1800s blood transfusion kit, and a surgeon’s field amputation kit circa the American Civil War.

We also have on display a mysterious device known as a Phantasmagoric Magneto Machine, a quack medical device which purported to cure nervous diseases with a mild electric current generated by a hand crank.

Along with these eye-catching instruments, you can find two mortars and pestles and number of medicine bottles with their contents still inside – though well past their expiration date.

Take a look through our display case and see for yourself how medicine was practiced over a hundred years ago!



Congratulations on your match, Class of 2022!  We can’t wait to celebrate with you tomorrow (in person!) on Match Day and learn where you’re headed!

For those of you not in the know, Match Day is an annual event that began in 1952 where medical students learn where they will go for their residency program.  On Friday, March 18th the Library Service Desk on the 4th floor will be closed from 11am-2pm to accommodate celebrations for this event.  All other floors will be open for study.  Please plan on obtaining laptops and reserve items prior to 11am if you need them. In addition,  the Food4Thought Cafe’s kitchen and coffee station will be closed all day, but the usual self check-out items will be available. Thank you!


Collage of Study Buddies

Study carrel feeling lonely? Assignments got you down? Why not make a little buddy to help cheer you up? That’s right, Hirsh’s favorite pom pom critters are back for two days only! Stop by the Library Service Desk this Thursday 3/10 and Friday 3/11 starting at noon and make a fluffy friend for yourself or someone else. Nothing lifts the spirits like staring into an adoring pair of googly eyes.


Our spring School Affiliation Week starts this Sunday, March 6th.  In past years we’ve scattered our days among an entire month, but given the way life is lately, we decided it would be best to have it one-and-done, like we did in the fall. Here’s how it’s going to work.

From Sunday, March 7th through Saturday, March 12th, members of the Hirsh Library staff will be walking around 3-4 times a day with a clipboard in hand. We’re going to ask everyone in the library what school/program they’re with (Med, Dental, GSBS, etc). And that’s it. We’ll make a check mark and move on. Afterward, share the data we’ve gathered on the blog! If you want to see what that usually looks like, here’s our post from June 2020.

And this is what the survey looks like for us:

If you don’t want people to get too close, or you just don’t want your studying interrupted, you can always leave your ID out, or just write your program down on a piece of paper and leave it next to you. If you’re in a study room, feel free to write down the number of people and their program(s), and tape that to the outside of the study room door (not the window). If you need paper or tape we have them at the desk! Just come ask.

Just please remember to take down any signs you put up, and to remove any IDs or papers you put on the desks by you.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, don’t hesitate to ask us! You can call us at 617-636-6706, e-mail us at, visit our live chat on the Ask Us page, or even just swing by the desk on the 4th floor and chat to us in person.

Thank you for your assistance with this, and we look forward to a nice smooth Affiliation Week!

spring flowers

Spring flowers, photo by A. LaVertu, 2021


Are you done with winter? Us too! Time to shake off the cold temps and winter blues and get ready for Spring! Why not start put some of that Spring ‘energy’ into learning some new skills?  This month’s workshops present some wonderful opportunities for learning new skills and updating some skills that might have gotten, you know, ‘under used’! Come join us!

Workshops will be held on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm via Zoom. Registration for workshops is required.  A Zoom link and password will be sent to registrants one hour prior to the start time of the Workshop. Please note that workshops are open to only Tufts-affiliated individuals.


Essentials of Data Management


Date:             Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

In this workshop, we will review best practices for naming, organizing, storing, depositing your research data, and creating a Data Management Plan. Managing your data before you begin your research and throughout its life cycle is essential to ensure its current usability and long-run preservation and access.


***Special Event***
Writing Personal Statements


Date: Monday, March 7, 2022

Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Join us for a special workshop with Christine Smith, MS, RD, a Health Sciences Writing Consultant on the Boston Campus, adjunct lecturer at the Friedman School and former Senior Editor of the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. Christine will provide advice on writing personal statements, as well as her top writing tips. We will also share resources on application writing and interviewing.


EndNote: Advanced

Date:             Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

This one-hour session explores more advanced features of EndNote. During this session we will discuss using EndNote to create figures with captions, how to find updated citation information for records already in EndNote, how to modify output styles and more.

Systematic Reviews: Laying the Groundwork


Date:             Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

Come to this workshop to learn about systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and other types of high-level research reviews. We will discuss topics such as the elements of a systematic review, protocols, resources, timelines, and suggested databases.


How to Read a Paper

Date:             Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Time:             12:00pm – 1:00pm

Understanding a study is an essential first step before critical appraisal. In this workshop, attendees will learn strategies to efficiently read and understand an academic research paper in the health sciences.



We’re in the thick of the semester, so why not take a moment to de-stress and send some love? Next Thursday and Friday we’ll have a variety of supplies out at the Library Service Desk so you can make valentines for yourself, your friends, or that special someone (your favorite librarian, perhaps?). We’ll have all the glitter and doilies you need to let someone know how much you appreciate them!

We are also partnering with the Service Scholars to write welcome letters for new Afghan refugee families relocating to the Boston area. You can use the cards they are providing or craft your own special card!

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