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Welcome to Tufts – and welcome to the Hirsh Health Sciences Library! We are so glad you’re here!

The Hirsh Library looks forward to supporting you during your time at Tufts. We also want to share some tips to get you started right now:

We wish you a most fabulous Fall semester and hope that you will explore the wealth of resources available to you at Hirsh. Welcome!


In this post, we want to focus on two alternative transit modes that you may (or may not!) be as familiar with: “rails and sails,” aka, Commuter rail and Ferry service.

“Ridin’ the Rails”: the Commuter Rail

MBTA commuter train

By MBTafan2011 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

According to the MBTA’s A Rider’s Guide to Planning Ahead:

“Riders can simply show their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to conductors to ride the Commuter Rail in Zones 1A, 1, and 2 on ALL Commuter Rail lines at no charge.”

The Commuter Rail stops at the following Orange Line stations:

  • Forest Hills > South Station
  • Ruggles > South Station
  • Back Bay > South Station
  • Oak Grove > North Station (with connecting shuttle bus to Government Center)
  • Malden Center > North Station (with connecting shuttle bus to Government Center)

Because the MBTA providing service to Zones 1A, 1, and 2 on ALL Commuter Rail (with your CharlieCard or CharlieTicket), you might also want to do a bit of exploring! Check out which stations in Zones 1A, 1, and 2 are accessible at:

“Ships Ahoy!:” the Charlestown Ferry

MBTA boat

By Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA – Glory, CC BY-SA 2.0,

If you live in Charlestown, there’s another transit option available to you: the Ferry. Ferries have run between the Boston’s North End and Charlestown since colonial times…and they’re still going strong!

The Charlestown Ferry makes frequent trips (about 10 minutes in duration) between the Charlestown Navy Yard and Rowes Wharf near the New England Aquarium.  Fares are $3.70 one way and you can ride the Ferry using your monthly subway or commuter rail pass.  Plus, the harbor views are GORGEOUS!

To learn more about the Charlestown Ferry, visit the MBTA’s Beginner’s Guide to the Ferry.


Image: Giant smug Capybara standing in a hoolahoop in a pool |

As you well know, it has been HOT lately! So, it’s the perfect time to re-up this post about finding places to go swim in the Boston-Area

You don’t have to be the world’s largest rodent to stay chill this summer! The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the City of Boston  maintains dozens of pools, spray parks and beaches in and around the greater Boston-area for free. So, go grab a suit, some sunblock and get swimming (but leave the cabybara at home)!


Working on a cover letter? Stumped about starting your personal statement? Finishing up your thesis? Never fear, Health Sciences Writing Consultants is here! We interrupt our usual summer hiatus to bring you three special dates where our consultant will be available to advise you on your writing projects.

On 8/9, 8/16, and 9/1, there will be four appointments available between 10am and 2pm. For more information or to register for an appointment please visit the Health Sciences Writing Consultants LibGuide.



Hannah Ellingson


We are pleased to welcome another new Research & Instruction librarian this summer! Hannah Ellingson joined the team in early July and will be the liaison to the school of Dental Medicine. She graduated in May with her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she worked at the Undergraduate Library. She also has a master’s degree in religion from UIUC.

Hannah has lived all over the country–she grew up in Utah, did her undergrad in Washington state, and lived in Illinois before moving to Massachusetts. In her free time, she likes trying new recipes, playing the guitar (not well, but enthusiastically, she adds) and exploring local beaches and hiking

Please say hello if you see her in the library!


We want to extend a warm welcome to the new UG students starting this week and a belated but no less enthusiastic welcome to our new PG students! The library has quiet places for studying (and naps), collaboration space, and you are welcome to eat and drink while you are here (we even have microwaves you can use).

  • Have a question? Drop by the Service Desk on the 4th floor and chat to the librarian on call.
  • Want more extended one-on-one help? Schedule an appointment with the dental librarian, Hannah Ellingson
  • Speaking of Hannah, be sure to bookmark the Dental Resources she’s put together for TUSDM. It includes goodies like information on Board and Licensure Exam study resources, how to find Materials Research, and tips on conducting excellent EBD searches.
  • Forget your charger and your phone’s about to die? Check one out at the Service Desk. For that matter, check out a laptop, a VGI cable, model teeth, real skulls, and more!

We wish you nothing but success here at Tufts and everyone at the library looks forward to getting to know you better!





Juneteenth hours

On Monday, June 20th, the Library Service Desk and Library Offices will be closed for the observance of Juneteenth. We will be open for our regular hours on Saturday and Sunday.

The university will be holding a Juneteenth Observance Ceremony on Friday, June 17th. The ceremony will be held on the Medford campus and livestreamed for those who would like to attend remotely. For more information or to register, please visit the University’s Juneteenth website. 


Duette . “Commencement, 1966.” tufts:UA136.002.DO.01322r. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Congratulations Class of 2022! All of us at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library applaud your hard-earned accomplishments and we wish you the best in your future endeavors! We look forward hearing about all the great work you will do.

Please note that the Library Service Desk will be closed this Saturday, May 21, as there will be a reception for the graduates taking place on the 4th floor.

On Friday, May 20th, preparations will begin for Saturday’s event so there will be some disruption on the 4th floor and the Food4Thought cafe will be closing at 2pm.


It’s Stress Less Week and we’re here to help! Join us at the Library Service Desk on Tuesday 4/26 from 2:30-3:30pm for a study break. We’ll have tea and snacks so you can take a moment to relax and refuel before retiring to your study carrel.


Data carpentry

Confused or overwhelmed by the prospect of working with data? Not sure where or how to acquire the skills you need to work effectively with research data? Then, look no further!

The Hirsh and Ginn libraries at Tufts are hosting a three-day Data Carpentry workshop on Mar 30-31 and Apr 1, 2022 all online.

What is Data Carpentry you ask?

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Open to all, including learners who have little to no prior computational experience. Lessons build on learners’ existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to work together and share experiences, with an eye toward applying what they have learned to their own research problems.

So, if you’re hoping to learn more about organizing data in spreadsheets, data cleaning with OpenRefine, and gaining an introduction into R, please register at this link!

All learners, including those with little to no prior experience with these tools, are welcome to participate. If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Andrea Kang. We look forward to seeing you all there!


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