Please enjoy the inaugural edition of Ask Ms. Shelved, the new, irregularly scheduled advice column from HHSL!
Dear Ms. Shelved:
I am in my final weeks of classes for the semester, and I find myself studying (and eating, and sleeping) in the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. I am the first person in the building in the morning and the last person out. I haven’t seen my cat, Hortense, in days, possibly weeks. My friends think I moved away. I saw my own picture on a milk carton the other day.
But today I discovered that the caretakers of my cozy den, my warm second home, my snug grotto of learning have cast me out! I approached the Library Service Desk to check out a phone charger, and was told that I had overdue items and I could not check anything out for a FULL WEEK. Ms. Shelved, I am bewildered, bamboozled, and BLOCKED.
Whatever shall I do?
Stunned in Sackler
Well, it seems you’ve been visited by THE BLOCK. He’s like a lot of other holiday specters…like the Uncouth Uncle at Thanksgiving dinner, he’s never a welcome visitor. Like the Schmaltz Stain left on your sweater after frying latkes, he’s persistent. And like the Tantrumy Toddler at Christmas, he follows you around, fraying your nerves and trying your patience.
Since you are blocked for a week, it appears you’ve invoked this unwelcome guest once already since July, and now you’re on your second strike. But don’t despair! Here are some helpful tips to Banish the Block:
- Electronics, accessories, reserve materials, skulls, models, etc. circulate for 4 hours. Set a timer on your phone when you check out.
- If there’s a chance you’ll get stuck in a meeting or appointment, TELL the person who checks out the item, and ASK if you can have a (reasonable) extension.
- If a genuine crisis arises (like a building evacuation or a trip to the Emergency Department), CALL the desk at 617-636-6705 and let us know, we will try to work something out.
- Remember that you can renew some items (like laptops) as long as no one is waiting to use it, but you have to bring it back to the desk first.
- Many of the books on reserve are also available online! You probably don’t need to smuggle that textbook out overnight.
I suggest paying closer attention to your loans, because if you are blocked again before June 30, you will lose your borrowing privileges for 30 days!
Stunned, if you have any questions about the Blocking Policy, please see it in full here: https://hirshlibrary.tufts.edu/about-us/policies/overdue-items.
Remember, try to get some sleep, take a shower, drink some water, and bring your stuff back on time!
AHH! Don’t sneak up on a person like that. You startled me.
Why am I so jumpy? Don’t you know?! It’s that time of year again…the time when HHSL students are so busy studying for exams, moving to start residencies, and preparing for graduation that they don’t return their Reserve Items. Which means nearly every day, someone receives a visit from…THE BLOCK
THERE HE IS! Don’t look into his eyes![for those unfamiliar with THE BLOCK, you can read the Terrifying Tale here]
Recently we’ve heard tell that THE BLOCK has a cousin. A beast who also brings hatred and woe wherever he goes. He haunts students who haven’t returned items to the Tisch Library. I hear they call him…THE BILL
AVERT YOUR GAZE! He has come for you!
It’s possible that you may not know THE BILL is coming for you…you might never have visited Tisch Library in person, but it’s possible you requested an item from Tisch, or the related SMFA or Lilly Music Library via JumboSearch. Even if you picked it up and checked it out at HHSL, you are beholden to the rules of the library that owns the item, and if you’re late you may owe a fine or replacement fee, bringing you face to face with THE BILL. And if you don’t pay THE BILL, you might end up in a tangle with…THE BURSAR!
So, check out the Tisch Fines and Fees to be safe and avoid THE BILL.
Any questions? Don’t hesitate to Ask Us!
Well, hello there boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen. Back from Thanksgiving break so soon, are we?
What’s that you say? Exams a’ comin’? Already? Boy howdy.
Why don’t you join me for a moment. I’ll tell you a tale as old as the print journals on the 7th Floor. The story of a creature most hideous, most foul, and most dangerous. Of course, I speak of THE BLOCK.
AHHH! Thar he scowls! Be careful, don’t look into his eyes! How does one summon THE BLOCK? Let me share the lore with you.
Now, some say that if you return a reserve item (like a laptop, phone charger, skull, or reserve book) late once, THE BLOCK will follow you for 24 hours after you return the item, and you will be mysteriously unable to check out items from the Library. If you return an item late a second time, THE BLOCK will haunt your nightmares for 7 days, impeding your ability to study and borrow headphones (and other things).
Now, many have tempted fate and survived the wrath of THE BLOCK once, even twice. But beware, should you return a third reserve item late, the foul beast will cast his sharp, cubic shadow over your life for two fortnights!
(You know, you won’t be able to check anything out for one month after you return the delinquent item)
AND THAT’S NOT ALL. If you summon THE BLOCK three times, he will, like Marley’s Ghost, visit your Dean and share tales of your misdeeds.
And finally, if you are one of the foolish few who learns nothing of your third encounter with this reviled, hideous hexahedron, and you dare invite his wrath again, THE BLOCK will rob you of your borrowing privileges for the rest of the semester, and he will darken the doorstep of your Dean again.
And the most TERRIFYING thing of all? Every time you summon THE BLOCK, you wear his mark for the remainder of the academic year. So remember, a late return in September will follow you all the way to next July.
So take heed, as exams approach:
- Try to get some sleep
- Stay hydrated
- Return your reserve items on time, and
- DON’T MOCK THE BLOCK
(The Hirsh Health Sciences Library blocking policy can be found in its entirety here: http://hirshlibrary.tufts.edu/about-us/policies/overdue-items)
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