Library Staff Profile: Helen Hill

Helen Hill, Library Assistant, Kings Highway, Graduate School of Education.

Where were you born? 

I was born in Napa, California.  I lived there for the first 18 years of my life.  

Where else have you lived? 

I lived in Carrboro, North Carolina for four years while attending UNC Chapel Hill. I also lived in Seville, Spain for about 3 months.  

What languages do you speak? 

My primary language is English. I can speak Spanish with difficulty, but can read and write in it fairly well.  

What fields have you studied and/or degrees have you earned? 

I studied English and Comparative Literature in undergrad, focusing largely on Russian literature, poetry (I wrote my thesis on John Donne), and film studies.  

What is your ideal vacation?   

My ideal vacation would be traveling around various countries in Latin America.  

Any hobbies?   

I love learning new types of dance! Most recently I learned Contra, but I have a background in Ballet, Ballroom, and various types of Latin dance. I also rock climb, play guitar, read a lot, and write poetry and short stories.  

Favorite food?  

I love Indian food.  

Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably don’t know. 

I grew up in the wilderness of Napa Valley, without any wifi and often without any running water. (And I loved it!)  

Library Staff Profile: Elisheva Berenstein

Elisheva Berenstein, Librarian, School of Health Sciences

Where were you born?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and actually attended Touro College in the mid 1990s. 

Where else have you lived?  

I have lived in Rochester, New York for over 25 years and have just moved back to the Far Rockaway area.  

What languages do you speak?

While I am a native English speaker, I am proficient in Hebrew and can speak, read and write in it.  

What fields have you studied and/or degrees have you earned?

I have an MLS in Library Science from State University of New York at Buffalo as well as NYS Teacher Certification in Library. I have a BS in Business Management from SUNY Empire State College. I am a certified Medical Transcriptionist as well. I have taught in the classroom, to grades ranging from kindergarten to college.  

What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?  

Teaching students the research and information literacy skills that will help them be successful. Nowadays, you always need to figure things out. Once a student knows how to find the relevant information, there is no limit to how far they can go!  

What do you think will be the most challenging part of your job?  

Marketing and outreach! Having students realize what a great help libraries and librarians can be in helping them excel in their studies. From learning to how to find relevant information to citing research correctly, librarians and library are treasured resources that need good PR.  

Your ideal vacation?

Taking my family touring in Europe (England, France & Italy) for a week and then going to Israel and living like a native in Jerusalem.  

Any hobbies? 

I like to dabble in many things, so I am concurrently working on a diamond art painting of an elephant and a paint by number of the Western Wall. I also like to keep my freezer well stocked with desserts, so I bake weekly. My favorite thing to make is lemon biscotti and grape sorbet.  

Favorite food? 

Anything with chocolate 😊 

Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably don’t know.  

I can juggle! I currently juggle with balls and am working on juggling with pins.  

Image credits: portrait courtesy of the author. Librarian avatar by Bitmoji.

Contributed by Elisheva Berenstein, Librarian at the School of Health Sciences

2020-2021 Library Statistics are in!

As we close out another academic year (this one like no other) we take a look back at the library services we delivered to the Touro community.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, almost nothing was normal about this year. The Fall semester began in the thick of the pandemic, with much, but not all, of our work shifting to remote service as Touro transitioned most classes to online learning. Some of us remained working in our libraries, in-person, throughout the year, some worked remotely the whole year, and some did a combination of both. We had to learn new skills, new technologies, and adjust our workflows for just about everything we did. Yet, Touro Librarians and Library Staff found new ways to connect with our students and faculty and continued to provide the same great library services that we always have, pandemic or no pandemic.

As we had relatively few students and faculty on our campuses this year, most of our reference service moved to being remote. We had the most reference activity via email and phone, with our Chat and Ask-a-Librarian services fielding a steady stream of inquiries as well.

Our librarians regularly teach classes on research methods, and this year was no exception, only that all of these classes were shifted online and carried out via zoom. Through the year, we taught 136 classes over zoom, and had 2131 students attend our library classes. Our asynchronous educational efforts were successful as well, with 408 students and faculty using our many libguides this year. Our librarians and library staff also continued to educate ourselves, attending webinars throughout the year, with a combined total attendance of 544.

Let’s take a look at all the numbers!

We are still hard at work over the summer and are looking forward to what the next academic year will bring, with the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

Until then, see you in the library (call first to verify hours) and online!

post contributed by Kirk Snyder, Open Educational Resources & Instruction Librarian.

You’re invited…to our spring webinars!

The Touro College Libraries are excited to share the schedule of webinars our staff are offering this spring. From Pubmed to peer review, these sessions will offer Touro faculty and graduate students the opportunity to learn new tools and expand their skills. We hope you can join us!

Please click on the title of a webinar for more information and to register via Zoom. Note: times listed are in EST.

Advanced Pubmed: Taking Your Search to the Next Level (NYMC)
Friday, January 29, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Accessing & Navigating Library Resources Remotely (TC)
Thursday, February 18, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Depositing Your Work in Touro Scholar (TC)
Thursday, March 4, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Conducting a Systematic Review (NYMC)
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Creating a Research Web Presence: Tools for Research Profiles and Websites (TC)
Thursday, April 22, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Peer Review and Open Peer Review (TC)
Thursday, May 13, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Unpaywall your published article via Touro Scholar (TC)
Thursday, May 27, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Introduction to Grant Searching for Biomedical, Life Sciences and Public Health Research (NYMC)
Thursday, June 3, 2021 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm

These webinars will be recorded and shared on our Recorded Webinars LibGuide, where you can also find past webinars. If you have any questions about these webinars or topics to recommend, please email

Staff Profile: Sara Tabaei

Graz, Austria
Graz, Austria

Where were you born?

I was born in Graz, which is the second largest city in Austria after Vienna. Graz is a medieval town with beautiful baroque red roof buildings. In 1999, Graz was added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Though it is a relatively small city, (approximately 300,000 residents), it is home to 6 universities. So it is a lively and fun city. Continue reading

Over One Million Hits

2015-06-01 14_57_38-Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel _ אנציקלופדיה לחלוצי הישוב ו
Over 1 million page views for Touro’s Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel

Four years ago Touro College Libraries debuted its digitization of David Tidhar’s 19-volume Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel, which can be found at This valuable resource is used by scholars and historians worldwide as well as by the Touro community. Recently, the Encyclopedia reached 1 million hits, and the views continue to grow. Continue reading

We love hearing from YOU!

The results are in! Here’s what students and faculty have to say about the Touro College Libraries:


We value your feedback and use it to shape the services we provide and our direction for the future. If you have any additional feedback or suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Contributed by: Sara Tabaei, Information Literacy Services Director, Midtown