Utah Library Association
Since the spring of 2014, the Merrill-Cazier library has offered stress-relieving activities during finals week to help students cope with their heavy workloads. The most popular activity offered (by far) is pet therapy. In the past, the library offered two sessions during finals week, but because of positive feedback and the huge student turnout at these sessions, the library has started to make pet therapy a weekly occurrence. Thanks to the kindness of our volunteer handlers, the therapy dogs have started to come to the library every Tuesday, and the feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive.
Pet therapy does not only work in an academic library, it thrives there. Students stressed out with anything from homesickness to an important exam can receive needed relief and come to view the library as a supportive environment, which may lead to other important library interactions.
Krebs, A., Martin, P., & Rozum, W. Paws and breathe: how pet therapy thrives in an academic library. Presentation presented at the meeting of the Utah Library Association, May 2017, Sandy, UT.