Final exam week is the busiest time for Laupus Library each semester, as students pack into every available study space for hours of studying. To encourage students to take a healthy break from their hard work, Laupus hosted a variety of stress relieving activities and programs April 26-29 for those needing a brief escape.
The library’s ongoing Pet Therapy program, sponsored by the Friends of Laupus Library, kicked off the week with much success as many students were eager to spend a little time with man’s best friend.
Christa Sanderford, a graduate student in the environmental health sciences program, was talking on the phone about exams with her mom when she walked into the library and spotted the therapy dogs. “I was like, ‘mom I have to go,’” she said. “There are dogs in the library!”
“I am so excited,” she gushed after giving both dogs a good rub. “My exam is in 30 minutes and I am so much more cheerful now.”
“Bringing these dogs to the library is a way we can acknowledge that we appreciate what these students are going through and provide a bit of emotional comfort, particularly during finals week when the stress goes up another notch, explained Beth Ketterman, interim director of Laupus Library. “And there is good evidence in the health sciences literature that taking a few moments to stop and pet an animal has a positive impact on human psychology and physiology.”
Physician assistant studies student Hayden Mulligan says she spends more time in the library than her own home.
“Sometimes it’s hard to incentivize yourself to take a break because there is so much work to be done,” she said. “It’s so nice to be able to take a second away from studying and love on an animal that is sweet and generous and cuddly.”
“These dogs help me remember there is real life outside of school,” she continued. “They relax me and make the library feel a little more like home.”
Because of the positive response from students, the Friends of Laupus Library voted earlier this year to double the number of offerings by sponsoring sessions for fall and spring semesters during mid-term and final exam weeks.
Friends Chair John Papalas says the group is proud to support the library and students it serves.
“By sponsoring and promoting events like this we hope to highlight the prominent role Laupus plays in the education of a growing and ever more diverse student body,” he said.
Other activities held throughout the week included a Food N’ Fun Break on Wednesday evening for students who enjoyed free pizza, snacks, giveaways and board games. Also during the break, students completed surveys which collected feedback on ways the library can improve services to better meet their needs.
Programs concluded on Friday, April 29, as Laupus VIP contest winner Brittany Eure – a freshman nursing student – and four invited friends received 12 hours of private and reserved study space and a full day of pampering. Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner were delivered to the lucky group along with snacks and other giveaways throughout the day.
Laupus staff also decorated the exclusive spot to make the long study hours a more enjoyable experience.
“Winning the contest has made a huge difference in my studying,” claimed Eure. “I actually looked forward to coming to study today and was relieved not to have to worry about finding a room.”
The competition, created to encourage students to follow the library’s social media sites, required students to attend the Food N’ Fun Break and post a photo from the event on the Laupus Library Facebook or Instagram pages. Participant names were entered into a drawing held on Thursday morning.
“All these programs show the library cares about the students and wants to make this time as manageable as possible for us,” Mulligan said. “That makes me feel like they are on my team and I really appreciate their support.”