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ERIC Number: EJ1082308
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1522-8959
Therapy Dogs in Academic Libraries: A Way to Foster Student Engagement and Mitigate Self-Reported Stress during Finals
Jalongo, Mary Renck; McDevitt, Theresa
Public Services Quarterly, v11 n4 p254-269 2015
More and more modern academic libraries are turning to student engagement activities designed to welcome students into Academia, join a community of scholars, and avail themselves of the full range of resources and services that a university library can provide. One unusual, but inexpensive and highly effective method of engaging students is bringing therapy dogs into the library. This article begins by explaining how therapy dogs differ from other types of dogs and how to counter objections to library engagement activities involving canines. It then offers a research-based rationale for human-canine interaction that is consistent with an academic library's mission. Next, the article addresses the planning/implementation phase a student engagement event involving handler/therapy dog teams, reviews the literature on successful programs at various institutions, and offers guidance to others seeking to initiate a similar program. A project of this type depends upon collaboration among faculty members, college students, support staff, volunteers, and the larger community. Finally, the article highlights results from a questionnaire administered to 449 students during a sequence of three "de-stress during exam week" events. Overall, the survey data suggest that: (1) social media was the most effective means of advertising, (2) students strongly supported the continuation of the event, and (3) 95% of the student participants considered interaction with the therapy dogs to be a means of stress reduction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania