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Furry friends relieve stress in library

Krisa Roggensack, Life Writer
December 12, 2012
Filed under Life, Top Stories

College students can experience a lot of stress — especially during finals. The Cofrin Library can help students fight stress and study their best for finals.

Anne Kasuboski, distance education and reference librarian, thinks the library has solutions to help all students relieve stress and study more effectively.

Therapy and outreach dogs from the Packerland Kennel Club will be on the fourth floor of the library Dec. 13. Students can come and play with the dogs from 3 to 5 p.m. There will be between 12 and 14 dogs there for students to play and cuddle with.

“We brought the therapy dogs last year, and it was a huge, huge success,” Kasuboski said. “People keep asking in surveys when the dogs are coming back.”

It was an easy decision to bring the dogs back to the library this year. Kasuboski is a member of the Packerland Kennel Club, so preparations for the event went smoothly.

Many different types of dogs will be there, including Kasuboski’s two Shetland Sheepdogs, Nicky and Katie.

“I usually spend so much time during finals sitting in my room studying,” said Nick Schmidt, senior business major. “It will be nice to take time away from that to go and play with these dogs.”

With the success of the event last year, Kasuboski hopes to bring the Kennel Club dogs during spring finals as well. If the therapy dogs would come in spring, the event could be held outside and students could play fetch with the K-9s.

Along with the different breeds, all types of personalities will be in attendance as well to accommodate any student’s needs.

“It’s nice to have dogs with different personalities participating because some dogs will be bouncy and friendly,” Kasuboski said, “but for some people who are more shy around dogs they don’t know, there will be dogs that will be more reserved.”

Many studies have been done on the effects animals can have on stress relief, and the results are positive. Dogs have been shown to improve a person’s mood, and being around a dog can even lower that person’s blood pressure.

There will be some other activities in the library for those students who can’t make it to see the therapy dogs. On the fifth floor, there is a station stocked with several types of puzzles and coloring pages. Students can take a five- or ten-minute break from studying and complete a puzzle. Also, white boards will be scattered throughout the library with some stress relief tips written on them. Students will be encouraged to add their own tips and share them with their fellow pupils.

“Studies have shown that if you switch to a different mental activity, even for five or ten minutes, and then go back to studying, your brain is refreshed and you can go back into your studying and be more effective,” Kasuboski said.

The library is also offering extended hours during finals week. The library will be open Monday through Thursday 8 to 1 a.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“I love going to the library to study because it is so much easier to focus,” said Kim Sobolik, sophomore undeclared, “although I wish they were open all night long.”

The library also offers several areas to study such as group rooms with computers that can be rented and the Miller Reading room on the fifth floor which is the designated quiet area in the library.

“Come and check out our tips and our activities,” Kasuboski said, “and remember that we’re here for you to come and study when a lot of places may be closed.”