DURHAM, N.H. – The Dimond Library at the University of New Hampshire is bringing in the dogs to help students relieve stress during finals. Part of its “Frenzy-Free Finals” series, “study buddy” dogs and their trainers will visit the library Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011.
The dogs are from ElderPet, an organization launched at UNH’s Thompson School of Applied Science in 1982 to connect pets with senior citizens and people with disabilities. In 2010, the folks at Healthy UNH came up with the idea of using the dogs to help students relief stress.
“Last year, students kids would come in specifically to see the dogs,” says Tracey Lauder, assistant dean for library administration. “They’d come up to the desk and say, ‘Are the dogs here yet?’”
The dogs are allowed anywhere in the library except the reading rooms, staff areas, and in Special Collections. They find a spot on the floor and students will go and sit beside them, Lauder says.
“They use them as a break from studying. They get right down on the floor with them and it makes them forget about things for a few minutes. And the dogs are great with the students.”
ElderPet has 11 volunteers who will visit the library during the two days next week on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to1 p.m. and 2 to 9 p.m., and Wednesday from 10 to11 a.m. and 1 to 8 p.m.
Frenzy-Free Finals is sponsored by Healthy UNH, Dimond Library, Dining Services, the Parents Association, the Alumni Association, Health Services, and ElderPet.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.