Carleton University Library Therapy Dog Program

BANSKI, Erika (2019) Carleton University Library Therapy Dog Program. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 113c - IFLA Poster Session.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2686
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Carleton University Library Therapy Dog Program

Animal-assisted therapy and wellness programs are being widely discussed in scholarly literature. Research indicates that these programs provide mental and physiological health benefits. Based on growing evidence, hospitals, schools, universities, airports, and other public institutions introduced therapy dog programs. Carleton University Library established its Therapy Dog Program in April 2017. It launched at the end of the winter semester signified by high-level stress for students: finishing term papers, studying for and taking final exams. The library, open 24/7 during the exam period, is the space where most students choose to study and work. The Therapy Dog schedule is twice a week during exam periods and once a week during other times. Announcements go out via student newspapers, library information screens, posters, and social media. Since the start of the Program, the students responded in a very positive way, came to the sessions in the library, encouraged their peers to join, and formed groups of followers on Instagram and Facebook. This successful program is now continuing into its 3rd year in the library. Campus-wide, it expanded to an entire team of eight certified therapy dogs in the Carleton Therapy Dog Program, available to meet students and staff in various buildings on campus.

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