As the insanity of final exams creep in, here’s a suggestion: take solace with warm nuzzles, tail wags and wet noses from one of the world’s most popular companions – dogs! Atkins Library is offering man’s best friend – in this case, Jasmine, Regis, Toby and others – to soothe exhausted, frazzled UNC Charlotte students as they plow through some long days and nights during finals.
Carole Runnion, UNC Charlotte professor emeritus and Atkins Library’s former interim university librarian, launched a new organization, Library Dog Therapy Group, upon her "retirement" two years ago. Its mission combines her pursuit of providing therapy dogs for those in stressful situations with her continuing love of libraries. The pooches will be offered to students for playtime, Frisbee, ear scratches, belly rubs and, of course, pure affection.
"These pets are certified therapy dogs who undergo an extensive training and behavior process to deal with people in stressful situations", says Stephanie Otis, Atkins Library librarian and coordinator of this effort. Some of the dogs will be found on the grassy knoll beside the library and others will "visit" on the Library’s ground floor (please note that dogs are not usually allowed inside University buildings; an exception was granted for the benefit of our students). The pups will come in all shapes and sizes – large, small, smooth, fuzzy, young and old. The open visiting schedule is as follows: Thursday, May 3, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM; Sunday, May 6, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM; and Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.
Friendly paws aren’t the only stress relievers being offered, though. Atkins Library will again offer a student break room, located on the ground floor, from May 2 – 9. This room will offer coffee, tea, a microwave, games, disposable pillows and more to help patrons escape the madness. Students can even mail pre-stamped postcards provided by the library, reassuring family and friends they’re going to make it – perhaps with a little help from a fuzzy-eared friend.
Good luck 49ers!